I hope that Eastertide has been a time of refreshment and renewal for you all. I still remember the children who joined us for our Easter service, part of St. James’ Gospel Choir and for all the hard work of parents, Andrew and Emili, for which we are very grateful.
As the church calendar moves into the time of Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity. So, it is time to reflect on the Glory of the Risen Christ. These dates in the Church Calendar are there to remind us of the power and greatness of a God who leaves his spirit among us as counsellor and guide.
As Lilla Watson, an aboriginal woman in Australia explained to a well-intentioned person coming to help her, an outcast, “If you come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Our future as a parish is bound with becoming an inclusive church – relevant and real to the people we serve, bound with becoming an inclusive community – non-apologetic of the income generation in the Church Centre and community engagement through chaplaincy work and bound with sharing inclusive compassion – listening to the people living with dementia, young carers and standing in the gap with them…
Our Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to every serving priest expressing their “longing” to see a great wave of prayer across our land, throughout the Church of England and many other churches. They would like us to pray for the evangelisation of the nation during the week before Pentecost Sunday.
In answer to this call, St. James’ Church will be open between 10.30 – 12.30 and 14.30 – 16.30 Monday to Friday between 14th May – 18th May. We hope you will each be able to join us in an exciting week of prayer, in answer to God’s call for us all to bear witness, as true disciples of the risen Lord. At the heart of our prayers will be the Lord’s Prayer in the words of Jesus, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done.” We will be having prayer stations across the church which people can access and there will be short prayers offered at 10.30 and 15.00.
Later this year we will be having our annual Family Funday. On Sunday 10th June, the Family Fun day starts with a celebration service at 10.00 in church, followed by celebration meal in the Church Centre and a jam-packed afternoon for young families and children of fun, food and games! Please reserve your place at the Church office in Church Centre or call on 0121 308 0869. We do hope that our local community and local businesses will join us for a day of fun and celebration.
On the 20th May we will be welcoming a Christian Aid speaker, as we conclude Christian Aid week. We and Ian Broughton, our new Christian Aid co-ordinator, are very grateful to all the regular and new volunteers.
On 26th May 15.00pm till 17.00pm we will be having a Messy Church session, with the theme of Pentecost. Please come along and enjoy and have fun!
And later in the summer, we are planning our first Parish radical welcome Course, and discussing ways forward with small groups, SACRED (Simply a Chapter read each day) Bible sturdy, and an Alpha Course in September. Please continue to pray for us and members of the standing committee as we continue to discern God’s will with the Church Building redevelopment scheme.
Finally, as we approach the day of local elections, may I urge you to prayerfully consider all of the options (putting aside bickering amongst politicians) and consider what is best for the country and the future of our next generation…
“To God be the Glory, great things he has done.”
With love and prayers,
Revds. Daniel & Judith Ramble