The youth doing an epic job volunteering at The Branch
This week we find out what the youth have been up to during lockdown, receive a huge thank you from our mission partners, find out about some great opportunities for craft and connection and Ursula recommends a book for those approaching retirement.
Praying that wherever you are you know the enormity of the Father's love for you.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1
Easter Day, Sunday 4th April, 10.30am
Family Service in church
We’ve had some interesting socials with the young people in the past couple of weeks. Friday before last we did an online escape room, as a group we worked together to aid the great Sherlock Holmes in uncovering the mystery around a missing widow. Following the clues we systematically moved onto the next stage in the mystery, eventually resulting in a positive result. This was great fun despite taking longer than anticipated to complete, but a win’s a win and we all had a great time.
Last Friday we joined with the youth from Evenlode Vale Church along with their youth leader, Mark, and dressed up in full costume for an 80’s themed Murder Mystery! Mark and I ‘hosted’ the party as two Miami Vice Police Detectives, everyone else had an individual character for them to play. There were some brilliant acting performances and costumes, as well as some bodacious use of 80’s slang.
These events were so great in being able to hang out socially together, we’ll definitely do more in the future with the hope we can do these in person as well.
THANK YOU FROM OUR MISSION PARTNERS
New banners for the chapel at Long Lartin prison
It's always a real treat to be able to bless our mission partners by sending on the gifts that you've all contributed to. Each year St. Mary's gives 10% of its unrestricted voluntary income to mission partners at home and overseas.
Here are some of the thank you messages we received this year from our mission partners:
Long Lartin Prison
"These banners will certainly enhance our worshipping experience. I can only reiterate that our department is overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness and generosity."
"Dear James and everyone at St. Mary's. We are so thankful for you all and for the support you give each year for leaders living in hard-to-reach places."
Great Lakes Outreach
THANKS SO MUCH! that’s just wonderful. We’re on good form here in Bath and the troops in Burundi are firing on all cylinders!
Do pass on my thanks to all involved in the decision."
(I think he was happy!)
If you'd like to read more about our mission partners and find out who they all are the please click below.
There will be many folk who have been touched by grief over this past year - Those who have lost loved ones, family and friends, and have been unable to mark their passing in the ways that we would have liked. Then there are those who have lost their jobs, livelihoods and hope for their future as well as many of us who have felt the grief of others.
Although our church building was eventually able to open for private prayer on some days, we have felt keenly the absence of the support of the gathered community.
The clergy also regret that we have not been able to be with you in the normal way of visits and funeral care.
As the restrictions hopefully begin to ease later in the Spring, St Mary’s Church would like to offer everyone the opportunity to have a place and a time to remember.
In addition to the church building being open on Wednesdays and Sundays for private prayer, we would like to offer you a place to come and maybe light a candle, sit in peace, or have a quiet chat with one of the team who will be available to listen to your concerns.
We are setting aside time on Wednesdays, between 2pm and 3pm.
You will be very welcome.
EASTER CREATE AT HOME
All Saints' Churchill and St. Andrew's Kingham invite you to "Easter Create @ Home":
Live demos of a variety of Easter decorations for your home with Christine Ramsey.
Janet Hayes will talk on the theme of ‘Hope’ and the work of her charity Rafiki Thabo Foundation (one of our mission partners).
Following the success of our last "Saturday Crafting" we'll be running another one tomorrow (Saturday 20th March) at 10.30am.
The idea is to have a relaxed morning in good company. We'll be having a go at some of the crafts in the wellbeing packs but if you don't feel very crafty we'd still love to see you for a chat and a cuppa!
This time we’ll be making macramé keyrings. Whether older or younger, well known to the church family or still feeling new, you’d be so welcome.
(Source your own materials from home or collect from the church porch.)
Topic: Saturday craft-along
Time: Mar 20, 2021 10:30 AM London
We'd like to offer the opportunity, for anyone who would like to join us online, to pause at midday of every weekday in Lent and engage in 15 minutes of Lectio Divina. We'll listen to a passage of Scripture being read slowly two or three times, taking note of any specific words or phrases that God spotlights to us as being particularly relevant to our lives in that moment.
Do join us as often as you would like. There’ll always be someone leading a session, Mondays to Fridays from Ash Wednesday (17th February) up to the Easter weekend itself.
The Contented Life by Robert Atwell, the Bishop of Exeter.
Written in response to a direct challenge from older church members, who usually make up the biggest majority in any congregation. Why, they asked, was there always so much for the young; what was there for them? This book explores the spirituality of growing older and the gifts that wait to be discovered. Wisdom, humour and honesty are essential for these transitional decades, and this short book offers all three in plenty. The author's background in Benedictine life, with its profound understanding of what makes for a balanced and rich life, flavours a book of timeless value.
Ursula says, "It is a gentle, reflective and real book about living the later years of our life well. A good friend sent Roger and I his copy when we had been thinking about retirement. It also touches on the more difficult subjects of grief and regret along the way."
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.