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CHURCH NEWS - November 2001
From the Rectory
We are now six weeks on from the events of September 11. Effectively we are in the middle of a campaign rather than a war, designed to arrest and bring to justice the terrorists who caused such horrendous havoc in New York and Washington. It is a police action complicated by the fact that the government of Afghanistan has given and continues to give shelter to the guilty. Because of that large-scale military forces have to be used.
The matter is further complicated by two factors. The first is the red herring that the United States is guilty of serious oppression, which even if it were true, is no excuse for the continuing acts of terror waged against that country over several years involving large numbers of innocent people from many countries. The problem here is that a legal principle that the immediate cause and not the remote reason is to be looked for. This is something that our own judicial system appears to ignore more and more so that the victims become the guilty and the guilty are discharged to some degree from responsibility.
The second is the religious factor. A word that has disappeared from use in the last few weeks is crusade. For those of you who have forgotten your school history, here is a potted version with some reflections on that period of warfare between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Ages. There were large-scale incursions from the Middle East into Europe and Africa, including North Africa, Spain, Southern France and the Balkans. The crusades had this as their general background.
The actual crusades had their beginning in the extraordinary devotion that was paid to the historic sites in Jerusalem and the Holy Land by pilgrims. These pilgrimages commenced in the fourth century during the reign of Constantine, the Roman Emperor, who for political reasons embraced the Christian faith. Jerome speaks of crowds of pilgrims thronging the sacred places. At the same time, there were supposed discoveries of the real sepulchre and the true cross and there grew up an enthusiastic devotion to Palestine as the scene of Bible incidents of the Old and the New Testament.
This situation continued unabated for some three hundred years until AD 637 when Caliph Omar captured Jerusalem. Access was granted to the pilgrims on condition that they purchased the right to enter from the Caliphs. In AD 1067, a new race of conquerors captured Jerusalem. These were the Turks and their rule was harsher, leading to slavery for the Christians that lived in the region and persecution of the pilgrims. This excited the passions of Christians in Western Europe and set the scene for the possibility of a religious war.
The human catalyst who triggered the explosion of the crusades was a pilgrim monk called Peter. He visited the Holy Land and was deeply moved by what he saw and returned with the tales of outrage against Christians in Palestine. An appeal was sent from the Eastern Church to the Pope for assistance. A Council under Pope Urban II determined that a holy war should be fought for the Holy Land. It was to be a battle between Cross and Crescent that began in AD 1096.
It was a religious war in which the kingdom of Christ was to be advanced by the sword and slaughter. For those crusaders who fell, absolution was granted and Paradise was assured. A great wave of religious feeling swept Europe and kings; nobles and commoners flocked to the standard against Islam. There were eight crusades between AD 1096 and AD 1270. They met with varying degrees of success and there was even a Childrens Crusade in AD 1212. It seems clear that cruelty of the Crusades had a major impact and not for the best on the collective memory of the Islamic peoples.
How can we explain why this should have occurred? By this period in the Middle Ages, some one thousand years after the death of Christ, the Christian Church in both East and West had become absorbed in the political power struggles in the world. This led to an Old Testament concept of the Church that totally identified the Church with the nations through the claimed primacy of the Papacy both spiritually and temporally.
The idea that the Church was a spiritual kingdom in which Christ himself reigned through his Word by the Spirit tended to be lost. Hence, an attack upon Christians was seen as an attack upon all Christendom and the response was war. The Reformation broke this wrong concept in the West in the sixteenth century, identifying the Church primarily as a spiritual body, known only in its fullness to God, but secondly being a visible body on earth containing both true and false believers.
So various national Churches came into being and in the religious struggles through the next one hundred years, the idea of the right of human conscience to worship freely was developed. (Democracy alsodeveloped from this). We can see this in the large numbers of different denominations that now exist and that is not necessarily wrong as it safeguards the freedom of worship and of conscience. It was the attempt to retain a visible unity of the Church that led directly to the cruelty of the Inquisition.
While many Christians rightly enjoy trips to Jerusalem and to the Holy Land, it is, or should be, a case of historic interest rather than an exercise of devotion. Jerusalem was the place where God chose to manifest his presence in the Temple to the Jewish people of the Old Testament. Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed for the second time in AD70 by the Roman armies confirming the prediction of the Lord Jesus Christ that in judgment for his rejection, not one stone would be left standing on another.
The Temple of the Old Testament stands for the presence of God with his people. In Christian thought the idea of the Temple is developed and prominent. It is no longer a building of stone but a concept in which each Christian is the Temple of the Holy Spirit through union with Christ. All believers collectively make up the building of Gods Holy Temple, which is Gods Church. There is no longer a geographical area known as Christendom. This was an idea of the Middle Ages.
The Christian Church goes to war against the world, the flesh and the Devil, not with bombs or bullets or biochemical substances but with the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Its object is to make Jesus Christ, crucified and risen known throughout the world and the Church of those gathered comes from every tribe and nation and language upon earth. Christians may have to give their lives because of the faith but they may never take lives for the faith.
Sincerely in Christ, David Streater
(I am always ready to discuss any matter arising from what I have written.)
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please dont ask for prayer outside your own family without peoples permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone David (720234) or Dennis (822992).
Many of you will know that because of the problems of vandalism and theft from Churches generally, the Parish Church is kept locked. Unless there is a specific reason for opening it earlier, it will be opened for Sunday and occasional services half an hour before the Service is due to start.
Dates for November
Wednesday 14th 10.30am at Liz Dodwells, Watermead, Odell Rd., Harrold.
Tuesday 27th 10.30am at Jane Eshelbys, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
Tuesday December 11th
Christmas lunch venue to be arranged.
Aid For Romania from North Bedfordshire
We have postponed our planned trip to Romania from October to November, probably from November 17th to December 3rd, or round about then. We plan to fly out taking as many small gifts as we can carry. Hopefully it won't be too cold! There are newsletters outlining the current situation, in church, or from us. Thank you everyone for your support.
Liz and Tim Dodwell
Iulia Mocioc in Concert in Carlton, on Saturday November 10th
We are hoping to have the pleasure of hearing our young Romanian protegee Iulia play the piano for us, together with Becky, a college friend and singer. It should be a wonderful chance to hear how much Iulia has progressed. Please contact Liz Dodwell (720640) for details.
North Beds Healing Group - Wholeness and Healing
Forward in Healing course in Bedford April/May 2001.
Plans are progressing to hold a Basic Lay Training Course in the Ministry of Healing run over six weeks, after Easter, next year, at St Andrew's Church in Bedford. This will be open to anyone interested from any denomination and deanery. The dates booked are Wednesdays April 10th, 17th & 24th and May 1st,, 8th & 15th, so please make a note now if you are interested.
One of the main objects is to encourage and grow healing groups in our area.
Some Enigmas of Healing. Saturday November 3rd 10am-1pm
St Andrew's Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford. Fee £5.00.
Carl Garner will lead what should be a very interesting meeting on some of the challenging and problem areas in the Ministry of Healing. Everyone welcome. Do try to come.
Looking Way Ahead:
Please note the date for next years service at St. Albans: Saturday 9 February, 2002.
Celebration of Christian Healing in the context of the Eucharist.
Speaker: Dr Gareth Tuckwell, (until recently Medical Director at Burrswood)
Music by Face 2 Face.
This is a very special service so do try to get there. More details later.
For more information about the North Beds Healing Group or any of these meetings please contact Liz Dodwell at Watermead, 41 Odell Road, Harrold, Bedford MK 43 7DH (telephone 01234 720640 and e-mail: TimandLizDodwell@compuserve.com) or Revd D Mason, 2A Devon Road, Bedford (telephone 01234 309737 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
If anyone would like to do the flowers in Church for any Sunday, in memory of a loved one or any other anniversary, please contact Jill Cheadle 720261.
Thank you to you all for your kind expressions of care shown in your cards, letters, and messages during my recent stay in hospital for my operation. I am feeling quite strong after my operation, and value so much the prayers that were said for me by so many. Thank you to all those on 'The Prayer Chain' and indeed for all your prayers, for I feel and know they were answered! The bedside telephone was much appreciated enabling me to make and receive telephone calls thus making the days cheery and 'home-like'.
Once again thank you for all that helped my stay to be short and successful. God bless you all with His love.
Our Giving in Novemberwill be shared between the British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society. Many still depend on these two organisations for all kinds of help including medical care and your generous giving enables continuous support for those damaged in body, mind and spirit by the ravages of war.
Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning
You are warmly invited to the
Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning at
Hobbs Green Farm on Friday 7th December
from 10.30 12.00. Admission free.
Please come and enjoy a cup of coffee and if you can, please bring with you a gift that would go towards making up a hamper for the mothers and children at Christian Family Care.
As we prepare the magazine war has just been announced in Afghanistan, and I am sure this and the terrible happenings in New York coupled with the atrocious things that terrorists can do is foremost in all of our minds. War is so ugly causing many innocent people to be killed or maimed when to live in peace would be so much better for us all.
What can we do in this small corner of Gods world? First and foremost we must pray, the one thing we can do!
Father as we come to you in a special hour of need, we place into your hands all people involved in this unrest. Many are families and each and every one is a child of yours. Please will you come to the situation giving world leaders your wisdom and discernment and come to the terrorists particularly and give to them a heart like yours, a heart of love. Bind them to yourself in the blood that Jesus gave for us all, and bring them to justice in the way that you know best. We know and understand that lives have to be lost in a war but we also pray that you will protect the innocent at this time. We can pray, Lord, but of course as in all situations it is your will that matters most. Lord, may Your will be done in this troubled spot of your world and we give you both glory and praise for a peaceful outcome.
Father in your mercy we pray and hope for peace. In the name of Jesus, receive our prayer. Amen.
Nearer to home we continue to pray for the sick and suffering in our village and within our church. We remember in prayer the housebound, sick and frail people and those who are in distress. We remember particularly Eileen Shakespeare, Jenny Cuddiford, Edie Surridge, Marion Smith, Margery Owen, Phyllis Ames, Barbara Lady Luke and any others who are not known to us.
Lord, we pray that you would make yourself known to each and everyone, healing, guiding, protecting and placing your angels around us all. We thank you for the angels, so often mentioned in the Bible, but not spoken of in our daily lives. Thank you for our own guardian angels, for the grace that you give to us so freely, and the fellowship that we enjoy with other people. Help us to help those in need, the elderly and infirm as the nights draw in darker and the days get colder. Again Lord, we pray for your will to be done in our homes and within our lives. Through your Son Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
Looking to Jesus
"Love never fails" 1 Corinthians 13.v8 NIV
Mature love the kind that enables two people to go the distance is spelled out clearly in 1 Corinthians 13. You need to read it regularly. It tells us that:
Mature love is tolerant. It knows that a relationship is a package deal you enjoy whats good and develop patience by learning to live with whats still under construction.
Mature love is never envious. It understands that real contentment comes from knowing that God has a plan for each of us and what Hes got for you, Hell never give to anybody else.
Mature love is courteous. In a world where good manners are in short supply, it knows that the value you place on something is evidenced by how you treat it.
Mature love is not touchy. It knows that if you wear your feelings on your sleeve, youll go broke buying paper tissues.
Now listen to how Paul describes mature love in The Message:
"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love
doesnt want what it doesnt have. Love doesnt strut, doesnt have a swelled head, doesnt force itself on others, isnt always me first, doesnt fly off the handle. It doesnt keep score of the sins of others, doesnt revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back but keeps going to the end".
(1 Cor 13:44-8 TM).
Today, ask God to give you that kind of love!
Printed with special permission of United Christian Broadcasters and taken from "Word for Today" (Tel.001782.642000)
The above must be one of the most loved scriptures taken from The Bible. Many people use it as a special reading in their wedding service, I know that we did, and today 25yrs on it still means a lot to me as does so much more of Gods Word. Do you have a special scripture that has played an important part in your life? Would you like to share it with the readers of the magazine? Then please send it to us, with a short explanation with it as to why it is special.
Love never fails. Anne Turner
News From The Park, Moggerhanger
Bonfire Night Party, Saturday 3rd November, 6.30pm 9.00pm.
This has become an annual fixture for people from the local villages and nearby churches. Tickets will be on sale before the event for £2 00 per person or for £2.50 per person on the gate. The evening will include a firework display and bonfire and there will be food and hot drinks for sale.
AGM and Open Day, Saturday 17th November.
If you would like to know more about ministry work at The Park, this will be an ideal opportunity to come and hear some thing about the work we do and to meet the people who are involved with trying to do it!
The day will start at 11am with the AGM. After a break for lunch and a chance to wander around the estate there will be an act of worship to close the day.
Monthly Prayer Mornings November 7th, December 5th.
These prayer mornings run from 10.30 12.30 in a relaxed informal atmosphere. Everyone welcome.
The Park is a branch of the Centre for Contemporary Ministry (CCM).
Congratulations to Sarah Ingrey-Senn who is to marry Ken Peel on Saturday 17th November. The wedding will take place in Bristol. We send Sarah and Ken our love and best wishes for a wonderful day and a very happy life together.
3rd 10 1pm Some Enigma of Healing, St. Andrews Church, Kimbolton Rd., Bedford.
3rd` 6.30pm Bonfire Night, The Park, Moggerhanger.
7th 10.30am Prayer Morning, The Park, Moggerhanger.
7th 7.00pm Scout Meeting, Odell Village Hall.
10th 7.00pm Iulia Mocioc in Concert in Carlton.
10th 7.30pm Folk music and dance, Odell Village Hall.
13th 7.30pm WI Odell Village Hall.
14th 10.30am Meeting Point, Liz Dodwells, Watermead, Odell Rd., Harrold.
14th 7.00pm Scout Meeting, Village Hall.
17th 11.00am The Park, Moggerhanger, AGM and Open Day.
17th 10.30am Coffee Morning & sale of Mencap Christmas cards. 93 High St., Odell.
21st 7.00pm Scout Meeting, Cub hut.
22nd 10.30am Demonstration of Christmas decoration making, St. Peters, Sharnbrook.
27th 10.30am Meeting Point, Jane Eshelbys, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
28th 7.00pm Scout Meeting, Cub hut.
5th 10.30am Prayer Morning, The Park, Moggerhanger.
7th 10.30am Christian Family Care Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.
8th 7.30pm Concord Singers Concert, St. Peters, Sharnbrook.
11th Meeting Point Christmas lunch. Venue tba.
Please send all entries for the joint December/January magazine to Tricia Hudson (email@example.com), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by December 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. We really would like to receive more articles for the magazine. Anything which might be of interest to the church or village is most welcome. In particular we are keen to encourage more pictures. (.jpg attachments to emails are particularly easy for us to process!)
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