Pewsheet for week beginning 20th March 2016, Palm Sunday

Pewsheets

Click here for the pewsheet for the week beginning Sunday 20th March 2016, Palm Sunday.

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The Curate Writes…

Clergy

It must have been an amazing moment for the disciples.  They had spent several years waiting for it.  Their Teacher was entering the city of Jerusalem to the acclaim of the masses – surely this was the time when the Jewish nation would be restored and the Roman occupation ended.

At the euphoria, Jesus’ prediction of his suffering death must have faded briefly away.  However, as we know, the cheers of the masses soon disappeared through Holy Week.  What the crowd saw as the way to restore the Jewish Nation was not God’s plan.

In many ways, being surprised by God has been the story of my life.  I was happy in the police with a career mapped out to retirement and then I came to faith.  The plan I had sketched out for myself was gone, God had rather different, exciting and challenging plans.  Indeed, when I started Theological College I had a clear vision of the type of Church I would serve my curacy in. Again God had different ideas – Liz, the girls and I found us called to the wonderful Parish of Worth.

Likewise, I have no doubt that the new members and existing members of our PCC never expected to be members and for some Church and Deputy Church Wardens.

So, as they enter their terms of office I would like to thank them for stepping out in faith and ask them and all of us to be continually open that God’s plans might not always be our plans.

Steve

Pewsheet for 29th March 2015 – Palm Sunday

Pewsheets

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The Associate Vicar writes…

Clergy

Last Tuesday we were asked at the Lent Course to take stock of our Lenten journey. It had been nearly four weeks since the beginning of Lent. As we all experience it can feel an awful long time and the energy that might still have been there at the beginning of lent often has faded a little by now.

With this Sunday we enter Passiontide.  These last two weeks before Good Friday we are on the home straight of Lent. How did we set out on our Lenten path? What has made us stumble on the way?

The Readings this Sunday remind us that stumbling is all too human. Israel stumbled their way through the desert for forty years.

But God is faithful. God is in the process of setting up a new covenant. Although we might stumble Jesus hasn’t and so we have hope that we too have a share in the new covenant promised to.

In this hope we can regain strength to continue where we might have left our Lenten journey. Let this Sunday be a time where we can refocus on our path with James so that we are prepared and ready to enter into the joy of Easter.

 

James

The Rector Writes…

Clergy

As a fitting preparation for Mothering Sunday, my week has had a considerable focus on children through two school chaplaincy-related events. The first arranged by Gordon Parry (as part of his ‘day job’) for our Diocese looked at the changing context and expectations of chaplains. The second, held at Worth School and led by a brother from the Taizé Community, reflected on faith development for teenagers. One message that came through strongly in both sessions was the need to listen, listen and listen again to what young people are telling us about their experience of the world, about their experience of God and (if we’re lucky!) their experience of the church. It needs the sort of listening that a loving parent does for their child. It is a kind of listening that gets beyond the ‘surface chatter’, the glib “It’s fine” to the deeper experiences of loneliness, insecurity or uncertainty. As I reflected on this I was greatly encouraged by the knowledge of our commitment as a parish to young people and families. I felt a profound gratitude to those who have stepped forward to support (in so many ways) the vision of our church family providing a safe place (physically and emotionally) where all can feel valued and confident in exploring and growing in the realisation of God’s love for them, discovering their self-worth. A mother-like church. As Jesus hung on the cross, in his last agony, he took care to form a new bond between his mother and John. We are the inheritors of that promise and command: to be as mother and son to each other. Whether or not our experience of mothers (or motherhood) and families has been positive, we can identify with the ideal of a relationship of unconditional love. It is God’s gift.

Anthony

The Curate writes..

Clergy

The Ten Commandments was said at the 8am Service today. Rules and especially these rules are important for us to flourish.

I grew up playing football in the park pretty much all summer. We would put jumpers down as goal posts, select captain and teams and kick off.

Games would last until either until the score became ridiculous one-sided or we had to go home to tea (generally late! – sorry mum) or more often when someone ignored the vague rules we played to – football without any rules isn’t much fun; goalkeepers picked up the ball miles from their goals, they changed the size of their goals depending how they felt, the pitch would stretch across the whole of the park as their lines to follow and handball and fouling could be the norm.

How much better it was when we played for our clubs when we followed the rules – marked out pitches, standardised goals and a referee. This allowed the game to flow, skills to develop and a better experience; and so it is with life – we live in a culture that demands freedom and fights against any rules. However, a society without any rules doesn’t allow us to flourish or protect each other.

Obviously the other extreme is following the rules so tightly that they become oppressive – a whistle happy referee (with no idea of the advantage rule) kills any chance of an exciting and free-flowing game. Jesus showed that a faith based only on following the letter of the law, like the Pharisees, was not the way to live a life abundantly.

He did not abolish the law but challenged us to see it through the lens of loving God and each other. That is still our challenge today not to ignore the rules but also not to become Christians that create a faith suffocated by rules. To play the game, knowing like Jesus – the advantage rule!

Steve

Pewsheet for 1st March 2015

Pewsheets

Click here for the pewsheet for this week.

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