Dear Church Friends,
How are you all this week?
We have now gone full circle again, completing two years of Alternative Notices. Although I didn’t receive much feedback on whether to continue with alternative notices, I have decided that now is the time to stop producing them in this format and return to one similar to that used pre-Covid. This will be the final edition of the Alternative Notices. On Sunday 20th March, the service will revert back to a pre-Covid format, except that the welcome and announcements will continue to be given before the start of worship. The choir will sing an Introit and an Anthem. The weekly notices will be emailed to those with email addresses and there will be some printed notices available on a Sunday morning for those without email.
Spring starts officially in a few days and all the signs are there. We have been promised good weather over the weekend and it’s time to look forward. Driving around locally, I have seen magnolias almost ready to open their buds; camelias looking spectacular; flowering currants festooned with drooping flowers; colourful crocus, primrose and myriad daffodils ‘fluttering and dancing in the breeze’. Various tree blossoms are appearing and it feels very springlike today. All are following nature’s cycle of rebirth and new beginnings. As we hopefully return to normal, let us look forward to a new period in the life of our church with optimism and joy in our hearts. Thanks be to God.
Iris Hesselden has some calming words
Listen to the silence and feel it calm your mind,
Let the noisy world go by as tangled thoughts unwind.
Learn the secrets of the earth, for nature works in peace,
And all things grow in silence their wonder to increase.
Take a little time for you and let that peace begin,
Close your eyes, relax, be still, and find it deep within.
So short a time, a precious time, serenity your goal,
Just listen to the silence and let it soothe your soul.
Our Worship on Sunday 20th March at 10.45am will be led by Andrew Barratt
Bible Readings: Isaiah 55: 1 – 9 Page 615 and Luke 13: 1 – 9 Page 872
Our Worship on Sunday 27th March at 10.45am will be led by Rev Janet Calderley
Our Worship on Sunday 3rd April at 10.45am will be led Jennifer Liddell and will include communion. To make it easier for the stewards to serve you, please sit in alternate pews.
Even though all rules on the wearing of face coverings have been removed, please feel able to continue to wear one if it makes you feel more at ease.
2022 is the URC’s Jubilee Year; it will be 50 years old. 50 years of faith, hope and love. A booklet called ‘Celebrate Together’ has been produced for distribution to congregations. There should be one for each family, so please take one when you are next in church.
Rev Jim’s finishes the current session of Bible Study at Marton at 3pm and Bispham at 7pm this week on 24th March. A reflection on the Global Pandemic in the context of Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Rev Janet Calderley’s 6 week course entitled ‘Living on the Breadline’ which focuses on poverty, injustice and discrimination continues on Monday evenings at St Annes URC at 7.30pm until 11th April. Each session will last an hour.
On Good Friday, 15th April at 10am, Rev Paul Bye will lead a 15-20 minute service outside the Fundraising Shop on Woodlands Road.
Leprosy Mission Appeal There are envelopes on the back table for any further donations to the Leprosy Mission. Sunday 20th March is the final date for returning envelopes.
Fairtrade Easter Eggs
Fairtrade Easter Eggs are available from Janet S and once again the church will be donating Easter Eggs to various local children’s charities through sales and donations. The price of an individual milk egg is £4.50 and the dark egg £5.50. Please let Janet know your requirements.
A reminder that the Table Top Sale with Bottle Stall will be held this weekend on Saturday 19th March 2022 from 10.00am to 1.00pm.
There will be a Daffodil Afternoon Tea on Saturday 2nd April from 2pm – 4 pm. Tickets priced at £5 are now available.
The Church AGM will be held on Wednesday 30th March at 7pm.
Let us pray
We remember the people of the Ukraine and pray that the ‘peace’ talks bear fruit and the Russian hostilities soon stop. We ask You to comfort those fearful for their lives; give them hope during these difficult times and the strength to carry on through adversity and danger. We thank You for those in this country who are opening their doors to welcome refugees into their family. We thank You for the two people who have been freed at last from prison in Iran and have been able to return home to their families in Britain. We pray for our congregation as we reach the light at the end of the tunnel and return to a more normal way of life. We pray for those who are ill or facing challenges ahead. Be with them and carry them when necessary. Give us hope for the future knowing that Your love is always with us. You are our strength and our Redeemer. Hear our prayers. We praise Your Holy name. Amen
Please join me in the Grace.
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.