A Letter from our Rector, Mark: Lockdown I never liked the phrase and I think I may be starting to be allergic to it. Let me explain why in the light of the Easter message which we are still celebrating. During April the Rural Deans met with the Archdeacon and shared experiences of Easter under lockdown - it has not been easy and the Churches being locked and feeling empty has not helped any of the clergy and probably none of us either. Passing the locked doors of the Church one day made me think of the sealed tomb and the fears of the disciples. But the women were brave enough to go - even if they weren’t sure how they would get into the tomb - a first, rather naïve act of defiance.
The second was what they discovered. A sealed tomb of fear and sadness had become opened, shining with a strange presence of angels and the hope that something transformative was happening. Our task is to be like the women - to carry on but we can do so more hopefully that the locked door of the church and all that symbolises is already being transformed. By the prayers and actions that are happening in the town (and not just be the churches).
By a message that fear and death is conquered by love. So our mind-sets must not be dominated by the negative ideas of lockdown. Bishop Martin in his letters to clergy and churchwardens keeps encouraging us to take something up, some new spiritual reading, praying, perhaps something creative that you like doing that you do as you pray. That the love and power of God is expressed and proclaimed - whether you are a knitter and stitching making something for others, or Wendy Gourlay whom some of you will remember, who wove a cross out of twigs and branches for display in her garden, or me typing this. I am sure you can do as well or better than me - go on give it a go and make this a positive time for you and for the town and our world in a time of need.
Christ be with you, Mark
Click the link to go to the Diocesan home page, where you will find other links to the live services and resources: https://www.cofesuffolk.org/Church Diary It is very hard to know which of the following will be happening … but we know some will not, given the ‘lockdown’ until 7th May 4th May St Michael’s APCM has been cancelled - the deadlines for these have been extended and it will happen at some point in the future. 6th May Deanery Synod - will also be cancelled - a shame because for the second time we won’t have the Bishop’s Adviser on Ecology coming to share with us. The following may well be affected by continuing expectations around social distancing: Sunday services - but we will continue to meet on Zoom at 9.30 on a Sunday morning and all are welcome - Mark can link you up with someone who can help you to join us 8th May - VE Day - Act of Remembrance on Market Hill at 11am 19th May 7.30pm Archdeacon’s Visitation at Dallinghoo for the admission of Churchwardens. 21st May Ascension Day Deanery Service at 7.30pm at St Michael’s.
A Prayer for Pentecost
O Holy Spirit, giver of life, abide in us,
transform our former selves into a new life in
faithfulness to God’s will. Along with all
others with whom we live, with all nations
and people, we would enter a new time of
transformation, when hatred is replaced by
love, violence by dialogue, condemnation by
forgiveness, and self-centeredness by
sharing. Make us messengers of the Good
News; apostles of Peace. Amen
Advice from the Diocese:
If you or someone you know is feeling anxious or overwhelmed, the resources below are designed to help and you may wish to share them with people via email or on social media:
Church of England Reflections
Church of England 5 Top Tips
Children's five tips of fun
The Lord's Prayer
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