Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. I hope you are all keeping well. Our church is open for Sunday services but we will continue to live-stream our services and send out our newsletter regularly for the foreseeable future.
You can find previous issues of the newsletter here. We would love to hear from you and are always looking for uplifting and encouraging content to share in future issues of this newsletter. If you have any ideas or content that we can share, please do email them to Louise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We start with our opening prayer:
Amongst the brokenness, here we are Lord.
Amongst the pain of our world, here we are Lord.
Believing in hope and resurrection, here we are Lord.
Trusting in you and seeking to love you more, here we are Lord.
We have come, come Lord Jesus. Amen.
(Taken from The Vine)
Reflections from 17 October:
Who is Melchizedek?
Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10
I’ve heard that reading and the references to Melchizedek Melchizedek (pronounced mel-KEY-zed-ek). over many years and I’ve nearly really thought about who he was. Of course, in our Reformed understanding we don’t have priests but we have here this information that Jesus is our High Priest and it says in the Order of Melchizedek so Melchizedek must have been some high priest, I thought, but who was he?
I discovered that he appears in Scripture in only a few places. Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:4, the reading that we heard just now and then in the next chapters in Hebrews 6:20, and right through chapter 7 the author of Hebrews is extolling all the virtues of Melchizedek and even more those of Jesus. What I found interesting was that Melchizedek, was not of the priestly class of Aaron, not of the Levitical priesthood, not directly in the Jewish tradition. He was king of Salem which is thought to be another name for Jerusalem and he was the priest of El-Elyon (‘the God Most High.’).
So, I get a flavour of a time before the complete understanding of the nation of Israel under God. Salem apparently means ‘peace’ so by his title and his vocation, he was the king of both righteousness and peace. Then I read that Melchizedek isn’t a name, but it’s a title – ‘melchi’ is Hebrew for king and ‘zedek’ or ‘zadok’ is Hebrew for ‘righteousness’. In Genesis Melchizedek brings bread and wine to Abram (before he becomes Abraham) after he defeats their enemies and blesses him and Abram gives tithes to Melchizedek.
Some scholars see Melchizedek as being an earlier Jesus. There’s no reference in the Bible to him having human parents so that’s seen as possibly reflecting a specialness. He has the same characteristics as Jesus of peace and righteousness and blessing and being our path to God. So, he’s a well-remembered, highly-regarded, sought-after high priest from the time of the birth of the nation under God. But for us, Jesus is our High Priest, our only priest in the order, in the way of, Melchizedek.
Self-importance, blaming others and service
Reading: Mark 10:35-45
This reading to me seems to have three messages, probably more, but certainly three. The first one I think is similar to what we looked at and heard last Sunday about the first being last. James and John just hadn’t got it, had they? They hadn’t even got their heads away from earthly shows of being first. At banquets the most important, the first, sat next to or near to the host and that’s what they were asking. That’s what they had in their heads, that was their image, and Jesus says that’s not what it’s about. And even if it were, it wouldn’t be up to him.
We might say today, that they were ‘too big for their boots’ and it’s a message for us to heed, I think. To not see ourselves as so important, not to lord it over others. Not to put others down. Not to think less of them than we think of ourselves, don’t let our heads swell. We have to be careful of it in the church also – don’t be too big for our boots.
The next thing that struck me was the other disciples being ‘indignant’ at James and John. I looked up ‘indignant’ in the dictionary and it says ‘feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment’ when something happens to someone else, we say “why them? It should be me!” It translates into sort-of blaming others, putting others down, comments about other people’s performance and probably about things that we’re not willing to do ourselves.
This poem is a very church-based poem but in terms of the Anglican church so it speaks about vicars and about ‘high church’ and ‘low church’. We use different terms of course, but we have the same issues in our churches.
Blame the Vicar by Sir John Betjeman
When things go wrong it’s rather tame
To find we are ourselves to blame,
It gets the trouble over quicker
To go and blame things on the Vicar.
The Vicar, after all, is paid
To keep us bright and undismayed.
The Vicar is more virtuous too
Than lay folks such as me and you.
He never swears, he never drinks,
He never should say what he thinks.
His collar is the wrong way round,
And that is why he’s simply bound
To be the sort of person who
Has nothing very much to do
But take the blame for what goes wrong
And sing in tune at Evensong.
For what’s a Vicar really for
Except to cheer us up? What’s more,
He shouldn’t ever, ever tell
If there is such a place as Hell,
For if there is it’s certain he
Will go to it as well as we.
The Vicar should be all pretence
And never, never give offence.
To preach on Sunday is his task
And lend his mower when we ask
And organize our village fetes
And sing at Christmas with the waits
And in his car to give us lifts
And when we quarrel, heal the rifts.
To keep his family alive
He should industriously strive
In that enormous house he gets,
And he should always pay his debts,
For he has quite six pounds a week,
And when we’re rude he should be meek
And always turn the other cheek.
He should be neat and nicely dressed
With polished shoes and trousers pressed,
For we look up to him as higher
Than anyone, except the Squire.
Dear People, who have read so far,
I know how really kind you are,
I hope that you are always seeing
Your Vicar as a human being,
Making allowances when he
Does things with which you don’t agree.
But there are lots of people who
Are not so kind to him as you.
So in conclusion you shall hear
About a parish somewhat near,
Perhaps your own or maybe not,
And of the Vicars that it got.
One parson came and people said,
Alas! Our former Vicar’s dead!
And this new man is far more ‘Low’
Than dear old Reverend so-and-so,
And far too earnest in his preaching,
We do not really like his teaching,
He seems to think we’re simply fools
Who’ve never been to Sunday Schools.”
That Vicar left, and by and by
A new one came, “He’s much too ‘High’,”
The people said, “too like a saint,
His incense makes our Mavis faint.”
So now he’s left and they’re alone
Without a Vicar of their own.
The living’s been amalgamated
With one next door they’ve always hated.
Dear readers, from this rhyme take warning,
And if you heard the bell this morning
Your Vicar went to pray for you,
A task the Prayer Book bids him do.
“Highness” or “Lowness” do not matter,
You are the Church and must not scatter,
Cling to the Sacraments and pray
And God be with you every day.
So yes we might ask ourselves how will we treat a new minister? Are we ever indignant, not just about ministers, but are we ever indignant; do we make self-righteous comments about others; do we blame other people?
The third thing that came to me was that Jesus tells them, and so he tells us, that our objective as his followers must not be to command, but it must be to serve: “whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all”. That’s strong stuff, isn’t it? And he then reminds them and us that he isn’t telling us to do that and not doing it himself: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What’s going on here? A race? Could be, couldn’t it? But what if it’s the start of a rescue? What if they’re all getting ready to go off to some disaster. It reminded me of the images I’ve seen of Dunkirk, the evacuation, and the small boats were able to get into the beach to take off the soldiers and take them out to the big boats. If they’re going to a rescue, that little canoe might well have a very big part in that rescue for some individual, and the other boats accordingly and the liner of course can take everybody back home hopefully once they’ve been plucked out of the water. More plucking out of the water by the small boats than by the big ones. It made me think about service and about how we don’t have to be a big boat in order to give our service to Jesus Christ if our place is in a canoe, then that’s where we are, and that’s where we give it. In our church Bible groups and so on, we often come back to that little chorus about ‘you in your small corner and I in mine’. We each have to do our own part.
Our readings for this week
Mark 10:46-52 (NIV)
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Jeremiah 31:7-9
- Psalm 126
- Hebrews 7:23-28
We meet at 11am for our Sunday services, which are also live-streamed on our Facebook page. If you wish to view our services online, you can find them at www.facebook.com/christchurchuxbridge. You do not have to be a Facebook user to watch them – our services are publicly viewable. You can also view a recent service on our church website. This week’s service will be led by Methodist superintendent minister, Rev’d Andrew Pottage. You can find the order of service here.
If you are unable to join us in person or online for our Sunday services, but would like to receive a recording of them on a memory stick to watch at home, please let us know.
24 October – Rev’d Andrew Pottage (Methodist minister)
31 October – Rev’d Elizabeth Welch (URC minister) – communion service
7 November – Christ Church worship group
14 November – Mr Ken Pearce (member of Christ Church) – Remembrance Sunday service (10.50am)
21 November – Christ Church worship group
Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal
After a break for a few years our Church is taking part in Operation Christmas Child again this year.
Operation Christmas Child is a scheme where individuals in the wealthier parts of the world send a Christmas Gift in a gift-wrapped shoebox to a child in a poorer part of the world, who may possibly not otherwise receive a gift or even know about Christmas and God’s greatest gift, Jesus.
As well as the filled box, you are asked for a financial contribution to cover the costs of transport.
Explanatory leaflets, details of what you can include your box, and flatpack boxes if you don’t have a shoebox of your own at the moment, are available at our Church.
You can donate the fee to cover project costs online or even pack a shoebox online at http://samaritans-purse.org.uk/occ
Filled shoeboxes should be brought to our Church in time for our service on Sunday 7th November 2021, which will feature them. Everyone’s welcome. They will then be taken to a collection point and make their way by land, sea and air to their destinations for Christmas Day.
Thank you in anticipation of your support.
Graham and Denise Hinton.
Church charity news
Save the date: Table-top games afternoon – Sunday 28th November
After the service on 28th November there will be a bring and share lunch followed by a table-top games afternoon as a final fundraising activity for HOPE not hate. More details to be shared nearer the time, but please save the date in your diaries.
You can find more details about our church charity fundraising events and items on our virtual sales table at:
https://christchurchuxbridge.org.uk/activities/churchcharity2020/ To make a donation to our church charity online visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Hopenothate-Christchurch
The main duties will involve:
- Keeping a record of all income and expenditure
- Arranging reimbursements of approved expenses for church members
- Arranging reimbursements of expenses/allowances of visiting preachers
- Producing summaries of financial information for church meetings
- Preparing information for auditors
- Monthly reporting to the church treasurer or specified church elder
- Additional bookkeeping duties as required
Applicants are sought with relevant experience, computer literacy and sympathy with the aims of the Church.
The post is for 2 hours a week (worked flexibly Monday – Friday)
Proposed start date: December 2021
Salary of £15.00 per hour
An application pack is available from the church office
Closing date for applications: 5pm on Monday 1 November 2021
Thank you from Yiewsley & West Drayton Foodbank
We would very much like to express our thanks to you all at Christ Church Uxbridge for your kind donation of 14.45kg of items during September 2021 to the Yiewsley & West Drayton Foodbank.
Your donations will make a big difference to local people in crisis and helps us to make up emergency food bags with enough nutritionally balanced food for 3 days. For a single person this equates to around 10kg of food, for a couple this is about 15kg and for a family of four, about 20kg or four large bags of shopping.
We are very grateful for your support enabling us to meet our vision to help those in need and to address the underlying causes of their poverty and hunger.
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- Hayes End Methodist
- St Andrew’s, Ealing URC
Lord, may we look out into your world
with your eyes, listen with your ears,
and speak and love in your name.
May we speak and love in your name. Amen.
(Adapted from Roots)