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NEWS FROM ST MARY'S CHURCH

Dear Friends
The word that sprang to mind after listening to Martha's midweek podcast this week was "defiance". The woman in the story had so many reasons to let the weight of her circumstances crush her, and yet she refused to be beaten by them. Most of all she didn't let any barrier prevent her from coming to Jesus.

We certainly might be experiencing some barriers to coming to Jesus at the moment; of course not being able to gather to worship in the way we're used to is one. Internally, we might be feeling apathy or frustration, which certainly doesn't help.

This Pentecost we've chosen "Blessed be Your Name" as our congregation video song. Some of the words are a paraphrase from the book of Job. Even Job's wife recommended that he give up hope (Job 2:9) but Job's heart cry was "I know my redeemer lives" (Job 19:25).

This week we have opportunities to lift our voices to God together in defiance of circumstances; in prayer on the 24th and 25th May as part of Thy Kingdom Come, and in song on 31st May for our Pentecost Special. So let's shout aloud together to the Rock of our salvation!

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 
For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 

(Psalm 95:1-3)

NUMBERS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK

5,000
mini marshmallows
sent out in the craft bags this week
135
puddings
made by the wonderful Brenda (thank you - they look amazing!)
1
pair of cycling shorts bought by James (who has since cycled 50km)

THY KINGDOM COME

Thy Kingdom Come is the annual global prayer event that churches from all over the world take part in. This year we're teaming up with St. Mark's, Camberwell in Australia to jointly pray for 24 hours, starting at 1pm on Sunday 24th.

To join in, you can book a half hour prayer slot via the Doodle Poll.

Last weekend James met with Ben from St. Mark's via Zoom and they recorded their conversation for you to watch. To find out more about St. Mark's, how we ended up partnering with them, and what they'd appreciate prayer for, click the link below to watch the video.

After 23 hours of prayer we'll be meeting via Zoom at 12noon on Monday 25th May to pray together for the final hour. We'd love you to join us and the Zoom link is here.

Finally there are some prayer resources on the website including this great interactive map and app for families:

"Looking for something to do?! Thy Kingdom Come have partnered with Missional Generation to make a family prayer map and augmented reality app that has games, activities and interviews. Pick and choose what might work for your family. All the details are here - https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/digital-family-prayer-adventure-map"

Thy Kingdom Come: sign up, watch video, use resources...

AT HOME WITH... THE CUTTINGS

This week we hear from the Cuttings. Stuart and Sandra have been isolating since mid-March due to the medical conditions they each have.

Here they share with us how, despite being physically isolated, they can still experience being part of the body of Christ; and about how God has shown His power and care to them through creation.

Visit the Cuttings

YOUR MUSIC TEAM NEEDS YOU

What's happening?
The music team are making a music video to be released at Pentecost (31st May). They'd like to feature as many congregation members as possible!

What do I need to do?
Please send a video or photo of your household to Chris. You can do something to fit the song (which is "Blessed be Your Name") or just send any nice photo. (Thank you to Chris's in-laws, above, for sending in their contribution already, and demonstrating the kind of thing you can do!)

When should I send it?
Please send it through by lunchtime on Monday 25th May. We look forward to seeing you!

Click here for more details

ENCOUNTER ONLINE

We'd love to invite you to our Pentecost Special, which will be a set of livestreamed worship songs led by Gareth at 7pm on 31 May. It's really tough not being able to meet together to sing - and maybe feels strange when you can only hear your own voice and the voice of the worship leader - but we can be sure that the one we're singing to hears all of our voices together! So please join us to raise our voices to heaven.

Topic: Pentecost Special
Time: May 31, 2020 07:00 PM London
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82704988117?pwd=eDdGVmtPODB1YU1xdVZDNVVNNXZaZz09
 
Meeting ID: 827 0498 8117
Password: 849107

THURSDAY THOUGHT

The youth have been making bite-sized videos, recording their thoughts on the Bible. They'd love to share these with you.

This week we hear from Liv. Click below to see what she has to say.
Liv's Thursday Thought

THE BIG QUIZ - TONIGHT!!!

The Big Quiz is back by popular demand!

There is another Big Quiz tonight (22nd May) at 7pm, so get your brains in gear and join us, either with your family or as a solo player.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2969994462?pwd=5_BBH5mcmw4vf1x5Zq08y1SbiQj6Y9ck

Meeting ID: 296 999 4462 Password: Remix123

The Rileys will hopefully be defending their crown! Who might take the coveted top spot?

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Featuring familiar names like Pete Greig and Tim Hughes, Wildfires Christian Festival is going online this year and is free to access!

Have a look at the Wildfires website from 24th to 26th May to find talks, interviews and worship, as well as a youth and a children's programme.
Wildfires website
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What's happening soon?

Thursday worship Thu 24th Jun St. Mary's Church, Chipping Norton More info
Kintsugi Hope wellbeing course Fri 25th Jun The Parish Rooms More info
Remix Fri 25th Jun Glyme Hall More info