Parish News


News Bulletin for 19 February 2nd before Lent



Volume 7, Number 13 Friday 17th February 2017

From Lex

 

In my RE lessons that I teach to year 6 we are looking at the question, ‘Can and does love last forever?’ and different kinds of love at the moment. We have been looking at some different pieces of teaching from the Bible to see what Christians might believe about that question and this week’s gospel reading has been one that has caused us much discussion. How are you supposed to love your enemies? And why? Have been the cries of my ten and eleven year olds.

Obviously, the theme of loving our neighbour is central to Jesus’ teaching throughout the gospels, and is repeated on two other occasions in Matthew’s gospel alone. On both of those occasions being used as a summary of Jesus’ attitude towards the law; love being the thing that the entirety of the law of Moses is hung upon. All you need is love, one could argue. But here, in chapter 5, Jesus is not just advising that we love our neighbour but admonishing us to love our enemies as well.

Now, I don’t need to tell you that it is no mean feat to conjure up love for those people who ridicule, harm or shame us. Jesus is often described nowadays as being "counter cultural in his teaching, but here he is not only going against what culture might expect of us, but what out very human nature tells us to do. It is hard to love people we don’t like, it is counter-intuitive to love people that don’t love or even like us in return; but it is this love that Jesus asks of us in this week’s gospel.

How is it possible then? Well Jesus gives us the answer in the very next few words of his sentence. Pray for them. We can’t manage this kind of love under our own steam, we need the love of God working in and through us to then outwardly love those people whom we find difficult. This theme of loving, forgiving and praying for those who have wronged us is mirrored in Jesus’ teaching on the Lord’s Prayer; "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And why is it that Jesus is telling his followers to take on the impossible sounding task of loving their enemies? So that they can be perfect as their heavenly father is perfect. This is a high standard for all who would claim to be disciples. They are not simply taught to meet the minimum requirements of the law; they are not just called to endure when wronged; they are called to love their oppressors.

Anyone can love the lovely, if we are to be Jesus’ disciples in 2017 then we are called to love that which is most unlovely. Clearly the kingdom of heaven does not operate like the kingdoms of this world. How will we know when we see God’s kingdom? When anger results in reconciliation rather than retaliation God must be at work. When enemies are overcome by love rather than violence God’s kingdom is present.

 

Lex

 

SUNDAY’S SERVICES:

8:00am Eucharist Pr Richard Hackworth
9:30am Sung Eucharist Pr Richard Hackworth

4.00pm Third Sunday Service Fr John Russell

6:00pm Evening Prayer Fr Tim Pilkington

 

First Reading Leviticus 19:1-2 & 17-18

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbour, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

 

Gospel Matthew 5: 38-end

You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

INTERCESSIONS

 

 

 

+ Alan, Bp of St Albans +Justin, Archbishop

Mahajanga (Indian Ocean) & Bishop Jean Claude Andrianjafimanana

 

 

 

Sick & Bereaved

 

 

Long term: Christina Billington, Judith Hill, Yvonne Rix,

Anna Gibbs, Omid Tatiae, Margaret Taylor, Christine Danson, Len Bennett

and immediate: Ken Thorne, Julie Painter, Diane Luckraft,

Priscilla Watt

 

 

 

RIP

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial

 

Jean Lembo, Dennis Bellaby, Chris Short, Kate Hunt

 

 

WEEKDAY SERVICE TIMES NEXT WEEK:

Morning Prayer Monday 9:00am; Tuesday 9:00am at All Saints Shrublands Road;

Wednesday 8:00am; Thursday & Friday 9:00am

Eucharist Tuesday 9:30am at All Saints’ Shrublands Road; Wednesday 8:30am in St Peters;

Evening Prayer Monday – Friday 5:00pm; Saturday 6:00pm

 

 


NOTICES

 

 

WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER will be at St Peter’s Church this year on Friday 3rd March, 1.00 pm

LIFTS TO CHURCH Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help with lifts to church. We still need 1 or 2 more drivers to help at the Northchurch end of town. If you can help, please contact Philippa Seldon 871534 or the church office.

 

ST PETER’S SUNDAY SCHOOL may soon have to stop if we don’t find more leaders.

Within the next few months, I will be leaving St Peters for pastures new, and while my replacement will be involved in Sunday school, we cannot guarantee that they will run the administrative side of things. We are very low on leaders currently and could do with a few more people who would be willing to lead a session once a month or so. In addition, we need someone who would be willing to take over the overall lead role, liaising with parents and leaders, planning rotas, organising Sunday school resources etc. Could you fulfil either of these roles? You don’t need to have Sunday school age children, or indeed any children. For more information, see Lex or email lex.bradley@hotmail.co.uk

 

Pancakes will be the order of the afternoon at this month's Third Sunday Service. We'll be exploring how pancakes enable us to prepare for the season of Lent, we'll go pancake racing, and, of course, we'll be enjoying pancakes - accompanied by plenty of things, savoury and sweet - at our TSS tea afterwards. So, whether you're experienced at tossing pancakes or not, it would be great to see you at St Peter's on Sunday 19th February at the new TSS time of 4pm.

 

OFFICE HOURS The office will not be open regular hours during February. Please call before you come in. Thank you.

 

THE CHILDREN'S SOCIETY Come and enjoy our COFFEE MORNING at the Court House on SATURDAY, 4th MARCH, 9.30am - 12noon Delicious home made cakes, fragrant coffee. Raffle

 

Winter Talk 2 The Cowper Society present 'The Church of the Air' a talk by the Revd Simon Vivian, former BBC Religion and Ethics Producer on Monday 27th February at 8.00pm in the Court House. All welcome - retiring collection

 

The Craft Group of the Hospice of St Francis, by kind permission, are having a craft stall in the Courthouse on the fourth Saturday of the month. This month it is 25th February.

Come and enjoy a cup of coffee and piece of cake while browsing (and buying) from the craft stall, thus supporting the church and the Hospice at the same time! See you there!

 


 

MEETING THIS WEEK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastoral Network

 

Philippa Seldon 871534

7:45pm in the Court House

Mon 20 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers' Union

 

Margaret Burbidge tel: 862139

Making Memory Books, for MU diocesan hospital project at 2.30pm at 17 Hall Park

Tues 21 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

Julian Meeting

 

Ruth T-B 863268

Meet for about half an hour of quiet prayer. All are welcome. 3 Sherwood Mews, Park Street 11:30am

Wed 22 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

Little Fishes

 

Tracy Robinson 863559

Fridays in term time: 9:30-11:15am Court House. With today: The hole in the roof

Fri 24 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

PEW LEAFLET notices copy-ready & rota swaps by 2pm Wednesday please

 

CONTACT US

 

 

Fr Tim Pilkington

Rector (day off Friday) 01442 879739

rector@greatberkhamsted.org.uk

Fr Simon Vivian

Assistant Curate (day off Thursday) 01442 864199

curate@greatberkhamsted.org.uk

Fr John Russell

Team Vicar (Gt Gaddesden, Lt Gaddesden, Nettleden)

john_russell@live.co.uk

Revd Penny Nash

Team Vicar (Potten End and Youth Minister)

vicar@holytrinitypottenend.org.uk

Parish Office

Hilary Armstrong and Kate Perera 01442 878227

churchoffice@greatberkhamsted.org.uk