Pastoral letter: Easter 5 | Christian Aid week
Easter 5 – Christian Aid week (10-16 May)
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people.
1 Peter 2.9-10a
In this Easter season, it is good to remember that we are people of the resurrection. Just as we have been baptised into Christ’s death, so we share in his resurrection: in part today, and in full in the future. In today’s gospel reading from John 14.1-14, Jesus tells his disciples to believe, if not because of his words, then because of his works. He goes on to say that his followers will do ever greater things than he.
I am certainly experiencing the people of God at St Lawrence Eastcote as Easter people – people of the resurrection. We should all look for the encouragement of seeing the works that are being done by the disciples of Jesus here – and have confidence to believe if not because of our words, then because of the works of Christ among us. Reading this pastoral letter is a good place to start for inspiration!
Lost income campaign
Thank you so much for your generosity! As I said in last week’s Eucharist, your readiness to give has been very humbling. You have given over £10,500 in response to the Lost Income campaign. This will now be divided between the Lent Appeal (£2,100) and covering the lost income from the parish (£8,400).
This amount doesn’t include Standing Orders which have been set up. We will know St Lawrence’s income from these when the bank statement for April arrives! I know, though, that many of you have set up Standing Orders in response to my request. I am very grateful to you for that.
I will be meeting with the finance group and standing committee on Monday evening to review the parishes financial situation and outlook. Please pray for us as we continue to weigh an uncertain situation.
Christian Aid week
Christian Aid week runs 10-16 May this year.
Our Christian Aid coordinator Paula James has written about the World Climate Change Crisis and Christian Aid’s work to address this in this week’s bulletin. Christian Aid is also working to meet the needs of those who are threatened by Coronavirus through this year’s appeal.
Christian Aid Week manager Sophie Brightwell said: “Coronavirus is teaching us what it feels like to feel vulnerable, to fear, to be separated and experience scarcity.
“It is at times like these – testing and painful times – that we recognise we are all in this together. Coronavirus impacts everyone, but love unites us all. Christian Aid Week has always been a joyful celebration of what we can achieve together for the world’s poorest people and in this time of global crisis Christian Aid’s work is needed as much as ever before.
“The most vulnerable and marginalised people are at the greatest risk from coronavirus. In Sierra Leone there are no ICU beds and in Malawi there is one ICU bed for every one million people. In refugee camps, people are not able to keep socially distant from one other and 40% of the world’s population do not have access to soap and water.
“Christian Aid was established after the Second World War when people across this country had lost so much but knew that refugees across Europe had were in a desperate situation. As we mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day at the start of Christian Aid Week, my hope is that we can show that same compassion and resolve as we saw in a different time of crisis as together we show that love never fails.”
We will be linking up with Christian Aid on:
Sunday 10th May at 1pm – for a live-streamed service on Facebook
Daily Mon 11th – Sat 16th May at 11am for reflections with Christian Aid workers
Giving online couldn’t be easier – and now that we’ve set up a JustGiving page for the parish, Gift Aid will be collected automatically and go to Christian Aid along with your donation: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/St-Lawrence-Church-Eastcote-Christian-Aid-2020
If you’d like to give by cheque, please send this to the Parish Office, marking your cheque ‘Christian Aid’ on the reverse.
Invitation to afternoon tea
After a very successful coffee morning and drinks evening online, we are now going to have afternoon tea online by Zoom on Tuesday 12th May at 3.30pm!
Join us for afternoon tea and conversation: click on the Zoom link circulated by email and on the private Facebook group.
Remembering Pam Gough
Several of you have said that you would like to have an opportunity to pray together as we remember Pam Gough.
I am due to speak with Pam’s family early next week about the funeral and will be in touch again afterwards to suggest how we might pray at this time. The funeral is due to take place at Breakspear’s crematorium, with social distancing restrictions meaning that only ten people are permitted to attend.
Church of England – Coronavirus advice
The Church of England described the process it would use to lift the Coronavirus restrictions in churches. There are three phases:
1. Clergy are able to enter their churches to pray and to live stream services
2. Small services are possible – such as wedding and funerals – where social distancing is possible and the church can be deep cleaned afterwards
3. Public services are possible – with appropriate precautions – with small congregations
The Diocese of London has immediately jumped to step 1, so I am hoping to live stream next Sunday’s Eucharist from inside the church.
And with the good news of a step out of lock down, I leave you with my prayers and gratitude as I wish you the joy and peace of the risen Christ this Eastertide.