Dear Church Friends,
How is everyone this week? Stage 2 of unlocking has begun and we return to Sunday Worship in our church from tomorrow, when we will welcome Rev Jim Williams to lead our short service at 10.45am. This will mean that about 7 of the churches in our West Partnership will be open for Sunday Worship from tomorrow. Most of the others are waiting until Pentecost
Have you been to the hairdresser; been in a non-essential shop; had a drink outside a bar, café or restaurant? These are a few of the things we are now permitted to do once more as well as being able to meet up to 5 others outdoors. I think the social aspect is most important, especially for those living on their own, as they have missed meeting up with friends and the companionship that brings. Our God is always with us and has guided us through our darkest times. Looking around, I see bright yellow forsythia; white plum blossom; blue muscari; a variety of different coloured camelias; majestic magnolias; tall, stately tulips of every hue and pansies with their cheery faces. The sun has been shining most of the week and everywhere looks so much brighter. It’s lovely to see the sunlight shimmering on the sea when the tide is in. All these things remind me that even during the long days of the recent lockdown there has always been a chink of light to keep us going.
Did you ever play with a kaleidoscope? I can remember being fascinated as the patterns changed every time it was moved. Early ones used tiny polished stones and broken pieces of coloured glass. The careful positioning of the mirrors made them into wonderful patterns. Broken objects and things worn smooth by abrasion were seen as beautiful because the viewer saw them in a particular way. Wasn’t the beauty always there, just not apparent until seen through a kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope of love helps us to see the best in people and forget the worn and broken parts of them. God’s love helps us to do this.
The birds are very busy now – singing to us just before dawn and at other times during the day. I imagine nest building is at its peak, with many birds already spending long hours incubating their eggs. The collared dove is still on its nest above the gutter. If you have ever had the opportunity to see a bird’s nest in detail you will have noticed that many of them are incredibly constructed. I can’t help wonder how they developed these skills. It’s all part of God’s wonderful natural world.
Some thoughts written by Margaret Ingall
A new day is born, wake up and give thanks,
New prospects, new dawn, make time to give thanks.
As sun gains in height, rejoice and give thanks.
For each small delight it’s time to give thanks.
As dusk starts to fall, seek space to give thanks,
For God’s love for all, with joy, offer thanks.
Our Worship at 10.45am tomorrow Sunday 18th April will be led by Rev Jim Williams
Please book your place before 6pm on Saturday 17th April.
Our Worship on Sunday 25th April will be led by Rev Terry Hudson.
Link for Sunday 18th April Morning Zoom Worship at 10:30am which will be led by Rev Janet Calderley.
Some years ago a man who ran a successful business reckoned that the good results and happy relations with his staff were due to all the members of his team following some informal rules:
We listen more than we talk.
We think more than we frown.
We think “we” more than we think “me”.
We agree more than we disagree.
We compliment more that we criticise.
We laugh more than we cry.
We do more than we don’t.
We act more than we react.
We save more than we squander.
We work more than we whine.
These are all good maxims for life in general as well as for work.
Let us pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for the long life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was a loyal, dedicated man with a deep faith and will be sadly missed by those whom his life touched.
We remember his family today as they gather to say goodbye to him in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Please pour your love and blessings on them and comfort them in their grief. We also pray for the families known to us who have recently been bereaved and ask you to give them strength as they continue along the path of life without their loved ones. We pray for your compassion. Fill us with hope for the future knowing that you are always there at our side. For Your name’s sake. 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