Another week has past. I would love to tell you today about the sunshine, and warmth, and the new bulbs shooting through .. but I can't. I'm looking out of the window at a grey sky, with sleety rain falling, it's rather gloomy and we'll get wet when we go out for a walk but we are fit and well and for that we give thanks to God. In these days we give thanks for the small things in life.. for they are so precious. We are very fortunate to be able to walk and to get a breath of air. There have been times when neither of us were well enough to do this and so we are grateful each day for the breath in our bodies and for the steps which we can take... but it also gives us greater understanding of those who are not able to.
There have been some very special moments in our week, we have seen some wonderful snowmen, and a snow cat(!), people sledging, and we have loved walking in the crispy snow. We also came across a cluster of snowdrops peeping up on a verge. How lovely they are... and we talk more about snowdrops in our sermon in the recorded service this week as we celebrate Candlemas - the bringing of Jesus to the temple, where he was blessed by Simeon and Anna. Candlemas is a church festival which moves us forward from the Crib to the Cross of Easter. From birth to death and to new life.
This week has also been a week of walking alongside folk in their sadness and of hearing of the death of loved ones. Sadly, Paul of Westoning died on Friday, and we are still absorbing the enormity of his loss, and of his incredible legacy and gift to us all in life. What an amazingly faithful witness to God he has been and what an inspirational creative man with his poems, and laughter and so much more. He will be very sadly missed by so many in our villages. We thank God for the time he shared with us.
I wonder what blessings you have received this week? Have you any special moments that you can share with us? Where have you seen God in creation or at work in your life this week? Do send us some of your special photos to cheer us and others.
This Sunday's Services - Whilst four churches continue to be closed for Covid safety reasons, we offer a mixture of services:
This week's Recorded Service has the theme of Candlemas and will be released on the usual link of: https://www.harlingtonchurch.org/worship-services-2/this-sundays-service/
11am Quintet Morning Worship Service. All Welcome. Our service will focus on Candlemas and we thank members from across the Quintet for reading and offering the prayers. You are warmly invited to join us. Come and have a good sing in the privacy of your own homes. (see poster attached for Zoom link)
Sunday Services by Zoom: Please contact Rev'd Linda for access links
6pm The Upper Room Worship - This week we will continue our journey into the Old Testament as we hear talks on the OT characters of Abraham and Sarah. There will be worship and praise, prayer and opportunity to share testimony. All welcome.
Other Services this week:
Morning Prayer by Zoom (links available from Rev'd Linda)
Monday 1st February at 9.30am
Tuesday 2nd February at 9.30am
Wednesday 3rd February at 9.30am
Night Prayer (Compline) by Zoom
Tuesday 2nd February 8.30pm Night Prayer (Compline) by Zoom (newly introduced this week).
If anyone has difficulty in accessing a zoom service, please give Nigel or Linda a ring on 01525 714442 or 07715 603557. We will respond asap and will be keen to help you.
60 minutes with God - an hour of prayer and reflection (contact Nigel for more information)
Please also pray for the families of Mr Owen Richards and Mr Alan Jamieson whose funerals take place this week and for the family of Guy Hincks whose funeral took place last week.
Afternoon Tea by Zoom (Link available from Rev'd Linda)
Toddington 4pm on Wednesday 3rd February
A Call to Prayer at 6pm each day has been issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury starting 1st February, in response to the very sad statistic of 100,000 deaths from the Coronavirus pandemic. We will circulate materials linked to this, in a separate email.
There is so much information contained in this message. Do please ring us if you have any queries.
We send you our love and prayers. May the Lord walk alongside you and your loved ones this week, and bring you comfort, hope and peace.
Linda and Nigel