Parish News


News Bulletin for 10 September 13th Sunday of Trinity



Volume 7, Number 42 Friday 8th September 2017

From Fr Simon

 

As a wet-behind-the ears priest and with an L-plate still on my back, our first reading this Sunday, from the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, makes me decidedly nervous.

That's because it might suggest that: if I try to soften the blow, for contemporary ears, of the full weight of God's word and, as a result, some of His flock don't understand the importance of heeding His message, "their blood I will require at your hand". Therefore the prospect of me being held to account by St Peter at the pearly gates for such a situation is, for me, a rather chilling thought.

Of course, it can, at times, be very tempting to pull one's punches - to make the message a little more cosy. But, in reality and in the long-run, it's not going to help anyone; it's surely true that the way forward - both in life and in faith - can only be mapped out for all parties - and that includes God - if all the facts are on the table.

Over the past week, whilst many parts of the world have been dealing with the results of catastrophic flooding and damage caused by extreme weather patterns, the United Nations has once again been grappling with the situation following North Korea's latest nuclear missile test. Like so many other conflicts around our world today, we seem to be quite a distance from any sort of reconciliation; not least because the main protagonists don't, at face value, seem to be engaged in any sort of meaningful and productive dialogue. They instead seem to be locked in a potentially dangerous zero-sum game.

As the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission showed, it's only when the representatives of all sides of an issue - be it at an international or personal level - sit down and talk with honesty that tentative progress can be made. As we'll hear in this Sunday's gospel reading, the laying out of all the facts shouldn't be avoided for fear of insulting anyone; it's only after all the facts have been confronted that conflict - actual or potential - can hopefully be avoided.

And that's as true at the various levels of the Church's structure as anywhere else. The General Synod's process, for example, known as 'Shared Conversation' has, in recent years, created a safe space for individuals on Synod to explore and confront differences and disagreement around difficult issues so that, eventually, the integrity of opinions and perspectives might be better understood and respected by all - even if those differences of opinion remain.

The aim of such confrontation of the issues shouldn't, of course, be vindictive and territory-building; too often we see individuals and groups lured into the easy option of simply standing fast with those they agree with, lobbing metaphorical or, in the case of numerous war zones, actual grenades at the opposite party, and refusing, because of pride, ambition or fear, to find mutual points of agreement.

To find a positive way forward, all confrontation must be approached with a spirit of expected reconciliation, with each party seeking aspects of their opposition's stance that are held in common. Only then can bridges between the parties begin to be built. Reconciliation, though, is never easy - and that's without even taking into account the frequently most elusive but necessary aspect of reconciliation: forgiveness.

Of course, it's not just with one another - inside or outside the church - that we might need to be aware of the need for reconciliation. We need to be aware of the need to ensure we are reconciled to God. To do that, we need to engage honestly with the gospel message of love, grace, forgiveness, justice and peace, and to take seriously this Sunday's psalm asking the Lord to "Teach me... the way of your statutes", with the promise that we each "shall keep it to the end".

Yours in Christ

Fr. Simon

 

SUNDAY’S SERVICES:

8:00am Eucharist Pr Fr Tim Pilkington
9:30am Sung Eucharist Pr Fr Tim Pilkington

6:00pm Evening Prayer Lex Bradley

 

First Reading Ezekiel 33:7-11

The word of the Lord came to me: So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked ones, you shall surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life. Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: ‘Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

 

Gospel Matthew 18:15-20

Jesus spoke to his disciples. ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERCESSIONS

 

 

 

+ Alan, Bp of St Albans +Justin, Archbishop

The Seychelles (Indian Ocean) & Bishop James Richard Wong Yin Song

 

 

 

Sick & Bereaved

 

 

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

Omid Tatiae, Margaret Taylor, Len Bennett, Priscilla Watt, Matthew Baynes, priest.

and immediate: Diane Luckraft, Gordon Hufford, Mary Smith

 

 

 

RIP

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial

 

Olive Savigo, Kay Anderson,

 

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

HARVEST THANKSGIVING TAIZ SERVICE: Sunday 17 September 2017, 6.00 pm St Mary’s Church, High Street, Northchurch. A quiet meditation service with chants and silence to give thanksgiving for the harvest. Tea/coffee and cake to be served afterwards. All welcome.

 

All Saints’ Church, Berkhamsted is seeking a part-time administrative assistant, 10 hours per week, £10 per hour. Experience of working in a similar role essential. For further details and an application form please contact: Malcolm Lindo on 01442 866714 or malcolm.lindo @ yahoo.co.uk

Closing date for applications: 29th September 2017. Interviews expected to be held in week of 9th October 2017.

 

HOLD THE DATE! The 2017 St Peter's Safari Supper will be on Saturday 14 October at 7:30pm. There will be more details and a chance to sign up next week.

 

Today, Sunday 10 September, 2:00 – 5:30pm: an opportunity to learn about the PLANS FOR THE CEMETERY now that a capital grant of £1 million from the lottery has been confirmed. See the progress of the project in the last 2 years and voice opinion on the Master Plan for this beautiful, previously neglected peaceful open space. Try self-guided tours throughout the afternoon with volunteers on hand to describe the proposed enhancements.

 

PEOPLE NOT BORDERS would like to thank everyone who supported Refugee Week and enabled them to help equip and furnish a school on Lesvos. Now autumn is here and with it 'I am me': the fundraising picture book, the multi-media touring exhibition and the competition. The exhibition, exploring creatively what it means to be a refugee, begins at Open Door 12th - 16th Sept. The book is available from the Way Inn Bookshop, Caf Epicure and White Mint at £10. All profits will fund projects with young refugees.

 

CHILDREN'S SOCIETY BOX COLLECTION - Please bring your box to the 9.30am Eucharist on Sunday 17 September or any of the following Sundays in September for Kathie Lally to empty. If you come to the 8am service please leave your box with the sidesman. If you need Kathie to visit you to empty the box please email her at kathleenlally21@gmail.com

 

 

Saturday 23rd September

4.30pm Handel and the Foundlings

Including the Foundling Anthem

Oktoberfest and Chorus

at Ashlyns School Chapel

 

7:30pm German Wine Tasting

led by WSET tutor, Mike Eggleton

at The Court House

Singers needed! To join the Oktoberfest choir please contact Jon Lee or the parish office.

 

 

Tickets available soon!

Sunday 24th September

9:30am Parish Sung Eucharist including Buxtehude Cantata

St Peter’s Church

 

11:00am Bavarian Breakfast

Sausages, beer and music

Outside St Peter’s Church

 

 

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

 

 

MEETING THIS WEEK

 

Sundays Together Lunch

 

Carolynne Charman

869003

12:30pm in the Court House. For anyone on their own on a Sunday.

Sun 3 Sept

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Club

 

Rosslyn Laidler

879992

7:30pm Court House. (No meeting in August)

Tues 5 Sept

 

 

 

 

 

Little Fishes

 

Tracy Robinson 863559

Fridays in term time: 9:30-11:30am Court House.

Fr 8 Sept

 

 

 

 

 

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 (Mon-Fri 9.30 -12)

01442 878227

churchoffice@greatberkhamsted.org.uk