Some Thoughts For Easter from The Rector
By the time that you read this our country may have changed its status in relation to the European Union and to the rest of the world. Who knows?
But there is one thing that it would appear will not change for some time to come and that is that the country will remain divided over what direction we should take. In 2016 we voted narrowly to leave the European Union. Perhaps if we were to vote again then we might vote narrowly to remain. But the vote would remain very close and strong feelings would continue to be held by both sides. And so, at the very least, we should have some understanding of a divided parliament. They are finding just as much difficulty finding a common mind as the rest of us are.
Divided nations are deeply unstable. "A house divided against itself cannot stand" were words first spoken by Jesus and recorded in the gospels. Abraham Lincoln famously used them in a speech that he made just before the civil war of 1861-65, a conflict that still marks that country to this day.
No one is anticipating a civil war in our own country but violent expressions of anger are becoming increasingly commonplace. Those who know their local history will know that such things have touched these parishes before. I was told last week that the last catholic martyr in England was captured in Rushock. Henry Perceval was for many years Rector of Elmley Lovett in the 19th century, the son of Henry Perceval, the only British Prime Minister ever to be assassinated. And the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was largely conceived by families from North Worcestershire. All such events are interesting to reflect upon from a safe distance but would have been frightening to live through.
And what do these things have to do with Easter, a festival largely marked in our times with plenty of chocolate and fluffy chicks? Well there is nothing wrong with either of those. They both hearken back to ancient celebrations of the return of Spring and the renewing of life and that is always worth doing. But the account in the gospels tells us much more.
Jesus lived in a time in which his people were deeply divided among themselves and ruled over by a mighty foreign power. It was Caiaphas, the Chief Priest, who came up with a solution. "It is necessary for us that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation should not perish." And, of course, the man that they chose was Jesus of Nazareth. If you read the gospel account you will note that the only thing that the people who sought to put Jesus to death had in common was their desire to kill him. The rest of the time they usually wanted to kill each other. It is an age-old method of keeping the peace in a society or even a family to make someone a scapegoat.
So how did this particular scapegoat come to be the centre of a world religion that has shaped every part of our national life and the lives of millions of people throughout the world? There is only one answer. The Resurrection. And that event changed the whole world and is the power for healing in our time.
Revd Stephen Winter
Praying the Parish
If you have a particular need or things to be grateful for, please let either of us know:
Rev Stephen Winter via the parish office 01905 622464 or email@example.com
Jenny Batelen 01905 621294 firstname.lastname@example.org
Angie Randle 01905 620753 email@example.com
or James Homer 01299 851637 firstname.lastname@example.org [lay reader with pastoral responsibility for 7 Parishes]
Areas prayed for specifically May:
Sunday 5th May - Haye Lane, Oldfield Lane,
Sunday 12th May - Main Road south, Church Lane, Hill Top, Ombersley Court
Sunday 19th May - Chatley, Woodfield, Hadley and Hunt Green
Areas for June:
Sunday 2nd June - Apple Tree Walk, Holt Fleet Road, Parsonage Lane
Sunday 9th June - Sinton, School Bank, Ombersley School, Hawford and Hawford School
Sunday 16th June - Boreley, Mutton Hall, Comhampton, Dunhampton
If you would like a place of quiet to pray, or think, or just rest, the church is always open during the day - using the side door.
There are booklets and cards of prayers available in the basket near the door which you may find helpful.
Calling Flower Arrangers
Do you have experience arranging flowers?
If you are interested in finding out more please give Sue Arnold a ring 01905 620272
Would you like to assist our experienced arrangers set up for the Festival sometime during the week of June 24th - 27th? Our team would be grateful for help you could offer, and it will be an experience, coffee and tea on constant supply.
Please contact: Margaret Packer 620221
Would you like to find out more about Flower arranging in church?
Learn how to create larger and different arrangements?
Why not come and shadow our different teams of ladies as they decorate the church through the year. No gentlemen ..yet, will you be the first?
St Andrew's Singers
Would you like to sing in harmony?
Have you ever aspired to join a choir?
Have you got time to spare this Summer?
Are you between the ages of 8 and 80+?
St Andrew's Singers was formed last year and we are looking for more voices to join us for some special singing. We are a group of 22 voices and we perform mainly during the services in Ombersley Church but are branching out to sing during the St Andrew's Flower and Song Festival at the end of June.
We will be taking part in the Festival Service on the 30th June and the final concert on the 5th July.
If you would like to join us to learn some music to perform during the Festival please contact me.
We rehearse on some Fridays at 6.00pm and some Sunday mornings.
Please give it a try... we have a very enjoyable time and you'd be most welcome to join us.
Louise Robinson 01905 620995