7th February 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 7th  February 2021

Second Sunday before Lent

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things,  now and for ever.   Amen.

Readings

Proverbs 8.1,22-31

Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.

Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.

Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth— when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.

When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.

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

Psalm 104.26-37

Refrain:    I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

26  O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

27  There is the sea, spread far and wide, and there move creatures beyond number, both small and great.

28  There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan which you have made to play in the deep.

29  All of these look to you to give them their food in due season.

30  When you give it them, they gather it; you open your hand and they are filled with good.

31  When you hide your face they are troubled; when you take away their breath, they die and return again to the dust.

32  When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

33  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; may the Lord rejoice in his works;

34  He looks on the earth and it trembles; he touches the mountains and they smoke

35  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will make music to my God while I have my being.

36  So shall my song please him while I rejoice in the Lord.

37  Let sinners be consumed out of the earth and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Alleluia.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

Colossians 1.15-20

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John   (1:114)          Glory to you, O Lord

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

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

Post Communion Prayer

God our creator, by your gift the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise, and the bread of life at the heart of your Church: may we who have been nourished at your table on earth be transformed by the glory of the Saviour’s cross and enjoy the delights of eternity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayers                               

Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:  Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Pat Brooks, Ivy Buckley, Michael Greenhalgh, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Sitar Rose, Thea Harris-Ellis, Helen Rawlinson, Thomas Platt, Sue Taylor, Sophia Holden, Callum Stephenson, Rev’d Cindy Rigney.

RIP:  Barrie Leck, Jean Moffatt, Edward Thistlethwaite, Lis Dey, Teresa Bolton

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Lyth Road and Cartmel Road; and for Lancaster Priory as they enter interregnum.

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 10.30am Eucharist (via YouTube*, (with Zoom coffee at 11:30 am https://zoom.us/j/92076612292?pwd=OGJzMFJiaVlsUklSNm5DcFZnakVFdz09   

Meeting ID 920 7661 2292.   Passcode:  865469)

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer on Zoom  https://zoom.us/j/99756144246?pwd=c3YxNVRlTFkrL251UHNpMjZFdFJSdz09

Meeting ID: 997 5614 4246 Passcode: 370844

Wednesday 6pm Evening Prayer (Zoom link for Evening Prayer above) afterwards uploaded to YouTube*

Friday 9.30 Morning Prayer, on our Facebook** page

Saturday 9pm Compline via YouTube*

Sunday 10.30am Eucharist via Youtube*, with Zoom coffee at 11:30 am – link as Sunday

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/92062839983 Meeting ID: 920 6283 9983

*The Christ Church YouTube channel is at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPoAvGj4K9085RV8zo0ZS9Q

** The Christ Church Facebook page (you don’t need to sign in) is www.facebook.com/christchurchlancaster

Christ Church on Zoom

Wednesday Evening Prayer will continue to be uploaded to YouTube as now, but you are also most welcome to join the services live on Zoom, at 6 pm: https://zoom.us/j/99756144246?pwd=c3YxNVRlTFkrL251UHNpMjZFdFJSdz09

Meeting ID: 997 5614 4246 Passcode: 370844

And also to share in ….

Prayer4

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 16th February 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)

Lent study course: Caring for Creation

“The human race is facing its greatest challenge: the threat to the environment and climate change. Faith in our Creator God should enable us to see what is actually happening.” Brian Davies, course author.

This new York Course consists of five sessions:

1. The Environment; 2. Global Warming and Climate Change; 3. The Age of Humans; 4. Coming out of Denial and Facing Crisis;  5. Faith, Hope and Love.

They will be held via Zoom each Sunday at 4pm from Sunday 21st February until 21st March. If you would like to attend some or all of the course, please let Rev. Carol know, and she will let you have a copy of the course booklet.

Lent in a Bag

As lockdown restrictions prevent us from gathering in the traditional way on Ash Wednesday and beginning Lent’s journey together, I’m preparing some kit bags. These will have some food for thought and prayer to set the scene for the 40 days. Adult and children’s versions available – please let me know If you can help deliver.     Rev. Carol.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

COVID-19 NEWS

If you, or someone you know would like to receive this newsletter, either electronically or a paper version – do let Jacqueline/Rev Carol know and we will endeavour to keep in contact with people.

The order for Spiritual Communion (to follow at home along with the Sunday service) is available on the church website – and if there are other prayer resources, books or websites which you would find helpful, please say. The Daily Hope phone line continues – 0800 808 8044

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.

We will be praying daily for all who are suffering in the current crisis. 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.

Prayer and Support

We will be praying daily for all who are suffering in the current crisis.  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.

Pastoral Support

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.

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.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Archbishops’ Call to Prayer 6pm

From Monday 1st February, our Archbishops are inviting all Christians to pray at 6pm each day in February – for those who have died in the pandemic, those who are ill and caring for them, for those who are grieving, isolated, or struggling at this time. You can read the letter here:

https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/prayer-nation#thursday      There’s a special prayer:

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died, surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair, and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Prayers for our new appointment!

Thanks to the generous funds provided by the Nile Street Trust, the Gregson Institute, and our own diocese, we are advertising for a Children, Youth and Families Co-ordinator, who will work for 20 hours a week in the parish, beginning after Easter. We hope they will help us reach out and welcome more children and their families into the church, and will work with Rev Carol to nurture their spiritual growth. Please pray for the right person to come and join us, for all those involved in the appointment process, and for yourself – whether you might be able to help out in some way. 

If you’d like to apply, or know someone who should: https://pathways.churchofengland.org/search/category-blackburn/page-1

Children’s Corner

How do you feel when you are in the dark? How does the light make a difference?

How does or could Jesus bring light into your life?

Jesus came to take away the rubbish and darkness in the world. Collect some ‘clean rubbish’ which can be used to create pictures, such as washed crisp packets, cereal boxes, unwanted magazines, bottle tops, etc. Ask the children to choose one word from Light, World, Son or Word and challenge them to create a collage about it using their rubbish.

Prayer

Jesus, we celebrate that you are the light of the world, you are the Son of God, you are the Word become flesh. Jesus, we praise you. Amen

Giggle (or Groan) of the weeksuggestions welcome

2000 light bulbs were recently stolen from a warehouse.

Investigators are still in the dark.

Growing Christ Church

In the life of any church community, there are different seasons. As Christ Church comes out of the Covid-pandemic, Rev’d Carol and the PCC would like to know what you’d like to see grow and flourish in the church community in coming years. Please take a few moments to pray and think about what you’d like to see or do at church, and what you’d like Christ Church to be like in five years’ time so that we can plan for this! You can add your name if you’d like to say more, and all replies (anonymous or named) will be treated in confidence. Please click on https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/L9DPD6R to begin – and do share with friends and family.

PCC

The next PCC meeting is on 10th February. If there are things which you would like to raise, or questions you’d like discussed, please let Rev Carol/Julie Buckley know.

Christian Aid Conference

Darren Staunton, our regional Christian Aid Officer, is inviting us to the virtual Christian Aid conference coming up in February; it looks really interesting with a wide variety of sessions and is well worth a look. If you’re interested in supporting Christian Aid locally, Darren himself is running a talk on Tuesday evening Feb 23rd 19:30 – 21:00 (and repeated on the Friday morning at 10 am as well): ‘ ‘Gr Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire Supporter Session’ click the link to book.

Two courses from Lancaster Cornerstone

For more information and the Zoom details contact Simon Stewart at: simoncornerstonecafe@gmail.com

Or visit the Cornerstone Community Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1793115127568804

’Moving to Freedom’: How to Keep Sane in Lockdown

Inspired by the practical and deep wisdom of the ‘12 steps’ and our belief in a God not constrained by religious labels or rules, we want to offer an online space where you can be yourself and say exactly what you need to say. Where you can find support from others on the same journey. Where you can discover a way of living that brings real peace.

Come and find out more. The beauty of Zoom is that leaving just takes the click of a button if you decide it’s not for you!

Getting Through the Grief

There is no good time to lose someone you care about. But this is the worst time. Most of the normal ways we get through these times have been taken away. So grieving is tough.  We can feel alone and like we’re going mad.

It doesn’t have to be this way: Come and meet others who understand what you’re going through; Come and say what you want about how you are feeling; Come and be listened to; Come and explore ways to cope.

Children’s Society – Christingle Appeal

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported this years Children’s Society Christingle Appeal. Even with Covid restrictions we enjoyed a Make your Own Christingle Service on Sunday 20th December. Special thanks to those from Christ Church who donated towards the costs of producing the Christingle bags, those who gave money via the Candle Collections and to all the staff families and children at Christ Church School. The appeal raised a fantastic £533.45, exceeding all our expectations at the end of a difficult year. This money will help the Children’s Society to continue their work with disadvantaged children.

With grateful thanks,   David and Julie Buckley

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

PLEAS OF THE WEEK  

The Olive Branch Foodbank

During daylight hours, there’s a collection box outside the Vicarage door for donations to the Olive Branch, please leave tins, toiletries, and packets and these will be passed on to their distribution centre on the Lansil estate.  Or you can give money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/

Smalls for All

If you’re planning a spring clear out, please consider www.smallsforall.org, who collect good quality, clean second-hand bras, and new pants (all sizes) to send out to countries in Africa, where women and girls are at higher risk of rape if they are not wearing such items. They will also take donations of men’s pants (new packets only). I’m not planning a church collection (!) But if you’d like to donate, please post your smalls to Smalls for All, Five Sisters Business Park, Westwood, West Calder, EH55 8PN

Squares for Syria

Thanks to everyone who has so far knitted 6” squares for the Eco-Group project. Sami has sewn them to make this beautiful blanket – and there’s another nearing completion! Donations to Margaret Lyth please  (60387).

The Evening Drop In (Shelter Update!)

Supplies of tins or pots of rice pudding, and any clean sleeping bags in good condition, are especially welcome at present!

Our Evening Drop-in is open for anyone who is homeless or vulnerably housed, to come for a hot drink, hot meal, supplies of food and clothing, and a warm welcome, every evening 8:30 – 9:30 pm.  Edward Street continues to offer daytime support 10am-1pm.  Lancaster City Council assure us that they will accommodate anyone who is homeless over the winter months (01524 582257 (9-5 M-F) /67099 (out of hours). 

Lancaster District Street Aid – a message from Lancaster City Council

A new cashless way to help homeless people in the Lancaster District has been launched.  Donations will generate a pot of funding for which homeless people can apply (with assistance from a supporting organisation – voluntary sector or local authority), to get some of the practical help they need, e.g. furniture and other home essentials, training courses, help with job search and interviews, etc.  The first of a number of cashless terminals has been installed in the window of Dalton Square Pharmacy in Lancaster allowing people to make a donation of £3 with just one tap of a card from outside the premises. More donation points are expected to pop up soon in the windows of other businesses in Lancaster and Morecambe.  You can donate other amounts to Lancaster District Street Aid via www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/streetaid

Visions of 2020 Banner

Everyone is invited to share their unique vision of 2020 in a community banner.  We are looking for your lockdown experiences, through text, poems, pictures, family projects etc, which can be incorporated into a design for a textile hanging.   Please send your ideas, thoughts to Marion Cowan:  marion_cowan@hotmail.com  Marion is planning to have small squares 15 x 15cm (plus 1cm margin all round), large squares 30 x 30cm  (plus 1cm margin all round), for anyone who wants to start sewing.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thought for the week

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.                                       Martin Luther King Jr.

Eco-Group Action for the Week:  Pledge to buy meat from animals which are grass fed and not from soya which is mostly grown in Brazil and Paraguay involving deforestation and community displacement.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Key contacts:

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE

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

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

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.