Weekly Email w/b 1st November 2021
There’s many an evening when I’m racing round the churchyard with a dog. Alongside the despair of him disappearing off – or more likely getting bored and wanting to go home – I get to appreciate the beautiful location, chat to people walking through, and notice the changing of the seasons as leaves fall and autumn continues.
This isn’t an advert for leaf-clearing, though at some stage fairly soon we’ll need our usual “bring a rake and join in” morning. But it is to notice the wording on the memorial cross at the heart of the churchyard that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
As the leaves fall and the seasons change, as Remembrance comes and Christmas looms, as our COVID journeys continue with many joys as well as a few losses, it’s good to be reminded of this. Read on for various ways in which we seek to live out God’s faithfulness in our lives today. In particular let me encourage you to get involved in 24-7 prayer, and take this opportunity to invest in your life with God.
As always, this comes with our prayers as together we are “growing faith, proclaiming hope and living the love of Jesus.”
Grace and peace
Vicar of Trinity Churches and Area Dean of Shrewsbury
“You restore my soul” says Psalm 23. And how we need it at the end of this year.
We are hosting a week of continuous prayer from midday on 21st November through to the following Sunday 28th November. During the day, between 9am and 7pm, Holy Trinity Church will be open and the tower vestry set up as an interactive prayer room. Outside of those times – unless by prior arrangement – we’re inviting people to pray from home or wherever else that time of day finds you.
This will be a week to pray for God’s restoring, for the sake of the communities we serve, the church we belong to, and for our own families and lives. There will be hour-long slots through the day and night, and we’re inviting people to sign up to pray. There will also be ‘hosted’ times in the prayer room at 9am and 6pm each day, as well as resources for people of all ages to join in.
Don’t be daunted at spending an hour alone in prayer. The amazing thing is that most people who do an hour say that “two would be better”, especially during the quiet hours of the night. Prayer turns out to be …. a lifeline!
Sunday 7th November sees our services taking place at 9am and 11am at Holy Trinity as usual. There will be the usual pattern of children and youth work at the mid-morning gathering, as well as our online presence in the usual way via Facebook Live. Our 6.30pm gathering will be meeting in the Trinity Centre as well. (see below)
Meanwhile Remembrance Sunday is 14th November, and to help us keep an act of Remembrance at 11am we’ll be beginning the mid-morning gathering at 10.45am that day.
At our 6.30pm evening service this coming Sunday (7th November) we’re going to be using some excellent resources from TEARFUND and Pete Greig, reflecting around the climate summit COP26 taking place in Glasgow. Through prayer and action we can all play our part in making this a significant milestone as we tackle climate change together.
In our morning services we’ve been thinking about “Holy Habits” – the things we can do to build each other up and stay close to God. This last Sunday we got two for the price of one: “gladness” and “generosity”. It’s no coincidence that these are linked together – the Bible tells us that “God loves a cheerful giver”. So it’s not so surprising to learn that, according to research, people who give generously are happier than those who do not!
There’s even a name for it: “the giver’s glow”! Seriously though, as we get into the habit of regular, prayerful, and generous giving – both to the church and to other causes we feel passionately about – we really do experience a joy that is far more than just a warm feeling. It’s the joy of knowing that we’re playing our part in God’s work and making a difference in the wider world. And the joy of responding freely to the love that God has lavished on us!
If you’re ready to join the many people who give regularly to the church, or to review any aspect of your giving, you’ll find lots of information on our website or you can speak in confidence to Rob Surl or any member of our Stewardship team.
We are hosting a quiz in the Trinity Centre on Saturday 20th November at 7:30pm. There will be quiz questions to suit a variety of ages and knowledge bases, and there’s a little something for everyone! Do please invite your friends and family, organise a team of up to six people. We are asking people to bring your own drinks and snacks, and sharpen your pencils for an evening of fun.
We’ll also be supporting God’s work across the world, asking people to make a donation to Tearfund. Tearfund is a Christian charity determined to see an end to extreme poverty and injustice. They mobilise communities and churches worldwide to help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their God-given potential.
More about the BIG Quiz NIght
A reminder of the recent change to our COVID guidelines at the 11am gathering at Meole Brace. The front four rows of the church – across all pews – will be for those who would like a more distanced seating area. The remaining rows of pews, and the chairs at the back, may have people sitting in each row, with less distance possible between those seated there. We’re still asking people to wear face coverings, especially during singing, as well as ensuring good ventilation, hand hygiene, and each of our personal responsibility of not coming to church if you are unwell.
If distanced seating is particularly important to you we do advise you to arrive early so as to be able to take your seats whilst church is quieter, and to remain in your seats at the end for a couple of minutes whilst people at the back are leaving. We remain online at the 11am, as well as for those feeling particularly vulnerable offering a greater distancing at the 9am, 6.30pm and midweek services at Holy Trinity, and at Christ the King.
Refreshments continue in the Bradbury Hall after each of our services at HT, and whilst we recognise a degree of inconsistency between face coverings in church and optional during refreshments we want to prioritise attendance in church for as many people as we can. We’ll continue to review these arrangements on a regular basis. If you have any questions or concerns then do please talk to one of the ministry team, or the wardens.
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