28th February 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 28th February 2021

Second Sunday of Lent

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Readings

Genesis 17.1-7,15,16

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’ Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.’

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

Psalm 22.23-31

Refrain:    Be not far from me, O Lord.

23  Praise the Lord, you that fear him; O seed of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.

24  For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor; neither has he hidden his face from them; but when they cried to him he heard them.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation; I will perform my vows in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord shall praise him; their hearts shall live for ever.

Refrain:    Be not far from me, O Lord.

27  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth bow down in worship, or those who go down to the dust kneel before him  

30  He has saved my life for himself; my descendants shall serve him;  this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation, to a people yet unborn, declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

Refrain:    Be not far from me, O Lord.

Romans 4.13-25

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’, according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Mark   (8.31–38)          Glory to you, O Lord

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

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

Post Communion Prayer

Almighty God, you see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; 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 Huggins, Udo Becker. 

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Macdonald Way and Nightingale Hall Road; and the work of our local refuge.

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 4 pm Caring for Creation Lent course (Zoom)

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 4 pm Caring for Creation Lent course (Zoom)

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 last 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

Children’s Corner

Read Mark 8: 31-38

Invite the children to draw around one of their feet, then cut them out and ask the children to write their name onto their foot. Remind the children that Jesus asks us to follow him; sometimes that is tricky, sometimes that is straightforward. But Jesus is with us every step of the way and there are lots of people with us along the way too – like the people standing in the room at the moment. Invite the children to write them down. Invite the children to place their footprint by the cross (perhaps the one in your Lent bag) as a sign of following Jesus.

What are the things you are finding easy at the moment, and what are the things you are finding hard?

What do you find hard about following Jesus?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, help us to follow you in all that we do. When we find this difficult and challenging, remind us that there are others with us who can support and help us. Amen

Giggle (or Groan) of the weeksuggestions welcome

Does February like March? No, but April May

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.

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.

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

A huge thank you from the Olive Branch for all your donations to the foodbank – please keep giving, as demand grows steadily.  Their Facebook page gives information about particular items of which they’re running short.  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/

Mothering Sunday

If you would like to help in making or taking out posies of flowers across the parish on the 14th March, please let Audrey/Rev Carol know.

We will also be reaching out to our local refuge on Mothering Sunday. If you are able to donate women’s toiletries, wellbeing items (eg nail varnish, bath bubbles) – or craft items (card, paper, pens, trimmings etc) – these will be gratefully received. There will be a collection point at the Vicarage in the first instance, donations by 13th  March if possible please.

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 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

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

The Christ Church Cookbook: contributions invited

The Eco Church Group has been promoting the message that in order to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to eat less meat. In 2019 a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described plant-based diets as a major opportunity for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The Eco Group are not all vegetarian or vegan, but we believe that reducing meat consumption, especially from intensive farming, has benefits for both the climate and for animal welfare.

In order to encourage people to try meatless recipes, we are putting together a cookbook of our favourite vegetarian and vegan dishes that could tempt even carnivores, and we would like to invite you to contribute your favourite, tried and tested, veggie and vegan recipes. We will sell the cookbook to raise money for Christ Church.

We can’t guarantee to include all recipes we receive; we need to balance starters, mains and puddings, and also vegan/non-vegan recipes, and we are limited in the size of the booklet we can afford to produce. However, we will be grateful for all contributions. Please include metric measurements for ingredients.

Send your recipes to reader@christchurchlancaster.org.uk.

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Thought for the week

Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it.                            C S Lewis

Eco-Group Action for the Week:  

Eating fish might seem a good option from eating meat. However, some fish labelled ‘sustainably sourced’ may come from bottom trawling and “marine protected areas”. Check with your local fishmonger – who should know exactly where his fish comes from – and read labels carefully.

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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.