Today in Tides, we are on the road to Emmaus with Jesus and the disciples in Luke 24:15-18, the passage we considered last week in Burnside At Home.
Tommy Bruce asks -
I wonder is the Lord opening our eyes to the work he is doing in us, and in our communities? Is it time to reflect and rest in the Lord? To be followers who walk with Jesus not just doing things for him.
I noticed during the weekend, that someone had written a testimony about Lockdown based on two questions.
What have you lost?
What have you gained?
I thought this might be a good way to share with others your experience of Lockdown. So why not answer the two questions in an email and I will share them with others. If you want to remain anonymous please state it in the email. You can give one answer to each questions or as many as you want.
Moderator’s Online Service
As well as our own service - you can also worship using the service prepared by the Moderator each week. Some people had trouble with the link in the email at the weekend, so I have included a shorter link which should work.
The following statement was released by Scrioture Union at the end of last week.
Over the last while we have been praying about this year’s Camps & Missions could look due to COVID-19. it is with a heavy heart that the SUNI Council have made the difficult decision to cancel all Camps and Missions this Summer. For the full statement click the link below.
I spoke to Jonny Booth (leader of Portstewart CSSM) and he has asked for our prayers for the 2021 CSSM
A Webinar is as the name suggests a web based seminar, and there are many taking place at the moment. Evangelical Alliance have just released details of their next one. Our next webinar 'Witness in a pandemic' will be hosted by our Church & Missions Coordinator Donna Jennings on Tuesday 28th April at 11 AM with Mitch (Crown Jesus), Jonny Campbell & Trevor Ramsey. At 11 AM, click the link below to tune in:
Government Ministers met with church leaders at the end of last week to discuss the impact of Covid-19 in our community. They spoke about the need to protect and support people across society during these difficult times. Here is a screen shot of the Zoom meeting with all who took part.
You will probably be aware that cemeteries have been reopened and the church leaders were involved in lobbying the local executive. It may have seemed unreasonable to most of us that cemeteries were closed, but an article in the Belfast Telegraph this morning would suggest that rules regarding social distancing at funerals are being broken.
Read the article here https://bit.ly/3eTOjXc
Or the main points of the articles are at the end of this blog post.
Global Mission During The Pandemic
PCI has 27 global mission workers serving in 11 countries worldwide. In this article, 'Global mission in a global pandemic', find out from them their situation and how #COVID19 has affected the country they serve in:
All In The April Evening
For the last few days I have been trying to include a Song video each day and one of our readers who thinking about the lambs leaping in the fields at the moment suggested “All In The April Evening”. As the days of April are quickly running out, I thought I would include it today. It is not a song that I am very familiar with but here is Aled Jones singing and considering the Lamb of God.
Most days when I include photos the sky is blue and the sun is shining, however on Saturday while the rest of the province basked in beautiful sunshine, Portstewart was rather overcast and had a thick sea mist in the morning. Portstewart is still beautiful though.
Full Article Here https://bit.ly/3eTOjXc
Coronavirus: Crowds of over 60 people are gathering in homes for wakes, claims 'terrified' NI undertaker
Grieving families are flouting coronavirus rules by holding wakes in their homes that are being attended by crowds of people, a whistleblower has said.
An undertaker in Northern Ireland has spoken out to reveal groups of more than 60 people are gathering together in homes for wakes and funerals despite clear guidance banning this during the coronavirus pandemic.
And he said he is aware of cases where people have attended funerals even though they have been in contact with relatives caring for a person who has died from Covid-19.
"I'm terrified for myself, I'm terrified for my family," he said.
"If you saw the face of a person who has died from Covid-19, you would know it wasn't a pleasant death.
"You would see they'd gone through a hard time and you'd know how important it is to do everything to stop the spread of the virus."
The claims have been branded "deeply shocking and disturbing" by Health Minister Robin Swann.
“I come home from work and strip down at the front door and get straight in the shower but I'm so worried ”Whistleblower
The whistleblower said: "Funeral directors are coming under so much pressure from families who are demanding that they want a wake for their loved one.
"We try to advise them of the dangers but they don't care, they want a wake and they won't take no for an answer.
"I've been in houses where there are more than 60 people inside and we're brushing up past people when we're bringing the body home.
"Even when you have families who aren't letting lots of people in the house at once, you have 50 or 60 people standing together outside, chatting, smoking, shaking hands and hugging.
"I've seen 60 people walking shoulder to shoulder behind a hearse.
"I come home from work and strip down at the front door and get straight in the shower but I'm so worried.
"I'm not sleeping at night because I'm so worried about what we're going to face the next day."
The undertaker said he is also concerned that the reopening of cemeteries may lead to even larger crowds of people attending funerals.
Dr Tom Black said crowds attending wakes and funerals could result in a fatal surge of cases unless the public adheres to social distancing measures.
"You only need to look at what happened in the Basque country where 60 people became infected with Covid-19 after a funeral and it spread through the community and created a hotspot," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"We need to be very careful, one person at a funeral can infect 60 people who can infect thousands, it will spread like wildfire.
"If social isolation breaks down, it will be much worse than the first wave has been, so we need to be very careful."
Dr Black, chair of the British Medical Association's Northern Ireland Council, continued: "This is not scaremongering.
"There's definitely the view among the public that we have passed the worst of this, but this is just the end of the beginning.
"We need to avoid complacency and make sure we don't have any outbreaks or all of our efforts so far will be for nothing."
“You might think you're too young or too healthy to be struck down by the virus. You're wrong ”Robin Swann
According to government guidance, wakes should not be held, funeral services should not take place in family homes and no remains should be taken home to rest.
The funeral should be private, with a maximum of 10 mourners present and social distancing must be practised at all times, including travel to and from the funeral.
The guidance specifically states that there should be no mixing between mourners who are self-isolating and those who are not.
While funeral notices can still be placed in newspapers or using online services, funeral arrangements should not be advertised, it states.
Despite this, an increasing number of death notices include specific details about the funeral arrangements.
Mr Swann said: "These allegations are deeply shocking and disturbing.
"They graphically underline the dangers of complacency in the fightback against Covid-19.
"Let me set it out as bluntly as I can.
"If you flout the restrictions, you are putting yourself and your family and friends at risk."
He continued: "You might think you're too young or too healthy to be struck down by the virus. You're wrong.
"And even if you turn out to be one of the lucky ones and only have mild symptoms, you could pass it on to someone else with devastating consequences.
"The social distancing measures remain in place for very good reasons."