As the world deals with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and so much is being re-shaped, the United Reformed Church (URC) has issued advice and shared a wide range of resources for churches about the COVID-19 pandemic.
This included a “Virtual funerals – liturgies and words for our digital world” booklet, which offers a shorter liturgy that can be led by a worship leader online or over the phone, for funerals during the pandemic. There are also texts and ideas for ministers, worship leaders, families and friends, which can be tailored to the needs of each situation.
It provided the links of churches offering livestreams of Sunday services, podcast sermons or service recordings, guides on safety pertaining to home visits to vulnerable groups; using technology such as Facebook and YouTube to broadcast worship, Bible studies or meetings; and online worship and learning resources among others.
The Moderators of the URC General Assembly Rev Nigel Uden and Derek Estill are offering a prayer for these uncertain times, to pray with people left unwell, beckoned by death or bereaved; people providing professional health care and advice, looking after loved ones at home or working to create treatments and cures; people shaping the response of nations and neighbourhoods, of commerce and industry, of service and voluntary organisations and of communities of faith; people who are anxious or afraid, alone or isolated.
Living, loving God,
we praise you,
and through times of peril we lean into you,
for in Jesus Christ
you have trodden paths as difficult as ours,
revealing there a love that nothing defeats,
a love that bears us through.
Even as we strive to behave responsibly,
and to care reliably,
so we feel after you
that in these uncertain times we might trust you are with us,
our refuge and strength,
and our faith, hope and love might be renewed,
through Jesus Christ, Amen.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1, NRSV