24 Mar APRIL 2021
NEWSLETTER – APRIL 2021
Welcome to the April Newsletter which comes to you wishing you many blessings as we prepare to celebrate Easter back in our church buildings. Details of services planned are at the end of this letter.
Thoughts at Easter from Rev Rob Barker:
Hi, hope all is well with you, and you have been able through Lent to focus more on the love that God has for each of us, even throughout maybe these harder times that we all have to some extent experienced over the last year, some sadly more than others. I hold on to his words ‘Never will I leave you nor forsake you’, and ‘the Joy of the Lord is my strength’. I will be honest though, I have not always felt at close to him than as other times, but He and his word is far more trustworthy than my own feelings or frustrations and we are now hopefully approach the end of this pandemic when we once again may meet with others whom we have missed, and worship freely together as His Church, his beloved children this Easter.
We now approach Easter in which once again we come to recall the eclipse of His love shown for us while he walked this earth as a young man. Reading of His life with us, back when I too was a younger man, it completely transformed my understanding of my worth and the worth of those around me. And this newly found faith and understanding sent me forward into an amazing adventure along with my then young family that was completely life transforming and truly was and still is an adventure. Over the years there have been many joys and challenges, but he has always been faithful to His word. I sometimes wonder where my family and I would have ended up had I not come to faith in Him. I guess I will never know. But what I do know is that he has given me strength through the hardest of times, and I trust this will continue for each of us and I am truly grateful for the love and strength he has given us and is shared amongst us.
It has also been a challenging time in many ways for the Church as a whole, local, across the country and beyond. However, I can’t imagine what or how it would have felt without the knowledge of His love and strength. In the light of this I find the Archbishop’s and the diocese challenge an encouragement to us all, to refocus on what church is called to be, and dare to live ‘Christ’s story’ throughout our entire life experiences, including where we find ourselves today. It’s a timely opportunity to look again how we can better equip each other to faithfully play our part in this. This will be put forward to the PCC’s so please hold us all in your prayers. We will be looking at ‘Growth and Discipleship’, becoming more like Christ and reaching out to those we currently may not reach. Possible ways of better organising ourselves as a church at deanery and parish level and how to use our buildings better to enable more effective mission and reshaping ourselves where necessary to enable this. And of course looking at our finances and how we can also give out of love for the needs of reaching other with God’s love and seeing the church grow for the right reasons. It reminds a bit off our ‘vision day’ we had a while back now, where we came up with the following:
We are a caring community who recognise Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and by following his example we will welcome, pray, share, nurture and serve all by reaching out with the love of God.
Create a more welcoming church for all with appropriate service for all.
Develop further, Christ centred worship, led by His Spirit.
Grow in our relationship with Christ through, prayer, reflection and Bible study.
Hold regular Faith exploration and nurture groups.
Engage with the wider community.
Worship collaboratively with other Christian Churches.
Let’s dare to live Christ’s story this Easter and beyond, and remember and experience the joy of having faith in him, but also through times of trouble, of which the Lord himself experienced as he gave his all for each of us.
Each morning in the period of lockdown I have had the privilege to enter the church building to pray and ring the bells. I recently found myself singing to him out loud at the altar, and what a joy it was. I pray that we may all join together in this soon. The last hymn I sung is below; it’s a reflection on how much Christ loves us as we near Good Friday.
A Purple Robe.
A purple robe, a crown of thorn,
a reed in his right hand;
before the soldiers’ spite and scorn I see my Saviour stand.
He bears between the Roman guard the weight of all our woe;
a stumbling figure bowed and scarred I see my Saviour go.
Fast to the cross’s spreading span, high in the sunlit air,
all the unnumbered sins of man I see my Saviour bear.
He hangs, by whom the world was made,
beneath the darkened sky; the everlasting ransom paid,
I see my Saviour die.
He shares on high his Father’s throne, who once in mercy came;
for all his love to sinners shown I sing my Saviour’s Name.
Every blessing and prayers for our future together as the people of God
Living Christ’s Story – web links Rob refers to this in his letter. Please look up further detail for yourselves and consider how these ideas may take shape here in our context: https://dioceseofyork.org.uk. PCC members will need to feedback views and ideas. Do pass your thoughts to Leaders or Churchwardens.
Langa Soup Kitchen Lenten Appeal
Sinnington Church has usually held a Soup lunch during Lent at which a charitable collection would be made. This, of course, is not possible at present. However it has been suggested that a collection can still be made for funds to continue supporting the Soup Kitchen in Langa, South Africa. Just as right across the world, the continuation of this vital service has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and an already troubled situation made worse in the townships. I understand that the Soup kitchen has recently been able to restart. If you are able to support this project, Bernard Clements is happy to gather gifts. Please give as follows – cheque made out to ‘Middleton, Sinnington and Newton PCC’ or Bernard is happy to receive cash. Send any donations to Bernard Clements at 7 Mickle Hill, Pickering. YO18 7NB.
Prayers for your use –
On Good Friday: Almighty God, as we stand at the foot of the cross of your Son, help us to see and know your love for us, so that in humility, love and joy we may place at his feet all that we have and all that we are; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
At Easter: Christ, you are risen from the dead. We are risen with you. May our life never deny this eternal life, this peace and hope and joy. Praise and glory to the God of life who is stronger than all kinds of death. Alleluia. Amen.
Living God, for whom no door is closed, no heart if locked, draw us beyond our doubts, till we see your Christ and touch his wounds where they bleed in others. Amen.
[all taken from The Book of a Thousand prayers compiled by Angela Ashwin] MB
Date for your diary: Middleton Newton and Sinnington APCM will be held on Thursday 29th April 2021 at 7pm in St. Andrews Church, Middleton. The meeting will combine with a short act of worship and social distancing requirements will be in place.
The date for Kirby Misperton with Normanby and Salton APCM is not yet fixed.
The Service Leaders and PCCs have agreed to re-start worship in our churches from Palm Sunday. Churches may also be open for private prayer at other times from Palm Sunday.
Please remember at all services we continue to need to sign in for Track and Trace, sanitise hands, wear a face covering, keep space and do not mingle before or after worship. The ‘no congregational singing’ rule also still applies.
Services planned so far are as follows:
28th March (Palm Sunday)
10.00am Middleton ) both these services will be outside – socially
10.00am Kirby Misperton ) distanced in the church grounds
2nd April (Good Friday)
9.30am Newton – Morning Prayer
2.00pm Kirby Misperton
2.30pm Sinnington Chapel – Methodist led united service
4th April (Easter Day) – all services of Holy Communion
9.00am Middleton (said service)
10.00am Kirby Misperton
11.00 am St Andrew’s Middleton – Morning service in the Methodist tradition which will include Holy Communion
11th April (Easter 2)
11.00am Middleton – Morning Prayer
10.00am Salton – Holy Communion
Service Leaders and Churchwardens will meet again in early April to plan further services. Please check on the parish website or with churchwardens for more information.