21st February 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 21st February 2021

First Sunday of Lent

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Heavenly Father, your Son battled with the powers of darkness, and grew closer to you in the desert: help us to use these days to grow in wisdom and prayer that we may witness to your saving love in Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Readings

Genesis 9.8-17

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’

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

Psalm 25: 1-9

Refrain: Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

   To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.

   Let none who look to you be put to shame, but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.

   Make me to know your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.

4    Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you have I hoped all the day long.

5    Remember, Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.

Refrain: Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

   Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions, but think on me in your goodness, O Lord, according to your steadfast love.

   Gracious and upright is the Lord; therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.

8    He will guide the humble in doing right and teach his way to the lowly.

9    All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Refrain: Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

1 Peter 3.18-22

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Mark   (1.9-15)          Glory to you, O Lord

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

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

Post Communion Prayer

Lord God, you have renewed us with the living bread from heaven; by it you nourish our faith, increase our hope, and strengthen our love: teach us always to hunger for him who is the true and living bread, and enable us to live by every word that proceeds from out of your mouth; 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, Sophia Holden, Callum Stephenson, Rev’d Cindy Rigney, Muriel Ashton, Janet Ball, Stephen Taylor.

RIP:  Edward Thistlethwaite, Lis Dey, Teresa Bolton, Steven Hugins.

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Lowther Road and Caldbeck Road; and for the work of local food banks.

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 via Zoom  (https://zoom.us/j/92062839983 Meeting ID: 920 6283 9983)

Wednesday 6pm Evening Prayer via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/99756144246?pwd=c3YxNVRlTFkrL251UHNpMjZFdFJSdz09   Meeting ID: 997 5614 4246 Passcode: 370844 (then 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

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. To join the course:
https://zoom.us/j/98903615188?pwd=a01QRFR1LzczM1JHSnZTdWt1WkJ0dz09  Meeting ID: 989 0361 5188 Passcode: 218739    Dial in 020 3481 5237 (same meeting ID and passcode)

Blackburn Diocese Lent Course and Quiet Morning

The Diocese is running the Looking out in Lent course https://www.blackburn.anglican.org/diocesan-lent-course-looking-out-in-lent.  The course takes place across five Wednesdays, beginning on February 24th, at 7.30pm – 9pm on each occasion.

How deep the Father’s love – Bishop Philip will lead a Quiet Morning for Lent on Saturday 27th March 9:30 am – 1 pm.  Each half-hour will be dedicated to one of the Seven Last Words from the Cross, which means people can leave and join on the half-hour. Please email louise.hunter@blackburn.anglican.org to book.

Prayer4

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 2nd March 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)

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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

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Archbishops’ Call to Prayer in February 6pm

Our Archbishops have invited 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.

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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.

Children’s Corner

Read Mark 1: 9-15

Go on a rough and smooth scavenger hunt; see if each child can find five things that are rough and five things that are smooth. You could do this inside, outside or the children can do it from home if you are meeting them digitally. Talk about which were the rough and smooth elements of the Bible story today.

How does it feel when someone tells you they are pleased with you?

How does it feel when you are struggling?

Prayer

Lord, in the times when we are joyful, may we focus on you and during the times when we struggle, may we turn to you.  Amen  

Giggle (or Groan) of the weeksuggestions welcome

Lent is the best time of the year to run a marathon.

Because that’s when you fast.

Growing Christ ChurchPOLL CLOSING SOON!

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.

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.

World Day of Prayer

The First Friday of March is the World Day of Prayer (recently known as the Women’s World Day of Prayer) – when different nations set a theme for prayer, and share their experience of being Christian. This year, the Pacific Islands of Vanuatu are leading the prayer – more information on the attachment.

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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/

Lancaster City of Sanctuary request – laptop support

They are raising funds to help supply refugees who are learning English with laptops to aid their study. Donated laptops will be given to a student who: is really in need of one;  has the recommendation of the class teacher; regularly attends classes; regularly completes set homework; signs an agreement to look after the laptop; returns an old laptop from CofS or Global Link if s/he has one. Donations towards the cost (£200 per laptop) can be made either:  by cheque (to “Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary”), sent to Jean O’Neill,  Treasurer, 9 Halton Road, Lancaster LA1 2EA; or by online banking to Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary

Sort Code: 16-52-21     Acct. No: 539 949 21. More information from Dorothea Williamson (ESOL Coordinator) dorotheawilliamson@hotmail.com

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). 

Visions of 2020 Banner

The first contributions to the banner have come in: boats in the COVID-19 storm, gardens, family, bubbles, walks, church and of course Zoom. If there are pictures, memory, words or music that got you through 2020, please keep the ideas coming; everyone can contribute through any medium.

Please send your ideas, thoughts to Marion Cowan:  marion_cowan@hotmail.com 

Christ Church Creatives Group

Christ Church Craft group, initially by Zoom, is for anyone who would like to join to share crafts and ideas, where we can support each other and put together ideas for projects such as the Visions of 2020 banner. Anyone interested who would like to start crafting could contact me and I will organise an initial zoom meeting.  Marion. marion_cowan@hotmail.com

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Thought for the week

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.         Dolly Parton. 

Eco-Group Action for the Week:  

Much of the UK’s offshore waters are protected areas, but many are subject to bottom-trawling, which destroys marine habitats, reduces recovery of fish stocks and releases huge amounts of carbon.  Support organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace as they put pressure on the government to stop this as part of its post-Brexit fishing policy.

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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.

Archbishops’ daily prayer in February

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.