In view of the continuation of the lockdown, and the cancellation of all meetings and events, we have decided, for the time being, that we will only issue the Bulletin on a monthly basis, based around Rachel's prayer letter. Should the need arise, however, we can issue a Bulletin Update between the monthly Bulletins if necessary.
This weekend we celebrate the 75th VE Day anniversary. The usual May Day bank holiday Monday has been changed to Bank Holiday Friday (not that many would have noticed a Bank Holiday amidst the unusual times just now!). But for those of us still working the planned day off is, however, welcomed.
With the new ‘norm’ just now, the planned celebrations will still go ahead but adhering to the Lockdown restrictions, meaning Dame Vera Lynn & Katherine Jenkins singing in concert at the Royal Albert Hall empty of an Audience. The proposed street parties, if our Crescent is anything to go by, will mean residents having afternoon tea in their own front gardens, bunting up on their own fences & property and prepared Loud Speakers to play War Time golden oldies to help create a party atmosphere.
As I read again the details of VE Day, my mind imagines what emotions will have been felt by everyone within the European Countries. The relief, exhilaration, peace of mind and yet, the realisation of the deep sense of loss. For families awaiting loved ones returning from serving their Country, in unimaginable circumstances, excitement, tinged with concern for what challenges may lay ahead of them.
This day, when Nazi Germany issued their unconditional surrender of its armed forces on May 8th 1945, to the allied European forces, and the commencement of the end of WWII, is certainly worth celebrating! And celebrate we should, along with the other Countries involved. I can’t help but wonder what Germany do on this day, how can they celebrate defeat? What would they be celebrating? Well, curiosity got the better of me and I’ve researched. Germany were defeated but this day is commemorated by remembering those lost in Battle and also a celebration for the end of fascism.
This time of attack from COVID19, and the huge world-wide loss of life, has been likened to war. The great difficulty of this war is, that the enemy is an unseen enemy. We’re told of ways it can be spread and we can be infected, but it remains unseen and largely unknown.
In our Christian lives, as soldiers of the Cross, we are in a war against sin and wrong, our enemy has a name, but is the unseen enemy. We cannot know when he will strike, but we are told in scripture that he prowls around like a lion, waiting to pounce. He attacks both the strong of faith and the weak. He looks for his way in, to infect the good mind and heart with lies, temptations and doubts.
As the poor Covid patients fight for breath and cling to life with every fibre of their being, so we when under attack from the devil, must claim the very breath of God, and cling to faith.
Pray, pray and keep praying to God our healer, our strength, our refuge, our breath of life, seek Him with every fibre of your being and claim the Victory in Him. And I believe that with every victory won, there are huge celebrations in Heaven for us.
I am so looking forward to the victory over this dreadful virus, and the day we will all be together again, not afraid of a welcoming handshake or hug. The day of great celebration. It’s coming, one day - get ready!
Breathe on me breath of a God
Fill me with life anew
That I may love what Thou does love
And do what Thou worlds do.
Breathe on me breath of God
Until my heart is pure
Until with Thee I will one will
To do and to endure.
Breathe on me breath of God
So shall I never die
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.
Missing you all.
- Families bereaved (families of Olive Chamberlain, Roger Betson, Major Alive Snell and Major Tim Wicker);
- Emma (Dave & Sue’s daughter) still struggling with breathing difficulties;
- Callum Crayton home with antibiotics;
- Andrew Seal now home but still very unwell;
- Helen Crayton’s father recently in hospital but home again;
- Jen Elliott home but struggling with poor health and awaiting further treatment;
- Geraldine White unwell at home;
- Rachel Raw struggling with Fibromyalgia and fatigue;
- Barbara Boscott remains in hospital but improving (not Covid related);
- People living alone, beginning to feel the loneliness;
- Cadet Emily Watson & all cadets as Commissioning is now to be live streamed, and not held at Westminster Central Hall with family and friends;
- The PM and other professionals making decisions about the way forward from this time of Lockdown;
Lord, there are so many of our loved ones struggling in different ways, please surround them with your love, strength, comfort and healing.
Help and guide the decisions made on our behalf by those in power, and continue to help everyone to be sensible and safe. Give your protection.
Thank you Lord for your presence with us each day. You bless us in so many ways. Keep us close to You
May Prayer Letter, by Rachel
In Resting in the presence of Jesus
Then Jesus said “Come unto me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
How are you all feeling right now? Many of us may feel overwhelmed at this moment, especially not seeing loved ones and many may have all sorts of concerns regarding health, employment, finances, provision etc. We may not know how long this lockdown will last, but one thing for certain is that Jesus never will leave us or forsake us. So whatever you are feeling right now, please be assured that you don’t have to carry these heavy burdens and concerns alone.
In Matthew 11: 28-30 Jesus says “Come unto me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”
If you are needing peace in your hearts right now, it is through prayer and by resting in God’s presence that we can experience his peace that surpasses all understanding. The bible clearly tells us that true peace only comes from God and is different than the world’s version (John 14:27).
In one of the Apostle Paul’s letters to the early church in Philippi, he writes, “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) This applies to us believers today, in regards to how we can experience God’s peace through prayer. To truly know God’s peace, we need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because peace is evidence of the Holy’s Spirit’s wonder working power within our lives (Galatians 5:22)
May we use this season of lockdown to grow closer to the Lord through prayer and his word. Jesus calls each one of us to come and rest in his presence and to listen to his voice. Whilst writing this newsletter, the Lord has laid on my heart the beautiful hymn ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say.’ Please prayerfully reflect on these words.
v1. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one lay down
Thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.
v2. I heard the voice of Jesus say
“Behold, I freely give
The living water, thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.
v3. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto me, my morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in Him, my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk,
Till travelling days are done.
v4. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“My Father’s house above,
Has many mansions, I've a place,
prepared for you in love.”
I trust in Jesus - in that house,
According to His word,
Redeemed by grace, my soul shall live
forever with the Lord.
Will you heed the voice of Jesus when he calls you to spend time with him?
Although our Corps prayer groups have not been able to meet at the Hall on Wednesdays and Sundays, it is vital to keep praying not just individually but as a Corps. We can still pray as a Corps at the same time within our own homes on Wednesdays at 7pm and Sundays at 9.30am. Please will you join us in intercession at these times. Please can you share this with those who do not have internet access.
There is power in prayer when we pray together at the same time, even when we are praying from different places. According to Charles Spurgeon “Prayer meetings are the throbbing spirituality pulse of the church.” So let’s keep prayer meetings going. Due to the advantages of social media our Corps prayer meetings continue to pray together online. Please pray that when we do return to the Hall, our prayer groups will grow from strength to strength and we will be bold in prayer and mission.
Call to Prayer at 12noon
Christians from all over the UK and world are encouraged to pray every day at 12 noon. Will you join us at this time in prayer and intercession. Many Christians use the Lord’s prayer at this time. Parents with young children and teenagers, please encourage children to join in and be creative with prayers.
Prayer Intercession: Will you join me in Prayer intercession;
Thank you Lord for your endless mercy and goodness. Help us to keep trusting and praising you through both the good and bad times. Lord help us to keep our eyes fixed on you.
- Please pray for our Nation and the world who have been affected by this virus and for all those grieving loved ones. May they feel surrounded by your love, peace and presence in the coming days and months ahead.
- Pray continually for our officers Majors Andrew and Valerie Spivey as they lead and care for us through these challenging times. Bless our officers as they minister to us and we give thanks for all the hard work they do for us and for the work they do behind the scenes. Pray that the Lord will give them strength and guidance.
- Pray for Major Kelvin who is chaplain to Harnall Lifehouse and bless his ministry as he supports both residents and staff in this current crisis. Pray for the residents and staff
at Youell Court. Please also pray for Hayley who works as chaplain there .
- Pray for people of all ages who are vulnerable including the homeless, disabled and or have underlying health conditions. Pray for those who will have to self isolate for a long duration.
- Please continue to pray for our Prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the Government and nation as we go through these testing times.The Lord instructs us all to pray for our leaders in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, for he wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” Lord, break any demonic divisions and unite this nation once again. Lord, we pray that you will raise up godly, Christian leaders who will seek your counsel and guide the prime minister, when making decisions for our country. Let Your will be done!
- Please pray for our NHS staff in all hospitals and within the community who are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Pray for provision and that they will receive the equipment and resources they need. Lord guide them, protect them as they care for their patients and we pray that this virus will come to an end. In Jesus name.
- Pray for Community care workers who care for people at home and in residential and nursing homes. Pray for the staff and residents. Pray for the residents as they are unable to see their loved ones due to this lock down and pray for their families too. Many of our Corps family live in care homes around this City and within our county and beyond.
- Pray for those in our Corps who work in many different work sectors such as education, administration, council, hospitality to retail. Pray for those self employed and those who are working from home. Pray for those facing unemployment or unemployed, those unable to work due ill health
- Pray that the Lord will provide for all those in our corps who are struggling at this time.
- Pray for our young children as many schools closed and for those that are open for children whose parents are key workers or children who are vulnerable. Pray for the teachers and support staff who will be caring for them. Pray for teachers who are working from home
- Please pray for the teenagers and students whose exams have been disrupted. May they know that God still has a plan for their lives and they are in his hands. Please also pray for parents with young children and teenagers.
- Lord, we pray that you will bring calm and your peace in this situation. We pray that the Church will be a light in this nation and help us to love and care for one another. Although we may not be able to go out we can keep in touch with one another. May no one feel alone during these times Amen.
- Pray that the Lord will help us to keep God’s armour on (Ephesians 6) and to keep our eyes on him and study his word. Pray for the Lord to open opportunities for us to share God’s love with those who do not know Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Although we are in lockdown, he can use us through conversations with people on the phone, etc. Pray that the Lord will show us the way
- Lord, we pray for the members of our Corps who are unwell and who live with long term health conditions and those caring for loved ones as main carers. Surround them with your love and may they know your peace and that they are not forgotten.
- Please continue to pray for Dean Heeley’s Radio ministry with UCB 2. Bless his radio programme and that he will bring people to Christ through this ministry. Thank you Lord that we can access Christian radio programmes such as UCB and Premier radio and TV channels such as Revelation TV or TBN (please check the website for details on how you can access these programmes)
- Lord, we pray continually for our dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are suffering immense persecution because of their faith. We pray that you will give them protection and strength in the coming days and weeks ahead and surround them with your love and peace.
- Pray that the Lord will protect and keep us all safe, to always be conscious of his presence and to fill us with his love and peace. I pray that when this is over, we will be a Church on fire and the Holy Spirit will use us to bring more people into his kingdom.
Christian media for all ages
- UCB (United Christian Broadcasting) - need digital radio (DAB- Digital Audio Broadcasting). If using DAB radio scroll to ‘U’ section until you find UCB. Dean Heeley presents his own radio show every Saturday from 8-11pm. Or go to website ucb.co.uk
- Premier christian radio (website - premier.org.uk) - DAB radio or Freeview TV (Digital TV) channel 725
- Revelation TV - (website - revelationtv.com) or Freeview HD channel 264
- TBN UK (Trinity Broadcasting Network) - tbnuk.org or Freeview channel 65 or Sky channel 582.
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