I hope you are all staying safe and well. As I look back to the beginning of this year 2020, I am sure many of you like me would never have anticipated that so many people throughout the world would experience so much distress, suffering and even bereavement. The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives since lockdown was imposed on 23rd March. These weeks and months have been very stressful and certainly not being able to get out and about to meet and chat with family and friends has not been our choice.
I think the MU Theme ‘Building Hope and Confidence’ has been very appropriate this year and I quote from Helen Keller, the first deaf and blind person to achieve a Batchelor of Arts Degree and who died in 1968, ‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence’.
On the positive side, I have learned how to communicate through Zoom and WhatsApp video chat with friends and family. These have been most enjoyable occasions and certainly modern technology is wonderful when it works but it does not compare to personal contact. All my food shopping has been done online and has been very successful so I may continue doing this for the foreseeable future!!
Thankfully, restrictions have been relaxed and our son has been able to visit us with his new puppy. It was wonderful to see him and get a very special hug as well as bringing us some very welcome shopping from M&S which I have really missed!! We will have to wait a bit longer to welcome our daughter and her family, who live in SE London, for those long-awaited hugs.
Going out again has not been easy. In fact it is really quite scary and even though we want to get back to ‘normality’ we need to remember that we must continue to be vigilant and in the words of the TV AD, ‘we all must do it to get through it’.
I look forward with ‘Hope and Confidence’ to meeting all my friends and family soon. Also, MU members coming together to celebrate our wonderful organisation and being able to give thanks to God through worship for all we have experienced and learned from this crisis.
As we move into August, we remember our amazing Founder, Mary Sumner on 9th August and her vision for Christian Care of Families throughout the world.
I leave you with the words of the last verse of that great hymn ‘The King of Love My Shepherd is’ based on the 23rd Psalm and written by the English Hymn writer Henry Williams Baker around 1868 and is number 20 in our Church Hymnal.
And so through all the length of days, thy goodness faileth never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise within thy house forever.