St Andrew's News
Well……this could be a short paragraph this month!
I am sure I have not been alone in starting conversations with ‘What’s your news?’ to be met with a chuckle and a surprisingly long conversation about the little things we are actually doing and how nice it has been to hibernate.
As you have probably noticed the church has only been open a couple of days a week, less when it snowed, and all our services have been on Zoom. However work on the windows is still progressing with scaffolding now up on the west windows ready for the glass to be removed for cleaning and repair.The remaining east window could be finished by the end of this month if we are lucky. There are photographs on the church website where you can see what has been done, and a couple of the west windows which really show how much damage there is to be dealt with.
Spring is gradually coming closer and a hint of Spring cleaning in the air has had me looking at some old photographs and cuttings in the vestry (now cleared of scaffolding) . There are some of Ombersley school at the fete when it was still at the old Rectory, and others with Mr Crump in the wedding field, there is also a record of the 30 ladies who made the kneelers and pew runners with photographs taken form their Exhibition at the 3 Choirs Festival in Worcester….but…the names and photographs are not together! We are going to leave them out on display at the back of the church, with paper and pens. Please can you pop in and see if you can help identify who’s who, it would be such a shame to lose bits of our history here while there is still someone who can remember them.
Our Open the Book Group have managed one distanced zoom ‘Assembly’ for Ombersley school so far, telling the story of the three wise men. A very strange experience dressing up alone in your own home ,and trying to synchronise the zigging and zagging of the Wise men on their camels was an ‘interesting’ experience! We did hear one little voice exclaim “Oh Good it’s the fun one” so we must be doing something right, we also managed to record the story so the school could send it out to children still at home, we hope they
The Readings for Good Friday and Easter Day
Good Friday: Isaiah 52.13-53.12; Hebrews 10.16-25; John 18.1-19.42
Easter Day: Acts 10.34-43; 1 Corinthians 15.1-11; Mark 16.1-8
In order to find all the readings for these next days along with prayers and artwork from the website of the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University please either click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
The Collect for Good Friday: Loving Father, look with mercy on this your family for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed and given up into the hands of sinners and to suffer death upon the cross...
The Collect for Easter Day: Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ may reign with him in glory...
Sadly, death is something that far too many of us have been acquainted with in this past year. More people died in 2020 than in any single year since the Second World War and so many died in the early months of this year that it seems likely, even now, that this year will almost be as bad. For those who have been close to such sorrow the word that Jesus spoke to his disciples seems very pertinent. “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” (Luke 22.28).
The great challenge for those who in sharing Jesus's trials have become wearied by the changes and chances of this mortal life is that we give up on hope. We need to hold on to the promise of a kingdom that Jesus makes immediately after these words.
And this brings us to the Resurrection. And the Resurrection brings us its own challenges. For if the Cross is far too close to our experience of the last year and thus tells us that it is the only reality, robbing us of all hope, then the Resurrection seems to belong to that kind of thing that is “too good to be true”.
“If only I had your faith,” is something that I have heard many times before and perhaps you have as well. If death is something that we must endure, then resurrection is something that calls us to a quite different challenge. We have to put our faith in the possibility of transformation. As the Collect for Easter Day declares, God makes all things new in Christ.
How can we grow in such a faith? Surely by practicing the prayer of Mary when she says to the angel, “Let it be". I hope that you remember singing Paul McCartney's song on Mothering Sunday. I don't think that I will ever forget. It really works as a hymn and I can't only feel that he was in some way inspired when he wrote it.
Try it when you pray. Just sit in silence in the presence of God and as thoughts, worries, resentments come to mind then simply let them go. In letting them go you will be letting all this be. You will be putting everything into God's hands. And you will begin to taste the Resurrection.
Rev Stephen Winter: Time Off
After the Easter services, Stephen will be taking a few days off until Low Sunday, the 11th April. If you wish to, please say Morning Prayer privately next week. Morning Prayer will restart on Zoom at 9.15 am on Monday 12th April. The Meeting ID will be 845-168-9869 and the password will be Easter21.
Holy Week and Easter Services
It is the perfect time to re-open our churches! It feels as if Lent has been going on, not just for 40 days but for a whole year. The government ordered the first national lockdown on the 23rd of March last year but because so many members of our congregations are over 70 years of age and had already received instructions to self-isolate we had already closed our churches and were beginning to learn how to worship together online. I think that we are still learning and we will continue to broadcast some services via Zoom. There will always be people who are not able to come to church but who wish to feel a connection with it.
Please remember that if you are coming to any of the services that you must wear a face covering and to sanitise your hands on entering the church. You must also observe a distance of 2 metres from one another apart from those who are in your bubble. Sadly we are still not permitted to sing in church and we can only receive communion in the form of the bread.
But at least we are going to see each other again.
Morning Prayer. Some people are making it a discipline for Lent to attend Morning Prayer each weekday morning at 9.15. Please feel free to join in. If you go to the Church of England website and click on this link https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-in-daily-prayer/morning-prayer-contemporary-thursday-18-february-2021 you will find the prayers and readings for every day. You can either pray privately or with a group of people who are praying for our parishes every day. Morning Prayer will restart on Zoom at 9.15 am on Monday 12th April. The Meeting ID will be 845-168-9869 and the password will be Easter21.
April 1st Maundy Thursday 7.30pm Holy Communion at Elmbridge
April 2nd Good Friday 10.00am Walk of Witness from Doverdale, 12.00pm Meditation at Ombersley, 2.00pm Reflections at Hartlebury, 2.00pm Meditation at Hampton Lovett
April 4th Easter Day 6.30am Sonrise at Ombersley followed by Holy Communion at 7.15am. Please note new starting time and for those attending outside, please observe social distancing rules.
9.00am Holy Communion at Elmley Lovett, 9.00am Holy Communion at Rushock, 10.30am Family Service at Elmbridge, 10.00am Family Service at Ombersley, 11.00am Holy Communion at Doverdale, 11.00am Holy Communion at Hartlebury, 6.30pm Evensong at Hampton Lovett.
April 11th 9.00am Holy Communion at Rushock, 10.00am Family Service at Ombersley, 11.00am Holy Communion at Hartlebury
Services on Zoom/Youtube
On Easter morning we will stream the 7.15 service from Ombersley via YouTube , this can then be watched live, or at your leisure. Here is the link to our YouTube Channel : https://youtube.com/channel/UCTZuzssAWj_lS9YaEzlcunA
or type in St Andrews and St James. Easter Morning
The Family service at 10.00am will be on Zoom with the St Andrews Meeting ID: 537 046 9477 Passcode: available from the Parish Office
Join Zoom Meeting
The on-line Parish Magazine for April has been posted on the allaboutombersley web site.
4 Square magazine
Please follow this link to download the APRIL 2021 issue of the Magazine securely from Google Drive;