On Easter Day, we celebrated the resurrection of Christ in Orsett Church. It was wonderful to be able to worship together in person again. May is another busy month in the church calendar.
On Rogation Sunday, the Church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labours of those who produce our food. A common feature of Rogation days was the ceremony of beating the bounds, in which a procession of parishioners, led by the minister and churchwardens would proceed around the boundary of their parish and pray for its protection in the forthcoming year. As it is no longer practical to follow exact boundaries, services have a focus on specific elements of creation such as livestock, fields, orchards and gardens. This year we will celebrate Rogation Sunday on 9th May at Orsett Church.
On Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter, we remember Jesus leaving this earth and returning to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Ascension Day will be celebrated in our Tuesday Morning Holy Communion Service on 11th May at 9.30am at Horndon Church.
In between Ascension Day and Pentecost, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ takes place. It is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus. Since its start in May 2016, God has grown Thy Kingdom Come from a dream of possibility into a movement. Christians from 172 countries have taken part in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ. During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come we are encouraged to :
- Deepen our own relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus.
- Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness.
And then, at Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter. The name comes from the Greek word, ‘pentekoste,’ which means fiftieth. Pentecost is also regarded as the birthday of the Christian Church, and the start of the church’s mission to the world. This year Pentecost falls on Sunday 23rd May and we will be celebrating it at Bulphan Church.
Christian Aid Week also takes place in May and will focus on the issue of Climate Change.
‘This climate crisis hurts us all. But people living in poverty fight the worst of it every day. From drought to flooding, climate change robs people of control over their lives.’ Christian Aid
If you would like to contribute to the work of Christian Aid, you can do this by giving through our online envelope, details of which can be found later in the magazine. Last year we raised over £600 through our e-envelope. It would be great if we could equal or even beat that total this year. Our service will be at Horndon Church on Sunday 16th May.
We will also be running an online SHAPE course during May and June to help people discover their God given gifts and how they might use them in God’ service. Do contact me if you are interested in participating in this course.
I would certainly challenge anyone who says that being Christian is boring!
As ever, with love and prayers for you all.
Take care and God bless,