Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. I hope you are keeping well and staying safe. Our newsletter is sent out regularly to share reflections from services, Bible readings and church news to our church family.
You can find previous issues of the newsletter on our church website at www.christchurchuxbridge.org.uk We would love to hear from you and are 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:
God of our past, present and future,
help us to see you at work in your creation –
as flowers lift their heads to the sun,
or trees shake their leaves.
Help us to see you at work in our daily lives,
in our routines and choices,
in our growing and our changing.
Help us to see you at work in all things.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)
Reflection from 8 May: Visions of hope
Readings: Revelation 7:9-17 and John 10:22-30
Once upon a time, 649 years ago today to be more precise, there was a young woman. She was very ill, so ill that she and those around her were sure she was about to die. But that night, she received a series of visions of Jesus’s suffering on the cross. While those visions were centred around Jesus’s suffering, the ultimate message that came through them was about God’s love for us, that God “wants us to turn to him, uniting with him in love as he is with us.” They were a vision of hope.
The young woman did not die from her illness. She recovered to share her visions with others through her book ‘Revelations of Divine Love’ – the first book known to be written in English by a woman. We know her today as Julian of Norwich. We know very little about her life, but her visions are shared in detail. One of the most famous quotes from it is this: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” – words which Julian heard Jesus say to her in her visions.
Revelation too is a book sharing visions of Jesus, written by John as a letter to seven churches to share the revelations he received through his visions. It’s a book full of vivid images and symbolism which are difficult to interpret and I’m not going to try to do so with our reading today. But it seems to be a vision of hope. A vision of a huge crowd of people of all backgrounds and nationalities coming together to worship at the throne of God. People who had been through a great tribulation, a period of suffering who are then told that God will shelter them with his presence, that they will no longer hunger or thirst, that Jesus, the Lamb, will lead them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
That’s quite a vision of hope isn’t it? No more hunger, no more thirst, no more sadness. What a difference that is compared to our world today and to Julian’s world 649 years ago.
Julian of Norwich lived at a time of social unrest. There had been plague pandemics in the years leading up to her vision, climate changes leading to famine, war and conflict. We can relate to some of those things today, can’t we? Life is unpredictable, and there are many things happening in our world that make us anxious and worried. From things that we worry about as individuals, such as exams coming up, through to issues affecting the wider world, such as the war in Ukraine and climate change. We need that vision of hope too, that this life isn’t what God intended for us, that there is hope of coming through the struggles and the suffering to a time when we will be filled with joy and praise, when there will be no more hunger, thirst or sadness.
In our reading from John, Jesus talks about us being his sheep. We listen to his voice and we follow him. He promises us the hope of eternal life if we listen and follow him. That image of the Lord as our shepherd, leading us through good times and difficult times is a very familiar one and the words of Psalm 23 are often those we most associate with that image – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” We’ll be reflecting more closely on Psalm 23 in a couple of weeks’ time. But for today, let’s hold on to that image of Jesus leading us to springs of living water.
Knowing that there is hope doesn’t make our struggles right now disappear. But we know that we don’t struggle alone, that God is with us and that while the future right now might feel dark and scary at times, we have that hope that there will be no more suffering, no more tears.
All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Readings for 15 May
John 13:31-35 (NIV)
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Acts 11:1-18
- Psalm 148
- Revelation 21:1-6
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 local preacher, Richard Reid. 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.
15 May – Richard Reid (Methodist local preacher)
22 May – Christ Church worship group
29 May – Revd Maggie Hindley (URC minister) – communion service
5 June – Christ Church worship group – Pentecost
Christian Aid Week
This Sunday is the start of Christian Aid week which runs from 15th – 21st May this year. We will have envelopes available at the Sunday service on 15th May but you can also donate online via our church’s e-envelope at https://envelope.christianaid.org.uk/envelope/ccuxb2022
In Zimbabwe, the climate crisis is causing aching hunger for many families. For the first time in a generation, global poverty is rising. The combined effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, conflict, and drought have robbed many communities of the power to provide for their children. It’s unjust.
This Christian Aid Week:
- We stand with the resilient women who are determined to lift their families out of hunger
- We raise our voices to call for climate justice
- We pray that families will stay strong during times of drought
Together, we hope to restore justice to our world, and protect the future for our children and grandchildren.
Please give to help women grow crops that survive in the drought. You can help turn hunger into hope.
With every gift, every action, every prayer, every one of us can change lives.
Church charity news
5K sponsored walk for Halo Children’s Foundation
On 4th June 2022, we will be taking part in a 5k sponsored walk at Barra Hall Park, along with other bereaved families, to support Halo Children’s Foundation. Halo Children’s Foundation is a wonderful local charity which helps to support bereaved children and their families through providing support through their regular group sessions, and opportunities to create new happy memories through days out and events. They have been brilliant in helping to provide support for our family, particularly Sophie, since Jessica died in 2018.
If you would like to sponsor us, you can find my online sponsorship page at:
You can find more details about HALO Children’s Foundation, our church charity for 2022 at:
To make a donation to our church charity online visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christ-church-halo2022
The Boys’ Brigade Top Team Challenge
Back at the end of April our Company and Senior boys entered the Boys’ Brigade National Top Team Challenge. This competition is based on a multi-task concept where young people are challenged to complete tasks designed to test their physical, logical and knowledge-based skills. It is open to any company across the country to complete in their own meeting space.
The challenge covers a wide range of tasks such as Physical, general knowledge and Logic/Puzzle.
We entered two teams and their tasks included ‘City Locations’ where the aim was to place towns and cities in the correct order based on their position in the country, from north to south For this the boys were given a blank map of the UK to fill in. There were some very interesting locations placed. Think we need a session on UK geography!!
Other activities included hitting marbles out of a circle in a given time (they were pretty good at that one), a Logo quiz and trying to bounce a table tennis ball into each of 5 cups, placed at the other end of the table, in the quickest time possible.
Our marks for each team were then submitted to headquarters. Out of the 219 teams that took part across the country, 1st Uxbridge B team came 66th and 1st Uxbridge A team came 109th. A great effort, with both our teams finishing in the top half.
Well done to all our boys for taking part.
I Say, I Say, I Say!
Louise will be performing in ‘I Say, I Say, I Say! A Tribute to Old Time Music Hall’ with WOS Productions at St Lawrence Church Hall, Eastcote, at the end of May.
WOS Productions has delved into Music Hall’s legacy of songs to put together a sparkling collection of well-known favourites such as “Don’t Dilly Dally”, “Waiting at the Church” and “Daisy, Daisy” for plenty of singalong opportunities, along with a few rare gems to share with the audience. Come to just the show or enjoy traditional pie and mash before the performance starts.
Tickets are available via the WOS Productions website (www.wos-productions.org.uk) at £15 for adults, £10 for children (12 and under) and £10 for an additional dining and drink ticket. There are three performances as follows:
Saturday 28 May: 15:30 (15:00 dining start)
Saturday 28 May: 19:30 (19:00 dining start)
Sunday 29 May: 15:30 (15:00 dining start)
Please note that the deadline for food orders is 18 May if you are considering a dining and drink ticket.
Insights about May
“It is now May . . . It is the month wherein Nature hath her fill of mirth, and the senses are filled with delights. I conclude, it is from the Heavens a grace, and to Earth a gladness.” —Nicholas Breton
“And after winter folweth grene May.” ―Geoffrey Chaucer
“May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.” ―Fennel Hudson
“Make hay in May for you may never know what June is coming with and you may never know what July will present! When you see May, make hay!” ―Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
“As full of spirit as the month of May, and as gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.” —William Shakespeare
“Among the changing months, May stands confest the sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed.” —James Thomson
“What potent blood hath modest May.” —Ralph W. Emerson
“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.” —Edwin Way Teale
Praying for other churches
This week we pray for our own church.
God, who is Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end of all things,
you know our past – the burdens we carry.
We know that you will wipe away every tear
and make all things new –
though we cannot always see the work you are doing,
help us to learn from the past,
live in the present,
and hope for the future.
In all of life’s joys and sadnesses,
may we love one another as you love us. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)