29th May 2020
As I write this, we are in between Ascension Day and Pentecost and also in the middle of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ when we are encouraged to pray for 5 people to come to faith in Jesus. I have the names of the people I’m praying for by the kettle in the kitchen, written on a cut out of a person, so that every time I make a cup of tea or coffee, I am reminded to pray for them. I hope you have managed to find a way of praying for the people that God has put on your heart at this time, which works for you.
You may remember I said two weeks ago that we raised between £500 and £600 for Christian Aid this year but, having spoken with several people since, who may have sent cheques or donated by phone, I think, as a Benefice, we must have raised well over £600, so thank you very much, to those who contributed. I have also been greatly moved by people’s generosity in providing food for the foodbank over the past few weeks. I sometimes return home to find a pile of tins, teas bags and cereal boxes on the doorstep or I see someone I don’t know pulling up outside in a car and emptying bags of food into our box. And I know that Jane and Kelly have been similarly moved by people’s generosity in Bulphan and Horndon. Needs for the foodbank , this week, include, sponge puddings, tinned rice pudding, cordial (squash), cereal (not porridge or muesli please), jelly and kitchen roll.
Thank you, also, to those of you who have been keeping a check on the churches, mowing the grass and phoning round parishioners; I know your help is greatly appreciated by many.
With the lockdown having been relaxed somewhat I am still awaiting news of exactly how and when we might return to meeting again for church services and I will keep you informed, as soon as I know anything. The proposal from the Government has always been that church services may begin from 4th July, if everything goes to plan, but we are unsure exactly what form these services might take. In the meantime, please do join our Facebook Morning and Evening Prayer services at 9am and 7.30pm respectively: @HOBNOBChurches. You can find these services by going to the Facebook page directly or by going to the website, hobnob.org.uk/watch and then clicking on the link to our daily morning and evening prayer services. And do remember our weekly Sunday morning service at 10am at hobnob.org.uk/watch. If you are unable to access these services electronically, you may like to join us by praying at home at the same times with the prayer booklets you have received or your own prayer books. The readings for this Sunday are: Acts 2: 1-21 and John 7: 37-37.
And, for those of you who are saying Morning and Evening Prayer, which I really recommend, these are the Lectionary Readings for the coming week:
|Monday 1st June Visit of the Mary to Elizabeth
|1 Samuel 2: 1-10 Mark 3: 31-end
|Zachariah 2: 10-end John 3: 25-30
|Tuesday 2nd June
|Joshua 2 Luke 9: 28-36
|Job 2 Romans 1: 18-end
|Wednesday 3rd June
|Joshua 3 Luke 9: 37-50
|Job 3 Romans 2: 1-16
|Thursday 4th June
|Joshua 4: 1 – 5.1 Luke 9: 51-end
|Job 4 Romans 2: 17-end
|Friday 5th June
|Joshua 5: 2-end Luke 10: 1-16
|Job 5 Romans 3: 1-20
|Saturday 6th June
|Joshua 6: 1-20 Luke 10: 17-24
|Exodus 34: 1-10 Mark 1: 1-13
Please continue to pray for include the homeless; the Grays Friday Soup Kitchen is making plans to be up and running again from 12th June. Please also continue to pray for those affected by the cyclone in India and Bangladesh, the families of those killed or injured as a result of the Pakistan Airline plane crash, an easing of the tensions between Hong Kong and China, those affected by the attack on the Afghan Maternity Unit and refugees in camps where the Coronavirus is sweeping through.
More local needs for prayer include Joyce, (O), Hazel, (H), Dave )H), Anita, (B), Steve, (H), Steve, (H), and Steve, (O), as well as the many people who have recently been bereaved.
To finish with, I would like to share a reflection from a Society of Missionary Oblates, for Pentecost:
If ever there was a line of poetry that captures the energy and power of Pentecost Sunday, it is this line from Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, ‘God’s Grandeur,’ ‘the world is charged with the splendour of God’. The Resurrection of Jesus reaches its powerful climax with an out pouring of life, light and energy for his followers. After Jesus’ crucifixion this small group of men and women were hiding. They were afraid and had lost all heart and hope. But through the gift of the Holy Spirit they are filled with courage, enthusiasm and determination. Given new life and hope, they went out into the streets and market places and loudly without our fear, proclaimed the good news of the Resurrection; the missionary church is born as they were charged with the splendour of God.
It would be a mistake to think of ourselves today as being any different from these men and women. As Christians, each of us has been filled with the life and power of the same Holy Spirit. Today in our homes, parishes and communities, schools and places of work, we too are called to be living witnesses of Christ in and for the world. We need not be worried or afraid of this great responsibility, for God has filled each of us with his own Spirit, ,’You are my servant, whom I strengthen, in with whom I am well pleased, I have filled you with my spirit.’ (Is. 42.1)
So on this great feast of Pentecost, let us open our hearts and lives to the power of the Holy Spirit, as each of us are charged with the splendour of God.
As ever, please do keep in touch and continue to let me know of any other prayer and pastoral needs.
Take care and God bless,