Vicar’s letter – An update from Hannah, 6th May 2020
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
This description of community life in the early Christian church makes hard reading at the moment. Our own church family are unable to gather in our ‘temple courts’ or break bread together. This is especially hard when we know people among us are anxious or bereaved and in need of the comfort of faith-full friends. But let’s not turn our faces away from that inspirational picture of church in 1st century Jerusalem. Let’s take a good look. Then, as we wait for the time when we can meet together again, let’s continue to pray for miracles; let’s devote ourselves to Jesus’s teaching; and let’s challenge ourselves to do the things we can do as a church community, in spite of lockdown.
Exciting changes for this Sunday
This Sunday, through two very different services, we’ll explore the idea of the people of the church as ‘Living Stones’ built up into a living temple for God’s glory with Jesus as the Cornerstone. (1 Peter 2: 2-10). In the morning, 10.15 for a 10.30am start, we’ll gather live on Zoom for an exciting and experimental interactive All-Age service, (read on to find out how to join in with this) and in the evening we’ll have a traditional Evensong that can be viewed on YouTube in the usual way. ABC Church families have kindly offered to meet a little earlier than usual, at 9.30am, to accommodate this.
ABC Church 9.30am (on Zoom)
All-Age Gathering: ‘Living Stones’ 10.15am for a 10.30 start (on Zoom)
Evensong 6.30pm (on YouTube. Service sheet emailed)
Social and trail run at using Zoom – Tea@3. This Friday at 3pm
If you’ve not used zoom before why not try it out before Sunday by joining for a cuppa, chat, and technical support this Friday at 3pm. Full Zoom instructions and the meeting ID and password will be emailed to you separately.
How to join in with the ‘Living Stones’ All-Age service
What you’ll need:
Zoom installed on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone
The Zoom Meeting ID and Password. Sent to you separately by email with the full Zoom instructions.
(Please don’t share these on social media)
Optional but to make it more fun:
Building blocks (Eg: Lego, Duplo, wooden bricks, magnetic blocks) or pen and paper.
A decorated stone – In advance of the service decorate a stone or pebble with your name. You might want to use colours or a design that says something about you. If you can’t find a suitable stone, you can pick one up at the church gates this Friday or Saturday on your daily exercise. Decorate it before Sunday and have it ready to show during the service.
New telephone worship and helpline
The Church of England has launched a helpline called Daily Hope. This is aimed at those who do not have access to the internet and all the online resources. Using the freephone number 0800 8048044, it offers a hymn, reading and prayer – very helpful for those who prefer to use a phone.
Worship across the team, diocese, and BBC
St Michael’s services can be accessed via their website at:
All Hallows services can be accessed via their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/allhallows.leeds/
For listings of Church of England TV and Radio services go to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qnds
You can listen every week to Sunday Morning Worship on Radio 4 at 8.10am
You can listen to Choral Evensong on Radio 3 Wednesday’s at 3.30pm, repeated Sunday’s at 3pm. Also available on BBC Sounds.
Golden Giving – Have you tried donating online?
With the Parish Centre closed, and no rental income or Sunday worship collections we’re very concerned about the financial situation of the church this year. If you aren’t already donating by standing order could you consider setting one up or make a one-off donation on-line? Go to the St Chad’s website, https://stchads.co.uk , scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the Golden Giving logo, and just follow the instructions there.
Christian Aid Week 10-16 May
The usual arrangements for distributors to post and collect donation envelopes will not be going ahead this year. Christian Aid are promoting other ways to give and have provided a donation link on their website. Do give generously if you are able at: https://donate.christianaid.org.uk/Donate/Step/1
Do also keep your prayer requests coming in – I’m including these in my daily prayers and would love to pray for the specific needs of you and your loved ones at this time. May I also ask for your prayer for our church community and the following people in particular:
John Mackintosh’ family as they prepare for his funeral (probably Monday)
Edwin and Maureen Ross. Edwin is very poorly in a Wortley nursing home and Maureen is stuck at home waiting for news.
Martyn Thomas’s wife Joan and daughters Helen and Claire. Martyn sadly died this week. He had been poorly for some time. You may know him as the chair of the Weetwood Residents Association.
Keep praying, be patient, stay safe.
With love in Christ, from Hannah.