PARISH OF KIDDERMINSTER ISMERE WEEKLY BULLETIN – 2nd May 2021
Our reflection this week is offered by the Ven. Hayward Osborne:
Through most centuries of Christian history the dominant voices and decision-makers in the church (as in most other areas of life) have been male. So it is good that in the Church of England calendar there are significant women remembered and celebrated. One such is Christina Rossetti, who was commemorated in the daily prayers last Tuesday, April 27th.
Christina Rossetti was born in 1830, her parents having both come to this country from Italy. Hers was a religious and artistic family. Her sister became an author and Anglican nun, one brother a poet and art critic. Her other brother Dante was part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of artists. It is he who produced this portrait of her in chalks in 1866.
As a poet, some of Christina’s work reflected on love and disappointment. But, fired by her deep faith inspired by the growing Anglo-Catholic movement, she composed religious verse. She was the author of the Christmas carols “In the bleak midwinter” and “Love came down at Christmas”. Some of her verse is inspired by psalms, or New Testament passages, or by John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”. She died, after suffering from cancer, in 1894.
In this Easter season, here is just one verse from her poem “A Better Resurrection” published in 1862. She had in the immediate years before suffered serious illness, which cast a shadow over her faith. This now is her prayer – an expression of trust in God:
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall--the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
Services for the week commencing Sunday 2nd May 2021
Sunday 2nd May St Mary and All Saints 11:00 Eucharist
St Peter Upper Arley 11:00 Service of the Word
St Peter Cookley 09:30 Service of the Word
St Barnabas Franche 09:30 Eucharist
St John Wolverley 11:00 Service of the Word
Monday 3rd to Friday 7th May at 08:00 Morning prayer – via Zoom
Monday 3rd to Friday 7th May at 20:00 Night Prayer – online
Wednesday 5th May at 10:00 Eucharist at St John the Baptist Wolverley
Wednesday 5th May at 18:45 Ismere@Prayer via Zoom (Link available by request from email@example.com)
Thursday 6th May at 10:30 Eucharist at St Peter Cookley
Saturday 8th May at 10.00 Bible Lyte with Revd. Nigel Taylor via Zoom
(Link available by request from firstname.lastname@example.org)
Readings for Sunday 2nd May – 5th Sunday of Easter
1 John 4.7-end
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
COVID 19 Reminder
We continue in difficult times where the risk of the COVID 19 virus is lessening but not gone. We must remain as safe as possible. This means we should wear masks unless exempt, social distance at all times and this, I am afraid, means we cannot offer lifts to the friends and congregation members at this current time. Please keep to the guidelines and Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
‘Why do we do that?’
Have you, or anyone you know, ever asked why we say the words we do in our worship when we gather together?
If so, here’s a great opportunity for you – and someone you might like to invite to join you in finding out – to discover more in a new series we will be running in the Kidderminster Ismere Team.
‘Gathered – Fed – Sent’ will follow the pattern of the Lent Conversations that so many of us have enjoyed, with a series of talks during worship and follow-up conversations.
Over four weeks we will look at different parts of the Holy Communion service and discover why we say certain prayers together, and how they sustain us in living out our Christian faith every day:
Week 1: Gathered.
Week 2: Fed by the Word.
Week 3: Fed by the Sacrament.
Week 4: Sent
As in the Lent Conversations, there will be follow-up groups in the week afterwards to explore more together.
This would be a great way to learn more about how we worship together, to be a ‘refresher’ for anyone who’s been coming to church for a long time, and to invite someone who doesn’t come to church but might think: ‘I wonder what they do in church?’ Or: ‘Why do they do that?’
This series of discussions has been temporarily postponed but please do keep an eye on the bulletin and website for the new start date.
Annual Church Meetings taking place
After last year’s Covid disruption for Annual Church Meetings, we are back to the normal pattern for 2021. Each District Church has its Annual Meeting, when the past year is reviewed, financial reports given and Church Council members are elected. Following these the Parish as a whole has its Annual Meeting of Parishioners (when churchwardens are formally appointed) and its Annual Parochial Church Meeting (which formally appoints members of the Parochial Church Council).
Church Council members are elected for three years, so some are continuing in post but there are also vacancies to fill.
Last week we publicised the dates of the meetings but unfortunately, following advice on meeting, it is clear that we cannot meet in person until after the third stage of the Government’s road map takes effect on 17th May. Therefore, the DCC AGMs and also the PCC meeting to approve the accounts will have to take place via Zoom, though we realise this is not an ideal situation.
Each Annual District Meeting will also recommend two churchwardens (or deputy churchwardens) and one lay person to be formally appointed to serve on the Parochial Church Council. St Mary’s and Trimpley Annual Meeting, responsible for the two churches, recommends two lay representatives.
And finally, the Annual Meeting for the whole parish with its two parts takes place on Thursday 20th May at 7 pm at St Mary and All Saints Church, Kidderminster.
The Electoral Roll is the list of church members who are entitled to vote at the relevant meetings. The updating of the Electoral Roll has to be completed two weeks before the relevant meeting – so now is the time to check that your name is on it. Baptised people aged 16 or over who are parishioners or have been worshipping with us for at least six months can have their names added, and vote at the meetings.
Do attend your Annual Meeting if you are able to do so. If we want our churches to grow and develop, this is the moment to choose the people of faith and imagination who can help steer things forward.
District Church Council of St Mary’s Kidderminster with Holy Trinity Trimpley
There is currently a vacancy for the position of Secretary of this DCC. Please consider whether you may be led to offer your time to this important role. If you are interested, please contact either
Fr. Simon Archer, Church Warden Alan Wombell or Parish Administrator Angela Hayden. Thank you.
Tackling racism in the Church
Sermons last Sunday referred to the Church of England report published that week about tackling racism in the church. Online you can see the report, which highlights the slow progress in tackling this issue, and sets out very precise recommendations for the future: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/FromLamentToAction-report.pdf
And a Panorama programme on BBC-1 on April 19th heard from clergy who said they had felt the effect of racism: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000vc34/panorama-is-the-church-racist
Our parish funeral ministry
We commend to God those parishioners who have recently died, with our clergy approached to conduct the funerals.
May 17th Anthony Pearce (service at Wyre Forest Crematorium)
We pray for those who mourn, and for those offering a ministry of care and compassion at this time.
Clergy contact details
Team Rector Revd. Nigel Taylor 01562 851744 email@example.com
Team Vicar Revd. Simon Archer 01562 66262 firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Priest The Ven. Hayward Osborne 01562 745638 email@example.com
The clergy and other congregation members are available for you at times of pastoral need. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.