Vicar’s Letter – Lent 2021

Dear Friends 

John 10 v 10 

Jesus says, ‘ I come to bring you life in abundance. Life to the full. Life overflowing.’ 

Lent is soon upon is. It is a time of great hope in these difficult days. Vaccines are being administered and both Spring and Easter are just around the corner. We will soon be celebrating the new life born in creation and the new life we have in Jesus Christ our crucified and risen Lord.  

Here is what is happening across our 3 churches during the next few weeks. 

Ash Wednesday Service 
10.30am Wednesday 17th February on Facebook Live. Please burn your palm cross if you can and use the ash from it to create your own cross at home. 

Living with Loss – Living With Hope 
There is a deep sense of loss around at the moment, particularly if you’ve lost a loved one. If you are ‘Living with Loss’ I hope you can join Reverend Ian Jennings and myself as we reflect on Ian’s latest book ‘What is life without my Love?’ via Zoom during Lent 2021. Although it was written from his own experience of grief and loss; there are principles from which we can all benefit as we move through this pandemic with the inspiration of faith, hope and love.

Bishop Jack, former Bishop of Sheffield, writes of the book, “Ian asks deep and difficult questions but does not offer simplistic answers. He gives hope to those bordering on despair. He speaks from a deeply Christian heart includes those with little or no faith.’ 

The group will run for the 5 weeks of Lent on each  Sunday and Wednesday at 7.15pm for 40 minutes commencing Sunday 21st February. We will work through 10 chapters of the book together in our discussion and reflection. It will finish with a Facebook Live Memorial Service 7.15pm on Palm Sunday evening 28th March 2021 when we will remember those we have loved and lost. Loved ones names will be read out during this service as we light candles as symbols of prayerful love. 

Ideally you should have your own copy of Ian’s book so that you can read the chapter before we come together for each group meeting but it’s not essential. It is available £7.99 from Amazon. https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Life-Without-Love-Practical/dp/B08M7J3S3K

I do hope you will join us through the miracle of Zoom. The links for both the Sunday meetings and Wednesday meetings are obtainable from me via email at g5rev123@me.com. You can attend sone or all of the sessions. You don’t have to speak if you’d rather not and you don’t have to show your face on camera. Our thoughts as a church are with all who are living with loss during these pandemic times.

Easter Pocket Prayer Cross
Are there are any ‘knitters’ or ‘Crotcheters’ out there who are willing to make some colorful crosses so that we can share them at Easter please. We plan to place them on the church gates, hand them out in the local care home or give them to anyone who might be in need of one. Here’s a prayer to say whilst you’re doing it – ‘Loving God I’m knitting a loving hug from you to help carry someone through their day. As I prayerfully knit each stitch may it bring comfort, hope and peace to the special person who holds it in their hands. Amen.’ Here is the prayer card that will be given to those who receive them – ‘A loving hug from God to carry you through your day. May the presence of someone praying for you bring comfort, hope and peace. Each stitch was prayerfully and specially made for you.’ 

Holy Week & Easter 
Cluster Palm Sunday Service 
10.45am Harthill Church & Facebook Live

Cluster Maundy Thursday Service 
7pm Thursday 1st April Wales Parish Church & Facebook Live. 

Cluster Good Friday Service 
2pm Harthill Parish Church & Facebook Live 

Easter Sunday Services 
9.15am Wales Parish Church & Facebook Live 
10.30am Thorpe Salvin Parish Church 

Mission Partnership Pcc Meeting
7pm Wednesday 21st April via Zoom. We meet with Canon John Hibberd (Diocesan Missioner) and Reverend Vicky Camber (Area Dean of Laughton) and the PCCs of Wales, Harthill, Thorpe Salvin, Todwick, Aston and Ulley to explore Focal Ministry and what it might look like for each of us collectively and individually. The Zoom link will be shared in due course. 

Just to add that the 3 PCC’s have agreed to resume public worship from Holy Week onwards. Alleluia! 

May God in Jesus grant to you all who you love abundant, full and overflowing life this Easter 2021.

Blessings 

Reverend Gary 

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