Pew News

FROM YOUR VICAR – Sunday 18th February 2018

 

  • Prayer - in our meeting for worship, bless the joining of our lives and the fellowship it provides. As we leave this sacred space, may the blessing we receive be the blessing that we give, through Jesus Christ alone, we pray.

 

  • Thank You – 1 - my thanks to those who supported our ‘Community Thanksgiving Service for Staffordshire Police’ service last week, especially those who donated items for our post-service refreshments in the Church Hall and those who so willingly helped to prepare the hall, serve the refreshments and clean up afterwards. Thank you so much … truly appreciated.

 

  • Thank You – 2 - my thanks to everybody who bought tickets and came along to our Valentine’s Ball last night. Special thanks to Irene (who, despite her own ill-health, did much of the behind the scenes work) and to everyone concerned with publicising and promoting this important church fund-raising event. My thanks too to all those who kindly donated raffle and spot prizes.  Please watch out for further fund-raising events during the coming months. Please feel free to tell us about any fund-raising ideas that you have.

 

  • ‘Times Past’ -  we will meet again in the library at 10.30am tomorrow (Monday) for light refreshments. The week’s ‘character’ for discussion will be Mrs Hurley (Dorothy’s mum). A warm welcome to everybody, especially those who can share some memories and reflections on this remarkable lady. On the subsequent occasion, we will begin to talk about our school-day memories (lessons, teachers, classrooms, equipment, rewards and punishments, exams and school reports, the games we played and the naughty things we got up to!) … so please put your thinking caps on and begin to gather those photos and memorabilia!

 

  • Devotion and Prayer Group - will meet in the Lady Chapel at 10am on Tuesday (February 20). Everybody is invited to come along and to say as much or as little as they wish. A period (1 hour) of Bible study and prayer for ourselves, the church and the local community. Informal and relaxed.

 

  • Midweek Communion – on Wednesday (February 21) @ 10am. Everybody welcome.

 

  • Lent Study Group – our first meeting will take place on Wednesday (February 21) @ 7.30pm in the Lady Chapel. The sessions (throughout the Lent period for 1 hour on each occasion) will focus on the ‘Seven Words to the Cross’ of Jesus. Everybody welcome - simply come along and say as much or as little as you wish. We’d like your company as we journey together through Lent.

 

  • WM Regional Group Gathering (Hands-at-Work) – at St. Anne’s church (Chasetown) on Saturday (February 24), 9.30am – 12 noon, with breakfast provided.

 

  • Anyone for Confirmation? – please have a word with me if you, or anyone you know, might be interested in being Confirmed this year.

 

  • Centenary Celebration – I’m currently talking to some local councillors about how our local community could come together later in the year to commemorate the end of WW1 hostilities – perhaps involving the schools, churches, shops, pubs and all members of the local community. Do you have any ideas about what could be done? Please let me know.
  • Celebration – we celebrate a number of birthdays this week: Isobel Mason, Fay Holding and Sheila Senior (today), Joyce Reynolds (tomorrow) and Andy Hill on Thursday (February 22). Our congratulations and best wishes to them all.

 

COMING SOON

 

  • Memorial Service – next Sunday (February 25) @ 4.30pm

 

  • Wedding Preparation Evening – on Monday (February 26) @ 7.30pm

 

  • Simply Worship – on Tuesday (February 27) @ 7pm

 

  • Lent Study Group 2 – on Wednesday (February 28) @ 7.30pm in the Lady Chapel.

 

  • Women’s World Day of Prayer – on Friday (March 2) at Bourne Methodist Church @ 7pm (?).

 

  • Meeting of Pastoral Shepherds – on Sunday (March 4) @ 3.30pm in Lady Chapel

 

PRAYER FOR THE WEEK

 

This week we pray for those who wish to observe a Lenten period of fasting:-

 

‘Fast from hurting words and say kind words. Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. Fast from anger and be filled with patience. Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. Fast from worries and have trust in God. Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. Fast from pressures and be prayerful. Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy. Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. Fast from grudges and be reconciled. Fast from words and be silent so you can listen’ (The Contemplative Monk).

 

From our church pastoral shepherding flock, we pray this week for Sandra Bevan, Eileen Birch, Mike & Sandra Bishop, Lesley & Gary Boulton, and Doreen Cox.

 

Within the parish, we pray for the residents of Holston Close, Holt Crescent, Hopton Meadow, Huron Close and Ingestre Close. 

 

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 Chile (see Pew News of February 4 for details).

 

We also pray for peace and unity in South Africa as the head of the ruling ANC (Cyril Ramaphosa) enters into direct talks with the embattled President Zuma over a power transfer ahead of the 2019 presidential election. The president is facing extensive corruption charges after a turbulent period in office.

 

CAN YOU SPARE A MINUTE?

 

‘ … for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall’ (Malachi 4:2).

 

I fondly remember those spring days back on the farm when the dairy cows, having spent the cold winter months in their indoor stalls, were first released into the fields during the day to graze on fresh grass. They would run, jump and kick their legs like excited children enjoying the freedom of a school playground.

 

In today’s verse, the prophet Malachi reminds me of that image. He wrote to the Jews about their need to restore their damaged relationship with God. He confronted them with their neglect of the Temple, and their false and profane worship.

 

Malachi preached a message of hope – that despite such unfaithfulness, God’s forgiveness was available to everyone who repented and turned to Him again in faith. Such hope was made possible through God’s grace. God loves his people even when they ignore or disobey him. He has great blessings to bestow on those who are faithful to him. His love never ends. What freedom! What comfort! What peace! What love … the kind that makes us want to run, jump and kick for joy!

 

Points to Ponder -

 

  • how healthy is our current relationship with God? How do we sustain it? Could we deepen our relationship with God in some way? Do we want to?

 

  • do we ever neglect our responsibilities as disciples to serve God and to grow his Kingdom? If yes, why and how are we so negligent? If no, how are we able to keep so faithful to our responsibilities?

 

  • does our current relationship with God make us a joyous and hopeful people? How might we describe our joy and excitement?

 

  • is there more that we could do to build the Kingdom of God in our neighbourhood? Is there anything that we could do differently? What motivates us into being builders of God’s Kingdom?

 

  • how often do we reflect on the true nature of our Christian worship? What priority do we give to worshipping our God … in terms of how we spend our energies, talents, time and money?