Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lent, Children's Church, and The Argus

Dear Friends

Our Lenten journey has begun! In the words of Neil Paynter, "Lent is ... a time for self-appraisal ... It requires a healthy realism about ourselves, so that we can face up to and accept responsibility for our mistakes and shortcomings, and realism about the nature and purposes of God, so that we recognise the reality of judgement (which is happening now in the consequences we bear for our decisions and choices) and the hope of grace."

During Lent there will be a few changes in the context of our worship: we will be using parts of the Litany (APB'89 pg 73) and reminding ourselves of the 10 Commandments, along with a starker Church (no flowers!), and a move from an altar dressed in green to an altar dressed in purple. The changes are there to help us realise we are in a different season of worship (a bit like the leaves falling from the trees remind us that autumn is here and winter is on the way), and that we need to be open to God speaking to us differently.An important note for parents: we will be including our children in the first part of our service at 09:00. Children are encouraged to sit with their parents and participate in the introduction and penitence. I will then call them up for a brief reflection on some aspect of Lent and a child-orientated praise song, where after they will go out to Children's Church classes, and we will continue with the readings. So please gather in Church with your children at 09:00 and not in the Hall.

Apart from this Sunday being the first in Lent, it is also The Argus! I am aware that we have some keen cyclists at St Andrew's who will be participating in the race or as  supporters. We wish you well! And invite you to join us at our evening service, which this week is an informal evening prayer.

Blessings
Mark

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