St. Wendreda's

March Cambridgeshire

 
March Team Ministry
 
 
 April 18th, 2020
 
 
 
 News for the parishes of St John, St Mary, St Peter and St Wendreda
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WELCOME

2nd Sunday of Easter ~ Low Sunday ~ April 19th 2020

Alleluia Christ is risen, he is risen indeed, Alleluia.

Please keep in touch with one another, and I am always glad to hear from you on 01354 279232 or andrew.marchurch@gmail.com

I hope you have received the prayers and guidance for
“Spiritual Communion”

There are a good number of services that can be viewed on line, perhaps especially Ely Cathedral, and I hope you are also watching those on TV or listening to those on the Radio.

"Stay in touch, take care, keep safe, continue praying and God bless." 

Andrew


As before, please email MindfulMarchMinistry@outlook.com with any suggestions, queries or comments, and feel free to forward this onto anyone who may be interested.
 
 
Rebecca (Operations Manager)
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 In This Issue...
 
 
~ Message from Rev'd Andrew
Worship, Reflections and prayers;
 
~ Worship and Prayer Resources
Livestream information, services and prayer groups;
 
~ News and Notices
Church related news, announcements and requests
 
~ Dealing with Bereavement
Information and links offering support during times of grief;
 
~ Get Puzzling
Have a go at our Easter-themed puzzles;
 
~ Kids' Corner
Links to activities, learning resources and family worship;
 
~ Fellowship Friends
A faithful friend if you need to talk...
 
~ Find Us on Facebook
 
~Useful Links/Contacts 
 
 
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     A Message from Revd. Andrew...
 
 
We last met Thomas asking Jesus a question during the last supper, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” And, Jesus replying, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know Him and have seen Him.”

Today in this Gospel reading, at first, we do not meet him. Thomas, one of the twelve, has left the locked upper room on his own. Whether this is caused by claustrophobia, falling out, a sense of adventure or bravery, or just a need to be on his own, is for you to decide. Or even, perhaps, because he has decided to visit the tomb to see for himself. But, Thomas is not there that first Easter evening, when Jesus arrives, despite the locking, bolting and barring, to appear to the disciples. Up to this point it has been only Mary who has met Jesus, she initially mistaking him for a gardener. The two disciples who ventured out, not having understood, only seeing an empty tomb. By the evening Mary has told the others that she has seen, but not touched, the Risen Lord, and we do not know whether this did, or did not, convince the other occupants of that isolated upper room.

When Thomas does return, he is told by then by those occupants that they too, like Mary, have now seen the Lord. Maybe Thomas is just repeating what some, or all, of the disciples said to Mary when she returned early that morning saying she had seen the Lord. Maybe, Thomas was just anticipating what people would say as the disciples spread out telling people of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection. Maybe, Thomas was saying what the first listeners to John’s gospel were asking. Maybe, Thomas was reacting as people through the ages have reacted. Maybe, our reactions are sometimes remarkably similar; “I need to see, touch, hear, experience for myself; I need my own experience or understanding to accept; or, I need something concrete, not abstract notions.”

At least Thomas is consistent as well as persistent; “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” and “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” Jesus’s answer to the first question, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know Him and have seen Him.” seems to have been forgotten, not understood, or to have been eclipsed by events.

But now, we all know now what happened next, or rather, after another week. Jesus arrives again, the doors are still shut, but perhaps not locked bolted and barred, greets them, and then fulfils Thomas’s request. Whether Thomas is shrinking back from being made to touch, and ready to confess through sight alone, or whether he willingly reaches out to feel and penetrate open wounds, or perhaps it is more to pick at scabs; he says “My Lord and My God!” But Thomas is no longer the focus and purpose of the narrative, rather it is the wider and longer lasting assurance; Blessed are we who have not seen and yet have come to believe. Written so that we may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing/trusting we may have life in his name.

This Easter, above all Easters, we should know about being in locked rooms. Perhaps, we can empathise even more with Thomas’s desire for space on his own. Maybe, we see those who venture out as brave, or foolish, or disloyal. We have many questions, some have been lifelong, some with us for a time, some are related to this particular situation (How long will this go on? What happens next? Who will become ill? Who will live? Who dies? Where is God?). I would not pretend that this Sunday’s Gospel is particularly tailored to any of these real agendas. But it does have something to say and questions to ask of us.

We cannot touch or taste, and maybe only see though social media, the broken body of Christ in the sacrament of communion. Yet we can believe, My Lord and My God! Touching is important, being in the company of others is significant, and we mourn them now, but we are still blessed if we cannot touch or taste, we are still blessed when alone, as in company.

Resurrection was not expected or obvious to the first disciples, so it is not always obvious to us. We may hear of resurrection, we may be told, even by those who are closest to us and in whom we most trust, but still are allowed to doubt. The Resurrection is true, but still has to be grasped for ourselves. Sometimes, it may be easier to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, than to make the personal statement “My Lord and My God”. It sometimes feels safer to talk about The Lord and The God, or Our Lord and Our God, than it is to make the personal step as Thomas does to “My Lord and My God”.

Thomas, of all the disciples, reminds us that questions are OK; that challenge is OK, that not understanding is OK, and that, maybe, all are true ways on the road to faith, to belief, or to trust, or to love or to dwelling with, or to everlasting life, or to the Kingdom (whichever makes most sense to you as the Way, or the Truth).

But, perhaps, we should let this passage have its own punchline and destination; that “you may have life in his name”. And we have to work out in this particular situation how we have that Life; how we live it and share it; secure in the knowledge that we are the Blessed.

Alleluia Christ is risen, he is risen indeed, Alleluia.
and we can say “My Lord and My God.”


                                                                                               God bless, Andrew
 
 
To read the rest of Andrew's message for this Sunday as well as the Gospel reading and prayers, click here.
 
If you have missed any of the previous newsletters (including the Holy Week reflections), you can read them by clicking on any of the links below:
 
Newsletter - Easter Sunday

To view the Church of England's Guidance on Spiritual Communion click here.
 
 
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 Worship Resources... 
 
 
There are many opportunities available to follow a form of online worship that suits you, until communal church services can resume...take a look at some of these links to find one for you:

Livestreaming of Team/local church services
The March Team will not currently be livestreaming any of the full Sunday services from its regular rota. (If you would like to view a Sunday service online via a livestream event, please click here to visit the A Church Near You website for parishes within the Diocese that will be providing this opportunity). However, within the Team we have these events currently available:

Sunday Evening Worship
Sunday Evening Worship on 19th April on ZOOM. Log on from 5pm, start promptly at 5.15 pm. Everyone welcome, please email revdjennywebb@btinternet.com for details for how to link-in to the service.

Morning Prayer
Every Thursday morning at 8.30am. This short 20 minute service has readings and prayers and offers the valuable opportunity to meet together. Join us live via Zoom - everyone is welcome especially if you have not been to Morning Prayer before. Contact Revd Jane for assistance or more information.

Wendreda Worship
Every Sunday morning at 11am for half an hour, using Zoom. Please contact Barbara at barbarataylor129@sky.com or Rosemary at h7dgfuller@googlemail.com for information and help with this.

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Ely Diocese - Sunday Resources
For those of you looking for Sunday resources to have church at home, the Diocese has just published some here.

Ely Cathedral - Worship at Home
The cathedral has a webpage dedicated to resources to enable you to worship from home - click here to access it.

BBC’s Daily Service and Sunday Worship
BBC Radio 4’s upcoming programmes will be using some of the themes from #LiveLent as part of their broadcasts. There is a Sunday Worship each Sunday at 8.10am and a Daily Service at 9.45am. For more information, daily prayers and downloads click here.

Time to Pray app
Time to Pray presents everything you need for Prayer During the Day, with variations according to the day of the week and the season of the Church’s year. As of March 2020, Time to Pray is now completely free to use.

Pray As You Go
This simple website is also available as an App, and offers beautiful thoughts and prayers in audio format. Ideal for those who prefer to listen to spoken prayers and meditations, as opposed to reading them. Click here to visit the website. 
 
 
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News and Notices...
 
 
 
 
Contributions needed
 
Could you contribute something towards one of our upcoming newsletters? A story, prayer, thought for the week, favourite recipe, craft idea or anything else? If so, please click here to email me with your idea/item.
Many thanks in advance ~ Rebecca
 
 
Christian Aid Notice
 
Christian Aid has invited us all to join in prayer for all those affected by this new virus, both in Britain and overseas, for all those working on the frontline and for wisdom for our leaders. Click here to view a series of prayers on their website.
 
 
Can you help...
 
Could you help by sewing scrubs/uniform bags for NHS workers? There are written instructions here and a YouTube video here for this simple but vital task. Please contact Ruth Bryant on 07479 652578 with any questions or offers of help. 
 
 
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Dealing With Bereavement... 
 
 
During the current pandemic, we are facing the possibility of loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances. As church communities, we are here to support you throughout this difficult time, with any worries, questions or needs you may have. Below are some really useful links if you or anyone you know is struggling with grief:
 
 
 
 
 
 Feel free to contact Rev'd Andrew or anyone listed in the Fellowship Friends section below if you need someone to talk to. 
 
 
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Get Puzzling... 
 
 
How will you fare with this week's new addition...
 
Easter-themed General Knowledge questions as well as rabbit-related anagrams - click on the below links and test yourself (without asking Google!) 
 
General Knowledge Quiz - Easter Around the World
 
 
Answers will be posted in next week's issue.
 
 
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Kids' Corner... 
 
 
With many children home from school for the foreseeable future, we have put together a few resources and links that may be useful at this time...we will try to add new ones each week for you to do with your children! 
 
Click on the below images or find these and many other resources here.
 
 
 
Easter Egg Chocolate Fondue
 
 
 
 
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Fellowship Friends...
 
 
We are encouraging people to keep in touch with one another, by phone or by the many other electronic means. Not just those who are good friends, but also those who may have previously been meeting regularly at church, in the town or at other meetings.

If you do not have contact details for someone, we will try to assist you with them, just contact us at mindfulmarchministry@outlook.com or call any of the below Fellowship Friends leaders. 
 
If you or anyone you know feels isolated, lonely or worried and would appreciate just having someone to chat with over the phone or via email, please feel free to contact any of the below Fellowship Friends leaders. Likewise, if you do not have contact details for someone you would like to check up on, email mindfulmarchministry@outlook.com or ask one of our leaders below: 
 
 
Rev'd Andrew ~ 01354 279 232
Rev'd Jane Rees ~ 01354 463 284
Rev'd Jenny Webb ~ 01354 650 855
Anthony Chandler ~ 01354 652 894
Barbara Taylor ~ 01354 659 176
David Harrison ~ 01354 650 130 
Diane Wise ~ 07412 772 661
Eva Willox ~ 01354 659 194
Hannah Taylor ~ 01354 661 712
Judith Rooke ~ 01354 659 502
Karen Pritchard ~ 07738 294 726
Rachel Beeson ~ 07795 436 031 
 
 
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Find Us On Facebook...
 
 
 
Most of our churches and regular groups have a Facebook page where you can keep up to date with things during this time. Click on the below church, to be taken to their page:
 
 St John's    ~   St Peter's    ~    St Wendreda's 
 
 
You can also follow Operations Manager Rebecca Parnell here and Children & Families Worker Karen Pritchard here, to keep up to date with the work currently being undertaken within the Team. 
 
 
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Changing Market Towns
 
The Changing Market Towns Facebook group is a great source of information, resources, news, prayer and support from many of the market towns within the Diocese, looking at how churches can help make a change for the better. This group is open to anyone so please feel free to take a look around and request to join. 
 
Join here
 
 
Mindful March Ministry
 
This is a new Facebook group set up to promote positivity, prayer, encouragement and scripture for our Team of churches and the wider community. Click the below link to visit this group - anyone can join!
 
Join here
 
 
Arts With God
 
This group has been created as a forum for people to express what God is saying in their lives, through the Arts. That's not just drawing or painting, that is every aspect of the Arts: drama, dance, sewing, gardening, music, poetry, songwriting etc
 
Join here
 
 
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Useful Links/Contacts...
 
 
Accent Fresh 
(Fruit/veg box deliveries): 01366 386633
 
 
 
FACT Community Transport: 
01354 661234
 
Fenland Council Support:
E: covid19@fenland.gov.uk ~ Tel: 01354 654321
 
Fountain Fresh
(Fruit/Veg box deliveries): E: delivery@fountainfresh.co.uk
 
March Quality Meats
(phone orders delivered Mon/Thur/Fri): 01354 653156
 
Housdens Outside Catering
delivering hot meals): 07753 863809 ~ E: housdenscatering@outlook.com 
 
 
 
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A very big thank you to all those within our community who are classed as Key Workers, or who are giving their time/resources to volunteer where they are most needed, remaining on the front line during this time - we are greatly indebted to you and hold you all firmly in our prayers.
 
Thank you to all those who have helped contribute material and information for this newsletter - and thank you for reading it! 
 
 
 
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This email was sent to johngowing48@gmail.com
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