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Spring Harvest and rocks

Dear Friends

Well what a strange time we are living in and, if we had sat down at the beginning of the year and thought what we would be doing now we are unlikely to have been able to have foreseen this!
Right now I should be enjoying Spring Harvest in Butlins, Minehead on a five day intense period of Christian teaching, worship and fellowship with my wider family. This is a special time for us all, and Minehead is a beautiful seaside resort. Spring Harvest brings together the top Christian speakers and worship. There are a huge variety of activities and the big top where the main worship sessions and teaching occurs holds around 4000 people. Butlins dedicate the site to us and you can attend as much or as little of each activity as you want. There are literally hundreds of children and young people of all ages there – it is so lovely to see.
Each year as a family we eat a couple of times at  ‘The Strand’ café on the sea front. The owners know us by now as we enjoy their special fish and chips, jacket potatoes and ice cream sundaes and afterwards we wander down the promenade. Clearly I am a big fan of this time and missing it! Both Butlins and the Strand Café will be suffering from loss of business as well.
But no, I am writing this a few weeks into the period of ‘social isolation’ caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We are confined to the house, apart from one period each day when we are allowed to go out for exercise or essential shopping. Most shops are shut and the Church building is also shut.
But there are many positives. I am able to work from home, with my family around me. We have a lovely garden and the weather has been good. So all of our seeds and vegetables have a head start this year!
It has also been a time to catch up on reading, cleaning, cooking and doing all those things that normally there is not time for.   I have enjoyed speaking on the telephone to friends from Church and we have been sharing prayers for others instead of the normal Friday morning sessions. For the lent course we were discussing the book ‘The Last week’  by Marcus Borg and John Crossan which is about Jesus’ final days before Easter Sunday. So I have this to read and ponder over.
We have been able to access different Church services on Youtube. There have been a lot of funny cartoons, video clips and other humorous items circulating too as we see the funny side of it and try and keep positive.
I am reminded of how amazing God is – what good there is in people, where creativity can be found and how we can enjoy just being rather than ‘doing’.

It also seems to me that when crisis comes you need to rely on the areas of good practice you have been developing during normal times – the regular prayers, reading and finding out more about Jesus, the sharing of Christian community. Spiritual development, yes, but also mental and physical good practice. Because these are the ‘rock’ to build your life upon that Jesus talks about.

   Love in Christ,  

Alison Rugg