Well 2020 is almost over, and what a year it has been! Since March this year our country has been turned upside down by Covid19 and the consequences of this worldwide virus. Everyone’s plans and hopes for the year were dashed and isolation became the theme. Weddings were cancelled, holidays forgone, parties became a thing of the past, and for many hope for the future looked bleak. And now as the year draws to its conclusion we are still dealing with the virus. Most of southern England, Wales and Scotland are in Tier 4 meaning that close contact with people beyond your immediate group or family is to be avoided. New Year celebrations will be a bit subdued this year. No fireworks and gatherings of thousands who want to see the New Year in together. Just the same old repeats on the TV! So what does 2021 hold for us? Well, no one really knows of course, but we hope that the future will be somewhat better than the past. There is hope that the vaccine will do its job and millions of people will receive immunisation. If that happens things will be able to return to a sense of normality. It will be a new normal so we are told but at least things that we have had to put to one side will be returned to us. As a Church, the Congregational Church here in Guilden Morden has tried to keep pace with the constant changes that have been imposed upon us with diversification into online services and ‘Zoom’ meetings. Like everyone else we have felt the impact of the pandemic but we have tried to remain faithful to God and trust Him for the future. We have kept our services going despite the restrictions, whether live or online. We have been praying for individuals and for our local community. We know that the future is still uncertain and probably going to bring more challenges but we continue to trust that God will lead us safely into the future and show us how we can best serve Him, His church and our community. I’d like to leave with you words written by Commissioner Stanley Ditmer of the Salvation Army. These words offer hope and consolation as we go into a New Year and an uncertain future. May God bless you in 2021.
1 I shall not fear though darkened clouds may gather round me; The God I serve is one who cares and understands. Although the storms I face would threaten to confound me, Of this I am assured: I’m in his hands.
Refrain: I’m in his hands, I’m in his hands; Whate’er the future holds I’m in his hands, The days I cannot see Have all been planned for me; His way is best, you see; I’m in his hands.
2 What though I cannot know the way that lies before me, I still can trust and freely follow his commands; My faith is firm since he it is who watches o’er me; Of this I’m confident: I’m in his hands.
3 In days gone by my Lord has always proved sufficient, When I have yielded to the law of love’s demands; Why should I doubt that he will evermore be present To make his will my own? I’m in his hands!