Weekly News Letter - 21st February 2021

St James

AT THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY

A Very Warm Welcome to Everyone

 Reluctantly we have suspended in person public worship on Sundays.  The church will remain open for individual private prayer 10.00 -11.00am Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We will broadcast worship from St James' at 10.00am each Sunday morning. 

Please do join us live on Facebook or Youtube.  St James Facebook link    St James YouTube page

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Lent

As you'll know Ash Wednesday is the day we mark the beginning of Lent. Last Lent was swallowed by lockdown. This Lent we begin in lockdown, not quite knowing when release will come. Will Lent ever end? Will Easter ever come? There's a sermon there, but it's not for today.

A few years ago I had one of those experiences which jolts you. At the end of the Ash Wednesday service, as I looked out on the faces of the congregation, what struck me was that everyone bore a blackish smudge of the cross on their foreheads - everyone. Nothing unusual there, it was an Ash Wednesday service. But what forcibly hit me was that everyone carried the mark of Jesus' love on their faces. Jesus gave his life, his love, for everyone. There it was in plain view for me.

In that smudgy ash, the cross which stands for love, forgiveness, commitment, sacrifice and transformation marked each person, and it marked us all. God's good news is for us all. A lot of the time we can't see it, but as those smudges revealed to me, the cross is the transforming power of God in our lives.

As St Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1.18

"For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

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7.00pm Ash Wednesday

Join with us for a simple Ash Wednesday Service on Facebook and Youtube.  If you have some ash from the fire, or better still from a Palm Cross, have it at hand, so that we can start Lent together.

At the service we'll pray:

God our Father,
you create us from the dust of the earth:
grant that these ashes may be for us
a sign of our penitence
and a symbol of our mortality;
for it is by your grace alone
that we receive eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

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In this update…

  • This Sunday's Worship
  • Zoom Coffee
  • Kid's Service
  • New or unusual pastimes
  • Lent Groups - final call for boarding
  • Church Open
  • Morning Prayer and Prayer on an Evening
  • Food Bank
  • Daily Hope
  • Amazon Smile
  • Financial Support

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Sunday 21st February - "Meeting God in the Wilderness"

10.00am Sunday Worship (live on Facebook and YouTube)

For many this time has been a bit of a wilderness experience. But what about the wildernesses which are within us? The wildernesses we carry around, or we bury, or flee from in our own lives. Through Lent, and on Sunday in particular, we will be looking at how God meets us in the wilderness.

Please do join us for worship on Sunday.  Even though we are in our own homes we can still worship together.  Indeed it is vital that we do.  All are most welcome on Facebook or Youtube. St James Facebook link    St James YouTube page

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Zoom Coffee - after Church on Sunday

It is nice to see people, even if it's only virtually! Do please join us for Zoom Coffee immediately after our worship on Sunday. Stay as long or as short a time as you like (if you are shy like me it will be a relief to know that you can leave any time). Usually we say hello then break into two sessions of ten minutes chat.  Your face may make all the difference to another person's day (this isn't hyperbole).

Please follow the link to join us. Zoom link - coffee after church on Sunday   Meeting ID: 184 242 660

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Kid's Service

Josh Taylor's fabulous Kids' Service continues and is greatly appreciated.  Lively, fun-packed services are available on Youtube each Sunday.  St James YouTube page

 

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New or Unusual Pastimes

Have you taken up a new or unusual pastime during lockdown?  The Parish Magazine team would love to hear from you. It could be anything from wild swimming to night walking, crocheting to wood-turning, bread making to poetry, and everything else. Do please let us know by emailing

parishmagazine@gmail.com

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Lent Groups 2021 - a great time to meet together and dig deeper

There is still time to join in.  One of the ways of making the most of Lent, which is traditionally a time of reassessment and drawing closer to God, is by doing a Lent Group. 

The times of the weekly sessions beginning w/c 22 February are below: 

Mondays        7:30pm hosted by Janet Cox 

Tuesdays       7.15pm hosted by Lorna Taylor
                      7:30pm hosted by Val Lumsden

Wednesdays  7:30pm hosted David York
                       7:30pm hosted by Steve and Maria Taylor

To sign-up for a group please contact Marilyn Smith maralsmith@virginmedia.com or 01937 583410

This year, for obvious reasons, our Lent Course will be via Zoom.  Zoom is easy to use.  Although it has its limitations for this sort of thing, my experience is that it can be a surprisingly fruitful way of getting together.  Help to use the technology is available.  Please do ask, we would be glad to help.

This year we will be exploring topics around the Rhythm of Life.  How can we grown patterns of life that are sustaining and life-giving?  

We do hope you will be able to join us, all are welcome.

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St James' Open for Private Prayer

St James' is open for individual private prayer 10.00 - 11.00am Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It will not be open on Thursday 11th February as there is a funeral.

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Morning Prayer 9am & Informal Prayer 6pm via Zoom - Monday to Friday

In addition to Morning Prayer the Reverend Janet Cox will continue to host a short (ten minutes) pause for prayer at 6pm each week day evening. The link for both Morning Prayer and Evening Pause is: Zoom Prayer  Meeting ID: 716 3190 4008  Password: 8QcDqV

All are very welcome

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Food Bank

Thank you to everyone who has given to the Food Bank. With children home from school there is pressing need for food. Donations of food can be left in church 10.00 - 11.00am Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Daily Hope phone line

DailyHope, a free national telephone line, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of the phone.

The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind; to provide comfort and spiritual nourishment to the most isolated in our society.

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Amazon Smile

Thank you to all who have registered with Amazon Smile to support St James.  If you shop with Amazon please do consider making us your registered charity.  Shop on Amazon Smile at Amazon Smile St James and Amazon donates to St James Wetherby, at no cost to you.  

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Financial Support

"God loves cheerful givers" 2 Cor 9.7

We are extremely grateful to everyone who supports St James' financially.

This support enables us to be at the heart of the community sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.  As part of a diocesan family of churches we also support less well resourced parishes in other parts of the diocese.  Since lockdown, as collections during services have been limited, we have suffered a significant drop in our income.  Unless this income is recovered the things we can do as a church will be severely curtailed.

I would like to ask everyone to consider two things.

1)  If you are not doing so already, please consider setting up a standing order through your bank. (Thank you to those who, since lockdown, have already made this transition.) This is the easiest way to give, and it is Covid- secure. The form for giving and Gift Aid is here:  Regular Giving Form 

Our bank details are:  Wetherby Parochial Church Council account at NatWest Bank PLC  Sort Code: 55-81-11  Account No: 04416775 

2)   If you are able to, please consider increasing your giving. Like everyone else each year inflation means that our costs increase. If it is a while since you increased your regular giving please consider doing so. Or perhaps you might be able to consider a one-off gift to St James', in which case you could support a specific area of church life, Worship, Mission or Fabric?

If you require any further information please contact our Stewardship Officer, Jill Rose 01937 586 640. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

My old vicar used suggest to people that they give as much as makes them joyful. I thought that was a rather good way of putting it. As St Paul says, "God loves cheerful giver". 2 Cor 9.7

Thank you for all your support. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

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Tel: 01937 583074 

email: stjames.wetherby@gmail.com

www.stjameswetherby.org.uk

https://www.facebook.com/stjameswetherby