Updated: Jan 30
Dear Church Family,
We are now almost 40 days from Christmas Day as we prepare to celebrate the feast of Candlemas (the actual date is 2nd February). Traditionally, Candlemas is where churches bless the candles they are going to use for the coming year and where we reflect on Christ being “presented” to God in the temple as was the tradition of the times with the first-born son. The end of this 40-day period marks the closing of the Christmastide season. At Candlemas, we are taken into the temple in Jerusalem, where we see a scene played out between the 6-week-old Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna.
Under the law, Mary was considered unclean for 40 days after she had given birth to her son. This was the first time she had been able to attend the temple and she would have done so to enable her to become ritually clean again. Following this, Jesus was then taken to the temple to be “consecrated before the Lord” (Exodus 2:23), as was the custom with all first-born boys of this age.
Anna was an old lady of around 84 who had been widowed for most of her life. Luke 2 tells us that she was a prophetess who never left the temple. She spent her time worshipping God, praying, and fasting. She immediately recognises Jesus as the one who will redeem the world, the promised Messiah, and starts to tell everyone about it. Anna is an example of what a devoted life can look like. As Christians, we are called to have a relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ with The Holy Spirit being present within us so we can listen to what God is saying. Anna did just this; she spent her time listening to God and guess what? She heard God and, over time, built up a reputation as being someone who knew the Lord. Remember that Anna is a widow in her later years and as such would have had a difficult existence. In the society of the time, she would have held little standing. But what we see her doing is spending time with her Lord, day in day out: faithfulness is what she displayed. God spoke and she listened – she did all this without the status, wealth, or power so many of think we need to be recognised.
An ordinary woman did an extraordinary thing; she recognised the Messiah and then went and told people about Him. Remember that God wants to use you in the same way.
After Church Zoom Coffee
It was fantastic fun to gather with some of you on Zoom after last week’s service. Having the chance for a chat and a bit of fun together is something I wish we had instigated earlier. Please do join in with the Zoom coffee after this week’s service.
The Zoom meeting will open immediately after the Facebook Livestream finishes (usually around 10.30 am). All you need is the login details below, (these will be the same every week) and the drink of your choice!
The details to enter into the Zoom app, or on the Zoom website (www.zoom.us/join) are:
Meeting ID: 838 5492 4560 Password: nicecuppa
I look forward to seeing you after church!
Daily Bread Church Family Meals
The team at Daily Bread are now offering a weekly cooked meal delivery for church family members. Although we cannot gather in the same place, the team wanted to bless those who would like to opt-in, a chance to share in the same home-cooked meal as other people. All you need to do is heat the meal up in your own home. You could also pray for the other people around the parish enjoying the same meal whilst you eat. Unlike a lot of our food ministry, this is not about a lack of food, or needing a little help with shopping – this is simply a matter of Christian fellowship and unity. Anyone can request a meal and let’s be honest: some days it’s nice not to have to cook!
To sign up for this wonderful gift, simply contact Lisa Whymark or the Parish Office and they will arrange this for you.
Around 30 people have already signed up for this year’s Lent Course. We will be reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2021, “Living His Story” written by Reverend Dr. Hannah Steele, Director of St Mellitus College London.
We would like anyone who wants to join the course to be able to do so without cost. Therefore, the church will be offering the book to you completely free of charge – although you can make a donation of up to £8 to cover the cost if you’d like to. Please contact the church office (details below) to book your place on the course, so we can order the correct number of books.
The course will begin on Wednesday 24th February at 7.30 pm using our Zoom platform and will run for 6 consecutive weeks, concluding on the Wednesday of Holy Week, the 31st March. I look forward to hearing from you!
The Lent Course Zoom information is:
Meeting ID: 816 1760 9602 Password: steele
Please do try and join us on Facebook for our Sunday Eucharist at 9.30 am and for Morning Prayer at 9 am, Tuesdays to Fridays. We also offer Evening Prayer at 6 pm on Thursday Evenings. Go to www.facebook.com/huttonparish to join in.
This week's pew sheet can be downloaded here:
With every blessing,