Volunteers putting together the final Easter packs
More even than Christmas, Easter gives us incredible cause to celebrate...
This year, our reasons for celebrating are perhaps even more obvious than usual, with the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the new lease of life promised by the vaccination roll-out giving us short term hope and a sense of victory over an invisible enemy. In some small way, as we enjoy the new freedoms that they bring, may those things mirror to us the infinitely greater significance of the victory that Jesus won for us over death and the power of sin through his death and resurrection.
This morning, being 1st April, as I spoke at our Maundy Thursday service I reflected on just how foolish the events of that first Holy Week must have appeared to Judas and so many other people looking on from the wings… But hidden in the apparent folly of the cross was a deeper wisdom than anyone could have imagined at the time. It’s only with hindsight that we can now recognise that it was only through the events of that first Easter, in surrendering himself in our place - the lamb who took away the sins of the world - that could God ever truly deliver us and wash us clean of the guilt of all our failings: foolishness to those who are perishing, but the power of God to us who are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18).
May that power of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection reframe everything in our lives and help us never again to be April Fools… Instead, may it lead us to rejoice in all circumstances in the freedom bought for us by the blood of the lamb - that promise of God which can never be taken from us once we have humbly received it.
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Easter Day, Sunday 4th April, 8am
Holy Communion in church
Easter Day, Sunday 4th April, 10.30am
Family Communion in church
Services resume on 22 April. Everyone over 18 is most welcome.
Setting a Watch
Over the Easter period there may be no-one officially "leading" the prayer sessions, but everyone is so welcome to continue to use the link to pray for half an hour each day at 6am and 6pm.
Building to Serve Prayer Meeting
Continues every Monday at 12.00, via Zoom
SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE!
Last week Hannah explained how excited and privileged we were to have been chosen as one of Kintsugi Hope's 'Hero Churches' as part of the 'Give Hope' campaign being run through Lent by Stewardship and Your Neighbour.
As part of this venture, some of the team have made this great little video celebrating some of the ways we've been sharing the love of Jesus over the last months.
We're so delighted to be able to invite you back into the church building on Easter Day 4 April to celebrate together.
Our family Communion service starts at 10.30am and everyone is invited. Whether you're new, well-known, visiting, arriving on your own, or with energetic children in tow, we'd so love to see you!
MINI MOVERS EASTER PARTY
On Wednesday 7th April at 10.30am we are having an Easter Party for all babies and children up to Year 6. It will be on Zoom and is promised to be a jammed packed activity session, with something for everyone.
You are welcome to come along as a family and it will be great to spend some time celebrating together. I can't wait to see you!
More than just a walking route: Virtual Pilgrimage combines beautiful photos, prayers, reflections and local information.
The Chadlington – Spelsbury virtual pilgrimage has now been updated with new prayers for 2021. During the Easter holidays is a great time to go, as the wood anemones are in bloom and looking lovely! (There are still a few patches of mud to creep round, so anyone walking in reality needs to be suitably shod.)
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.