From the Sanctuary
Happy Easter! It is so lovely to see the sun shining, and to feel its warm rays; to see the flowers blooming, the birds nesting, and the lambs frolicking; to hear the woodpecker tap-tap-tapping away, and to see the hedges and trees coming back to ‘life’ after a winter lockdown. It is fortunate for us that, in this country, Easter coincides with Spring.
It is easier here, than elsewhere in the world, for Easter to be a season of hope, because Spring is also a season of hope – where we breathe in deeper the life-giving energies that are around us, strengthen our attitude of gratitude for what is, and foster our hope in what is to come. Our ‘faith world’ mirrors our external world. That is not quite the same for those who live in Australia or New Zealand, who are heading into Autumn and Winter! Perhaps, that is one of our many blessings of living in England!
As human beings, it is easy for us to get caught up in the victim mentality and ‘woe is me’ which seems rife in society around us – particularly at this time of lockdown. It can pervade our minds and our souls, so that we embody negativity without realising it. And, yes, there is much suffering in the world, and in some personal lives, that I want to honour and be sensitively mindful of. However, there is also a whole ‘industry’ of vested interests out there that tell us, through the media and social media, that our lives are dire, and that we need to blame someone, or hold someone to account, if things aren’t quite as we expect them to be. Yes, of course, extra support is always good to have in all areas of life, but children and young people (and we) can be far more resilient than we (are) give(n) (them) credit for; or if they aren’t resilient, they can be taught how to build resilience. Even through this pandemic, there have been many, many blessings around us. What have been your blessings? Can you name them to yourself?
As Christians, living with an attitude of hope, trust and love, is what identifies us as being ‘different’ to those of no faith. Does such an attitude identify you? Would others say of you, that you carry in your body, and in your life, an embodied attitude of hope, trust and love?
Because surely that is what resurrection and Easter is about! Through strengthening our faith in Lent, and through knowing the sacrifice of Christ that we read about in Passion Week (or Holy Week), we can know that no matter what the world throws at us – and Jesus endured truly harsh suffering on Good Friday, and in the week leading up to his crucifixion – we can rise about our comparatively minor struggles, and hold onto the hope in our Saviour – who is alive, who loves us, and is with us, even in eternal life. So, let us celebrate the ‘risen-ness’ of our Lord – and celebrate the hope that that brings – and live with that hope in our hearts, and with an attitude of appreciation for what is. Let us live Easter!
I wish you every blessing
N E W S
Contrary to what you possibly believe, our church building is not completely ‘locked-down’. Indeed much work is going on every week and I’m talking about the Food Hamper Project. It is so heart-warming to see the photographs below of the giving from church members, the Stalybridge and Dukinfield Rotary Club, St Mark’s Mothers’ Union, Morrison’s and Asda. Amazingly, 184 Easter Eggs have been received and will be given to local children by Social Services. The other items will be put into quarantine for 72 hours before being shipped out as required. I know that Christine Storey and her team will send out individual thank you letters, but on their behalf, we say a massive “thank you” to everyone who has donated.
After a break for Easter, it is good to know that with effect from 20th April, our Bible Study will continue on Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 7—8 pm. We will be continuing to look at Jewish customs and traditions and will be taking our information from Genesis and Exodus. Please join us if you are able. These sessions are informative whilst being light-hearted.
|Thursday||1st||Maundy Thursday Worship||7 pm|
|Friday||2nd||Good Friday Worship||11 am|
|Sunday||4th||Easter Sunday Worship||11 am|
|Wednesday||7th||M.W.A. Meeting||7 pm|
|Sunday||11th||Worship on the Web (available on YouTube)|
|Monday||12th||Church Committee||6 pm|
|Sunday||18th||Family Worship||11 am|
|Sunday||25th||Worship on the Web|
|All above on Zoom|
The Way Come, still your hearts, let troubles go For you believe in Me, And I am with you, I will show The way ahead of thee. My Father’s house has many rooms You know my words are so! My Spirit and my Word illumes The way that you shall go. I am the Way, the Truth, the Life Believe and you shall see The way through tempest and through strife To My eternity. By Nigel Beeton