FROM YOUR VICAR – Sunday 23rd April 2017
- Parables – today we begin a 5-sermon series on the Parables of Jesus. I begin by exploring parables that relate to ‘The Kingdom of God‘. Next week, Joyce will preach on parables concerning ‘loss and redemption’.
- Baptism - today we welcome Jamie Hughes & Sophie Ward, and their supporters, as they come to our church at 3pm to be baptised.
- Celebration – this week we celebrate the birthdays of Hilda Teece (April 26) and Tony Picken (April 29). Our congratulations and best wishes to them
- Prayer – please pray ‘safe journey’ for Deb & Beth as they fly to Gran Canaria to gain a week in the sunshine.
- Midweek Communion – Wednesday (April 26) at 10am
- Fashion Show – I will be able to tell you more about this during today’s service. We need to thank Gloria and Sheila (Green) especially for their hard work, and to everyone who supported this church fund-raising event. Do you have other fund-raising ideas that we could go with?
- Cannock & District Foodbank - please take a look at the details concerning the new Foodbank Hub that is being developed in Clarion Way (on notice board) and see if you can become involved in some way with the many and varied volunteering opportunities.
- Electoral Roll - those wishing to have their names added to our Electoral Roll should obtain a form from Dorothy, complete it, and return it to her as soon as possible. Dorothy will be submitting a revised Electoral Roll at our AGM next week.
- APCM – this will be held in the Church Hall after our church service next week! We need to elect 2 church wardens, 2 lay representatives to the Deanery Synod and up to 9 lay members to the PCC. Existing members may be willing to stand again, but they do need to be nominated and re-selected. All the nomination forms are available at the back of church – these need to be completed and returned to me in person as soon as possible. NB. The ex-officio members of the PCC (licensed clergy, members of the Leadership Team) do not need to be nominated and re-elected.
- Annual Reports - those who produce annual reports at the AGM are asked to ensure that their reports are forwarded to Gloria as soon as possible in order that they can be presented at the meeting.
- Godparents Sunday – next week (April 30) has been earmarked as ‘Godparents Sunday’ and our service will include some prayer time for those in our congregation who serve as godparents. Please invite your godchildren to accompany you to church next week.
- May Day Holiday - Monday (May 1st) … enjoy!
- Thanksgiving Service – for the Rt. Revd. Keith Sutton (Bishop of Lichfield until 2013) at Lichfield Cathedral on May 10th @ 12.30pm
- Archdeacon’s Visitation - on May 15th @ Colton church, during which our church wardens will be ‘sworn in’.
- Christian Aid Week – the week beginning May 15th
- Devotion & Prayer Group – this will be launched at church on Tuesday, May 16 @ 10am (for 1 hour). Everybody welcome.
- Memorial Service – on May 21st @ 4.30pm
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
This week we pray for all those people who provide an emergency helpline service for those in need – thinking especially of Alcoholics Anonymous and The Samaritans. We pray for children and young adults who have left home and who may be ‘sleeping rough’ on the streets – where they are vulnerable to those who would exploit their weakness. We pray for all those who feel rejected by society – those who have no confidence in their own abilities, no place where they feel accepted, and no sense of their own worth. We ask God to bring renewed hope and healing into these situations.
From our church pastoral shepherding flock, we pray for Beryl Reynolds, Steve & Joyce Reynolds, Christine Roberts, Mary Rose and Mary Russell.
Within our parish, we pray for the residents of Denbury Close, Diamond Grove, Dorset Road, Eagle Grove and Eden Close.
SPECIAL PRAYER FOR PEOPLE AND PLACES
We continue to pray for Bangladesh (see Pew News of April 2nd for details).
Please pray too for a reduction in the global tension that currently exits between the superpowers – especially as it relates to the situations in Syria and North Korea. We pray especially that the Chinese authorities will play an important mediating role in the Korean arena.
Please pray for the general election campaign here in the UK … may it be fair and principled contest that focuses on the issues that really matter to people at large, and not on the narrow and extreme interests of a few.
Pray too for the family &friends who are mourning the death of the Rt. Revd. Michael Perham (Bishop of Gloucester until 2014).
CAN YOU SPARE A MINUTE?
Jesus cried out with a loud voice … ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me’? (Mark 15:34).
Jesus had a close and honest relationship with his Father and, because of this, was able to express his feelings openly. In today’s Scripture, Jesus feels a sense of abandonment. He feels that his Father may have forsaken him. Jesus stands alone and isolated in the world – and isn’t afraid to expose this anxiety to his Father.
Why should we hold back when it comes to expressing our feelings to God? Our Father wants to share our joys and our sorrows. He wants to hear about our uncertainties, fears and disappointments. He wants to help us to bear our pain and frustrations, and to absorb our anger. Being honest with God in this way is a sign that we have a good relationship with him. It is not a sign of weak faith.
God had not forsaken Jesus in his hour of need, as the Easter resurrection demonstrated. Nor will God abandon us in our time of trouble and depression. A close relationship with God, expressed through constant and honest dialogue, will ensure that the light of dawn will always follow our darkest moments.
Points to Ponder
- how open and honest are we in our relationships with other people?
- why do we have strained relationships with some people? What is the true source of such tension? Are we at all responsible for such tensions?
- are we content to allow such tensions to continue? Or would life be more joyful and peaceful if such tensions could be eased? Are we prepared to take the first step to ease them?
- what’s the nature of our current relationship with God? Are we getting to know him better each day? Or is it the same relationship that we had with him a decade ago? Do we want to get ever closer to him, and do we know how we might be able to do so?
- are we able to tell God everything? Are we prepared to tell God just how we’re feeling – openly and truthfully? Can we take our anger to him about the injustices that we see around us each day? Or are we still hesitant and guarded in terms of what we say to God in prayer?