Day: 3 June 2021

Weekly News 3 June

I for one am so delighted to see the sunshine, at long last!

I have been so encouraged by the imagination and faith being displayed in various conversations around how we gather, worship and serve as we emerge from lockdown.

Please do have a look at the spaces and places area of our website for where this week’s services are, and keep an eye open as all kinds of ways of being together as church arrive there, adding to the rich ‘buffet’ we offer across our team.

For now our online service continues, and Mathew will be preaching for us this Sunday. You can find that on our Services page of the website, and can join for virtual coffee there too.

We have heard encouraging stories from many of you about how the pandemic has meant you have been more aware of living your faith 7 days a week.

In response to that, to help us prepare for the coming Sunday and to offer food along the way, we will be including the readings and some questions in these weekly communications. Usually the questions will come out of the Gospel reading, but for the next few weeks we will be using questions devised by Table Talk. This is a local Christian organisation seeking to resource us to have good, healthy conversations as we emerge from the pandemic. You can see them on our news page. This week we are asking;

  1. What things felt important to you before that no longer matter to you now?
  2. Is it possible to find happiness and joy during this time?
  3. What are you most excited about as you think about the future?

Next Friday will be Fiona’s last day with us. We have been so blessed by her ability to find order in chaos, particularly through this difficult time. If you would like to contribute to a thank you present for her, or if you would like to write a message for her card, please click on the link in this week’s email.

Ecclesiastical Insurance has opened nominations for Movement for Good with a chance for your worshipping community to receive £1000. Do have a look for more information and a link to the nomination form in the news section of our website.

Our APCM’s, or Annual Meetings are coming up next month and your church will be looking for key people to step up. Please do prayerfully consider what you can offer, there will be a you shaped hole!, and speak to your Churchwarden or one of the team.

At the end of this month we will be starting a group which will be digging deeper into what we are doing when we come to Communion, and what that means. This group will be meeting fortnightly on Wednesday evenings and some of those in this group will go on to be confirmed on 12

September in Tewkesbury Abbey. If you are curious, do get in touch.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and smile upon you and bring you peace.

Communion and Confirmation group

At the end of this month, we will be starting a group that will be digging deeper into what we are doing when we come to Communion, and what that means. This group will be meeting fortnightly on Wednesday evenings and some of those in this group will go on to be confirmed on 12 September in Tewkesbury Abbey. If you are curious, do get in touch.

Each one will be 7 pm and the venue will be confirmed when we know how big the group will be.

30 June: Introductions, Gathering and what happens when we ask for forgiveness

14 July: Praising and scripture

28 July: Creeds and prayer

11 August: Peace and communion

25 August: Blessing and sending out

8 September: What happens during Confirmation and any questions 

12 September: Confirmation at Tewkesbury Abbey 3.30 pm

APCMs

Our APCMs are coming up in July and we will be giving thanks for the service that has been given and commissioning those who are stepping into roles for the coming year. Please consider how you would like to contribute to the life and flourishing of your church be that as a member of your Local Ministry Team or as PCC Secretary; as Synod rep or as Pastoral Lead, there will be a you shaped hole! Pray and talk to your Churchwarden or one of the team.
The dates for the meetings are;
Sunday 4 July
9.30 St Laurence
11 Randwick
Sunday 11 July
9.30 Whiteshill with Paganhill in Whiteshill
11 Holy Trinity with St Albans in Holy Trinity
Sunday 18 July
9.30 Uplands with Slad in Uplands
9.30 St Matthew’s

Farewell Fiona

11 June is Fiona’s last day with us. She has been such a blessing to us all, establishing working groups, systems and processes that will serve us way into the future. But more than that, she has been a kind, prayerful, efficient, faithful presence for so many, both within and without our worshipping communities. She has been a particular blessing to the many bereaved families she has come alongside, and to us as a team.

If you would like to donate to her leaving present and/or sign her card please click this link.

Readings and questions for this coming Sunday 

But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—‘I believed, and so I spoke’—we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 4.13 – 5.1

The crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’

Mark 3.20-35

Questions: 

  • What things felt important to you before that no longer matter to you now?
  • Is it possible to find happiness and joy during this time?
  • What are you most excited about as you think about the future?

Movement for Good awards

The next edition of the Movement for Good awards by Ecclesiastical Insurance has been launched. Please consider nominating your PCC and Friends groups, if your church is supported by one (both are eligible), for a chance to receive £1000.

The nomination form only takes a few seconds to complete and you won’t need any information apart from the official name of the PCC/charity you wish to nominate. More nominations mean a better chance of being selected by Ecclesiastical. When filling in the online form please note that most PCCs are ‘charity registration exempt’.

Click here to make a nomination.

The deadline is 13 June.