St Andrew's News
It has been such a joy to start meeting people in more relaxed groups outside, and now we can start meeting friends and family inside as well.
Services in church are feeling more familiar though we are waiting to see what our new normal will end up being. We would appreciate any ideas or feedback on what is happening that you have liked, or something you would like to see happen.
Embracing the outside more this year meant taking our Rogation service out into the churchyard and the village. This is a time to focus on our connection to the beautiful God-given world we live in, we paused near, fields, water, the ‘wildwood’ near houses and in a delightful garden. This was all caught by our young camera woman Ellie and has been loaded onto YouTube, in bite size chunks if you would like to check it out. ( St Andrews and St James Rogation service - you can click cc for subtitles during the windy bits). We were really thankful that the much needed rain gave way to a glorious sunny morning, and we moved our coffee afterwards to the sunny side of the church, and then asked ‘Why haven’t we done this before?”
Looking ahead this leads nicely into …
‘Love your Burial Ground’ week from June 5th to June 13th.
This is a springboard to start recording the wildlife in our church yards, and perhaps to plan to increase the diversity of plants and animals. Various classes from Ombersley school are going to use this opportunity to explore and record what they can find, Will you join in?
On Saturday June 12th 2-4pm we will have a Tea and Cake stall so you can have refreshment, before or after exploring our churchyard.
As well as joining in church we still have a congregation on Zoom who we enjoy meeting. Now that we are allowed to meet inside we would welcome anyone who would like to try their hand with the sound and vision side of church life. This is an area we would like to expand on in the future and would be good experience for anyone of any age. Learning goes both ways on this!
We have also had our APCC meeting since I last wrote, Officers and PCC members have stayed the same, and looking back we realised a lot has happened on spite of Covid, and some advances because of it.
The minutes and reports are on the website under the Documents tab.
Parish Picnic Sunday July 11th
We decided we would really like to celebrate being able to get together again with a family picnic in the wedding field, possibly with a BarBq and cakes, and have a short service with singing ( a little like the carols -in- the- carpark) and say thank you to all those who helped us through the last year, and be thankful for the fantastic roll out of the vaccines as well as taking time to remember those we have lost.
With the start of regular services there will be a need to dust again!
As the patterns of services have changed over the years we feel it is also time to change the way the cleaning rota is set up. The plan at present is to have a major clean before the first service of each month, with most people coming along and a lighter touch on the weeks in-between by a two people. This is usually done on a Friday or Saturday.
We do need more people, after all ‘many hands make light work’….
Do you like to clean - but not tidy?
Have a chat with a friend?
Enjoy a coffee after a job well done?
Would like to help keep our church looking its best.
We’d love to see you
Ring Liz 01905 620827 or Fiona 01905 62176
The Readings for Corpus Christi Sunday: Thanksgiving for Holy Communion
Sunday June 6th 2021
Genesis 14.18-20; 1 Corinthians 11.23-26; John 6.51-58
The Collect for Corpus Christi Sunday: Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that in this sacrament you have given us the memorial of your passion: grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries of your body and blood that we may know within ourselves and show forth in our lives the fruits of your redemption...
Last Sunday, on Trinity Sunday, I authorised five new eucharistic ministers. When we are granted permission once again to share the wine through the common cup they will be able to share that cup, to offer it, with all the people. It is a very great privilege to able to do this on behalf of the whole church and when each one of you receives the cup from any one of these people you will be greatly blessed by them just as they will be blessed by each one of you who receives the cup from them.
When St Paul wrote his first letter to the church in Corinth he was writing to what, at that time, was a unique community in the Mediterranean world in which he had been planting new churches. Corinth was a major sea port and a very prosperous city and it seems that Paul had been successful in winning new believers among both the wealthy and among the dock workers. The problem was how you could form one church out of such different social classes. Paul was determined to tackle the problem and he does so through a lengthy meditation on the service of Holy Communion. In fact, you could almost say that the whole letter is such a meditation with the words that will be read on Sunday from 1 Corinthians 11.23-26 lying at the very heart of the letter.
I am sure that you noticed that these are the words that the priest says in the eucharistic prayer, the great prayer of thanksgiving (eucharist means to give thanks). In these words the priest says the same thing that Jesus said in John 6 although in a less shocking way. Jesus was deliberately aiming to shock in order to wake people out of their usual slumber. It's a thing that prophets do. Priests, on the other hand, have the task of maintaining the unity of the church in the bond of peace.
But what do these words say about the church? What did they say about the divided church in Corinth? The great teacher of the church, St Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) said this in a sermon to people who had just been baptised. “It is your own mystery that is placed upon the table. It is your own mystery that you receive.” This, he says, is what you say Amen to when you receive the bread and the wine. And this mystery is that you are one with Christ, that you are one with all creation and that you are one with one another.
I am sure that you are all thinking about the different parts of the service that express this mystery.
We are the Body of Christ. By the one Spirit we were all baptised into one Body. Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, fruit of the ground and work of human hands. It will become for us the bread of life.
That is why, for me, after over 30 years in which I have presided at Holy Communion, the Eucharist, its meaning becomes richer all the time. Every word in the service is an evocation of the mystery of life and, as Augustine put it, the mystery of who we are. When I raise the bread and the cup at the altar it is a moment when I cry out, “Look at the mystery of your life!” or I could just as easily say, “Behold the Lamb of God!” And every word in the service speaks of the holiness of all creation and our oneness with every creature. And every word in the service speaks of our oneness with God the Father, in Christ, in the unity of the Spirit.
So how can I ever separate myself from anyone? That is what Paul was saying to the church in Corinth and what coming to church for Holy Communion says. The rest is all the matter of living this out when the priest says, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord" and you reply, “In the Name of Christ. Amen”.
Morning Prayer and Lectio Divina
Stephen Winter will be away from Monday 7th June until Monday 21st June and so there will be no Morning Prayer on Zoom between the 7th June and the 18th of June.
There will be no Lectio Divina on the 10th June and the 17th June.