THE NEWSLETTER OF ST MICHAEL AND ALL ANGEL’S, ALTCAR: ASCENSION DAY SPECIAL 20.05.2020
“This Jesus, who has been taken up from you to heaven, will come in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
The promise of Jesus’ return has always been source of hope for Christians, not least it reassures us that Jesus is in charge.
In the book of Ephesians Paul writes of Jesus, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” (Ep 4:8 citing Ps 68:18). There are two awesome ideas compressed into this one verse. Firstly, Jesus’ “capturing of captivity” evocatively describes the cosmic nature of Jesus victory over the invisible satanic powers of sin and death and hell; the Bible’s conviction is that there is day coming when every wrong will be righted because of Jesus birth, life death, resurrection and ascension.
Secondly, Paul goes onto imply that in this victory Jesus gives gifts to the church specifically to bring about the churches’ maturity. What is has been wonderful for me to observe through this time of adversity, is the church being equipped by the natural gifts which Christ has redeemed and given back to his church across the generations: “that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers” (Ep 4:11) so that we might be built into a robust church – the body of Christ that is able to weather a storm, for Paul’s conviction is that these gifts are for and given to the whole church (Ep 4:7).
I’m planning that we look at the full implications of this passage later in the year but in the mean time I want to say how proud I am you: the church in the village, the church in the school and the church in the country, the body of Christ in its local expressions stepping up with random acts of kindness for neighbours, that I hear about in phone calls.
Who knew that we reach into the local Nursing Homes with the simple offer of wash bags for scrubs? Who knew that we would come alongside the vulnerable through a “WhatsApp” prayer group? Who knew that hundreds of phone calls would be made each week to bring encouragement? Who knew that we could put together services online that would bring comfort and encouragement to thousands? Who knew? Jesus, our ascended Lord knew; because he sees and redeems and brings to life the latent gifts of his body, the church, because we are his passion.
ASCENSION DAY SERVICE
On Thursday at 7.30pm the Benefice will be joining with our friends from St Peter’s, St Luke’s and St Stephen’s for a special joint Ascension Day service, the code, and full details of how to join the service on Zoom if you are new to this, are at the foot of the page.
THY KINGDOM COME: MAY 21–31 2020
Once again we are inviting you to join Christians across the globe in praying between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. Over the last few years we have found this prayer really helpful as we’ve prayed for our communities in Altcar and Formby so I commend it to you again:
Our Father in heaven,
May your name indeed be hallowed.
May your kingdom come, your will be done,
As in heaven so in our nation,
As in heaven so in our fields and cities, our homes and streets,
Our schools and offices, our factories and clubs, our hospitals and hospices,
As in heaven so in our church,
As in heaven so in our hearts and minds and spirit.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
You’ll find lots more ways to engage with this year’s ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ here:
We also really like the prayer and bible reading resources at Lectio 365, you can find them here:
ONLINE WORSHIP THIS WEEKEND
You’ll find all our services here:
Sunday Morning Family Worship 10.45am
Evening Worship with hymns 7.00pm
Monday to Saturday: Daily Reflection 9.00am
If you would like to join the ministry team for night prayer at 6.00pm (please note the change of time and format) Monday to Saturday please email Mark and he will send you a code, you will need to download the “GoToMeeting” app to a suitable device.
SONGS OF PRAISE
Maggie has suggested that we put together a “Songs of Praise” service for people to watch. We think this is a great idea, so please send us your suggestions of your favourites together a short note as to why you chosen it we’ll see what we can put together.
LEAVING GIFT FOR POPPY
We will be saying goodbye to Poppy on the 31st of May, Pentecost Sunday as she leaves to take up her post as vicar of The Church of the Good Shepherd, West Derby, please pray for her, her licensing will take place on line at 3.00pm on the 27th. Do please pray for Poppy and Nathan. If you would like to contribute to a gift please pop a cheque (payable to St Michael and All Angels) in a an envelope through the vicarage letter box.
PRAYER HARMONY: 20th MAY 2020
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
This week, we turn our prayers towards our town, and the people who live and work in it. We pray for all the small businesses that have had to close during this shut down time. We pray that they will receive the financial assistance to retain their workers on furlough, and that when they are able to resume, that they will receive the good will and patronage from all of us.
We pray for the businesses on the industrial estate near Tesco’s, garages, brewery, builders merchants and more. We pray for the small cafes in the village, the pubs, the little dress shops, hairdressers, and gift shops etc.
We bring to God, home workers and the self-employed, now working under strain because of child care, who have less security of income.
And we pray for the elderly staying at home, isolated and lonely, in some cases, and we pray for their mental health and self-esteem.
And we pray for all who keep our society ticking over, the bin men, the milk man, the postie, the local councillors, the bus drivers. Ask God for protection for them and their families.
We ask God to help the families of those who have special needs, frustrated by lack of stimulation, missing their friends, finding disruption to their routine difficult to accept, we ask that they may be enveloped in the Peace of Christ.
We pray these prayers in the name of Him who is our peace, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
SUPPORTING THE MISSION AND MINISTRY OF OUR CHURCH WITH OUR MONEY
If you've been used to giving to Church through the plate or the envelope scheme JustGiving is a great way to continue your support whilst the building is closed. Giving now rather than saving up for when the building is open will enable us to honour God by meeting our commitments.
Here is the link to our JustGiving page:
Please let Mark know if you are need of a food bank voucher if you are facing a significant change in income or are awaiting benefits.
Food Bank Collection points remain open at Tesco and Waitrose.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
We have endeavoured to phone everyone on the electoral roll and our aim is to phone everyone on a rolling cycle, if we’ve missed you we’re really sorry! Please let us know, there are some numbers that we’re missing and some that are wrong.
Do please forward this letter to anyone you know who hasn’t received it, and email Mark to unsubscribe if you don’t want to receive further issues.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR JOINING A ZOOM SERVICE
Using ZOOM Go to www.zoom.us Top Right - click third link from the right JOIN A MEETING In the box which says Meeting ID or Personal Link Name Type in the ID - for the Ascension Day Evening Service it is: 829 4661 4901 or click this: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82946614901 There is no password required, and you can access the “room” anytime from about 7:00pm When it asks Do you want to allow this page to open “zoom.us"? click ALLOW Please enter a name which allows you be identified … it’s hard to control the meeting if there are several participants just called iPad or User Click Join With Computer Audio - though you might want to Test Speaker and Microphone Please make sure your video and audio are turned ON. If your device doesn’t have a camera, you will only be seen as a blank space on the screen. You will arrive in the main “meeting room” - and gradually more people will arrive, and there will be conversations - and lots of people calling out “hello So-And-So” … for many people this is the only face-to-face interaction with others outside their home. If you can only see a few people, you need to switch to GALLERY VIEW (top right on a laptop/desktop; on an iPad touch the screen near left side, and buttons appear, one of which is Gallery View). There will be more people than you can actually see at any one time - there will be an arrow to the right (or left) where you can move to other screens of participants. After a screen has been shared (for example, for the hymns) you might want to click GALLERY VIEW again. When it is time to start, everyone’s microphone will be MUTED … please do NOT unmute yourself during the service. You will hear the leader, and another voice saying the responses, representing the congregation - you can join in with those, rather than sit silently. You will SEE the words of the hymns on screen, please DO join in with the singing - safe in the knowledge that you’re part of the virtual congregation - hearing the recording which is playing, but NOT being heard by the rest of us! (This is why we must be muted, owing to difference in internet speeds, device latency and buffering the resulting effect would be utterly chaotic.) If you are one of the readers - please be aware that you will be unmuted several seconds before you are due to speak. If your device asks you to download and run Zoom - go for it! It’s perfectly safe. Or go here to download the latest version https://zoom.us/download Also available in the Apple or Google Play app stores. In fact - why not get it downloaded beforehand so you’re ready to go. You do not need to pay anything - and if you get to place asking you to pay … you’re in the wrong place! And make sure you get the right Zoom - see the icon at the top. You don’t want Zoom Rooms. Help available - before Thursday - from [email protected]