Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team
Dates for your diary
Mon 1st - Fri 5th Aug 2022
10am - 2pm, St Margaret's
Sat 6th Aug 2022
7pm, St John's
Sun 7th Aug 2022
11am, St James
Holiday Club celebration service (no other services in the team this week)
Services this week
Sunday 31st Jul
9.45 at St John's - Holy Communion
11am at St James - Hub Service (Patronal festival)
4pm at St Margaret's - Evening worship
For a full list of upcoming services please see here >
Holiday club - Mon 1 to Fri 5 August
at St Margaret Scotswood, NE15 6AR
This August you are invited to our free holiday club at St Margaret's! For ages 5-10 there will be crafts, games, activities, awesome stories from the Bible and more.
Monday 1st to Friday 5th August
10am to 2pm
Places will be on a first come first served basis.
Book a place here >
Summer BBQ next Sunday!
After the hub service at St James, NE15 6RS
Join us for our Holiday Club celebration service next Sunday followed by a BBQ!
The service will start at 11 and the BBQ will start from about 12.
Fellowship and dance night at St John's
7pm, Sat 6th Aug
A night of fellowship and fun. Homemade pies, cakes, buffet, raffle, line dancing, barn dance, and more!
'Something Wonderful' art exhibition
at St James, NE15 6RS
Throughout August come to the the exhibition of all the artists at the St James art club! They have made some incredible work over the past months.
'Something Wonderful' invited to the City Library!
Fresh off the back of their exhibition, the Something Wonderful group were invited to the City Library this weekend to take part in the 'Hadrian's wall 1900' events!
They built a wall out of rubbish and cardboard for other groups to decorate, to explore how we understand our local history now. It will eventually broken down to help us think about barriers in our communities.
Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
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.
Colossians 3.1–11 3So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.7These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.8But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Luke 12.13–21 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ 14But he said to him, ‘Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?’ 15And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ 16Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” 18Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’
By Revd David
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen
What are your plans for the future?
We all make plans I guess, but how far ahead do you mean? For this afternoon, the rest of the summer? Next year, next 5 years ? 20 years ?
The further ahead we look the more uncertainty there is, but the fact is the future is always uncertain? Even the next 5 minutes. I think I’ve learned that working with all the new technology in our services!
We were very pleased to have finally managed to get away and see our grandchildren in Japan and thank you to everyone for all your good wishes and support, as you may know it was only possible after many delays and changes of plan. Covid for all of us has been a great disrupter of plans but perhaps it has also an enabler helping us look to new things we might otherwise have missed.
There is a saying ‘if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans’ or another traditional phrase ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’
At PCC this week we had an update on plans for the parish and future patterns of ministry, something we have been working on for some time. The diocese has provided a consultant, Steve Forster, who has been helping us in our planning but we are not as far on as we might have hoped and still have some work to do. What is clear is that the Diocese are firmly committed to enabling Chris to stay with us for another three years as Mission Priest and he will be licensed to that role sometime soon, most probably in September. For the time being at least it has been agreed that I will continue to work full time, as will Dominic as we work through in what ways our jobs need to change and develop. Uncertainty doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take time and thought for planning, but it is reminder that we need to have some flexibility and the spirit in which we plan needs to be right.
The gospel reading today was all about planning for the future but in completely the wrong way. It carried a stern warning about where that will end. The man assumes that his good fortune will last forever and that his many possessions will grant him security. He can expand his barns, forget about care and strife and enjoy himself. Perhaps sometimes our planning looks a bit like that. I’ll make some money put by some cash and have a good time. So what’s wrong with that? Isn’t it natural, only human, to think that way? It’s certainly the way our society seems to encourage us to think. If you don’t believe it just take a look at daytime TV and all the adverts promoting exactly the eat, drink and be merry life style the man aspired to. But what was the end of the story, ‘that’s it’ ‘ your life is required of you’. Amid all the uncertainty the future holds, that is the one certainty, one day, one night just as for the man in the story so for us ‘your life is required of you.’
Planning is in part about common sense, realism and responsibility, but where is the realism in planning that ignores this basic truth. We don’t last forever, life on earth is time limited. But that is not the man’s real problem it is just that his plans are completely selfish. All he is concerned with is himself, his future, his happiness, but ‘no man is an island’, we are all connected. A man who has been as fortunate as he has could do so much for others ‘I will open my barns and give the surplus to the poor’ or ‘I will store up while I have plenty ready to help my neighbour in his day of need.’
‘Beware of covetousness’ says Jesus of a wanting for ourselves that ignores others, easy to say but harder to achieve. I wonder how many of our plans, spoken or unspoken, pass the generosity test? Fortunately, because He is generous, God doesn’t just tell us the way he shows it lives it and enables us to walk in it. That is what the epistle was all about. It starts with a surprise not one day you must die so set your minds on the right path now
But ‘ Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. ‘
‘you have died ‘ In some sense for those in Christ, those baptised and renewed in the power of the Spirit, the reckoning that death represents is not something to make us anxious for the future, but something already in the past. The old selfish man has been crucified with Christ and a new life is already being born in us. Look and see the signs of that new life
But there is more. When Christ who is yourlife is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
That is the future we should be planning for the glorious future when at the end of the road there will be no room for selfishness no need for any anxiety.
In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
May all our planning as individuals as families and especially as a church family be done with a generosity that will bring us to that end.
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Prayers for others:
Stan and Sonja
Moe and Mary
The Riches Family
Rest in Peace
Post Communion prayer
Lord God, whose Son is the true vine and the source of life,
ever giving himself that the world may live:
may we so receive within ourselves
the power of his death and passion
that, in his saving cup,
we may share his glory and be made perfect in his love;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.