PARISH OF KIDDERMINSTER ISMERE WEEKLY BULLETIN – 25th February 2021
Our reflection this week is offered by The Ven. Hayward Osborne:
One of the Christian figures of the 20th century who is rightly revered is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian and pastor who died at the hands of the Nazis in 1945. Bonhoeffer, born in the town then known as Breslau in eastern Germany (now renamed and in Poland), studied at prestigious universities and achieved outstanding academic success.
Aged 25 he was ordained in Germany in 1931; but when Hitler came to power in 1933 everything changed. Feeling humiliated by the First World War, many German Christians at first thought Hitler was the answer to prayer, and many churches chose or, as time went on, felt obliged to be compliant with the Nazi regime. But Bonhoeffer was among those who formed the “Confessing Church”, resisting the Nazi dictatorship, opposing Hitler’s euthanasia programme and condemning the oppression of the Jews. As the regime’s grip on the church increased, as on everything else, he was in 1938 banned from Berlin, but continued his involvement with underground seminaries and his contacts with resistance groups. After ongoing harassment, in 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo claiming a link with the bomb plot to assassinate Hitler. He was held in prison (we have his published “Letters and Papers from Prison”), then finally moved to Flossenburg concentration camp where he was hanged not long before the end of the war in Europe.
The Church of England calendar remembers him particularly on the anniversary of his death: April 9th.
Bonhoeffer had spent two years (1933-35) serving German congregations in London, hoping also to muster international support for the Confessing Church. Later, in June 1939, he was invited to take up a post in New York. But after just two weeks in America he realised he could not stay there.
In a letter to a colleague he wrote:
“I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period in our national history with the people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people.”
He could have stayed secure in the USA, but he returned to his home country. He knew what this might mean: in 1937 he had written a book entitled “The Cost of Discipleship”. He took to heart the inescapable words of Jesus: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Services for the week commencing Sunday 28th February 2021
Sunday 28th February at 11:00 Service of the Word via Zoom
The service begins at 11:00 and the link to join will be active from 10:30 onwards but we ask you, please, to join by 10:55 at the latest.
A recurring Zoom link has been created to join each week’s Sunday service and is available in the notices section of this bulletin.
You can use Zoom on a Smart Phone, iPad or Tablet or you PC. If you have not used Zoom before, Nigel, Simon or Angela will be happy to lead you through how to use it.
Monday 1st to Friday 5th March at 08:00 Morning prayer – via Zoom
Monday 1st to Friday 5th March at 20:00 (Not Wednesday) Compline – online
Monday 1st March Lent Conversations with Fr. Simon Archer via Zoom at 19:00 (Link available by request from email@example.com )
Wednesday 3rd March at 18:45 Ismere@Prayer via Zoom (Link available by request from firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday 4th March at 14:00 Lent Conversations with The Ven. Hayward Osborne via Zoom (Link available by request from email@example.com)
Saturday 6th March at 10.00 Lent Conversations with Revd. Nigel Taylor via Zoom (Link available by request from firstname.lastname@example.org)
Readings for Sunday 28th February – 2nd Sunday of Lent
Genesis 17.1-7. 15-16
Romans 4. 13-end
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
“Growing Disciples” – our Lent Conversations continue
Our Lent Conversation groups continue online on Zoom: Monday at 7 pm (led by Simon), Thursday at 2 pm (led by Hayward), Saturday at 10 am (led by Nigel). We pick up themes from the Sunday Gospel reading and explores some of the implications for us as individuals and as a church.
This week we think of Jesus’ words on discipleship: commitment and cost. What does that mean for us?
It’s not too late to join in: Contact the relevant clergy or get in touch with Angela at the Parish Office: email email@example.com
St John the Baptist
LIGHT UP THE CHURCH
We illuminate the Church at Wolverley every night to form a focal point for the village. We give everyone the opportunity to sponsor the lighting. YOU can celebrate a birthday, wedding anniversary or the memory of a loved one. In fact – any reason.
This is available to everyone.
Please make enquiries via the Parish Administrator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our parish funeral ministry
We commend to God those parishioners who have recently died, with our clergy approached to conduct the funerals.
March 1st Thomas Johnson (service at St Mary and All Saints, Kidderminster)
March 4th William Breeze (service at Wyre Forest Crematorium)
March 8th Lynda Gold (service at Wyre Forest Crematorium)
March 9th Brenda Taylor (service at Wyre Forest Crematorium)
March 25th Allan Leek (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.