Hope that you are all keeping well and staying safe. This week, we’re sharing ways to take part in Christian Aid week, stories from lockdown life and the Bible readings from this week’s lectionary. We hope that you have been enjoying reading our newsletters so far.
We are always looking for uplifting and encouraging content for our newsletter and would love to hear from you if you have any stories, reflections, poems, photos or news to share. You can email any content for the newsletter to Louise at publicity @ christchurchuxbridge.org.uk
We start with an opening prayer:
When we feel down at this very difficult time;
When we are worried by the excessive, and often negative, news;
When we are even a bit scared about how the future will be,
Help us to remember that you are always with us and there is nothing that we cannot manage when you are by our side.
Be with those who are grieving for lost loved ones.
Be with those who are missing family and friends.
Be with those who are ill and those who have lost hope.
Be with all those who are working on the NHS and those who are working hard to ensure that we are kept safe.
We ask all this through your son, Jesus Christ .
(written by Val Bailey)
Christian Aid Week
Christian Aid Week starts on Sunday 10th May and runs until 16th May. This year, Christian Aid is reminding us that “Love never fails”. That although we are living in uncertain and unprecedented times, we can, and do, continue to show love to those around us in many ways. Coronavirus has impacted so many lives around the world, including those of the poorest and most vulnerable. The donations from Christian Aid Week help to support those living in poverty.
In previous years, envelopes have been available at our Sunday services during this week to help our church members support the work of Christian Aid if they wish to do so. This year, Christian Aid have made ‘e-envelopes’ available which you can use to send messages to friends and family and encourage them to support the work of Christian Aid. You can find our e-envelope here if you would like to make a donation to Christian Aid to support their work.
Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will be leading the live-streamed Christian Aid week service on the Christian Aid Facebook page on Sunday 10th May at 1pm. There will also be live daily reflections at 11am, Monday-Saturday during Christian Aid Week and a fun quiz to join in each evening at 7pm.
Our readings for this week:
John 14:1-14 (NIV)
Jesus comforts his disciples
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Jesus the way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
6 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’
8 Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’
9 Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Acts 7: 55-60
- Psalm 31: 1-5, 15-16
- 1 Peter 2: 2-10
We are now live-streaming services via Facebook each Sunday at 11am. You can find our services here. You do not have to be a Facebook user to watch this – our services are publicly viewable. This week’s Sunday service will be a virtual parade service led by the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades.
We are also holding weekly prayer meetings via Zoom on Wednesdays at 7pm. If you would like to join us for this or have any prayer requests that you would like us to include, please contact the Church Office.
Links for worship material from the URC and Methodist Church and youth devotional material from #BBatHome are available on our Worship page.
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)
Can you use these letters to start each line of a poem about how Jesus is with you?
Taken from this week’s Roots activity sheet
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.
Life in lockdown: ‘lockdown larder’
This huge onion was in the food package that Denise received recently and inspired Graham to write the following poem:
I Used to Be A Little Onion
I used to be a little onion, lying in a bed.
“You’ll have to grow much bigger”, the other onions said,
“Cos one day you will have a very special duty
and to do it well you’ll have to be a real onion beauty”.
So I deepened my roots and lengthened my shoots
until I began to swell;
Got super-round, pushed out of the ground
and developed that oniony smell.
I grew with vigour, got much bigger, until, at last, the call
came for the biggest onion – and I was the biggest of all!
COVID-19? What did that mean?
It meant food parcels for the shielded.
They wanted to send an onion with everything else which was needed.
And so I came to Denise’s door at early morning light,
as large as a can of baked beans. I gave her quite a fright!
And once again the postie’s been
and this time he has brought my twin!
So she now has two onion beauties
and we have both done our onion duties.
We little knew that life would require us
to be part of the defence against the virus.
We’re proud to serve our country and nation –
onions always know their station.
And when Denise chops us for her pie
we’ll do our best not to make her cry.
Have you had any unusual items in food packages or strange substitutions with online shopping?
If you have any stories or photos to share about things that you’ve been doing while in lockdown, we’d love to hear and see them!
VE Day 75
Today marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe. Although many of the planned celebrations for this anniversary have been unable to take place due to the coronavirus, many people around the country will still be joining in to celebrate or taking time to reflect and remember those who gave their lives. There will be a national moment of remembrance and a two-minute silence at 11am today. At 3pm, while the BBC broadcasts Churchill’s speech, people will be invited to stand up and raise a glass in a national toast, saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you”.
Some of our church members have put up bunting to mark VE Day 75 and may be joining in with socially-distanced street parties. We’d love to see your photos next week of ways in which you’re marking this day and would love to hear any memories from VE Day.
From the circuit newsletter
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Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514
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Content is updated weekly on Thursday afternoon.
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- Ruislip Manor Methodist
- Holy Trinity, Perivale (URC/CofE)
Gracious God, bless us now as we enter into another week.
Uncertain, not knowing, fearful for the future.
Come amongst us, with peace, with grace, with the power of your Spirit,
That we might be transformed into channels of your love for a broken world.
(Written by Tim Baker, taken from The Vine at Home)