UNFORTUNATELY, DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS AND FOLLOWING THE GUIDANCE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, ALL OUR SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. WE TRULY REGRET THIS, BUT IN THE CUIRRENT CIRCUMSTANCES IS DOES MAKE SENSE.
Now, however, the Church has to be closed completely in spite of the fact that we hoped to be able to open for an hour each morning.
Sadly that is no longer possible because of the latest update of the government restrictions that are now placed upon us.
Worship material is available on the diocesan website, www.rochester.anglican.org
A MESSAGE FROM THE REVD. LIZ COX
Sunday 29th March – 5th Sunday of Lent – Passiontide begins.
HOPE AND LOVE
Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14
Romans 8: 6 – 11
John 11: 1 – 45
There are many rainbows around at the moment, a growing movement of a symbol of hope. The symbol given by God to Noah after the flood.
We are a people of hope – we know we are not alone in this, but it can be difficult to maintain that hope when things are going wrong, when the whole world seems to be in free fall, and the people we would turn to for a handshake, a hug or just a touch on the arm are not there – They must be at least 2 meters away. I personally like to know what is going to happen, I like to plan my days, even if they are busy, to know where I will be and what will be expected of me. Now there is no plan, we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We do not know when we will be able to pick up our normal lives or what those lives will look like when we do. Living with uncertainty is difficult.
Our readings offer us hope, the seemingly impossible becomes possible with God. In Ezekiel God calls to those lost I will put my spirit within you and you shall live. Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Ordinarily there would have been a smell, a decaying body. But Jesus commands he come out and live. At moments of utter desolation we see the dawning of God’s new creation.
If we were together this Sunday we would be beginning passiontide. It would have been our first united service together and we would have had our Lent lunch in aid of Wateraid. We will still be turning towards the most reflective, quietest and frankly the darkest part of the Church’s year. We look to the celebration of Palm Sunday when crowds seem to understand Jesus as their Messiah and worshipped him, but also we look forward to the shadow of the Cross.
We consider how great a price Jesus paid for us – his journey through these weeks must have had uncertainty and sometimes doubt – he cried out to God in the garden of Gethsemane. He was fully human and therefor knows every emotion and experience we go through. He is with us now and knows how we are feeling. Even when we are isolated and alone we are not.
Instead of what we had planned Phil and I will celebrate the communion at 10am in our dining room, with my parish lists on the table so you can all be with us in Spirit. We will celebrate and give thanks for what we do have. We are so much better off than some of our neighbours who have nowhere to exercise or in countries where there is no medical support. Be with us at this time, and if you are able to go online and donate a little to Wateraid please do so.
Services at St Mary Magdalene Church
8.00 am Holy Communion (said) - First Sunday of each month.
10.00 am Family Service (non-Eucharistic) - First Sunday of each month.
10.00 am Parish Communion - All other Sundays of each month.
Children of all ages are very welcome to this service. There is a 'Beacon Club' for children 5 years and upwards to encourage their spiritual deveopment. All the leaders and helpers are DBS checked. There is also a Children's Corner with play and artwork material to keep children of all ages amused along with books explaining the Holy Communion Service.
Quarterly, in January, April, July and October, we will have a special service of Holy Communion devoted to the Wholeness and Healing Ministry at 10.00 am. On some of these occasions we will invite guest preachers who have particular gifts or insights into the Healing Ministry. (See Special Services, below.)
Holy Baptism - On Second Sunday of each month, time by arrangement with the families. Please contact The Revd. Liz Cox to make arrangements for a baptism.
8.30 am Morning Prayer - Monday to Friday
10.00 am Holy Communion - Wednesday
All our Communion Services are according to Common Worship.
(Details of special services will be shown here when appropriate).
Our next quarterly Service of Wholeness & Healing will take place at 10.00am on Sunday 26 April 2020
Baptisms, Banns & Marriages:
Arrangements for Baptisms, Banns and Marriages should be made with our Priest-in-Charge, The Revd. Liz Cox, direct on 01634 321546 for an initial chat or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (If you phone and get no answer, please leave a simple message giving you phone number clearly and Liz will get back to you as soon as possible)