Pew News

 

FROM YOUR VICAR – Sunday 15th April 2018

 

  • Prayer – thank you for this new day, for the opportunity of meeting in the safety of your house. Bless those who meet in secret, behind locked doors, fearful of persecution or arrest. May we never forget the suffering so many have endured, that we might now freedom to worship freely in this place.

 

  • Banns – please pray for the two couples whose Banns of Marriage will be published for the final time at today’s service.

 

  • Baptism - today we welcome the family and friends of Catherine Elizabeth Noble as the infant comes to our church to be baptised.

 

  • Pastoral Shepherds – there will be a meeting TODAY at 3.30pm in the Lady Chapel. If you are unable to attend, please let me have some brief notes about your flock in advance of the meeting. Thank you.

 

  • Prayer – would you please pray for those known to us who are ill at home or in hospital at this time – whose names may not appear on our regular prayer list. There seem to be a number of quite nasty viruses out there at the moment.

 

  • Baptism Preparation - tomorrow (Monday) at 7.30pm in the Lady Chapel.

 

  • Devotion and Prayer Group - on Tuesday (April 17) at 10am in the Lady Chapel. Everybody welcome to this informal and relaxed period of devotion and prayer (1 hour). Please be free to say as much or as little as you wish to. We could do with YOUR support!

 

  • Funeral Service – of Councillor Val Baker will take place at Stafford Crematorium on Tuesday (April 17) at 3pm

 

  • Midweek Communion – on Wednesday (April 18) @ 10am

 

  • Needwood House – our church visit will take place on Wednesday (April 18) @ 11.30am. Please come along to support this if you can.

 

  • British Sign Language - please come along to the Lady Chapel on Wednesday  (April 18) @ 7pm if you wish to learn more about BSL. This initiative is being pursued by Revd. Rob, and builds on his connection with Chris Overton , director of the recent Oscar- winning ‘Silent Child’ short film production. This will be the first of 8 sessions – same place, same time each week.

 

  • Thank You - my thanks to those who attended our AGM last week and who participated in the process of electing our church wardens and lay PCC members. My thanks to those who were elected, and I look forward to working with you during the coming year. My thanks too for those who produced annual reports for the occasion. My own annual report is pinned to the notice board at the back of church. Please let me know if you’d like a personal copy … and I will make sure that you receive one, either in hard copy or electronically.

 

  • Fashion Show - the sum raised for church funds amounted to £224. This is a creditable sum given all the obstacles that were faced in staging the event. My thanks to everyone who came along in support.

 

  • Confirmation – if you, or anyone you know, is interested in being Confirmed this year, could you please have a word with me as soon as possible?

 

  • Place of Welcome - are you interested in seeing our church open (perhaps for just an hour in the week) as a ‘place of welcome’ where anyone and everyone who needs a chat and/or a cuppa can find someone who will listen? Please have a word with me as soon as possible if you’re at all interested in offering this ministry, or simply want some more information.

 

  • Centenary Celebrations – please have a word with me if you have any ideas at all about how we (the church) could join others (schools, other churches, other community groups) to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 in 1918.

 

  • Award – just to let you know that the Council has agreed to give me the ‘Citizen of the Year’ award again this year … I can only assume it’s for our church’s work within the local community (Remembrance services, Police Thanksgiving Service, Times Past, Food Bank, Centenary celebrations etc.). I am happy to accept the award on behalf of us all.

 

  • Celebration – this week we celebrate the birthday of Rob Heath (April 18). We also celebrate Rob and Barbara’s 42nd wedding anniversary (April 17). Our congratulations and best wishes to them.

 

COMING SOON

 

  • Swanwick Clergy Conference -  please note that I will be away from the parish during the week commencing April 23, but threaten to return in time for our Sunday service on April 29.

 

  • Baptism - we’ll experience the baptism of Alice Joy Hanson, Penny Ann Hanson, Evelyn Nicole Roadway and Olivia Joan Roadway (April 29).

 

  • ‘Times Past’ – on Monday (April 30) @ 10.30am in the Library

 

  • ‘Simply Worship’ – on Tuesday (May 1st) @ 7pm. Everybody welcome to this informal, relaxed and reflective service of reflection and prayer.

 

  • Elections – our local government elections will take place on Thursday (May 3). Please make sure that you exercise your democratic right to vote.

 

  • Archdeacon’s Visitation – our church will host the Visitation for the Rugeley Deanery on Monday (May 21st) from 6.45pm. Your support with this will be very much appreciated.

 

PRAYER FOR THE WEEK

 

This week we take the prayer produced by Beth Maxwell Boyle as the basis of our own -

 

‘ O God, help us to understand and to act, the world has had so many tragedies in recent months. We struggle to see good some days. The news is inescapable. The bad news is broadcast in restaurants and on screens in every public space it seems. We look for peace and rest. We struggle and try to see good in our society. It seems some days like everything that we once counted on is gone. Please God, give us strength and resolve to remember that every small act of kindness matters. Help us to rely on you and your word, and not on the media and leaders who are weak. Please guide us and strengthen us to do your will. We pray Lord you will forgive us for our pettiness. And help us to remember and follow your Son, our Saviour, who died on the cross’. 

 

From our pastoral shepherding flock, we pray this week for the Mason and Mountford families, Mark & Vanessa Newton, Sue Nicholl, and Arthur & Sheila Page.

 

Within our parish, we pray this week for the residents of Rochester Way, Rosebay Meadow, Rothbury Gardens, Rutland Road and Salisbury Drive.

 

SPECIAL PRAYER FOR PEOPLE AND PLACES – PRAYING WITH A BIBLE IN ONE HAND AND A NEWSPAPER IN THE OTHER.

 

We continue to pray for the people of Mauritius (see Pew News of April 1st for details).

 

Every day our newspapers and TV screens bring us into contact with stories of joy and despair from across the world. Let’s ask God to make us ever mindful of people and situations that need our prayer support.

 

CAN YOU SPARE A MINUTE?

 

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32)

 

Jesus told his followers that if they held to his teaching they would be thought of as disciples. Such discipleship would enable them to know the truth and, in turn, the truth would set them free.

 

Points to Ponder:-

 

  • do we claim to be disciples of Jesus today? What marks us out as Christian disciples? What does being a disciple actually involve?

 

  • what ‘truth’ is Jesus actually referring to? What do we consider to be the basic ‘truths’ of our Christian faith? Are we prepared to stand by such truths in all circumstances? Will we compromise any aspect of such truths?

 

  • how does our knowledge of ‘the truth’ set us free?

 

  • what kinds of ‘freedom’ do we enjoy today? Is such freedom denied to those who don’t define themselves as Christian disciples? Is such freedom denied to Christian believers elsewhere in the world?

 

  • do we feel enslaved or held captive by anything or anyone today? Do we want to be freed? Do we feel that a deepening knowledge and understanding of ‘the truth’ might release us in some way?

 

  • What kind of ‘freedom’ is Jesus actually referring to? Is Jesus saying that we can be freed from all those things that imprison us? Or is Jesus saying that we are free to  do something? Maybe He’s saying that we are free to be ourselves?