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Framlingham Churches Together, thoughts and prayers to encourage and support our community

Framlingham Community Baptist Church / St Clare’s Roman Catholic / St Michael’s Church of England / United Free Church-Methodist & United Reform / Framlingham College

Welcome

To share a prayer on our Framlingham Churches Together page please email framparish@gmail.com

 SHARING CHRIST   

Be Strong and of Good Courage was the message God gave to Joshua after the death of Moses. Joshua’s task is happily very different to ours and the task he had causes us all sorts of questions.

But the message is a good one as individuals, as a nation and as part of the world community, we face the worst medical nightmare for many decades and it naturally worries and concerns us. The advice we are receiving will affect how we live, how we shop, what we do and even how we pray together.

We face the challenges better if we do it together and reassure each other, talk with each other and whenever the opportunity comes, laugh together

Churches Together members are feeling that and want to share the hope that sharing Jesus’ love gives and to share in the commitment in the town to try and help people who may be ill or self-isolating for safety or just wondering what all this is about.

Laughing probably can’t be on demand, but supporting each other is a Godly task and the Churches are willing to offer that and to share prayer. Be Strong and of Good Courage and together with help from God we will get through this strange and unnerving period.

St Michael’s Framlingham

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 SHARING CHRIST 45         13.09.21

 

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

 

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

 

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon

 

Framlingham Community Baptist Church

 

In the FAYAP Centre and on Zoom each Sunday at 10.45am. For a Zoom link email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

 

St Michael’s, Framlingham

 

Sundays -8am Holy Communion and 9.30am Parish Communion (Family Communion 1st Sunday)
Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am

 

All Saints, Saxtead

 

11.15am     1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion

 

United Free Church, Framlingham                    

 

Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home.
Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

 

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

 

 

 

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

 

 

 

James 4:8- “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

 

 

 

I have always laughed when I hear the phrase ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. It makes me think how can we achieve Christ-like status when we are so wrapped up in life? In the olden days going back a few hundred years, people used to think becoming clean was a way to get sick. I remember reading one King had four baths in the 70 years he was alive, another monarch had four baths a year. During the COVID times we were regularly washing our hands, wearing face masks, washing our clothes as soon as we walked in from being at work.

 

 

 

God wants us to be clean, He wants us to have clean hands and a pure heart when we come to worship Him. I am reminded of the Bible verse above. It is amazing that we can come near God and He will come near to us and that God encourages us to wash our hands and purify our hearts. I do not know what you have been feeling with the change in rules, but God asks us to come to Him clean and pure. Making sure that we are pure and have clean hands enables us to focus our minds on God and enables us to worship Him and live our lives for God in all that we do and everywhere we go.

 

 

 

I recently saw a cartoon in the papers and it was interesting as the cartoon was explaining that keeping clean was important in life, however it was asking the question ‘what happens then?’ The conclusion to the cartoon was they arrived at Heaven and St. Peter asked ‘how often did you clean yourself’, and the response was ‘everywhere I went’ and St. Peter said ‘welcome’. I did not see the cartoon making a mockery but explaining the saying of ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. God’s love is amazing and everywhere we go and we should be ready to respond where possible and explain that, when we become Christians, God washes our sin away and we have clean hands and pure hearts.

 

 

 

We might find ourselves comfortable where we are, but we all know sin is an illness, that one day God will fix the problem and cure the world of sin, but whilst we are waiting for this, we need to keep ourselves clean. We should protect ourselves with pure hearts and clean hands.

 

Ben Plant

 

 

 

Prayer

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you make all things clean and prepare us for anything. We pray that as we continue going out into the community that you will continue to provide us with all the love and support we can ever have. Help us to become more like you every day, and keep us from evil and sin. In your Holy and Almighty Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

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 SHARING CHRIST 44 13.09.21

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church

In the FAYAP Centre and on Zoom each Sunday at 10.45am. For a Zoom link email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

Sundays -8am Holy Communion and 9.30am Parish Communion (Family Communion 1st Sunday)
Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am

All Saints, Saxtead

11.15am     1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion

United Free Church, Framlingham                    

Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home.
Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Channels of God’s love

Many of the readings in the Bible point out to us that God, our creator longs to gather his people to Him, especially the vulnerable, making their paths smooth, guiding them to streams of water.

The Psalms urge us to sing as we reap, for God frees us from slavery, God makes us streams in dry land. We as prophets, priests and kings can guide, lead and refresh God`s little ones by being channels of love and peace if we are truly proclaimers of the kingdom here on earth.

This love which makes us cry Abba/Father will open us to our weaknesses. We cannot be presumptuous, only by God`s grace, through Christ Jesus, can we be saved and bring others to salvation.

The blind son of Timaeus hears Jesus passing and shouts out, "Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me." Just as the demon within another man recognises Jesus and acknowledges Him so does the blind man who immediately sees.

Our friends and families can be embarrassed if we openly acclaim Jesus, especially young people who have grown up in ignorance and blindness to the Son of Man. The devil is clever and young people, who are prepared to demonstrate openly for injustice in the world, for the environment, for equality of treatment, are blind to the persecution of Christians throughout the world. Adults may speak passionately of football teams, rugby teams, the material gains of others and ignore the sufferings of their neighbour.

The crowd scold Bartimaeus but he shouts all the louder, "Son of David, have pity on me."

The fascinating thing is that it is members of that crowd who urge him. It is for us to call the blind, the poor, the lame, those in need to ask Jesus and to ask the question, "What do you want me to do for you?" In various forms it will be "Lord that I may see."

So many people want to believe but are afraid. The wrongs Christians do tend to be emphasised -their good works glossed over. The crowd is divided into those who care for the blind man and those who would silence the poor.

We are those who can say, "Courage, He is calling you." If we do not shed the light of Christ; if we do not proclaim the love of God how can the blind see?

There are those who say we should not teach Religion but let children make up their own minds when they are older. There is a parable which tells of a Sultan who wished his children to speak the language of angels and had them taught by deaf mutes. What language did they speak? NONE for they had no knowledge on which to base it. Would we logically support the teaching of Maths, the Sciences, History and Geography by such a negative method?

Again we must cry out Jesus so the world hears and asks that they may see. "Give us that living water so we may never thirst."

Recently the Liverpool Irish singer, Charlie Landsborough, spoke of unconditional love changing his life. He sang ‘My Forever Friend – Jesus’, finishing with spoken line,

"My forever friend ... Jesus is my forever friend” and, laying his hand over his heart, the audience clapped and cheered and he had to repeat it.

Pope Francis writes, "How beautiful those cities who overcome paralysing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development."

If those who are invited to the heavenly banquet ignore the invitation we must reach out to those who feel unloved and let them know that the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

To those who say, "I don`t believe in God," we must tell them with love, "God believes in you."

 Rev. Mike Vipond

 

A Prayer

Loving God, may those of us who have felt your love, speak of it;

And those who have yet to know it, listen for your loving words welcoming them.

Amen

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SHARING CHRIST 43         16.08.21


Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers
Local Sharing Prayer and Faith
St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church
Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon
Framlingham Community Baptist Church
In the FAYAP Centre and on Zoom each Sunday at 10.45am. For a Zoom link email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk
St Michael’s, Framlingham
Sundays -8am Holy Communion and 9.30am Parish Communion (Family Communion on 1st Sunday). Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am
All Saints, Saxtead
11.15am 1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion
United Free Church, Framlingham
Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home. Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/


Saying “Thank you” The Christian theologian Meister Eckhart wrote “If the only prayer we ever said was thank you, it would be enough”. Gratitude is not always obvious in our world where people are quick to focus on complaining when things go wrong but slow to thank others for the service that is provided. With this in mind when Churches Together were considering how we might speak to the Covid pandemic we thought that the first thing that we needed to do was say thank you to the women and men who in volunteering and in their everyday work have gone the extra mile to care for the vulnerable in our community. There are many examples I have heard of, kindness offered in times of need when a simple act has made all the difference in the world for people. We wanted to create a space for the community to come together and recognise such acts of service and simply to give people a chance to say thank you. With this in mind, on the afternoon of Sunday 5th September we are holding a joint service to do just that. We will meet on Pageant Field (or in the event of rain in St Michael’s church building) for a 45 minute service of thanksgiving. We are inviting anyone and everyone to attend, asking nothing in return, but just a chance to show our gratitude.
Jesus constantly reminded the disciples of the power of service, how in serving others we find God more deeply. Richard Chartres, the former Bishop of London put it like this, ‘And the mystery is this - the more you go beyond yourself, the more you will become your true self; the more you lose yourself in loving and serving others, the more you will find yourself; the more you keep company with those who suffer, the more you will be healed.’ In the pandemic that willingness to serve sprouted in lots of ways and so it is wonderful to bring everyone together, to remember the kindness shown by so many, to celebrate it and to give thanks for it, both to those who offered it, and to the God whose love inspires it. We as the Churches in Framlingham are the hosts so I hope lots of us will be present of offer a warm and heartfelt welcome to those who have served us, and during our time together, to serve them in the likeness of Jesus.
A Prayer
Loving God,
Jesus taught us to serve those in need in our world.
Help us always to be ready both to serve and be served,
In faith and gratitude.
Amen
Rev. Chris Davey

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SHARING CHRIST 42 02.08.21


Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers
Local Sharing Prayer and Faith
St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church
Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon
Framlingham Community Baptist Church
Back in the FAYAP Centre and on Zoom each Sunday at 10.45am. To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk either to let us know you are coming, or for a Zoom link. Open-Air Service Sunday 1st August at 10.45am at back of FAYAP Centre.
St Michael’s, Framlingham
Sundays -8am Holy Communion and 9.30am Parish Communion (Family Communion on 1st Sunday). Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am
All Saints, Saxtead
11.15am 1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion
United Free Church, Framlingham
Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home. Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/
Whatever the circumstances…
Psalm 16
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’
I say of the holy people who are in the land, ‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
Because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
A group from the United Free Church have recently completed a study series on the Psalms, based on a book edited by Mark Greene: “Worshipping - The God of All in All of Life”. The sessions took us through six of David’s Psalms, looking in turn at worshipping the God of All, In All of Life, Together, Under Pressure, In Failure and In Contentment. The sessions took place over Zoom (where else?!) and gave us a chance to read and consider David’s circumstances, his responses to God and how the Psalms could be relevant to us in different times and in our varying situations.
The final session looked at Psalm 16 (above), and saw David in a contented and settled place. The author noted that in good times it can be easy to become complacent, to drift away from God and perhaps not to recognise God’s grace or our continuing need for him at the centre of all we do.
In thinking about how David responded to God at this time in his life, we are encouraged to think about those things for which we can give thanks, and to celebrate the goodness of God.
The series helped illustrate that God is there for us in all situations. There is a lot we can learn from the Psalms, whether we feel things are going well for us, or we are being challenged or times are hard.
A Prayer
Lord God,
Thank you for all your good gifts, and for the security and joy we have in you.
We thank you that you are beside us in all circumstances, when things are going well, or when we are under pressure or facing fear, uncertainty or failure.
May we know and delight in your presence with us in all we do over the coming days and weeks.
Amen.
Cath Kitching

 

SHARING CHRIST 41 22.07.21


Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers
Local Sharing Prayer and Faith
St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church
Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon
Framlingham Community Baptist Church
Back in the FAYAP Centre and on Zoom each Sunday at 10.45am. To join the service email
info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk either to let us know you are coming, or for a Zoom link.
St Michael’s, Framlingham
Sundays -8am Holy Communion and 9.30am Morning Worship.
Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am
All Saints, Saxtead
11.15am 1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion
United Free Church, Framlingham
Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home.
Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/
Does suffering have a value?
Sometimes we do not always understand why bad things happens to us. Even then however, God
can use them to teach us and make us into better people. Disappointments and tragedies for example
can teach us to turn in trust to God for the hope and comfort we need. These experiences can also
teach us to be patient, and to make us more sensitive to others who are suffering.
Are you passing through a difficult time? Ask God to use it to increase your faith and make you more
like Christ. God loves it when we turn to Him not only in the difficult times but also the good times.
The Apostle Paul writes in his Epistle to the Romans:
“We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance character, and character hope”- Romans 5:3-4
Be aware that perseverance does equal character and character equals hope, as it enables us to live
for His glory. As we prepare to go back to some form of normality, remember that over the past 18
months we have learnt many lessons - to be patient, to have perseverance- which has built our
character and hope that all things are working for God’s glory and not our own.
Bad things might happen to us and we might feel down with it all, but remember, there is no need to
feel down, as bad things help to build our characters and reaffirm that we serve a God who is in
control. Remember Job, instead of getting down, he increased his perseverance and had the
philosophy that God was in control and was probably helping him to grow in his faith. God helps us
to grow in faith with various problems, but remember He is in control and will never let anything take
you away from Him, but use the problem for His glory.
Ben Plant
Heavenly Father, we love you that we are able to trust and hope in you. We may never know why bad
things happen, but we know that they are for your glory and not our own. We ask that you may help
us to have the reactions of Job- a bit of sadness, but able to turn our pain and suffering into rejoicing.
We ask for healing across the nation as we return to normality, that you will help people to have
respect for others’ choices over face coverings, social distancing and many other precautions, and
that you will help everyone know that you are God.
As the Psalmist says, you command us to be still and know that you are God, we thank you that you
are our God and that you help us go through life knowing that you are there and for us and that you
will never be against us.
In Your Holy and Almighty Name…… Amen

 

SHARING CHRIST 39  21.05.21

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom each Sunday at 11am. To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

Sundays -8am BCP Holy Communion:  9.30am Parish Communion: 1st Sunday Family service.
Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am

All Saints, Saxtead

11.15am     1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion

United Free Church, Framlingham                    

Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home.
Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Obituary -Bishop Collin Christopher Theodore

Bishop Collin Theodore spent his life serving the church in Delhi, except for the time when he was consecrated as Bishop to serve the Diocese of Rajasthan. From his childhood till his death he remained a faithful son of the Church of North India.

In Delhi joined the Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ, which is a monastic-missionary community of the Church of North India. After completing a period of two years as probationer in 1979 he made his final promise for life-intention as a member of the Brotherhood in 1981. He was trained at Bishop College Kolkata and was ordained as deacon in his home parish of St. Mary’s Church Ajmer in 1979, and then returned to the Brotherhood where he was admitted as a probationer. In Delhi he served at St. James Church Kashmere Gate and Holy Trinity Church Turkman Gate as the following year he was ordained as presbyter in the Diocese of Delhi. He continued to serve in these churches, serving and visiting the members on his black Rajdoot motorcycle.

In 1985 Collin was appointed CNI Youth Director; consequently in the following year which was the International Year of Youth, he played an important part in planning conferences at Diocesan and regional levels. The most important one was at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi for the delegates from each diocese of CNI. This was part of the moderator’s “Transfer of Vision” programme, and the Moderator, the Most Revd. Dinesh C. Gorai was present.

Due to his active ministry as a pastor and youth director, he had become widely known among all sections of the people of Delhi Diocese. Moreover his involvement was beyond the confines of the diocese, particularly in the administration of the Christian Study and Retreat Centre at Rajpura Dehradun and Fr. Wyld Memorial Retreat and Study Centre at Tezpur Assam. As a very active Secretary of the Delhi Christian Pastor’s Fellowship he was in touch with the local churches. His experience in pastorates was very wide having ministered only in small Hindi-Speaking Churches like St. Stephen’s Church Fatehpuri, Christ Church Basai Darapur and Prabhu Prakash Sadan Nandnagari, Mukti Aradhnalaya Pitampura but also in multi-lingual Congregation of the Cathedral Church of the Redemption in New Delhi.

At a meeting of the Chapter in November 1997 Collin was elected as the eleventh Head of the Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ. He took over his office as Head from Fr. Amos Rajamoney. Later, he served as Bishop of Rajasthan for a decade 2001-2011 stationed at Ajmer. He did his best to build up the diocese under most difficult circumstances. After his retirement he was called upon to take charge as the episcopal commissary of the Diocese of Lucknow, which was also a very challenging ministry. Thereafter he retired at the Brotherhood House and served as the Guardian of the St. Stephen’s Community, and also built up the ministry of the North West Region of the National Council of Churches of India. As an ecumenical minded person he was loved and respected by Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches.

On the last week of his life he was at St. Stephen’s Hospital Delhi where Fr. Monodeep Daniel (Head of the Brotherhood) was also admitted under the same condition. At the same time Fr. Solomon was also tested corona positive and was quarantined in his rooms in the Brotherhood. They shared the same floor in the hospital but could not meet in person due to health regulation of isolation. Fr. Monodeep called him on mobile each day from his hospital room. Collin spoke very little as he had become very weak. “Yes, Mono” … “still going on, slowly” he would say. He died on the morning of 15th April 2021 in the hospital. According to his wishes he was cremated and his ashes were divided; half were buried at the Nicholson Cemetery Delhi along with Fr. Ian Weathrall and Bishop Christopher Robinson both members of the Brotherhood, and the other half in Ajmer among his family graves.

We will remember him for his very strong voice heartily singing hymns during Sunday Services and the Brotherhood Chapel, his sense of humour and love of Mughlai cuisine.

Fr. Monodeep Daniel (PhD)

Head, Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ

 

Heavenly Father, we pray to you for the country of India at this so difficult time.  For every person who has been touched by the cruel virus which is raging so aggressively there.  We know the anxiety and the fear that we knew when the pandemic was at its height in our own land, and cannot imagine how painful it is for the peoples of that great land at present.  We pray for all its peoples of whatever creed, but especially we bear in our hearts all those connected with the Delhi Brotherhood Society.  Thank you for the life of Bishop Collin and thank you those workers for the community who are recovering.  May their recovery be sound and enable them to continue to serve.  We pray for the Societies' schools, its teachers and its peoples as they grapple with distanced learning.

We pray especially that the vaccine programme that is needed to counter the pandemic ,not just in India but worldwide, will happen as soon as possible; that nations like our own with the wealth and the structures make it happen will be generous and ready to forgo so that all the world may be made safe.

Jesus told us that God loves the world so much.  May we, as we seek to 'Share Christ', also make known our love to the people of India as we offer this prayer in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

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 SHARING CHRIST 38  30.04.21

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom each Sunday at 11am. To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

Sundays -8am BCP Holy Communion and 9.30am CW Communion. ‘First Sunday’ Family Service
Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am

All Saints, Saxtead

11.15am     1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion

United Free Church, Framlingham                    

Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home.
Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Standing together against the climate crisis

Psalm 96:  11-13

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

It is that time of year when, once again, we start preparing for Christian Aid Week.  And again this year, our plans and activities are having to be shaped by the restrictions still in place as a result of Covid 19. 

Last year, Christian Aid report that in spite of the restrictions imposed by the global pandemic, efforts across the UK raised almost £4million to help people living in poverty.  Thank you for all that you did to support that effort.

The focus for action this year is the climate crisis, with particular emphasis on the impacts of extreme weather on the people of Kenya.  Cycles of severe drought and flooding mean that communities do not have reliable sources of water, which in turn mean that crops cannot survive, and people are facing hunger.

The coronavirus pandemic makes this lack of water even more critical, as handwashing with soap and water is vital to help families stay safe against the virus.

 

The following is an extract from the worship materials prepared by Christian Aid:

‘John 15 vs 17   This is my command: love each other.

Drought drives people to the brink. Storms tear families apart. Raging waters show no mercy.

Our world is in crisis. We have the power to stop it.

People living in poverty are on the frontline of the climate chaos. They are losing food, water, homes and family.

Every day, they walk further, dig deeper and build stronger to survive. Unrelenting. Determined. They battle the worst of a climate crisis they did not create.

This is unjust.

But a better way is possible. A way that restores justice to our broken world today. A way that protects the future for all of us, our children and grandchildren.

In our giving, let us put our words into action, sharing our resources with those working tenaciously for justice.

And let us give with God’s vision of a more just world in our mind’s eye and hope in our hearts.’

 

 

Christian Aid Week Prayer

Great God,

Who makes the sun to rise and opens the heavens-

Hear the cry of the people who sow in hope for rain, but reap only despair;

Hear the cry of the people seeking shelter from the storm, their hopes and homes submerged;

Hear the cry of the people, when creation is hitting back, with rage and resistance.

Give us hope, grant us salvation,

Give us a new relationship with creation with reverence to tend this gift from You,

And say once again of the earth and all you created-

It is GOOD.

(Bob Kikuyu Global Theology Advisor, Christian Aid)

 

 

Christian Aid week runs from 10th-16th May this year.  During that time we will have donation envelopes available in all the Churches in the town, and encourage the Churches to distribute them to those members who are staying home.  These envelopes will be collected back through the Churches. We will also have a collection bucket in Framlingham Post Office (the staff there have kindly agreed), for anyone who would like to make a donation.

In addition we are exploring other fund raising activities and will share information with the Churches as soon we have more details.

Cath Kitching (on behalf of Framlingham Christian Aid Group)

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SHARING CHRIST 37       17.04.21


Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers
Local Sharing Prayer and Faith
St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church
Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday at 12 noon
Framlingham Community Baptist Church On Zoom each Sunday at 11am. To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk
St Michael’s, Framlingham
Sundays -8am Holy Communion and 9.30am Morning Worship. Wednesdays – Said Communion at 10.30am
All Saints, Saxtead
11.15am 1st and 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion
United Free Church, Framlingham
Sunday worship at 11.00am with a Zoom link to those at home. Zoom information may be found on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/
God’s Faithfulness
The resurrection does not solve our problems about dying and death. It is not the happy ending to our life’s struggle, nor is it the big surprise that God has kept in store for us. No, the resurrection is the expression of God’s faithfulness to Jesus and to all God’s children. Through the resurrection, God has said to Jesus, “You are indeed my beloved Son, and my love is everlasting,” and to us God has said, “You indeed are my beloved children, and my love is everlasting.” The resurrection is God’s way of revealing to us that nothing that belongs to God will ever go to waste. What belongs to God will never get lost — not even our mortal bodies.
The resurrection doesn’t answer any of our curious questions about life after death, such as: How will it be? How will it look? But it does reveal to us that, indeed, love is stronger than death. After that revelation, we must remain silent, leave the whys, wheres, hows, and whens behind, and simply trust.
“The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NIV)
Henri Nouwen, contributed by Prue Gibbons


Prayer- from Bishop Richard from Chichester Cathedral 1244 Bishop Richard encouraged others through this simple prayer -

'My Lord Jesus Christ, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.'

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 SHARING CHRIST 36        01.04.21

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Palm Sunday Mass at 8.45am,
Good Friday 3pm Stations of the Cross, Easter Sunday9am Mass

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am. To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk
Good Friday 10.15am prayer walks in pairs, Easter Sunday 11am ‘Resurrection Eggs’ on Zoom.

St Michael’s, Framlingham

8am Holy Communion in the church

Good Friday 2pm ‘At the Cross’,

Easter Sunday 8am and 9.30am Holy Communion and
11am Family Communion, both in the church, plus a live stream of the 9.30 service on Zoom.

To join the service online email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

All Saints, Saxtead

11.15am      3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, Easter Sunday 11.15am Holy Communion

United Free Church                        

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Maundy Thursday Holy Communion 7pm using Zoom, Easter Sunday service 11am.

 

Found

It was just a little epigram-"Some people talk about finding God- as if he could get lost."

The idea was humorous on a human scale, rather like the discovery of the presence of elephants in the fridge by the evidence of their footprints in the butter. The greatness of God being lost in the smallness of his universe seems ridiculous but, on reflection, it is merely the same as the child who, on being asked if she has lost her mother, replies that her mother has lost her.

To the child the universe is centred upon itself and most of us remain children, seeing God in our image and likeness.

Letting God into our lives is another matter. Unconditional love is so difficult because it demands surrender of the little we have, the tiny, rather pathetic shreds of selfishness that we cling to.

This is the message of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When he avoids the crowds he is praying quietly to his father in Heaven, avoiding the public show of piety that he advised the disciples against.

Yet this is not enough. Jesus is humiliated, beaten, stripped and executed, becomes a worm not a man as he squirms along the narrow streets of Jerusalem under the weight of the cross, is spat upon and goaded. Jesus surrenders the little shreds of self that we value so much.

Even the sacrifice of the cross is diminished by the cry, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Where is the presence of God in this?

So often we are blind to mankind. It is mankind that we cannot see. It is mankind that is lost. In humanity's flailing search for God we are like something digging in sand, covering up the very thing we are looking for.

In the Passion of Our Lord we miss the love that God still has for his creatures. The wonder is that after all this being done to his Son by mankind, God still loves us!

After all that we have done to his world, often in the name of God, he is still there, waiting for us to let the last veil be stripped away to reveal that He is there all the time.

In the moments of silence, when we have stopped nagging God, berating him for his absence, we may hear his voice in the silence or glimpse his greatness in the arkness; rather like a town child used to the lights of the city; it is only in the un-nerving darkness of the isolated country that we can really see the infinity of the stars.

Only after the harshness of the hurricane that is everyday life may we feel the gentle touch of the breeze, "Be still and know that I am God."

Only if we escape the thundering cries of self, can we hope to let God find us in the still contemplation of his enduring love.

Only in the stillness of Easter morning can Christ rise in our soul and Christ be all in all.

 

Rejoice! For Christ has found us and the shepherd carries us on his shoulders.

Rev. Mike Vipond

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 SHARING CHRIST 35

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Palm Sunday Mass at 8.45am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon;
Good Friday 3pm Stations of the Cross, Easter Sunday9am Mass

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am. To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk
Good Friday 10.15am prayer walks in pairs, Easter Sunday 11am ‘Resurrection Eggs’ on Zoom.

St Michael’s, Framlingham

8am Holy Communion in the church and 9.30am on Zoom;

Saturday 27th March Blessing of Palm Crosses in churchyard, Good Friday 2pm ‘At the Cross’, Easter Sunday 8am and 9.30am Holy Communion and 11am Family Communion in the church, with a live stream of the 9.30 service on Zoom.

To join the service email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

All Saints, Saxtead

11.15am      3rd Sunday Morning Prayer, Easter Sunday 11.15am Holy Communion

United Free Church                        

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Maundy Thursday Holy Communion 7pm using Zoom, Easter Sunday service 11am.

6pm Sunday 28th March: Framlingham Churches Together ‘Reflections on the Passion of Christ’ on Zoom.

 

Hosanna to the King!

Hosanna to the king! The crowds will gather on the streets of Jerusalem to greet Jesus. They will make a carpet of Palm branches as a sign of honour and yet all too soon their cries will turn. Passover is a dangerous time in Jerusalem as the masses of subjugated Jews remember once again their ancestors escape from previous captivity. The Roman authorities will be vigilant and act to quell the whispers of sedition. It is a dangerous time for the cries of hosanna!

Yet in so many ways the whole ministry of Jesus has been one loud cry of hosanna. His revelation of a God of healing and forgiveness, liberation and love. So many times he has set the hearts of those who follow on fire with the cries of joy and excitement, the hosanna of the heart.

Yet surely now, with the eyes of Rome all around the voices will be careful, watchful and protective?  But the love song of God will not be silenced, by occupying forces or global pandemic. For the message of Jesus our saviour and liberator overflows from joyful hearts to waiting lips. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

As our Lenten journey comes to an end and as we prepare for the events of Holy Week, let  us wrap ourselves once more in the mantle of love, let us too lay our palm branches on the road to honour the one who has made our salvation know. Let’s us join our voices with the crowd and sing those loud hosannas to welcome our king, let us walk with him in this joy that we may find our hearts strengthened and constant for when the road becomes difficult or takes an unexpected turn. 

Rev Chris Davey

 

A prayer

Almighty God,

Whose Son rode into Jerusalem

To cries of hosanna,

My the hosannas of our hearts

Reflect your love for us

As we journey towards Easter.

Amen

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 SHARING CHRIST 34

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am.
To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

Holy Communion Services in church have restarted at 8.00am on Sundays and 10.30am on Wednesdays

The main service is on Zoom at 9.30am-         A range of worship with music, no service in Church

To join the Zoom service email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

United Free Church                        

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/
Maundy Thursday Holy Communion 7pm using Zoom.

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

Missing hugs, but God is close

During the pandemic, and before, I’ve been working in a specialist area of a primary school. We’ve had a lot of lovely moments and perhaps another time I’ll write some more about those, but for now I’ll stick to one or two.

Children are incredibly resilient, and those I work with have been nothing but accepting of the constant changes that are put in, especially once we provide them with consistency in the areas that we can. One particular child who usually uses close physical contact to connect with adults, has taken to pressing her nose to mine with my visor in between us (which I then have to go and clean). The grin that she gives me as she does it never fails to cheer me up and make me chuckle, but lately it’s also made me think.

I know of very few people who aren’t missing physical contact or trying to replicate it in some way -I climb under my giant weighted blanket when I’m feeling short of more hugs than I feel it fair to ask my parents (whom I live with) for. It’s fair to say that our relationships with almost all of our friends and family have been forced to change over the last year, which I find has made me look forward to the day we can see them (with hugs) again.

One relationship that hasn’t been forced to change is our relationship with Jesus. Sure, we can’t sing in Churches and sometimes we’re worshipping in front of a laptop instead of in a packed Church building, but whilst I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t ever have to lead Zoom worship, he said “for when two or three gather in my name, there I am with them”, not “I’ll only join you if you’re in a building, singing, with no masks with no Zoom taking place”. Jesus’ Spirit has not faltered because of Covid, nor has it surrounded us any less.

As we begin this time of Lent, not only are we keenly anticipating being able to be among others again, but we’re also keenly anticipating the coming of Holy Week and our annual reminder of His willingness to die for us so that our sins may be forgiven.

 

 

A prayer

Thank you, ever-present Lord, for being as close to us now as any other year. Help us to feel you near us as we begin our Lent journey and await the Good News of Holy Week. Remind us when we seek the contact of others that we are always surrounded by your love and care.

 

Helen Glasse

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SHARING CHRIST 33

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am.
To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

On Zoom at 9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

To join the service email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

United Free Church                        

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

A ‘How-To Guide’

How often do we look at a job around the house and think: ‘I should do DIY’? Or even we look at a task like building a model or sewing and we look at the ‘how to’ booklet? The Bible is a bit like a ‘How To’ guide, it enables us to understand the complexities of the world and how best to run our Churches and govern our nations. Over the last 2,000 years the Church has changed in ways it appears but the mission remains the same, as we are all reading from the same how-to guide; it is the interpretation that has changed.

The best spot to read a how-to, is The Old Testament Law and even the Pastoral Epistles, Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus, as they enable us to look at how we should best live our lives serving Christ in our communities. We might not necessarily be able to meet physically, but we are able to still worship and serve the same King through Zoom services and picking up the phone to reach out to those in our community. I heard of a minister recently picking up the phone to call their local GP surgery and asking to speak with the Practice Manager, and the Minister wanted to say to the GP Surgery that they were praying and shared a verse of encouragement.

1 Timothy 1:8 says: “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News”. We are not in prison, rather lockdown, but it does not stop us from sharing encouragement and being a faithful witness virtually and over the phone.

People have used the Bible to help us view parts of history, but we should not be ashamed to use the Bible and share it to others in tough times as well as bad times.

 

Lord God, we thank you that we are able to use the Bible to discern Your will and how to approach the difficult questions. We pray for those who might be struggling; we pray that we can show Your light to people you lay on our hearts. We pray that, as we look towards the future past lockdown, You will bless the government and that they too will look to you in the coming days. Amen

Ben Plant

 

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 SHARING CHRIST 32

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am.
To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

On Zoom at 9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

To join the service email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

United Free Church                        

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

 

Make a New Start

God's messages are never like the lady resistance fighters in "Allo, Allo"

Though we should listen carefully, they are repeated again and again.

The Lord prompts Jonah again...... the first time he had tried to escape and been swallowed by a great fish that eventually spat him up on the shore at Nineveh, the very place he had not wanted to go!

I expect we are mostly like that. Not really wanting to preach God's message for a number of reasons.

Just when Herod and the Pharisees had apparently crushed John's message of repentance, along comes Jesus saying that the time is fulfilled.

The Greek word used for time was not the one we know, ‘chronos’... from which we get chronology, chronicle or chronometer (a watch or time piece) but ‘kairos’, a measure of the quality of time. You probably have heard of ..... ‘a time for sewing, a time for reaping ,a time for living, a time for dying’.... in Ecclesiastes.

It means a celebration of the fact not minutes or hours or days. It is almost as if Jesus was saying that a pregnancy was at term. Something was going to be born.

Something new.

The dominion of God is near, said Jesus, rather like a close orbit of a planet.

Re-pent. Be sorry again. Make a new start.

We are asked to take a new look at ourselves and our way of life.

Are we too wound up in the world?

Are we too dependent on material things?

We can be proud that this country has said it will cancel debts from the poor nations of the world.

How about us? Are we ready to cancel debts people owe us? Not just monetary but favours? Are we ready to forgive the person from whom we have been estranged?

The society we disagree with, the church that has seemed to make so many errors? Why, when society urges the celebration of diversity, are we unable to accept that people do not have to do everything together.

When a child chooses vegetarianism, they do not cease to be a member of the family. Let us rejoice in what we are able to do together.

Rejoice again and believe that Jesus has the power to make all things right.

NOW says Jesus is the time to change living our lives not according to science but to the ways of God.

That is what Paul is getting at when he writes to the people of Corinth. Start again. Do not be overburdened by what you are and what that is supposed to mean.

Look at everything afresh.

Perhaps we can get rid of a few burdens and spend a few moments each day thinking of Jesus and the way he asked us to live our lives. For the present form of this world is passing away and it is up to us to replace the old form with something better.

Rev Mike Vipond

Lord, as I prepare my heart and mind for changing my behaviour,
I ask that your divine will be clear to me.

Help me to make this change, a Holy change as I look to You for all of my strength and guidance.

Allow your way of life to rule in my thoughts and actions.

Thank you for being there for me in this!

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SHARING CHRIST 31

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am.
To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

On Zoom at 9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

To join the service email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

United Free Church                        

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website. http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Covid Waste?

We have started a new year in very exceptional circumstances, much of our hope is focussed on how we will learn to live in a safe way until the virus is under control. The roll-out of vaccines is a source of thanksgiving. There are those in our world who consider a god who does not simply zap the virus out of existence to be pointless, there are others who suggest the virus is actually a sign of divine retribution! Both of those thoughts make me sad, because I fail to recognise in them the nature of God revealed to us in Jesus.

I see the love of God in these difficult times woven into the lives of those who have developed a vaccine in such a short time.  I see it in the development of new medicines to treat the infection and save more lives. I have seen the love of God woven through the care of tired front line workers, at hospital beds, in Covid testing centres, in our nursing homes, in vaccination centres, and so many other situations where love is revealed in service. I have seen that love woven into churches that have found a new energy to be church outside of our buildings, developing new and creative ways of being church, exploring technology and the power of living faith through service. I have seen God’s love woven into the care and dedication of community groups springing into the action to look after the frail and vulnerable.

I have seen so much written and spoken  about what a waste this Covid times have been, and we would all rather the virus had never happened, but in the midst of all the fear and anxiety, the darkness and pain we have not been abandoned by God. God has been with us in all those lives of service and every act of kindness in the way that in scripture God has always walked beside his creation and revealed his love for his people.

Of course we long for the virus to end and for us to find a freedom to be families, friendship groups and community once again.  But let us not forget those who may have become family for us in lockdown, those new friends that have come into our lives, and the community which has served us with such courage and faithfulness. Let us never forget how God has been present even in the darkest hour. Our journey of faith is to find God, as God is not as we think God should be or as the world demands God must be. Amen.

 

God of love,

Whose nature was revealed in Jesus

surprising and confusing worldly expectations

when he  took the form of a servant,

allow our eyes to see you at work in the world

woven through lives offering love and service,

In the rich tapestry of humanity

Which is revealed in our communities.

Amen.

Rev Chris Davey

 

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 SHARING CHRIST 30     08.01.21

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon

Framlingham Community Baptist Church
On Zoom at 11am.
To join the service email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk

St Michael’s, Framlingham

On Zoom at 9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

To join the service email Parish Administrator on framparish@gmail.com

United Free Church                          

Socially Distanced Worship at 11am on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.

Covenant Service on 10th  January, led by Rev Martin Dawes
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

See website for access to Zoom link and other resources  http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

 

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

Covenant

Dear Friends,

This Sunday (10th January) the United Free Church holds its annual Covenant Service. The Covenant Service has its roots deep in the history of Methodism and has been observed ever since John Wesley started using the covenant prayer in a meeting on Christmas Eve 1755. Today it is also regarded by many outside Methodism as a spiritual gem and has been used by many different churches.

The covenant is a biblical term for the relationship between ourselves and God. There is the Old Covenant; given by God to the Hebrew people through Abraham and Moses, a covenant of law, and the New Covenant which he offers to all the world through Jesus Christ – a covenant of love. It is in this New Covenant that we stand. At the Covenant service each year we seek to renew our side of our covenant relationship with God, to recommit our whole selves to him in love, just as He is fully committed to us.

It can be easy to lose our sense of calling and commitment among the various demands of life, the realisation of ambitions, the duties we are called upon to fulfil and the conflicting demands life makes on all of us. Sometimes in our own selfishness and sin, we push aside the call of Jesus and the demands of love – stretching our relationship with God until it is very thin. In renewing our covenant relationship year by year, we focus once more upon the heart of our Christian life – our relationship with God and the calls that relationship has on every aspect of our lives.

Our Covenant Service is available online, but not all of you will be able to see it, so I have included the Covenant Prayer below. As the prayer reminds us, whatever situation we find ourselves in, God is with us and his love is constant. Also, however life affects us, we can still respond to his love in Christ, for which he grants us the help of the Holy Spirit. Whatever 2021 has in store for us, let us meet it in Him.

God bless,

Martin                                                                                                                                              Rev Martin Dawes

 

The Covenant Prayer

Eternal God, in your faithful and enduring love
you call us to share in your gracious covenant in Jesus Christ.
In obedience we hear and accept your commands;
in love we seek to do your perfect will;
with joy we offer ourselves anew to you.
We are no longer our own but yours. 

I am no longer my own but yours.
Your will, not mine, be done in all things,
wherever you may place me, in all that I do and in all that I may endure;
when there is work for me and when there is none;
when I am troubled and when I am at peace.
Your will be done
when I am valued and when I am disregarded;
when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking;
when I have all things, and when I have nothing.
I willingly offer all I have and am to serve you, as and where you choose.

Glorious and blessèd God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. May it be so for ever.
Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven.  Amen.

 

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SHARING CHRIST 29

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon
Christmas Masses: Christmas Eve 7pm, Christmas Day 9am

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FCBC Services continue on Zoom at 11am.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.
Christmas Services: Dec 20th – ‘Share the Light’, Christmas Day 10am - Short Family Service,
Dec 27th – Carol Service'

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St Michael’s, Framlingham

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

Wednesday Holy Communion at 10.30am
Christmas Services:
Christmas Eve 2pm, College forecourt – Carol Singing & Nativity Story
Christmas Eve  9pm on Zoom,              11pm ‘Midnight’ Mass -  BOOKING NEEDED
Christmas Day 10am Family Service (optional Holy Communion to follow) BOOKING NEEDED'

 

For Booking, email framparish@gmail.com

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All Saints, Saxtead

11.15am            1st and 3rd Sundays Morning Prayer, 2nd, 4th and 5th Holy Communion
Christmas Services: Christmas Eve 6pm – Carols and Christmas Story (optional Holy Communion afterwards), Christmas Day – 9am Holy Communion

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United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has resumed at 11.00 on Sundays with a Zoom link to those at home.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.
Christmas Services: Christmas Eve 6pm Zoom service, Christmas Day 10am Zoom service

 

To participate inside a church building you need to book a place. To join in a Zoom service see church website for contact email address to ask for the link.

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Joy

Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives.

Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live is shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. Jesus says it loudly and clearly: “In the world you will have troubles, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.”

The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God’s light is more real than all the darkness, that God’s truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God’s love is stronger than death.

 

Prayer

WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR ........... MIGHTY GOD ….........
EVERLASTING FATHER ……..... PRINCE OF PEACE

Dear Lord, as we meditate on these wonderful words, we ask that your Holy Spirit will enable us to, engage and relate, and be comforted by them. We ask you to pour out your love to us, so we can then give that love to all those we meet and care for.

Thank you Father God.

Amen

Prue Gibbons

SHARING CHRIST 27  19.11.20

 

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Open for individual prayer on Sundays, 10-11am, and Thursdays 11am -12 noon.

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am on Zoom once again. Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s, Framlingham and All Saints, Saxtead

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music

(to join the Zoom service email Linda on framparish@gmail.com )
The churches are open daily for private prayer.

United Free Church                 http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A range of worship resources may be found from https://methodistic.org.uk/worship-services/.

 

And now abideth faith, hope. love…….

Linda Anderson gave us a lovely piece on love for the previous Sharing Christ.  I had written the piece that follows as the first part of my trio based on I Corinthians 13 earlier in the Summer.  Please take this contribution as another viewpoint on this great aspect of our experience, both as Christians, and in life generally.  

 

Love is both the easiest and the most difficult of this trio to write about.  In a sense it is possible and easy to say that all that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, the context for the quote, is all that needs to be said.  It has never been said better.

 

In this passage Paul is speaking of agape, the altruistic love which whilst found in many human situations and practised by all sorts of people, must be the character and hallmark of Christian behaviour.

 

Paul was writing for an audience who would have been conversant with Greek philosophical thinking.  They had long before analysed the concept that we label under one word into it constituent types.  Philos described friendship love and comes to us extended into words like philately (love of stamp collecting), philanthropy (the love of people in general) and philosophy itself (the love of wisdom or reasoned thought).  Sexual love was eros, hence words like erotic.  Agape, a Greek word was coined by the early church  to define the distinctive characteristics of Christian love. It was also the word used to describe the act we know as Holy Communion, the ‘love feast’ that early Christians celebrated in their home churches following its by institution on the first Maundy Thursday.      

 

All these we can understand and in various points of life, experience.  Fortunate those who grow up surrounded and supported by the love of families, but some we know are deprived of this and it has destructive consequences.  Human love in all its expressions can be generated on the human level but those who acknowledge God in their lives have the distinct feeling that it stems from the divine purpose.

 

When asked about the most important commandment, Jesus answered with the dual definition, “Love God and you neighbour as yourself”.  God’s love for the world, which we can take as a great given, only becomes active and apparent if we love each other.  I have often said, if I knew I had only one more sermon to give it would be based on the text from John 3:16 “For God so loved the world” which I paraphrase into ‘God loves the world so much’.

 

In the Epistle of John we have the injunction “If God so loved us, we ought to love one another”.  But it has to be real and active.  Eliza in the musical My Fair Lady sings, “Don’t speak of love, show me”.

 

Or another story.  A saintly old Christian has proudly managed to concrete over a section of his front drive.  As he came into the living room after a bath to soothe the back ache from his labours, he glanced through the window and saw the two little boys from next door, printing experimental footprints in his handiwork. He threw a wobbly and used some very unsaintly language.   “Oh no dear,” said his wife, “ you are always speaking about loving others, especially little children”.  “Yes”, said the still exasperated man, “That was love in the abstract, not the concrete”.

 

If we can approach some of the quality of the love that Paul describes  1 Corinthians 13 we shall be near to love practised in the concrete, in the everyday relationships that we are part of.  I almost hesitated to write something on this heading; each of us is our own expert on the concept of love.  If our life experience has not included love and taught us about it we can hardly say we have lived.

 

Almighty God, you have built into the way we are created the need and the instinct to love and be loved. We rejoice in your care and concern for us. We pray all who feel deprived of love.  Encourage and enable loving relationships in families, friendships and in all the connections that bind human societies in fellowship.  As you have so loved the world may we love one another as Jesus taught us to do.

In his name we pray. Amen               

 

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SHARING CHRIST 26       08.11.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Open for individual prayer on Sundays, 10-11am, and Thursdays 11am -12 noon.

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am on Zoom once again. Remembrance Sunday starts 10.50am.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s, Framlingham and All Saints, Saxtead

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music

(to join the Zoom service email Linda on framparish@gmail.com )
The churches are open daily for private prayer.

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A range of worship resources may be found from https://methodistic.org.uk/worship-services/

Living Out Love

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love is lived out. Love is not just a decoration. It is commitment in action.

That God feels love for us is absolutely amazing.

It is humbling.  God is always patient and kind with us, seeking to shape our lives by love.

One thing that God can really challenge us on is whether our Christian lives show something different, which is worth living for.

If there’s nothing that looks particularly necessary or attractive about being a Christian, then what is the point?

What if we went out of our way to try to demonstrate God to as many people as we could, not just in our prayers but in our actions and in our praise?

What if we were loving people, full of God’s goodness, joy and grace?

People would notice: they might not call it ‘God’ at the time, but there would be something special about us- our relationship with God.

The fruit of that relationship is a loving nature.

Linda Anderson, UFC

 

Prayer

Loving God, thank you for the way you love us.  Please help us by the power of your Holy Spirit to love as you love, so that others may come to know you.

Amen

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SHARING CHRIST 25                 26.10.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 12 noon

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am at the FAYAP Centre, Thomas Mills High School, with Zoom link for those isolating.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s Framlingham

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

All Saints’ Saxtead – new schedule at 11.15am

1st Sunday Morning Prayer led by Terry

2nd Sunday Holy Communion

3rd Sunday Morning Prayer led by Edith

4th Sunday Holy Communion

5th Sunday Holy Communion

22nd And 29th November are CW Communions

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned at 11.00 on Sundays.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

 

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children”.

The past few weeks and months have taught us a lot. That the Church is a wide family, older people phoning everyone making sure we are all well. The younger ones helping the elderly by getting groceries and medications.

This made me realise I have been very blessed, having seen my Great-Great Grandmother, my Great-Grandparents (my mother’s side), my Grandparents, and now my nephew and niece. I wrote something similar for Framlingham Community Baptist Church in the bulletin the other week and thought it would be nice just to share a little with the wider Church family.

When I was a small child, I used to think those over a certain age was the equivalent to my Great-Great and Great-Grandparents. Those below 69 were about the same as my grandparents and 25-40 were the same as my parents (I did eventually find out people are normally different ages when they have families). But our Church family is so big, it has billions of people in it, those with the faith of a child who are wise, and those with older people who are wiser. Young people are fortunate to know that they are a crown to the aged, with the support and help they give, on running church, home and business. Whilst parents they are the pride of their children, because of the requests for help, advice, and just general chit-chat.

No matter what is happening in the world, with COVID-19, elections, and restrictions on life, we serve a God who has made us a family and God loves us no matter what. He welcomes everyone into His family and we can always be thankful.

Ben Plant, FCBC

 

Dear Father, Abba, Lord,

We thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family. Despite all that is happening at the moment, we just thank you for being able to reflect on the relationships we have with our biological families, and our Church family.

I pray and lift up to you all that is going on and that you will lead us on in the coming weeks as we start thinking about the season of Advent, the events of Your Coming in the form of Christ.

We thank you and praise you for also the continued growth of your family worldwide and the growth of Framlingham, we pray that you will guide and lead those in the area to know who you are and your eternal goodness.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen.

 

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SHARING CHRIST 24      07.10.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am at the FAYAP Centre, Thomas Mills High School, with Zoom link for those isolating.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s Framlingham

8am     Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer

9.30am   A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

Wednesday:  Holy Communion at 10.30am

New schedule for All Saints’ Saxtead:  (all services now at 11.15am)

1st Sunday Morning Prayer

2nd Sunday Holy Communion

3rd Sunday Morning Prayer

4th Sunday Holy Communion

5th Sunday Holy Communion

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned at 11.00 on Sundays.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

 

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Harvest

The man gave names to all cattle and to all the birds of the air and to every animal of the field… and not only the animals, but to all the trees and plants.

When we can name something, we form a special relationship with that thing. When we first got our cats, we named them Jeremy and Jemima, somewhat naughtily after the head of Ampleforth Junior School, because Jeremy had a white collar, and Jemima, the little black female, after Sister Gemma, a minute Bon Secour nun who now works in Glasgow. We were stating a respect and love for them and looking to identify with these little members of our family.

We need also to name our fears. Once we know what an illness is we can set about relating to it and negotiating with it.

At this time of harvest we relate to the earth, to God’s beautiful and awe-inspiring creation. We recall the names of fruits and plants and thank God for them as we re-negotiate our responsibilities for creation. It is also a good time to take stock of ourselves and the harvest that we represent. As we polish the apples we can inspect our own blemishes. Has this year been a good harvest? Have we named and cared for God’s created things? All those that God has placed in our care need to be loved, whether they be animals, fruits, plants or people.

If the good Lord took us now, how would we fare? Would we be placed at the front of the display or tucked gently at the back? Would we be the first fruits or the weeds? In the parable of the talents, the one who wasted the talent which God had given was dismissed. Most of us have not totally wasted our gifts, but are we the good stewards we should have been?

We have been crowned with glory and honour and all things have been subjected to us and, as Jesus points out, that includes our husbands and wives and our children. We have responsibility, one for another, and that includes children being responsible for Mums and Dads. The harvest of love is there for the taking but, like all harvests, it takes care and attention if it is to show up well.

So many harvests are celebrated today…

caring for the underdeveloped countries of the world, coaxing the smaller fruits to swell and become ripe and seed-bearing;

care of prisoners, turning poor soil into fertile loam to support their good growth;

care of our sick, whose function in Christ is to be unconditionally loved by us;

care of one another, training us like espalier or cordon to grow straight in the shelter of the Holy Spirit, so that we can produce a rich harvest to benefit others.

So let today be a period of reflection on this year’s harvest and then the following winter months can be a preparation for greater growth next year.

 

Lord of the harvest, we thank you for all the good things of our lives.

We pray for our children; that they may grow wise and full of the Holy Spirit.

Bless all those who work on the land and the sea; that they may grow in the love of the great creator, God.

Bless all those who care - doctors, nurses, carers in hospitals and at home; that God may give them strength, patience and abundant love.

We pray for all who have died; that God may gather them up into His loving arms and for the bereaved; that the light of compassion may strengthen them.  Amen

Mike Vipond

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SHARING CHRIST 23   25.09.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am at the FAYAP Centre, Thomas Mills High School, with Zoom link for those isolating.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s and All Saints Saxtead

Sundays:

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

11.15am            Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer at All Saints Saxtead

Wednesday: Holy Communion at 10.30am at St Michael’s

United Free Church                 http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned at 11.00 on Sundays.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

 

And now abideth faith hope and love…………1 Corinthians 13:13

You gotta have hope musn’t  sit around and mope, When you luck is back at zero get your chin up off the floor.

From the song in Dam Yankees the 1950s musical, which was hit parade material when I was doing my national service, and so shows my age.

Alexander Pope the seventeenth century poet put it more  elegantly

Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

Both comments on the very human concept of hope ring true and are part of everyone’s experience ; not perhaps consistently but inevitably, or else facing each new morning would become difficult if not unnecessary .

Christian hope is all that that every day is, but more.  As the writer of Hebrews said of faith, and as I quoted in my August piece,  “It is the substance of things hoped for”.  As we entertain hope for whatever reason or cause we do so emboldened by the ‘shield of faith’ as Paul defines it in Ephesians.

Belief in God, enables hope to grow and develop  in a way that is different from the everyday human version.    Because of what God has already done in human history, sending Jesus into human existence to give us strong assurance that he was on our side, we have a guarantee on hope that gives it a whole stronger meaning.  Because of what God has done and is doing through Jesus the Christian can hope for ultimate blessings beyond those of normal expectation.  The Christian’s ultimate destiny is hopeful in the extreme.

Whilst Jesus spoke of faith often he does not use the word hope as such.    He does encourage the disciples to not be anxious but it is as though he is conveying the impression that whatever happens it will be all right.  Trust in God will not be confounded; He intends our ultimate good.

Paul was quite upfront about hope.  In his chapter eight of the epistle to the Romans he outlines a world history argument.  The world is not a perfect place, it “is subject to a bondage to decay” (verse 21) but since the coming of Jesus and the New Testament activity of the Holy Spirit we have a new hope of an ultimate good future.

“We know that all things work  together for good for those who love God”  (verse 28).

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (verse 19)

Now of course in reality terms life does not always seem that rosy and hopeful.  We must address the fact that even we are most secure in our faith, full of Christian hope and  confidence, fear and depression break in.  Particularly during this Covid time people, including many of us Christians, have felt insecurity and mental pain.  It was always happening to the writers of the Psalms.  I am reassured, when I feel that way, by the story of Elijah.  Read the story in 1 Kings 18 and 19 where, with full Old Testament prophet confidence, he first wins a triumphant moral contest for God against  the false prophets of the God Baal, but then falls into a deep despair running away to the wilderness, where in a cave, wallowing in his desperation, God speaks to him and reassures him and restores his hope and confidence.

Like the Dam Yankees, but with Gods  help, he ‘picks himself up off the floor’.  So may we assure ourselves with Christian hope and its ultimate prospect of God’s love and  goodness.

Always a favourite prayer of mine which we use as a collect, but which is a verse straight from Scripture (Hebrews 3:20)

Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in every good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesu Christ , to whom be the glory for ever and ever,  Amen

 

 

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SHARING CHRIST 22      12.09.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am at the FAYAP Centre, Thomas Mills High School, with Zoom link for those isolating.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

Sundays:

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

6.30pm            Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer at All Saints Saxtead

Wednesday: Holy Communion at 10.30am

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned at 11.00 on Sundays.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

 

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Jesus Came to Give us Life

In her autobiography, Michelle Obama writes ‘When I was a girl, I had vague ideas about how my life could be better. I’d go over to the Gore sisters’ house and envy their space – the fact that their family had a whole house to themselves.’  She goes on to describe other things that were on her wish list as a young person but then makes the salient point that as a child you learn to measure, long before you understand the value of anything.

In Luke’s gospel, we hear about the story of Zacchaeus, a senior tax collector who is searching for a way to improve his life. I wonder what was on his mind that day?  Had he tired of his wealth and the material riches that that had brought? What had prompted him suddenly to be open to change?  What part of Jesus’s reputation or message was he attracted to?

And I wonder what became of Zacchaeus? We know that at the point of conversion he was generous and zealous saying, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of all my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay them back four times the amount.’ His initial response and love for Jesus knew no bounds.  But how did the rest of his life develop as a result of this meeting? Did life improve for him?

In John’s gospel Jesus says ‘I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’

Following Jesus, sometimes hesitantly, sometimes imperfectly, can only bring a richness to our lives; albeit experienced differently by each one of us. For the God who loves us individually and unconditionally is wanting to show us how that can happen, if we are ready to listen.

Nicky Seabrook

Lord today is your gift to me

Help me turn it into my gift to you.

 

Each today pushes back the past

Into history,

And in the long perspective

I can see your hand at work.

For good.

For my good.

And from that view

I can turn to face the prospect of today.

 

Tomorrow is obscure.

But from that lookout point of past mercies,

I can leave it, again

In your hands.

Knowing that you are the same,

Yesterday, today and forever.

 

But today is my concern.

Good news in the present tense.

Not just for me, Lord –

Although in honesty

That’s where my interest begins-

But for those with whom I live and work and talk.

Make me an instrument for good.

A small focus of your healing

In a worried world.

I thank you for yesterday.

I leave tomorrow in your hands.

 

Today is yours and mine.

 

Prayer taken from ‘Disguises of Love’ by Eddie Askew

 

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SHARING CHRIST 21  03.09.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Services

Sunday 11am at the FAYAP Centre, Thomas Mills High School, with Zoom link for those isolating.
Email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the Zoom link.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

Sundays

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

6.30pm            Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer at All Saints Saxtead

Wednesdays
 Holy Communion at 10.30am at St Michael’s

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned at 11.00 on Sundays.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches

Brynn Bayman is back, and has sent a short video for you, before he re-starts Soul Food in the new term.

Here is the link to his video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJNRRulc3uE

Choose a Contained Life

I know how great a temptation it is in times of anguish and agony to look away from our painful centre and expect peace and a sense of inner wholeness to come from some external source. But I am increasingly convinced that, at times of anguish and agony, we have to choose a contained life where we can be in the presence of people who hold us safe and bring us in touch with the unconditional affective love of God. Do not get involved in experiences of living that will lead to dissipation. What is so important is to have a deep sense of inner safety, of being held by a love that is in no way using you, manipulating you, or “needing” you.    Prue Gibbons

‘I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:37-39

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SHARING CHRIST 20   26th August 2020

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church  

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

Sundays:

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church.  

6.30pm            Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer at All Saints Saxtead

Wednesday   Holy Communion at 10.30am at St Michael’s

United Free Church   http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned at 11.00 on Sundays
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

 

Prayers from all of ushttps://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Helping Hands

Jesus put his hand at once and held him. MATTHEW 14:30

  How reassuring is this especially at troubled times like this?

At the Ascension Jesus had said "Behold I am with you even to the end of time"

  As Christians we believe that there are evidences throughout history and throughout our lives when Jesus has stretched out his hand to us, "Be healed"said Jesus to the blind man.

  In the name of Jesus, Peter and the apostles cured many helping them to see the Lord's mercy and his saving help.

  What is moving is that Jesus often told people not to say anything of their cure. Like Elijah before him the Lord was not in earthquake, wind or fire but in the still small voice of calm. Elijah's response is to go to the mouth of his hiding place and greet his loving Lord.

  It is a response of trust that people have followed throughout their lives -"truly you are the Son of God".

  The Christian saints have held out their hands, being other Christs, to those in distress or doubt.

On the 11th August we celebrate St Clare, founder of The Poor Clares who gave up all material comforts to care for the poor and sick and bore witness to the care of Jesus when the convent was threatened by raiders.

  St. Teresa of Calcutta urged her followers to see Jesus in everyone -the dying, the poor and sick.Each morning the nuns would go out with their pail of water and cloths to wash not just the feet but the diseased bodies in the streets.

For some this was the first act of love in many years-and to some the last.

  God's love is near for those who fear him and holiness is available to all who feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit those imprisoned.

  There have been so many saints in recent months, so much love and so many hands stretched out to help.

 By small tokens of care most people have stretched out to cleanse and heal, to minister God's grace.

JESUS SAYS "Whatsoever you did to the least of these my little ones-you did to me."

  Thanks be to God.

 

Rev. Mike Vipond

 

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 SHARING CHRIST 19   10.08.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and All Saints’ Saxtead
Sundays:

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

Please email framparish@gmail.com for the link, if you are not on our regular email list.

Wednesday Holy Communion:     10.30am each Wednesday at St Michael’s

6.30pm     at All Saints Saxtead:       Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Worship has returned, albeit with protocols, at 11.00 on Sundays.
A series of videos and links for other resources continue on the church website.

 

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

Faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

The concluding verse of 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, St. Paul’s great hymn to love.  Three powerful concepts which permeate and govern our Christian living and, whether acknowledged or not, operate powerfully in human behaviour generally.  We could, I’m sure, cite examples where their influence and operation have been in evidence seeing us through this strange and painful time of Covid.

St. Paul was the great theologian who so early in the Christian story gave us the framework of our Christian belief, such that all the great Christian thinkers who have come since have operated within it, only being able to amplify and comment upon what he wrote so soon after Jesus had been with us.  In the next  ‘Sharing Christ‘ messages I will take some of the Pauline statements which have resonated with me in my Christian experience, hoping that they chime with those of you who my read them.  Today faith.

Faith is a complex concept.  Taking the opportunity to do some extended study at Suffolk College when I retired I set myself to explore the idea as we meet it Scripture and as scholars and everyday Christians have viewed it during the ages.

In the gospels we hear the stories of people coming to Jesus in various forms of distress, having their issues addressed and invariably being sent away with the immensely assuring words “Go in peace, your faith has made you whole” . In contrast to this he just as often has to say to his disciples “O Ye of little faith”.  Whilst I am never sure whether he said it with a smile playing on his lips (as we may do if we use the phrase today, often in quite secular contexts) or whether he was seriously upbraiding them, clearly expecting more of them in the light of the experience they ought to have gained by being with him.

Down the ages the experience that Christian followers have had of faith presents immensely varied examples.  From the trust in God which has enabled saints to endure martyrdom, to that quality of endurance that enables us to get through our times of struggle and doubt, faith operates as an energy, feeble at times, to see us through.

In Romans 8:4 Paul links faith with hope, the subject I shall address next time. The writer of Hebrews, in 11:4, puts it even more succinctly,  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  In the list of the Old Testament list of heroes of faith that the writer goes on to cite, he mentions how “By faith Abraham left home without knowing where he was to go” i.e. took a leap of faith into the unknown in obedience to God’s call to leave the civilised comfort of Haran and head for a future he did not know but which made him the father figure of the three great Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Faith helps us to meet the uncertainty of situations and that has been so true of the pandemic crisis and our response to it. 

Terry Gilder

Prayer:

Almighty God,  I believe, help my unbelief.   We thank you for the assurances of Scripture, especially the words of Jesus that encourage us to trust you, even in the darkest and the most baffling circumstances.  Give to us all a faith that rejoices in the assurance it brings, but equally is able to hold up when all seems darkness, when hope seems hopeless and your presence seems distant to us, or even non- existent.  For all for whom this current crisis brings fear and despair, give them a faith which can sustain and see them through.

The words with which Terry Waite ends his book Taken on Trust.  They were discovered written on the wall of a cellar in which a victim of Hitler’s persecution hid and died.

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.

I believe in love where feeling is not

I believe in God even if he is silent.       

 

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SHARING CHRIST 18  31.07.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am, Thursday Mass at 6.30pm

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and All Saints’ Saxtead
Sundays:

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

Please email framparish@gmail.com for the link, if you are not on our regular email list.

Wednesday Holy Communion:     10.30am each Wednesday at St Michael’s

6.30pm     at All Saints Saxtead:       Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including online worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Proposed service restart date Sunday 2nd August

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

Never Lonely

Dear friends,

When I was serving in Wales, one of our church members was an elderly man, a widower named Albert who baked cakes. He was a wonderful baker and had learnt his craft as a cook on board ship in the Merchant Navy where he served for a number of years. (As you can imagine, as a Merchant Nay man he had a wry sense of humour as well!). Each year Albert baked our Christmas cake; he didn't like fiddling around with icing, we had to do that bit, but he loved baking the cake.

One day, Albert was taken quite seriously ill and had to go into hospital. While he was there he got a message to me that he needed to see me urgently. When a minister gets a message like that, there is no choice but to drop everything and go, so I dropped everything and went. When I got to the ward, having imagined all sorts of things, I saw Albert sitting up looking fairly well. When I asked him what was troubling him, he just said: 'I'm ever so sorry Martin, but I haven't had the time to make your Christmas cake this year, I hope you don't mind too much!' It was a great relief that it was nothing more serious, so we sat and had a long chat about all sorts of things.

One thing that he said was that since his wife had died some years before, he had lived alone in his bungalow and didn't see a great number of people except when he came to the church. I observed that he must find this very difficult at times, but he said 'Oh no, I may be alone, but I am never lonely.' Albert was a man of faith, he knew that Jesus was his Lord and more than that, he knew that Jesus was always with him, whatever he faced.

It gradually became apparent that Albert baked cakes for many people and he baked them with prayer. As he handed them over, if there was an opportunity to do so, he would say something appropriate about his relationship with God. He used the gifts he had been given for the glory of God, and he was not afraid to confess Jesus as Lord. Right at the end of Matthew's Gospel, Jesus commanded his eleven remaining disciples to go out, preach, teach and baptise, 'and', he promised, 'I will be with you always, to the end of the age.'

Albert knew the truth of that promise, and so can we. Some of us are forced to be alone at the moment in order to be as safe as possible from Covid19, but, as disciples of Christ, though alone, we need never be lonely.

God bless,

Martin Dawes

Heavenly, Most Loving, Gracious Father,
we come before you to humbly ask that you comfort us in our moments of loneliness.
Be our shelter in the midst of the storm,
walk beside us every step of the way
and help us to know you are always there.
In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

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SHARING CHRIST 17                29.07.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church 

Sunday Mass at 9am

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

8am                 Said Holy Communion according to Book of Common Prayer at St Michael’s

9.30am            A range of worship on Zoom with music, no service in Church

6.30pm            Said Holy Communion or Evening Prayer at All Saints

WEDNESDAY HOLY COMMUNION     -           will start at a future date

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Proposed service restart date Sunday 2nd August

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

Transformed Life

When teaching the new believers in Philippi how to live their lives in a new way –different from the Greco-Roman culture around them (with appeasement of many gods, superstition, worship of Caesar and drunken orgies) and different from the Jews who had to obey vast numbers of laws to earn their way to heaven-, Paul (St Paul) encouraged them to behave like ‘citizens of heaven’, who are given authority under Christ to transform the world; elsewhere he says ‘be like salt and light’.

Professor N. T. Wright interprets this transformed life to be one of love, generosity, healing and hope. (In his free course for lockdown on the letter to the Philippians)

I started to muse what this might look like for us now.

It has been so easy to stay in our families and groups, with people we know who are like us, and not engage with those different from ourselves. In lockdown we haven’t been allowed to, of course, but will we go back to that when it is over and life becomes normal again? Perhaps we may donate when there is a charity appeal or world disaster and we will be generous to our children, grandchildren, sisters and brothers. All this is good, but isn’t it just the same as everyone else? Prof Wright asks ‘what is our normal’? As citizens of heaven, shouldn’t our lives be different?

Might it look like this?

Love                - listening to that neighbour who always has loads to say! Is he/she lonely?

- giving that young person with chaotic lifestyle a job in your garden
- inviting a young adult with home troubles to live with you for a while

Generosity     - donating to help those in countries whose health system is poor and who
   have no income
- giving time to keep in contact with someone struggling with mental health
  issues

Healing           - praying for people to be healed from ill health, both mental and physical
- giving comfort to the bereaved

Hope               - the gospel is a message of life to the full on earth and eternal life with the
  Father, so we need to listen to Him nudging us to share that when someone
  has lost hope
- living in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us and telling people!

I need to tell myself these qualities all the time! Let’s ask God to help us live as citizens of heaven living here on earth and to use us as light and salt. Am I willing? The flesh is weak, Lord, help me to overcome.

During lockdown it has been so heartening to find neighbours checking on those living alone, bringing their shopping and medication, and we have been chatting from our front gardens. Love and generosity have indeed been shown by so many in the health service, sacrificial love by many, sometimes at great cost.

Jesus laid down his life for us and we are called to do the same for others. I am still not sure what that looks like, but it will be a start if I show the qualities above in my life.

Julia Rose

 

Prayer by John Wesley:

Heavenly Father, I am no longer my own but yours.

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,

exalted for you, or brought low for you;

let me be full, let me be empty,

let me have all things, let me have nothing:

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours.

So be it.

And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen

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SHARING CHRIST 16

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sunday

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

News of Church Opening arrangements - national advice has been received.

 

The advice is quite complex and is being worked at according to the size and nature of worship

 

Key Points from the Guidance (dated 2ND July 2020)

  • A limit of 30 has been set for weddings and other ‘stand-alone’ services such as baptisms and confirmations.
  • There is no numerical limit on other services, but social distancing and Public Health requirements must be met, and:
  • The two-metre ‘rule’ applies for public worship except in situations where closer contact cannot be avoided; extra Public Health precautions must then be taken.  This means the number who attend an act of public worship will be limited by the number that will fit in your church with a 2m distance all around an individual or family group.
  • Ministers and members of the congregation must sanitise their hands on entry and exit.  The entrance and exit must be arranged so that social distancing is maintained, and where possible the entry and exit should be by different doors.
  • Wearing of face-coverings for the congregation is voluntary, but we will make recommendations for clergy particularly when presiding at the eucharist when we send out the updated advice on holy communion.  Clergy must lead worship so that there is a good distance between them and anyone in front of them.
  • While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.
  • Government guidance includes a request for names of attendees to be recorded and kept for 21 days to assist ‘track and trace’ if required. Further details from the government are expected to help parishes and cathedrals to do this in ways that comply with GDPR.  In most of our congregations clergy or wardens have a pretty good idea who attended a service, and I think it would be sufficient for them to make a note.
  • There should be no congregational singing, nor playing of brass or woodwind instruments at the moment, but we are waiting further guidance that will indicate in what circumstances more can be done musically. A single singer or cantor appropriately socially distanced – meaning not singing “at” anyone within 5 metres, may sing.  Remember the airborne droplets projected from singing or coughing – and shouting – go a lot further than those from quietly speaking.
  • Public worship guidance includes surrounding grounds (including churchyards, car parks and courtyards); meetings in other places should follow other guidance for people meeting in public spaces.
  • There should be no refreshments served after the service.
  • Services should be kept shorter than you are used to, to minimise the time that people are congregated in the church building.

It is taking some time to sort this out so details of services may be delayed.

 

A Last word from Mark Sanders

All of the above means a short farewell from me. It has been a huge pleasure and privilege to minister and share God’s love in Framlingham and it is a hard place to leave. The Churches have shared their faith expressed in different ways and with Christ at the centre. In our age that is so important to have a message of love, the privilege of being loved and of course the challenge of loving real people. Yet people who God values so much that Jesus shared divine values of faith, hope and love even to the point of death.

 

We are important to the wellbeing of this country and may we share the message and love of Christ.

 

God bless you and God be with you (good-b-ye)

 

Mark

 

The National Health Service came into being on 5 July 1948. During post-war reconstruction, improving the healthcare of the nation was seen as crucial to the nation’s recovery.

Beveridge, the architect of the NHS, identified "five giants” that had to be slain: want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. The cataclysm of war provided the stimulus for radical reform. It was a momentous achievement and, in spite of early professional resistance to some of the proposals, it was born of a national consensus: everybody wanted the new service to work.

The NHS was based on principles unlike anything that had gone before. It was financed almost entirely from central taxation. That the rich paid more than the poor for comparable benefits was regarded as a crucial part of the scheme. Everyone was eligible for care, even people temporarily resident or visiting the country. People could be referred to any hospital, local or more distant. Care was free at the point of use, although prescription and dental charges were subsequently introduced.

During the current pandemic, there has been immense national and local support for the NHS and its front line workers. The emergence of the Thursday ‘Clap for Carers’ was a significant experience in the lockdown. Thanksgiving binds communities together, turning ‘I’ into ‘we’. The contribution of carers and key workers who have given of themselves sacrificially needs to be honoured. Sharing stories of people and events during the crisis is likely to form the kernel of any community celebration. Unsung heroes need to be applauded.

For the NHS

God of healing and compassion,
we thank you for the establishment of the National Health Service,
and for the dedication of all who work in it:
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who care for the sick,
and your wisdom to those engaged in medical research.
Strengthen all in their vocation through your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Everlasting God,
at this time we lift to you
those from all nations and backgrounds
who work on the front line in healthcare.
Give them skill and wisdom in their work.
Be their strength and their shield
as they give of themselves in the care of others.
Amen.

 

For carers and health professionals

Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve:
bless all who, following in his steps,
give themselves to the service of others;
that with wisdom, patience, and courage,
they may minister in his name to the suffering and the needy;
for the love of him who laid down his life for us,
your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life,
be with all  carers and health professionals,
as they act as agents of your healing touch.
In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving;
and when their work is done,
be with them in their weariness and in their tears.
Amen.                                    

Prayers in relation to COVID-19

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

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SHARING  CHRIST 15

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church  are opening Thursdays 11am-12noon and 

Sundays 10am-11am for private prayer and meditation.

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham      Time: SUNDAY JUNE 28th,  09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk   

Please note St Michael’s will be open for prayer from 10-4 (10.30-4 on Sundays) from Monday 15th June. On 5th July the main service will still be on zoom and a farewell to Mark.

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

From Martin Dawes

Dear  Friends,

For the last few months, we have been living a very different life, unable to carry out many of our normal activities. We have learned new ways of communicating with people and created new routines to give our lives some shape. For Christians, though, one of the most painful aspects of the lock-down has been that we are unable to worship in our churches. There have been some very creative broadcast and internet worship aids, but somehow, they all seem second best when we are not together.

This reminded me of the plight of the people of God when in exile in Babylon; far from their familiar life and cut off from the one place where they could worship God – the Temple in Jerusalem. Several of the Psalms were written at this time, and perhaps the best known is Ps 137 'By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion' (I can imagine the strains of Boney M going through your minds right now!). It is a Psalm that records the grief, frustration and anger of God's people in exile – emotions that have been familiar to some of us too at times.

The last section of the book of Isaiah looks forward with hope to the nation's return. Jesus quoted from Isa 61: 'The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to preach good news to the poor...' after that familiar passage Isaiah goes on to tell of how the ancient cities will be rebuilt, ways of life restored and great celebrations will take place – clear references to joy at their return home.

Of course, in practice, it wasn't quite so simple. As the books of Ezra and Nehemiah reveal, the return wasn't straightforward. Security was the first priority, the walls of Jerusalem had to be rebuilt before it was safe to rebuild houses, stables, workshops and Temple.  All this within a sensitive international political situation - it was a long slow process.

I suspect our return to normal worship in church will also be long and slow. People's safety will be the first priority, so only gradually, step by step, will we be able to rebuild the worship life we have missed for so long. But remember, although we may not have seen anything like this before, God has seen it all; he has led his people through worse times than this! God is with us today as he always has been, the promise of Jesus is that he will be with us 'to the end of the age' (Mt 28:20) and we have the Holy Spirit, the very life of God in our hearts forever (see John14:16) to be our guide. Whatever happens to us, whatever we do or endure, we are in the loving care of God and he will see us through!

May the peace of the Lord be always with you.

God bless,  Martin

News of Church Opening arrangements will follow

after national advice has been received.

 

Everlasting God,
at this time we lift to you
those from all nations and backgrounds
who work on the front line in healthcare.
Give them skill and wisdom in their work.
Be their strength and their shield
as they give of themselves in the care of others.

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SHARING CHRIST 14

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Clare’s Roman Catholic Church  are opening Thursdays 11am-12noon and 

Sundays 10am-11am for private prayer and meditation.

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham      Time: SUNDAY JUNE 21ST,  09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk   

Please note St Michael’s will be open for prayer from 10-4 (10.30-4 on Sundays) from Monday 15th June

Local Taize service - The  monthly Taize style service is back, with grateful thanks to Wendy and Alister Gourlay for all their work.  We usually meet at 4 pm on Sunday however, if you can’t make Sunday (or you can’t wait) you can access the links at any time.  To uplink the video go to    https://youtu.be/divcc2MnbY0   (that’s a zero at the end) To uplink the order of service go to    https://www.mid-loes.com/cretingham.php   May the service really bless us at this time.

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Prayers from all of us https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

I grew up near the sea, so near that I could hear its ebb and flow. I grew up knowing the fishermen of the North Norfolk coast and valuing their craft and their faith. Most of them could not swim, which at first I thought was fatalism, but learned later was a deep trust in God. If it pleased the Master to call them at their post then it was his will. As I went out with them on occasions, I wondered at the disciples panicking about the storm. Surely, they had Jesus with them? Besides it was only a little lake not the great grey North Sea! I'm afraid I was a little scornful of their inferior seamanship. After all the North Sea can be really rough.

I was a little deflated when Benet Middleton said after quite a frightening trip: "That was a little blow". Obviously I had not had the experience he had. So the Galileans also were experienced and it must have been an unusually stiff storm to scare them.

As I read about the Sea of Galilee, I learned that the wind can come off the Galilean hills a tangles and create swirling winds which necessitate the lowering of any sail and that there would be no lee side or windward winds to ease the waves even by shifting weight. Add to that the Jewish perception of a wrathful God and where were the poor disciples to turn?

Perhaps God was cross with them for some misdemeanour or some omission?

Anyway God was unlikely to come to their aid because they had turned to another .......Jesus Christ.

So there was a storm outside the boat and one inside their heads.

"Teacher," they say, "don't you care that we are perishing?"

Was it just the wind that Jesus rebuked? "Was it just the seas that Jesus told, "Peace! Be still."?

It sounds as if he was telling the disciples also to stop huffing and puffing. Why are you afraid?ave you still no faith? In all our lives there are times of extreme fear and agitation. Battered from all sides, we panic ,well I do. Thoughts won't do as they are told; circumstances build up and conspire against us.

 

At school things go wrong ,teachers seem to pick on us, we miss homework, do something wrong and the whole mess gets out of control. In the house-the washing machine breaks down, water ruins the carpet on the same day that the car refuses to start and the children all develop measles or mumps two days before the holiday. At work we are blamed for errors, a junior makes mistakes for which we are responsible, an order form goes missing.......

All the good things we thought we were doing become areas of failure; people question our motives.....and worse...so do we!  

At moments like these we need Jesus to say inside us....Peace. Be still!

And in that stillness we need to reflect as Paul does....

We are created as imposters and yet are true...

as unknown and yet are well known...

as dying and see we are alive..

as punished and yet not killed...

poor yet making many rich...

as having nothing and yet possessing everything.

Jesus told us that every hair on our head is counted, that not a sparrow falls from the sky but God is aware of it. How much more does he care for us?

When I was growing up in Sheringham most of the fishermen belonged to the Salvation Army. On Sunday evenings after Benediction we would walk down to the promenade and listen to the Salvation Army Band. That is where I first heard the use of the symbol of Jesus as our anchor, the one that keeps us in touch with God's firmness, who by his steadfastness and dependability prevents the tides of life sweeping us away to become debris on the sea of sin.

And when we look at those who have succumbed but for Christ that could have been us.

Rev. Mike Vipond    

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SHARING CHRIST 12

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham      Time: SUNDAY June 7th, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk    Service Young People joining us to sing and all of us reflecting on Sharing the life of God as Trinity during the lockdown. DO JOIN US

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Thy Kingdom Come – prayers for others, for our nation and the world

https://www.thykingdomcome.global/  - light up Framlingham in prayer, join the 24/7 prayer, get the daily app…

 

Prayers

 

We continue to pray for all who are sick, for our doctors and nurses and especially those in local hospitals and any we know

 

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour,

and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you.

In this time of anxiety,

give us strength to comfort the fearful,

to tend the sick,

and to assure the isolated of our love,

and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen.

 

Our letter for this week has been borrowed from the Web – do you agree with Martin?

Revd Martin Keenan has pastoral charge of Barton on Sea, Milford on Sea and Brockenhurst Methodist Churches. He lives with his wife, Aine and our dog, Pebbles.

He is a book-reader, reading Theology mainly, along with Tolkien and other similar things like Rock Music and designing gardens.

 

Letter from the Manse

I’ve been enjoying  some free time lately!  During that time I have finished my Bible teaching preparation on the book of Acts, and I found a fascinating word I have overlooked in the past.  In Acts 24 Paul is on trial before Felix, the Roman governor.  The Jewish leaders accuse Paul in v5 of being ‘a pest’.  The word in Greek means ‘pestilence’, or  ‘plague’.  And then they say that this plague is causing trouble ‘all over the world’.  And I had to think about the Gospel as a pandemic.  In the early days of Acts ‘the Lord added to their number those who  were being saved’: then ‘the Lord multiplied’ the number of disciples: then’ the churches multiplied’ .  And you see the ‘R number’ increasing as Christians came into contact with more and more people and infected them with the Gospel.

A vaccine had to be found, and unfortunately one was found.  They made the Gospel into a religion.  They built church buildings to put the Christians in so they wouldn’t infect any more people.  They made clergy who would control any possible outbreaks.  They put the Bible into Latin, and later into Elizabethan English, so no-one would be able to understand it.  And the plague stopped.

Every now and then there would be an outbreak, a new spike, but then the clergy would apply the religion vaccine and the outbreak would die down.

And so today we find our church buildings closed, and maybe they should stay that way.  I have read about the concerns of churches having to close when this Covid-19 ends, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.  I’ve read about people wanting to get back into those buildings, so we can be isolated from the world once again.  But I’ve also read that one million people tuned into Spring Harvest this year (it’s normally 40,000).  I’ve read about more people listening to online services, and even those church members who were housebound are now being catered for.

And maybe what we need to do is consider how we can cause another spike of this pandemic called  “The Gospel” ; how can we contaminate more people?  We need to be tested first to make sure we have the infection, then we need to get closer than two metres and talk to people about the infection, maybe breathe the Holy Spirit onto them.

Maybe it’s been too much free time I’ve had lately, but what if we all took this time to consider why a Gospel message that spread so rapidly at the first outbreak is now confined in  buildings, meetings and committees.  And maybe we should consider how we can help to cause another spike.

Martin Keenan
martin.keenan@methodist.org.uk

 

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 SHARING CHRIST 11

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham      Time: SUNDAY May 31, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk    Service Celebrating Thy Kingdom Come

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Thy Kingdom Come – prayers for others, for our nation and the world

https://www.thykingdomcome.global/  - light up Framlingham in prayer, join the 24/7 prayer, get the daily app…

 

Come Holy Spirit

 

Many of our Churches this week will be remembering the gift of the Holy Spirit which rushed upon the Disciples and gave them the courage, the power and the grace to pick up the teachings and actions of Jesus.

 

In this way what happened on the first Whitsunday or Pentecost (which means 50 days – as it is 50 days since Passover) is the completion of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Just consider the change in a few frightened followers of a teacher who had been crucified and the imparting of grace and power to turn them into bold proclaimers of the love and glory of God in such a way that it could be understood by people from all around the world.

 

In 2020 and the years that follow we will be picking ourselves up from the pandemic and it is likely to affect our morale, our confidence, our hopes. There will be changes we find difficult, including in our town and churches. Pundits writing in papers suggest all sorts of scenarios from communities which share, to ones which fear the stranger. From economies that think only of themselves to ones which recognise the imperative to protect creation and the poor.

 

Where would you put the movement of the Spirit in those? This Sunday is also the last day of Thy Kingdom Come – praying that prayer each day (maybe even as we wash our hands!) makes me think the Spirit is moving us to hope for and work for the opening up of our society and the Spirit seeing a role for the Churches, for you and for me, for people of goodwill to live by grace and not by fear.

 

 

 

Prayers

 

As we wait in silence, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we listen to Your word,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we worship You in majesty, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your refreshing,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your renewing,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your equipping, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your empowering, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

We continue to pray for all who are sick, for our doctors and nurses and especially those in local hospitals and any we know

 

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour,

and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you.

In this time of anxiety,

give us strength to comfort the fearful,

to tend the sick,

and to assure the isolated of our love,

and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen.

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SHARING CHRIST 10

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY May 24, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk    Service Celebrating Thy Kingdom Come

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Thy Kingdom Come – prayers for others, for our nation and the world

https://www.thykingdomcome.global/  - light up Framlingham in prayer, join the 24/7 prayer, get the daily app…

 

A theology of disruption

Taken from wordonthestreets.net  From an article by Desiring God

Throughout history we have been used to patterns of disruption. In recent times, disruptive technologies, used to replace or create a new mass market, are a good example. Although there were cars for the rich, the mass produced Ford Model T captured the mass market and eliminated the horse-drawn carriage. Wikipedia has replaced Encyclopaedia Britannica. The High Street retail sector is being pressurised by online retailers, etc. Mobile devices have disrupted markets - music, cameras, diaries being just three.

Similarly, there are lots of examples of disruption in Bible. Just reading through Acts gives one a feel of disruption to individuals, beliefs, economic models, religious systems, culture, etc.

And now with Covid-19, a reset button has been pushed.

The word 'positive' is rarely used to describe disruption, but what if were? How do we think about disruptive change in light of the positive? How does God move through disruption? How does disruption become a spiritual leadership opportunity in the places where we live and work?

Joseph Tenney, music and arts pastor at Church at the Cross, Texas writes about interruption as invitation by God.

Referring to the story of the Good Samaritan, he notes that only the Samaritan was willing to have his day interrupted. He quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and cancelling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks. . . . It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this, but actually they are disdaining God’s 'crooked yet straight path.'"

He continues: What if we learned to experience interruption differently? Rather than viewing all outside interruption as the enemy of productivity and creativity, what if we viewed our lives as communicative vessels for the sake of the other? If we open ourselves to embrace a theology of holy interruption, we may usher in newness, revelation, life, and story to inform our work and craft and life in ways that otherwise would simply not be possible.

Bonhoeffer’s point is simple - the Christian’s job is to listen to God and care about what God says above all else, in every moment. True productivity isn’t about tightly controlling ourselves and our calendars, but about unleashing ourselves in love towards others. As Matt Perman observes, “Everything is given to us by God for the purpose of serving others”  If we view our work in isolation from others, and a potential interruption must be avoided at all costs, we’re probably functioning out of a wrong motivation and certainly operating under faulty assumptions about the purpose of work.

Bonhoeffer petitions every Christian to stop and allow for interruption — to cultivate a disruption theology, as it were. This benefits both the one doing the interrupting, as well as the person being interrupted because it is in those instances God reveals himself in ways we may never have seen or experienced otherwise. God is erecting visible signs of the cross in our path for our benefit to show us that his kingdom is at hand — to invite us in his work.

Interruption is God’s invitation. God is inviting us to see him all around us, in the lives of others, in our conversations, in our serving those in need. Interruption is not simply a matter of our heart developing patience; it’s about experiencing true life. It is one of God’s ways of waking us up to what’s around us to see there’s more to be done than our self-appointed tasks for the day, as important as they may seem.

Interruption is God's tender way of encouraging his creatures to be a part of the kingdom come.

Read full article here.

Prayers

As we wait in silence, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we listen to Your word,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we worship You in majesty, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your refreshing,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your renewing,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your equipping, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

As we long for Your empowering, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

We continue to pray for all who are sick, for our doctors and nurses and especially those in local hospitals and any we know

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 SHARING CHRIST 9

 

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

 

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

 

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

 

St Michael’s and Saxtead

 

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

 

Time: SUNDAY May 17, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk    Service Celebrating the end of Christian Aid Week

 

Thursday is Ascension Day and Churches in the area are joining for a Zoom service at 7.30 on 21st May

 

Loes Deanery Ascension Day Service Time: May 21, 2020 7:30 PM    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84609355833

 

 

 

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

 

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

 

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

 

 

 

 

We started before Easter and this week we head towards Ascension Day when re remember Jesus returning to His Father and then sending the promised Spirit

 

All of our Churches are sharing in the period of Thy Kingdom Come and there is one initiative we can all join in with

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light up Suffolk with Prayer –

 

Thy Kingdom Come

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The church are delighted to invite every household in Suffolk to light a candle to celebrate a global wave of prayer, as part of Thy Kingdom Come, a global event from May 21-31.The Lightwave community, led by Venerable Sally Gaze, the Archdeacon for Rural Mission, is coordinating the initiative across Suffolk. She said: “This year, the events that would normally be held cannot happen because of the coronavirus pandemic. It means that we have been able to make it much more open to everyone, not just our regular churchgoers.  However, it means that we can use our online platforms to reach even more people. All Christian denominations have seen an increase in people joining in virtual prayer meetings and from those who wouldn’t normally take part. As part of the event here in Suffolk, we have created Light Up Suffolk with the aim of encouraging everyone to light a candle in their window and say a short prayer for their family or community.  Wouldn’t it be great if lots of people have a candle in their window throughout the 10 days of Thy Kingdom Come?”

 

For children, parents can download a rainbow candle poster for them to colour in and place in their windows.  “Rainbows are a sign of hope for people, It’s encouraging for people to see and know that they have friends and neighbours who are taking part in Light Up Suffolk.”

 

The team are inviting you to participate in a number of ways:

 

  • Sign up to a 24.7, unbroken prayer marathon from Sunday, May 24, until Pentecost Sunday on May 31st please click here. You can book as many slots as you would like - perhaps a few of you would like to commit to pray together - either separately or over Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom, or even just over the phone.
  • Pray together - seek out simple acts of prayer for morning, noon and evening every day.  There are lots of resources to help you to light up Suffolk in prayer – traditional and new, written, creative and active for all ages available on the Lightwave website.  These include a Rhythm of Prayer: simple acts of prayer for morning, noon and evening every day, prayers events and get children involved by colouring this downloadable Light a Candle poster.
  • Send in your own events and resources to rural.mission@cofesuffolk.org for us to upload on our website.
  • Make a short video of yourself saying why you are joining in Light Up Suffolk with Prayer and post in on TKC Suffolk Facebook Page and your own social media – encourage others to do the same.
    Follow us on Facebook here and share our stories.

 

 

 

More about Thy Kingdom Come available at https://www.thykingdomcome.global/

 

Almighty God,

 

your ascended Son has sent us into the world

 

to preach the good news of your kingdom:

 

inspire us with your Spirit and fill our hearts with the fire of your love,

 

that all who hear your Word may be drawn to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

 

 

As we wait in silence, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

As we listen to Your word,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

As we worship You in majesty, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

As we long for Your refreshing,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

As we long for Your renewing,  make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

As we long for Your equipping, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

As we long for Your empowering, make us ready for Your coming Spirit.

 

 

 

 

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SHARING CHRIST 8

 

Love never fails. Coronavirus impacts all of us. But love unites us all.

 

 

 

Sunday 10th May marks the start of Christian Aid week.  In normal times we would be galvanising a small army of volunteers to distribute red collection envelopes around the town, stationing our big red bucket in the Post Office to receive the many generous donations, raising banners and bunting, cooking soups and eating puddings…  All to raise the profile of the important work that Christian Aid does to improve the lives of those living in poverty and fighting injustice around the world, and gather vital funds to enable this work to continue.  But these are not normal times.

 

‘Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.’

(1 Corinthians 13:7-8)

As this virus spreads across the world, we have seen love rise up in response.  We have already seen incredible kindness demonstrated to local communities and neighbours. Now we are being challenged to reach out in love to our global neighbours.

In recent years Christian Aid week has been focussed on supporting those communities threatened by flooding in Bangladesh, and young women facing dangerous pregnancies in Sierra Leone.  Love has been shared in the fund raising efforts to protect people from flooding, from poor health conditions, from storms, from drought.  And now we are seeking to share love to protect people from coronavirus.   This love protects our global neighbours battling the spread of this illness:  with soap, clean water and medical supplies.

By supporting Christian Aid Week, you can reach out and protect more of your neighbours today.  Please pray for Christian Aid and their global partners this week, and join in the range of activities going on.  And if you are able to donate to support their work, please follow the link below.

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/key-appeals/christian-aid-week

A prayer for a global pandemic

‘Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.’

(1 Corinthians 13:7-8)

Loving God,

strengthen our innermost being

with your love that bears all things

even the weight of this global pandemic

even the endurance of watching for symptoms

of patiently waiting for this to pass

watching while we pray,

keeping our gaze fixed on you,

and looking out for our neighbours near and far.

 

Instil in our shaken souls

the belief and hope that all things

are possible with your creative love

for strangers to become friends

for science to source solutions

for resources to be generously shared

so everyone, everywhere, may have what they need.

May your perfect love that knows no borders

cast out any fear and selfishness that divides.

 

May your love that never ends

be our comfort, strength and guide

for the wellbeing of all and the glory of God.

Amen

 

Acts of worship during Christian Aid week that you can join online:

Rev Martin Dawes is recording a service which will be available from Friday by following the link on the Framlingham UFC website: http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

Christian Aid are hosting a live a Sunday Service, celebrated by Dr Rowan Williams.  Copy the link below to access this, and the other Christian Aid week reflections:
http://click.e-mail.christian-aid.org/?qs=01a4a8619d10003f4c0e70e579ab612227bb3bd014c0105729ac5f2b0bbb3aab4c481a2b9bdf77abfbd57ce540aa5b01

And at the end of Christian Aid Week - St Michael’s Zoom service 9.30 on May 17th.  Do join in - email framparish@gmail.com  for the information to log in. Contact same address for this Sunday’s invitation.

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

 

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SHARING CHRIST 7

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY Apr 19, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk  

United Free Church                       http://framlinghamufc.onesuffolk.net/

A series of videos and links for other resources including on line worship at 11.00 on Sundays

FCBC Zoom 'service' at 11am on a Sunday just email info@framlinghambaptist.co.uk for the relevant links.

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Some thoughts from William Glasse of Framlingham United Free Church

Avoid fake news

I dare say that I am not alone in having a few sermons in my memory, and not all are there for the right reasons. Many years ago as a student I recall one based on today’s Gospel reading (John 10:1-10). The preacher had an interesting way of using language and kept quoting Jesus saying ‘I am the gate to the sheep’. He never did add the word ‘fold’ but the effect was to make me think hard about the passage and to keep coming back to it over the years. Please read it for yourselves before you read the rest of this.

Jesus writes about safe routes into the ‘sheepfold’, and implies that there are people with malicious intent. In these days in which our physical representations of the ‘sheepfold’ are firmly shut to all comers we are learning ‘fast and furious’ about how to be a virtual ‘sheepfold’; how can we ‘Share Christ’ without going near each other. Some of this is easy to think through but some is not.

There have long been controls in place in the mainstream Christian denominations that ensure that those who hear the ‘Call to Preach’ are trained and their Call is tested, whether they become fully ordained or lay servants of the Gospel. None of that prevents or has prevented outrageous things being said over the last two thousand years, some of it at considerable variance from the central tenets of the Gospel.

So here we are as the Church of Christ. Physically, doors are shut while virtually they stand wide open. That has more to recommend it than not; for my part I rejoice that people of faith are not walking away but coming in and if making that happen means breaking a few taboos then so be it. There is a risk though. If you are reading this as a hearer of many sermons, remember that you have a foundation of solid truth beneath you that is a support and will help you work out whether what you hear and read is ‘good’ or not. If you are new to it all, listen and absorb, but above all think. All of us still have the ‘virtual one another’ to discuss things with and none of us is deprived of the source for the core truths from which all our messaging should be derived.

Daily bible reading has been vital to me for most of my sixty years. Bible reading makes sense in the context of openness to God, and it makes sense of what others say and preach, unless they are of malicious intent – few are, but some need to be avoided.

‘Good Shepherd, who cares for the sheep,

Tend our hearts with your healing oil.

Keep us safe,

Protect us and guide us,

And let us walk in your ways, always.’ Amen.

 

Prayer Topics for the town:

For the work of the Hour Community in getting shopping and prescriptions and for neighbours helping one another

For the work of the Foodbank – see request below

For the Work of Mills Meadow carers and staff, the surgery and carers going into homes in our community

For our schools and their ongoing work

For those who deliver, those who work in the Co Op and other places serving taking away food, papers and the pharmacy

HELP NEEDED – thanks to those who have already responded … can you help?

Framlingham Foodbank

Volunteers from churches in Framlingham help to make emergency food deliveries to those in need in Framlingham and the surrounding villages.  We are supported by the Trussell Trust, which works to combat poverty across the United Kingdom.  Food parcels are delivered to us from a central warehouse at Waveney Foodbank, in Eye, to our own shorter-term store.  Our volunteers then deliver this food to local people in crisis. 

But we have a problem!  Many of our willing volunteers are self-isolating because of age or vulnerability, and as a result we are now short of people who can deliver these food parcels to needy local families.  Would you be willing to consider helping us, please?  Even if only for a limited time, until the pandemic is over?  We provide the PPE for you, and food parcels for you to deliver.  All you need is to be willing to collect the food parcel from our little local sub-depot, and deliver it to the family in crisis, perhaps once or twice a week at the most.

To find out more about what’s entailed, without any obligation, please telephone Alan Rabjohn, on 564149 or Jeremy Schofield on 724310.   

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 SHARING CHRIST 6

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

William Glasse leading UFC on a Sunday at 11 on facebook

There are three ways to access this:

Find William Glasse on Facebook and follow the event link there 

 Click the following link which will open your internet browser – you can continue to join the meeting there (you do not have to download the Teams app unless you want to) Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

 Dial the following number on a phone:  020 3443 6294 - When asked for the conference ID use your keypad to type 878 173 346 # You will be asked to record your name – but no need unless you want to – and then type # again

 

St Michael’s and Saxtead

SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY Apr 19, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk

Night Prayer with Martin Dawes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT3-Gq6kaZg

Talks at Baptist Church                 http://www.framlinghambaptist.co.uk/media/

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Some thoughts from Richard Rohr shared by Prue Gibbons of FCBC

Life is hard, and yet Jesus says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28).

It is hard to bear God—but it is even harder not to bear God. The pain one brings upon oneself by living outside of evident reality is a greater and longer-lasting pain than the brief pain of facing it head on. Enlightened people invariably describe the spiritual experience of God as resting, peace, delight, and even ecstasy.

If our religion has no deep joy and no inherent contentment about it, then it is not the real thing. If our religion is primarily fear of self, the world, and God; if it is primarily focused on meeting religious duties and obligations, then it is indeed a hard yoke and heavy burden. I’d go so far as to say that it’s hardly worthwhile. I think the promise from Jesus that his burden is easy and light seeks to reassure us that rigid and humorless religion is not his way and certainly not the only way.

It is God within us that loves God, so seek joy in God and peace within; seek to rest in the good, the true, and the beautiful. It is the only resting place that also allows us to bear the darkness. Hard and soft, difficult and easy, pain and ecstasy do not eliminate one another, but actually allow each other. They bow back and forth like dancers, although it is harder to bow to pain and to failure. If you look deeply inside every success, there are already seeds and signs of limits; if you look inside every failure, there are also seeds and signs of opportunity.

Who among us has not been able to eventually recognize the silver lining in the darkest of life’s clouds? You would think the universal pattern of death and life, the lesson of the Gospel and Jesus’ life would be utterly clear to me by now, yet I still fight and repress my would-be resurrections, even if just in my own mind. For some reason, we give and get our energy from dark clouds much more than silver linings. True joy is harder to access and even harder to hold onto than anger or fear. 

If our soul is at rest in the comforting sweetness and softness of God, we can bear the hardness of life and see through failure. That’s why people in love—and often people at the end of life—have such an excess of energy for others. If our truth does not set us free, it is not truth at all. If God cannot be rested in, God must not be much of a God. If God is not joy, then what has created the sunrise and sunset?

Prayer Topics for the town:

For the work of the Hour Community in getting shopping and prescriptions and for neighbours helping one another

For the work of the Foodbank – see request below

For the Work of Mills Meadow carers and staff, the surgery and carers going into homes in our community

For our schools and their ongoing work

For those who deliver, those who work in the Co Op and other places serving taking away food, papers and the pharmacy

HELP NEEDED

Framlingham Foodbank

Volunteers from churches in Framlingham help to make emergency food deliveries to those in need in Framlingham and the surrounding villages.  We are supported by the Trussell Trust, which works to combat poverty across the United Kingdom.  Food parcels are delivered to us from a central warehouse at Waveney Foodbank, in Eye, to our own shorter-term store.  Our volunteers then deliver this food to local people in crisis. 

But we have a problem!  Many of our willing volunteers are self-isolating because of age or vulnerability, and as a result we are now short of people who can deliver these food parcels to needy local families.  Would you be willing to consider helping us, please?  Even if only for a limited time, until the pandemic is over?  We provide the PPE for you, and food parcels for you to deliver.  All you need is to be willing to collect the food parcel from our little local sub-depot, and deliver it to the family in crisis, perhaps once or twice a week at the most.

To find out more about what’s entailed, without any obligation, please telephone Alan Rabjohn, on 564149 or Jeremy Schofield on 724310.   

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SHARING CHRIST 5       16.04.20

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

William Glasse leading UFC on a Sunday at 11 on facebook

There are three ways to access this:

Find William Glasse on Facebook and follow the event link there 

 Click the following link which will open your internet browser – you can continue to join the meeting there (you do not have to download the Teams app unless you want to) Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

 Dial the following number on a phone:  020 3443 6294 - When asked for the conference ID use your keypad to type 878 173 346 # You will be asked to record your name – but no need unless you want to – and then type # again

 

St Michael’s and Saxtead

EASTER Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY Apr 19, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk

Night Prayer with Martin Dawes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT3-Gq6kaZg

Talks at Baptist Church                 http://www.framlinghambaptist.co.uk/media/

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

 

Some Easter thoughts from Rev Betty Mockford

‘Peace be with you’

Lockdown.

The disciples were in lockdown ‘for fear of the Jews.’

The religious authorities have killed their master and teacher, and theyc fear for their own lives.

Lockdown.

In a locked room, suddenly Jesus is with them. No bolts or bars can lock him out. He speaks to them words of peace, three times and each with a deeper meaning.

First, an assurance of fellowship and forgiveness. Jesus is with them. He shows them his hands and his side, the wounds of his crucified body still visible, wounds by which we are healed, by which we receive forgiveness for our failures.

The second greeting leads to empowering, ‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ Jesus breathes on them his Spirit. As in the Creation story God breathes life into Adam, so Jesus breathed into his frightened disciples new life, and sends them to continue his commission in the world.

The third greeting is an invitation to believe. Thomas, who wasn’t with the others when Jesus first appeared, wants his own evidence that Christ is alive. His honest doubts lead to his amazing, faith-filled declaration: ‘My Lord and my God!’ A challenge to us to believe too.

Lockdown. In these weeks of lockdown during the coronavirus, Jesus speaks peace to our anxiety and isolation. He offers us forgiveness, empowerment and faith. We have time to be with him in our homes, and to pray for those beyond our four walls, for family and friends and neighbours and those working for our benefit and well being.

So … some ideas for prayer

Father, as Christians may we be people

            not of fear but courage

            not of greed but generosity

            not of concern just for ourselves

            but for the safety of our neighbours. Amen

 

A Celtic circle prayer

(you might like to use the gesture of drawing a circle each time,

 and add your own words as appropriate)

Circle us Lord;

Keep fear without

And peace within.

Circle us Lord

Keep darkness out

And light within.

Circle us Lord …

May the peace of God which passes all understanding,

Keep our hearts and minds

In the knowledge and love of God,

And of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

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 SHARING CHRIST 4 HOLY WEEK AND EASTER   09.04.20 Mark Saunders

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

Night Prayer with Martin Dawes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT3-Gq6kaZg

Talks at Baptist Church                 http://www.framlinghambaptist.co.uk/media/

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

William Glasse leading UFC on a Sunday at 11 on facebook

There are three ways to access this:

Find William Glasse on Facebook and follow the event link there 

 Click the following link which will open your internet browser – you can continue to join the meeting there (you do not have to download the Teams app unless you want to) Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

 Dial the following number on a phone:  020 3443 6294 - When asked for the conference ID use your keypad to type 878 173 346 # You will be asked to record your name – but no need unless you want to – and then type # again

 

 Easter at St Michael’s and Saxtead

EASTER SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY Apr 12, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk

 

Some Easter thoughts from Mark and Tatiana

 

 Holy Week and Easter at St Michael’s and Saxtead

EASTER SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY Apr 12, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk

From darkness to light, fear to triumph, disaster and hope. St Matthew’s account of the Resurrection has the lot. It doesn’t make the Cross and Resurrection easy places to be - and this Easter the challenge to overcome the darkness, fear and disaster of Coronavirus with the light, triumph and hope of Christ is the task of all of us.  I could say so much more - and probably will do on Sunday morning so don’t want to repeat myself then. At Easter we rejoice in the risen Lord and in our calling each and everyone of us – as members of the Body of Christ to live the risen life – the life of Jesus in the world today- to be  channels of his life- his light and hope and triumph

We are called to do that in the middle of lock down for COVID 19; and we have talked to our neighbours- indeed we have loved our neighbours, we have served our neighbours- through phone calls- e mails- Whats App- Skype- through collecting prescriptions/shopping- reached out along with those of faith and those of no faith and we have touched lives- we have lived the risen life.

For the risen life is a life which gives hope- speaks peace- recognises each and every person as made in the image of Christ.

And someone did this for me and I’m going to share with you Tatiana’s Easter garden. She is a member of the Sing Praise group at school who were set a challenge to do an Easter Garden. We’ve had several in so far and the can be seen on St Michael’s Framlingham facebook (go and take a look). Tatiana also supplied us with an Easter understanding as well. Today I’m going to share a picture of it and this is her explanation:

Here is a picture of Tatiana’s Easter garden. She has chosen significant flowers/plants:

 Easter garden

 

The rosemary bush near the entrance to tomb is beautifully fragrant.

The big thistle represents the crown of thorns. The red dead nettle, that is so abundant and colourful on field edges at the moment, emphasises that Jesus was actually dead.  And the forget-me-nots....exactly the message of Easter!

Hope you like it. Happy Easter!

Easter Prayers

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.

Easter Prayer from Framlingham Methodist Church

When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again,
your love broke through.

Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.

The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.

Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.
Amen.

 

 

 

SHARING CHRIST 3 HOLY WEEK AND EASTER        03.04.20 Rev Mark Saunders

Welcome to Framlingham Churches Together Thoughts and Prayers

 Holy Week and Easter at St Michael’s and Saxtead

The services can be seen on You tube:

Maundy Thursday & see below  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J9R6Eos-OQ

Good Friday see below                  -

Holy Saturday                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StGxWCT3qiI&t=6s

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GOOD FRIDAY - Meditations, pictures and poems by Andrea Skevington on The last words of Jesus will be sent early next week. Andrea gave us some excellent Lent Talks last week and has prepared this at the request of a couple of Deaneries. Do use it at 2pm if you can.

You do not need technology but she has chosen some excellent music for those who can access you tube

For Service Sheet email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk

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EASTER SUNDAY Online Service 9.30am St Michael's Framlingham

Time: SUNDAY Apr 12, 2020 09:30 AM If you would like to join email: revmarksanders@tiscali.co.uk

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Local Sharing Prayer and Faith

Night Prayer with Martin Dawes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT3-Gq6kaZg

Talks at Baptist Church                 http://www.framlinghambaptist.co.uk/media/

Prayers from all of us                    https://www.stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/prayers-framlingham-churches/

William Glasse leading UFC on a Sunday at 11 on facebook

There are three ways to access this:

Find William Glasse on Facebook and follow the event link there 

 Click the following link which will open your internet browser – you can continue to join the meeting there (you do not have to download the Teams app unless you want to) Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

 Dial the following number on a phone:  020 3443 6294 - When asked for the conference ID use your keypad to type 878 173 346 # You will be asked to record your name – but no need unless you want to – and then type # again

 

 

 

 

A Poem for week 3 from Mike Vipond   03.04.20

REDOUBTABLE SEAS

Such gales as God grandeurs

pound walls. His voice, resurrected,

so resounds that waves projected,

sting as spray while wavelets ripple,

stipple the sea-close sea coast

of my heart.

 

How proud, still yet, humanity

responds to these salt urges;

surges so our blood when ears

with fears filled, doubt spilled

as  Galilee, frantically call

 for calm.

 

We will not yield, never, though

the undertow may speak, currents deep

though faith may sleep; calm now

so that our craft with steadfast prow

anchors in Christ; in Him;

Storms Overthrow.

 

Lord of all calm be with us all.

 

Mike 

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Prayers from the Roman Catholic Church

Generous and Merciful God, fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old; that we may look after each other in these challenging times, especially those among us who are vulnerable. May your example give us the courage we need to go to the margins, wherever they may be. Heal us of our fear.

Healing God, bring healing to those who are sick with the Coronavirus and be with their families and neighbours. We pray especially who those who are isolated, that they may know your love. Stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

God of Strength, accompany all those who serve us with such love and generosity in the medical profession and in all our healthcare facilities.  We give thanks for their continued work in the service of people. We ask you to bless them, strengthen them and guide them with your abundant goodness.

God of Wisdom, we ask you to guide the leaders in healthcare and governance; that they may make the right decisions for the wellbeing of people.

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Soul Food from Brynn Bayman – 27th March 2020

Good Morning Soul Fooders,

As we clapped on the street at 8pm last night, along with a Nation, in solidarity and pain, I found myself asking what can I do?

And God said - STOP.

Today's Soul Food is rather 'self-absorbed' at a time when our Planet is facing suffering, fear and disaster on a scale never seen before... while we are forced to lock down and stay away. So this Soul Food, is not to forget that Billions of God's precious people need our prayers, but a chance to get us to reflect on what we can do.... and have, perhaps, never done before. And that is To STOP. To Be Still and To Pray.

Keep Healthy! I am praying for you all daily. And please drop me an email with what you are doing.... that you have never done before.

Brynn

Brynn Bayman, Chaplain, Framlingham College

bbayman@framlinghamcollege.co.uk

01728 723789

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Rev Michael Womack  27.03.20

Rector of the Churches of the Hoxne Benefice serving the communities of Athelington, Denham, Horham, Hoxne, Redlingfield, Syleham and Wingfield

South Africa today starts three weeks of lock-down and their President Cyil Ramaphosa (I'll let Brynn sort out the spelling)

has called for a National Day of Prayer. Let's do our bit for Brynn, Caroline and Susan's stranded families

and say a prayer for South Africa today.

From my trips out there, I'd say they're going to need it and it looks grim.

Michael

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Peter Marrett         Framlingham Community Baptist Church    26.03.20

Don’t Panic!

Dad’s Army still makes me laugh. Clive Dunn’s Lance Corporal Jones, running this way and that, shouting “Don’t panic!” still brings a smile, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. War-time reminders to “Keep calm and carry on” suddenly seem pertinent again, although we can no longer “carry on” in the same way. As day by day the coronavirus crisis deepens it is easy to give in to fear.

Psalm 112 describes the person who respects God and delights in His word. Such a person “has no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear.” (verses 7 and 8). Easier said than done! But if we take steps to meditate on God’s word, His Spirit will bear fruit.

Isaiah praises God, the origin of his sense of security: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (26:3)

Of course, history and personal experience show that faith in God does not immunize us against suffering. We live in a fallen world and experience the effects, like everyone else. Jesus himself said, ”in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) – his disciples were about to have theirs turned upside down – but he added, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid.” Jesus’ promise still stands: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14: 27).

Paul takes up the theme in Philippians 4: 5-7: “The Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

So here are seven practical steps to help us tune in to God and avoid the panic:

1. Meditate: Hold in mind the bigger picture. “Set your minds on things above.” (Colossians 3: 2). Remember that whatever happens, your eternal destiny is secure. “For I am convinced that neither death not life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation” (I think that covers viruses!) “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39). “I trust in You, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands”. (Psalm 31:14-15).

2. Maintain an “attitude of gratitude”. Focus on things we can still enjoy and thank God for those who developed the telephone and internet! And those who continue to work hard at maintaining a normal service through the crisis.

3. Get out in the spring sunshine – while keeping your distance from others - and enjoy God’s wonderful creation. Exercise and green spaces are so good for our emotional well-being.

4. Whilst our focus should be on what we can do for others, not what they can do for us, let’s not be afraid to ask for help if we need it.

5. If we now have more time than usual, develop a good routine and make the most of the time. Prayer and Bible meditation need to be included – and could revolutionise our state of mind. And although we can no longer participate in sung praise, there is a wealth of Christian music on YouTube, from plainsong to rock!

6. Take some of the extra time to cultivate useful skills which will make you more self-reliant. For example, cookery, carpentry, growing your own food and mending your own clothes. If the kids are at home, involve them too. Teach them some useful life skills that aren’t covered in the National Curriculum!

7. You might have to isolate, but you can still communicate! Pick up the phone and bless someone who might be feeling lonely.

God bless us all!

Prayer

We praise you, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you are the Father of compassion

and the God of all comfort. As you comfort us in our troubles,

help us to endure with patience and pass on the comfort to others.  Amen.

(Inspired by St Paul, 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5)

Peter Marrett         Framlingham Community Baptist Church

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Prayers           Mark Sanders 26.03.20

Prayer and care are what we can offer now, simple words and actions which God touches and transforms.

A prayer in the time of coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Prayer for our community

For those who are sick – especially any we know, and for those caring for them

For the medical services in the town and area and emergency services

For those who risk their health to help others

Amen

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Rev Brynn Bayman, Chaplain, Framlingham College 23.03.20

Here is today’s Thought for the Day with a fun video link…. To lift your spirits!

https://vimeo.com/399842184

“The Easter Message is made up of two parts – the sadness and sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross on Good Friday and the Joy of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. As we find ourselves having to give up so much more for Lent this year, including social interaction, the Students at Framlingham College have a wonderful message for us all: It may be “Friday” and life is not great, but Sunday's a-coming – we will all rise again!”

Blessings,

Brynn

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Prayers           Mark Sanders 21.03.20

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

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Revd Brynn Bayman at Framlingham College          19th March 2020

Thought for the day - May we BE TOGETHER

The foreseeable future will involve social upheaval and self-isolation for many. I am encouraged by the words of C.S. Lewis, written some 72 years ago (adapted below):
“As we face a global pandemic: may it find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, playing tennis, chatting to our friends and playing darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about viruses. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.” The birds and spring blossoms do not seem to have received the Covid-19 Memo. May we take this opportunity to look after our loved ones, enjoy the vitality of Spring, read books and exercise daily. May we find time, as families to bake cakes, tell stories and pour over all those family photo albums that simply collect dust. We have this opportunity as families to be together – may we BE TOGETHER.

A Prayer:
May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when schools close remember those who have no options.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

As uncertainty grips our country, Let us choose love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

Let us yet find ways of sharing God’s Loving embrace. Amen.

Rev B