The Good Shepherd...
This week's letter is written by John Patterson.
Dear Church Family,
As we gradually come out of lockdown and we are starting to get back to some sort of normality, we can actually see a “light” at the end of the tunnel. For many people who haven’t been working or who haven’t had children to home school this last lockdown, through the winter months, has been a particularly lonely time. No one to see, no one to talk to, nothing to do other than going for a walk if you are able to. So for many of us, we have been stripped of the things that make it worthwhile getting up in the morning for.
This Sunday we hear the reading from the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd”. The relationship of believers with Jesus Christ is that of sheep to a shepherd. The Lord is our shepherd, and we are his flock. So how can we draw strength from this through these strange times?
Jesus says “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father”
How comforting to know that Jesus knows us completely. There are many times when we are a mystery to ourselves, but we are never a mystery to Jesus. There is nothing we could ever tell Jesus about ourselves that he doesn’t already know. And because he knows us so completely, he is able to lead us and give us what we need at precisely the time that we need it.
Jesus also says “I am the good shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Everything Jesus endured in his passion was for us. When he gave himself up into the hands of the arresting party in the Garden of Gethsemane, it was for us. When he was scourged and beaten, it was for us and when he was condemned to death, it was for us. When he hung on that cross in agony, it was for us.
How important we are to him. Unfortunately, we often lose sight of God and become lost sheep. We don’t speak or listen to him in prayer and he becomes a “last resort” when all else fails.
Recently my mother-in-law was in the hospital for a time and she had become a somewhat “lapsed Christian”. However, in her darkest moments, when she was completely on her own, suffering and in need she told us that she was continually praying to God to help her. How sad that it has to come to that point before turning to God for help.
So let us start our day with God and finish it with him and never leave him behind.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) – Pentecost Sunday
Due to current Covid restrictions, we have had to put the APCM back to Sunday 23rd May 2021. The meeting will follow on immediately after the 9.30am service, hopefully starting at around 11am. Consequently, there won’t be an 11.15am service on that day for which I apologise in advance.
The APCM is an opportunity for anyone on the electoral roll to vote in new PCC members, to appoint Church Wardens, to ask questions pertaining to areas of parish life and ministry, to celebrate the developments of the previous year, and to hear what the vision for the church is in the coming year. For those of you unable to attend in person, we will also be streaming the meeting on our Zoom platform.
The APCM Zoom details are:
Meeting ID: 820 0801 3857
Christian Aid Week
We will be supporting Christian Aid Week this year from the 10th-16th May. Keep an eye out for the gift envelopes and/or other ways to donate. This year’s appeal focuses on the Climate Emergency and the disproportionate effect it has on the developing world.
We’d love as many of you as possible to host a coffee morning for you and up to 5 friends in your garden. You don’t need to “sign up”, but if you could let the Parish Office know if you are participating, so we can keep track of the fundraising - firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also join Fr Andy for a Fundraising Quiz Night on Zoom on Saturday 15th May at 7pm. You can enter as an individual (£5 per ticket) or a multi-person household (£10 per ticket). Prizes will be awarded for a variety of categories – all ages are welcome! Contact the Parish Office to sign up and pay for your tickets: email@example.com
The Zoom details are:
Meeting ID: 897 9694 8504
We will finish off the week with special Eucharist services on Sunday 16th May, with our soon-to-be parish curate Lisa Whymark preaching.
You can find out more about the appeal on the Christian Aid website - www.christianaid.org.uk
You now join us in church for worship on the following days:
Sundays – 9.30am at St Peter’s, 11.15am at All Saints.
Wednesdays – 9.30am at All Saints for Prayer Book Holy Communion
Contemporary Evening Worship (CEW) on the 1st Sunday of the month at St Peter’s starting at 7pm.
You can also join us on Facebook for our Sunday Eucharist at 9.30am and for Morning Prayer at 9am, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Go to www.facebook.com/huttonparish to join in.
This week's pew sheet can be downloaded here:
May God Bless you all,