April E-Magazine 2022
In this edition:
Spiritual Reflection by Revd Ian Wallace
News from Mothers' Union
Holy Week Reflections
Coming out of Covid
Exciting News for St Mary's
Summer break at St James, Westerleigh
Who Let the Dads Out?
Volunteers Needed - Green Community Transport
Please click below for a printable copy of the magazine:
April mag 2022
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Spiritual Reflection April 2022
Because of editorial deadlines I am writing this Easter reflection just days after Ash Wednesday. The joy of Easter seems very far away. Instead a Lenten darkness has descended on our world as terrible stories emerge of the Russian bombardment and invasion of Ukraine, reminding us of the reality of human sinfulness – at this point it is very unclear how it is going to end…or is it? Certainly, words like redemption, renewal and salvation seem remote from our present reality as we are made all too aware of the suffering in our world. But the concepts of redemption and salvation have no meaning unless we understand the brute reality of evil and our enchantment with the dark side of life. Saved from what? It is something we all too easily forget and that belittles the wonder of our redemption. It is all too easy to point the angry finger at President Putin (and he certainly deserves it) while forgetting that the same sense of entitlement and self-righteousness, of greed and thirst for power and to have things his way can be found in all of us. When Ruth and I worked in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa we were fortunate to meet a number of first-generation Christians who were the first among their tribe and nation to receive the good news that Jesus had died to save them. In making a commitment to follow Jesus they had to turn their backs on a life of witchcraft, often burning their paraphernalia at the point of baptism to signify that change in the direction of their lives and the rebirth to a new life. These people walked the nation to tell others of the joy that they had found in Jesus and had a firm and unshakeable faith. By the time we arrived in the country most of them were in their 70’s and were retiring from church leadership. It was very clear that their children and grandchildren who came after them had a different quality to their faith. Having grown up in the relative security of a loving Christian home, they knew little of the powers of darkness that had haunted their parents before they discovered Jesus. They only knew the theory of what they had been saved from, not the reality. As a result their faith was weaker. I venture to suggest that we can fall into the same danger as those second and third generation Christians and fail to understand what it is that Jesus has saved us from.
This Lent the world has been brutally reminded of the reality and costliness of human sin. That should help us to reflect more deeply on what Jesus did for us when he allowed himself to be sacrificed on the cross for our sakes, and on the joy that we have in being reborn to new resurrection life. I have no idea whether the Ukraine crisis will be resolved by Easter or will be rumbling on. I have no idea how much death and destruction will be caused along the way. But one thing I am confident of is that the forces of darkness will eventually be overcome and that Ukraine will eventually rise to a new era as a fully independent country. There will be redemption, rebirth and regeneration because that has been made possible by the very first Easter when Jesus overcame evil and death to give us new life. Please let us continue to pray for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters through this very difficult time in their history. Revd Ian Wallace
Holy Week Reflections
Holy Week is the most important moment in the Christian year, when we follow Jesus through the last week of his earthly life. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday when Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph; by Good Friday the crowd has turned on him and calls for his blood. Holy Week shows the best and the worst of humanity. The people in the Holy Week story are not bad guys or good guys, they are disturbingly familiar, flawed people like us. This year for our Holy Week reflections we will travel with Jesus through the events of Holy Week, retelling the story from the point of view of people who witnessed it. On Monday 11, Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 April we are holding reflections at St Mary’s focusing on the different events of Holy Week. Starting on Palm Sunday and going through to Jesus’ death on Good Friday we will reflect on how people felt as they witnessed these events. Told from the point of view of Judas, Mary and other witnesses. Holy Week Reflections at 7.30pm in St Mary’s Monday 11 April Tuesday 12 April Wednesday 13 April Maundy Thursday Agape Meal On Maundy Thursday we celebrate the Last Supper, where Jesus gives us the gift of communion and washes the disciples’ feet. In St Nix’s we will hold a meal to remember the last supper, eating together as disciples of Jesus, just like the first ones did 2000 years ago. During the meal we will use the same prayers as Jesus did and remember the events of the Last Supper. The meal begins at 6:30pm so don’t eat before. After the meal the mood changes as we strip the altar in St Nix’s and teams will go to the different churches to strip the altars there.
If you would like to help with the cooking of the meal please email Hywel@yateparish.org.uk Maundy Thursday Supper at St Mary’s 14 April at 6:30pm
Coming out of COVID
At the end of February the Prime Minister lifted many of the restrictions that we have lived under for the past two years and indicated that others would expire on 1 April, effectively signalling the end of the pandemic. Notwithstanding that, infection rates in our area have remained high and the authorities have encouraged us to be cautious, effectively passing responsibility for on-going precautions from Government level to individuals. In early March the Church Wardens and I met on Zoom to agree a plan for moving forward from the precautionary measures that constrained the life of our community. All of us agreed that the process should not be rushed but should be worked out over a couple of months so as not to unnerve anyone by the sudden removal of all precautions. You may already have noticed some changes and we have set ourselves a provisional target of Easter for lifting most of the remaining precautions. The plan is broadly as follows: Short-term measures with immediate effect: · Masks – we are no longer encouraging the wearing of masks, but will leave everyone to make their own mind up about whether or not to wear a mask in church. We would like to ask everyone to respect the decision made by others, even if it is different to your own decision. · Lateral Flow Tests – we are no longer asking people to take a Lateral Flow Test before coming to church. However, if you are feeling unwell we do ask that you either confirm whether or not you have COVID by taking a test or stay away until you feel better. · Catering – hospitality and catering has resumed in all of our churches Medium- term measures that will be outworked in the run up to Easter · Social distancing – the spacing of seating and the closing of some pews to create distance between people in church services will come to an end by Easter. We will return to the normal layout for chairs in those churches that have chairs. However, this does not mean that people shouldn’t be free to sit at a distance from others if that is what they wish and we would ask you to respect their decision. · Communion – we will re-introduce Communion wine for the members of the congregation at our Easter services, but will do so in a way which gives you a number of options. Rather than kneeling at an altar step we will administer communion from a single position. You will then have three options: * Either you can just take the bread/ wafer and return to your seat. The Church of England has made it clear that taking communion in just one kind only remains perfectly acceptable * Or you can take the bread/ wafer and then pass on to drink from the common communion cup as was the practice before COVID * Or, in those churches using wafers, you may gently dip the edge of your wafer into the wine before consuming it. Unfortunately, we cannot make this option available at St. Nix where a bread roll is used because of the likelihood of the bread disintegrating in the wine. I must emphasise that the option of dipping the wafer is being allowed by the Church of England as a temporary measure and will come to an end in due time. We have also explored, with the Archdeacon, the option of using individual glasses for communion and have been advised that this is not allowed within the Church of England. Longer-term measures that will continue after Easter ¨ Hand sanitiser – the bottles of hand-sanitiser will remain in place for the time being to allow people to clean their hands should they wish to. However, we will not be requiring people to use them ¨ The Peace – we will continue to offer one another a sign of peace in a ‘contactless way’ for the time being ¨ Collections – we will continue to encourage people to give through the Parish Giving Scheme, use a contactless method of giving (more card readers will be appearing in our churches) or to write a cheque so that we can minimise the need to handle money If you need clarification on any of these points then please contact me. Hopefully as we travel towards Pentecost the infection rates will dwindle significantly and we can get back to a more normal rhythm of church life.
Mammas Club A social group for mums and growing families. In St Mary’s church every Friday morning from 11.30am, starting on 6 May. At Mammas Club we want to support you by offering a space where you can meet other mums, share experiences and tips, and talk about some of the challenges and joys of parenting. The event will take place in the comfort of a caring and supportive community. We will have light refreshments available and toys for the little ones.
Exciting news for St Mary’s St Mary’s Church has successfully applied for a grant from Tesco. The next step is that our project will be put to the vote in all 4 Tesco Stores in Yate from the first week of April until the 30 June 2022. So every time you shop in Tesco please will you use your vote for our project. There will be 3 projects to choose from and the one receiving most votes will receive £1500, the 2nd £1000 and the 3rd £500. We have been asked to actively encourage you all to get involved with Community Grants voting.
Services throughout the Parish
Sunday 3 April Fifth Sunday in Lent—Purple Isaiah 43:16-21 Philippians 3:4b-14 John 12:1-8 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Morning Worship 6.30pm 630Praise St Nix 10.30am Communion St James 10.30am Communion St Peter 6.30pm Evening Worship (Book of Common Prayer) Sunday 10 April Liturgy of Psalms—Red Isaiah 50:4-9a Philippians 2:5-11 Luke 19:28-40 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Parade Service 6.30pm 630Praise St Nix 10.30am Morning Worship St James 10.30am Morning Worship St Peter 6.30pm Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
Holy Week Services Sunday 17 April Easter Sunday—White Isaiah 65:17-25 Acts 10:34-43 Luke 24:1-12 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Easter Service 6.30pm 630Praise St Nix 10.30am Easter Service St James 10.30am Easter Service St Peter 6.30am Sunrise Service Sunday 24 April Second Sunday of Easter—White Acts 5:27-32 Revelation 1:4-8 John 20:19-31 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Communion 6.30pm 630Praise St Nix 10.30am Morning Worship St James 10.30am Morning Worship St Peter 6.30pm Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
Volunteers Needed—Green Community Transport Green Community Travel need Voluntary Drivers to help drive their minibuses and also people who would be willing to drive their own cars to get people to hospital appointments. Cost of training and expenses are reimbursed by GCT. We work with volunteers so it fits in around your life! You will need a MiDAS Assessment and DBS check as well as a D1 entitlement on your licence or a PSV licence. Please call us on 01454 228706 or email us at: email@example.com to discuss further. We hope to hear from you soon!
Morning prayer in Yate Parish
Do you find prayer a little difficult? Would you like some inspiration? Go to the Yate Parish Facebook page to join in Morning Prayer led by our ministry team. You can watch live at 7.30am Monday to Saturday, or watch at any time later in the day. Many people have found it a great start to their day.
Weekly at St Mary’s
Thursday Communion at 10.00am
Before the lockdown happened, we had recorded the saying of Compline. We ask that each evening at 8pm we light a candle in our window and pray together for our nation using the words of the Compline service - it takes just over 5 minutes.
Visit the parish website and click on the recordings to listen; you will find the words of the service there too.
DailyHope phone line
DailyHope, a free national telephone line, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of the phone. A Church of England initiative in partnership with CONNECTIONS at Holy Trinity Claygate, and Faith in Later Life. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind; to provide comfort and spiritual nourishment to the most isolated in our society.