Church of England Diocese of Exeter Topsham

Newsletter for Friday, 16 October

16 Oct 2020, 11:15 a.m.
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Dear friends,

This weekend, we celebrate St Luke’s Patronal Festival. This will be a lovely opportunity for us all to give special thanks for our beautiful church in Countess Wear and for all that it brings to our Mission Community as a whole. St Luke, a Greek physician, is thought to be the author not just of one of the four Gospels, but also of the Acts of the Apostles. He is considered to be the first icon-painter too (hence he is often depicted in Renaissance art as painting or "writing" an icon). Those qualities of inclusivity, care, healing and creativity are the hallmark of our faith as Christians and are reflected in Countess Wear every day in all sorts of ways, big and small. Let us take a moment this weekend especially to remember St Luke’s and its congregation in our hearts.

Services and other events

Here are details of the services and other events coming up at St Margaret’s and St Luke’s over the next few days:

*   Saturday, 17 October from 10.30am to 11.30am - personal prayer followed by a special service of Holy Communion at St Luke’s church to celebrate St Luke’s Patronal Festival - with music, live singing from some of our choir members and lots of flowers.

*   Sunday, 18 October:

     -    at 8am - Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service at St Margaret’s church.

     -    at 10am - online all-age Holy Communion service streamed live via Zoom and also by telephone link, when we will be celebrating St Luke’s Patronal Festival together as a Mission Community.

*   Monday, 19 October:

     -    from 2.30pm to 3.30pm - personal prayer followed by contemplative worship at St Margaret’s church.

     -    at 7pm - a short service of Compline (reflective night prayer) streamed live via Zoom, including a time when we reflect on a Gospel passage.

*   Wednesday, 21 October:

     -   at 8am - live online morning prayer via Zoom focusing on the Holy Spirit.

     -   at 10am - online midweek Holy Communion streamed live via Zoom.

*   Thursday, 22 October:

     -   at 10.30am - Coffee and Chat online via Zoom - a chance simply to chat to friends and share stories over a cup of coffee.

     -   at 11am - mini messy worship in St Margaret’s church - a very short story and creative prayer time for our tinies and their carers. Please could you let me know in advance if you intend coming to this ([email protected]) as there are limits on numbers.

    -    at 7pm - the next session of our Bible Study Course (via Zoom) looking at St Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

*   Friday, 23 October from 9.00am to 10.00am - morning prayer in St Margaret’s church followed by time for personal prayer.

The Zoom links and meeting IDs for all the Zoom events are on our pages on A Church Near You (ACNY): (St Margaret’s) or (St Luke’s) - see “Zoom links for online services and events” in the tabs on the left hand side of the opening page. If you are having trouble accessing these links, try going onto the Zoom website via your internet browser, click on “Join a meeting” at the top of the page and enter the relevant meeting ID shown on A Church Near You.

For the services being held in our church buildings, you will find details on ACNY of the various Covid-19 guidelines that we are required to follow - see or Do take a look at them if you are planning on attending any of the services for the first time, and please feel free to ask me if you have any questions ([email protected]).

News and Notices

It was a great joy to be back in church last Sunday with so many of our young people for our family-oriented harvest festival. I thought you might like to see the attached photo of the occasion. Many of you commented how lovely it was to be back in church as a family and how you loved the feeling of calm it brought you just to be in church and to have some "time out" from your busy lives. I hope to continue with some family-oriented services in church over the coming months - I’ll keep you posted.

A reminder that the deadline for our Mission Community questionnaire is next Saturday, 24 October. I would really encourage you all to complete it if you can - the more responses we get, the more useful it will be. Hard copies of the questionnaire have been distributed to those we know of who are not on email - my thanks to Gill Yates and David Byrne for doing this. But if you know of anyone not on email who has not received a hard copy and who you think might like to complete the questionnaire, perhaps you would be kind enough to drop a hard copy through their door? It would be helpful to include a copy of my cover email too as it contained all the instructions on how to return the form to Alan.

Some of you may remember the item in my newsletter a couple of weeks ago about William Taylor? Chris Brightman got in touch with me after reading the item. He was aware that William was ex-military and so he very kindly arranged a guard of honour for William’s funeral and delivered a wonderful eulogy for him. Thanks to Chris’ kind intervention, we were able to say a fitting farewell to William and to ensure that his story was told.

Lectionary readings for this week

For those of you who like to follow the lectionary readings in your daily prayer time, here are the Gospel readings set by the lectionary for the principal service for the coming week:

Saturday 17th - Luke 12, vs. 8-12

Sunday 18th - Matthew 22, vs. 15-22

Monday 19th - Luke 12, vs. 13-21

Tuesday 20th - Luke 12, vs. 35-38

Wednesday 21st - Luke 12, vs. 39-48

Thursday 22nd - Luke 12, vs. 49-53

Friday, 23rd - Luke 12, vs. 54-end.

Looking ahead a bit

*   Sunday, 25 October is Bible Sunday. Gary and Mary from Bridge Books will be joining us via Zoom at our 10am service and will hopefully be talking to us about some of their work.

*   The next Choral Evensong will be on Sunday, 25 October at 6.30pm.

*   We will be having two special services for All Souls this year, one at St Luke’s church at 11am on Saturday, 31 October and one at St Margaret’s church at 3pm on Monday, 2 November (All Souls Day itself). Each service will offer an opportunity to mark and honour our losses and hold them before God. If you would like any loved ones to be remembered in prayer at either of these services and have a candle lit for them, please drop Nicky a line with their name ([email protected]). You don't have to attend the service yourself for this to happen if you don’t want to - it is entirely up to you - for some of you, it may be enough just to know that your loved ones are being held by the wider community in this way.

*   Starting after half-term:

     -   I will be running a Kids Matter parenting support programme on Monday mornings at 10am for an hour in St Margaret's parish rooms, with a creche available for pre-schoolers. There will be room for five households, so registering in advance is essential for this. Just drop me an email ([email protected]).

     -   Most probably on Monday afternoons, I plan to have Open the Story for primary-aged children - I am thinking a very simplified and shorter version of this act of worship.

    -   And I plan to run Movie Review nights on Zoom for our older children. This will be a chance to connect and exchange thoughts on movies, themed to stretch our horizons and give us a laugh or two as well.

*   We are hoping to run one or two special services and/or study groups for Advent. I will keep you posted about this over the coming weeks.

God bless,