A year ago, we heard of this virus that was going around in Wuhan China, little did we know that now a year later we would be experiencing a second wave of it in most of the countries where we work. How have we cared for people, how do we stay in touch with people in our church, we feel we missed so many special events and grieve some of the losses in many ways. Yet for others it has been fine, with a slower pace of life without travel. Here is another Nourish news for you with some input and encouragement. Blessings to you as we enter the Advent Season.

Richard Bromley and Adrienne Strengholt

Matt Edwards, Thrive Worldwide’s Medical Director, writes: Strange. Unprecedented. Unpredictable. Uncertain. Difficult. Many adjectives can be used to describe our experiences of the pandemic as it has swept the globe. Some countries are starting to ‘lift’ restrictions and lockdowns, attempting to emerge into some kind of ‘normality’. Other places are going into lockdown for the first or even second time. Whatever the situation, we are all having to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and the limitations of living with COVID-19”. Read more here.

To Read: Tom Holland’s book Dominion is excellent. A magisterial gallop through history. The early chapters especially are really stimulating.

Nourish Your Ministry

Leadership in Lockdown: Robin Adams from Brittany passed this on to me and I thought it worth sharing. He says: 'I am sharing a great teaching video from the US. It is part of a course for helping churches and clergy deal with the whole media and ministry needs in the covid generation. It is a conversation between two great pastors whom I know, and how they see the Church moving forward as it provides a strong online presence and in person worship. It's just as valid in Europe and in the USA.'

CPAS has produced a series of Webinars on Leading in Uncertain Times. There are five available here.

Christmas Video Resources from 'Go Chatter' for churches to use in services. Many of these videos are available free of charge with licenses to use in online and offline services and events. There are customisable videos as well as videos that can simply be slotted into a service. Check out the customisable templates here or browse Christmas videos here.

Nourish your Soul

On 13 October we held an online retreat with the theme: 'Presence'. Tuning into Gods presence, Presence: A place to live in, Presence a gift to live out. More than 20 people met and were led by Maggie LeRoy who works for the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf and has a retreat house on Cyprus. We started with morning prayer followed by 3 sessions with time for personal reflections after each session. In the end we shared in small groups. I think many were wondering how an online retreat would work and I think we were all pleasantly surprised how well it went and how we could benefit. Even though being physically together is always even more special this worked well and was a blessing to those attending and we hope to do this again. Creating the right environment certainly helped to not be distracted by phones and tablets and be in a place where walks were possible.

As we go into the Season of Advent we normally have so many special things planned, it’s a busy season in our churches and now many of our usual activities are not possible. The retreat on 'Presence' got me thinking about the Presence of our Lord coming to us as Immanuel. That can no lockdown or quarantine change. But it is not easy to care for our church members in this time. And to experience this season that is normally associated with togetherness in a much more solemn way. Here are further online resources that you may find helpful: Jesuits  / Advent Online  / Messionexus

LECTIO 365 is a daily devotional resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, and produced in partnership with CWR, this resource helps you engage with Scripture to inspire prayer and shape your life. 

General News

The Church of England has begun the next stage of a process of discernment and decision-making on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, with the publication of a set of resources entitled Living in Love and Faith (LLF). You can download the book as a pdf here free of charge.

ICS Council notes the publication of the report Living in Love and Faith and is grateful for those who have contributed their time and energy to its production. LLF is itself an invitation to further listening and learning together, and we encourage all who identify with ICS in any way to participate fully in that process. We recognise that within our constituency there will be a variety of views about the content of LLF. We hope that all who engage with this process will do so thoughtfully and respectfully, sharing their opinions while being mindful of the sensitivities of others. The CEEC have produced a video about LLF