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The Parish of

St. Peter,

Bushey Heath

May 2017

 

From the vicar

 

Amongst other things the Easter message is about healing. Quite rightly that is one of the joys of the season. The resurrection of our Lord means that our humanity is restored with all the sordid accretions of past years taken away.

 

The New Testament writers, especially St. Paul, teach about the putting off of the old and the putting on of the new as a means of understanding the Easter event and our resultant joyful condition.

 

‘But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’                                                (Ephesians 4: 20-23)

‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’           (Colossians 3: 8-11)

 

The ability to do this comes from the saving sacrifice which Christ has made upon the cross blotting out the sins of the past. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews writes at length about sacrifice and priesthood,

‘For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.’                          (Hebrews 9: 13-15)

 

Preachers have used many images to illustrate these truths. The one I used at Easter was that of a slate being wiped clean, but it is only an adequate analogy if it is recognised that it does not mean simply being ‘as you were.’ The cross is much more than a remedial action or even a renewal. If the image of the slate is a good one then we should decide what needs to be written upon it. If we are responsible for what is written or drawn on the slate then it cannot simply be scribbling even if our markings represent our good intentions and reflect the perplexity we sometimes feel about living and sharing the Christian faith in the present century.

 

As we sit down with our slates we need to set a Godly agenda for worship, prayer and service. This exercise can only be effective in the presence of God – in the power of the Spirit. Only then will our intentions reflect the characteristics of the Kingdom of God to which we aspire.

 

Another aspect of the task is the need to allow God to guide your eye and hand as you work with the chalk. This should not exclude our own thoughts and ideas and at the least there will be a balance between our own work and God’s. When this works it will be evident that our work – words or pictures – is infused with the intentions of God. That is how it is with the scriptures and it is something we see in the writings and works of the saints – God and man working in harmony.

 

The task is not an easy one to achieve without help and today’s church is not strengthened by holy societies in the way it was and religious orders – once the backbone of spiritual direction are hard to find. Ask for help even so, and it will be given to you. Your slate is washed clean, your salvation wrought at a terrible cost.

 

PRAYER FOCUS

Pray for those who are persecuted for their faith, that all Christians may be free to worship and proclaim that the Lord is risen.

 

 

From the registers –

 

Funeral

20th April                     Philip Kirby (aged 95 years)

 

Weddings

8th April                       Keiron Rowe and Dayner Fagan

22nd April                    George Windsor and Lucy Duncombe

 

From the diary…

 

St Peter’s Spring Fair and Plant Sale

Saturday, 6th May from 2 to 4pm in the Parish Hall.

 

Delicious cream teas, a plant stall, a cake stall, and a raffle together with toys and games.

If you would like to be involved and/or can help on the day please speak to Anne Swerling.

 

This year the Spring Fair will be the major fundraising exercise for the benefit of the charities which we support regularly at St. Peter’s, especially those working with the persecuted and the disadvantaged.

Please do your best to support the event in whatever way you can.

 

Wednesday 10th May, 10.00am                        MU Corporate Communion

Wednesday 17th May, 8.00pm             PCC meeting in the Parish Hall

 

The Ascension of the Lord

 

Thursday 25th May

8.00pm Mass with hymns (Book of Common Prayer)

 

Friday 26th May for nine days              ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ Prayer for the Conversion of England

                                                                        resources for private prayer will be available shortly

Wednesday 31st May, 10.00am                        Mass (Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

 

Thursday 1st June, 8.00pm

Holy Hour for the conversion of England

 with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

 

Part of the Archbishops’ ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative

 

Saturday 10th June, 7.00pm                 North London Military Wives Choir in concert at St. Peter’s

                                                                        full details to follow

 

Songs of Praise

Work has begun to plan a ‘Songs of Praise’ service at St. Peter’s on Sunday 9th July at 6.30pm. The theme of the service is ‘faith, hope and love’ to include favourite hymns, readings and personal contributions based on the cardinal virtues. If you would like to choose a hymn and talk to the congregation about one of the virtues and how it has been significant in your life please speak to Father Andrew.

 

The Parish of St. Saviour, Luton

The Ascension of Our Lord

Patronal Festival, Saturday 27th May at 12 noon

Messe Breve in C – Charles F. Gounod

Preacher: Father Guy Scott, Vicar of Biggleswade

 

Contact details:

Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.

Churchwardens: Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).

 

Text a prayer request to our Prayer Line on 07939 379018. Private prayer will be offered for 2 weeks.

www.stpeterbusheyheath.org.uk