Dear Friends
Colossians 3:  13 – 15
13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Rather lovely words don’t you think?  You’ll remember that for several weeks during lockdown, people came outside, clapped and let off fireworks and hooters for the NHS.  That was a rather wonderful display of gratitude.  However, for much of the rest of the year, we seem to spend most of our time trying to find people to blame and holding the NHS to account.  And it’s not just the NHS.  It’s the police, the Government, the local council, teachers, dentists,  Social Workers …, in fact anyone who we feel ought to be doing a service for us.
We live in a culture of blame and accountability which is contrary to the spirit of the passage above.  And this is having a corrosive effect on the fabric of daily life.  There are more stress related days off for teachers than ever before.  GPs are leaving the profession because the expectations are just so high and matched only by the potential liabilities if they make a mistake.  Social Workers last an average of 5 years before they are burnt out.  Many major employers now refuse to give references in case they are sued because of inaccuracies.  This is clearly not good for individuals involved and certainly not for society as a whole.
What has this to do with the Corona pandemic?  Well, as we come out of lockdown and begin to navigate the stormy waters of economic depression and learning to live together in the open air, we are going to find life much changed, and for many a real struggle, as people strive to find secure employment, and recover for the privations which the virus has left behind.  This will only be made harder if we are constantly snapping at one other instead of supporting each other.  If an overstretched nurse on a ward is preoccupied because of the accountability of their role, it could either make them more careful, or more unreliable because they are stressed.  It seems from the evidence so far that the latter is more likely.  This sort of overbearing accountability is only going to make recovery harder.
Our bible verses are good verses to say every morning.  And again if you’re a phone queue waiting to get through to the doctor.  And again when the bin men haven’t emptied your recycling bin.  Try it.  And see!
A prayer.  The Collect for Trinity 7
Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.
If you would like to join us for Evening Prayer tonight (Monday) it is at 5pm.
The link is:
Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer on Monday
Time: Jun 29, 2020 05:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 811 9908 3948
Password: 458259
The times for Evening Prayer for the rest of the week are as follows:
Tuesday no Evening Prayer
Wednesday  5pm
Thursday  4.15pm
Friday 5pm
Saturday 5pm
Sunday Morning Service to be confirmed (both on Zoom and in church) and Evening Prayer at 6pm
Every blessing