Important Notice: Copmanthorpe Methodist Church
COVID-19 – updated 18th March 2020
We are conforming to governmental advice, so our premises will be closed for worship and all community activities until further notice. We are sorry for the impact this will have on so many Copmanthorpe folk.
We are encouraging the whole Copmanthorpe community to stay safe by following the best available advice. It is important that we watch out for our neighbours in love including those who are most vulnerable in our community.
We will be trying to keep in touch with those connected to this church by phone and other safe means of communication. Please do the same for those you are concerned about. We also intend to put in place some forms of help like shopping for those who need to be in self isolation.
See words of encouragement below.
Revd Steve Barlow Tel: 01904 709713
Revd Helen Freeston Tel: 01904 594460
Hope in the midst of Coronavirus
When we are in the middle of a crisis the hardest thing to do is to step back and see the bigger picture. The fear of a coronavirus catastrophe can cause us instinctively to focus on fear and the immediate dangers ahead. The temptation is to want to bury our head in the sand and wish that we could go into hibernation for nine months and wake up when it’s all over. We can gain a sense of perspective and reassurance as we look at the past and the future and this will help us to cope, with hope, in the present.
This pandemic is bringing out the best and the worst in human nature. We see stories of kindness and sacrifice as well as tales of self-centredness and greed. The truth is that in time scientists will find a vaccine for this particular strain of coronavirus, just as it is almost certain that there will be further viruses in the future. But what is the vaccine for our current state of fear?
I believe we are facing the same fear as was felt during the time of the Black Death of 1347, when so many of the European population died. We see our anxiety exacerbated by the constant drip-feeding of bad news and additional measure of self-isolation and social distancing to limit the spread of infection. We are concerned for our loved ones and those most vulnerable in our society. We are also concerned for ourselves and how we’ll all cope in the months ahead.
As Christians this pandemic is a severe test of our faith and its relevance in our lives and the lives of those around us. Not being able to meet for worship and mutual support is an added challenge and can add to our isolation.
Plague and disease however are not new to humanity. We can learn from history. When we look at how the Church in the past has dealt with plague – whether in ancient Rome, medieval Europe, 19th century London we see amazing stories of sacrifice and self-giving love, of caring for those who were sick and supporting those in fear.
Hope seems to be sadly missing in the immediacy of our current fear. Real hope has to be more than the wish that this mess will soon be over. Where do we find hope? We find hope in our living saviour Jesus and in the word of God. Let me share with you the Christian hope recorded in Romans 8:
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things? Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death?
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 28, 31-35 and 37-39
May the almighty God strengthen us and give us hope as we overcome fear and support those in need.
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