Newsletter for May 2nd 2021
After many long months of winter lockdown we are at last beginning to be able to come together again. I know many of you are enjoying meeting together in gardens under the new freedoms. Of course, in many parts of the world the pandemic still continues unchecked. Like me, I’m sure you’ll have found the news reports from India both distressing, and a spur to prayer. We can only hope, pray and wait for all of us to be able to be “free” again.
May, in the Church’s calendar, is supremely the month of freedom.
During the first few weeks we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and reflect on the Bible stories of those who met Him after His crucifixion and resurrection.
Then we celebrate His Ascension – Jesus’ return to His Father.
And finally, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and all those locked in that Upper Room – with the subsequent birth of His Church.
This last year has for most of us felt like a waiting time to see and hug friends and family again. It’s also had a lot to teach us about fear and the hope we have within us.
What a celebration there must have been when Jesus returned to His Father – and what a celebration also when the Holy Spirit so powerfully descended.
It is the story of those “ordinary” men and women who were scared and in hiding one day and the next day so bold and outspoken, a dramatic transformation that speaks to me of something wonderful happening.
As I received my vaccination just before Easter I felt a real freedom from the fear I’d been carrying since the first lockdown began. It was only when the burden was lifted that I realised how heavy it had been.
What burdens have you been carrying? What fears have you had to face in this past year? Have you known the Holy Spirit by your side, strengthening you as you have walked these roads? I hope so, and I hope also that together we can help others to know the freedom he brings as perfect love delivers us from fear. Freedom indeed.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Yours with much love in Him,
Rev Jonathan Widdess.
email@example.com / 01865 863702
Here is this weeks news….
This Sunday @ St Michael’s – Holy Communion
Join us at 10:30am on Sunday morning in St Michael’s for Holy Communion.
You do not need to book – just turn up as usual! You do need to wear a face covering unless you are exempt, and social distancing rules are in effect in church.
This week Jonathan will be leading and preaching on John 15:1-8 where Jesus says “I am the vine”
This service will also be live-streamed at https://cumnor.org/sunday-service-online-2nd-may-2021/
The service will be available via telephone by Sunday lunchtime, on our parish worship line – 01865 920993
Readings and Collect for 2nd May
your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father.
Taizé Service for May
The May Taizé service is now available. With readings, prayers and meditative sung worship, it’s the perfect way to find some peace and space in the stresses and strains of life.
The Bible Course
Big, complex, old … just some of the words people use to describe the Bible. Sound familiar? That’s where The Bible Course comes in. The course will increase your confidence, equip you to read the Bible better and help you to see its relevance to daily life. The course provides a birds-eye view of the world’s bestselling book.
Running on Zoom, over eight interactive sessions, it combines video teaching, group discussion, personal reflection and daily readings.
The course is free and open to everyone, whether you’re just beginning to explore the Christian faith or want to take the next step in growing as a follower of Jesus.
Join Jonathan, at 1:30pm on Thursday’s from 6th May as we explore the Bible together.
For more info, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The zoom link is: https://zoom.us/j/91435565757?pwd=VzZqS2tsYWtUTkZLbCtvZ0JKV01NUT09
Parish Vision Consultation
On Wednesday 19th May at 7:30pm, you are invited to a meeting for everyone who cares about the future of our parish. We want to hear what you think about the way forward through the next few years as we emerge from the pandemic.
To prepare for the meeting please would you prayerfully reflect on these questions:
- What is God calling you to do?
- What is our parish for?
- What do we want our church community to be like in 5 years time?
If you can’t make the session, please send me your thoughts anyway. You can contact me on email@example.com or by letter to the Vicarage. Thanks, Jonathan.
On Wednesday night we had a good PCC Meeting where we:
- were updated on the progress towards a new vision for the parish
- approved the examined accounts for 2020 and the latest financial info for 2021
- received a report from the Fabric Committee
- discussed the latest plans for reopening as restrictions are eased
- appointed Kate Elliott as the new Parish Safeguarding Office. She takes over from Val Livesley in June. Many thanks to Val for all her excellent work in this role!
Thank you for praying for the meeting!
Worship Services in May
9/5 – 10am – Holy Communion
23/5 – 10am – Morning Worship
2/5 @ 10:30am Holy Communion
9/5 @ 10:30am Morning Worship
Thurs 13/5 @ 7pm Ascension Day
16/5 @ 8am Holy Communion (1662)
16/5 @ 10:30am Worship Outdoors in Churchyard
23/5 @ 10:30am Big Story
30/5 @ 10:30am Morning Worship with speaker from Tearfund
Continue to open for private prayer on Monday’s and Friday’s.
Recommencing from May 23rd.
We will live-stream the service from St Michael’s each week and you can access this on our YouTube channel or the parish website, https://cumnor.org/
The service will be available via Telephone from lunchtime on 01865 920993.
Apple Pies for St Andrew Rebuilding
Margaret Scruby has some frozen apple pies and crumbles for sale at £3.00 in aid of the St Andrew’s rebuild. Please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase and arrange collection!
Worship for Seniors
The Easter edition of our online series of Worship for Seniors is still available at https://cumnor.org/worship-for-seniors-easter-2021/. William Cutting is speaking about “Life after death”.
Worship for Seniors is a new, monthly series of devotional videos for seniors and those in care homes. Each episode lasts about 15 minutes. Worship for Seniors is also available by phone on 01865 920993, and then choosing option 2 from the menu.
Zoom Weekly Prayer Meeting
Our weekly prayer meeting continues every Monday at 10am.
Join us as we gather together online to pray for one another, our families, friends and neighbours, our parish, our nation and the world.
For more details on how to connect, see this web page.
Madeleine died peacefully on 21st of April in Framland House, the Pilgrims’ Friend Society Home in Wantage Oxfordshire.
There will be a short service of committal and cremation at the South Oxfordshire Crematorium (Garford, Abingdon, OX13 5PA) at 11am on Tuesday 11th of May.
Pam Gee also passed away recently. Her funeral is on 4th May at South Oxfordshire Crematorium.
As she makes her final earthly journey the hearse will pass through High Street, Cumnor at about 11:30am.
There will be a memorial service held once restrictions have eased.
Bishop Gavin Visiting
Following his recent consecration, we have invited Bishop Gavin, the new Bishop of Dorchester to visit us and take part in worship here. He has gladly accepted and will be with us on Sunday 21st November.
Can you help Jean get mobile?
Jean Pryce-Williams is looking for a second-hand automatic car (she can not afford a new one) to keep her ministry mobile. Her beloved 20 year old car has said ‘enough is enough’! If you know of anyone who is about to part with a reliable automatic (for up to £5,000), please contact Jean on 07927 236961. Thank you.
Please Continue To Pray For…
- Staff, and pupils at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold as the Summer Term continues.
- The families of Maureen Moore, Pam Gee and Madeleine Lund in their grief and loss.
- Our CMS mission partner Bia.
- The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project.
- All those who remain anxious for their jobs or their future.
- All those who are continuing to struggle with the effects of lockdown.
- Those who are homeless or struggling with food poverty.
- People to find a living faith in Jesus.
- Everyone who leads worship, preaches or teaches in our parish.
- Gavin Collins, the new Bishop of Dorchester who was consecrated recently.