Dear Church Friends,
It’s Week 60! I wonder how many more of these alternative notices I will need to write. Let us pray that the roadmap continues as planned as we move towards June 21st. I am sure you are all looking forward to the further relaxation of lockdown restrictions from next Monday, although with the very recent rise in the number of cases of the variant of concern, I expect you will all want to be very cautious. Surely the most important one will be the ability to meet up indoors with people outside your household or bubble. We have missed the face to face contact and social interaction with others and look forward to being able to enjoy meeting up and chatting with a few friends. Last Sunday we nearly reached the maximum number we are able to seat in the church under the current restrictions. Roll on the day when we don’t need a limit.
Looking out of our bedroom window I can see a neighbour’s laburnum looking magnificent and laden with its pendulous yellow flowers. Three years ago we visited Bodnant Gardens in North Wales, when their Laburnum arch was in flower. The gardens are a delight at any time of year, and although we had been there before, it wasn’t in May or the start of June when the arch is at its best. It is well worth a visit, but one has to time it right. I thought that spring was supposed to be behind this year, so it seems quite early for the neighbour’s tree to be so spectacular. It must be in a sunny, sheltered spot, as another neighbour has one in a more exposed place and the flowers are only just appearing on that. The May blossom is appearing right on cue! On Tuesday when we walked round Fairhaven Lake, I was very relieved to see all 9 cygnets with their parents. The previous week one of the cygnets had been in a spot of bother, as it had become stuck in one of the barriers put up around the work at the café. I mentioned this to the people in the RSPB centre and someone went along to try and rescue it. I am glad they were successful. The Canada Geese are as prolific as ever with at least 30+ goslings between them. Lilac trees are in bloom and the blossom ‘candles’ on the horse chestnuts are appearing. I saw 5 hares in a ‘socially distanced’ group on the golf course, along with a stoat, several ducks and pheasants. Nature is working its wonders once more. Thanks be to God.
Some words from Mother Teresa
“Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes and in the warmth of your greeting. For children, for the poor, for all who suffer and are alone, always have a happy smile. Give them not only your care, but your heart.”
We don’t go to the optician’s seeking good advice for living rather than seeing, but this thought was printed in large letters on the wall:
“Your eyes are placed in front for one good reason. It is more important to look ahead than to look back.”
Those who travel by ship can easily find themselves blown off course. They look for some beacon or high peak that is easy to identify. Once they have found it, they can set a new course to the harbour they seek. Gregory of Nyssa had Scripture in mind for his beacon or high peak guiding the travellers to the harbour of heaven. But until then, those of us who have travelled the metaphorical seas of life and found our own harbour might shine the light of experience, letting those who are still buffeted by turbulent waters know there is a happy and contented landfall that’s worth turning their sails towards.
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 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. 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: https://giving.tapsimple.org/online/christian-aid/lytham-st-annes-ca-group-christian-aid-week-2021
Notice seen in a busy workplace
If you open it, close it.
If you turn it on, turn it off.
If you unlock it, lock it up.
If you break it, admit it.
If you borrow it, return it.
If you move it, put it back.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
Our Worship on Sunday 16th May at 10.45am will be led by Stuart Gay
Please book by 6pm on Saturday 15th 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.
Rev Jim has sent the following information about future services.
There’s no Zoom service planned for this weekend but he will leave the Zoom room open if anybody should like to meet other Zoomers. Zoom Link:
The following week 23rd May is Pentecost and we are expecting all the churches to be open for in-person worship.
The numbers of people on Zoom have already reduced significantly as each church starts to meet in the building so Jim proposes that we halt the Zoom services. Zoom served its purpose but now we must seek to return to some kind of normal.
Jim has been asked by many people if the Home Services will continue – they will. But we need to find a less time-consuming way to distribute them!
If anybody has comments about Zoom Services, Hybrid church, telephone Eucharist etc please get in touch. Do you see these ways of meeting as the future? We, as a partnership of churches have the exciting task ahead of us to restart what we do and (in the light of Covid) maybe change how we do it. Watch this space for invitations to church meetings that will try to discern what God has in store for us over the next few years.
Our worship on Pentecost Sunday 23rd May will be led by Rev Daleen Ten Cate
You are invited to the May online Partnership Coffee Morning via Zoom.
Lancashire West Missional Partnership, please join Daleen for an act of worship and fellowship around the coffee table on Tuesday 25th May @ 10am
If you would like to join her, and you haven’t signed up before, please drop Daleen an email, so that she can email you an invite. Daleen.TenCate@nwsynod.org.uk
Let us pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
We pray for those around the world who have been helped by Christian Aid and we give thanks for those who work so hard to raise money to help them. As we creep back towards some kind of normality, we pray for our congregation. Keep safe any who are especially vulnerable and protect us from the new variant of the virus which seems to be increasing in parts of the country. We pray that the hospitals don’t become overwhelmed again and that people are not seriously ill. Thank you for giving us the strength for every day moving forward and we pray for the time when we can meet together in worship without any restrictions. 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