Church of England Diocese of York Topcliffe

Reflections and Prayers

June 2019

Dear Friends,

June marks the end of the first part of the Church’s year. Since the beginning of last December
(the beginning of Advent) we have been following through the events of Jesus’ life, with our
celebrations of Christmas and Epiphany, Lent and Easter, and now culminating in Ascension Day
on Thursday 30th May and finally, the Feast of Pentecost (Whitsun) when we celebrate God’s gift
of the Holy Spirit (8th June). These eleven days between Ascension and Pentecost have become
very significant during the last three years, through a movement known as Thy Kingdom Come.
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray
for more people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the
Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and
ecumenical call to prayer.

Here is a message from Archbishop Justin, of Canterbury:

During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will

• Deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ

• Pray for God’s spirit to work in the lives of those they know

• Come to realise that every aspect of their life is the stuff of prayer

After the very first Ascension Day the disciples gathered with Mary, constantly devoting
themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Like
them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total – on our own we can do nothing.

Through the centuries Christians have gathered at that time to pray for the coming of the Holy
Spirit. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ picks up this tradition. Over the past three years more and more
worshipping communities have dedicated the days between Ascension and Pentecost to pray
‘Come Holy Spirit’.

We are praying that the Spirit would inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ
with our friends and families, our communities and networks. It has been amazing how many
varied ways there have been in which people from every tradition have taken up this challenge.
The effects have been remarkable.

It is our prayer that those who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and his love for
the world will hear it for themselves, and respond and follow Him. Specifically, we again invite
each and every Christian across the country to pray that God’s Spirit might work in the lives of 5
friends who have not responded with their ‘Yes’ to God’s call.

Whether you have joined in ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ before or not, we invite you to take part this year
– along with churches from over 65 different denominations in 114 countries around the world.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses
…to the ends of the earth. When he had said this …he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out
of their sight…Then they returned to Jerusalem … and were constantly devoting themselves to
prayer… When the day of Pentecost had come they were all together in one place... All of
them were filled with the Holy Spirit... and that day about three thousand persons were
added."

                                                                                                                                                               Acts 1, 2

“In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations
and the transformation of communities."

                                                                                                                                  Archbishop Justin Welby

For further details and ways to take part, see the Thy Kingdom Come website.

Pentecost weekend (8th-9th June) is also when Topcliffe Church celebrates its Heritage
Weekend, it being St Columba’s day on 9th June. There are lots of events planned for this
weekend.

With all good wishes and every blessing,

Susanne


The Prayer of St Columba

        Be a bright flame before me, O God
        a guiding star above me.
        Be a smooth path below me,
        a kindly shepherd behind me
        today, tonight, and for ever.
        Alone with none but you, my God
        I journey on my way;
        what need I fear when you are near,
        O Lord of night and day?
        More secure am I within your hand
        than if a multitude did round me stand.
        Amen