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Newsletter - Easter 3

14/4/24

Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team

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Services this week


Sun 14 April

11am - Confirmations at Ven Bede (no other services in the team)


Thurs 18 April

11am - Ven Bede Holy Communion


Sun 21 April

9.30am - St John's Holy Communion

9.45am - St Margaret's Holy Communion

11am - Hub service moves to St James (Parish Eucharist)


 

Dates for your Diary

Thurs 18 April

7pm - Standing committee (online)


Sun 21 April

11am - Hub service moves to St James

Thurs 2 May

7pm - PCC


Sun 19 May

11am - Pentecost Team service followed by Annual Meeting (APCM) at St James'

 

News


Confirmations this Sunday with bring and share lunch


At 11am this Sunday (14th April) there will be 14 people being confirmed Bishop Helen-Ann at the Venerable Bede.


Afterwards we will celebrate with them with a bring and share lunch, so if you can, bring a dish to share!


 

Don't forget! The Hub service moves to St James next Sunday


The 11am hub service will be at St James from Sunday 21st April and will remain there during the warmer months (until about October).





 

Bishop Helen-Ann becomes patron of the Foodbank


It is fitting that the week Bishop Helen-Ann is with us is also the week she became patron of our own Newcastle Foodbank!


She says about the appointment: “I hope that in my role as a patron I will be able to use this platform as Bishop of Newcastle and as a Lords Spiritual to highlight the many systemic issues of injustice that make the foodbank a necessity of daily life for so many people.

“I hope also to be able to shine a light of hope on the stories of community and kindness that I see. The foodbank itself was started by the Church and it is rightly proud of its origins, something that my invitation to become a patron connects with in a way that I find deeply inspiring. It is a great honour indeed.”


 

Dentaid Dental Bus at St James

The Dentaid dental bus was based at St James' this week offering free dental care to members of the local community who struggle to access treatment.


People have been seen for a range of procedures, from childhood consultations to full dental extractions.


The BBC were also on hand documenting the initiative, you can read about it here:


or listen here:









 

Embrace - Gaza appeal


The people of Gaza are living through an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Israel’s response has led to indiscriminate civilian suffering, with residents forced to move from place to place in search of safety. Food and medical supplies have all but run out; water, electricity, and fuel have been cut off.

The people of Gaza were already on their knees with 80% of residents reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. Please, can you make a donation into help in their hour of need?

You can donate online, by clicking below, or by calling 01494 897950. Your gift will support Embrace’s Christian partners in the immediate aftermath of this humanitarian crisis and to help to heal the wounds it’s caused across Israel – Palestine.





 

Sunday Worship



Sunday 14th April 2024

3rd Sunday of Easter

White/Gold


Collect

Almighty Father,

who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord:

give us such knowledge of his presence with us,

that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life

and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


or

Risen Christ,

you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:

strengthen us to proclaim your risen life

and fill us with your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.



Readings


Acts 3.12–19

 

  12When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.


17 ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,

 

This is the word of the Lord.

All:  Thanks be to God.



Gospel Reading


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

All:  Glory to you, O Lord.


Luke 24.36b–48


36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.


44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.

 

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:  Praise to you, O Christ.



Post Communion

Living God,

your Son made himself known to his disciples

in the breaking of bread:

open the eyes of our faith,

that we may see him in all his redeeming work;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.



Intercessions


Prayers for others:

  • Malcolm Smith

  • Paulette Thompson

  • John Peterson

  • Cecil Harlock

  • Maria Hawthorn

  • Herbert Agbeko

  • Ellis Nelson

  • Pauline Nelson

  • Michelle Wilson

  • Peter Wilson

  • Alan Taylor

  • Maureen Taylor

  • Irene Foskett

  • Lorraine Atkinson

  • Pat Law

  • Moe and Mary

  • Hilary Dixon

  • Lynn Mosby

  • David Veitch


Rest in peace

  • Val Smith

  • Gordon White


Those being confirmed

  • Masoud Allahdoosti

  • Gelarah Heidarisafa

  • Matthew Ijefiya Omorogbe

  • Francis Ijefiya Omorogbe

  • Farideh Kahkesh Pour

  • Parsa Kavosh

  • Pooya Kavosh

  • Dervla Keller

  • Majid Joghan Okhravi

  • Sarah Meighan

  • Idris Olanrwaju Moshood

  • Destiny Moshood

  • Hamid Nazari

  • Maryam Pirzadeh  


Other

  • The ongoing situation in Russia, Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan and all other places at war.


If you would like to add someone to the prayer list please email church@benwellscotswood.com

The name will stay on the list for 1 month unless requested to be long-term.



 

Sermon

Luke 24.36b-48

 

In our Gospel reading, the disciples have seen and known Jesus, but they have also seen and known that he was crucified. But then there have been these rumours that his body disappeared from the tomb, but more than that, that he had been seen, alive. But they would never believe it unless they saw him with their own eyes.  And so, enter stage left: Jesus. Not surprisingly, the disciples are (we are told), ‘startled and terrified, and though that they were seeing a ghost’.

 

I don’t know about you, but I would have been with them on that!

*

 

Just like the story of Thomas who doubted, that we heard last week, here Jesus shows the disciples his hands and his feet, but he does more than this: he eats some fish! 

Undeniable proof that Jesus’ resurrection is real – he wasn’t a ghost, he was who he had been, the same person that walked and talked with the disciples, and yet…Luke gives us a hint that while the same, Jesus was also somehow different: he suddenly appeared with his disciples. The same, but different. And herein lies the mystery of the resurrection.

*

The resurrected Jesus is not just a feeling that he is with us, it is, as one commentator points out, ‘much more precise and purposeful than that.’ Immediately after this episode in Luke, we have the ascension. But of course we are a few weeks away from that; like the disciples we are wrestling with the reality of the resurrection, while realising that as time has gone by, we are more than 2000 years from the event.

*

There is a sense however, that we are included in the story still, because Luke in giving us a summary of the teaching contained in his Gospel in the final verses of his Gospel that we have just listened to, is telling us that the message of Jesus is both a journey, and an invitation to a journey, ‘starting from Jerusalem.’ It never loses touch with its roots, but as Acts tells us (and remember that the author of Luke also wrote Acts) ‘proceeds to the ends of the earth.’

*

In his book 'Touching the Void', Joe Simpson tells the story of an incredible and harrowing journey when he and his friend Simon Yates went climbing in the Peruvian Andes. The story was made into a film some years ago. Joe slipped down an ice-cliff and landed awkwardly, breaking his right leg. Simon lowered Joe off a ridge by tying two 150-foot lengths of rope together to make one 300-foot rope. Conditions were getting worse on the mountain, and being unable to see, Simon by mistake lowered Joe off a cliff. Because the pair were tied together, they would both be pulled to their deaths.  Simon made the decision to cut the rope to save his own life. Simon, wracked with guilt and grief returned to camp, mourning the loss of his friend.

*

Joe, however, was still alive. He spent three days without food and almost no water, crawling and hopping five miles back to their base camp. He made it back, and the two were reconciled. Not surprisingly, Joe could scarcely believe that it really was Simon; in fact he thought Simon was a ghost; but it soon became apparent, that Simon was real, he was alive. Not quite a resurrection, but a journey from the brink of death to new life. I think it’s fair to say that neither of them were ever the same again. 

*

I heard Joe speak at an event some years ago and remember being amazed at his calmness and humility; clearly affected still by what had happened, he described his love of climbing and exploration with a deep sense of awe at our created world.

 

The love that will not let us go. That is the message of the resurrection.

*

This morning we celebrate the decision of those who come to be confirmed. Each embarking upon a transition in their lives to a more purposeful walk with God.  

 

In so doing they join a line of tradition, of countless women and men who have offered their lives to the call of God; they become part of a greater story that reaches back down the generations, and which we pray, God willing, will reach on into the yet unknown future; the story that proceeds to the end of the earth, and beyond. 

*

At this point of in-between resurrection and ascension, we are caught by the embrace of God, and yet ask the question 'what does it mean’ and maybe even ‘why me?’ at every turn; we are reminded that we are a pilgrim people, and in Christ we move together.

In the words of the poet, Glenn Colquhoun:

 

The art of walking upright here

is the art of using both feet.

 

One is for holding on.

One is for letting go...

*

Jesus’ resurrected body was not for holding on to, it was for letting go so that we might begin our more intentional and purposeful walk of discipleship. We do that today, and with those who come for Confirmation we give glory to God for the wonders of his call on our lives, in sorrow and in joy, in praise and in lament. Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever.

*

Amen.

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