Programme for Music for a Summer’s Evening

Events, Special Services

Thank you to all those who have bought advanced tickets for our concert tomorrow night at St Nicholas’ Church, Worth, thus helping us work out the amounts for catering and drinks.

Feel free to still come along on the night though, as there will be something for everyone (musically and culinary !). Adult tickets are £8 including canapés and Pimms, children can come free (sweets and juice provided).  You can phone 07044 326819

Here is the Music for a Summer’s Evening Programme so you can see in advance what is being performed and print it for yourself (although copies are available free of charge on the door).

New Associate Vicar announced

Clergy, News

RevdJames
It has been announced today that the Revd James Grant
has been offered the post of Associate Vicar in the Parish of  Worth, Pound Hill and Maidenbower.  James was born to Scottish/German parents in Glasgow and grew up in Berlin before returning to the UK to finish his degree in Theology at the University of Glasgow.  He trained for ordained ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge and has since served his title post at St Clement’s, Chorlton in Manchester with a particular focus on ministry to young adults and local ecumenical ties as well as being Chaplain to St Anselm’s Hall at Manchester University.  James is married to Hengyi and they are expecting their first child in January.  James said, “I am delighted to have been offered this post at what seems an exciting time in the parish’s development.  Hengyi and I are looking forward to making a new home in the St Barnabas Vicarage and getting to know the people of the parish.”

Before ordained ministry James was a tour guide in Berlin and worked in a night shelter for the homeless.  He was baptised Presbyterian and grew up in the German Lutheran tradition before finding a home in the Anglican Communion.  His love for good preaching and excellent church music (particularly Baroque and Renaissance) and readiness to engage with many different traditions bear witness to this mixed upbringing.

Provisional arrangements have been made for James to be licenced as Associate Vicar in a service at 7.30 p.m. on 18th November 2014 at St Barnabas Church, Pound Hill.  

Syrian Archbishop visits St Nicholas

News

On the 18th May we were pleased to welcome Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham, Archbishop of Jazirah & Euphrates of the Syrian Orthodox Church to St Nicholas to preach.  The text of his sermon is reproduced below (click here to download a PDF) and you can also see the Archbishop chanting the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke – which he did at St Nicholas during the Eucharist that Sunday.

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Peace! Be Still!

By Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham
Archbishop of Jazirah & Euphrates Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese

Biblical Text: (Mark 4:35-41; THE NEW OXFORD ANNOTATED BIBLE)

“Teacher, do you not care if we perish?”. And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”

And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:38-39)

I am delighted to know that the Sea of Galilee is known in one of your songs as the Syrian Sea. It is only in the Anglican tradition that the Sea of Galilee is given the name of the Syrian Sea. This makes me feel very happy to know about this fact, being a Syrian Metropolitan in the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.

I always tend to see the storm in the Sea of Galilee as a good example for the continuous confusion in my home country, Syria. I think you will agree with me that much like the disciples, the citizens of Syria are currently being struck by a great storm as they cross their own sea of life.Today, Syria is like a boat amidst the crashing waves of the sea.   No one so far has been able to stop the mad war in Syria. There is an urgent need for a miracle to happen in order to put an end to the miserable life of its people. I believe that the interference of God will save the people of Syria from this turmoil. This is similar to what Jesus did when He rescued His disciples and casted their fear.

The miracle of Jesus calming the storm is recorded in synoptic Gospels (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25). For each of their own specific reasons, the evangelists were interested in recording this miracle. Writing to those believers living under the tyrannical rule of the Roman Emperor Nero, St. Mark presents Christ as a servant to humanity, who is able to rescue those in their time of need.

Knowing the geographical situation of the Sea of Galilee or the Lake of Galilee is very helpful to refresh our minds about the setting of the story. On the northern end of the Lake, near the villages of Capernaum and Bethsaida in the territory of the Gennesaret, Jesus sat down by the lake and began to teach. At 15 miles in length, and 6 miles across at its widest point the lake itself is not all that large, though it is the largest freshwater lake in the region. It is located some 30 miles inland from and 682 feet below the Mediterranean Sea in the Jordan Great Rift Valley, through which the Jordan River flows. It is surrounded by mountains from which it collects surface runoff water, as well as water from underground springs. In this process, freshly melted snow from the peak of nearby Mount Hermon, via the Jordan River, descends a total of 10,000 vertical feet before it reaches its new home in the Lake of Galilee.

The reason the waters in the Lake of Galilee are made so turbulent is because winds regularly come down over the top of the Golan Heights just east of the lake. When they hit the lake, these cold winds collide with warm air trapped in the lower basin, turning its waters into a boiling caldron. Such conditions make the lake a very precarious place to be at the wrong time.

Certainly, Jesus and His disciples knew what kind of waters they were launching their boat out onto. And yet they had no concern about the possibility that the lake might erupt into a violent storm. There are a few possible explanations for their lack of concern. Perhaps they were simply traveling at the right time of the year. Perhaps the disciples simply felt that because they were traveling with Jesus all would be well. And yet, perhaps Jesus took them out on the lake to test their faith in a time of great stress.

The Gospel narrates that after a long day of ministry, Jesus wanted to cross the Sea of Galilee. While traveling He fell asleep as the disciples maneuvered through the waters. Yes, He is a perfect God, but He is still a perfect human. And according to His humanity, He needed some rest like the rest of us.

As the storm set in, a panic took hold of those in the boat, and presumably the other passengers in the other boats who joined Jesus in crossing the lake. Together they faced this great danger. As the water began to come over the sides of the boat the disciples attempted to save the boat, but eventually the water inside became so much that the boat started to sink. It was only at this time that they chose to awaken their Master. But why did they not wake Him up at the very beginning? Maybe they did not want to disturb His sleeping. It was only when they were desperate and began to face death, they came to Him asking His help, Saying: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” they cried. There was nothing they could do that would save them from the turbulent winds and the crashing waves. And although Jesus was deep asleep, at the same time He knew about the danger at hand.

By the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel, it would have been clear to the disciples that Jesus possessed a great power to heal the sick and drive out demons. But it is in this passage that they come to know his creative power covers not only the human beings, but also nature. The Bible emphasizes that Jesus is able to perform such a miracle, because He is the Creator. In his letter to the Colossians 1:16-17 St. Paul testifies, “for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” This testimony to Christ’s central role in the act of creation is repeated throughout the Scriptures.

When Jesus rises from His sleep in the boat, He does not at first speak to the disciples, but to the winds and the waves, telling them to be quiet and to be still. By doing so, Jesus eliminates their reason to be afraid. They are merely left to wonder in astonishment, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” Likewise Mark’s Gospel leaves the reader with the implicit conclusion that this master of theirs truly is the Master of all creation.

So what do we learn from Jesus’ calming of the storm? Behind every literal meaning of Jesus’ healings and miracles, stands a figurative meaning. The storms of life really are quite similar to the storm on the Sea of Galilee. People regularly endure the destructive power of tornadoes and hurricanes, they face life-storms such as sickness, war, unrest, economic crises, scandals, and all sorts of painful life experiences. As long as we live on Earth, as long as we live near the Sea of Galilee, we ought to continue to expect raging storms. For, as we are reminded in 1 Peter 5:8, “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.” We are continually surrounded by the powers of Satan.

Often our immediate response is that we are afraid of Satan’s attacks. But we must have a strong trust in the presence of God, turning to Him in search of His help. But what happens when God does not come to our rescue immediately? Do we not begin to question God?  “Are you there at all, don’t you care about us?” But we would be remiss to overlook God’s response: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Have you forgotten that the One who has power over life also has power over death?

What does this miracle mean for us who facing war in Syria? How should we react as believers in God when we see our homeland going through such dark times? We are praying for peace, and we believe that no resolution to the current situation will emerge except by peaceful dialogue. We cannot solve these troubles by making war and hoping that peace will follow. War will bring an even greater storm — it will break the boat and it will destroy the country and all its neighbors.

In many ways, we are like the disciples. We are terrified of the prospects of war, because it will mean our destruction and that of our neighbors. And still we believe that God and only God can prevent war and its destructive outcome. God can turn the hearts of people from hardness and selfishness to gentleness, peacefulness and creativity. Proverbs 21:1 reminds us that, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” And again Malachi 4:6 tells us that, “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers”—that is, the heart of the king to the hearts of the population.

Let us pray for peace in Syria and in all disturbed counties. O Lord God, we ask you to turn the hearts of leaders of this world to their people, and to turn the hearts of the people to their faithful leaders, so that they may all walk along in the path of God. We pray that the hearts of the people and the leaders will all turn together toward the heart of God, so that His name will be glorified forever and ever. Amen

 

Parish Yearbook 2013

News

The Parish Yearbook for 2013 is now available to download and copies are available in both churches from this Sunday.  Special thanks to Simon Wakefield for compiling the Yearbook and to all those who contributed to the ‘Book or indeed to the life, activity and mission of the Parish over the last year 🙂

Click here to download the 2013 Yearbook

Rev’d Angela’s new post

Clergy, News

Vicar of Forest Row
More about Forest Row’s new appointment

The appointment of Rev’d Angela Martin to be the next Vicar of Forest Row & Ashurst Wood is announced today.  Angela’s last Sunday service will be the 10.00 a.m. Eucharist at St Barnabas on 3 August.  There will be a parish lunch in the Hall afterwards.

January Discipleship & Fellowship Report

Events, Meetings

Discipleship and Fellowship meeting held in

Tuesday January 21st  2014 

1.  Bible Study:-

This House Group has been put on hold for the time being due to lack of interest; it is hoped that after the Confirmation candidates have completed, or almost completed, the Pilgrim Course, currently due to start they may want to be a part of a Bible Study Group, this will then be reviewed.

2.  Parish Away Day.

Saturday March 8th at Rowfant House. Is being advertised more fully and we are collecting names A “Booking Form” has been produced so we can collect details of those requiring transport and any dietary requirements. Posters are in both churches and a leaflet issued with some details of what the book aims to do in asking us if we will follow Christ, wherever, to ‘the edge’ and beyond !

Numbers of those attending need to have confirmed by February 26th as payment for the food is required by February 28th.                   

3.  Lent Lunches:-

These will be held on Wednesdays during Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday after the Ashing Service at St Barnabas. A Rota of soup makers and servers has been produced by Phyl Pennell.

Angela confirmed that a form of Meditation (music, Reading, prayer) will take place before serving the soup (except on Ash Wednesday because the soup follows the service) and then time to chat & discuss the meditation over soup and a roll.

4.  Ladies’ & Men’s Breakfasts:-

May 17th – Men’s Breakfast 8.30 – 9.30 Pastoral Centre

June 14th – Ladies’ Breakfast 8.30 – 9.30 Pastoral Centre

Cooks:-   are organised.

Speaker:-  We will attempt to arrange a Speaker at each breakfast.

5 PILGRIM Course:-

This Course will began on January 21st with the Confirmation Candidates and any members of the congregation who wish to attend. Joan Tick, Stuart Sharpe and Rosemary Cordan will attend as much as possible to be contacts and supporters of those attending. Anthony thought that members of D & F could assist the candidates during services if they needed it.

6.      A.O.B    The Questionnaire concerning ‘what type of and when’ Courses should be held has  not yet been produced. This will be brought to the next Meeting.

    Additional information ….

LENT COURSE

There will be an Ecumenical Lent Group (RC, URC & CofE) on Tuesday evenings during Lent beginning March 11th – April 8th in the CURC Jubilee Room at 7.30 – 9.00 pm meeting for coffee/refreshments from 7.15 We will be using Andrew Mayes book “Beyond the edge” Leadership will be shared between 5 clergy (1 RC, 1 URC, 2 CofE) Sign-up sheets and posters are now in both churches the cost of the Book required for the cost is £7.75, to be ordered from either Canon Anthony or Joan Tick.

Date of next Meeting:-

 Tuesday March 18th 2014 at 11.15am at the Pastoral Centre.