Tuesday, 19 June 2012

(Extra)Ordinary Time

We have entered what the Church of England calls Ordinary time, what in the recent past used to be known as the Sundays after Trinity or after Pentecost. Our churches are decked in glorious green for weeks and weeks and we hear again, as the Scriptures are read, some of the amazing teaching and healing ministry of Jesus.

The green symbolizes, growth, like grass on the hillsides; the living presence of God amongst us. As we explore Jesus’ teaching and healing ministry afresh we discover that this is far from ordinary time, for all time in the presence of God is extraordinary.

As July flows and then ebbs, our minds begin to turn to holidays, to rest and recreation whether at home or abroad. Being renewed as people and filled afresh with memories.

The word holiday, comes from the words ‘holy day’, a principal feast day in the life of the church. A day which, in worship, helps to recall and share in the life and love of God in and through Jesus Christ. This time of year, during (Extra)Ordinary time, we remember that any time with God makes that day a holy day, a holiday as, primarily through our worship, we find ourselves renewed in the love and life of God.

You will be well aware that back in January we began a process to prayerfully discern together, a new pattern of worship for the parish which meets our needs and that can be provided mostly by me, so that we can worship together and have time together as church.

After your suggestions were made, the PCC spent two meetings looking carefully and prayerfully at this and has now made a decision on a pattern which we will roll out as of September and trial for a period of 6 months.  The pattern looks like this:
This process has required the graciousness, compromise and trust of each other - including me. It will continue to need those things as we begin this new chapter in our worshipping life. It will also continue to need the gifts and skills of many including familiar faces who have supported and encouraged us in worship over the years.

At the end of the Eucharist at this time of year we pray:

Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory. Amen.

Our worship is extraordinary time set apart for us to be with each other and with God. It is the
time and place where we are resourced by Christ, and sent out by Him, to live for Him and to love for Him in the communities in which He sets us. It is time set aside in the week for us to be filled afresh with His presence, during which we are called, by His grace at work in us, to allow all our days to be holy, holidays as we are renewed by His presence amongst us and filled with His love.

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