Message from The Rev James Marston
With all our thoughts and prayers with Rev Mark at the moment, as he dashes to Cornwall to be with his family at a difficult time, I am reminded of how valuable our church community and our love for one another becomes when one of us faces tough times.
Unfortunately, there will be no zoom coffee morning this week but if you feel like a chat do give me a call on 01728 688451. I will also be in church most days for Morning Prayer.
As part of my ongoing curacy training, I’m able to announce this week that I’ll be away for some of June and July as I take up a placement at our cathedral in Bury St Edmunds. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing just yet, but I’ll let you know how I get on.
And a reminder too of our forthcoming chamber-music concerts in Aldringham and Aldeburgh. ‘Chamber Music Box’ visit Aldringham church this Sunday (June 6th) at 6pm and if you wish to attend you will need to book online – details further down this document.
The Fitzwilliam Quartet concerts in Aldeburgh on Monday and Tuesday (June 7thand 8th) at 7pm are ‘pay at the door’ – cash only.
And finally, there will not be an Alde Sandlings online service on Youtube this week, but for those who wish to worship online there is, as always, the live Friston Zoom services (see further down this pew sheet) or of course our cathedral online services can be found here:
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness
of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you,
grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’
2 Corinthians 4.13-5.1
But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—‘I believed, and so I spoke’—we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Then Jesus entered a house, and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered. ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’ Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’
Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us
with these heavenly gifts:
may our communion strengthen us in faith,
build us up in hope, and make us grow in love;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sermon for 6th June – First Sunday after Trinity,
The Revd Sheila Hart
As I read the Bible Readings for this week, I couldn’t help being drawn to look at the familiar story – because it is only a story – a myth – of the results of the Fall in Genesis chapter 3. It may only be a myth but my goodness how true to reality it is. God the Father, the Creator searching out His naughty children to discover why they had chosen to disobey Him.
It hadn’t started like that though, for Humans were the crowning glory of the creation. They had been given authority over the creation – both vegetation and creatures – by the Creator, to nourish, tend and look after their needs on His behalf. It was a position of trust and they had been allowed to eat of any fruit of any tree in the garden apart from the one in the centre and its fruit, which they were also forbidden to touch ‘or they would die.’ Death was a concept not thought of during the creation process. Life was the central theme and this life appeared to have no end so something which could ultimately cause death was a serious consideration. We have since come to realise that life in this sense reflects a continuing relationship with the Creator and death, separation from the same.
The portion of the story which we are to read today is set after the couple had not only touched, but eaten the forbidden fruit. God had been going about doing His own thing and had decided to go for a stroll in the garden in the cool of the evening and to catch up, we assume, with the man and the woman as to how things had been in the garden that day. All was not as God had left it, however, and the man and the woman were not there to greet Him. They had heard Him coming and had hidden themselves for they had disobeyed His instructions and guilt had begun to swell up within them, not least because they were beginning to know more about their condition. Their innocence had begun to disappear, and they were afraid of how He might react to them in their changed condition.
As I reflected more on the account and their reaction to hearing God in the garden, it brought into my mind a memory of my teenage years and my reaction to my father. It was early morning after he had left for work. I was feeling stressed because I had four consecutive History A level lessons that morning and I was tired from completing homework the night before. My mother said something to me which I cannot exactly remember but it caused me to kick shut the door of my bedroom and I managed to make a hole in the hardboard which made the insert of the door. When I discovered what I had done my main thought was that my father would be livid when he found out. So I made a pact with my mother that I would let her tell him what I had done and make my excuses for me when he came home from work and I would hide in the bathroom until the dust had settled. Just what the first man and woman did when they heard God in the garden that evening.
Then they started making their excuses for their disobedience – all of which were true in their own way – but none of which would have been necessary if they had faced God and accepted responsibility for the choices they had made and apologised for their disobedience.
I still find it amazing that a story written so long ago is pertinent, not only to our relationship with God, but also to our relationships with our parents, friends, work colleagues and neighbours. And above all that we still haven’t really learned that acceptance of our sin and our confession of it and asking for forgiveness from the victims of it, reforms our relationships, both with God and fellow humans.
It’s not that we should deliberately sin so that we can experience the grace and forgiveness of God and others for we should learn from our mistakes, be thankful for their love and grace and try not to do it again. As a friend from my early childhood who was learning the Catechism as a Roman Catholic, said to me after I had upset her for the umpteenth time, ’It’s no good saying sorry, Sheila, if you don’t do something about it!’ We would have been about 4 or 5 at the time but ‘Out of the mouths of babes!’
In the passage we read from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians – a church which constantly failed to get it right and needed their founder’s correction – being a Christian is a Work in Progress. A Work which starts when we turn to Christ and ends when we meet Him face to face having passed through death for ‘Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.’ We are being changed into the likeness of Christ from one degree of glory to another through the work of the Holy Spirit. So, life is not without hope. In His letter to the Philippians Paul writes that ‘He who has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.’
So, let’s move on, accept that there will be setbacks, but that we are a work in progress, keep short accounts with God and others and not be disappointed if we don’t reach perfection this side of heaven.
Sunday 13th June
Second Sunday after Trinity
Benefice Service – 27th June at Aldeburgh Church
We hope to have get together lunch after the Benefice Service on the 27th of June to celebrate Jo and James significant milestones in their ministries. Providing everything goes to plan with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, after much discussion with church members within the benefice, the general feel is that we should perhaps think about a bring and NOT share lunch and bring our own picnics, as Covid is still very much in our minds. Perhaps each church could put together two picnic pack ups for our visitors on the day? There will be more news next week as further discussions take place. Please do pass on any suggestions to Claire.
Chamber Music Box at Aldringham Church
Some of you may remember the visit that we enjoyed from the young players of ‘Chamber Music Box’ last year. This time they bring a programme of music for flute and string trio including works by Schubert, Mozart and two leading 20th-century composers, Aaron Copland and Bohuslav Martinu. Tickets must be booked in advance – head for http://www.chambermusicbox.com/concerts for more information and the opportunity to book.
The Fitzwilliam Quartet Concerts
7th & 8th June 7pm at Aldeburgh Parish Church
We are delighted to welcome the return of music into Aldeburgh Parish Church. The Fitzwilliam Quartet will be performing two nights of music.
Monday – Haydn and Beethoven
Tuesday – Hugo Wolf, Haydn, and Schumann
Tickets at the door £10 (cash only). First come first seated, as we are limited with seating for everyone’s safety.
Weekly Benefice Newsletter
If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.
Food Banks at the East of England Co-op
The Trussel Trust Organisation
Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ By clicking on the food bank’s name, you can also find out where to drop off your donations.
Please check the food banks website or social media pages for any changes to opening hours or operations as a result of the Coronavirus before dropping off donations –
If you would prefer to make a financial donation, then please visit the food bank’s website (under ‘Give help’) or you can donate to the Trussell Trust centrally by contacting our Supporter Care team on 01722 580 178 or emailing email@example.com
✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞
The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
Please contact Claire for the links at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Claire for more information email@example.com