We’ve had a mixed week with the weather but the much-needed rain was welcome, it saved me taking the hose down the garden to water in the newly planted beans etc. You never imagine having to water the garden in April! True to form we did have some real April showers this week though. When we are able to meet again, it would be lovely to have a ‘Garden Open’ event. We could spend one Saturday visiting gardens, enjoying and wondering in awe at all the ‘lock-down’ hard work! Gardening however small, with pots or borders, gives us a great sense of wellbeing, it’s good for our mental health and physical exercise. It certainly helps our family. One of my granddaughters has planted a sunflower for us all and is having a competition to see which grows the tallest and we have planted a pumpkin for each of the grandchildren. But of course, they need to be cared for, looked after, protected and watered.
This Sunday, the 4th in Easter, is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and it is now 4 weeks until Pentecost. This Sunday we focus on the shepherding stories, how the shepherd knows his sheep, feeds them and protects them.
In Psalm 23 we are reminded that God is a good shepherd who provides all the things that they need, from food and water, to rest and refreshment and comfort, but also it tells us about the ‘darkest valley’. It tells us that being with God does not necessarily protect us from bad things, as those are part of human life, but that God goes with us. Our God is not a distant God, we have hope in a God who walks into dark valleys with us, whatever those moments are, and offers us the hope of new life through Jesus Christ.
To be with Jesus, the shepherd and gatekeeper, is to know where we fit in the order of things, our identity, our belonging, being valued, and to be safe. These things were part of the new order, the good news in a world where the disciples were trying to establish a new community without the physical presence of Jesus. Acts gives us a picture of the early church who felt they belonged together and who found great comfort in meeting together. They seem to meet informally, in houses, they eat together, talk and remember Jesus. They are not measured by what they own, but by what they share with one another and they show the love of Jesus in practical ways in the power of the Spirit. One thing we cannot do at the moment is physically meet but we do so by joining in online worship, Zooming etc or by picking up the phone, chatting over the fence. The Church has to be a place where people of all ages feel safe, enjoy one another’s friendship and experience the presence of the risen Lord. Always something we need to be better at.
Prayers and Bears this week we talked about how the sheep knew the shepherds voice, he called, they followed, and he laid in the gateway to protect them. Then they went off to play ‘what’s the time mister wolf’, to remind us that things can be dark and uncomfortable.
Even though we are not together in a building, we are together in our homes and hearts, together as a church family, together as God’s people. We can find all different ways of communicating and like those early Christians, find ways of talking about our faith and Jesus. The Church belongs to God and the Church is kept safe by the gate- Jesus. God calls us by name, he knows each one of us and we are called to follow the Good Shepherd. Jesus wanted to give life, full life, to those who belong to him and that is what those early Church experienced. This is a group of people full of life, being part of each other’s lives.
Perhaps this week call a few people you have lost touch with and find out how they doing?
Why not learn to Zoom and join us for Evening Prayer on Sunday?
Follow God’s word through the Bible, keep re-reading these verses during the week, do you see something different with each read?
Find a new way of communicating, nurture those friendships and remember … we hang onto that hope, as sheep who are called and follow … that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Till we meet again, blessings.
In the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Grace, mercy and peace from God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
and also with you.
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
your Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence.
Give us new hearts and constant wills
to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;
45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
therefore can I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
3 He shall refresh my soul
and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil
and my cup shall be full.
6 Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
1 Peter 2.19-end
19 For it is to your credit if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, where is the credit in that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22 ‘He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.’
23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.
1 ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Here’s a prayer of intercession using the image of God as shepherd. It was written by John Birch, and posted on his Faith and Worship website.
Prayer of Intercession: Good Shepherd
(based on Psalm 23, Psalm 95:6-7, John 10)
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care. (Psalm 95:6,7)
Good Shepherd, within your embrace we are safe and secure. Within your embrace we know that we are precious in your sight. Within your embrace we feel the warmth of family and belonging. Within your embrace we grow and are nurtured together as one flock, the people of your pasture under your loving care and protection.
Come, let us bow down
Before the LORD our Maker
Good Shepherd, within your embrace we find comfort and healing. We bring to you those who are weak, or struggling with physical, mental or spiritual health. You are the great healer, and we pray for healing of mind and body for those we now name in the silence of our hearts.
Come, let us bow down
Before the LORD our Maker
Good Shepherd, within your embrace we find justice. We bring to you the brave voices who cry out for freedom, those prepared to stand up and be heard without counting the cost. We pray for those who have been imprisoned or tortured for their race, colour, caste or faith. For all Christians who have taken up the Cross and know its weight and pain.
Come, let us bow down
Before the LORD our Maker
Good Shepherd, within your embrace we find peace. We bring to you those orphaned, crippled or dispossessed by war, for refugees wandering this earth in search of a home, for all victims of strife and warfare, and for all those who have dedicated their lives for the search for peace and reconciliation.
Come, let us bow down
Before the LORD our Maker
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.(Psalm 118:1)
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and your wisdom to those searching for a cure. Strengthen them with your Spirit, that through their work many will be restored to health; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord be with you
And also with you.
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.
Sunday BCP evening prayer will continue at 5pm via a Zoom link. We will send out the meeting details, with the order of service, and the readings, later.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
Healing: Blake, Sam Evans, Reuben, Margaret, David, Don, Karl, Hugh, Sarah, Elsie, Lesley, Rufus and James, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless and those who mourn.
The lately departed: Jean Ripley, Alfred Delamere, Pamela Powell, Malcolm Scott and those whose anniversary falls at this time.
Community prayers: Clewer Green School, the head teacher Martin Tinsley and all the pupils, staff and governors. For all our Care Homes, for the safety of residents and staff. Also please pray for our wedding couples as they wait with anticipation and uncertainty at this this time.
Parish Cycle of Prayer: Please pray for all who live in Clewer Park, Mill Lane, White Lilies Island, Clewer Court Road, Swan Terrace, Petworth Court and the Boatyard Flats. And our community pub, the Swan.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Pray for the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan), Mukono (Uganda), Yewa (form. Egbado) (Nigeria), Ikara (Nigeria), Multan (Pakistan), Yirol (South Sudan), Nyang (South Sudan), Aluakluak (South Sudan), Ikeduru (Nigeria), Mumbai (Formerly Bombay) (North India), Yokohama (Japan), Mumias (Kenya), Yola (Nigeria), York (England), Mundri (South Sudan), Ysabel (Melanesia), Mundu Area (South Sudan), Yukon (Canada), and Ikka (Nigeria).
Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.
Church Finances- message from Andrew
With the suspension of church services our income is likely to fall and, while some of our costs will be reduced, others will be incurred whether we are “open for business” or not. In the light of this suspension of services you might like to consider continuing your regular giving by paying directly to our bank account, the details of which are:
HSBC Bank, High Street, Windsor
Sort Code: 40-47-37
Account number: 11373366 Account name: PCC St Andrews Church
Symbols of hope and happiness – I would like to set you all a creative challenge. How about knitting or crocheting symbols of hope and happiness, flowers, hearts, crosses, doves etc. Any colours and shape. Then when we are able to gather, we can join them all together to make an altar frontal or a banner, in celebration of faith, hope and love. Let me know if you’d like to join in. Revd Rosie
Pictures can be posted to the St Andrews Facebook Page
Self Isolation Choir – The Self Isolation Choir has been specially formed in response to the global impact of the Coronavirus. Singers from around the world can join and take part in the events and activities organised by the choir in their own home. The first event will be singing Handel’s Messiah.
Bible Challenge – At the moment we are doing this as a WhatsApp group call, if you would like to take part, please contact the Parish Office on firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the group.
Reflection on the Acts of the Apostles – via Zoom, on Wednesdays at 13.30. Sarah Gardner and friends from the Catholic & Methodist churches are running a 1 hour weekly reflection on the Acts of the Apostles. The reflection will be in the form of Lectio Divina. If you would like to join in, please drop an email to email@example.com so that she can forward the Zoom invite and meeting details to you.
Ways to attend church [from the Diocese eNews 30 Apr 2020]
Live streamed parish services
Many churches across the Diocese are live-streaming services. There’s a huge range, from mini-tots praise to evening worship – and not just on a Sunday. You can participate when the service is first streamed, aware that you are joining with others in worship at that particular time, or you can click the link at a time that suits you.
Find a service
Diocesan Church at Home services
Around 3,500 people attend Church at Home each Sunday at 10am. You’ll find details here on the website and you can participate then or later. This week Bishop Colin is presiding from his home in Yarnton.
Church services for those without the internet
Church at Home services from the Diocese of Oxford can now be accessed by telephone. Dial 01865 920930 to hear the latest service (press 0= short service, 1= full service). Normal call rates apply. Please pass this message on to those in your congregation who might welcome this way to be involved in worship at this time.
[And of course St Andrews Evening Prayer, via Zoom, 5.00pm every Sunday]
|Christian Aid [from the letter to supporters 27 Apr 2020]|
Our red envelope has long been symbolic of Christian Aid Week and the commitment of our volunteers who take to the streets to deliver it each year. This May we need to do things a little differently so we are delighted to now share with you our e-Envelope. In three simple steps, you can create and send a personal message, picture or video to your friends and family and continue to raise important funds for people living in poverty around the world – more important than ever in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Send an e-Envelope today and save lives ►
A very special Christian Aid Week celebration
Please join us for our live Christian Aid Week Sunday service on the 10th May at 1pm introduced by Amanda Mukwashi, Christian Aid’s Chief Executive, we will have special guest speakers, prayers from our partners and a Sermon from Dr Rowan Williams.
Throughout Christian Aid Week (Monday 11th to Saturday 16th May) we will also be streaming short reflections each day so please join with us as we stand together in love and solidarity with our brother and sisters around the world.
Link here ►
|Windsor Foodshare – are now putting boxes in various locations in the area for donations. They welcome all non-perishable foods. At the moment they are short of cooking sauces, tinned vegetables, tinned tomatoes, tinned meat/fish, squash/cordial, tea/coffee. They have plenty of pasta, rice, soup and long-life milk.|
Details on their Facebook page:
The Parish Office is now closed.
Sharon (our administrator) is currently on furlough.
Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Stuart will pick up any emails
Revd Rosie Webb: email@example.com
Tel: 01753 852334
Parish website: www.standrewsclewer.org
Churchwarden: Stuart Cockman
Pastoral helpline number: 07946 590223
VE DAY COMMEMORATION 8th MAY: 75 YEARS
A timetable to take part from home.
With lockdown still in place, we are not able to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day in the ways many of us hoped and planned for. But we are Clewer, and we find a way.
First, it is important to say that any way of marking this day that encourages people to gather or put others at risk, especially the elderly and the most vulnerable, should not be supported. It is against the spirit of the commemoration if by doing these things we put at risk the age group whose sacrifices we are honouring!
But there is a LOT we CAN do!
Decorate, decorate! Put red, white and blue in your window, make or put up bunting (see here for templates and ideas: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4TrqYDyf4PMdLypxzyTwGDg/great-british-bunting), draw or colour pictures, pin up poppies, decorate your garden or your car, chalk your driveway. That way, your neighbours and people passing by on their daily exercise can enjoy your creativity. There is a poster you can print and put up here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/l5xq5zm8csfp14d/VE%20Day%20Poster.pdf?dl=0 and there are many other resources online.
Learn! Check out resources for the day here: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories
Take photos! If you have the technical skill, take a photo of yourself with your decorations, dressed up for the occasion, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include it in a Pews News and the church website. If you have neighbours who would like to do this but don’t know how, take a picture for them, using correct social distancing, and send it. In your email, please include who is in the photo and that we have permission to use it on social media as part of the our church montage. If you see some great decorations in Clewer on your daily walk, snap us a photo of them and send it in.
Send a message! The Royal British Legion has set up an online message board where you can leave a message of thanks on VE Day. You can find it here: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-give/march-poppy-press/leave-your-ve-day-message
Be silent, then make some noise! At 11:00 we will have 2 minutes’ silence. At 11:02, let’s make some noise with our clapping hands, our pots and pans, voices, whistles, kazoos, bagpipes, whatever you have to hand to remember our heroes, past and still with us.
Livestream! From 11:15, The Royal British Legion website offers a VE Day Livestream here: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-75-livestream
Picnic! Have a picnic in your garden if the weather allows, sharing the day with your street while observing social distancing. Some resources here you can print ahead of time and use on the day, including cupcake cases and toppers and socially distanced street picnic invitation templates: https://www.thepurplepumpkinblog.co.uk/free-printable-ve-day-decorations/
Drink a toast! Join the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of your own home by standing up and raising a glass of refreshment of your choice and undertaking the following ‘Toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
Singalong with the Radio! There will be a broadcast of Churchill’s famous speech at 3pm, followed by some wartime music to sing along.
Singalong with BBC1 and the Royal British Legion! Watch BBC One, featuring the singalong as part of their VE Day broadcast, at 9pm on Friday 8 May to join a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The words are below:
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where,
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies chase
Those dark clouds far away
And I will just say hello
To the folks that you know
Tell them you won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That, as I saw you go
You were singing this song
We’ll meet again… (repeat)