This will be the place to find out what's happening in our community. But as we're all staying at home for now and doing lots of planning, please see below for some practical support and spiritual guidance for this challenging time.
See our 'What's On this Month' for activity ideas and community stay at home events.
A message from the Reverend Lynn Parker- St Germans Group Parish
Over the last three months the symbol of the rainbow has been shown on windows, painted on walls, worn on our clothing and has been the badge of solidarity and support.
The rainbow has been used as a symbol of hope in lots of different cultures over the centuries. From the earliest story of Noah and his Ark when at the end of the flood God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign and a promise of hope.
Also, as part of the story of Noah’s Ark at the end of the flood as the waters subsided Noah needed to know whether it was safe to open up the ark and go out. So, he sent out a dove and the dove flew back with a twig to show that vegetation was growing again and they could go out. This was Noah’s sign that all would be well.
We are also now looking for signs that it is OK to go out and rebuild all that has stood still over the last three months. Because as some of the lockdown restrictions start to ease, we will take our first tentative steps back to normality (whatever that may look like.)
Some people are anxious to get on and get out and get back to work with shopping and socialising - whilst others are just anxious, wondering whether this is the right time, is it safe, is it too soon, and are we ready.
So where will we find our signs? Hopefully in each other, in the support and encouragement we have found within our community - in new found respect for health workers and teachers - in gratitude of family and health – in a belief that ALL LIVES MATTER.
Let us take those first few steps out tentatively with a new found respect for the world around us and do our part to keep it safe.
Revd Canon Lynn Parker
A message from the Reverend Iris Bray - St Germans Methodist Church
“Now we have won the war we must win the peace.” How often have we heard this expression following a time of conflict or turbulence? Many times, I am sure. And of course, this idea is quite pertinent for our community, nation and world at this time as we thankfully consolidate the national moving beyond strict lockdown.
The idea of winning the peace has been tracked back to the first century and first Roman Emperor Augustus. The legacy of his military conquests ran before him, and feature such notable historical figures such as Mark Antony and Cleopatra. As a result of his military success, Egypt, northern Spain and much of central Europe were added to the Roman Empire.
But the aspirations of Emperor Augustus went beyond merely seeking to expand and develop the nation simply by extending the territory marked as the Roman Empire in maps of the time.
The aspirations of Emperor Augustus went beyond war to work for peace. So the idea of Pax Romana – “Roman peace” was born. In this way Augustus started nearly 200 years of relative calm and stability and rebuilding in much of the then known world. It was during this time that the famed Roman roads were built which supported the growth of trade and prosperity throughout the Empire. Providing, of course, the local population did not overstep the mark and try to upset the apple-cart.
This peace is recognised in the Bible. St Luke gives this account of Paul being unjustly accused of being a trouble-maker in Acts 24:2 ‘When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: ‘We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation.’ So it was hardly surprising that when Paul was preparing to travel to Rome his letter to the Christian church there started with this greeting assuring them he was not coming as a trouble-maker but in the spirit of God’s peace: “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
At this time of emerging from the pandemic, when many still feel bruised by the experience, it could be said this nation too is engaged in ‘winning the peace.’ It takes a shift in our thinking to move from overtly fighting the virus through lockdown to not letting the virus continue to win as the nation seeks to begin the recovery. We are all invited to an active participation in re-building community and re-shaping the future in the light of the lessons learned during lockdown, social distancing and face coverings currently required.
Preparing to leave July for the month named in honour of Emperor Augustus, we remember Augustus’ call to Pax Romana, to win the peace now possible through the commitment, dedication and sacrifice of so, so many, including ourselves.
Every blessing stay well