Thought for the Week - Staying Alert
Hi everyone. Hope you're all doing well and staying safe.......and alert. Since the Prime Minister's address last Sunday evening, I've been pondering on the change of language from Stay at Home to Stay Alert. It's a change that hasn't been well received by some, and has been described as confusing by others. What do you think? I'm sure being and staying alert is important, of course, as we continue to face an uncertain future at this present time.
Alert can be defined as 'the state of being watchful for possible danger'. That makes sense to me. However, I wonder if it can also refer to 'the state of being watchful for possible hope... or possible joy... or possible kindness'?
This morning, my husband Nigel and I were taken on a walk around the block by our 2 year old Iris. She strolled along with her sunglasses and wellies on, casually eating an ice cream as she went. Now, the walking pace of a 2 year old is slow at the best of times, but today it seemed that every step she took, she saw something worth stopping for and examining. So, we talked about the colours of the leaves and blossom, the shapes of road signs and rainbows, and the colours of cars and vans that we passed. And when a friendly cat came up to her for a cuddle, it was as though all the birthdays had come at once!! If I'd walked around the block myself, I would've missed all of this wonder, because I would've been rushing, or thinking about what to cook for dinner or something!! I wouldn't have been alert to every inch of my surroundings like Iris was.
This week, yes let's follow the Government's advice and Stay Alert. But rather than just looking for possible danger, why not try staying alert for the good things that surround us too? I know I'm going to. Sending love and prayers to all your homes and families from the Denyer household.
Nicola Denyer, Lay Reader
Restrictions on the use of church buildings have been nationally reviewed and we are now able to carry out maintenance visits etc., but public worship is still not to be allowed. Only one or two people per week are permitted to enter at present. We are able now though to ring the bell and this will be done on Thursdays at 8pm.
Although there have been no house-to-house collections you can still donate to Christian Aid this year. There are lots of ways to do this which you can find on Christian Aid's website: Christianaid.org.uk. Or you can donate by phone with various options on 020 7523 2269.
Our Online Coffee Morning is a success, and we will be keeping it going. Join us online between 10:30am and 11:15am on Tuesdays. Go to ‘Events’ on our website: stmarysmonkseaton.org.uk/events to RSVP and get a link to join via Zoom. You would need to click on RSVP and enter you name and email address and click on ‘submit’. An email is then sent to you with a link to the Coffee Morning. If you haven’t already got Zoom, you can get it for free on your computer, tablet or phone. You could download it now from https://zoom.us.
Ascension to Pentecost
There will be a service for Ascension Day (this Thursday 21st May) available via our Church at Home page on the day.
Plus! on the church Facebook page from Ascension Day until Pentecost we will be posting a prayer to mark Thy Kingdom Come – a time when all Christians are invited to pray for a renewed sense of the Holy Spirit and for a deepening of faith. You can download the Thy Kingdom Come prayer app here, or you can order their booklet from Church House Publishing for just £1.99 with free delivery when you order online.
Pentecost Pub Quiz
There is to be a Pentecostal Pub Quiz via Zoom on Sunday 31st May at 8pm. If you check the Events on our website you can RSVP and get registered for this. More details in next weeks notices.
Will be held by Zoom on Wednesday 20th May at 7.30pm.
Good news for Bishop Mark
In case you missed it, Bishop Mark is to become the 41st Bishop of Chester. Bishop Mark has been Bishop of Berwick since 2016 and is expected to take up his post in the autumn, practicalities permitting. “It will be hard to say goodbye to the North East,” he says. ”But Lindsay and I are excited to return to Chester where I was ordained and both of our children were born.”
New Daily Hope Phone Line
“Daily Hope” offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line – which is available FREE, 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind. You can select options to listen to Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service. A section called ‘Hymn Line’ offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection.
Gift Aid and Planned Giving
Please contact Rosie Tate if you would like a Gift Aid statement regarding the tax year just ended, or if you have any questions regarding Planned Giving during lockdown. (firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 0191 297 0869).
Recognising how impactful the coronavirus and isolation can be to our mental health, The Church of England has provided some mental health resources, including tips for dealing with loneliness, daily reflections on various issues, and links to support providers. You can access the resources here: https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/mental-health-resources
Tom Savage celebrates his 70th birthday on Sunday. Happy birthday Tom, with all good wishes from your St Mary’s family.
Happy 90th birthday to Jean Woodruff who will be celebrating her 90th birthday on Friday 22nd May. Many happy returns Jean, from all at St Mary’s.
For your Prayers
Please pray for Ben, his mother Pamela and his sister and brothers as they attend the funeral of Ben’s father Richard on Tuesday 19th May at 10am.
Your Prayers are requested for
Lottie and Daisy
Rest in Peace
Don’t forget, you can still add someone to the list by emailing or phoning as usual, but you need to get their permission before adding them to the sick list. Do let Dot & Carol know if you or others are celebrating any special event or anniversary so that we can put this news into our future email letters. You can do this by leaving a message on the church
office answerphone 0191 251 4216.