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Friday Connection – Good Friday (10th April 2020)

Welcome to our Fourth Friday Connection

Good Friday – On our Walk of Witness this year we shall be travelling together in our hearts and minds as we remember what Jesus did for us on Golgotha.

The cross is where Jesus took our sins away by his willing sacrifice. Good Friday fulfilled all the prophecies about who would be the one true Saviour who would bring peace. Psalm 85 verse 10 says “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other”. Jesus asks for nothing from us except faith – a faith which follows His teachings. Even when Jesus was on the cross and being mocked he asked His Father to forgive those mockers.

He asks us, his followers, to live a life of love and forgiveness as he did. We know that the suffering of Jesus is followed by a glorious resurrection on Easter Day. Hebrews 12 verse 2 asks us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God”; because of Jesus we are blessed and put right with God who reigns with righteousness and peace.

The first disciples were not in a church when they met the risen Jesus – they were at home, behind locked doors, afraid of what the future might hold. Jesus burst through their doubts and fears, and showed them that their lives could have purpose and meaning that they could not know without him, and know his presence and power in their homes and lives and world. This year on Easter Day we will be at home, perhaps feeling unsure about the future – with the risen Jesus we can find a certainty that he will be with us in every part of our lives, no matter what the future may hold – we can still say: the Lord is risen – He is risen indeed! Amen.

See, what a morning, gloriously bright, with the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
folded the grave clothes, tomb filled with light, as the angels announce Christ is risen!
See God’s salvation plan, wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
fulfilled in Christ, the Man, for he lives: Christ is risen from the dead!
… And we are raised with him, death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered;
and we shall reign with him, for he lives: Christ is risen from the dead!
©Stuart Townend (b.1963) and Keith Getty (b.1974)

Easter Sunday Communion at Home

Why not use this simple communion at 10.30am on Easter Day to bring us together as a church family?

Take a small piece of bread and some juice and say:

Bring bread to the table – Bring the body of Christ
Bring wine to the table – Bring the blood of Christ

Holy God, we praise you. We bless you for creating the world, for your promises to your people, and for Jesus, in whose face we see your fullness.

Born of Mary, he shares our life.
In broken bread he shares his life: with the hungry, the exploited & the poor.
In poured wine he shares his promise: with the oppressed, the hopeless and the excluded.

With thanksgiving we break the bread & lift the cup.
We proclaim Christ’s death & resurrection. We claim the promise of life.
We share the gifts of bread & wine, and share his gifts of love & life in our daily lives.

Unite us in faith, encourage us with hope, inspire us to love, that we may serve as your faithful disciples, until we join with all your people around your banquet table. Amen

blue and white image of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a colt, as people hold palm fronds and lay down their cloaks

Friday Connection – 3rd April 2020

Welcome to our Third Friday Connection – 3rd April 2020

As we gather together again through our Friday Connection we thank God for all the blessings we receive as his children. At this different time in our lives we realise how much we need the care and love of our heavenly father. God encourages us, uplifts us and give us the power through the Holy Spirit to reach out to others and, if not in physical ways, certainly in prayer.

We are at the beginning of Holy Week and as we mark Palm Sunday our reading is from
Mark 11: 1-11.

Two processions entered Jerusalem on this day: from the east Jesus rode on a donkey down the Mount of Olives, cheered by his followers. From the peasant village of Nazareth, his message was about the Kingdom of God, and his followers came from the peasant class. They had journeyed to Jerusalem from Galilee about 80 miles to the north, a journey that is the central part and dynamic of Mark’s Gospel.

On the opposite side of the city from the west, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor entered Jerusalem at the head of a column of imperial cavalry and soldiers. Pilate’s procession proclaimed the power of empire: cavalry, horses, weapons, banners, marching feet and beating of drums.

The two processions are in direct contrast and confrontation – between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Caesar – the kingdoms of this world.

Here we are told the implications of following Jesus on the way to the cross, to Jerusalem: the way of confrontation with the authorities, but also the place of death and resurrection. In these difficult and challenging times, we still have to choose to follow the way of Jesus, for it is the way to LIFE even in the darkest times, life that is full of hope, joy, courage and expectation. We have been given the Holy Spirit to fill our lives with the vital necessities of that LIFE that only knowing Jesus and believing in God can give.

As we continue to pray for our world, our nation, our communities, our key workers, our friends and families we thank God that we can take our concerns to Him and accept his peace. The church family is here to support you so please ask for prayers through our several ways of contact. Here we ask for your prayers for Jane and Jonathan who are both very unwell. Jane was ill first and was very poorly but is improving, Jonathan is poorly and still ‘rubbish’ (his word) so please remember them and all those who are struggling in any way as we continue along the road to recovery.

With our love and prayers to you all
Terry and Irene

The sun setting behind a mountain in the distance, with green grass in the foreground

Friday Connection – 27th March 2020

Welcome to our Second Friday Connection 

We shall not be composing the usual monthly newsletter until we are back at church but we will be sending out our Friday Connection by email and through Facebook. If you know of someone in our church community who is nearby and can’t connect like this and you are able to print and push through a copy of this Connection that would be good, otherwise please keep in contact by telephone.

Gathering together is vital for the Christian Church. We gather to praise God and celebrate – celebrate all God has done through Jesus. We soak ourselves in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we do this through our songs, hymns, prayers, sermons and encouragement of each other. This strengthens us to live our Christian lives and all that means.

At the moment we are physically apart but we can still gather during our Friday prayer time as we rejoice in our faith, remember what God has done and pray for each other, our families, friends and our church family. I hope you are managing to keep active and receive telephone calls as well as meeting through other means of safe communication.

The weather has been glorious for the past week and we have been able to see new life all around us with spring flowers, busy birds, bees and butterflies – wonderful nature that uplifts our spirits.

We are in the fifth week of Lent just now and the Bible readings are Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 130, Romans 8:6-11, and John 11:1-45. This is plenty of reading but how wonderful that when we need to read or hear something from God’s word, the passages we are given are so helpful and appropriate.

Romans 8:11 says: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” May you know this peace which passes all understanding as we go forward trusting in our Saviour at this different and challenging time.

With our love and prayers
Terry and Irene