Keep in Touch: 17th May 2020

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17th May 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have often lost track of which day is which, and what week we are in, however my diary tells me that next Thursday – being forty days after we celebrated Easter - is Ascension Day. A day that can sometimes become lost in the church calendar, but which to me is as important as Christmas or Easter. It is a fundamental tenet of our faith (we say in the creeds) that as well as being raise do to life on the third day, Christ ascended to heaven, and is seated at the Father’s right hand on high. There He intercedes with the Father on our behalf. We do not need to say prayers through anyone else, since we have Jesus doing it for us. And it is most appropriate to have the period from Ascension to Pentecost given over especially to intercede for the Church and the world.

In the last few years, we have called that 11 day period ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. Usually at Holy Trinity, we have set up prayer stations in the church building, where we have also held daily prayer services, we have joined with other Christians in the area for times of prayer and worship. Since having to lockdown this year, it will be rather different. Those of you able to access the internet can join us for daily prayer at 5pm (you should have received an email, but if you have not and would like to join us, please just contact me).



God is not locked down. No walls or masks or locked doors prevent God getting through. Prayer does not need a particular building. Prayer does not need the internet or any technology to work. We can pray sitting, standing, kneeling, lying. We do not have to be at a particular pew, or in a particular position, or with particular people to be able to pray. So, this is something we can all do in our homes, at any time, whatever our circumstances.

What shall I pray for? Well, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. You can talk to Him like to anybody. And as Jesus said in our Gospel passage set for today, the Holy Spirit will live with you and abide in you, and nudge you inwardly to know what He wants you to pray for. And specifically, we are encouraged during Thy Kingdom Come to pray for five. Pray for five people you know, who you long to grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in who your five should be. Find a piece of card, or a piece of paper, and write those 5 names down. Keep it as a reminder – maybe a bookmark – to remind you to pray for them. Some people find it helpful to make a bracelet (perhaps out of wool or string) and to put five knots in it. Then, if you are wearing that bracelet, you can feel those knots as a prompt to pray for your five.

You may find this prayer helpful:
God of life and love,
whose Son was victorious over sin and death,
make us alive with his life,
that the whole world may resound
with your praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


Tina Upton


READINGS for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 17: 22-31, Psalm 66: 7-18, 1 Peter 3: 13-22, John 14: 15-21

Readings available to read online (New Revised Standard Version - NRSV)


NOTICES
Holy Trinity Blacon are the living church of our living God, and we continue to be at work here! If you are able, do check the parish website www.holytrinityblacon.org (especially the Coronavirus Support page) or our Facebook page (holytrinityblacon) for updates. We will put further worship and prayer up there each Sunday morning by 10am.

THY KINGDOM COME
is a period from Ascension to Pentecost (21st to 31st May) when we focus especially on praying for our church and nation. Do join us each evening in prayer – how about putting a candle in the window daily as well as on Sunday evenings? Resources to help at this time can be found here.

DAILY HOPE
is a free phone line for hymns, prayers and reflections – 0800 804 8044

BISHOP OF CHESTER
Downing Street have announced that Rt Rev Mark Tanner is to be the next Bishop of Chester. He is currently Suffragan Bishop of Berwick in Newcastle Diocese. Please pray for him and his wife Lindsey as they prepare to move.

DONATIONS WANTED
of children’s games or books. Please bring to church hall on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday mornings if possible.

FOR THOSE IN NEED
Holy Trinity Church Hall is open on a Monday and Thursday morning from 11:00am to 12:00 noon for families and individuals to come and collect food, and Western Avenue Surgery, Community Shop on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 2:00pm – 3:00pm for families and individuals to come and collect food. We are also offering a delivery service for people who are confined to their houses and have no one else to collect or get the food for them. Form online to register for this, on the front page of our website www.holytrinityblacon.org For more information, please contact 07719 960541 or email Blacon Beacon.

HELPLINES
Cheshire West and Chester council have a helpline to advise or support vulnerable adults who need assistance with food, medicines or social contact (open 8am to 7pm everyday) call 0300 123 7031 or email enquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
We would love to hear from you! Do share with us any photos, poems, verses, pictures, songs, reflections, to keep in touch and encourage the rest of us.