Rev Karen Urquhart
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It has struck me that we truly are a global community like never before.
Across the globe, people everywhere are being affected by COVID-19.
It is a time where many are in fear, many are sick and suffering and many are feeling the stress of being isolated and alone. Some are out there working long hours healing and caring for others, finding cures, providing us with essential services. 
Many of us are like the disciples were after Jesus had died, waiting in fear, behind locked doors.
DO NOT COME TO THE CHURCH AT THIS TIME. (I hope I never have to say that again!)
BE careful and vigilant, but DO NOT BE AFRAID
Being fearful is not helpful. Being in a fearful state causes our body to release stress hormones which reduce our immunity and in the long term cause illness and disease. Jesus tells us many times "Do not be afraid".
Here is a song I learnt at school that has stayed with me through my life and helped me in times of trouble.
So...fears set aside, here's the good news! 
NOW there is time to do all those things you have been putting off or avoiding because you were too busy. There is now no excuse. Journal, study, play music, meditate, write letters.... you know what you need to do.
I'm going to get back to learning music - maybe tinkle on the piano, pull out my flute and guitar....
We are so fortunate to have internet and television, books etc which makes leaning possibilities endless.
Although you need to stay away from the church, I am here.
I am here sitting in prayer and meditation at intervals during the day and night.
There is music playing throughout the building  and candles and frankincense burning. The incense helps purify the air and is also symbolic of our prayers rising to God. A selection of hymns, sacred songs and beautiful music play on a continual loop.
At certain times during the day I open the door to let the smoke and music waft out into our community, carrying the prayers and healing, as the smoke and music ascend. 
People may notice that the church is not shut down, it's just not business as usual.
We are here, in the community....we are in our homes, spread throughout the North Shore and beyond. Our homes become our chapels, our hermitages, our creative spaces. Our homes are the "Upper Rooms" -our sacred space where we can find space to encounter Jesus, who is with us - always even until the end of time!
(Matthew 28:20)
Christ is with you where you are. 
I am here at the church, and I'm staying here as much as possible. I am keeping the candles burning and our communal prayers ascending.
Please partner with me in prayer for the earth, for the world, for our community and home and collectively:
You can do this by:
Sending me the name of your favourite/special hymn or spiritual music to be included in the playlist.
Please include any special prayer/intention you would like me to say with you/ on your behalf.
The song/hymn will be streamed from online, a candle lit for you. It may be possible to request a particular day or hour. . If you have internet, it may be possible to connect that way and pray/ see/ hear the song and "be present" here.