St Mary’s Summer 2017 Good News Update

This Summer 2017 edition of Good News, St Mary’s Parish Magazine, is reproduced below (together with additional material from various notices), use the links to the stories & news items.

Relationship Not Rules

I have become more and more aware recently that the Christian faith is far more about having a relationship with God than it is about following a set of rules.

I used to feel that the Christian faith was a set of ideals which I could never live up to, and that God would be disappointed with me if I didn’t meet his expectations. But thankfully I now have a very different perspective, which is beautifully summarised in this passage from ‘The Shack’ by WM Paul Young:

The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules. It is a picture of Jesus. While words may tell you what God is like and even what he may want from you, you cannot do any of it on your own. Life and living is in Him (Jesus) and in no other…..It is true that relationships are a whole lot messier than rules, but rules will never give you answers to the deep questions of the heart and they will never love you.

Of course Jesus’ teaching is about showing love and kindness to others and forgiving those who have hurt us, but we can’t do it in our own strength – we need God’s help. And that help comes through having a relationship with God through prayer. (I remember a number of years ago my vicar at the time explaining to me that prayer is a relationship with God, not a list of requests!)

So how do we develop that relationship? There are many ways in which we can ‘talk’ to God, and to make space to ‘listen’ to what He may be saying to us, and different ways will suit different people. One way worth trying out is the Celtic tradition of prayer.

Prayer for the Celts was an integral part of their daily lives, a rhythm of prayer and action, inclusive of all life, work, play, relationships, giving a wholeness of being centred on Christ the King and the Trinity. Over the page are some prayers in the Celtic style which you may find helpful.

Prayers in the Celtic Style

Fully Dressed

Lord, clothe me with Compassion;
A sorrow for each other’s needs.
Lord clothe me with Kindness;
A willingness to serve.
Lord, clothe me with Humility;
An attitude of mind.
Lord, clothe me with Gentleness;
The way of Christ in me.
Lord, clothe me with Patience;
To accept and understand.

Lord, help me to forgive.
Forgive, Lord, as you’ve forgiven me.

It seems Lord I am fully dressed;
Yet you say, I’m naked still.
Overall these garments, Lord,
Clothe me with your Love
And Peace within your Will.

Ruth Newman (based on Colossians 3:12-15)

Day by Day

Early in the morning I wait on you, O Lord;
Day by day I toil for you, O Lord;
At the bright noonday I recollect you, O Lord;
In talk and recreation I enjoy you, O Lord;
In study and in prayer I learn of you, O Lord;
At nightfall and in deep sleep I rest in you, O Lord.

Ray Simpson

Heavenly Balm

Quieten me, quieten me, O Lord:
Ease me from the intense busy-ness that assails me.
Quieten me, quieten me, O Lord:
Draw me away from the incessant noise.
Still me, still me, O God:
Help me to yield up the need to chatter.
Still me, still me, O God:
Let me be immersed in your deep stillness.

Then, Lord,
When my heart, my soul, my mind and my spirit are at rest,
Open me to hear your voice of calm.

And, Lord,
In that deep stillness of eternity,
Bestow on me your heavenly balm.

Trevor Thorn

Night Prayer

As I lay down to sleep,
May the holiness of the Trinity
In love enfold me.
With power protect me.

May the Father who creates, surround me,
The Son who redeems, restore me,
The Spirit who enlightens, bring peace.

May angels watch over me
Within these walls
In the silence of the night.

Bronwen Vizard

The above prayers are extracts from Pocket Celtic Prayers, compiled by Martin Wallace.

Village Fayre

St Mary’s Church will be running a stall at the Village Fayre on Saturday 9 September and we would be glad of some help on the stall, either to help set up, or to man the stall.  If you can help in any way, please contact Liz Dixon 01206 243683, . The Village Fayre runs from 12-4pm and St Mary’s will be running games for the children and something nice for Mums too! Look forward to seeing you there.

Harvest FestivalHarvest Festival – Sunday 1st October 2017

You are warmly invited to our Harvest Festival Family Communion Service on Sunday 1st October at 9.30am at St Mary’s West Bergholt, led by Rev Mandy Elmes.

Come and celebrate all the things for which we are thankful, and enjoy the beautiful harvest decorations.  There is also an opportunity to share our good fortune with others less fortunate by bringing along donations of groceries for the Open Door project in Colchester. Everyone welcome!

The church will also be open for the remainder of the day, after the Harvest Festival service, for people to come in and have a look at the harvest decorations and perhaps take some time out of their busy lives for a few moments of quiet and reflection.

Flower arrangmentDecorating the Church for Harvest

We will be decorating the church for harvest on Saturday 30th September from 9.45 am and would welcome anyone who would like to come along and help in any way.  We hope too that many of you will want to be involved in providing produce and flowers from your gardens or allotments.  It would be especially nice to have a beautifully decorated church to welcome all the visitors over the harvest weekend including those coming to the family fun afternoon. If you have any questions, please speak to me in church, text me on 07866 485269 or email me at fionafstewart@yahoo.co.uk.

Thank you, Fiona

Exciting News!

Our 3 Parishes have been successful in applying for funds to appoint a part-time Families Worker. This is for 3 years and he or she will be starting new projects as well as supporting the work already being done with young people and families – of all ages! We will be receiving a considerable sum from the diocese but each church has to contribute £800 a year towards the cost. We are planning different ways of raising that amount and the first event will be on Saturday 30th September (see next article).

Thank you for your support.
Caroline Finlay

Afternoon teaFamily Fun Afternoon

Taking place on Saturday 30th September between 2pm – 5pm, this event promises games, craft activities and plenty of refreshments; of course there will also be the beautiful harvest displays.

This is a fund-raising event towards the cost of the new Families Worker.

Notices

Children's SocietyChildren’s Society Boxes – Thank You

This year we raised a total of £264.00! Thank you all for your continuing support. If you would like a box yourself, please contact lizdixon177@gmail.com. It’s a great way of getting rid of loose change from your pocket!

Christian Aid – Thank You

Thank you to everyone who helped with the door to door collections this year, and a special thanks to Paul Elmes who co-ordinated the operation. A total of over £1,346 was raised – a fantastic achievement!

Confirmation Classes for Adults and Children

This is a great way to explore your faith with others who are thinking about confirmation, and a safe place to ask any questions you have about God, Jesus, and the journey of faith. There will be separate classes for children and adults, due to start in mid-October, with the confirmation service taking place on Sunday 10th December.  You can register your interest with Rev Mandy Elmes, or Liz in the church office: 01206 243683 or lwb.wb.gh.parishes@gmail.com.

Operation Christmas Child – Shoe Box Appeal

If you are buying shoes in the summer sales, please keep the boxes! We will be organising another shoe box appeal in the autumn. Look out for more details in the October edition of Good News.

Dates for Your Diary (Including Services)

Sunday 30 July9.30am3 Parishes Joint Service at St Peter’s Church, Boxted
led by Archdeacon Annette Cooper
Thursday 3 August2.30pm5Ts
Sunday 6 August9.30amCommunion
Communion at St Peter’s, Boxted
Thursday 10 August2.30pm5Ts
Sunday 13 August9.30amMessy Church
Communion at St Mary’s, Langham
11.15amCommunion at All Saints, Great Horkesley
Thursday 17 August2.30pm5Ts
Sunday 20 August9.30amCommunion at St Peter’s, Boxted
11.15amCommunion
Thursday 24 August2.30pm5Ts
Sunday 27 August9.30amMorning Worship
Communion at St Mary’s, Langham
Thursday 7 September9.00amHome Groups resume
Friday 8 September7.45pmWired – our Youth Group for Secondary School Students.
Saturday 9 September12.00 – 4.00pmVillage Fayre
Sunday 10 September9.30amMessy Church
Tuesday 12 September8.00pmHome Group (Michael Foster)
Thursday 14 September10.00amHome Group (Rachel Hutchings)
Saturday 30 September2:00 – 5:00pmFamily Fun Afternoon
Sunday 1 October9.30amHarvest Festival
Sunday 29 October10.30am3 Parishes Service at All Saints’ Great Horkesley
Sunday 5 November4.00pmAll Souls Service at All Saints’ Great Horkesley

Sunday Gospel Readings

Our Bible readings for every Sunday are taken from the Lectionary, a table of psalms and readings authorised for use in public worship of the Church of England.

Date

Reading

Theme

Sunday 6 AugustMatthew 14:13-21Jesus feeds five thousand
Sunday 13 AugustMatthew 14:22-33Jesus walks on water
Sunday 20 AugustMatthew 15:21-28Jesus sends a demon out of a girl
Sunday 27 AugustMatthew 16:13-20Peter says Jesus is the Messiah
Sunday 3 SeptemberMatthew 16:21-28Jesus predicts His death the first time
Sunday 10 SeptemberMatthew 18:15-20Jesus teaches how to treat a Believer who sins
Sunday 17 SeptemberMatthew 18:21-35The parable of the unforgiving debtor
Sunday 24 SeptemberMatthew 20:1-6The parable of the workers paid equally

Regular Events

Home Groups

Our home groups start again after the summer holidays on the dates below. If you are interested in joining one of the groups, please contact Michael Foster on 241022.

  • Tuesday 8pm (Michael Foster): 12 September. The fortnightly meetings alternate between The White’s & The Chadborn’s homes. This coming term the group will continue studying “Women of the Old Testament”.
  • Thursday 10.00am (Rachel Hutchings): 14 September (fortnightly meetings, pre-school children welcome).

Open House & 5T’s (Together on Thursdays for Tea @ Two Thirty)

  • Open House every Thursday morning at 9am in term times.
  • 5T’s – 2.30pm every Thursday, including school holidays.

Wired (our Youth Group for Secondary School Students)

Fridays @ 7.45pm in the church hall on 8 September.

Messy Church

Our Messy Church services will take place on the second Sunday of each month at 9.30am on the following dates (except in December which is the first Sunday!):

  • 13/8, 10/9, 8/10 & 3/12 (no Messy Church in November)

Contacts

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