As part of our thinking about 'a better world' and the need for change, I thought I'd share with you a couple of Pentecost messages I found thought-provoking. This first one comes from an event for Thy Kingdom Come - the Archbishop of Canterbury led a service with contributions from church leaders of many denominations including the Pope, who gave a homily addressing the need for change which you can see by clicking more details.
As part of our thinking about 'a better world' and the need for change, I thought I'd share with you a couple of Pentecost messages I found thought-provoking: This one is from Bishop Martyn. In his weekly message he challenged us to think about how we translate our whole life as church into the new context we find ourselves in. Click more details to play the video.
All our online services are on the St Mary's YouTube channel. You can view these on computer, phone, tablet and TVs with compatible apps. The link to the latest service is always on the website. If you watch on a TV app make sure you do find first the Playlists section of our Channel to see the videos and songs in order!
Wasn't the peace video great? Matt sends his apologies that a few people got left off by mistake. He has very kindly added them in now, which gives us the perfect excuse for showing it again this Sunday! We've put it on our YouTube channel as a separate video which you can see anytime with this link
Adele introduces our new sermon series considering how we might build on recent experiences to create a better world for the future. There are also links to related Pentecost messages from Pope Francis and Bishop Martyn.
This is the final week of our series 'Exploring Prayer' with the Archbishop of Canterbury. This week we will be discussing videos 4 and 5 in a short and informal discussion at the Wednesdays at 12 zoom meeting (password stmarys). You can find videos by clicking more details
A reminder ... everyone is invited to decorate a green fabric square (4, 6 or 8 inches + border) using whatever technique you choose. When sewn together, we hope this will form a banner that speaks of our continued faith and hope through this time of separation. Please contact Katherine Hetzel for more details.
Adele's Letter - Sunday 14 June - Greater Togetherness
Adele writes to introduce the theme of "Greater Togetherness" for this Sunday's Service, welcoming Lusa Nsenga Ngoy who will be preaching, and encouraging us to reflect again on our vision priorities and what it might mean to be truly ‘Open’ and ‘Connected’. Click more details to read the letter.
I expect you will have heard the government announcement that churches can now open for private prayer when they can do so safely. Please pray for us as we plan for how we can do this in a way that is welcoming but also sustainable and safe for both visitors and volunteers.
Sunday Service - 21 June - Valuing Life
This week we continue our series based on the Tearfund video 'The World Rebooted' - this Sunday exploring the second strand 'Valuing Life' with some challenging Bible passages which I think raise lots of questions.
Loughborough Churches Partnership has produced a video of church leaders praying an amplified version of the Lord's Prayer for Loughborough. It will be shown at the end of Sunday's service and you can followo the link below to watch it. Please share the link with local friends and neighbours.
Our advocate slot this month is the Laura Centre and there will be an update during the service on Sunday. The prayer pointers can be found below. 1. Please pray for all families directly affected by bereavement at this time. 2. Please pray for the healing work of the Laura Centre, helping bereaved families and individuals as they come to terms with their loss. 3. Please pray for the Counsellors -for their wisdom in supporting each person and each family and give them the strength to continue with their important work. 4. Please pray that, through God's grace, the ongoing fundraising needs are met this year and into the future.
We are hoping that we may be able to open on Sunday afternoons, from Sunday 28 June, at 3pm for 2 half hour slots. The 2m rule means there will be 6 spaces in the pews in the first half hour - (a space is for an individual or 2 members of a household) and 4 spaces in the second half hour (because the designated spaces move forward a pew to avoid using the same area twice). If necessary, people will be asked to wait outside and we hope to be able to open the woodland as an alternative place to pray, with a one-way system in place.
Opening Church - Private Prayer
We will be opening the church building for private prayer this Sunday June 28th at 3pm for an hour. We have thought very carefully about how to manage this as safely as possible and a separate letter will be sent out giving details. Please be aware that the number of people we can accommodate is extremely restricted.
Worship Survey - Thank you!
Thank you to those who responded to the survey. Overall, there was a very positive response to the online services we have been able to do and I’m grateful for your encouragement and support. I still need to phone a few more people and will then discuss the responses with standing committee before reporting back to you all in my letter next week.
Open for Private Prayer - Sunday's 3pm to 4pm
Open for Private Prayer - It was lovely to welcome a few more people for private prayer last week in small numbers that felt we could operate safely. We will be opening the Church building and woodland again this Sunday from 3-4pm and hope to give priority to those who have not been before. Therefore, can I ask that if you came last week and would like to come again, please come prepared to use the woodland in the first instance.
Adele's Letter - Sunday 12 July - Into the unknown
Adele considers the unknown's of our current plans, as a society can we build back better with the deeper changes we have been discussing over recent weeks and what does church look like in the future?
As we continue to navigate the strange times, I wanted to give you another update on how St Mary’s finances are going. Firstly, thanks to all who continue to support us with your generous giving, and a special thanks to those who have recently started to give online or by bank standing order. This makes it so much easier for our hard-working administrators. If you normally give cash via envelope or plate, would you please prayerfully consider changing to use one of these means.
As I have said before, we continue to experience a reduced income, from plate collections, envelopes, Chapter House lettings and wedding income. A survey from the diocese shows that we are not alone in this. We are fortunate in having sufficient reserves to fill the gap for this year. Assuming that these unusual conditions will continue for some time, we will need to consider how we balance the books going forward. Let us all pray that God will supply all our needs, as He has promised to do.