May Pastoral Letter 2016

May Pastoral Letter 2016
Dear Friends
The Easter celebrations are now behind us and how beautiful the churches all looked, a wonderful backdrop for our Easter services. Many of the Easter Lilies at St. Werburgh’s were given in memory of loved ones who are no longer with us.
Flowers, so full of life and promise, reminding us of lost love on the very day when we celebrated new life. A reminder, if reminders are ever needed, of the grief and anguish which so many people carry in their hearts.
The disciples were stricken with grief too, they had lost their friend Jesus and even the knowledge of the stone having been rolled away and the tomb having been left empty, appears to have brought the disciples little consolation.
The disciples locked the doors, huddled together, wanting to shut themselves away through fear, when Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of them offering his peace and his risen presence. An appearance which made all the difference to the disciples, who we are told were overjoyed, ‘when they saw the Lord’.
We have time now before the Ascension to reflect on all the Easter Stories of Jesus and to allow the words to reach deep into our hearts.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber in his Pastoral letter suggests that the Church and practising Christians have long been criticised for not behaving or looking as though Resurrection has happened.
Surely we couldn’t count ourselves as deserving such criticism, or could we?
We seem, Adrian Dorber states, to be rather anxious creatures; worried about survival; the impact we make upon the world and preoccupied with money,(or lack of it). Anxiety he goes on to say distorts what we are about and diverts us from our purpose.
Perhaps we need to remember those words of the Angel when the women first visited the empty tomb, ‘Do not be afraid’.
The stone had been rolled away; the stone that separated life from death.
That barrier which so often separates us from God’s love has gone, along with our past griefs, our regrets, our faults and failings, all rolled away so that our future may be different.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed Alleluia!!
With My Love
Carol
Sometimes the landscape of my soul
Seems like this burnt hillside,
The wind rattling orange leaves on black twigs,
The soil full of ash between the stones.
Sometimes the landscape of my soul
Seems like this terrible waste of dead trees.
Walking this afternoon among the charred remains
I found a black stump sprouting leaves
And new grass thinly veiling
A delicate oak sapling
In this the ravaged landscape of my soul. Susan Fisher

Whiston

Prayer and Praise Evening
Whiston Village Hall
with Coffee and Cake
May 17th- 7p.m.

Confirmation

Have you ever thought of being Confirmed?
or if you would like to know more about Confirmation ring Rev. Carol
on 01538-372082 or e-mail crichardson@spicerstone.plus.com
Confirmation Service St. Werburgh’s July 3rd- 11a.m.

Queens Birthday

Community Service to Mark the Queens
90th Birthday
St. Werburgh’s Church, June 12th 4p.m
Everyone Welcome.

Trip to Chester

This will take place on August the 6th and cost £12. Let Rev Carol know if you would like to go by May 1st.

April Pastoral Letter

Dear Friends

Last night I was having dinner with some farming friends, who were telling me of the continuing dire situation within the Farming Industry and as milk prices continue to fall, the smaller family business is in jeopardy of becoming unsustainable. As we chatted there was a sense of hopelessness about my friend’s situation.

Hope is so important to us all, hope for a better future for our children and grandchildren, hope for a decent lifestyle, good health, hope for peace and yet we are all too aware of the hopeless situations which many in our world have to endure. Almost nightly we see images of despair on the news bulletins, and we wonder how people who suffer so much cling on to hope.

You will be reading this letter at Easter; a time of joy and celebration, yet I am writing it at the beginning of Holy Week, a week of suffering and pain, and yet perhaps we cannot know the full joy of Easter if we have not experienced the pain of Good Friday; without death we cannot know resurrection, we can’t have one without the other.

I know that Jesus lives and his Resurrection is central to my own faith and gives me hope at times of darkness.

Jesus for me, is no longer a figure solely confined to the historical stories of the bible. He is no longer a figure of flesh and blood confined by time and space; he is a reality who can enter a locked room and journey with his followers, through doubt, fear, grief, uncertainty and hopelessness.

‘Jesus Lives’ are the words of that well known Easter Hymn and they are as true today as when they were first written in the 18th. Century.

During this Easter Season we can rejoice that Jesus defeated death, evil and the darkness and terrors of the tomb and that his resurrection brings New Life and Hope to us all.

With my Love

Carol.

Psalm 31 verse 24:- Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

On the Road to Emmaus

As we walk away defeated and disillusioned 

Jesus meets us.

As we sling insults at one another,

Jesus stands alongside.

As we tell our stories of bemusement and betrayal,

Jesus listens.

As we stand gloomily

Jesus waits, ever patient

And then breaks in

Walking with us.

Opening and explaining

Accompanying, comprehending, unpacking

Until the moment comes in an ever familiar action

When we realize that the one for whom we waited

Has been present all along…..

Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 1.

Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.