My mother-in-law sent me a video this week. I prepared to be impressed because during the coronavirus pandemic, she has become adept at using her iPad to keep in touch with family and friends, including FaceTiming, and to do all sorts of other things like catching up on favourite TV programmes and shopping. For someone who didn’t even know how to switch it on at the beginning and had never sent an email, she has not let the current crisis defeat her but has embraced new ways of doing things (with far less complaining and swearing than your vicar). However, it turned out that the video was a short, actually very short, ‘outtake’ from trying to record a message for a family occasion. It made me laugh but ruefully as I simply could not tell you how many ‘takes’ I do every single week when recording our online service. However, I am not defeated either because this to me is a perfect picture of Christian discipleship: getting it wrong, trying again, getting it wrong again, trying again and so on until we get it right or as close as we can manage. The word disciple means ‘learner’ and all Christians wear spiritual L plates throughout our life. One of Jesus’ first disciples, Peter, once asked Jesus how many times we should forgive someone who wrongs us; seven times was his own suggestion. Jesus came back with a figure of seventy-seven times! So if our current situation with all its restrictions, frustrations, anxieties and griefs keeps wrong-footing you; if you suffer more ‘outtakes’ than perfect shots, forgive yourself – again and again and again, as many times as it takes. And let’s try to do the same to those around us who are also just trying to get it right even if it involves more than one ‘take’.
This Sunday The Second Sunday of Epiphany
In church: under the current lockdown regulations, we are still permitted to hold services
10am Holy Communion: there is no need to register but, following a couple of requests, you may do so if you live outside the parish and want to know that you can definitely attend; for everyone else, please note that we have not often been over-subscribed but due to limited numbers under the COVID-19 restrictions, we can only admit you if there is space; were we to be regularly over-subscribed, we would put in an additional service so please do not be put off if you would like to join us.
Online service: with readings, hymns, and reflection by The Reverend Gussie Walsh https://youtu.be/SZaAf9dIfu4.
Collects, readings and reflection. (Click here to view)
Families and households: ideas, activity and colouring sheets and more - the excellent resource Roots, which is what we use for Sunday Club and Wholly Youth as well as our all-age services, offers a single weekly web page containing resources for a whole household based around this Sunday’s reading www.rootsontheweb.com/stayathome17jan.
Diocese: Bishop’s sermons available here https://www.cofeguildford.org.uk/i-am-resources/clergy/sunday-sermons.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: this week is the annual week of prayer for all Christian churches and denominations that we might grow in friendship, understanding and witness; find details here
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021 (ctbi.org.uk), in particular a free download of a booklet for the week with excellent readings, meditations, questions and prayers.
January edition is still available via our website (Click Here to View)
Funeral of Daphne Charlwood
We were sad to lose a member of our church family, Daphne Charlwood, unexpectedly on 27th December. She has been a good friend to many in both church and village and in normal times the church would be full of those wanting to make their farewells and give thanks for her life. Sadly, under the current circumstances, this is not possible and the service on Tuesday 26th January 2.30pm will be mostly for family so please do not come to the church unless you have been invited by them to do so. However, it will be livestreamed for members of the family who live in Canada and for friends who will not be able to attend and if you would like to be included in this, the family invite you to contact them by email and they will send you the link in due course: email@example.com. In the meantime we hold them, and all who miss Daphne, in our prayers.
Prayer of the week
God our Father,
you reveal to us your love through Christ and through our brothers and sisters.
Open our hearts so that we can welcome each other with our differences and live in forgiveness.
Grant us to live united in one body,
so that the gift that is each person comes to light.
May all of us together be a reflection of the living Christ. Amen.
(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity booklet)
With my love and prayers as always,