Kina Writes

Happy New Year!

I hope and pray you are doing well by the grace of God.

No doubt, 2020 was one of the most difficult, challenging and pain-filled years in virtually everyone’s living memory, due to the unprecedented situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, when we look back over this past year, amidst all of the uncertainties, worries and difficulties, there were always some tokens of hope.

I hope, like me, you’re optimistic about the year ahead, but it may be quite a difficult journey before things improve. But for me, this is where my relationship with God comes in. Not once in the Bible does God promise that we’ll have a smooth ride in life with no hills, bumps or potholes. But time and again, God promises that He will be there to help us when we struggle. God promises to give us rest when we’re weary, comfort when we’re in pain, and to lift us when we’re down.

As people of hope, we never give up hope. We remain faithful because we trust in an everlasting God who is sovereign in all His ways. As we look towards the future, we may require to do church differently, worship God, become disciples, and participate in God’s mission.

We have all had to think differently about many things during the past months. We are probably going to have to make some of these changes permanent, or at least long-term.

I have indeed found this hard. I am used to going out when and where I want, shop where I like, meeting people for coffee, and visiting people and places as I choose. Most of us have missed going away on holidays. We have had to suspend midweek service, Sunday service gathering, and the church building closed.

It has all seemed very odd, but I think this has made us take responsibility for our own faith and practise more intensely, rather than expecting clergy to provide everything for us.

Most churches have been producing services and talks online, and this has been very valuable, especially as these have been reaching people who would not usually have come to church.

However, it has meant that church members who are not online have been disenfranchised and have probably felt isolated. Through all this, I hope we have and will all found more time and opportunity for prayer, reading the word of God, reflection, etc.

During the first lockdown, I started thinking a lot about the word Selah. Selah is a term used in the Bible, mostly in the Psalms. It’s one of those words that is of “uncertain meaning”, the best bet being that it is a musical term indicating that there is a musical interlude during which we are to pause and listen, to think about what has come before, and to prepare for what is coming next.

I know our current situation was not in the authors’ minds when they used the word selah, but I can think of no better command for this season we in to take time to look back on the past year:

What do we need to grieve?
What do we need to celebrate?
What have we learned?
What do we need to take with us?
What must we leave behind?

Take a moment to reflect on all that God has done in the past year. Remember all that has been lost and all gained, think about abandoned or added resolutions, and about lessons learned. And then to look ahead at the season to come. The season of giving thanks, of acknowledging God’s sovereign hand at work in our universe and our lives, of reflecting on how the light Christ invaded the darkness on that first Christmas bringing hope to the hopeless.

Beloved, the selah times allows us to look back and look ahead to pause, reflect, and ponder what God is saying to us. No pressure to perform right now, just to be and hear from God.

This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls…’ (Jeremiah 6:16)



People of Faith, Hope and Love

2020 has been rough. The unfolding of the Covid 19 pandemic is a tragedy of global proportions, bringing with it an immeasurable breadth and depth of human suffering and panic.

Families struggle to isolate at home while still maintaining some semblance of a normal working and learning schedule. Across the nation, jobs disappeared overnight as restaurants and retailers shuttered some temporarily, some for good. And like everyone else, farmers have felt the pandemic pinch.

Embedded in all our faith traditions are stories of suffering and hardship, of plagues, famines and pestilence, of loneliness and despair. At the same time, there are positive stories that breakthrough from time to time. 

As disciples of Christ, we know that ‘faith, hope and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love’ (1 Corinthians 13:13). May we discover the grace to be people of faith, hope and Love, even and especially when these qualities seem to be in very short supply all around us.  

With that in mind, I would like to commend for your use some prayers I found on the Christian Aid website ( I urge you not just to read these prayers but to take time to pray them – slowly, thoughtfully and passionately.

Let’s Pray…

Heavenly Father, we thank you that Love never fails

Even in the darkest moments, Love gives hope.

Love compels us to fight against coronavirus alongside our sisters and brothers living in poverty.

Love compels us to stand together in prayer with our neighbours near and far.

Love compels us to give and act as one.

Now, it is clear that our futures are bound together more tightly than ever before.

As we pray in our individual homes – around the nation and around the world – we are united as one family.

So, let us pause and find a moment of peace, as we lift up our hearts together in prayer.



For the health workers tending the seriously ill

for the scientists working on a vaccination

for the researchers analysing data and identifying trends

for the media outlets working to communicate reality

for the supermarket workers, hygiene and sanitation providers

for the good news stories of recoveries and effective planning

for the singing from balconies by locked-down communities

for the recognition that isolation doesn’t need to mean loneliness

for the notes through letterboxes offering help and support

for the internet and telephones and technology that connects

for the awakened appreciation of what is truly important

Thanks be to God.

For those who are unwell and concerned for loved ones

for those who were already very anxious

for those immune suppressed or compromised

for those vulnerable because of underlying conditions

for those in the ‘most at risk to coronavirus’ categories

for those watching their entire income stream dry up

for those who have no choice but to go out to work

for those who are afraid to be at home

for those who are more lonely than they’ve ever been

for those who are bereaved and grieving.

God be their healer, comfort and protection

be their strength, shield and provision

be their security, safety and close companion.

And raise up your Church

to be your well-washed hands and faithful feet

to be present to the pain

to respond with Love in action

if even from a safe distance.

God, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.



Kina Robertshaw

Whilst we’re all adjusting to big changes in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, St Peter’s Church is still all about “worshipping God, becoming a community of disciples and fulfilling God’s mission.

Our church family is moving online – we’re excited to be bringing you fresh video teaching, worship and resources to equip you in faith.

We are finding new and creative ways of caring for each other as a community, as well as reaching out with love and compassion to our neighbours in need.

If you are unwell and/or self-isolating, and would like a friendly phone call, someone to pray with you, or any supplies picking up, we’d love to help.

If you’re able to offer practical help delivering supplies, or want to support someone by offering prayer or a phone call, please get in touch.

Thanks so much for everything you’re doing as a church family at this time.

Shalom in Christ.


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