February Magazine

PASTON ALL SAINTS CHURCH MAGAZINE – FEBRUARY 2012

 

MISSION STATEMENT

“Sharing the fun, peace and friendship of knowing God’s love with everyone.”

 

 

Throughout the ages, God’s Word has been a source of hope in troubled times…. and we are certainly living in “troubled times” today!

 

Over the last ten months the coronavirus has created chaos on a global scale. Its reach is unprecedented in our lifetime and people right across the World are affected.It is easy to feel lonely, scared, helpless and sad. We can only see each other at a distance. We cannot touch, hug, nor show any physical sign of affection to our family and friends. Many of us can only meet and chat on social media. Some cannot even do that, so it is easy to see how many people may begin to feel alone and forgottenat this time. Yet, as Christians, we know that God’s Word remains steady, constant, and true. He promised that he would always with us – caring for us.

 

A recent Family Service looked at Jesus – “the guiding light of the World” - and we are told many times in the Bible that God will guide us through even the darkest ofdays if we keep Him clearly in our sight.

 

In Psalm 9 we read, “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”

 

Then in psalm 29 it says, “The Lord will give strength to His people.”

 

And in psalm 46 we hear, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble and, therefore, we will not fear.”

 

Indeed, the psalms are full of many hopeful and comforting promises!

 

But despite these re-assurances, the current pandemic is still a time of great uncertainty for all of us. We are concerned for those we love, for our own health, and for our wider society. Many may experience inconvenience and financial loss at the very least and this is causing anxiety. Our churches too have little income at the present time and, of course, here in Paston, we have the extra worries, responsibilities and problems that come from being in the middle of an interregnum!

 

However, strange as it seems to be physically separated, this does not stop us from being the “church”. In fact, the word “church” never was intended to refer to a building, but to the people of God. It comes from the Greek word 'ekklesia' meaning 'called-out ones' or 'congregation'. So, we are the church and each one of us has our part to play. 

“Be bold and strong. Have no fear or dread, because it is the Lord your Godwho goes with you “  - Deuteronomy ch.31. 

 

Remember therefore, God is never far away. He has promised to walk with us. We trust that He will lead us, guide us, and give us strength and hope. 

The Spirit lives to set us free, walk, walk in the light !                                                              

       - Steve

 

 

A LETTER FROM THE DEAN OF PETERBOROUGH

Lent – more of the same or a time for renewal?

Well, here we are once again on the cusp of Lent – traditionally a season of penitential preparation for the great feast of Easter; 40 days of self-discipline with the promise of a party at the end of it. 

Except, of course, that this year is different. This year, we approach Lent having already been subjected to a period of almost unyielding restraint and self-denial. We have been deprived of so much that for so long we took for granted: the freedom to go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted; to enjoy unhesitatingly the company of family and friends; to shake hands, hug, be at ease with one another. As Christian people we have been permitted to “assemble and meet together” (at least after the rigours of the first lockdown were eased), but our offering of worship has been muted by the need to keep safe. We have been socially distanced, separated from one another, masked; no sharing of the peace, no common cup, no after-service fellowship or coffee (who thought we could mourn the church coffee?!) and, possibly worst of all, no singing. For all the beautiful music offered by our Cathedral choir and other musicians, Christmas without carols felt (at least to me) an especially harsh deprivation. 

And it feels like such a long haul now – indeed we are fast approaching a year of life under Covid, and we are all wearied of it. Like Narnia in CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, it feels as if this winter of the soul will never end. 

Well, of course, like all things, this will pass. The programme of vaccinations is beginning to pick up pace and maybe by Easter, life will be that bit easier; the “thaw” will be underway, the spring will come and we may begin to breathe again. In the story of Narnia, it is the return to life of the great Lion, Aslan, after a cruel death, that breaks the power of the White Witch and ushers in the end of Winter. CS Lewis is of course writing an allegory of the Christian story, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

So, as we brace ourselves for Lent, that extraordinary hope stands before us as a guiding light. New life will come – for our Church, for our society, for our world. It may not look like the old normal – and perhaps that’s a good thing – but God’s unconquerable love is offered to us all. So, may we embrace the challenge of this coming Lent, and not see it as an unbearable continuation of what has been but a time to hope, pray and reflect on how, under God, things might be and (by his grace) shall be.

May he richly bless you this Lent.   

The Very Revd Christopher Dalliston.  (Dean of Peterborough)

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Sadly, our church is not open for services during this period of the epidemic.

We hope to open-up as soon as possible.

Please keep an eye on the church notice board for further information.

 

OUR NEW RECTOR

The following notice appeared in this week’s Church Times, Friday 29th January ……

 

“Appointments … WHITELEY. The Revd Captain Paul Whiteley, Assistant Curate of St Paul’s, Spalding (Lincoln), to be Rector of Paston (Peterborough).”

 

We are looking forward to the arrival of our new Rector, Rev.Paul Whiteley and his wife Joanne. The official confirmation of his appointment was read out during our church service on 20th December and is displayed in the church porch (as legally required)

Paul and Joanne have visited the rectory on a few occasions recently to “measure things up and work out where furniture may fit”, and members of the Diocesan Property Department have met with church wardens. They are currently planning to carry out decoration and all necessary repairs. The official collation service is scheduled to take place on the 30th May. More details of this will follow later. Please remember Joanne and Paul in your prayers as they prepare to join us.

 

CANDLEMAS  … February 2nd.

 

Candlemas commemorates the ritual purification of Mary, 40 days after the birth of her son Jesus, and this day also marks the ritual presentation of the baby Jesus to God in the Temple at Jerusalem. The story is found in the second chapter of St Luke’s Gospel and the scene is depicted on the beautiful stained-glass window in our church tower here in Paston.

Our window shows the priest, Simeon, holding the baby Jesus. It was at this baptism that Simeon said the prayer now known as The Nunc Dimitus which is used regularlyat Evensong. Following traditions in Israel at that time, during the service, the baby Jesus was officially inducted into Judaism.

In the middle of the 5th century the custom of observing the festival with lighted candles was introduced, and the name Candlemas developed from this custom. In the Western church, Pope Sergius I (687–701) instituted the festival in Rome.

The full story of the presentation can be found in St Luke’s Gospel, chapter 2, verses 22 to 40.

 

ASH WEDNESDAY …. FEBRUARY 17th

 

Ash Wednesday will be celebrated on Wed 17th Feb this year. It is not possible to hold our usual services, but the plan is to have the church open for private prayer...socially distanced of course...from 10am - 12noon on that day. 

 

There will be a personal prayer sheet available and small individual containers of ash at the back of church. You can either use these in church or take home with you. Rev Gillian Jessop will be with us for the 2 hours and she will lead a short time of prayer every half hour starting at 10am.

 

If you would just like to call in and collect the prayer sheet and a container of ash you will be very welcome.

 

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent – a period of 40 days when millions of people “give something up” as a sign of sacrifice and to test their self-discipline. Christians believe that this is to represent Jesus Christ's sacrifice when he went into the desert to pray and fast for 40 days before later dying on the cross.

 

 

             FROM THE REGISTERS

 

FUNERALS -       8th January     Rosemary Fixter

                      21st January     Doreen Patman

 

Lord, we pray for those we love who have gone before us in faith.

May they know your forgiveness, and the blessings of everlasting life.

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There have been no weddings or funerals in our church during January.

 

 

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER

This year, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the World Day of Prayer service on March 5th has had to be cancelled. However, services will still be taking place around the World....and if ever we needed to pray for our World, we need it now. To enable people to join in with the wave of prayer on that day, a copy of the service can be delivered to you in advance. These will be bagged in plastic, 72 hours before delivery, so the packaging can be sanitized before opening. Please contact Mo Tanner to receive your copies. 

 

THIS MONTH’S PUZZLE  

A quiz based on the books of the Bible.

1. What is the first book of the Bible?

2. How many books of the Old Testament are named after Samuel?

3. The name of which book of the Bible begins with the letter L?

4. How many Psalms of David are found in the Old Testament?

5. How many books of the Old Testament are named after women?

6. Which book of the Bible follows the four Gospels?

7. What is the last Book of the New Testament?

8. In which book of the Bible would we learn about Noah’s Ark?

9. In which book of the Bible could we find the Ten Commandments?

10. What is the last Book of the Bible?

 

If you are unsure, leave the question out, then come back to it later and look in you own Bible for the answer.

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To find more-detailed  and up-to-date information about services, church friends and happenings in the church, please read the weekly pew sheet. This can be found on our website - allsaintspaston.co.uk – then click on “weekly pewsheet” from the home page.


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