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CHURCH NEWS - April 2012
Training for ordination requires one to spend some time at least reading theology – a bit of an esoteric pastime! But it’s worth remembering, that like the rest of us, theologians are human, experiencing the same sorts of ups and downs in life as ourselves. The difference is they use intellectual skills to grapple with the ‘God’ questions in the light of these experiences.
One theologian who made a huge impact in the second half of the 20th century, and led people re-think their views about God is Professor Jurgen Moltmann. I am a bit of a fan, so was very excited to learn he was coming to Cambridge to share his personal story. In the end, I was not able to go, but did listen to him later via a web-site.
Born into a secular family in Germany, Jurgen was studying science, when in 1943 at the age of 16 he was called up to fight for his country. He saw active service during which a close friend standing right beside him was killed, which led to feelings of guilt that he had survived. For the first time in his life he prayed …“Where are you God?”
Captured by the British he spent the next 4 years as a prisoner of war, first in Belgium, then Scotland. As the full horrors of the Nazi’s ‘final solution’ emerged, Jurgen and his fellow prisoners were deeply shocked and deeply ashamed. Totally unable to absorb or reconcile what he had experienced, and the terrible atrocities carried out by his countrymen, Jurgen, still in his teens, lost all hope, all feeling, all sensibility and knew only dark despair.
Then one day, taken temporarily to Kent, he saw a cherry tree in full bloom. Overwhelmed by its beauty he realised for the first time, that life is stronger than death, life and beauty have a purpose and a meaning, and cannot be denied. Transferred to a camp in Nottinghamshire, he met with kindness from Christians who visited the young prisoners, and was given a copy of Mark’s Gospel. In Chapter 15, verse 34 he read Jesus’ cry of dereliction from the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and he realised for the first time that this Jesus, the Son of God, understood and shared the experience of the dreadful darkness that he, Jurgen Moltmann had known.
From that point on he read everything he could get his hands on that would help him understand more. After his release, he returned to Germany to study theology and to write. His best known book “The Crucified Christ” reminds us that Christianity is not about ‘religion’ or power, or clever intellectual arguments, but about Jesus, the Son of God whose extraordinary love for us took him to the cross. There he willingly and completely emptied himself, taking upon himself the full weight and consequence of human suffering and the evil that causes it.
It is through this profound and mysterious sacrifice of abandonment, and his subsequent victory as he is raised from death, that Jesus offers us the promise of new life. God’s Kingdom has broken into our human existence, bringing hope, healing and forgiveness – a totally transformed life that nothing can destroy.
This is the message of Easter – may we receive it with faith and joy. Christine
What is the Prayer Group? It is made up of members of All Saints’ Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.
Who do we pray for? Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.
What do we pray about? Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness. You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam. Any information will be treated in strictest confidence.
How can you let us know if you would like us to pray for you? You can either telephone Christine (720234), or drop a note through the Rectory door, or complete a card (anonymously if you wish) and place it in a box kept near the church door. Prayer requests will be collected from the box each Sunday morning after the 10.00am service. Christine
All Saints’ Church Charitable Giving for the month of April is to FEBA -
(Far Eastern Broadcasting Associates) - a radio station which began in 1959 and makes and broadcasts Christian programmes in dozens of different languages, reaching Christians who would otherwise have little contact with the outside world. Today FEBA broadcasts on FM and medium wave radio, the internet, text messaging and social media – each has its own use and own target audience.
The message FEBA delivers is that “The love of Christ addresses all areas of people’s lives: emotional, spiritual and physical…There are programmes on health education and disease-prevention; young
believers gain strength through online discipleship courses; locals speak out against corruption…Everywhere people turn to God. Lives are changed; communities transformed. Love in action.”
For more information about the work of FEBA see the notice board in All Saints’ Church.
Church Spring Clean!
Friends, volunteers, and anyone else welcome to help spring clean the church for Easter on Saturday 31st March from 10.00am-12 noon. Who shines the brass chandelier each year? .. it could be you! Good coffee (or tea) and sustaining snacks supplied
A head for heights? - steady nerves required for a high-level clean of those hard to reach places in the church .... contact Martin Eshelby on 01933-410959 to arrange a convenient time.
Decorating the Church for Easter
Come along to All Saints’ Church on Saturday 7th April and join in with the merry band of volunteers decorating the church with flowers and foliage and all things seasonal. Offers of flowers are always very welcome, but do feel free just to turn up and help with the decorating. 10am onwards, coffee supplied!
Goodbye to The Right Reverend Richard Inwood as Bishop of Bedford…
A Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Church, to mark the retirement of The Right Reverend Richard Inwood as Bishop of Bedford 2003-2012, took place on Saturday 3rd March, 2012.
Every corner of St.Paul’s Church in Bedford was packed out as hundreds of people came to bid farewell to the Bishop, who retires at the end of March. Bishop Richard was consecrated 9 years ago, and together with his wife Liz has served us faithfully with humility, love, and practical wisdom. He will be much missed. Married with three grown-up daughters, Bishop Richard has been ordained for 34 years. He served in Sheffield, London, Bath and Yeovil, before becoming Archdeacon of Halifax in 1995. His wife, Liz is a maths teacher and examiner.
Bishop Richard read Chemistry at University College, Oxford, and later, theology at Nottingham University. Before ordination, he spent a year teaching in north-west Uganda before working as a research and development chemist with ICI in Manchester for nearly two years.
In retirement Bishop Richard plans to go fell-walking with Liz, spend more time with his children and grandchildren, and hopes to co-author a second book on steam railways. One special present from the Sharnbrook Deanery which rendered him quite speechless, was a special arrangement with the appropriate authorities for a locomotive to be named in his honour. So in future when you travel from Bedford to London, look out for an engine named after him!
And welcome to the new Bishop, the Venerable Richard Atkinson.
The next Bishop of Bedford is to be the Venerable Richard Atkinson, aged 53, currently Archdeacon of Leicester. Expressing his excitement and surprise at being appointed, he commented
“Bedfordshire is new to me apart from visits to Whipsnade and Woburn and a friend’s wedding …..
….. I am looking forward enormously to getting to know the diversity and depth of the communities of Bedfordshire and Luton. I am passionate about the Church’s capacity to change all lives and communities for the better. I am enthusiastic to enable and equip the Church to reach out in love and service to our contemporary world, and committed to speaking up for the marginalised, poor and vulnerable. I pay tribute to the work being done all over the Diocese of St Albans, but especially in Bedfordshire and Luton”
Archdeacon Atkinson will be consecrated as the Bishop of Bedford on 17 May and welcomed to the Diocese in a service at St Paul's Church, Bedford on 19 May 2012.
The Children's Society
A big thank you to all box holders. I have been able to send off £276.29 to The Children's Society, which is nearly £40 more than last year. A great result. Thank you all.
Easter Monday 9th April and Sat 19th-Sun 20th May
If you would be happy to help as a Tower Steward, or by baking cakes beforehand, or serving teas etc. on the day, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact Christine on 720234; e-mail: email@example.com
April 18th 10.30am at Jill’s
2nd 10.30am at Catherine’s
16th 10.30am at Jane Smith’s
30th 10.30am at Jane Eshelby’s
All Saints’ Amblers meet outside the Bell, 9.45am on Saturday 21st April.
Odell Fete Saturday, 9th June 2012
HELP will be needed to set up fete stalls in the afternoon of Friday 8th June, and then dismantle everything after the fete has ended on Saturday 9th. Please come and join in!
Festival Weekend Family Service Sunday June 10th
11.00am in the Main Tent at the Fete Field - Everybody Welcome.
Painting of signs etc. for the fete will take place at Jim and Doreen Wheeler’s, Linden House, High Street, Odell, on Monday 7th May from 10.00am.
There will be a lunch time bar-b-q for helpers – please let Doreen know (720358) or Jane (01933 410959) if you wish to stay for this. Bring your own meat. Salad and puddings will be provided.
Churches Together Harrold & Carlton with Odell
Belarus & Ukraine Christmas Shoe Box Appeal 2011
On 4th November the shoe box collections and box checking were completed at Emmaus in Carlton, thanks to 17 ladies who gave up their time, on various days, to help with the customs checks and making up new wrapped boxes from donated goods, and adding other items to boxes received. In total we raised over £350, from which additional necessary items were purchased, with the balance being sent off towards shipping costs, and there were 259 filled boxes, then shrink-wrapped into bundles of 8, and ready to go off to Belarus and Ukraine in the “Drop Inn Ministries” articulated lorry. These went off in December, to deliver all the ONCE A YEAR gifts to the children’s homes and orphanages and the very poorest communities.
Following a request from the head of the No.1 Children’s Surgical hospital in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, we also managed to receive a consignment of Sudacrem from the manufacturers to be taken over to them, as they have insufficient funds to buy any themselves! Also donations of Sudacrem were received from individuals here.
Huge thanks to all who participated in any way, a great response from all, and none of which is possible without the huge help from Emmaus Village Carlton, providing us with a home for the checking and storing of our gifts. Thank you everyone. Sue Brown – Co-ordinator
All Saints’ Flower Rota
1st Eileen Shakespeare & Jane Eshelby
7th Decorate for Easter
14th All help to clear
29th Georgina Harrison
Happy birthday to…
Rebecca Causton who will be 7 on the 3rd , and to Tania Fulford who will be 16 on the 5th and to everyone else with a birthday in April.
2nd 8pm Evening prayer and meditation, URC
3rd 8pm “ “ “ St Peter’s, Harrold
4th 8pm “ “ “ All Saints’, Odell
5th 8pm Meditation and Holy Communion, St Mary’s, Carlton
1-3pm Easter Egg Hunt, HOCP
6th 11am Service on the Green, Harrold
2pm An Hour before the Cross, URC
7th 10am Church decorating, All Saints’, Odell
8th 6.00am Dawn Service - St.Mary’s, Carlton
9.30am Easter Communion - St.Peter’s, Harrold
10.30am Easter Communion – All Saints’, Odell
10.45am Easter Service at Harrold URC
11.00am Easter Communion at St.Mary’s, Carlton
9th 2.30pm Café in the Tower, All Saints’ church
10th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall
12th 10.30am HOCP Health Walk
18th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.
21st 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell
26th 10.30am HOCP Health Walk
30th 10am Conservation Tasks Day, HOCP.
Magazine Deadline Please send all entries for the May magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at odellbeds.net) or Catherine Corkery by April 12th at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.