The latest Coronavirus Briefing from Bishop Keith, and some tips to keep positive particularly during self-isolation.
|From Bishop Keith|
I don’t know how the rhythm of this new way of living is working out for you.
For some the frantic nature of the tasks they are being asked to do will seem never ending, especially those in the NHS and supporting services. For others the opposite, though I expect that anyone with school age children at home may be feeling they’ve exchanged one kind of frantic for another.
All of us, old or young, whatever our home situation, are coming to terms with the new realities of the coronavirus pandemic.
I hope the updates here from the archbishops and bishops and other parts of the Church are helpful. It is very important that those who need to read them do so, so we are all as far as we can be, keeping in step with one another, and hopefully following government advice to, “stay at home, support the NHS, and save lives.”
I’m so hoping whatever our experience of praying at home has been that the new government restrictions on our movement will actually help us become stronger on one area of our walk with God, Prayer.
There are many ways we can pray and there are wonderful resources out there. Here is one suggestion from me if anyone would like any help,
Take one hand and look at:Your thumb – pray for your church community and family;Your first finger – pray for the NHS and those medical researchers looking for a vaccine;Your second finger – pray for the Government and all those making tough decisions;Your third finger – pray for those in care homes and working with the most vulnerable in our communities; andLittle finger – pray for individuals known to you and yourself.Each prayer focus for each thumb and finger could itself open up into prayer personally, locally, nationally, and globally.
Take the other hand and read out loud:
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12) and let your thumb and each finger represent one of these “clothes” we are to put on:Thumb – compassionFirst finger – kindnessSecond finger – humilityThird finger – meeknessLittle finger – patienceWhen you pray, put your hands together, and let the “clothing” of one hand touch the people and places in the other, and see what God does.
Maybe prayer like this could become part of our daily rhythm in this strange new time for us all. However we pray, it is the Lord who meets with us in listening and speaking.
With love in Christ,
Top tips to tackle loneliness/isolation
Find simple ways to deal with loneliness and isolation – from the Church of England website.
- Pray. Light a candle, if safe, and pray for hope, faith and strength to keep loving and caring for each other during this time of struggle.
- Talk about how you feel. This may be difficult if you are self-isolating, but do use the telephone, internet, and social media. If you need to contact a counsellor this can be arranged by your GP, or via local agencies, or privately. The Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, every day, and it’s free to call them on 116 123.
- Focus on the things that you can change, not on the things you can’t.
- Look after yourself – physically, emotionally, spiritually. Plan in things that you enjoy at regular intervals during the day – a TV programme, a phone call, a book, a favourite dish, a game.
- Look after others. Even if only in small ways, but do what you can: a smile, a kind word, writing a letter or an email.