Together in one place...
This week's blog is written by our (soon to be) parish curate, Lisa Whymark.
Dear Church Family,
This week has many reasons to celebrate, not only have restrictions eased this week allowing us to come together indoors and hug our families, but we also celebrate Pentecost this weekend.
Pentecost marks the end of the Easter season in the church calendar, and some say marks the birthday of the church. However, Pentecost already existed long before the time of Jesus and was one of three main feasts celebrated by the people of Israel. The word Pentecost means “fifty” (think of pentagon with five sides), and it occurs fifty days after the Feast of Passover which commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery and oppression and was a time to celebrate God’s blessings and provision.
This year as we celebrate Pentecost, alongside the advantage of being able to come together more freely, let us look around at the blessings we have received. It is apt that our first reading from Acts 2:1 says, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place,” at a time when we now can be together in one place, even if for the time being we are restricted to groups of six. In verse 9 we see that some people thought the disciples were “filled with new wine” because they were so overcome with the Spirit. At times this week I have felt as if I am overflowing with excitement and love for my friends and family as I re-connect with people and am filled with love for those around me.
We also opened the Daily Bread Café this week as restrictions relaxed and have welcomed friends and strangers back into church not just to fill up on food but also on love and hope! Our prayer before the café opens each day is to ask the Holy Spirit to fill each of so that we might share the love and hope of Christ to those who come through the doors.
Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash
In the Acts passage we read of a violent wind, divided tongues of fire, new abilities and bewilderment as the Holy Spirit was poured out. It is a passage that can raise more questions than answers but what is clear from the text is that the disciples were changed. They then go on to disciples amaze and astonish the gathered crowd as they spoke to them in the many languages present in the multi-national crowd. We may not all be able to speak different languages, but we can all be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in ways that encourages others and brings the love of God to the many people who have contact with. We also know that these sudden changes didn’t just happen in isolation for the disciples. Throughout the gospels we read about how they often got things wrong, how they didn’t fully understand Jesus’ teaching and even let him down. The events of Pentecost led to a seemingly sudden change, but we also know that they were being prepared for greater works and mission and that their journey without Jesus being physically with them, was just beginning.
Change often comes about gradually and over time, even if there is an initial huge change or shift. We have seen many alterations over the last year or so, even with the huge initial transformation of our lives. There are still many more changes that will happen on our journey through life but being filled with the Holy Spirit will allow us to make those changes, because it nothing less that the very life of Christ living within each of us.
Christian Aid Week
Thank you to everyone who supported the activities of Christian Aid Week. Through donations, the coffee mornings, and the Zoom quiz we have raised just over £700. This is a fantastic effort and will help support those affected by climate change in the developing world.
Congratulations to the Bailey, Hubbard and Underwood households who all won tea and cake for their families at The Daily Bread Café.
If you haven’t yet paid your quiz entry fees, or you still want to donate then please drop some money off at the Parish Office or transfer the money directly into the church bank account (referencing Christian Aid).
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) – Pentecost Sunday
Due to current Covid restrictions we have had to put the APCM back to this 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 this weekend.
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:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 820 0801 3857
Aside from the usual Sunday morning services, you join us in church for worship on the following days:
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: