4th October 2020

(Note: the newsletter can also be downloaded as a PDF.)

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 4th October 2020

Harvest Sunday

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Eternal God, You crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory,
for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being: 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 forever, Amen.

Readings

Deuteronomy 8:7-18

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.

Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.

This is the word of the Lord.   Thanks be to God.

Psalm 65

Refrain:    Be joyful in God, all the earth.

1    Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion;  to you that answer prayer shall vows be paid.

   To you shall all flesh come to confess their sins; when our misdeeds prevail against us, you will purge them away.

   Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there. We shall be satisfied with the blessings of your house, even of your holy temple.

Refrain:    Be joyful in God, all the earth.

   With wonders you will answer us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, O hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.

   In your strength you set fast the mountains and are girded about with might.

6    You still the raging of the seas, the roaring of their waves and the clamour of the peoples.

7    Those who dwell at the ends of the earth tremble at your marvels; the gates of the morning and evening sing your praise.

Refrain:    Be joyful in God, all the earth.

8    You visit the earth and water it;  you make it very plenteous.

   The river of God is full of water;  you prepare grain for your people, for so you provide for the earth.

10  You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; you soften the ground with showers and bless its increase.

11  You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty.

12  May the pastures of the wilderness flow with goodness  and the hills be girded with joy.

13  May the meadows be clothed with flocks of sheep and the valleys stand so thick with corn that they shall laugh and sing.

Refrain:    Be joyful in God, all the earth.

2 Corinthians 9:6-end

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,

‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;    his righteousness endures for ever.’

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

This is the word of the Lord.   Thanks be to God.

When the Gospel is announced, we stand:

Alleluia, alleluia.
Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are ripe for harvesting.  Gather the fruit for eternal life.  Alleluia.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Luke (12:16-30).   Glory to you, O Lord.

Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”

But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ

Reflection (from Revd Carol, our )

The text of Revd Carol’s reflection will be available on the website at  http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Sermon_201004.pdf and in hard copy for those who have them delivered.

Prayers                                (from Jacqueline)

Today we use a Harvest bidding:

Lord of all creation: Hear our prayer

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to God the almighty, the King of creation. 

Lord, you provide us with every blessing in abundance; may we share those blessings abundantly with all your children and the whole creation.

Lord of all creation: Hear our prayer

Lord of the harvest, send out workers into the field to reap the fruits of your planting. Inspire your church throughout the world to rejoice in your whole creation and to serve you with gladness.  Bless Bishops Julian, Philip and Jill, Revd Carol and Pat, and all who serve you here, to help nurture the seeds of your love in the hearts of all with whom we come into contact.  As we bring our gifts for the Night Shelter and the foodbanks today, guide our coordinators and volunteers to offer what is most needed by those seeking shelter, hospitality and a listening ear this winter.  We pray also for Andrea Juliet Stringer, to be baptised on 18th October, and for Darryl Flynn and Helen Rawlinson, whose banns we will hear in the coming weeks, as they prepare for their marriage. In our parish cycle of prayer we  pray for those who live and work in Parker Street and Davidson Street, and also for those working in the food industry, whether on land or sea.

Lord of all creation: Hear our prayer.

Lord of the world, bring peace and justice where your creation is being damaged by selfishness and acquisitiveness.  We especially bring before you the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the people of Afghanistan, Belarus, Mali, Syria and Yemen. Ease the tensions between the UK and the EU, and bring calm to the US presidential conflict. As we try to shield one another in containing the spread of the coronavirus, may we also support and protect our neighbours and future generations by living more simply and sustainably, to slow down the pace of climate change.

Lord of all creation: Hear our prayer.

Lord of the lost, bring wholeness and healing to all in any kind of need.  Sustain those who have no harvest, whose crops have failed, who worry how to feed their families; and strengthen the international and local agencies working to support them.  Be with those who are anxious, lonely and afraid, and give us compassion to reach out to our neighbour.   In our parish we pray especially for: Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Pat Brooks, Bill and Ivy Buckley, Michael Greenhalgh, Stephen Gardner, Eddie Barandino, Ann Gilbride, Sitar Rose, Thea Harris-Ellis and Helen Rawlinson; and we name in our hearts those known to us who need your healing touch. 

Lord of all creation: Hear our prayer.

Lord of life, we pray for those gone before us to share in your heavenly banquet, and especially Jack Renninson, Francis Clegg, Philip Marshall, Ron Goodwin (priest), Roy Long, and William ‘Bill’ Briggs.

We also remember Ron Heward, Denise’s husband, whose anniversary falls at this time. Comfort her, and all who grieve, with the knowledge that their loved ones are now free of all their earthly cares.

Lord of all creation: Hear our prayer.

Therefore, rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints, we commend ourselves and all creation to Your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

Post Communion Prayer

Lord of the harvest, with joy we have offered thanksgiving for your love in creation and have shared in the bread and the wine of the kingdom:

by your grace plant within us a reverence for all that you give us and make us generous and wise stewards of the good things we enjoy;

 through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 8.30am:  Eucharist

Sunday 10.30am:  Eucharist (then uploaded to YouTube)

Sunday 2-4pm:  Private Prayer in Church

Sunday 6pm: Benediction (in the Hall)

Wednesday 10:  Private Prayer in Church

Wednesday 11am:  Eucharist (in the Hall)

Wednesday 5.30pm: Meditation

Wednesday 6pm:   Evening Prayer (in the Storey Chapel, then via YouTube)

Friday 8.30am:  Morning Prayer (YouTube)

Saturday 9pm:  Compline (YouTube)

If you are unable to join the service for whatever reason, you may wish to follow the Spiritual Communion service at home (the order of service, and a sermon, are on the website), using the day’s readings and prayers.

Our Diocese of Blackburn, and the national Church of England also have YouTube channels where worship is regularly offered.

Returning to Worship

We hope that repairs on the church roof and ceiling will commence soon, so we shall be continuing to worship in the Hall and online in coming weeks. Please note the following covid- precautions:

Should you wish to come to a service, please note:

If you have Covid symptoms, or have been told to isolate because you’ve had contact with someone who has, or are feeling unwell, please let someone know and don’t come to church.

Unless you’re exempt, please wear a covering over your nose and mouth.

Please gel your hands before and after the service, and before receiving communion. 

If you have the NHS COVID-19 app, please scan the QR code on entry to check in. Otherwise you will be asked to record your name and contact number on the sheet for traceability – we’re required to do this by law.  This will be kept confidentially for 6 weeks.  

 If you come as a couple, family or household – you may move the seats to sit together (up to six in a group with a 2 metre distance around the group).  Solo seats have a 2 metre distance around them.
Children are very welcome to attend the service, but we cannot offer Children’s Church for the time being.

Please continue to make your offering by Standing Order wherever possible. There will be an offertory box for cash or cheque donations, but no collection will be taken.
Communion (bread alone) will be received standing, with a non-touch blessing for those who prefer.
There will be no refreshments after the service, and any conversations must happen outside from a sociable distance in small groups. The Hall, and all items that have been touched will be cleaned and disinfected between use.
As spaces at the Sunday Eucharists are limited, we ask you to “book” in advance. You can do this on Eventbrite via the links: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christ-church-lancaster-eucharist-830-am-tickets-112091542822

for the 8:30 Eucharist and

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christ-church-lancaster-1030-eucharist-tickets-112092136598

for the 10:30 Eucharist.

Please select the date(s) for the Sunday or Sundays you would like to come. Alternatively, just contact Jacqueline (64083, 07808 765364 or email as below) or Rev Carol, and we will add your name(s).

We continue to pray for all those affected by this outbreak – and for the church as we begin to grow again, giving thanks for all who have sustained the prayer and community at Christ Church in recent months.

Opening for Private Prayer

Christ Church will also be open for private prayer, and the opportunity to light a candle this, and forthcoming Sundays from 2pm-4pm, and Wednesdays 10-11am. Thank you to all the volunteers who are making this happen – and if you’d like to join the rota for October and November, please let Rev Carol know.  

(While it is excellent news that we expect the contractors to start work on the roof and then the ceiling very shortly, we shall have to cease opening for private prayer for the duration of the interior work.)

The national prayer for this outbreak:

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy.

Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Prayer and Support

If you would like us to pray for you, or for someone you know, for any reason, please email your request to prayer@christchurchlancaster.org.uk or text the Prayer Chain on 07980 351855. Please ask the person’s permission if you’d like them included in the weekly notices.

Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 13th October  is the next meeting of Prayer4 – 30 minutes of prayer, at 4pm every fortnight. There’ll be a short Bible reading, some music, some stillness, and space to pray for the people and places on your heart – all from the comfort of your own sofa. Zoom details: https://zoom.us/j/8069459310?pwd=TlV6QUQ5UVdiK0p1M0Q0cE0vRXIvUT09

Meeting ID: 806 945 9310 Password: ChristChch

Dial in: 0208 080 6591  Meeting ID: 806 945 9310 Password: 310771 (any queries see Rev Carol)

Children’s Corner:

Cornerstone In the Bible (Matthew 21:42).  Jesus said that he was like the most important stone in a building. Without him, everything falls apart. Play a game of giant Jenga if you have it. If not, build your own tower with building blocks and the children can take turns at trying to remove a block without it falling down. Ask: What made you decide which blocks could not be removed? In the same way, Jesus is the one we need to build our lives and our church on. If he isn’t there, everything will fall apart.

What does it mean, to follow Jesus?  How can we welcome Jesus into our family life?

Family Prayer

Make some simple welcome signs saying, ‘Jesus you are welcome here’ and decorate them to make them bright and appealing. Go around the house together and put one on each door, e.g. bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen. Stop each time and pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you are so patient with us. Forgive us when we turn away from you. Help us to listen to your son Jesus and follow him. Amen.

(There’s also a YouTube story for this week on Christ Church’s Channel – and colouring and activity sheets at the back of the hall.)

Children’s Church meet-up

While we’re unable to run Children’s Church in current circumstances, if you’d be interested in a Zoom meet-up for families, please let Rev Carol know which days/times you would prefer.

Giggle (or Groan) of the week – suggestions welcome!

Q: How is an ear of corn like an army?

A: Both have lots of kernels.

Our Offering.

The pandemic has affected us all in different ways. The work of the church looks very different now to three months ago, not just at Christ Church but also across the church family, to which we offer our prayers, time, skills, and also our money. Support is still needed – both in the upkeep of Christ Church, and to help churches in poorer areas of our diocese continue God’s mission. You may need to give a little less to the church because of current money pressures – that is fine. You may be able to give a little more – even for a short time – to help with ongoing costs and to weather the absence of groups using our buildings. Whatever is given is gratefully received with thanks, please have a word (in confidence) about what may be possible for you.   Or ask Jacqueline (in confidence) if you’d like a Standing Order and/or Gift Aid declaration form.

Pastoral Support

Now that further lockdown restrictions have been imposed, I’m still able to offer pastoral support, especially in times of emergency. Please contact me by phone or email in the first instance.  Rev. Carol

Harvest Festival

Today we celebrate our Harvest Festival, giving thanks for the earth’s riches, and for the lives and livelihoods which have given us our daily food. We will also pray for those who are malnourished or hungry, and especially for the work local foodbanks.

As part of the service, there will be a special collection for our winter Night Shelter – so please bring a donation of one or more of the following: BAKED BEANS, SPAGHETTI, SOUP, CURRIES, CHILLI, STEAK OR CHICKEN MEALS, PIES. TUNA, SARDINES, CORNED BEEF, HAM, HOT DOGS, PEAS, CARROTS, SWEETCORN, POTATOES, TOMATOES, RICE PUDDING, CUSTARD, TINNED FRUIT, COFFEE (4 oz), TEA BAGS, HOT CHOCOLATE, LONG LIFE MILK, CEREALS, PORRIDGE, JAM, PASTA, RICE, MASHED POTATOES, TOILETRIES.

During lockdown, our food banks have been in demand like never before. If you’d prefer to give financially to the Olive Branch, there will be a retiring collection after both morning Eucharists.

Pens

Please bring a pen (or two) with you to today’s 10:30 Eucharist

Harvest Supper

Unfortunately, given current lockdown regulations, we’re unable to meet together to share our Harvest Supper. However, on Saturday 10th October at 6pm, we’ll host a zoom gathering – all welcome! Beginning with a blessing for our homes and tables. Bring your own meal and drink, and if you would like to share a poem, story, song (or even dance!) –  the more, the merrier!

Half-term event?

If people would be interested in helping with a half-term event around the parish (flowerpot or scarecrow festival, or something else to bring us together despite ongoing lockdown), please let Rev. Carol know.

Homelessness Sunday

Next Sunday (11th October) is Homelessness Sunday.  At the 10:30 Eucharist our Night Shelter Coordinators will share with us their plans for this coming winter.

Elections for Church Council, and our review of 2019

Every year, the church and parish meet together to review the year, and elect our churchwardens and PCC members who will represent us as we plan our worship, outreach, and life together. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting was delayed because of lockdown – and legally has to happen by the end of October. So – please pray, and have a think if you would like to stand for election, or if you know someone who you’d like to nominate. No previous experience needed – and almost all posts are subject to a DBS check.  Do chat to Rev Carol or the current post holders if you’re curious about what’s involved. They are:

Churchwardens (two posts)

Deanery Synod representatives (who meet with other church representatives from across Lancaster and Morecambe and who elect General Synod representatives from the Diocese). Christ Church is currently eligible to elect two voting representatives.

Members of PCC (currently six posts)

Our Treasurer and Parish Safeguarding Officer are ex-officio members of PCC and are appointed by PCC.

The reports for 2019 will soon be available, so please do read them, and bring along any questions and reflections to the APCM on Sunday 25th October.

Parochial Church Council (PCC)

The next Church Council meeting is on Wednesday 14th October. If there are items which you would like raised or discussed, please let Julie Buckley or Rev Carol know.  Please keep the PCC’s work and planning in your prayers.

Annual revision of the Electoral Roll

Please take a moment to look at the poster attached with this newsletter and consider signing up to the Electoral Roll, if you haven’t already done so.  You need to be on the Electoral Roll (including if you are resident in the parish) to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and for Deanery and Diocesan Synod members.  The annual revision completes on 10th October – see the notice attached.  Please contact Jacqueline to learn more and/or complete a form. (If you filled one in from Spring 2019 onward, you’re already on the Roll.)

Learn the recorder or piano

Now is the perfect time to learn a new instrument. Marlene has offered to give individual lessons via Skype or Zoom in recorder or piano in exchange for a donation to church funds. Please contact her on marlenephillipsmusic@gmail.com

Applications for church schools 2021

If you have a child who will be going into Reception/Year 7 in 2021, and you are considering applying on faith grounds to a church school (Christ Church, or Ripley St Thomas), please discuss this with Rev Carol, as the admissions criteria have recently changed following the Covid disruption.

Deanery Synod – Vision Update

On Monday 4th October at 7:30 pm , the Deanery Synod will discuss the new  Vision Implementation Strategy with Bishop Jill, Archdeacon David, and Carolyn Barton, the Vision Coordinator.  All welcome to participate. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88341179268

Retreat in Daily Life

Please see the attached notice from Lancaster Priory, for a “retreat in daily life”, 18th-23rd October, in which one can participate either in person or online.

Pleas of the week:

The Olive Branch and Morecambe Bay Foodbanks continue to need donations: please help if you can, either by putting food and toiletries in the collection boxes, or by giving money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/ or https://morecambebay.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/

Drivers needed to deliver meals

During Lockdown ‘The Ark’ at St Tees, ‘The Mustard Seed’ at The Priory and ‘The Breakfast Shelter’ at New Life, have joined forces with Eggcup to prepare and deliver meals on Tuesdays and Fridays to the formerly homeless.  The food is collected from LDHAS on Edward Street at 5pm and deliveries take 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the traffic and how talkative the clients are. 

Church Cleaning:

The next cleaning morning is likely to be on 6th October – all welcome.

Bottles tops needed

Our Scouts are collecting plastic bottle tops for a local project: www.preciousplasticlancaster.co.uk. Milk bottles, shampoo bottles, washing up bottles – anything! If you can donate, please wash the tops and put them in an envelope. Northern Yarn (6 Kings Arcade) are also accepting donations.

Treading Lightly Network

The Treading Lightly Network (TLN) invites Christians involved in churches in Lancaster to join a Zoom meeting to explore how our different churches can respond better to the challenge of climate change.  A new momentum is building across the City helped by Lancaster City Council declare a Climate Emergency for Lancaster https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sites/climate-emergency.  We are beginning to see new initiatives and actions. This October we should be hearing the recommendations of the Lancaster City Council’s People’s Jury https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sites/climate-emergency/lancaster-district-people-s-jury with ideas how Lancaster might respond.   To encourage local Christians to start sharing ideas of what we in our different churches are doing and could do, TLN is hosting an exploratory meeting at 7:30pm on Thursday 7th October.  The meeting will include the following:  Welcome & introductions; Overview; Update from individual churches; Break-out rooms to discuss; Plenary; Closing worship/prayer.  Please email hkadmin@phonecoop.coop and Hugh Kidd will send you the link.

Boxes of Hope

Let’s join with Christ Church School in supporting the Boxes of Hope Appeal, a charity which visits Romania each year to distribute shoe boxes to children.

An ideal box will contain:

* A selection of toys and games such as a ball, car, doll, skipping rope, yo-yo, dominoes; 

* Sweets (with a use by date of at least March next year);

* Notebook, colouring book, pens, crayons, pencils, rubber, ruler, pencil sharpener;

* Hat, scarf, mittens or gloves, socks;

* Soap and a face cloth, toothbrush, tooth-paste, comb or hair brush, hair accessories.

If are able to fill a shoe box or send in some items that could be used to fill one in school, we’d be very grateful.   Boxes should have the lid and box separately wrapped in bright paper, and the ‘boy’  or ‘girl’ label taped onto the outside of the box.

Please also include the donation form, which is available to download from https://www.christchurch-lancaster.lancs.sch.uk/topic/community-links  and a £2 donation in the shoebox and secure with an elastic band. Please bring to the table at the back of the Hall or drop them off at the Vicarage by Sunday 18th October, or alternatively, boxes can be dropped off at Brigg’s Shoes on the prom in Morecambe.

Thank you!

A big thank you to all who joined Rev Carol and Bonnie in walking the parish boundaries, and to all who sponsored them – over £220 was raised for church funds!

Apples!

Do help yourself to apples from the church orchard.

Thought for the week

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.       Robert Louis Stevenson

Eco Group Action for the Week:

Help bring the harvest home by supporting our farmers and the NFU’s efforts to uphold our high standards in food production, environmental protection and animal welfare, in future trade deals.

Key contacts:

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

Lay Reader:  Dr Pat Allen 39552.

Churchwarden: Dr Paul Thompson 34949

Churchwarden: Mrs Jacqueline Stamper 64083 churchwarden@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

Parish Safeguarding Officer:  Ms Jane Lippitt 07930 979503 safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

Children’s Church: Mrs Liz Mills 67005

Nightshelter Co-ordinator: Ms Jan Norbury 07547 717 060   coordinator.nightshelter@gmail.com

Hall Bookings: hallchristchurch@btinternet.com 07890 351855

Christ Church School  Ms Emma Simpson 60955 head@christchurch-lancaster.lancs.sch.uk