Welcome to another Mary's Matters. We've got lots to tell you this week, including some exciting plans to link up with a church from Australia!
There's also a chance to appear in a St. Mary's music video - whether you're musically talented or not. Maybe, like me, you're not keen on having your photo taken - but I can guarantee that people are missing you and would love to see your face! So please do consider being in the video, and bringing your pets, props, signs, children and anything else you can think of...
How are you doing this week? I can admit I've maybe been feeling a little sorry for myself this week! The book of Hebrews uses the phrase "hold on" or "hold fast" a number of times - urging us to hold on to our faith, our hope, our courage and our confidence, even and especially when things are tough...
But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
NUMBERS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK
meals prepared by Wild Thyme ready for delivery 121
views for Jonny and Lenny the Llama's most popular Sunday video 2 donated pigs for Mary's Meals (presumably frozen?!)
TEENAGE RESILIENCE PACKS
This week St Mary’s are sending out 100 teenage resilience packs to young people in our community. These packs are designed to bring some joy and positively impact wellbeing during these difficult times of lockdown, which bring many challenges for young people's mental health.
These packs have been kindly funded by people’s generosity and an amazing charity, Thrive, and contain resources around physical and mental health, relaxation items, activity ideas and some treats.Jaffe & Neale have also contributed books for young people to enjoy.
Please pray God uses these to bring peace and joy to the teens in our town and that it might build relationships in unexpected ways.
AT HOME WITH... THE SLEATS
This week we hear from the Sleat family. Graham and his wife Emma live in Deddington and they both work for the NHS.
Here Graham shares how life has changed for the family since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. On Sunday's podcast we'll hear more from Graham, including more about the challenges he has been facing at work.
We're joining the global wave of prayer calling all Christians to pray between 21 May and 31 May for more people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus.
We're hoping that, as in previous years, we can pray continuously for 24 hours, but this year it might be a little easier to do the night shift as we're partnering with St. Mark's, Camberwell in Australia. It's a great opportunity to pray for the work here in Chipping Norton, as well as for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. We'd love you to be a part of this!
We'll be starting at 1pm on Sunday 24th May and culminating the event on Monday 25th May by joining together via Zoom from 12noon to 1pm, the time of our regular Building to Serve prayer meeting.
Next week we'll be hearing more from St. Mark's by video, as well providing some great prayer resources. But in the mean time if you'd like to book your slot to pray for an hour please fill in the Doodle Poll here: https://doodle.com/poll/w4k8x23n2z97qa9y .
YOUR MUSIC TEAM NEEDS YOU!
Church family worship video for Pentecost – we need you!
We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from the worship team in the videos we’ve been doing for virtual Sundays. We’d like to do a special video for Pentecost, but rather than another one of us, we want to make a video of all of you!
Even though it will nominally be a worship video, getting involved doesn’t need you to be musical in the slightest – we want absolutely anyone and everyone to be in it. I’ve been so lifted by seeing some of our church family in the Zoom virtual coffee meetings, and we want to do more of the same with this video and help us to remember that even while we can’t meet in person we are still very much family together.
We’d love as many of you as possible to contribute videos or photos to this church family project. We’ll need you to get your submissions to us by midday on Monday 25th March so that we’ve got enough time to pull everything together for Pentecost Sunday.
Follow the link below for a few suggestions on things you could do and for details of how to get your contributions to me. And again, this really is for everyone, so do get involved!
"Pray as You Go" is a Catholic daily prayer resource made up of 10 minutes of music, reading and ignition style reflection.
Martha says, "'Pray as You Go' has seen me through my most dry and struggling times of faith! The music and style is quite variable, so it’s worth listening to a couple before you decide if you like it or not."
Everyone has questions about what life is all about. We believe that everyone should have a chance to share those questions, explore the Christian faith and give their point of view.
Alpha is a place where you can ask those questions in an honest, friendly and open environment.
In recent months at St Mary's, God has been extending our vision to serve the town in an exciting, ambitious and creative way at a time of substantially increasing need for many within our community...
So many people in our community feel the weight of debt, and we are passionate about helping to release anyone we can from a life sentence of debt and poverty. At St Mary's we are working with Christians Against Poverty to bring good news, hope and freedom. If you need support, we'd love to hear from you.