Bexley Team Ministry News

Bexley Team News

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

St Mary the Virgin, Bexley

 

Sunday 12 April 2020   Issue 4                                                                           Easter Day

 

PUBLIC WORSHIP HAS BEEN SUSPENDED IN ALL CHURCHES & PLACES OF WORSHIP. 

 

               Alleluia Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

 

 

Collect  

Lord of all life and power,

who through the mighty resurrection of your Son

overcame the old order of sin and death

to make all things new in him:                                                                        

grant that we, being dead to sin

and alive to you in Jesus Christ,

may reign with him  in glory;

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise and honour, glory and might,

now and in all eternity.

Amen

                                                                                                                        Artwork by Katrina Mendy, St. Mary’s Bexley

Bible Readings

Old Testament Reading Jeremiah chapter 31 v1-6  

New Testament Reading Acts 10 v34-43       

Gospel Reading John 20 v1-18

 

Talk for Easter Day by Rev’d Ren

To hear Ren’s talk please use this link

https://www.stjamesnorthcray.org.uk/newsletter/rectors-news/easter-sunday-2020.php

One of my joys during this period of ‘lockdown’ has been to see the ways in which members of our various churches have found inspiration in each other’s faith.  During this week, people have created ‘Sacred Spaces’ in their own homes, making a palm cross, placing stones, writing the names of those for whom they have a concern, lighting candles and as we come to Easter Day bringing fresh flowers to represent the new life of Christ won for each one of us. Each of those ‘Sacred Spaces’ has been unique and holy and beautiful.  Also during this week, people have shared with me their personal struggles and shown their courage in facing them.  They have shared prayers and reflections – ones they have found useful, and prayers and reflections that they have written themselves. And so, this Easter Day reflection has in some ways written itself, as I have drawn huge inspiration in different ways from each one of you.

On Palm Sunday, someone sent me a reflection about the donkey that bore Jesus through the superficial welcome of the crowds lining the streets of Jerusalem.  The donkey went unnoticed but continued with its task of bearing the Lord onwards. Later in Holy Week, someone sent me a reflection on the Last Supper – Maundy Thursday. In it they wondered who the person was who loaned the Upper Room to Jesus and his companions. They linked this with the Mennonite understanding of ‘The Quiet of the Land’, those who are often unseen and unsung, but play their part in the unfolding of the purposes of God in each generation. On Good Friday, we recalled those who waited in love at the foot of the cross, the women and John, the Beloved Disciple, standing in contrast to the jeering crowds, the brutal soldiers. And on Easter Day we recall those who came to the tomb at dawn to minister to the dead and discovered instead the Living One. This Easter Day, so very different from the others we have known, we discover that this year’s pilgrimage through Lent and Holy Week cannot culminate for us on Easter Day morning with those joyous gatherings in our beautifully decorated church buildings. Instead, this year, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to afflict our nation and our world, we must be prepared in the coming days to face the darkest of times and perhaps even our own mortality.  That is not easy for any of us, but the Easter truth remains as a clear and unchangeable Hope. Remember the Graham Kendrick song called “In the Tomb”

Now the fear of death is broken, Love has won the crown
Prisoners of the darkness listen, Walls are tumbling down

            Christ is risen!                         Death has been conquered.
                        Christ is risen!              He shall reign for ever

Perhaps in these days when we might feel ourselves to be ‘Prisoners of the Darkness’ can I invite you to hold on to the great Easter truth of the Christian Church- “Christ is Risen, Death has been Conquered.”

 

In these days, each one of us, in quiet ways, is bearing the Lord into our cities & communities. Each one of us in quiet ways, is making space available for the Lord to share. Each one of us, through acts of quiet daily courage, is acting as a witness to the suffering of Christ,

 to the empty tomb and to the Risen Lord. This year we

 must sing the Easter hymns from the Sacred Spaces in

 our own homes, each with a different voice, acutely

 aware of the suffering of so many at this time. I believe

 our singing will be that much richer for such an awareness.                    

 And I also believe that this time of testing we are enduring

 is changing us and brought us as Christians closer together

 than we could ever have imagined. And perhaps we will

 discover that these dark days have been a time of preparation

 for a brighter dawn for all God’s people.

 

                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Rochester Cathedral has a recorded an act of worship for Easter Morning  available at www.rochestercathedral.org/worship-online which  includes music, readings, prayers and reflections. 

Service sheets are also available to download for use alongside the recordings or on their own. Bishop James will be sharing an Easter Day message as well. This will be available on all Diocesan channels including, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the website.

 

Prayers

Jesus our Lord, we praise you that nothing could keep you dead in the grave. You are stronger than death and the devil. Help us to remember that there is nothing to be afraid of, because you are alive and by our side. Amen

 

Keep us, good Lord under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen.

 

This week is Easter Week

 

Around and about

We encourage everyone to pause and say the Lord’s Prayer at 11.00 am each day and to pray at 7.00 pm each evening. We can be together in prayer even when we are apart.

 

Sadly fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. Police advice is to remain vigilant as criminals seek to use this to target people with fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages or social media posts. To learn more visit https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/coronavirus-fraud-and-scams/

Easter resources for use with children. Cwr.org.uk have a mp4 download on the Easter story and Bible readings called ‘Pens special Easter’. Also visit scriptureunion.org.uk for Easter Alive resources.

 

Spring Harvest, the annual Christian festival usually takes place over Easter. This year it is on line as Spring Harvest Home and runs from 13th to 17th April. Find this on YouTube or at springharvest.org – talks, worship and children’s activities.

 

What do people really think about the Bible? Bible Society has commissioned a survey by YouGov and the results are available at lumino.org.uk. Eight different spiritual types have been identified according to their attitude to the Bible. Find out the spiritual make up of your community by putting in your postcode. Chocaholics -  the first person to email Clive with the result for their postcode will receive a

Meaningful Chocolate Company Easter Egg. Winner announced in next issue.

 

Bexley Foodbank. The most needed items this week are toiletries, shampoo/conditioner, dried noodles,
sugar, sponge puddings and packets of custard.  We can no longer access the collection boxes in churches but most supermarkets have their own if you are out doing essential shopping. Bexley Foodbank will also receive donations of items taken to them directly, see https://bexley.foodbank.org.uk/locations.  You may also wish to consider donating to them financially at https://www.give.net/bexleyfoodbank

 

 

If you know someone who would like to receive weekly issues they can email revclivewood@gmail.com with the subject ‘Bexley Team News’

 

 

Around the churches

 

St John’s, Bexley

Thanks to the generosity of parishioners St John's have, this week, donated 27 'Real' Easter Eggs to the Bexley Food Bank. Suspended Sermons are posted each Sunday at fatheredwardbarlow.wordpress.com Social Media-  engage with us via Facebook (/stjohnsbexley) and Twitter (@stjohnsbexley).

 

Help offered/needed

If you or someone you know needs help or if you can offer assistance please contact-

St. Mary’s Bexley  contact Christine Wood  01322 270942  chrisawood2003@yahoo.com

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood- contact Rev’d Ren or Kevin Clarke  07791582546  kacrat@btinternet.com

St. James, N Cray- contact Rev’d Ren  or  David Stevens  0208300 0867  davidstevens112@aol.com

St. Johns, Bexley- contact Revd Edward Barlow contact details below

 

 

THE BEXLEY TEAM CLERGY

Team Rector: Reverend Ren Harding      renharding@hotmail.co.uk          01322 528923                     07836644782

Associate Priest: Revd Sue Twynam        susantwynam@btconnect.com 01322 559501                     07952 468127

Team Vicar: Reverend Edward Barlow   fr.edwardbarlow@gmail.com     01322 521786    

Team Vicar: Reverend Clive Wood          revclivewood@gmail.com            01322 270942                     07982 392809

 

 


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