Monday, 23 November 2020

Stir up Sunday - Monday - perseverence.

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - hope

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - courage

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - imagination

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - generositry

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - self control

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - gentleness

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - faithfulness

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - Goodness

 


Stir up Sunday - Monday - A Prayer to Begin the Day

 


Saturday, 21 November 2020

Stir Up Sunday 2020 - A Day of Prayer

 


From 5pm-9pm tomorrow and from 9am-5pm on Monday the church across the Diocese is sharing in a time of focussed prayer for our life and our nation.


Video resources will be released here and on our website on the hour to aid our prayer.

Please do join us in lifting our neighbourhoods and nation to the Lord.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Reading the Bible Together Group.

 


Tomorrow night (Monday) at 7.30pm our Zoom Reading the Bible together Group meets for the first time.


Please message the Vicar directly if you'd like details of how you can take part.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Worship at Home - 11/11/20

 



Thursdays - A Day of Prayer

 


Loving God,
at this time of crisis
when so many are suffering,
we pray for our nation and our world.
Give our leaders wisdom,
our Health Service strength,
our people hope.
Lead us through these parched and difficult days
to the fresh springs of joy and comfort
that we find in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Service of the Word - 06/11/20

 


Lockdown - A Time to Pray and Grow

I hope you are managing to stay well, especially as we move into a second national lockdown. The aim of this period of four weeks, according to the Prime Minister, is to try to ensure that COVID-19 does not completely overwhelm the NHS's ability to cope this winter. My hope and prayer is that we will follow the renewed call to stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.

This feels like a pretty grim necessity as Autumn moves to the darker days of Winter. St John's Gospel reminds us that the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it. Christ calls us to be individuals and communities of light and hope and there are a number of ways that I'd like to call you particularly to play a part:

1. Prayer.
The Archbishops and our Diocesan Bishop have called us to prayer. Please will you commit yourselves to joining me in prayer for our neighbourhoods and nation? I'd like us to join together across the parish to do this in a number of ways

- Praying our parish prayer, (the words of which I have enclosed at the bottom) at either or all of 9am, midday, and 9pm every day. The words of the prayer are simple but express much hope.
- Setting aside Thursdays as a weekly day to fast and pray for those driving healthcare policy, the NHS, local government etc. Just as many of us gathered on Thursdays to 'clap for carers' in the first lockdown to show our gratitude to those serving on the frontline of containing the impact of the pandemic, so we as church can do something more meaningful during this second lockdown and pray for the presence and leading of God for those in the frontline of containing the pandemic. I will endevour to share whatever resources I can to feed our prayer on Thursdays on Facebook and the Parish website.
- Stir Up Sunday - 22/11/20 - Bishop Alan is calling on us all to spend a focussed time of prayer on 22nd and 23rd November, asking God to stir up the fruits of the Spirit in the ministry and work of the church in these days. Resources to fuel our prayer will be availabe on the hour on social media and at www.stalbans.anhlican.org. More details to follow.

2. Renewing our Faith.
As part of the ways to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Government has called for the suspending of all public worship across faith communities. This means that our worshipping life will change. As of Sunday 15th November our pattern of worship will look like this:

Sundays - 10am Parish Eucharist on Zoom
Mondays - 8.30am Morning prayer on zoom
9.30am Said Eucharist on Facebook
4.00pm Evening Prayer on zoom
Tuesdays - 8.30am Morning prayer on zoom
4.00pm Evening Prayer on zoom
Wednesdays - 8.30am Morning prayer on zoom
12Noon Said Eucharist on Facebook
4.00pm Evening Prayer on zoom
Thursdays - 8.30am Morning prayer on zoom
9.30am Said Eucharist on Facebook
4.00pm Evening Prayer on zoom
Fridays - 11.00am Service of the Word on Facebook

Please do join (contact me directly for the details.) If you would be willing to read or lead intercessions on a Sunday please do get in touch. We will endevour to make available some prayer resources available in a printed format for those who don't have access to the internet.

During the first lockdown in the Spring we mobilised a group to stay in touch with all of you and make sure you are all doing as well as can be expected, and to offer to support and prayer. This group will resume it's ministry more actively in the coming days. I hope that you feel held by the invaluable ministry of this group as we seek to hold together as as community in these days.

Can I also encourage you to use the weeks of lockdown to ready yourselves for Christmas? There are two online retreats that I'd like to commend to you:

Wait and Hope - A free family advent retreat - 05/12/20 - 10.30am-12.30noon. Further details are here plus information on how to book: https://www.stalbans.anglican.org/event/wait-and-hope-yac/

An Advent Retreat with Poetry and Music - 28/11/20 - 10.00am-1.00pm.
Further details are here please information on how to book:
https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/advent-retreat

Reading the Bible Together - 16/11/20 - 7.30pm
The hope is that as we read scripture together and talk about it, our faith would be strengthened and our understanding deepned. We will meet on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82951109506?pwd=emlZL3llNWNuSHlITU8vNEdybmt1dz09 Meeting ID: 829 5110 9506 Passcode: 494575). We will be reading 2 passages of scripture together - Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 13:24-end. You can download them here: https://bible.oremus.org/?ql=469759430. It would be wonderful to see you but could you let me know if you are going to join us.

We are laying some plans for a Community Online Advent Calnedar and an online Christingle service for the parish in early December and some contemplative and thoughtful Advent evening worship. More details in due course. Plans are also prayerfully being made for our worship at Christmas which will be unusual and memorable this year. Please pray for those planning.

I know that there is much to digest here but I hope that you will see the resources as opportunities and blessing in these days.

~~~

Loving God,


You are with us in good times and in bad,

in health and in sickness, in light and in darkness;

be with us through the difficulties of this pandemic

and as we look to the future.


May we hear your voice guiding us,

May we know your Spirit inspiring us,

May we feel your strength upholding us.


Show us how to act on what you have taught us through this time,

that our ministry and mission may reveal your love to all we meet.


We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.



Worship at Home - 09/11/20

 








Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Remembrance Sunday 2020


We are gathered together on the cusp of an important weekend for many in our communities, made all the more challenging as we are readying ourselves for a four week lock down. This is the first of two communications from me this week.


 ~ Remembrance Sunday ~

 As COVID-19 continues to spread in our nation and neighbourhoods the Government has asked that all public worship in church be suspended from Thursday 5th November. With that in mind we have taken the difficult decision to ensure the safety of all, to move our Acts of Remembrance online this year. This is not a decision we have taken lightly.


This will make our communal remembering different and 'not the same' but we are living through extraordinary times and sometimes we need to make extraordinary decisions.


Our worship for Sunday 8th November, therefore, looks like this:


9.30am A Sung Eucharist on Zoom. 

Please contact the Vicar for joining details and ensure you have joined the service by 9.25am.


10.50am A Community Act of Remembrance. You can join this service via our website www.theparishofmillendandheronsgatewithwesthyde.org.


Names of the fallen from the communities of Mill End, West Hyde, Maple Cross and Heronsgate will be read out and wreaths will be laid. You can follow the service using the service sheet here plus a further resource to aid your remembering available here.


If you would like to remember in your own way, I enclose some suggestions of things you might like to do in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day next week. Other materials are available here.


On Sunday the bells at St Peter's, St Thomas' and St John's will all be rung from 10.58am and will cease at 11.00am to mark two minutes silence to remember those who have died and who continue to die in the World Wars and wars since. The bells will ring again at 11.02am to mark the end of the silence. You may wish to go and stand on your doorstep during this time. You may also find the resources on this page on the Church of England website a source of inspiration: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches/remembrance-day-2020


Please be assured of my ongoing prayers for you all.


Fr Simon