Central Church Newsletter April 2022
After a few worrying days the 25th of February brought us much joy as we became grandparents for the first time to Ines Cleo, born to our daughter Kirsty and her partner Joao. Ines is tiny but perfectly formed and we give thanks to God for her safe arrival. We never thought this day would arrive so to say we are absolutely overjoyed and grateful is an understatement! Thank you to all of you for your prayers and good wishes.
Linda and Malcolm Johnson
As we move towards Easter it is good for us to remind ourselves that Christians are fundamentally Easter People. The Easter message stands right at the heart of our lives and our worship throughout the whole year.
But Easter can easily be misunderstood. It isn’t merely an amazing historical event, but the moment that needs to totally transform our understanding of our lives and of the world in which we live. When Jesus rose from death, he was demonstrating that he was God himself and that even the final enemy could not hold him. The most brutal destructiveness had been unleashed on him, but it had failed to conquer him. He had shown for all time that sin and death had been beaten.
Resurrection thinking needs to shape the way in which we look at the world around us. We face appalling evil on a daily basis. The horrifying war in Ukraine has so shocked us that we have largely forgotten about the evils taking place in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. The catalogue of awfulness which characterises our world leaves many people demoralized and despairing. That is an entirely understandable reaction, but Easter offers us a new way of thinking. It doesn’t need to be this way! Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to offer a way to overcome the problems of distrust, selfishness and violence. I am not for a moment minimising the scale of the challenge. However, for the man who confronted the brutality of the Romans and defeated death itself no challenge is beyond his power to bring transformation.
Resurrection thinking also needs to shape our thinking about Central Church. Our Sunday services are a vital opportunity to remind ourselves that the Jesus who rose from death is the same Lord whom we worship today. Throughout the history of the church and its predecessors, people have been reminded of Jesus’ power to give forgiveness, hope, strength and peace to all who worship him. Through the different seasons of our lives the message of resurrection has been God’s word of life for us. However great our challenges and tragedies the news of Jesus’ resurrection has given us hope and a sense of direction. In our own day we face plenty of struggles and difficulties, but we can be sure that the message of Jesus’ victory will continue to inspire and fortify us.
Resurrection thinking also needs to shape our thinking about our own personal lives and the lives of our families. We all face an amazing mixture of challenges and blessings. That’s life! How wonderful that we don’t have to face life with merely our own wisdom and strength but with the knowledge that Jesus has won the victory over sin and death. He is with us in our daily life and constantly seeking to share his victory with us.
May God’s Spirit bless you and help you to see life increasingly through the lens of the Resurrection.
With warmest greetings,
Revd Jonathan Edwards
To all Central Church Newsletter readers – especially gardeners
I hope to arrange a plant sale for Christian Aid Week, sometime in mid-May, probably at my house. More details later! Meanwhile, as you plant your seeds or tidy up your perennials, please keep one or two to support this worthwhile cause.
Jane Walsh (01793 525852, firstname.lastname@example.org)
WANTED – FOR MAINLY ONE MONTH PER YEAR:
We need a secretary/treasurer for the charity “Action for Children” to enable Central Church members to continue supporting vulnerable children and to help them enjoy a more normal life.
The vacancy requires the appointed person to:
- empty the lantern boxes once a year (usually in October)
- count the cash and prepare it for banking
- list all collectors and amounts collected and then forward the completed list to head office
The Secretary would also be responsible for organizing any special appeals for fund-raising events at Christmas time.
This is an opportunity for anyone with a little imagination and enthusiasm to help those who have very little.
For further information, please talk to either Janet or Roy Ferris.
THE HOPE OF SPRING
A sleeping world emerges to new possibilities,
Weakening winter’s icy grip,
And birdsong and bleating lamb,
announce to all the promise that in due season creation bursts into life.
And whilst leaves that fell in winter
lie upon the ground, soon to feed the earth,
In nature’s wondrous cycle
Of death and rebirth,
Within the tree is a stirring of new growth.
God, thank you for Spring and the hope of warmer, longer, brighter days.
Thank you for the coming of growth and life and birth.
Thank you that things are coming awake in the world.
This is what our calendar says, and we do see some signs that it is real.
But we also still struggle with the residual layover of winter.
Now we ask that you bring into reality all that belongs in this season.
Your word says that we will have provision, and hope, and joy, and health and loving relationships here and now in this life.
We ask that what belongs in this season would become actual in our practical lives.
We hope in you and in your promises.
We hope in your gift of Spring.
The minister came to see me the other day. He said that at my age I should be thinking of the hereafter. I told him, “Oh I do it all the time. No matter where I am – in the bedroom, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement – I ask myself, ‘Now, what am I here after?”
Services for April
3rd – Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion) 10.30 am
10th – Revd Brian Eyles 10.30 am. Palm Sunday
14th – Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion and Agape Meal) 7 pm Maundy Thursday
15th – Revd Jonathan Edwards10.30 am Good Friday
17th – Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion) 10.30 am Easter Sunday
24th – Mr David Easter 10.30 am
Lent Lunches at St Aldhelms
1st April: Friends and Moravians are responsible for lunch. Prayers will be led by St Marks at 12.15 pm and lunch will be served at 12.30 pm.
8th April: St Marks are responsible for lunch. Prayers will be led by Central Church at 12.15 pm and lunch will be served at 12.30 pm.
Dates for the Diary
28th – Bible Study 2 pm
News of the Family
We are pleased to hear that Hazel Richards is now home from hospital. We hope that she continues to improve.
We were sorry to hear that Marion and Bob Manning, Hannah Evans and Carolyn Wallbank all tested positive for covid in March.
Congratulations to Linda and Malcolm Johnson on the birth of their first grandchild, a girl named Ines Cleo.
Big Breakfast Plus
Big Breakfast Plus have now been operating from our cafe since January. It took a few weeks for word to get around that they have changed venue since covid struck, but they are now serving up to 18 clients per session. They are very pleased with our facilities.
Junior Family Church
For the past two years, and even before covid hit us, the JFC has seen a decline in numbers. We still have some children but sadly there are so many other activities on a Sunday that their attendance has not been regular. In addition to this, we have very few leaders and with the new safeguarding guidelines it is necessary to have four leaders each week: two each in the crèche and primary class. As a result, and after a lot of consideration and prayer, we feel it is no longer feasible to hold JFC unless we have sufficient help to continue. This decision has not been taken lightly. If you feel able to make a regular commitment to teach in JFC, please speak to Chris; otherwise, we will arrange for a colouring/craft table to be out at the back of the church for any children to sit there during worship.
The Annual Report and Financial Statement is now completed and available if you would like a copy.
OUT OF THE ASHES
Chris Smith of Christ Church is delighted to announce that they have ‘Out of the Ashes’ performing at Christ Church on Sunday 15th May. Doors open 6 pm, concert begins at 6.30pm. Tickets are only £10 which includes FREE beer, cider, soft drinks and snacks.
Out of the Ashes is the creation of a pioneering husband and wife team from Gloucestershire – Penny Lyon and Kevin Washburn. They will be performing with at least a 6 piece band accompanying them. They perform Jazz, R&B and Blues with Gospel roots for a time of music and ministry.
Using music as part of their mission to stand for joy, healing and worth in the church, God has put it on their hearts to energise weary Christians and ailing congregations with a message of love, hope and renewed possibilities.
Tickets can be bought online at https://ccccswindon.co.uk/page/tickets or in person from the Community Centre @ Christ Church.
Thought for the day – There is no wrong time to do the right thing.
Deadline for May Newsletter: Wednesday 27th April 2022.