Rector's April 2019 Pew Letter
I write this as our MPs have been unable to agree on any of the ‘indicative’ votes for Brexit. I am old enough to remember the 3-day week and being at school when the electricity was cut in the ’72 & ’74 miners’ strikes and evenings were spent by candlelight (huge fun for us kids!); I’ve lived through the latter part of the Cold War knowing that nuclear missiles were aimed at London and that we’d only get 10 minutes warning; and yet I cannot remember being so concerned for our future (as a nation) than I am right now. There is no real leadership in evidence and no willingness for our MPs to put our nation’s best interests before their own. So what do we do when we fear the future?
Reading Deuteronomy 1:19-25 I came across this in a commentary:
"In time of fear we must, first, accept God's gift. The future is not something to dread. It is God's gift to us. It is his future and not simply ours, as if we faced it all alone or without the assurance of his providential care. He knows all about it and, in his sovereignty, can use every aspect of it for our blessing, the enrichment of others, and the glory of his name. When we look into a dark and uncertain future we too must hear the words which were addressed to those despondent Hebrew pilgrims: ‘See, the LORD your God has given you the land’ (v21). In his sovereignty God knows everything about our future. It is his gift before it is our threat."
So as I struggle to make sense of the shenanigans in Parliament I will trust in God for the future, pray for unity and pray for those in authority over us.
Easter is of course just 3 week’s away. I am continually amazed at how so much of the OT is about Jesus and points to Jesus and also at Jesus’ many ‘cameo’ appearances (theologians call them ‘Christophanies’) that are scattered throughout the OT. Why not read Psalm 22 and see how many references to the crucifixion you can spot?
Easter. Easter is a time for us to celebrate and we’ll be baptizing at least one new believer at the evening ‘Easter Alive’ service. If you haven’t been baptised or would like to reaffirm your baptismal vows do please let me know soonest.
We will be providing several services not just to build up the church family but most importantly for the church family to invite those they know along to. Here’s the programme:
Stripping the Altar at 7.30pm followed by a Vigil.
10.15am Service in BPC
10.45am Walk of witness to the Old Gaol.
11am Service outside the Old Gaol followed by Hot Cross buns at The Centre.
2pm Meditation in BPC
Easter Day - Holy Communion at all services
9.30am Family service followed by Easter egg hunt
11am Traditional service
6pm Easter Alive celebration with baptisms followed by pizza
Do please pray and ask God to show you who you can invite.
Annual Church Meeting. The Annual Church Meeting is on Sunday 28th April at 10.45am and replaces all the usual services. I’d really encourage you to attend. We will vote in a new PCC (our decision-making body) and hear reports on what has been going on. I’ll also be outlining future plans. We finish with Q&A and lunch (provided). There is provision for children too.
The Church Electoral Roll will be completely renewed this year in readiness for the APCM when the existing list will become void. So far there are some 120 people who haven’t completed the form to join the new one. If you consider yourself a member of BPC it is important that you add your name to the Roll by completing an application form (available at the back of Church or downloadable at www.bpchurch.uk/voting) and returning it to the Church Office no later than Sunday 7th April. Full information is at www.bpchurch.uk/voting
Parish Weekend Away. We are absolutely thrilled that Revd Paul and Christine Perkin will be our leaders for the w/e away on 27-29 September at All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, Hertfordshire.. Do please sign-up on the forms in church.
Alpha. Our next Alpha course starts after Easter and runs for 10 weeks. We really encourage you to come and do Alpha if you haven’t already. Full details at bpchurch.uk/alpha.
Focus Church Holiday. Creating community is a vital part of our vision and one of the ways we do this is to take a group to the ‘Focus’ church holiday (25-30th July). Most people camp (those that don’t stay off-site and come in daily) and we have a community pitch where our marquee lives and is where we eat and hang-out. The kids/young people’s activities are awesome. We’d love to keep growing the group so if you’re interested in coming see me and visit bpchurch.uk/focus. Bursaries are available. If you haven’t been before the code NINETEENNEWBIE will give you a discount.
New to SSPP? If you are new and haven’t yet completed a ‘Welcome’ card then please pick one up from the back of church, complete it and post it into the red letterbox. If you don’t, we’ll be unable to keep you updated on forthcoming events and you’ll miss out on dinner at The Rectory. If you’d like more information on us just visit www.bpchurch.uk or ask to meet one of the team after a service.
Holiday Club. Registration is now open on the new website www.bcholidayclub.org.uk. Do sign-up to help. 5th – 9th August.
Some Dates for your diary …
Monday 1st April 8pm – Prayer & Praise in Church
Saturday 6th April 9am – Men’s & Women’s Breakfast
Sunday 28th April 10.45pm – Annual Church Meeting – no other services
Have a wonderful Easter and may the joy and hope of the resurrected Christ bless you and keep you!
With much love,