Weekly email. w/b 11th January 2011
I wonder whether you’ve come across Charlie Mackesy? He’s an artist who is also a Christian, and I first got to know his work through early versions of the Alpha course back in the 1990s as well as through his “prodigal son” pictures which you might have seen.
But a little over twelve months ago he published a book called “The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse” which in the light of COVID seemed amazingly timely. Each page is a beautiful drawing accompanied by some brief words as we discover the companionship of these four unlikely friends. This deceptively simple book speaks beautifully about the restorative power of cake, about the gifts of friendship, and about the reality of hope. It remains a best-selling book and seems to speak to people at a profound level.
I saw one of his pictures this morning. “Hold on… the dawn is coming.” In these dark days this is our prayer for you, for our church, and for our nation. Do please keep praying with us, worshipping as we can, and looking out for one another in small groups and neighbourhoods. And “hold on to hope”, the hope of life with Christ that is so much stronger than a vaccine roll-out, wonderful though that is. As the writer to the Hebrews puts it, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
Grace and peace
Vicar of Trinity Churches and Area Dean of Shrewsbury
Image Credit: Charlie Mackesy
Pyjama Church kicks the day off at 9.30am with half an hour of story, worship and prayer from the Messy Church team. There are also various children and youth meet-ups as Sunday goes on which are hosted by Judith and Craig, as well as midweek gatherings. Do chat to them for more details.
10.30am sees our mid morning gathering, livestreamed from Holy Trinity Church. This features worship, various contributions by people from across Trinity Churches, and a chance to pray with each other. This Sunday sees week three of “The Bible Series – Experience a better story” as we look at how the big story of the Bible can inspire and equip us to live as God’s people. At the end of that we meet for post-church coffee over ZOOM which can be a great place to connect up with people and chat informally.
This Sunday evening sees our monthly gathering. So on 17th January at 6.30pm we’ll meet on ZOOM for an evening of worship and prayer, giving an opportunity to meet together, worship in a more informal setting, and pray for our nation and our church.
We are also working over the next few days at a new set of prayer stations around the Churchyard of Holy Trinity Meole Brace, which would be a way of you coming to a special place and finding some prompts to prayer. We hope they will be in place within the next ten days.
Are there things we can be doing to support you? And how might we help you support people who are part of your neighbourhood? There are various ways in which we might be doing this:
- Looking for a listening ear? There are a number of people with experience and willingness to pick up the phone and chat to those for whom that would be helpful. We’re reactivating the phone networks across the congregations for those who are feeling most vulnerable or might be lonely at the moment.
- Wondering how to make ends meet? We work with Shrewsbury Food Hub, Shrewsbury Food Bank, and various other local networks to support households who are struggling. As vicar I do also have a discretionary pot of money which might be available to help if there are particular needs locally.
- Want someone to pray for you? We’d love to be part of that, and there’s a network of people who pray regularly for particular pastoral and personal needs of people who across Shrewsbury and beyond.
- Looking to connect children and young people up with others? Our youth and childrens teams host various midweek and Sunday meet-ups for different ages and stages, and so alongside home learning we’d love to offer that opportunity to families locally.
- Want to join in but don’t have any gadgets? Whether for you or those you know, we are continuing our weekly “dial-a-service” from Trinity Churches on 01743 298249. We’re also recommending the national “Daily Hope” phone service on 0800 804 8044.
We’re also going to produce a new resource for readings and prayers which we hope will be a resource that many people can use each day, alongside six o’clock live. The theme of this next publication will be “growing faith.”
Our daily 6pm gathering where we hear scripture, reflect, worship and pray. It lasts for about 20 minutes, and there’s a lovely sense of community and meeting together. All are very welcome to join us, either “live” at 6pm itself or catching up sometime after that.
During January and February 2020 we’re going to be following the Bible Society’s material “The Bible – experience a better story” which over seven weeks will give us a glimpse of the big story of the Bible. At a time when our own stories can feel fragile and fractured, it’s good to be reminded of a bigger and better story of our own, and the hope of God being at work.
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