Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 13th June – Second Sunday of Trinity

Message from The Revd James Marston

With our thoughts still with Ro and Mark, as he remains in Cornwall, we have seen the benefice pulling together in order that the life of the church continue as best it can. I know Mark is grateful and thanks goes to all the churchwardens, PCC members and congregations for their understanding and support. 

This week I point you to the notice about the benefice service later this month. If you are hoping to attend this celebration do let your churchwarden know or email our parish administrator Claire at admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk  as it is imperative we know the numbers to be able to seat you all safely.

It has been jointly agreed by all of the churches that the best way forward is to bring your own picnic for the bring and share (if we are allowed to go ahead).  Each church will also bring two pack up picnics for our guests. It will be more of a “bring and don’t share” but we think we have a plan!

We won’t be holding the zoom coffee morning next week but don’t forget there is Holy Communion each Wednesday in Aldeburgh church if you would like to see a member of the clergy team. Sunday services continue as does midweek online compline and the online fellowship of Pilgrims Together. 

Just to remind you I am on leave next week and the following week, though suspect I’ll be looking at emails once in a while. Then I start my cathedral placement for most of July. 

James 

Collect
Lord, you have taught us that all our doings
without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts 
that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Ezekiel 17.22-end
Thus says the Lord God: I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 
On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind. 
All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken; I will accomplish it.

Second Reading
2 Corinthians 5.6-10 [11-13] 14-17
So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Gospel Reading
Mark 4.26-34
Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’ With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples. 

 

Sermon for 13th June – Second Sunday after Trinity,
The Revd James Marston

May speak in the name of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“He did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.”

I sometimes think, that for all of us, a quick word with Jesus in private would make all the difference when it comes to biblical interpretation of what he was getting at. Not least because we all learn in different ways – some of us like to read things, others hear, some like a visual explanation or a practical one demonstration.

I’m not going to throw mustard seeds around the church, or draw you a picture, but I do remember hearing a sermon on this text which left me none the wiser, partly because the scientific analysis provided by the speaker in question covered in such forensic detail the relative size of seed to bush alongside a dense treatise on agricultural practices in first century Palestine that I tuned out and started thinking about my lunch and the likelihood of whether mustard would feature in it.

Archbishop Michael Ramsey wrote, in his book The Christian Priest Today, that “First the priest is the teacher and preacher, and as such he is the man of theology…his study need not be vast in extent, but it will be deep in integrity not in order that he be erudite but that he be simple.”

So, in that spirit and in my simple view Jesus is only saying that from small acorns mighty oaks grow. And he’s saying the Kingdom of God shares this characteristic.

Which begs the obvious question what the Kingdom is Of God. Well, we know that it is central to much of Jesus’ teaching, we know it is not Kingdom in a political sense but the spiritual realm over which God reigns, we know that it is now and not yet, and we know it’s something which we strive for and hope for and build together here in community and that we’d like to see it and be part of. It is, of course, something of a mystery, perhaps best described as the reunion of mankind with God or the fulfilment of God’s will.

From which further obvious questions arise – what is God’s will? How will we know? How do we find out?

These questions, this curiosity we all have about God are part and parcel of our journey of faith. The answers may not always be as forthcoming or as clear as we expect or as we might like them. But asking questions, developing our curiosity, is one of the crucial ways in which we get to know God and his place in our lives, as well as discerning His will for us.

And we can, as St Paul says be confident as we walk in faith rather than with sight and that the love of Christ urges us on as we journey together.

Today we welcome young Freddie, through his baptism, into not only our church family here in Aldeburgh and our benefice but also into that journey of faith. Today is the beginning of his fellowship of Jesus. And we can be confident of God’s grace in Freddie’s life in the years to come.

As we baptise Freddie, with the water as well as the loud and joyful responses the liturgy requires, we are reminded of our own journey of faith, our own baptism in the fellowship of Jesus and, indeed, our own ability, through prayer, to speak to him in private whenever we need to.

From small acorns mighty oaks grow and it is delight and honour for us to be sowing the seed of faith today.

Amen

 

Post Communion
Loving Father, we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son:
sustain us with your Spirit, that we may serve you here on earth
until our joy is complete in heaven, and we share in the eternal banquet
with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next Week
Sunday 20th June
Third Sunday after Trinity

 

NOTICES

PLEASE NOTE – Benefice Service on the 27th

If you are hoping to attend this Benefice service on the 27th, could you please let your church warden know, or email Claire admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk. It is really important that we know how many to expect, so you can all be seated safely. We do have limited seating due to the current precautions that have to be made. The last thing we want to do is to have to turn people away on the day. Your cooperation is very much appreciated.

 

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?

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 

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links

 

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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 
 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links

Postponed until Autumn

Date for your diary – Next Zoom Pilgrim Quiz:
Saturday 12th June from 7pm

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 6th June – First Sunday of Trinity

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:

https://stedscathedral.org/worship

James

 

Collect
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.

First Reading
Genesis 3.8-15
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.’

Second Reading
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.

Gospel Reading
Mark 3.20-end
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.’ 

Post Communion
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.

Next Week
Sunday 13th June
Second Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

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
this Sunday June 6th at 6pm

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
Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 
 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact Claire for the links at admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk


Date for your diary – Next Zoom Pilgrim Quiz:
Saturday 12th June from 7pm

Please contact Claire for more information admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 30th May – Trinity Sunday

Message from The Rector

Our lectionary – the booklet listing the readings appropriate for each Sunday – also helps us by telling us what colour we should use for our church altar-cloth and other matching pieces of material, including the priest’s stole – purple (for penitential times – Advent and Lent), red (for solemn times such as Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Pentecost), white (for celebratory times such as Christmas and Easter) or green (for ‘Ordinary Time’). This Sunday will be white, as we mark Trinity Sunday. But thereafter we begin our long green season, right through until October. But green has its own special significance – the colour of fertility and growth. The times may seem less special than the great feast days but on each occasion that we meet to worship together we need to remember the abundance of God’s gifts to us as well as our duty to care for the earth. The green altar may become a familiar sight, but its deep meaning should not be forgotten.

This week, however, we celebrate one of the underlying truths of our Christian faith – that God is one but in ‘three persons’, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Famously it is a Sunday when incumbents find an excuse to hand the sermon over to a colleague or guest preacher – the Trinity isn’t always the easiest concept to explain. Our four parishes will each have the joy of hearing a different ‘take’ on the meaning of the Trinity – from Jo in Aldeburgh, Sheila in Aldringham, James in Friston and myself in Knodishall (and on this pew-sheet – where you may notice that I have taken avoiding action!). I’m sure that they will all be different but, I hope, also complimentary. We will compare notes afterwards!

A reminder that our final benefice Annual Parochial Church Meeting of the season, in Knodishall, will follow the 9.30 service in church. And a reminder too of our forthcoming chamber-music concerts in Aldringham and Aldeburgh. ‘Chamber Music Box’ visit Aldringham church on 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 the June 7th and 8th at 7pm are ‘pay at the door’ – cash only. Again, details further down. And another reminder of our Benefice Service on Sunday June 27th in Aldeburgh church at 10.30. Archdeacon Jeanette joins us to preside and preach and we celebrate significant turning points in the ministries of Jo and James. And it is Aldeburgh’s Patronal Festival too – lots to celebrate.

Enjoy the anticipated warmth and sunshine (rare for a Bank Holiday Weekend)!

With my love and prayers, as ever

Mark

 

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given us your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity
and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:
keep us steadfast in this faith,
that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;
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.

First Reading
Isaiah 6.1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’  The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’ Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

Second Reading
Romans 8.12-17
So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Gospel Reading
John 3.1-17
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? ‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Post Communion
Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever.

 

Sermon for 30th May – Trinity Sunday,
by our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther

There are times when I have to confess that I feel a bit sorry for snakes. They are truly amazing creatures, all 3 400-odd species of them and they’ve been around for something like 60 million years (humans have been around for about a quarter of a million years …). Did you know that, to accommodate their internal organs in their long thin bodies the paired ones, like kidneys, are one in front of the other rather than side-by-side? That the vast majority of them are non-venomous? They’re not such bad things, snakes – and a gloriously diverse representation of the richness of God’s creation. But the bible paints a very particular picture of snakes – serpents – doesn’t it?

When it all went wrong for Adam and Eve, he blamed her and she blamed the snake – and so God made sure that the snake (more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made, we’re told) was going to have to wriggle on its belly forever and eat dust.

When Moses was unsure of how he might have power over the Israelites to lead them to the promised land, God told Moses to throw his staff on the ground and it became a snake (something that Moses recoiled from), and then God told Moses to grab the snake by the tail and it became his staff again. God had that kind of power, to turn good into evil and back again, and that power would be with the Israelites as they journeyed. As long as they behaved themselves everything would turn out fine. Which turned out to be a long story …..

But then there’s the incident that Jesus refers to in our reading from John’s Gospel – Moses ‘lifting up the serpent in the wilderness’. It’s a story in the Book of Numbers. The Israelites, far from behaving themselves, had been complaining about Moses’ leadership, and indeed complaining about God, getting impatient to get to this land flowing with milk and honey. They hadn’t seen much evidence of it so far …. And so God ‘sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many of them died’. But then, after Moses had prayed to God, God told Moses to make an image of a serpent and put it on a pole and, said God, everyone who looks at the image will live. So Moses did exactly that, made a bronze serpent, put it on a pole and it has the desired effect – everyone who looked at it was cured. And, by the way, the image of a serpent twined around a pole is still used to symbolise healing – it’s known as the ‘Rod of Asclepius’ and actually derives from a Greek myth – but the parallels with the OT story are pretty clear. You’ll see the symbol on lots of Ambulances ….

So why does Jesus say ‘just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up’? What’s that about? Well try this. In the wilderness God had Moses show something horrible, something feared, something cruel to the people. But through God’s power that evil thing had the power to heal. Now the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus shows human beings at their most evil, their most cruel. Humans had been willing to have God in human form tortured and nailed to a cross. But God used that evil to throw goodness back at us. That image which seems in many ways to be so negative, such a symbol of hate and pain, becomes an image of God’s love for us all. Believe in the God who would go to those lengths for us and you believe in the source of love and hope. ‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’

Or, as the theologian Tom Wright puts it, ‘…. You don’t have to be condemned. You don’t have to let the snake kill you. God’s action in the crucifixion of Jesus has planted a sign in the middle of history. And the sign says: believe and live.

Amen

NOTICES

 

Chamber Music Box at Aldringham Church
Sunday June 6th at 6pm

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat – just like we used to.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info

 

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 
 

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays 

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info

Date for your diary – Next Zoom Pilgrim Quiz:
Saturday 12th June from 7pm

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info

 

Next Week
Sunday 6th June
First Sunday of Trinity

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 23rd May – Pentecost

Message from The Rector

Pentecost blows in this week – the last of the great storytelling Festivals of the church year before we move into so-called ‘Ordinary Time’ from next week onwards. Ordinary time, with its ‘Sundays after Trinity’ will take us right through to the end of October and All Saints Day. At Advent we anticipated Christ’s birth, celebrated it at Christmas and marked the fact that he was born for the whole world with the visit of the Magi at Epiphany. Then we anticipated Christ’s crucifixion at Lent, marked its happening on Good Friday and celebrated his rising from the dead at Easter. The final chapter sees him return to his Father on Ascension Day who then sends the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to be his gift to humankind for all time. We celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit with us this week and ask for its guidance and inspiration. From Advent to Pentecost this is our story, and everything that we do, and how we do it, results from that story and what we learn from it.

This week it is Aldringham’s turn for an Annual Parochial Church Meeting, which will happen after the 11.00 service in church. Next week Knodishall rounds off the sequence and its meeting follows the 9.30 service. Thanks to all who work so hard to prepare for these meetings and ensure their smooth running. There is a lot of work that needs to be done behind the scenes and I couldn’t be more grateful for the help I receive.

And so to reminders. Firstly, about the chamber-music concert in Aldringham on June 6th at 6pm and those in Aldeburgh on the 7th and 8th at 7pm. Excellent live music-making in two of our churches, not to be missed – more details further down this pew-sheet. Then don’t forget our Benefice Service on Sunday June 27th in Aldeburgh church at 10.30. Archdeacon Jeanette joins us to preside and preach and we celebrate significant turning points in the ministries of Jo and James. And it is Aldeburgh’s Patronal Festival too – lots to celebrate.

But at Pentecost we remember that the coming of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of what came to be known as the Christian Church – the enabling of human beings to become Christ’s hands and feet, eyes and ears in the world. It’s the church’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

With my love and prayers, as ever

Mark

 

Collect
God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Ezekiel 37.1-14
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’ So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’ 

Second Reading
Acts 2.1-21 
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’ But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 
And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Gospel Reading
John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15
‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.  You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. ‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. ‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

 

Post Communion
Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter
by sending us your Holy Spirit
and opening to every race and nation
the way of life eternal:
open our lips by your Spirit,
that every tongue may tell of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Sermon for 23rd May – Pentecost,
by The Revd Johanna Mabey

May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.

I heard about a priest who was asked by a church member, literally moments before the service he was leading was about to start, if he could please explain the Holy Spirit to him. Not great timing, but this was an important question for the person who asked, and the priest could see it was truly weighing on the man’s heart.

What did the priest answer? – “Wind and breath” was his hasty reply, and I think that was pretty tidy thinking under the circumstances, although the priest later mused that he’d summed up one of God’s greatest qualities with two things that came out of different ends of his infant son on a daily basis!

It’s hard to answer questions about the Holy Spirit. It’s one of those beloved mysteries.

If we did some word study, we would see that both the Hebrew word ruâch (which is female, by the way) and the Greek word ‘pneuma’ translate similarly as: wind, breath and spirit. And so, it’s not a stretch to say the Holy Spirit is the breath of God, the wind that whips around us, and the air we breathe in.

The wind is easy to explain… we feel it on our faces, we hear it rustling through leaves, we see it whip up the sandy soil in local fields and cause the waves to roll and crash along our coastline.

Breath is also easily understood – we see it on cold days, we smell it – especially after too much garlic bread… and we hear it when we’ve had to dash somewhere. Breath is a part of every human being, so much so that we rarely even think about it until it becomes difficult.

But Spirit is something unique. It has no scent, shape or form. It’s invisible and hard to grasp. Perhaps like our own breath, we don’t think about it until we need it. When we’re troubled, we often pray for the spirit to come.

But like our own breath, the Spirit is already with us.

The Spirit is there even though we may not feel it. On days when there isn’t any wind, and at times when we’re truly out of breath, the Spirit encircles us, because the Spirit is God, and God has never left us.

Through the Spirit, God breathed all creation to life. It was the first thing to BE, and it has never ceased to BE.

A favourite theologian of mine offers this wonderful illustration: Think about it as our earth’s atmosphere. This invisible layer of gases surrounds our beautiful blue planet. It keeps the air we breathe here on Earth from being sucked out into the cold and consuming vacuum of outer space. And inside this layer is all the air that ever was, is and ever will be. The same air of the ancients keeps recirculating, passing from one generation to the next.

God’s first breath is still blowing through this world, filling our lungs with life. This is the same breath inhaled by dinosaurs, Pharaohs, and Greek philosophers. When Jesus exhaled his last breath on the cross, it re-joined with Abraham’s, Jacob’s and all of our ancestors.

But God took that breath, that last sacrifice and strengthened it into a mighty wind that shook throughout creation. Like a holy hurricane, it blew through the upper room on the Day of Pentecost; igniting sparks that burst into flames about the disciple’s heads.

Picture them standing there in awe, all the disciples inhaling God’s breath, filling themselves to the gills with God’s Spirit.

They began to speak in tongues – in different languages. They created such a racket that they attracted others who were just passing-by. By the end of the day the church had grown to more than three thousand.

The good news is that the Spirit is still moving. Pentecost isn’t a onetime event. The Spirit is the heartbeat of the Church today as we celebrate our ‘birthday’ and the Gospel is interpreted for a third millennium.

And faced with so much change and uncertainty: so many worrying and difficult situations, the Holy Spirit remains an ongoing gift, filling us with hope and purpose.

The Spirit stretches us and pushes us to uncomfortable places. It challenges us to cast aside our prejudices and listen to its truth. The Spirit reminds us of the teachings of Jesus and encourages us to apply them. To love our neighbour as ourselves.

In the unity of the Holy Spirit, we are one body, the Body of Christ. Young, old, male, female, from every culture, every background, all dreaming the same dream together; each of us living and worshiping side-by-side for one common purpose.

So welcome to Pentecost! It’s the season of the Holy Spirit… totally dependable and utterly unpredictable; gentle and wild; challenging and comforting – the Spirit that can’t be described or contained…

Let’s rejoice together in the gift of it!

Amen.

 

 

Pentecost  Who or what is the Holy Spirit?  –  Just an Idea.
Take a piece of wood, a foot long. Shape it and drill it the right way and suddenly, with a bit of luck,
it can become a recorder. Blow on it and you can get a tune, possibly a very beautiful one –
new music is heard, the music of the Holy Spirit.
Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire.   
John Giles

Next Week
Sunday 30th May
Trinity Sunday

 

 

NOTICES

Chamber Music Box at Aldringham Church
Sunday June 6th at 6pm

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat.
Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for details

 

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for details

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last few months 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.

You should also 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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 
 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for details

 

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 16th May – The Seventh Sunday after Easter

Message from The Rector

‘Ascension Day to Pentecost’ is a sort-of ‘mini-season’ in the church year, lasting barely more than a week. But it has its own liturgy (for example, Common Worship’s Morning and Evening Prayer services have special material) and nowadays it is also the ‘Thy Kingdom Come season’. I wrote about it last week but would point you once again to its special website:

https://www.thykingdomcome.global/

… that contains a wealth of good stuff. And there should be relevant printed material available in all of our churches including a thoughtful Prayer Journal – more excellent food for thought. Incidentally, if you would like to pick up a copy and you find yourself in Aldeburgh the church will, once again, be open every day from Monday onwards. The Prayer Journals and some special material for children are on the chest at the back of church.

Some advance information. I have already mentioned the concerts by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet in Aldeburgh church on Monday and Tuesday evenings, June 7th and 8th – highly recommended. We can now add news that the day beforehand, Sunday June 6th, at 6pm, will see another concert of chamber music, this time in 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 www.chambermusicbox.com/concerts for more information and the opportunity to book.

At the end of June, we mark Petertide – St Peter’s Day falls on June 29th – and on Sunday June 27th there will be a special service for the whole of our benefice in Aldeburgh church at 10.30. Not only is it Aldeburgh’s Patronal Festival but last year’s lockdown meant that we missed the chance to celebrate with two members of our clergy team. At Petertide 2020 James Marston was ordained Priest (a great day in anyone’s ordained ministry). At the same time Jo Mabey marked three years of ordained ministry and came to the formal end of her time ‘in training’, moving from being an Assistant Curate to an Assistant Priest. That may not sound like a massive change but is a very significant stage in her ordained life – she’s ditched the ‘L’ plates! On June 27th we will welcome Archdeacon Jeanette to preside and preach at Holy Communion, we will present Jo with her new license and belatedly celebrate James’s priesting. And James is very quick to point out that no church celebration is worthy of the name without a bring and share lunch!

With my love and prayers, as ever

Mark

Collect
O God the King of glory,
you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:
we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,
but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us
and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


First Reading
Ezekiel 36.24-28
I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Second Reading
Acts 1.15-17, 21-end 
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’ 
So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Gospel Reading
John 17.6-19
‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

 

Post Communion
Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Sermon for 16th May – Seventh Sunday of Easter,
by our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther

Here’s a challenging thought. When you relax, when you don’t have anything particular on your mind – what do you think about? Where does your freewheeling consciousness take you? Do you think about, say, your family? Your holiday plans? Stuff to do with work? What needs doing to the house? Well, argues the American Franciscan theologian Richard Rohr, wherever you go at such moments, that is what he calls your ‘momentary God’. And, he argues, as Christians what we should be working towards is replacing those thoughts with the true God. God should always come first – ahead of husband, wife, children, job …. And then, reassuringly, he says ‘Fortunately, God is prepared to wait ……’

It is a challenging thought – and one that it would be all too easy to dismiss as being all right for a theologian to say (all right for a priest to preach ….) but, come on, life isn’t like that, is it?

We all have concerns about family, career, our health, our own futures – that’s only natural, isn’t it? Of course it is – it’s part of our humanity – of our being human.

In Ascension-tide we mark the time when God in human form is called back to the Father who sent him into the world – sent him to show us what God is – sent him to show us what love truly is. To show us what ‘eternal life’ really means. John’s gospel has Jesus praying the words we’ve just heard in the Gospel immediately before Judas turns up with the ‘police’ from the chief priests and Pharisees and he is arrested. The passage is part of the final section of what is often called the ‘Farewell Discourse’ and the words we’ve just heard are sometimes called the ‘Farewell Prayer’ or the ‘High Priestly Prayer’. There’s some interesting scholarly debate as to whether or not this whole passage, this whole ‘discourse’ – chapters 15, 16 and 17 – may have been inserted into John’s gospel at a later date than the surrounding material. Chapter 14 ends with Jesus saying to the disciples ‘Rise, let us be on our way’ and that would certainly segue very neatly into the opening of Chapter 18 – ‘After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden ….’.

But the Farewell Discourse includes passages that we think of as central to our understanding of Jesus … ‘I am the true vine’, ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’, ‘You did not choose me but I chose you’ ‘I still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now.’

‘A little while and you will no longer see me’ ….. All of these passages come from the Farewell Discourse. It’s, if you like, a summary of Jesus’s ministry and what it was for.

And we read part of its conclusion today. As Jesus’s time on earth comes to an end we’re reminded of why God lived among us in human form – what the whole purpose of it was. Jesus says that he has made God’s name known – and, given eternal life to all who have heard his words and believed.

Eternal life! Something that, uniquely, John’s Gospel teaches us isn’t just something that lies in the beyond but is for the here and now. ‘I came that they may have life and have it abundantly’ says Jesus in Chapter 10. Abundant life in the here and now. ‘Inaugurated eschatology’ to use the theological jargon. Or, to be a bit more simplistic, ‘this is it’! We’re not about pie in the sky for some indeterminate future we’re about May 16th 2021.

‘Show us a sign’, the disciples kept saying. ‘Show us a sign and we’ll believe.’ Do something. And Jesus did, of course, do lots of things. And many believed. But we all too often seem to be in the same place as the psalmist:

“God, are you avoiding me? Where are you when I need you? …. Time to get up, God — get moving.” Words from Psalm 10 in the racy translation called ‘The Message”. Show us something, now!

But … ‘Si monumentum requires, circumspice’. The epitaph of Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s Cathedral. ‘If you seek his memorial, look around you.’ Gently to return to that challenge thrown down by Richard Rohr about God coming ahead of loved ones and job and home and everything, try this one for size. All is gift. Everything around you – including loved ones and job and home and everything. All is gift. All. The only way to make sense of it, of life, the universe and everything, of love and death, of the highs and the lows, is to put God first and to realise that all of the rest is contained within the love of God – Eternal Father, risen and ascended Son and (more of this anon) Pentecostal Holy Spirit.

Another thought. If we really do put God first then it’s going to change our perspective on ourselves. We are, at one and the same time, uniquely special to God (the God who knows us better than we know ourselves) but we also shouldn’t worry about ourselves too much. We are called by God to be servants, not to put others at our service. I think that’s what Jesus meant when he told us not to worry about food or clothing. ‘Seek the Kingdom of God first’ he said, ‘and everything else will follow.’
Ultimately, it’s not about what we want for ourselves but about what God wants for us and for the world. And, of course, if we can learn how to put things in that order then we have God’s promise of nothing short of eternal life. Are we prepared to do that?

A little poem by Ann Lewin called
‘Perspective’

Ascension means a
God-like view of things,
Rising above our usual
Limitations.
Rise, then, and know
The glory of a life
Set free from fear.

Amen

Next Week
Sunday 23rd May
Pentecost

 

NOTICES

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.

 

✟ Alpha Course ✟
Starting on Sunday Evening (9th May) on Zoom at 7pm to 8.30pm hosted by St John’s Church, Saxmundham.
Zoom Link: https://us02webzoom.us/j/2907979571 – no password.

ALL WELCOME

For more information, please contact The Revd Sheila Hart

sheila.hart49@gmail.com

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

 

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

For more information, please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat.
For more information please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last few months 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.

You should also 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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 
 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

For more information please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

 

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 9th May – The Sixth Sunday after Easter

Message from The Rector

Next Thursday is one of the great ‘red-letter days’ in the church year – Ascension Day. Because it always falls midweek it is often forgotten, but it forms a vital part of the post-Easter story and is one of the principle feast-days of the church. 40 days after Easter, the Ascension ends the risen Christ’s appearances to his disciples as he is reunited with God, beyond any specific time and place. Our Ascension Day celebrations begin at 7.00am as one or two brave souls climb to the top of Aldeburgh church tower and attempt a little co-ordinated hymn-singing with those below in the car park, before we all gather in church for a service of Holy Communion. And on Thursday evening, at 6pm, there will be a Zoom service for Ascension Day from Friston and to which everyone is invited. Details of how to join in are elsewhere on this pew-sheet.

Ascension Day marks the beginning of what has become a regular fixture in the international church calendar – Thy Kingdom Come. It’s website https://www.thykingdomcome.global/
says:

Since its start in May 2016 God has grown
Thy Kingdom Come from a dream of possibility into a movement. Christians from 172 countries have taken part in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Thy Kingdom Come lasts just over a week, running until Pentecost (Sunday May 23rd), when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. The website contains lots of good things and some printed material has also been put together which, thanks to Emma and Martin Steadman, is now available in all of our churches. The main thing is a ‘Prayer Journal’, of which Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, who has compiled it, says:

Each day there are a few things to read, a prayer to offer and then an invitation for you to make your own reflections on what it means to follow in the way of Christ.

Do pick up a copy if you are in church on Sunday – but if you are unable to and would like to read the ‘Prayer Journal’ it is here:

https://www.thykingdomcome.
global/sites/default/files/2021-03/TKC%20Prayer%20Journa
l%202021%20DOWNLOAD.pdf

(That’s one long link!)

Finally, a reminder that the round of Annual Parochial Church Meetings begins this week in Friston. The full APCM timetable goes:

Friston

Sunday May 9th at 10.45am

Aldeburgh

Sunday May 16th at 11.45am

Aldringham

Sunday May 23rd at 12 noon

Knodishall

Sunday May 30th at 10.30am

Each follows immediately after the morning’s service.

With love – and (for one final time!) continued Easter Greetings

Mark

Collect
God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;
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.

First Reading
Isaiah 55.1-11
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. 
Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David. 
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples. 
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.  Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 

Second Reading
Acts 10.44-end
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’  So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

Gospel Reading
John 15.9-17
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Post Communion
God our Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life:
may we thirst for you,
the spring of life and source of goodness,
through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Next Week
Sunday 16th May
The Seventh Sunday of Easter

 

Sermon for 9th May – Sixth Sunday of Easter,
by, The Revd Sheila Hart

May I speak to you in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

All our readings this morning have a gospel theme – theme which explains clearly the steps of coming to faith in God through Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our Old Testament reading from Isaiah is a prophecy to the Israelites in exile. They have turned away from God and are suffering for it in Babylon and the prophet is declaring God’s desire that they should return to a relationship with Him. It is a very clear message and there are certain key words in the passage which highlight the steps through which God woos us and brings us to himself in faith.

The readings from Acts and the Gospel of John build on the prophecy of Isaiah and show us how we can maintain that initial response to God’s love in bringing us to Himself.

So, let’s begin with Isaiah.

The first key word is in the first verse and it is Thirst. We all know what it is to be thirsty on a hot day in midsummer and we feel that unless we have a drink soon, we will not last the day. In a sense, although we may not recognise it, in order to begin our journey of faith we need to be thirsty – thirsty for something more in our life than we have at the present time.

The prophet encourages the thirsty to Come, buy and eat. Water is essential for life to be sustained, and in our journey of faith we need to come to Jesus, who will give us living water to satisfy our thirst for it is only through Him that our thirst for something more in life will be truly satisfied.

In verse 3 we are encouraged to Listen ‘Incline your ear and listen to me, so that you may live.’ And what we hear as we listen to God is that He loves us unconditionally with an everlasting love.

There is an urgency in the prophet’s message in relation to our next key word, Seek. ‘Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.’ God takes the initiative in the message of salvation and bringing us to faith, but we need to respond and part of that response is to seek God – to look for His activity and presence in our overall journey of life, not merely in our journey of faith.

In verse 7 the prophet gives us the next step – as Christians, we call it repentance and forgiveness, but the prophet says, ‘Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts, let them Return to the Lord, that He may have mercy on them and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.’ We cannot change the direction of our life by ourselves, but we do have to be active in turning to God who will show us His mercy and His Grace – His unconditional love and forgiveness.

In the passage we heard from Acts we have an account of the end of the story of Peter’s change of heart around the Gospel being preached to the gentiles as well as the Jews. The key here is that God wants us all to come to Him. We don’t have to be ‘special’ for we are all special to God for he made us as we are, unique and for His purpose with our own unique personality and gifts. But in order to sustain our new life in Jesus we need two more things.

The first is to be found in our Gospel reading from John in verses 9 and 10 ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.’ So, we need to be obedient to God to abide in His love. What are His commandments? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself.

But, according to verse 16, we did not choose to come to Christ, He chose us and appointed us to go and bear fruit – fruit which will last.

We cannot do this in our own strength. We will fail and so we need the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to, not only remain in relationship with God through Christ, but also to grow in faith and bear fruit so that the joy of Christ might remain in us and our joy may be complete.
Amen

If anything you have heard this morning, has unsettled you or questions have arisen for you, please speak to me afterwards. There is an Online Alpha course beginning this evening on zoom, hosted by St John’s Church, Saxmundham and it could be instrumental in enabling you to explore some of your questions. The link is on the pew sheet and I have it too.

NOTICES

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.

 

✟ Alpha Course ✟
Starting on Sunday Evening (9th May) on Zoom at 7pm to 8.30pm hosted by St John’s Church, Saxmundham.
Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

 

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat – just like we used to.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

 Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last few months 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.

You should also 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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 
 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

Pilgrims – Local Storytelling Ceilidh on Zoom
Saturday 8th May from 7pm

The first half will focus on sharing stories, memories and experiences since March 2020:
What has given us hope?  What have we been released from / let go of?  What are we looking forward to experiencing again?   What new experiences have we had that we shall carry forward?

The second half will continue our sharing of local stories.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

 

Ascension Day – Thursday May 13th

All are invited to join in a special Zoom service at 6pm,
led by The Revd Sheila Hart. Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

 

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 2nd May – The Fifth Sunday after Easter

Message from The Rector

May is here! The church calendar has a number of ‘red-letter days’ in May and we intend to celebrate them as best we can. The first one for the diary is Ascension Day on Thursday 13th and we will be marking it in the traditional way with an early- morning service in Aldeburgh. At 7am a small number of brave souls will climb to the top of the church tower and we will attempt the co-ordinated outdoor singing of some Ascension Day hymns before retiring into church for a service of Holy Communion. All are welcome to join in the singing from the car-park and then the service, which will begin at about 7.20. For those for whom that might be a little early in the day (!) there will also be a Zoom service from Friston at 6pm – more details next week. Later in the month we have the feast of Pentecost on the 23rd an Trinity Sunday on the 30th. More news of those very soon.

Sadly there will not be an Aldeburgh Festival this year, although live music begins once again at Snape Maltings on the weekend of May 21st-23rd. More details are available on the Snape Maltings website: https://snapemaltings.co.uk/season/aldeburgh-festival/

We will, however, have some chamber-music concerts in Aldeburgh church in early June. The Fitzwilliam String Quartet will be performing two concerts at 7pm on the evenings of June 7th (Haydn and Beethoven) and 8th (Hugo Wolf, Haydn and Schumann). The concerts will last an hour or so, be informally introduced ‘from the stage’ and tickets will be available on the door for £10 (cash only).

Finally, a reminder that the 2021 Annual Parochial Church Meetings will soon be upon us. Dates and times are:

Friston

Sunday May 9th at 10.45am

Aldeburgh

Sunday May 16th at 11.45am

Aldringham

Sunday May 23rd at 12 noon

Knodishall

Sunday May 30th at 10.30am


Each follows immediately after the morning’s service.

With love – and continued Easter Greetings

Mark

 

Collect
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our
minds good desires, so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

 

First Reading
Genesis 22.1-18
God tested Abraham, saying to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’  He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.’

Second Reading
Acts 8.26-end 
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.  In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.’ 
The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. 

Gospel Reading
John 15.1-8
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

 

Post Communion
Eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the way,
the truth, and the life:
grant us to walk in his way,
to rejoice in his truth,
and to share his risen life;
who is alive and reigns,
now and for ever.

 

Sermon for 2nd May – Fifth Sunday of Easter,
by, The Revd James Marston

Abide in me as I abide in you.

May I speak in the name of the living God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

This week a friend of mine paid me a visit. I hadn’t seen him for some time – what with all the restrictions – but as we got talking I asked him what was going on in his life. Rather like talking to Vicky Pollard of Little Britain fame – yeah but no but yeah but – he delivered a litany of information about people I didn’t really know. Including his neighbours who had recently split up. An event which took my friend by surprise as apparently they had just installed a new kitchen with an island.

This little detail, I must admit, amused me somewhat though I suppose with my clerical hat on I ought to have felt sympathy for the couple of which I know little beyond the quality of their worktops.

In a way of course this episode could be described as gossip – and however hard I try I must confess to rather enjoying finding out about people and what they do and what they don’t do.

Malicious gossip is something we try to avoid as Christians because it isn’t coherent with the command to love one another, but as humans we can’t help tell each other stories and share information.

Indeed, in the church we just ever so occasionally call gossip by rather misleading euphemisms – reflection in a safe space is a common one, or dare I say it gossip can occasionally creep into a PCC meeting or even a bible study or prayer group. This is because it is natural for us to tell stories – in fact telling stories about ourselves and other people is how we communicate as human beings. In church that is what we do all the time – we tell and re-tell the story of Jesus and God and salvation.

In today’s gospel reading we hear part of longer sermon and theological exposition from Jesus encouraging his disciples in their faith. Including the exhortation to prayer “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”

Elsewhere in the New Testament Jesus teaches us how to pray – the Lord’s Prayer. Often this is something so familiar to us we repeat it simply by rote. Yet in fact the Lord’s Prayer – which is found in almost every single church service we attend – teaches us not only what to say but also something of the character of God, what our faith means.

Our father – the opening words – describe the sort of relationship we are to have with God, one of a child and his parent.

Hallowed be thy name – reminds us of the holiness and sacred nature of God, and also, I think, alludes to the power of the name of Jesus, at which every knee shall bow.

Thy kingdom come – is a call not only to mission and building up the kingdom of God here on earth but also an eschatological statement – a reminder the kingdom of God is now as well as something that is yet to come.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven – encourages us put self aside and submit to God’s will in our lives, and to submit to his authority.

Give us today our daily bread – is an exhortation to rely on God to provide for our needs, both spiritual and physical, and in some ways another reminder to put the power of God first rather than our own individual agency. Perhaps too it instils in us, who live in a land of plenty, a sense of gratitude and charity towards others.

Forgive us our trespasses – this statement is a reminder to us to say sorry for our failings and those moments we forget to honour God.

As we forgive those that trespass against us – calls us to love one another selflessly and without pride and ego – a very difficult task for which we need God’s grace.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil is a bidding prayer that can also be translated as deliver us from this time of trial. I think the interpretation of this is to remind us that God is with us when the tough times come, or when we are in trouble or when life seems uncertain. We are loved by God even when we feel abandoned and lost.

The final phrase – for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, though primarily points us towards the great mystery of the eternal and almighty God also points us in the direction that God is supreme in not only the world around us but also in our lives and in our hearts.

So with that in mind, my challenge to you this week is to try to say this prayer – one I know you all know well – to yourselves slowly and deliberately just once or twice a day. Bring this prayer into your daily lives, tell yourself this story, communicate with God in this way, and you will nourish your relationship with God and with each other.

As Jesus said: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”

Amen

 

 

Icon

Description automatically generated with low confidence

BANK HOLIDAY & STAFF TRAINING CLOSURE DATES

The surgery will be closed for staff training on Thursday 17.06.21 from 13.00. When the surgery is closed, please call NHS 111

NHS research is essential to help shape and improve future NHS healthcare. The Peninsula Practice has been involved in cutting edge national research including a new device to replace endoscopy in some cases.

Dr Crockett is the principal investigator for all research at the practice, whereby she checks eligibility for patients to take part in relevant studies. You may therefore receive an invitation, which will be directly from The Peninsula Practice to participate in a study – we never share your personal details. You are free to choose whether to take part or not with no obligation. Taking part in clinical research may benefit you, or others like you, in the future.

For more information about the research projects we are involved in please visit our website: www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk/research

NOTICES

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last few months 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.

You should also 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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat – just like we used to.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info.

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info.

 
 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info.

Next Zoom Pilgrim Ceilidh: 
Saturday 8th May from 7pm

The first half will focus on sharing stories, memories and experiences since March 2020: What has given us hope?  What have we been released from / let go of?  What are we looking forward to experiencing again?   What new experiences have we had that we shall carry forward?

The second half will continue our sharing of local stories.

Please email admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info.

 

 

Next Week
Sunday 9th May
The Sixth Sunday of Easter

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 25th April – The Fourth Sunday after Easter

Message from The Rector

It’s always a bit difficult to talk about money but there are times when it becomes necessary – and this is one of them. Some good news to begin with. At the recent Diocesan Synod we were told that, by dint of a lot of hard work at both local and diocesan levels, the diocese recorded a ‘break even’ budget at the end of last year. Given the dreadful state of the finances only a year or two ago this is quite an achievement and Bishop Martin was fulsome in his praise for the hard work of parish treasurers and those in the finance department of the diocesan office. But, as Bishop Martin also said (in a note we received on Thursday), ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’. For obvious reasons income has taken a knock recently and we need to think of any imaginative way we can to begin to turn that particular corner. Aldeburgh’s Adrian Brown has put his thinking cap on and writes (obviously from an Aldeburgh perspective) as follows:

Firstly, a thank you to everyone who is donating via our contactless terminals before the start of services.  The terminals are set to £5 and £10 as these are the most popular amounts for donations but they can each accept donations of between £1 and £45 by using the arrow keys on the screen.  You can use both terminals so if you wanted to donate £15 you could donate £5 via one and £10 through the other.  If you require help setting the terminal to a different amount, please ask a member of the Welcome Team who will always be standing by the terminals to assist.

Using these terminals saves a tremendous amount of work as there is no need to pay the money in to a bank so we do encourage you to do what most people are now doing and use these terminals instead of donating in cash.  And we are able to claim Gift Aid on many of the donations.

If you donate regularly to the church and have not done so already, please consider setting up a monthly donation via the ‘Parish Giving Scheme.’  This is really helpful as the church receives Gift Aid on donations automatically, if a donor is subject to tax, and within a few days of the donation appearing in the church’s bank account. You can join online by going to www.parishgiving.org.uk/donors/find-your-parish/aldeburgh-st-peter-st-paul-ipswich  (you can click on this link).  Once the screen has loaded click ‘Give now’ towards the bottom of the screen and complete the requested information. Or you can join the scheme by phoning 0333 002 1271 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).  You will just need your bank details and the Aldeburgh parish code which is: 330  633 461

I would endorse all that Adrian says (thanks for expressing it so clearly Adrian) and add that Friston is also registered with the Parish Giving Scheme and Simon will, I’m sure, be happy to pass on the relevant details. Friston also now has a contactless terminal to use before services. Though Knodishall and Aldringham have chosen not to use that particular route the general call very much applies there too. Many thanks to those in both of those parishes who already donate by Direct Debit and if you don’t yet, now would be a good time to consider it. And as the rules about gathering together continue to relax we will, I’m sure, be coming up with fundraising ideas for all of our parishes.

And if you think we have problems …. I met up this week with The Revd Dr William Campbell-Taylor. William and his family have a little cottage on Aldeburgh High Street which, a year or two ago now, he was kind enough to ask me to bless. William is the vicar of St Thomas’s church on Clapton Common, north-east London.

https://saintthomasclapton.org/

The world there looks very different to the Suffolk coast and there are all sorts of problems associated with a relatively poor part of the inner city. The church is trying to do its bit and these videos will tell you more – the second one including an opportunity for you to help with a specific project, should you wish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQqNBlskkw8

https://www.spacehive.com/the-common-rooms-for-clapton

Talking to William made me wonder if it might be an idea to have some kind of ‘twinning’ with his parish. It could be a two-way street with the opportunity for some mutual sharing and learning. I would appreciate any thoughts that anyone might have and if you’d like to be put in touch with William, I’d be happy to do that too.

Finally – Annual Meeting time approaches. The dates and times for our Annual Parochial Church Meeting are:

Friston: Sunday May 9th at 10.45am

Aldeburgh: Sunday May 16th at 11.45am

Aldringham: Sunday May 23rd at 12 noon

Knodishall: Sunday May 30th at 10.30am

Each follows immediately after the morning’s service.

With love – and, yet again, renewed Easter Greetings (it’s very much still Easter!)

Mark

Collect
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Acts 4.5-12
The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.”  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

Second Reading
1 John 3.16-end
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Gospel Reading
John 10.11-18
‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

Post Communion
Merciful Father, you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,
and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:
keep us always under his protection,
and give us grace to follow in his steps;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sermon for 25th April – Fourth Sunday of Easter,
by, The Revd Sheila Hart

May I speak to you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

In our Gospel reading from John, we have heard Jesus telling the disciples that He is the GOOD shepherd and contrasting the behaviour of the Good shepherd with that of false shepherds and hirelings. We must remember that this account takes place before Jesus death and resurrection so, in the minds of the disciples, there will be little connection or, indeed, understanding of His references to the good shepherd laying down his life for the sheep, being of any greater significance than what would have been part of a routine day’s work in the life of a shepherd at that time.

We, however, have the benefit of hindsight and know that, in addition to a true account of the fact that any good shepherd in those days would have been willing to protect the flock from wild animals – even to the point of death, it is a prophetic account of what was going to happen to Jesus Himself, not too many weeks from then.

This is also the first time that Jesus makes any reference to the fact that there may be others whom He has come to serve in addition to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’. Up until now Jesus has been, for those who have chosen to believe it, the Promised Messiah which the Israelites have been looking for throughout their recent history. At this time, He indicates that there will be others for whom He will lay down His life – ‘I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.’ This, of course alludes to the bringing of the Good News to the Gentiles.

In our reading from Acts we move forward not only to after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but also to after Pentecost and the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. It was at His Ascension that Jesus had promised the Apostles that they ‘would receive power after the Holy Spirit had come upon them and that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth’ and in the account of Pentecost and the days following, we see Peter and John exhibiting some of that promised power.

Here, in the courtroom in front of the Jewish hierarchy, we see Peter, ‘filled with the Holy Spirit,’ testifying to the fact that the man who was healed at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, was healed through the power of the Name of Jesus – the one whom they had crucified and whom God had raised from the dead. He then goes on to say that ‘there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’ In saying this, Peter could have been recalling that other famous ‘I am’ saying of Jesus before His death – ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, No one comes to the Father except through Me.’

We are the result of the spread of the Good News to the ends of the earth and we are now witnesses to others of the power of that good news and the name of Jesus for there is still ‘no other name under heaven by which people can be saved.’

Jesus is still the Good Shepherd and we are still His sheep so we need to continue to follow Him and hear His voice as He leads and guides us into all truth, but above all we need to continue to share the Good news in word and deed with those in our communities who do not yet know His voice.

Next Week
Sunday 2nd May
The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Chart, bubble chart

Description automatically generated

The Patient Participation group of The Peninsula Practice carried out a survey to discover the experiences of those who had been vaccinated in the early phase. The survey sought the views on the booking system, the venue service, the effectiveness of communication and asked for recommendations for delivery improvement Over 35% (1,300) responded.

The key findings:

Generally, people were happy with the service and over 90% were very satisfied about the quality of care received by staff and volunteers.

Booking: Of the GP Federation and NHS booking services, the NHS service seemed to be the most effective with less concerns. Over 20% experienced difficulties including crashing websites and lengthy telephone queues, difficulty in securing a second appointment or hearing nothing when an appointment had been cancelled.

Venue: 30% thought the choice of venue was fair to poor and this was due predominately to the distance from homes.

Communication: Several commented on a lack of information as to how people were selected by the GP Federation. The input by Dr Lindsey Crocket in providing weekly updates and appearing on the TV was welcomed.

Recommendations: 94% of participants made comments as to what improvements could be made. The main priorities for improvement were the introduction of localised delivery (over 90% of comments received), more effective use of databases to enable double appointments for partners and carers, an awareness of those who are deemed vulnerable who may require additional needs and weekly updates on all media outlets to ensure that people are aware of what progress e.g. what group is currently receiving their vaccination.

If you would like a copy of the survey report (a four page document), please email peninsulapracticeppg@gmail.com

For regular updates from the Peninsula Practice, please do check their website https://www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk

NOTICES

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last few months 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.

You should also 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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends
Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat – just like we used to.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links and info.

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am.
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links and info.

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links and info

Pilgrim Zoom Quiz Saturday 24th April at 7pm
A message from Sue and Richard who have kindly organised
the quiz night:

The Quiz Night is very much a fun, puzzler evening. We’ll all mark our own answers and 8 different rounds have been created by and will be presented by different people. The emphasis is on FUN, FELLOWSHIP and enjoying each other’s company – not to be taken TOO seriously!

We will break half way through the evening to have a time to share a drink / food together too – “whatever takes your fancy!”

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links and info

Next Zoom Pilgrim Ceilidh:
Saturday 8th May from 7pm

The first half will focus on sharing stories, memories and experiences since March 2020: What has given us hope?  What have we been released from / let go of?  What are we looking forward to experiencing again?   What new experiences have we had that we shall carry forward?

The second half will continue our sharing of local stories.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links and info

NEWS FLASH!!
Thorpeness and Aldringham Community Chat FB Page

The Pilgrims would like to share a link to the new Thorpeness & Aldringham Facebook Community Chat page which Chris from the Parrot has very kindly set up.  Many thanks Chris!

It is a public site so you shouldn’t need to be on Facebook to see what is going on.  If you would like to add something you will need a Facebook account to be able to share information on the site.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/219049436646420

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 18th April – The Third Sunday after Easter

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

10th June 1921 – 9th April 2021

Christian cross - Wikipedia

 

 

18th April, The Third Sunday of Easter

Message from The Rector

I would like to begin by thanking everyone who made sure that we marked the death of Prince Philip last Sunday with due decorum. Services were amended, bells rung, suitable photographs found and framed, all to pay tribute to a long life dedicated to the service of Queen and country. Bells will ring again in the hour before the start of Prince Philip’s funeral service on Saturday afternoon and the official period of mourning then ends at 8.00 on Sunday morning. We continue to hold the Queen and the Royal Family in our prayers.

Last Sunday the Archbishop of Canterbury preached a very thoughtful sermon in Canterbury Cathedral. This is part of what he said:

.. it is God who creates, God who calls and God who sends. For His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh there was a willingness, a remarkable willingness, to take the hand he was dealt in life and straightforwardly to follow its call, to search its meaning, to go out and on as sent, to enquire and think, to trust and to pray. …

We should not exaggerate. The Duke would have been the first to harrumph strongly at over-spiritualisation of the world he found, let alone of himself. …. The reality of our life in this world is of old and new together – of strengths and weaknesses. We should not become hyper-spiritual or idealistic. But when death comes we bear each other up, as did those first Christians. We trust the risen Christ as did the disciples, because all has changed with the new creation. When death comes there is another sort of change: there is deep loss and profound sorrow, but there is neither eternal separation nor darkness forever. … Our lives are not completed before death, but their eternity is prepared.

So we can indeed pray that The Duke of Edinburgh may rest in peace and rise in glory. We may pray for comfort. We may pray and offer love for all those who find that a great life leaves a very great gap – for the Royal family and the millions who have themselves suffered loss. We can know that the presence of Christ will bring peace, and the light of Christ will shine strongly, and it is in that light that we can strengthen one another with eternal hope. 

A good message, I think, not just for the Royal Family but for all who have lost loved ones.

A much more mundane note to finish with. This weekend I have a Sunday off and so won’t be recording one of our services and putting it online. There are services in all of our churches at the usual times and Friston’s 9.45 service of Morning Prayer will be live-streamed from the church. Details of how to join that service (and all are most welcome) are elsewhere on the pew-sheet. And don’t forget that services from our cathedral are also live-streamed, including, on Sunday, Sung Eucharist at 11.00am and Choral Evensong at 3.30pm. All of the details – and links to the relevant Orders of Service – are here:

https://stedscathedral.org/worship/

With love – and, once again, renewed Easter Greetings

Mark

 

Collect
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
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.


First Reading
Acts 3.12-19 
When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out. 

Second Reading
1 John 3.1-7
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

Gospel Reading
Luke 24.36b-48
Jesus himself stood among the disciples and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

Post Communion
Living God, your Son made himself known to his disciples
in the breaking of bread: open the eyes of our faith,
that we may see him in all his redeeming work;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

 

Reflection for 18th April – Third Sunday of Easter,
by, The Revd Johanna Mabey

Luke 24:36b-48

“May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord our rock and our redeemer.” 


The twenty-fourth chapter of Luke’s Gospel just can’t seem to get enough of the resurrection… in the space of forty-nine verses, three Easter stories are told.

First there’s the account of the resurrection itself, next is the encounter on the road to Emmaus, and the third is described in today’s reading.

As the disciples discussed what had happened at Emmaus, Jesus came and stood among them. During their conversation about the resurrection, he appeared. He hadn’t knocked at the door, nobody had let him in, and yet, there he was, surprisingly, unexpectedly real in their midst.

What did this mean? What does it mean for us today?

Perhaps it means at the very least that there’s no way to keep the risen Christ out of any situation. There’s no hopeless heart, no bruised or hurting place that’s off limits for the resurrected Christ.

I once saw an inscription that read, “Bidden or unbidden, God is present.”

That’s what these post-resurrection stories want to tell us so desperately. Bidden or unbidden, the spirit of the living Christ is loose in the world and will come to us wherever we are. That’s a good thought to hold on to when sometimes God seems far away…

Even though Jesus was right next to them, the disciples couldn’t believe that he was there. They were “startled and terrified.” They thought they had seen a ghost.

Jesus asked them, “Why are you afraid and why do you have doubts in your heart?” They said nothing. Even if they’d tried – they had no words to explain it.

But why are we afraid sometimes? If we trust and believe in God?

And why do we sometimes doubt?

How is it that on Easter Day we can sing “Thine be the glory” with all our hearts and yet at other times, the promise of life after death, and the assurance that love is the strongest force in the universe seem so far away?

Why do we doubt and why do we fear? … we just do.

The disciples had no better answer. Jesus said to them, “Let me show you. Look at my hands and at my feet.” A ghost doesn’t have hands and feet, flesh and bones. “See that I am here.”

Then Jesus asks, “Do you have anything here to eat?”

As a former restaurateur, this must be one of the best questions in the whole Bible.

They give him a piece of broiled fish. We don’t know if it came with any side orders… but he eats it in their presence. What a striking scene. It’s not only here that Jesus eats food in the company of his disciples. In John’s Gospel, Jesus has a huge breakfast barbecue on the beach on the Sea of Galilee and he breaks bread and shares it with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.

Barbara Brown Taylor, an American theologian and priest, has speculated that maybe it’s because eating is so necessary for life, and so is He. Or perhaps it’s because sharing food is what makes us human. Most other species forage and eat alone, but human beings seem to love eating together – for me it’s been one of the hardest things during the pandemic – not to be with others for special meals. Even when we must eat alone, most of us will open a magazine or turn on the tv just for company. It is, at any rate, one of the clues to His presence. There’s always the chance, when we are eating together, that we will discover the risen Lord in our midst.

Our next-door neighbours in North London when I was growing up were kind and hospitable. They would always set an extra place at their dinner table for every meal, but nobody ever sat in it. I spent quite a lot of time next door – they had seven daughters; an inexhaustible range of friends to hang out with.

One day I asked about the extra place and was told it was for Jesus. It made no sense to me then, but now it does!

Just as in the Emmaus story, our eyes need to be opened to the possibility of Jesus in our midst.

But let’s not forget that before those disciples realised they were talking to Jesus, they were in real pain – confused, afraid and sad following Jesus’ death. Jesus didn’t rush them towards the good news – instead he walked with them though that pain.  In his time, he revealed his presence in a way they could understand. 

Perhaps we and many others have been walking with H.M The Queen and the royal family during this past week…walking with them in the pain and sadness of their loss.

As the Queen herself once observed, the pain of grief is just as much part of life as the joy of love; it is perhaps the price we pay for love, the cost of commitment.

May we all know the risen Lord Jesus Christ in our midst, and may we find consolation in his word. No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.

Amen

The Week Ahead
Next Sunday 25th April
The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Fed up with the “to do” lists?
Take some time to reflect on the “to be” list

  • Help me to reflect your love today.
  • Help me to display your joy.
  • Help me to manifest Your peace.
  • Help me to practice Your patience.
  • Help me to express Your kindness.
  • Help me to make known Your goodness.
  • Help me to reveal Your faithfulness.
  • Help me to show Your gentleness. Help me to exhibit Your self-control.

NOTICES

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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last few months 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.

You should also 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 supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat – just like we used to.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am. 
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

 

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.
Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links.

Pilgrim Event Dates for your Diary

Next Zoom Pilgrim Quiz Saturday:
Saturday 24th April from 7pm,

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for info.

Next Zoom Pilgrim Ceilidh: 
Saturday 8th May from 7pm

The first half will focus on sharing stories, memories and experiences since March 2020: What has given us hope?  What have we been released from / let go of?  What are we looking forward to experiencing again?   What new experiences have we had that we shall carry forward?

The second half will continue our sharing of local stories.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for info.