Sue is well but sent this piece from her synod. 

Many of our sister United Reformed Churches have been asking how we in 
the South West are faring, and so our Moderator has written this piece 
which will appear on the URC national website.
 
South-Western Synod calls for prayers of support and justice amidst 
severe flooding

The Revd Ruth Whitehead, Moderator of the South Western Synod, urges 
people to join in prayers of solidarity with those whose lives and 
livelihoods have been damaged and disrupted by the on-going floods and 
storms in the south-west of England. Severe flooding and rough seas 
have wreaked havoc over the south-west of England, disrupting 
businesses, severing road and rail links and leaving families homeless.
Since before Christmas, the Somerset levels have been heavily flooded, 
leaving roads shut and farms under water. Just when we thought it 
couldn’t get any worse, the river levels have risen another metre and 
some villages have had to be evacuated. One of our churches, Westfield 
United Reformed Church, in Bridgwater, is being used as a refuge.
The Revd Chris Baillie, Westfield URC, said: “What strikes me at 
present is the need for prayer for people coping with a sense of 
disorientation. As one lady said to me – your home is where you go to 
cope when life is difficult, so being removed from it is 
hard.”Meanwhile, the raging seas have washed away part of the sea wall 
at Dawlish, severing the rail line and effectively cutting off Devon 
and Cornwall for rail travellers, and many coastal areas of Devon and 
Cornwall have experienced damage and flooding. The Met Office has 
warned people to prepare for more flooding over the coming weekend, as 
heavy and persistent rain, accompanied by gales, is expected to sweep 
across the south-west of England.
In the midst of this sense of disruption and disaster, I was reminded 
of the words of Paul to the church at Corinth:
 “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know 
what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and 
when we are knocked down, we get up again.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 - CEV)
This sense of the indomitable nature of the human spirit suits the 
people of the South West well, and we have seen many examples of 
neighbours helping one another, rescue agencies taking risks for the 
sake of others, and farmers stoically waiting for the floods to recede.
But the most important thing for us to remember is “God is with us” and 
we need to hear this now more than ever. The brutality of natural 
forces is not a sign that God has abandoned us, or is punishing us, but 
perhaps it serves as a reminder that we are not as much in control of 
our “environment” as we sometimes think we are.
I ask you then to please pray with the people of the South Western 
synod for those whose lives and livelihoods have been disrupted. Pray 
too that we find ways to help and support one another, and find the 
will and the finding to tackle coast and land management with justice 
and wisdom. Finally, pray that people of goodwill might address the 
deep underlying issues of climate change, recognizing our own role as 
stewards of God’s creation.
The Breton Fisherman’s prayer seems very apt:
“Dear God, be good to me, the sea is so wide, and my boat is so small”
Amen

Ruth Whitehead
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