From the Sanctuary
What a wonderful time of year this is! Spring is with us! In my garden, Spring started to demand my attention with the clumps of snowdrops…, then the cyclamens and crocuses popped up in clusters to join them…, and now the daffodils are showing their majestic golden yellow heads and dark green, spear-like leaves – dancing in the breeze.
What a beautiful sight! New life! Lambs are frolicking in the pastures. Soon there will be bluebells. In the earlier hours of the day break, rabbits hop around on the hillsides nibbling the grass, and bird song greets the break of the morn – an amazing sound to behold. There are leaves on some of the trees, and the rest are in bud. There is a resurrection taking place around us as nature safely emerges from the battening down of winter. Gone, hopefully, is the harshness of winter although some snow is still possible, as nature is caressed by the life-enabling shafts of warm sunlight. Yet it is still risky for new life, as night frost has the potential to end it with its icy sword. It isn’t yet a time to plant out seedlings except under cover.
In April, we are about to celebrate this transition from ‘death’ to new life, which is inherent in nature and in our faith, by celebrating the resurrection of Christ at Easter. The winter of humanity that brought to an end a good and gracious life will be recalled during the nightly readings of the ‘Harmony of the Gospel’ during ‘Passion Week’ (i.e. the week before Easter). It is a moving narrative that culminates in the events of Good Friday, which is a day of remembering when Christ was crucified – when we see the worst of humanity (that which we are all capable of) in action. Yet, even in that, we see God’s presence in the grace of Christ as he faces his oppressors with humility and vulnerability. Then, three days later, we will have the re-emergence of hope from despair, seen in the risen Christ on Easter Day. We take this to be a spiritual truth that there is life beyond death, and so we will celebrate this with an early morning service. In many Moravian Churches, this takes place in God’s Acre (our burial ground) on Easter Day – remembering those who have passed on to better things, but who have left an imprint on our lives, our souls and our community. It reminds us that even if we face the worst of the world, there is still hope. So we will bring out the Chocolate eggs and rabbits, and the little yellow fluffy chickens that the commercial world provided – all symbols of the new life which is to be celebrated and marvelled at – but actually, and more profoundly, which is already in the emerging world that is present around us. So, take a gentle stroll and enjoy the sight and symbolism that is Easter – but remember what happened to Christ as you journey, and be filled with hope. We Moravians haven’t been called ‘the Easter People’ for nothing!
Wishing you every blessing,
Easter is always a busy time at church. The calendar at the back of this newsletter is quite full, but I would like to advise you of a set of 12 free weekly chair-based exercise sessions for the over 50s, that are being held here starting on Thursday morning, 14th April from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. The first half-hour will be devoted to exercise and the second half hour will be a chance to sit and chat. Please come along if you can. There is a leaflet in the church porch giving full details.
Passion Week Readings: During the pandemic, we have held our Readings on Zoom and this year will be no different. Sr Sue will be asking you soon if you would like to read for us during Passion Week and Easter. Please volunteer if you feel able.
The Annual Dukinfield Songs of Praise service will be held at Old Chapel Church on Sunday 24th April at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Our Food Hamper Project workers are pleased to announce that they have received a grant from the Tameside Household Support Fund which helps families and individuals with lots of difficult circumstances and issues to set up or resettle into a new way of living. Our grant was to provide bedding for the children we support and to whom we supply food and toiletries and other every day essentials.
The picture above shows the bedding that has been purchased. This equates to 40 sets of bedding which includes one single duvet, one pillow, one duvet cover set, one fitted sheet and one soft fleece. These have been bagged up and will go out this week.
That day was a day like never before
As the Saviour died and the darkness grew,
Earth shuddered and rocks were split apart
As the veil of the temple was torn in two.
The centurion who witnessed all these things
The earthquake, the One who was nailed to the wood,
Seeing Him die could only say,
‘Surely this man was the Son of God’.
He rose as conqueror of the grave,
Death was defeated, the stone rolled away –
And man was released from all his bonds,
Christ rose as victor that glorious day.
The Light had pushed the darkness back,
He now stands resplendent for all to see,
Forgiveness, redemption all wrought on the cross,
The eternal fruits of Calvary.
By Megan Carter
|Sunday||3rd||Family Service with|
led by Br Peter
|Monday||4th||Church Committee on Zoom||7 p.m.|
|Wednesday||6th||M.W.A. Meeting in Church||1.15 p.m.|
Worship led by Sr Gillian Taylor
|Passion Week Readings on Zoom||7.30 p.m.|
Worship with Holy Communion
led by Br Peter
Worship led by Br Peter
Family Worship led by Br Peter
followed by Easter Breakfast
led by Sr Glenys Marshall
Dukinfield Songs of Praise at Old Chapel