Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. Psalms 57:1.
Dear All Saints and St Mary’s
As I prepare this week’s message I am sitting snug in my office overlooking the garden below, where the south west wind is bending and buffeting trees, plants and grass. The wind is in control of their movements. Birds have sought shelter out of sight. Children have been let off school. We wait and sit out the storm, while emergency services are on high alert to protect us from any dangers arising from storm Eunice.
What a coincidence then that this Sunday’s gospel reading is one where Jesus’ disciples find themselves out on a lake in a storm – the wind and their fears have blown out of control – that is, – until our Lord Jesus stands up and restores calm to waves and hearts. Looking to the future, the New Testament reading from Revelation presents us with a vision of heaven where ‘a rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne’ of God. The scene captures the essence of a place and time where the storms of life’s sufferings have petered out and been replaced by beauty, joy and peace, amid brotherly and sisterly communion. With this in mind, we warmly invite you to gather in worship at one of the following services.
Sunday 20th February – Second Sunday before Lent
10.00am Creative Church at St Mary’s Church – Bird feeders for your gardens! Revd Diane and team
10.30am Holy Communion at All Saints Church – Revd Janey Hiller
6.30pm Holy Communion at St Mary’s Church – Revd Janey Hiller
As we look to the week ahead then we have the following times of prayer and worship
Wednesday 23rd 09.00 – Celtic Morning Prayer at All Saints Church
Thursday 24th 10.00 – Holy Communion at St Mary’s Church
Sunday 27th 08.00 – Holy Communion at All Saints Church
10.00 – Holy Communion at St Mary’s Church
10.30 – Bible Study Worship at All Saints Church
LLF * It’s now time to book your place on a Living in Love and Faith course* The courses offer a learning and listening space – exploring the topics of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Evenings: St.Mary’s: Wednesdays 7.30- 9.00pm starting 9th March
Daytimes: All Saints: Tuesdays 2.00-3.30pm starting 8th March
Alternatively, you are welcome to enrol on any of the following:
City Deanery online Mondays 12 -1.30pm
ECFC Easton Tuesday evenings 7.30-9.00 pm
St Annes Greenbank Wednesdays 4pm- 5.30pm
St Annes Greenbank Saturdays 10am -1pm starting 12th March
The LLF courses run for five weeks (except 3 x Saturdays at St.Annes)
To book your place please email Elaine Jones at email@example.com
Creative wind of the Spirit… (continued from above)
Wind may be destructive, but in Scripture it is also creative. In Genesis 1:2 ‘a wind from God swept over the face of the waters’. The word for wind is the same as the word for ’Spirit’ in Hebrew: ruach. So it is also important to see God’s Holy Spirit as an energising wind – sweeping away cobwebs, re-energising people, the church and renewing the faith of our community. You will catch a glimpse of that excitement if you listen to a playground of young children on a windy day, as I did at Fishponds CE Academy this week. ‘Behold I am doing a new thing – do you not perceive it?’ (Isaiah 43.19).
In your lives, in our parishes may we recognise God as both refuge and risk-taker – in both reassurance and renewal as He builds His Kingdom among us.
Revd Diane, deacon