Easter Sunday Service Pewsheet

The Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, Wingates

 

Sunday 12 April 2020

 


  

 

 

                                                           

 

 

                                                         TODAY’S SERVICES

 

All our churches are closed, in line with the Church of England and Government

coronavirus / Covid 19 guidelines.

 

The Church of England is producing a series of prayers and acts of worship for those unable to attend

church, available here

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-liturgy-and-prayer-resources.

The readings and collect and a sermon for today are below, which you can also use in the week ahead.

 

Jeremiah 31:1-6

“At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.

This is what the Lord says: “The people who survive the sword will find favour in the wilderness; I will

come to give rest to Israel.” The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an

everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel,

will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant

vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when

watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’”

 

Acts 10: 34-43

34 Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism 35 but accepts

from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the

people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know

what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached

 – 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good

and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 39 ‘We are witnesses of

everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,

40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the

people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from

the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed

as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him

receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

 

 

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the

stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple,

the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they

have put him!’ So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other

disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying

there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He

saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The

cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the

tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus

had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. 11 Now Mary stood

outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white,

seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, ‘Woman,

why are you crying?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’

14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus. 15 He

asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she

said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ 16 Jesus said to

her, ‘Mary.’ She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’). 17 Jesus

said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell

them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’ 18 Mary Magdalene went

to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Collect for Easter Day

God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill your Church with

faith and hope; for a new day has dawned and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Post Communion

God of Life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his

glorious resurrection have delivered us from the power of our enemy: grant us so to die daily to sin, that

we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

Do contact us if we can offer any help or support at this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Team Rector: Revd Carol Pharaoh 01942 859251 carol.pharaoh@gmail.com    

                                                                                  www.westhoughtonchurches.org.uk

Team Vicar: Revd Angela Wynne 01204 468150 –

 

 

In the joy of this Easter morning, let us pray to our Risen Lord, who loves us completely.  We pray that

the joy and conviction of Christians may be so radiant that all who are lost, weary and searching may

be directed towards your lasting, inner  peace.

 

 

 God our Father, you are the source of all health and healing, all strength and peace. Teach us to know

you more truly and trust you more firmly. Take from us all that hinders your healing power, all anxieties

and fears. Help us in our weakness to rest in your love and enter into the stillness of your presence;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

If you know someone who is ill at the moment, you might like to use this prayer on their behalf.

 

Prayer for Healing

 

Dear Lord Jesus, I know you are with me because I have your promise and I know that your word is true

By this prayer, I bring ….. into your presenceI know that your presence is a healing presence, for it always

was so and you are the same ‘yesterday, today and forever’.  I do not know exactly what will happen because

of this prayer, but I do know that no prayer goes unheard in your presence.  So have your holy and healing

way with…….  I bring him / her to you and leave him / her with you, in the conviction that where you are, there

too is the mighty creativity of the Father and the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.  Hold……close to yourself

and meet him / her  at his / her every point of need.  Make your own healing difference to him / her now, as I

offer this prayer in the strong name of the Holy Trinity.  Thank you Lord.

Amen

 

  

         The Kiss

Children came to him.

He chose as his friends

men who could not read or write.

Crowds jostled to catch sight of him.

Drifters and outcasts begged and followed,

stretched their understanding to catch his word.

All who had ears, heard.

 

Authority hated him,

baited him and labelled him a liar,

conspired to rid themselves of his truth.

His uncouth friends learned fear,

faced sneers, discrimination.

One, denied association with his name.

 

Together they shared a meal

and later in the garden, he wept.

Treachery crept closer.

He embraced his deceiver,

raised his face to receive the deadly lips.

Betrayer and betrayed confront the black abyss.

Condemned by a kiss.                                               

Sheila Clift

 

https://youtu.be/J3iisHknpyc

Homily for Easter Day

 

 

This is a graphic we used for a number of years as part of our Team Easter Experience, and it never

failed to cause a stir. Many of our children will already be familiar with it and already know what to do

but for those who don’t, here are the instructions.

 

Stare steadily at the 4 dots in the centre of the image for about 30 seconds, then close your eyes and

wait for an image to appear. Well, what did you see? Anything? Nothing? Most people will see a face;

some see it in black and white, some see it in colour. Personally, I see it in a sepia tone. Some people

cannot see it at all, try as they might, because our brains are all wired differently and react differently to

the same stimulus. Don’t worry, it’s not a competition or even a spiritual exercise, it’s only a bit of fun.

I never get tired of trying it, hoping the image will be clearer next time!

The question is, whose image do you think it might be?  Most people immediately say that it is Jesus

even though we have no idea what Jesus actually looks like. We would love it to be him!  

 

Just as some people have difficulty seeing the image on their inner eye, so many people have difficulty

seeing Jesus himself, until he speaks directly to them.

 

On Easter morning, Mary went to the tomb to grieve, to pay her respects at the first possible opportunity

after the Sabbath. When she saw that the stone had been rolled away she must have been horrified,

assuming that the body had been desecrated, and she immediately ran to bring Simon Peter and John to

investigate. They all found the tomb empty, the cloths that had  been wrapped  round the body lying on

the ground but no sign of Jesus  himself.  Greatly perturbed, the men returned to their lodgings, but Mary

lingered on, weeping disconsolately.

 

As a result, hers was the privilege of being the first to encounter the risen Jesus and yet, even face to

face with a man she knew and loved, she failed to see him properly, until he spoke to her.

 

It's interesting that in nearly every account of the post resurrection appearances of Jesus, he often wasn't

recognised immediately.  Not until he spoke to the individual and their hearts responded, taking over from

their disbelieving minds. 

 

And so it is with us. We may read the Bible stories and believe them, but until we encounter Jesus for

ourselves, until he speaks to our hearts, we fail to see him. Many people look for him in the wrong place. 

They look at the empty cross, at the empty tomb but he isn’t there. Jesus has left them behind. He has

triumphed over death. He is alive. He says to us all: Because I live, you also will live   John 14: 19

 

He is with us, wherever we are, whatever we face, through his Holy Spirit. He will be in our hearts, in our

everyday lives if we will allow him to be.   At this troubled time, we are all particularly in need of this

assurance, and the comfort that offers.

 

We are not alone. God himself is with us. Whatever happens, whatever we are called upon to bear,

he is there. He will be with us in all our trials. We have his word.

 

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not

be afraid, do not be discouraged Deuteronomy 31:8

 

 This virus is a dreadful scourge, but it is a natural event; this is not the first pandemic the world has known.

One day it will be over and everyday life will resume a more normal pattern. What I wonder will be our lasting

memories of this time?   There is much fear and much suffering, but there is also much to give us hope.

 

We can see the face of Jesus all around us – in the love and selflessness being shown by so many people. 

We see NHS staff at every level risking their own lives to relieve the suffering of others, as well as the care

staff in our nursing homes and in the wider community.  We see lorry drivers taking supplies all over the

country to keep our shops stocked, our services running, shop workers frantically stocking shelves and

dealing with what is sometimes an awkward public. The bus and train drivers keeping the networks going,

the council workers keeping our streets clean and free of rubbish ... the list goes on.

 

And we can see it in the love individuals are showing to their neighbours – running errands despite long

queues, calling or texting those in isolation, volunteering to help the NHS cope.  Vincent and I have been

on the receiving end of so much love and practical help, during a difficult and painful year, but particularly

now, when like so many of our age, we are trapped at home for the greater good. Jesus reaches out to us

in a practical way through the church family.

 

Jesus is alive and at work in our communities, in our lives, and if we will let him, in our hearts. Praise him!

 

 

 

We have been asked by the Children’s Society to remember in our prayers all those vulnerable children

who have been trapped at home by the lockdown. They are hidden from view and without the vital support

they need. There are children facing increased danger of abuse and neglect. They are all alone, trying to

cope with their worries, fears and worsening mental health. Please pray for them and for the organisations

such as the Children’s Society who are working to keep them safe.

 

 

In these straitened times, many families are worrying about how they will cope financially,

and many businesses are threatened with closure. The church also continues to have its

expenses and commitments, even though the buildings themselves are not in use. If you

normally donate money to the church via the envelope scheme and are able to continue

making a financial contribution, would you consider setting up a standing order to continue

your payments? If you would like information on how to do this, please contact Alisdair on

07984 613657.

Thankyou.

 

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Information

Church Services & Activities:

These have all been cancelled until further notice.  Our Church buildings are being regularly checked

by designated people for security reasons.  No other person should be entering our church buildings or

churchyard.  If you have any concerns, please contact your Church Wardens in the first instance.

 

Churchyard:

We are asked to discourage visitors coming to our churchyard.  The Police are asking people not

to visit cemeteries as these visits are considered as non-essential journeys.  Please do not visit the

churchyard yourself and discourage others you know from doing so too.

 

Baptisms:

Baptisms at all our churches in the next few weeks have been cancelled.

We are unable to rebook any cancelled baptisms or take firm bookings for future baptisms until we

have further information on when church services can resume.

 

Weddings:

All Weddings, for the time being, have been cancelled.

We are in touch with couples who have booked weddings in the next three months.  We are still

taking bookings for future weddings.

 

Funeral Services:

At the moment Funeral Services can only take place at a crematorium or by the graveside

and only with up to ten people present.

We are offering families the opportunity to have a memorial / thanksgiving service in our churches

at a future date.

 

Confirmation Service:

It is likely that the Confirmation service planned for Sunday 24th May will NOT take place.

If you wish to be confirmed or have a child who wishes to be confirmed, please contact the clergy

to register and we will contact you in due course.  We do have another service booked for Sunday

18th October. 

 

Church Meetings / Annual Parochial Church Meeting:

All PCC meetings are suspended. We now have up to the 31st October 2020 to hold the APCM. 

Until then all our current office holders remain in place.

 

Please contact us:

If you need to speak to a minister do not hesitate to contact us. Although access to our

buildings is limited, the Church, as the family of God, are still here.

Team Rector: Revd Carol Pharaoh   01942 859251 carol.pharaoh@gmail.com   

Team Vicar: Revd Angela Wynne  01204 468150  revawynne@gmail.com

 

Please see also the Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches