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Your daily bible quotation
From our Vicar, Fr Bernard
Greetings to all, and as usual the Cross and Crown for this coming week is on our website www.StBarnabasLinslade.uk
There are quite a few notices to draw to your attention this week, so please bear with me while I go through them all, in some kind of order!
Firstly, Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent, so we will have our Lent Lunch after the 10 am Eucharist. The aim of this, of course, is to raise money for the three charities we are supporting this year: Kids Out, Leighton-Linslade Helpers, and the Rukungiri Orphan Partnership. Even if you can't come to the lunch, please do think about giving a donation to support their work.
This week is half term, so I will be on leave. This means that the Church will not be open this week, except for the Eucharist at 10 am on Thursday, which will be celebrated by Rev'd Wyn. Next Sunday, the 25th, I will also be away. This means that there will NOT be an 8 am service NEXT WEEK. The 10 am Eucharist next week will be celebrated by Fr Paul Nicholson, who will also preach. He has recently retired to Linslade, so please make him welcome!
The Jumble Sale is charging towards us! It will be on Saturday the 2nd of March at 2 pm in the Hall. On that day, there will be Morning Prayer and a Eucharist at St Mary's from 9 am. However, the usual working party at St Mary's on the first Saturday of the month has been moved to the 9th of March because of the Jumble Sale. Although the Hall doors open for the Jumble Sale at 2 pm, help will be needed from 10 am to set up please, and again from 3 pm to put everything away. We also need jumble to sell, but we cannot accept any electrical items.
Then, on Saturday the 9th of March, as well as the St Mary's working party at 10 am (weather permitting), help will also be needed to make Mothering Sunday bouquets. Last year, we met in the Saunders Room at 2 pm. Please come along again - but I have a wedding at 2 pm! So I am hoping there will be enough volunteers without me, if I provide the foliage! On the same day, at 5:30 pm the Film Club will show ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ in the Hall.
Lastly, in terms of notices, on Sunday 17th March the Linsdale Singers ‘Concert and Cakes’ event is in Church at 3:30 pm. The choir will give an hour-long afternoon concert of mainly unaccompanied choral music that follows the events of Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday, followed by tea & cakes in the church hall, with proceeds going to the church. Concert tickets: £10 (under 17s free) – available at the door or in advance from the Linsdale Singers website.
Since we are now in Lent, our website has a Lent order of service as well as the Cross and Crown. This is the order of service you will need for the next three weeks, and also for Lent 5. It is the same service as we have used for a few years now, and reflects (I hope) the more penitential air of this season. Penitence, of course, means 'regret'. When we are penitent, we are sorry for something. And specifically, what we are sorry about in Lent, is the same thing we are sorry about every Sunday: that is, our sins! What makes Lent different is the fact that we are encouraged to reflect on our sins more deeply, not in order to make us miserable or depressed, but to make us more honest, and ultimately, more hopeful!
I say this because although it is on the face of it depressing and morbid to be reminded continually of one's sinfulness, actually there is a great relief about it, when we realise that absolutely none of this is news to God, and none of it makes Him love us any less! God knows how sinful, and often hopeless, we are, better than we do ourselves. And sometimes we commit our greatest sins when we forget our own fallibility. History is full of examples of great atrocities committed by people who were sure they were right and had God on their side, and who had forgotten how easily we deceive ourselves, and how much we should mistrust and reexamine our own instincts. Being reminded of our sins makes us more clear-sighted and realistic about ourselves, and it also reinforces the unbelievable depths of God's love for us, sinners as we are, and as He knows us to be.
As St Paul puts it: "Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man - though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us". Being honest about our sins and shortcomings simply brings home the extent of how much God loves us, which does not depend on what we deserve, but on what He desires. So you see: even Lent can be optimistic!
Have a good half term!
The Rev'd Dr B Minton
Team Vicar of Linslade
Ouzel Valley Team