This Sunday

Sunday 14th June 2020

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find,

knock and the door will be opened to you.”

(Matthew 7:7)

What kind of God do you believe in? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasises that we should approach God as our 'Father, in heaven.' Just as any good father wants the best for their children, our Heavenly Father longs to give good gifts to those who ask him. So, Jesus says: "Ask! Seek! Knock!" Come to God in prayer eagerly desiring the good things he wants to give to us.

The question that we need to ask then is: "What is the good thing that God wants to give to me in this difficult time?" In some cases that will be an answer to a prayer for healing or the removal of some terrible problem. However, for others the good thing maybe that God uses the suffering of the present times to teach us new and valuable lessons about ourselves, helping to shape us into the kind of people Jesus calls us to be.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is calling us to be those seeking the right heart attitudes rather than just the right behaviours, seeking God's reward rather than human praise, seeking heavenly riches rather than earthly wealth, seeking God's provision rather than worrying and so on. Perhaps these are the good things we should be seeking from God?

This week's email includes:

  • Join in this Sunday - videos to contribute for the opener
  • Last Sunday - Archdeacon Jo's reflection on Paul's Prayer in Colossians
  • Weekly Focus: Everything's Changing... A longer reflection on where we are at.
  • Prayer Requests
  • Notices in Brief: Opening Church for Private Prayer, donations to live streaming from St. Luke's, news on Active Christianity in Thanet Schools and Zoom after the service
  • Links of the Week: Black Lives Matter.. an interview with two Christian pastors.

Join in this Sunday: As we return to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount it would be good to start our services with the well known verse from Matthew 7:7. So it would be great to have a number of people reading the following (although be aware we may only use a section from your reading):

"Ask and it will be given to you,

Seek and you will find,

Knock and the door will be open to you."

Please send videos by reply to this email, or Whatsapp (07769 871520).

Don't forget to join us on YouTube this Sunday (the video should be available from 6am on Sunday). 

Last Sunday: If you missed Last Sunday's talk from Archdeacon Jo, then check out either the YouTube link below or listen here.

Weekly Focus: Everything's Changing...


One of the great challenges of this period is the massive amount of change that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced upon us in such a short period of time. Many of the routines and patterns that we took for granted were taken from us with no warning.

Change can be exciting and exhilarating, but it is also exhausting and emotionally draining. It forces us into new ways of doing things, which takes extra energy and leaves us grieving the old ways that we have lost. And when change happens so dramatically it can be traumatic.

I attended a 'webinar' (a seminar online) recently, where someone who has experience of working with relief agencies in situations following some major disaster was speaking. He was saying that there are three phases after a major disaster: Response, Recovery and Reconstruction. The response phase is when you have to make the sudden and major adjustments to the initial disaster. Reconstruction comes when the threat has totally passed and people can move confidently forward from the disaster. However, the recovery phase comes in-between and it can be much longer than you imagine: usually months, sometimes years.

We are probably in the recovery phase to Covid-19 now. The initial shock of change has passed, but the emotional effects are still very much with us and if we are honest effecting all of us in different ways. We need to be honest and open about this and also more alert to the strain and pressure this will put on others we work with or are in contact with.

At the same time as people are recovering from the trauma of the initial dramatic change we are faced with further changes ahead. At some point in the next few weeks or months we will be allowed to have church meetings again. However, this is unlikely initially to be back to church life as normal. We may have to restrict the numbers at any one meeting, have social distancing in church, communion in one kind only, if at all, and we may not be allowed to sing together. Also, some people will be eager to come back to meeting in person, others because they are shielding or simply worried may not want to join us. I heard this morning that when churches re-opened recently in some parts of the United States only 20-30% of the normal congregations turned up!

There is hope, though. Eventually we will enter the time of reconstruction. At St. Luke's we will want to ensure that the Bible-centred, informal and family friendly style that we are used to is maintained. Yet, we will also as a community be changed by the whole experience. We pray that God will use this experience to shape us to be the kind of disciples he wants us to be with a mission that is better fitted to a post-covid19 community. 

One change that we are looking to implement is live streaming. This is both to help keep people connected when not everyone will be able to attend whilst shielding and social distancing are in place, but also to help us reach out in an internet world. Do read the notices below to see how you can contribute to that.

There may be other positive changes that come out of the present situation. Please do pray, reflect and talk with one another about what you think these might be.

Indeed, let's pray as we move forward, that God will help us find peace and comfort in the recovery phase after the traumatic changes of recent times, but that he also leads us gently through the uncertain times ahead to a wonderful time of reconstruction.

Prayer Requests

Be assured I will do my best to check that people are happy for the requests to be shared before including them.

  • For Gordon Warren. Gordon had to have a blood transfusion this week. So do continue praying for strength and improved health for Gordon and strength and peace for his wife June during this challenging time.
  •  For Joy Smithers, who came home on Wednesday! Pray for her as she adjusts to being at home again with carers coming in and that everything is set up properly to support her.
  •  For Barbara Kail who has been feeling quite weak.
  •  For Chantal Swallow's dad that he will be comfortable and not in too much pain after returning home from hospital
  •  For Nathan Court, please keep on praying as he receives treatment
  •  For Mitch Styles that he will be relieved from his severe anxiety.
  •  For Shirley Crabb who is in a lot of pain, because of the delayed operation on her hip.
  • For all those who are struggling with the trauma of this present situation in whatever way.
  •  For continuing wisdom for all those in government planning the easing of the lockdown.
  •  For those still ill with Covid-19 and the medical staff continuing to treat them.

Collect for Trinity 1:

God of truth,

help us to keep you law of love,

and to walk in ways of wisdom,

that we may find true life

in Jesus Christ your Son.


Notices in Brief...

Opening of Churches for Private Prayer: As St. Luke's is not normally open for private prayer we have no plans at present to open it. However, if you think this is something you would value having available or if you could help to open up and clean the church to make this possible, then please do let me know and we will see whether the church may be able to be open for a few hours a week.

Giving to help set up live streaming of services. We are presently looking at plans to set up live streaming services from church, so that we can continue to make services available online once we have meetings in church again. The PCC have agreed to use some old funds to the tune of £900 to help make this possible, but ideally we need a few hundred more for a more effective set up. If you would like to contribute to make this possible, then please use the button below to donate to St. Luke's and state that it is for 'Livestreaming.' Any money we do not spend will be kept in a fund for future upgrading of audio-visual equipment.


ACTS sponsored cycle ride. Maggie Paddison from ACTS (Active Christianity in Thanet Schools) is doing a sponsored pray and cycle to visit all the Primary Schools in Thanet to raise money for this work. If you would like to sponsor her or follow her progress and join in praying for the schools then check out this flier or follow this link.

Zoom after the service: It's great to meet and catch up after the service on Sundays. Do join us if you can at 11:30am. Just click the button below:

After Church Zoom Meeting

Link of the Week: 

Discussion on Black Lives Matter with two Christian Pastors:

Don't forget to join us on YouTube this Sunday (Video should be available from 6am on Sunday).

Yours in Christ,


St. Luke's Website