Ascension Day – Trinity News
I wonder how you are with church celebrations? We know how to celebrate Christmas, even if we bury it under a thousand distractions. We know how to celebrate Easter, although it is often accompanied by more chocolate and chicks than Christ. But we don’t really know how to celebrate Ascension. It’s buried in a midweek service, and doesnt get anything like the attention of other high days and holidays.
And yet – in these hugely troubled times – let me suggest we need this festival more than ever. John Pritchard writes in his book “Five events that made Christianity” three reasons:
- we have a friend in high places. Who understands. And who is in a position to do something about it. He knows. He’s been there. He’s been tested. A friend as well as a King. “We have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens…”
- we have a clear job description. Matthew records Jesus telling his followers to go and make all nations his disciples, a huge task starting local but going global. “Think small dream big” seemed to be Jesus’ mantra. Do whatever is before you, and build the kingdom piece by loving piece. And do everything with love. These are crucial things in a COVID-world where fear and isolation reign supreme.
- we can worship and wonder. The presence of the ascended Christ should lead us to worship. And coming before the majesty of God could and should leave us speechless. Prayer usually begins in stillness and ends in silence. You’ll find below details of “Thy Kingdom Come” and ways in which we want to help people join that journey with many others.
I am so looking forward to church opening again, but recognise that it will be a long time before our gathered life begins to look anything like “normal.” That’s true of many of our midweek groups and activities too, from Café Connect and schools work to youth ministry and the Trinity Centre. But the work of the Church – our shared work – remains very much alive and active. In gathering people to worship virtually. In supporting local communities practically. In encouraging growing faith graciously. Thankyou for all the ways in which that is happening.
THY KINGDOM COME
“Thy Kingdom Come” is a network of prayer for churches and communities from all over the world. It brings us back to a time when the disciples were themselves “in lockdown”, and those days after the Ascension when they were told to “wait” and “pray” for God to do something new. There is no greater priority for churches today than to do the same.
Let me encourage you to go to the TKC website for more details, which includes:
- Daily Prayer Resources with reflections, images and prayers to use
- An App which features video recordings, reflections from Tom Wright, and other resources
- Something for Children and Young People which uses smartphone technology to get people on a journey of prayer
During this season Shropshire churches are running 24-7 prayer, and we will be praying for Shrewsbury from 7am on Wednesday 27th May to 7am on Thursday 28th May. There is still space to sign up. Please let me ask you to do that, whether as individuals, small groups, families… We will be having a church-wide hour of prayer online at 6pm on Wednesday 27th May to which I would really like you to attend and be involved with.Thy Kingdom Come Sign up for 24-7 prayer
A reminder of some of the different ways in which church has gone online:
- Sunday 10:30am is our Sunday gathering, featuring songs, prayers, readings and a talk. Each week we also feature news from across the parish and beyond. There’s even “virtual coffee” after the service thanks to ZOOM.
- Sunday 09:30am is Pyjama Church. This is a new venture joint with St George’s Frankwell and Severn Loop, and is a fantastic opportunities for children, young people, families, grandparents and anyone else to worship together. There are crafts, songs, and amazing levels of creativity from young and old alike. Pyjamas optional, though definitely preferred!
- Six o’clock Live is our daily gathering at 6pm on Facebook. We meet for about twenty minutes, for a welcome, reading, thought, and prayers. This next ten days we’ll be featuring “Thy Kingdom Come” and using some of the resources produced by them.
- For those who don’t have gadgets and tech we have Dial-a-service which is our weekly act of worship at the cost of a local rate phone call. Dial 01743 298249.
Add to that Sports, art journaling workshops, Sports Sundays, and we certainly do hope that there is “something for everyone” here across the parish. We’re now planning an “online open mic night” for a few weeks time which is exciting.Trinity Churches Facebook Live
THE UK BLESSING
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