Revd Gary's Pastoral Letter January 2020
Listed Under: Vicars Blog
A New Year Message from Rev Gary for the Villages across the two parishes
Here we are, safely into 2021. Happy New Year to you all. 2020 is not a year many of us shall be sorry to leave behind - but what does 2021 have to offer?
We know there will be a continuing fight with Covid19 but with two vaccines out there, and if we all take care and live by the rules for the benefit of us all and our collective safety, a new normality will soon emerge. Brexit fireworks on New Year’s Eve signalled a new future for our country - I am sure that there will be many other things soon upon us to think and live through. The future role and place of our churches in our villages, for one.
What I would like to take forward from 2020 is the positivity of human spirit that helped so many across our villages of these two parishes to help our neighbours in need. The generous spirit that ensured that flood victims were helped, our food bank in Malvern was well stocked from pop up collections, charities supported, presents for the lonely delivered and over 160 shoe boxes for children overseas dispatched , errands run , doors knocked or telephone calls regularly made, prayers shared, grieving families supported, worship continuing and even a wedding celebrated - all to make sure that our developing and deepening sense of community in these villages continues.
We step into 2021 knowing that the light and love of Christmas continues beyond twelfth night. When the tinsel, lights and trees are put away, the love will continue- for love held much of our world together in 2020. Let us hope and pray and work to ensure that love holds us together in 2021.
The Methodist Church has “Covenant Service” for the beginning of the year, based around the prayer which is printed below.
Avoid I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering; **
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours.
So be it. And the covenant made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Note - **The words ‘put me to doing, put me to suffering,’ ... do not mean that we ask God to make us suffer, but rather that we desire, by God’s help, actively to do and patiently to accept whatever is God’s will for us.
Prayer for our churches (Based on Acts 4:1-10)
Lord Jesus Christ, let our churches become your hands in this area, reaching people where they are at. Let us show love and acceptance to people, making ourselves less so that you can become more. Let your churches be your healing for the people around us. Show us again that you area God of the miraculous, and that nothing is impossible for you. Spread rumours around this place of the things that you are doing. Let us be known as people who offer healing and kindness to those who need it. Let these churches be your mouthpiece – give us the courage to stand up when challenged and to proclaim your truths. Give us the words to make the mystery of your resurrection a reality in people’s hearts and minds. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Heavenly Father, as you have built the Church on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone, we pray that by the power of your Holy Spirit, all Christians may be joined together in the unity of the spirit and in the bond of peace. We pray too that the unity of your Church will draw all to yourself and so bring glory to your Son through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Dates for your new diaries:
Church services during Lockdown have been suspended. A Zoom service will take place every Sunday at 10.30am and 5.30pm instead.
10.30am Spiritual Communion on Zoom
5.30pm Evening Prayer on Zoom
Thursday night prayer will resume on Thursday 7th January at 8.30pm.
Churches Together in Malvern will be working together for Christian Unity week. Their commissioning service will take place on Zoom on Sunday 24th January at 3pm. More details will follow.
Holocaust Memorial Service - Light in the Darkness will be held on YouTube on Sunday 24th January from 7pm-8.30pm (www.youtube.com/cfiuk)
Every Blessing to you all as we start this new year together - Rev Gary