Updated last 28/3/20
With the ongoing situation with Coronavirus, we just don’t know what the next few weeks or months will hold. For some of us we’ll be self-isolating for our own health reasons, some of us may get sick, and for now we will not be gathering to worship together physically as we usually do. Who knows how long all this will go on for, so let me encourage you not to forget your spiritual wellbeing too!
Spending time with God or with other Christians can help to boost our faith and remind us of the truths that we do know, even in difficult times. To help you feed yourself here’s a list of resources that might be useful. There’s lots to choose from so find what works for you and maybe try something you haven’t done before? Many of these suggestions are online so if you know of someone who can’t access the internet maybe you could consider printing some bits out that could be delivered to them. If you’ve got other ideas and suggestions please do let me know and I’ll add them in, this is an evolving list…
I’ve divided this up into sections as follows:
Daily prayer and bible reading / Services online / Podcasts / Other digital / Non digital / For Churches
The family section is now a new post here.
Daily prayer and bible reading
Your daily routine may be different to usual but do try and find some time in each day to pray and read your bible. If you need some encouragement there are various organisations that offer commentary with readings, for example:
Scripture Union do daily bible readings with commentary online and you can sign up to have them emailed to you.
Bible in One Year is available online/ via app or emailed to you, and also has an audio option so you can listen rather than reading.
If you want something a bit deeper Tom Wright’s ‘For everyone’ series of commentaries are excellent and easy to follow. They include passages of scripture and then the commentary so are self contained and divided up into smaller chunks, so could also be used daily. Most are available for kindle/digital editions. For info you don’t need an actual kindle to get Kindle books – you can download a free app from apple of Android. But if you want an actual book do order it from your local bookshop which probity needs your custom right now!
Lectio365 from 24/7 prayer – is a free app based on Lectio Divina
Evangelical Alliance are putting out new prayers each Thursday
The Church of England has a prayer of the day (also in audio) which you can find on their social media or online.
They also have a selection of prayers and worship at home resources to download.
If you want something more substantial the liturgy (ie: the words) for Morning and Evening prayer (a set pattern of prayer that many clergy pray each day) is also on the Church of England website which you can pray through yourself. It includes bible readings and takes about 15-20 mins.
This is also available on a free app called ‘Daily Prayer’ and available for apple or android from Aimer media
If you want to share that with others, various people are sharing Anglican daily prayer online – I did it via Twitter this morning and will do so again, I’m currently planning on doing it Tuesday and Friday mornings at 8am live on my Twitter and on our TRINITY Church Facebook page
St Peter’s, East Blatchington on Facebook
Northumbria Community offer Celtic daily prayer liturgy online for you to do at home
Prayer Mate is another app that reminds you who to pray for and you can organise prayer requests in lists, which it then offers you a sample of each day so all get prayed for regularly. Also free and on Apple and android.
As the Church of England and other denominations have now suspended public corporate worship in a physical sense, we will all be looking at new ways of worshipping together. Keep an eye on your local church website and social media for updates, many are choosing to live stream or video worship.
Thankfully organisations like Disability and Jesus have been doing online church for those who can’t get to church, for years – you can join in with their live online service at 9pm on Sunday evening.
They also offer ‘An Ordinary Office‘ which is designed to be very accessible (you can follow it through text, symbol, audio, or video). Easy to pray if you’re unwell or very tired. Morning, midday, and evening prayer, plus “nocturnes” for those who can’t sleep.
Online sermons– Many churches record their sermons and put them online meaning a good back catalogue to listen to! Ours are here.
Think creatively – can you Skype or Facetime friends to pray together or worship for example – either using recorded worship songs/hymns on YouTube/Spotify etc or if you know a musician, then with instruments!
Podcasts & audio
There are a myriad of Christian podcasts out there so it probably boils down to personal taste but here’s a few that others have recommended (I’ve not tried any of them yet)…
described as : Life isn’t always bright and shiny, as Kate Bowler knows. Kate is a young mother, writer and professor who, at age 35, was suddenly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. In warm, insightful, often funny conversations, Kate talks with people about what they’ve learned in dark times.
Which looks at supporting metal health from a Christian perspective
‘Can mental health challenges and faith co-exist? Join Sarah Kift, a member of the Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries team, as she interviews theologians, writers, and leaders as well as people who share their lived experiences with mental health challenges’
Working through the bible, currently in Matthew…
Richard Littledale has done some short biblical reflections on self-isolation and exile
Soul Focus Mark Ritchie discusses the challenges of keeping mentally and spiritually healthy and how we can take some practical steps to live a life of gratitude and thankfulness.Dan Beesley has a YouTube channel and during this time, will be sharing a daily message, different styles of church services and doing a live video stream talking into different topics.
The wonderful Cathy Madavan is doing a series of short videos on the theme of resilience on her Facebook page.
Radio / TV
There are various Christian radio and TV channels including Premier Radio, TBN, God TV
If you use spotify why not make some worship playlists and share them with your friends?
YouTube features many worship bands/ hymns often including lyrics – if I find time I’ll do a post on songs and hymns with links!
Obviously not everyone is online or digital savvy, if you know of those who aren’t going to make it online why not print something out and drop it in to them (with clean hands, of course!). Several churches have already designed some printable resources for this and are happy to share, here’s a few:
Sarah Horne is an artist and illustrator and does some amazing prophetic art, and this certainly feels like what we all need to see right now, so why not make the most, print it out and stick on your wall as a daily reminder…
Best thing to look at is this crowd sourced doc – full of useful digital communication tools for church leaders, communications teams and church staff to refer to
Thy Kingdom Come offer various advice for churches
Sanctum Collective on Facebook – is a coming together of various strands of creative mission, worship and community: Alternative Worship, Sacramental Fresh Expressions, New Monasticism and Anglo-Catholic Renewal.