I was intrigued to read the news story recently of a groom and best man who had lost touch with each other and met again 60 years later through a bowls match. I was intrigued also to be at a young people’s church event in which just under half the young people said they spent 3 hours or more a day on social media, and many themselves feeling this to be a problem. By many reports there is an epidemic of loneliness among the elderly, nearly 4 million saying the television is their main company. It is easy to lose touch with people, while at the same time it is easy to be in (at least superficial) touch with hundreds of people over social media.

Without painting a stereotypicalyl bleak picture of disconnected youth or lonely elderly people, (when many thankfully are having a great time!) I just want to recognise that is easy for people of any age to lose connection today in different ways. In the church we don’t see ourselves as a bunch of people who worship God together and then just go home and live isolated lives. We see ourselves as a people gathered by God and called to share each other’s lives, to care for each other and as we can the wider community too. A vital part of our life together at Christ Church is the pastoral care that goes on largely unseen. While conforming with GDPR, we are still about keeping in touch and creating and sustaining community.

At the end of Paul’s Letter in the New Testament he always signs off with words of encouragement to stay connected, support and care for each other. We do our best to work these out today

        Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Put things in order, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.
Be at peace among yourselves.

Encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all.

With every blessing

Noel Sharp

Minister of Christ Church Tetbury