Dear Church Friends,
How have you been this week? I hope most of you have now received your second vaccination and are feeling less apprehensive about mixing with others.
I have received details of Gerald Frost’s funeral. It will take place at Lytham Crematorium on Monday May 10th at 13.30. I don’t know anything further, but I believe that only a few people are allowed inside the crematorium, so anyone wishing to bid farewell to him will probably have to remain socially distanced outside. Please remember those who grieve for him in your prayers.
I have an unexpected item of news for you.
At the end of last week, I received a letter from our organist, Arthur, informing the Elders that for a variety of reasons, he had decided to relinquish his post as Organist and Choir Director and retire with immediate effect. Arthur has been our organist since the illness and subsequent passing of John Dawson in 2012 and his dedication and service to the musical side of the church have been amazing and we thank him for the many years he has uplifted and entertained us with his wonderful organ playing and choir direction. He is hoping that, if circumstances permit, it may be possible for him to step in from time to time when required and perhaps to give the occasional recital. Thank you, Arthur. We will miss you.
All the rain on Monday will do wonders for the thirsty gardens. We have a water butt, which overflows into an old plastic dustbin. Prior to the rain, both were empty but within a few hours both were full once more. Some warm weather is now needed to make further growth take place.
In his 18th sonnet Shakespeare wrote “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,” and evidence of that was seen on Tuesday, when it looked as though there had been a sprinkling of pink snow or confetti on parts of the ground, as the tiny petals from the cherry blossom fluttered down in the strong winds.
Sunday 9th May is “National Garden Day” which celebrates the benefits gardens bring for mental and physical wellbeing. Being outdoors can give us feelings of peace and wellness. I certainly experienced this on Thursday when I was able to play golf in a beautiful setting, surrounded by various shades of green as the myriad trees burst into leaf. The noisy peacock was sunbathing, before the heavy showers, from time to time showing off his magnificent tail feathers; several hares were sitting passively watching the golfers; mallards appeared followed by their tiny newly hatched ducklings; male pheasants were strutting about and the birds were singing their hearts out. I felt the power of God’s world rejuvenating my spirit. Thank you Lord for the natural world.
When a pair of blackbirds made their nest in a bush in the playground of a primary school of one of our large cities, the teachers shook their heads. It would never be left alone, they said. But it was, thanks to the caretaker who showed it to the children and told them that each egg had a song inside it. If they wanted to hear the songs, they would have to leave the eggs alone. This worked and the eggs hatched safely and the fledglings survived. Now every time the children hear a blackbird sing, they remember the eggs they cared for.
An Anonymous Prayer to help you to sleep peacefully, knowing that God never sleeps.
Before you sleep, gently lay
All your fears and angst away;
Place your worries and your care
In the trusting hands of prayer.
Christian Aid Week from 10th to 16th May 2021
Christian Aid Week 2021 focuses on the climate crisis, which is already having a big impact on the poorest countries and their citizens. For instance, there are communities in Kenya where right now families struggle to survive without a reliable water source. Every day, they walk further, dig deeper and build stronger to survive.
The church is not carrying out its usual local house to house collections this year, but envelopes will be available this Sunday May 9th and also May 16th for your donations. If you are able to make a donation, please put it in one of these special envelopes and if possible, Gift Aid it, by completing the tear off form attached to the envelope and putting it inside the envelope. The envelope can be put in the basket at the rear of the church as you leave the service. If you are not coming to church, Janet S has offered to deliver/collect an envelope to anyone who requests one. In this case, please contact Janet S on 01253 739195 or 07837750810 to arrange this. She will also collect any Christian Aid boxes from those who have them.
For those who are happy to donate online, a special local online giving page has been set up and the link to it is below:
Our Worship on Sunday 9th May at 10.45am will be led by Rev Janet Calderley
Please book by 6pm on Saturday 8th May.
A few reminders for those attending services.
- Please arrive at church between 10.30 and 10.40am.
- A Steward will show you to a seat. To avoid contamination, do not change seats.
- Always maintain social distancing (2 metres). People in your household/social bubble may sit together.
- After you have been shown to a seat please do not wander. Please do not stop to chat as this will hold up others coming into the service.
- All should remain seated and not move about.
- At the end of the service, follow the stewards’ directions as you leave your seat, and exit quickly, observing safe social distancing.
Our worship on Sunday 16th May will be led by Stuart Gay.
Link for Sunday 9th May Zoom Worship which will be led by Rev Jim Williams
Jim will be conducting this service from one of the partnership churches and hopes to Zoom it from there. I am not sure what time the service begins, so it may be 10.45am instead of 10.30am.
Let us pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
As more of us return to worship in the church sanctuary, we pray for those for whom this is a step too far at the moment. We understand their concerns, as they are part of our community and
will welcome them back whenever they feel ready to come. Keep safe those who still feel vulnerable and pour your blessings on them. We pray that the decline in coronavirus cases needing hospital admission continues after the next lockdown relaxations on 17th May and that we are able to return to a more normal way of life after 21st June. Thank you for all those who are working so hard to make this happen. We put our trust in You, knowing that You are our rock, our hope and our strength. Your love endures for ever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all