Pew News

FROM YOUR VICAR – Sunday 18th June 2017

 

  • Baptism - today we pray for the family and friends of Lexi Mirza, as the infant comes to our church to be baptised.

 

  • Devotion and Prayer GroupTuesday (June 20) @ 10am (for 1 hour) in the Lady Chapel. This is a new weekly opportunity to come together to study a short piece of Scripture, to explore its meaning and its message, and to pray for ourselves, others and the local community. Relaxed and informal. Contribute as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. Everybody welcome … please come along if you’re able to, so that we can learn together and from each other.

 

  • Meeting of Fundraisers Group - will take place at 11.15am in the Lady Chapel on Tuesday (June 20). Thereafter, I hope to be in a position to advertise to you a series of church fundraising events for the remainder of 2017/8.

 

  • Midweek Discussion Groupthe second of our five sessions (exploring the Lord’s Prayer) will be held on Tuesday (June 20) @ 7.30pm in the Lady Chapel. This week’s focus will be ‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven’. Please support this in order that we can learn more together.

 

  • Midweek Communionat 10am on Wednesday (June 21).

 

  • PCC Meetingon Wednesday (June 21) @ 7.30pm in the Lady Chapel – with a special welcome to newcomers.

 

  • Sunday Worship-Monday Lifethis will be explained during our service next Sunday morning!

 

  • Memorial Servicenext Sunday (June 25) @ 4.30pm

 

  • Joyce Stewardson – please note that Joyce has asked to be removed from the next Sunday service rota at St. John’s (July-October) in order that she is free to support other churches in the locality that are experiencing some staffing difficulties. Please pray for her in this ministry.

 

  • Celebration – please extend our best birthday wishes this week to June Eggerton (June 18), Brian Hunter (June 19) and Barbara Langley (June 23).

 

COMING SOON

 

  • Devotion & Prayer Group – we meet for the second time on Tuesday (June 27) @ 10am in the Lady Chapel.

 

  • Simply Worship – on Tuesday (June 27) @ 7.30pm

 

  • Midweek Communion – Wednesday (June 28) @ 10am

 

  • Sermon Series – which explores the role of OT women in God’s story – begins on July 2nd (at 10am) with a consideration of the Book of Esther.  If you have some spare time, please try to read it beforehand.

 

PRAYER FOR THE WEEK

 

This week we pray for those who return to work with heavy hearts, increasingly anxious about the mounting pressures of the modern workplace and about their own abilities to keep pace with the demands placed upon them. We lament that the culture of longer hours and heavier loads is having a hugely negative impact upon people’s life beyond work – friends, families, leisure and church. We lament too that the lives of many employees are disrupted and made unpredictable by macho management practises that fail to see the humanity of ordinary folk. We pray for those whose employment conditions are frenetic, with little or no hope of a proper rest break – and especially we pray for those who have to make critical decisions during such periods of stress. We ask God to give us the wisdom to know how to help and support those facing the challenges and strains of daily work.

 

From our church pastoral shepherding flock, we pray this week for Terry Croxall, Linda Davis, Elizabeth Deans, Dorothy Duffy and Julia Edge.

 

Within the parish, we pray for the residents of Hopton Meadow, Huron Close, Ingestre Close, Jade Grove and Kensington Place.

 

SPECIAL PRAYER FOR PEOPLE AND PLACES

 

We continue to pray for Egypt (see Pew News of June 4th for details)

 

We pray for the families and friends who mourn the loss of those killed so brutally in the recent terrorist attack at London Bridge and Borough Market: Chrissy Archibald, Sebastien Belanger, Kirsty Boden, Ignacio Echeverria, James McMullan, Alexandre Pigeard, Xavier Thomas and Sara Zelenak. We pray too for those who were seriously injured during that attack, and for those who now minister to them in the various London hospitals.

 

Let us pray too for the many other victims of terrorist activity throughout the world – people who are mentioned only infrequently by our TV reports.

 

CAN YOU SPARE A MINUTE?

 

‘Be still, and know that I am God’ [Psalm 46:10]

 

Psalm 46 is a wonderful psalm, and I encourage you to read it in its entirety. It became a major source of comfort and courage to millions of people in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in America on 9/11 (2001). People realised that those things that seem so secure can tumble down around us, but that God is an ever present help in the time of trouble, and because he is with us we need not fear.

 

Stressful situations come to each life. We can all be unsettled by adverse circumstances at any time … difficult relationships, unemployment, illness and injury, fear, suffering, death of a friend or partner. Some of these situations can appear to us as emotional earthquakes. What can we do when such potentially shattering experiences come upon us? The psalmist urges us to ‘come and see the works of the Lord’. When we reflect on the marvellous might and wonderful grace of God, we will take courage and have confidence that he will sustain us amid life’s most devastating circumstances.

 

The psalmist reminds us of the protection, presence and power of God – and we can experience all of these if we ‘still ourselves’ before Him. Being still is often the opposite of what we tend to do when hit by stress. We react, become agitated and get caught up in hurry and needless worry.

 

But there is a mighty power in silence! The force of gravity, for example, is a silent force, yet it holds stars and galaxies in their orbits. Sunbeams make their long journey to earth , unheard by human ear, yet bear an incomputable energy. The dew falls silently, yet brings refreshment and beauty. Nature’s mighty miracles are wrought in silence – noise and confusion come from humankind.

 

Amid our everyday noises and confusion, let us still ourselves and know that we’re in God’s presence - ‘come occupy my silent place, and make Thy dwelling there! More grace is wrought in quietness than any is aware (John Oxenham).

 

Points to Ponder

 

  • are we wrestling with any giants in our lives today? Can we clearly identify what it is that gives rise to anxiety and turmoil within us?

 

  • How are we responding to them? Are we trying to face life’s difficulties single-handedly, or has God already put someone alongside us to help us move forward and through our current troubles? Do we ‘quieten’ ourselves and, in prayer, ask God to bear the strain? Are we truly aware that God considers us to be his treasured children and that He loves us? He invites us to cast all our anxieties upon him. Will we accept his invitation?

 

  • What experience do we already have of God’s protection, presence and power in our lives? How has God already been ‘our ever present help‘? Do we have a story to tell others about God’s might and grace in our lives?

 

  • How can we ensure greater ‘stillness’ in our lives? Does it simply mean that we need to find a quiet place to pray? Or does it mean removing some of the turmoil from our lives (emptying ourselves) by handing it over to God to deal with?