Weekly Notices: Sunday after Ascension Day, 24th May, 2020

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A tent.

When the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness there was no stone temple for them in which to gather. Instead they were called by God to worship in tents. The story goes that whilst the people were on the move and disorientated, God came down and pitched his tent amongst them. 

‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest,’ said the Lord (Exodus 33.14). 

With the closure of our church building and social distancing we are in the wilderness at the moment, unable to gather physically for worship. Our worship on the internet is a bit like gathering together in a tent. Firstly, this virtual tent of ours is vulnerable! There was a memorable moment during one service when the screen flipped and your priest was suddenly presiding horizontally. 

Last Sunday we lost some of our connections with each other because of UK-wide technical problems with Zoom, the video conferencing platform that we use. Thanks to Martin, our technical host (who valiantly battled the storm and kept our tent pegs in place) we were able to continue with our service, and even stay on for coffee.

Secondly, tents are portable and flexible. Sometimes our worship pops up on Facebook, sometimes it’s Zoom and sometimes it’s YouTube. Often, it’s all three. It can be live or pre-recorded. The worship planning group decided last week (after hearing some of your feedback) that not everyone wants to watch the Eucharistic Prayer at this time because of difficulties associated with not being able to receive Communion together. For others a virtual Communion is still helpful, because we can participate in a ‘spiritual Communion’ in our longing to receive the bread and wine. 

People are gloriously different and for this period, whilst we are in the wilderness, we will offer a balance of both Services of the Word and Communion Services. Hopefully we can all affirm each other’s preferences. In both types of service, we can certainly be assured that God has promised that his presence will go with us and he will give us rest.

Clouds

This Sunday there will be a pre-recorded Service of the Word. Canon Tony presides and Canon Ann preaches. It picks up on the theme of ‘Ascension and the Promise of the Holy Spirit'. It will be made available in two ways:

  • You can watch it with others at 10am during a live Zoom meeting, and stay on for coffee and chat at the end.
  • Or you can watch it on your own on You Tube or Facebook (at 10am, or any later time that’s convenient for you). Hopefully one of these options will work for you.

Chris Petty - RIP

It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Chris Petty. He died on Wednesday 20th May following a heart attack. His wife Sandy and family members were at his side. Chris was a longstanding member of the Church of the Good Shepherd and very loved. It is a great loss to us all.

God of mercy, Lord of life,

we give thanks for Chris,

for the grace and mercy he received from you,

for all that was good in his life,

for the memories we treasure today.

Look in mercy on Chris’s wife Sandy, their family, and all who mourn. Give them patient faith in times of darkness.

Strengthen them with the knowledge of your love.

Amen.

Collect

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion, that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

Readings

  • Acts 1.6-14
  • Psalm 68.1-10, 32-35
  • 1 Peter 4.12-14; 5.6-11
  • John 17.1-11

Afternoon Study and Fellowship Group

Wednesday 27th May, 3.30pm-5pm.

Flames

We gather together to watch a talk on Zoom, recorded at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of their adult education programme, followed by discussion. This week, in preparation for The God Who Speaks: The Bible and the Holy Spirit, with Kate Coleman and Paula Gooder.

Who is the Holy Spirit? Jesus says that after his ascension into heaven, the

Father will send another Counsellor to be with us forever, who will teach us all things. Do we believe that? If we do, what does it mean for our lives and

faith, our risk-taking, our take on change in our own lives and in the church?

Baptist Minister Revd Dr Kate Coleman and Biblical scholar Dr Paula Gooder discuss how can we hear and attend to the voice of the Spirit and follow where we are being guided. Judy Short has kindly offered to host this afternoon. Email her for your Zoom link. 

10 o’clock Rock

Please download the activity sheet for your children. Daisy is working on a special ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ trail for Pentecost which will be later put around the grounds of the church for families to follow when they are out on their walks. 

Parents and carers might also be interested in the Church of England’s ‘Faith at Home’ initiative. Each week an excellent range of content is published online to support families discuss faith. 

Finally

Vicarage

I hope you are keeping well, in mind, body and spirit. Do contact me if you’d like any support, prayers or practical help.

With prayers, 

Rev’d Jane