Dear Minster and Friends,
Today I stumbled into a conversation with a few others, all coming back from time away over the summer about the conundrum of emails. Should one delay, divert or delete when on holiday? Some said – learn from German firms who shut emails down at the server as soon as the work day ends. One radical suggested an automatic message saying ‘I am on annual leave, your email has been deleted- please send again in two weeks when I return.’ Most admitted to a growing sense of unease as their holidays came to an end, and concerned with what horrors lay behind the unopened inbox. Being contactable at all times seemed like the end of all problems, but it may we’ll be contributing to many new ones.
Dr Richard MacKinnon said: “Our research shows that email is a double-edged sword. Whilst it can be a valuable communication tool, it’s clear that it’s a source of stress of frustration for many of us. The people who reported it being most useful to them also reported the highest levels of email pressure. But the habits we develop, the emotional reactions we have to messages and the unwritten organisational etiquette around email, combine into a toxic source of stress which could be negatively impacting our productivity and wellbeing.
I have found that the psalms are an incredible antidote to these messages. Like a train on tracks, or slipping into favourite old boots, the words can ground and recalibrate our souls. Worship, prayer, praise – these are all forms of connecting with the One who never changes when everything is changing. Prayer is proactive, praise is a resistance to interfering thoughts. Perhaps read a psalm before checking your mobile phone or emails and see if this could work for you.
The book of Hebrews says ‘Don’t give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing’. (Hebrews 10.25) – and this is another regular rhythm of the soul that is good for us – worshipping and spending time with others – gets our isolated selves out of a smaller and smaller universe accessed through mobile phones. Whatever online things can do- meeting face to face is a declaration that we are more than data, more than customers or sales professionals. A church is a gathering of people, from many different backgrounds, races and cultures, who have chosen to walk together in a certain direction, lifting one another up when we stumble and showing one another the way as we follow the One who Goes Before.
May you unplug a bit this week, cast your cares on Him in prayer, and find a way to praise God with others this week.
For your prayers;
– From our congregation: Lizzie and Sam are getting married today!
– Chris Lion who started as a new Associate Vicar this week and Tash Edwards as she takes maternity leave.
– Summer BBQ’s; all are invited after the morning service again this week for lunch- stick around.