Bexley Team News 20.04.20

Bexley Team News

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

St Mary the Virgin, Bexley

 

Sunday 19 April 2020   Issue 5                                               The Second Sunday of Easter

 

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

 

 

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Collect  

Almighty Father,

you have given your only Son to die for our sins

and to rise again for our justification:

grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and  wickedness

that we may always serve you

in pureness of living and truth;

through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. 

                                                                                                                       

Bible Readings

Old Testament Reading Exodus 14 v10 –end, 15 v20-21      

New Testament Reading  Acts 2 v14a, 22-32

Gospel Reading John 20 v19- end

 

Reflection on the Bible readings

This Sunday’s readings engage with the problems and challenges of human existence. In the Exodus reading the Israelites are on their desert journey from slavery in Egypt to the new life God has planned for them. But they turn on Moses in fear and complaining as they find themselves trapped between the pursuing Egyptian army and the waters of the Red Sea. We would rather be slaves in Egypt than facing this they cry (Exodus 14 v10-12).

In the reading from John’s gospel  we hear of frightened disciples hiding behind locked doors for fear that they will meet the same fate as their Lord (John 20 v19)  The Bible doesn’t gloss over the darker side of life – fear, enemies, death. 

Being in a tight corner with a threatening enemy to face, having to hide away- these are currently familiar situations as we complete three weeks of ‘staying at home’ and face more of the same, or as we feel concerns for the health and well-being of loved ones or friends or indeed ourselves.

The cornered Israelites facing the might of Pharaoh’s army must have felt hopeless. They would soon  learn that they owed their existence and freedom entirely to God. The demoralised and frightened disciples hiding from the religious authorities also receive a miraculous ‘deliverance’ as the risen Christ comes to them, blesses them, commissions them and sends the Holy Spirit (John 20 v22, Acts 2). 

Human failure is God’s opportunity. Often we are busy and self-sufficient. The busyness of many is greatly reduced and our self-sufficiency is challenged. Such testing times open up new opportunities-if we will but allow them- for God to break into our lives- as he did in the Bible stories we sit with today. Clive  

Rochester Diocese is producing weekly reflections which look ahead to the Gospel reading the following Sunday. The reflection will be shared each Monday on the Diocesan Facebook and Twitter channels as well as on YouTube. This week Bishop Simons reflects on Doubting Thomas.

 Prayers

The Church of England has published a booklet of ‘Prayers for use during the coronavirus outbreak’. It can be found on line and downloaded.

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.

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.

Extract from some thoughts of a doctor working in the east of England. ‘I find it strange that we are held up as heroes...I understand the intentions... but we aren’t the heroes. You are. We have a stable salary and a job that will exist at the end of all this. There are many in our communities who are struggling. The heroes are... the parents with children home 24/7... those staying at home who don’t know if their jobs will soon exist... the heroes are those who get on with the unglamorous day-to-day staying at home with no applause or accolade.’

Fraud update- scammers are taking ministers details and email addresses from church websites in this area then sending emails, purportedly from the minister asking eg for Amazon vouchers to be sent to someone in need. Think- check.

 

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

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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