We are now into a new form of reality with social distancing, food queues, shop closures and finding other ways to occupy ourselves. Charlene and I feel like Lazarus having “risen “out of bouts of flu. It has left us deeply thinking about all of you in this unusually vulnerable situation. Charlene as an asthmatic is in the 12 week isolation category. We therefore empathize with all who are in the “vulnerable” group. A passage in the Book of Philippians seems to reflect our situation today. Paul is in jail for the first time. There is no food. He has to rely on the generosity and grace of others – a similar situation to many of us who depend on the grace of the NHS, the government and the generosity of people around us. Off course Paul is worse off. He mentions one sorrow above another (2:27). He was really struggling. However later he acknowledges that He must work at it! He says Don’t worry about anything ( 4:6). Despite all the uncertainty, despite the stress of the unknown future, Paul is an encouragement to us to journey through the next few months of “captivity” where our wellbeing has never been more dependent on the good will of others.

Charlene and I are deeply thinking of all of you who are feeling vulnerable and pray that we overcome this predicament by keeping in contact. As of this week with the help of Trevor I will be sending out newsletters to everyone. For those without email access I will ensure hard copies are available. I am aiming to impart reflections and bible studies based on our 7 Values for Sevenoaks. Starting with the 7 Acts of the Bible, I will commence with a “scene” “from creation. I will also add exercises in Mindfulness as our mental health at this time is equally important. During the course of these newsletters I hope to gradually unfold a deeper reflection on the 7 Values for Sevenoaks I would like to encourage you to make contact with each other and of course the manse by phone and email. I would like to end by saying sincere thanks to John and Trevor for their work in communicating in the past few weeks. 

Shalom

Dermot