2021 February 14 - Pew News

Services

Sunday 14 February 2021 - Sunday Next before Lent (Valentine’s Day)

09.30am worship virtually in our monthly ‘Worship for Everyone’
- The topical theme for the day is that of LOVE (in biblical and cultural perspective)
- The presiding minister at our 09:30 Service is Andrew Doye, with the assistance of Martin Brown,
- The readings in our morning service are Song of Solomon 2: 10-13 & 8: 6-7; Ruth 1: 16-17 and I Corinthians 13: vv1-8 & 13.

There is no evening service.

Monday to Friday 8.30am Morning Prayer (or Communion on Wednesday)
Ash Wednesday’s morning communion.
Please contact the Rector or Marjorie Kipling if wanting a Zoom invitation.

17th February 2021, 6pm Sung Communion for the beginning of Lent
21st February 2021, 9.30am Parish Communion. First Sunday in Lent.
6pm Evening Prayer (BCP) online.

Lent Groups, beginning from Thursday 18th February 2021. More details in the notices section, anyone intending to join, please make your intended participation known to the Rector in advance.

Prayers

A Special Prayer for the Sunday next before Lent (for you to pray at home)

Almighty Father,
Whose Son was revealed in majesty
before he suffered death upon the cross:
give us grace to perceive his glory,
that we may be strengthened to suffer with him
and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory. Amen.

Intercessions

To be included in our prayers in services, please contact the Rector or Wardens.

Our prayers are:

  • for the Church to find solace and enrichment in the season of Lent. For the sharing of resources within
  • for our own Diocese, and the on-line ministry of our Bishops
  • for vaccinators and others delivering the vaccines; especially with changes coming locally and the promotion of new vaccination centres
  • for their smooth operation and easy accessibility
  • for those experiencing food (and other) poverty in lockdown
  • for those presently ill or in need of extra care
  • for the anniversary of whose baptism falls this weekend
  • for the families of those who have died recently

Call to Prayer: Following the unwelcome passing of the figure of 100,000 deaths in this country attributable to the coronavirus, we join with the Archbishops’ encouragement to offer prayer at 6pm each evening in February. The tolling of the bell at the Parish Church for two minutes from 5.58pm, will precede this prayer for any within its hearing.

The following prayers may be a resource, together with the lighting of a candle in the darkness.
A prayer with the nation:
Gracious God,
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.
Amen.

A prayer for workers:
God our provider,
give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick;
wisdom and understanding
to the scientific community searching for cures; encouragement and clear-sightedness
to those delivering the vaccines;
imagination and perseverance
to those who enable learning in school or home: that, through their varied works
and those of others,
much may be achieved,
and lives protected, restored and enriched; through Christ our Lord, we pray.
Amen.

A prayer in time of fear, challenge and confusion:
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me,
Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
from St Patrick’s breastplate

Invitation to a Holy Lent

.. so begins the Liturgy for Ash Wednesday, and so follows the encouragement to all Christians to make something special of the coming season. In our services on Ash Wednesday we shall have the opportunity to express that intention as we begin those ‘forty days and forty nights’ somewhat loosely based upon Jesus’s time in the wilderness, but also on other biblical events of that timescale. I am persuaded that those other events are every bit as significant to our theological understanding of Lent, especially the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai to prepare a people for the deeper knowledge of God’s glory.

Whatever its background, Lent makes existential sense as a time of preparation; of gathering; and of self-limiting; in order that we might know better ourselves and our place in the world.
With this in mind, we offer Lent groups and activities in the parish over the coming weeks. I hope that you will find things with which you can join, and food for the journey. I appreciate that this year there is a cruel divide in that most of the events are intended for participation over the internet and that for a minority of parishioners that is not manageable. Nonetheless, please be aware of the opportunity to seek out other excellent provisions, too, or to shape a temporary rule of life of your own which will bring worth and shape to the season ahead. If you are short of ideas, and welcome a simple conversation with me to identify some possibilities please give me call. A little structure, and waymarkers, can be of great assistance.

The events in the parish will be advertised consistently through the coming weeks, and you are welcome to join with each at any time. You will gain most benefit, however, if you can try to commit with some consistency. There is variety on offer. We have also listed a few resources outside of the parish which you may choose to access. It is a moot point whether Lent is best seen as a time for putting tired things down, or for picking new things up; I suggest that you read your own heart as to what will be most productive - perhaps a mixture of the two.

Lastly, I note with amusement that ‘Lent’ stems from the same word-root as the concept ‘Spring’, and has to do with the ‘length-ening’ of the days. In the present cold and the circumstances of lockdown, those may seem a while off. Yet there is hope emerging even now from the frozen ground of winter; and I wish you well in it.

Andrew Doye

Martin wrote in last week’s Pew Longsheet of the delights of walking locally and, especially, of meeting familiar people along the way. I thought I’d share some parallel thoughts.

I have tended to do most of local walking away from people, and out on the footpaths and in the nearby woods and hills. Just the last few weeks I have shivered at the prospect, resented the muddiness, and have preferred a bit of pavement walking closer at hand. Despite the separation from the leafier expressions of the created world, I too have been buoyed up by the meetings with people that this has allowed in passing. This has brought a welcome sense of connection, which I guess we all need so much. Yes, we keep our cautious distance; but there is still love and lightness to be found, and enjoyed.
Worship for the week ahead

Notices

Lent in the Parish

Do be a part of the following. Let us know of your plans so that we can provide for the number involved.

Group Activities

A. Thursdays, 10am by Zoom: STARTING THIS WEEK!

The Rector will lead an 8-week engagement with the recent publication ‘Walk Humbly’, written by Samuel Wells of St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square.

Dates: 18, 25 Feb; 4, 11, 18, 25 March; 1 April (Maundy Thurs); and 8 April 2021 (Easter Week).

The book is billed as ‘Encouragements for Living, Working and Being’, and considers with us our place in the world. Barbara Brown Taylor writes in the credits: ‘whether you are new to Sam Wells or have trusted him for a long time, this small book will give you reason to think differently about your place in the universe. His counsel to walk humbly includes the neighbours next door as well as the galaxies overhead, giving Christians every reason to live large by remembering our true size’.

Each session will last between 60 and 75 minutes, with between 10-15 minutes given to the reading of the respective chapter, perhaps with gentle interventions by Andrew, and then the chance to think and share our responses and ‘wonderings’ in online discussion. It is intellectually demanding; some solid thinking for the season. Nobody should fear, however, being put uncomfortably on the spot; and it can be of encouragement to everyone. You do not need a copy of the book, though it is readily available through online sellers.

B. Tuesdays, 10am by Zoom: ‘Cracked Wide Open’, the bespoke course from the Diocese of Chichester, featuring weekly reflections from Bishop Ruth and Bishop Will in conversation together.

The course focusses on our life together as a Diocese in difficult times and runs to 5 sessions. Dates: 23 Feb; 2, 9, 16, 23 March 2021.

Each session lasts no longer than 90 minutes and has chances for interaction and sharing. If you are interested in the Diocesan materials but are unable to participate by Zoom, or to do so at this time of the week, let us know as soon as possible .. and we will try to let you have some of the accompanying materials to use at home in your own time.

C. Mondays, 8pm by Zoom: Lent Course from VCS (Visual Commentary on Scripture)
- co-ordinated by Karen Doye and Robina Richter, we use visual stimuli from the world of art to encourage and direct our Lenten devotions.

Dates: 22 Feb; 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 March 2021. Six sessions.

D. Wednesdays, 7pm by Zoom: Talking Heads.
Three evenings of shared conversation, each between the Rector and an invited guest. Lasting 60 minutes each, with encouragement for attenders to contribute their own thoughts. The personal reflections will touch on Lent and bible passages for the season. These do NOT need pre-booking, but it is helpful to know the numbers who may be wanting to attend.

Dates: 3, 10, 17 March 2021.

It is not necessary that you should be able to attend the entire sequence of meetings for you to sign-up to a particular Course. Courses A, C and D in particular allow partial attendance.

Acts of worship within the parish

On Ash Wednesday itself, you are invited to spoken Holy Communion at 0830 and/or a Parish Communion with music and address at 1800 hours; both to be held ‘virtually’. Details of joining addresses are printed above. At each of these services there will be the chance to mark (‘sign’) oneself with ashes to recognise this solemn day. You may like to look out for the opportunity to create or save some ashes for this purpose. Only a small amount is needed and they are helpfully crushed and then mixed with a tiny quantity of olive oil. As an alternative, you might prefer to put aside a small quantity of garden earth, which can serve a similar purpose.

Other shared acts of worship through Zoom include Morning Prayer at 08.30am, Mondays to Fridays - why not give this popular broadcast service a chance during this special season; and evening worship during Holy Week, 29 March onwards. Register your interest with the Rector or Marjorie Kipling, and we will gladly add you to our daily distribution list.

On Saturday 27 February, the Rector will lead an online Quiet Day for Lent, from 9.30am to 3.30pm. There will be a few fixed times of engagement through the medium of Zoom, during a day in which participants are then encouraged to use the remaining hours as they choose, profitably and prayerfully.

External opportunities for Lenten devotions

  1. Why not sign up for the Church of England’s Daily materials, delivered straight to your in-box? Go to the central Church of England site and look for ‘LiveLent’. Many of our parishioners are already signed up to this provision from previous year’s activities for Lent or Advent.
  2. Online Compline The Royal School of Church Music is broadcasting services of Compline from February 24th to enrich our Lent. Details are as follows:
    1. Lenten Complines: Join Us to Sing. ‘With choirs still not able to sing together, nor congregations, we have designed a new, participative online offering for Lent. Join us each Wednesday, starting 24 February 2021 at 8pm (GMT) to sing the beautiful, ancient office of Compline in a live act of worship. Enough information will be on the screen for you to be able to join in the basic singing with the cantor; each service through Lent will include a hymn and a choral piece, in a variety of styles’.

Parish church closures

Reminder of Present Closure of churches from 14 January 2021 the Parish Church is closed presently, both to daytime visitors and for gathered services. This situation remains under review, and we will be looking to ease our lockdown when this appears appropriate.

Westbourne Help, which did such a good job locally in the earlier months of the pandemic has been called back into being by the Parish Council to help those who are isolating or have no other support over the winter because of Covid-19. Do contact them in case of need.

If there are causes or people that you wish to bring to the attention of the Church and its praying community, please contact Rector or Churchwardens.

 

 


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