Keep in Touch: 20th September 2020

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20th September 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

When I saw the readings for this week I laughed. The story of Jonah is important to me.

I came from a charismatic evangelical church. So, when I spent six months on placement at St Mary’s in Handbridge I felt like a traveller in a foreign country. Everything was strange. The robes, the hymns, the liturgy. Once I had my eyes closed and hands raised in worship. When I reopened them I was nose to nose with Father Paul who had processed up the aisle to read the gospel. The whole congregation was staring at me. At least my bright red cheeks were a liturgical colour!

The congregation were kind, welcoming and encouraging. Several have remained good friends. Still, I missed the familiar songs and liturgies of my usual church. When I was invited to consider spending my curacy at Holy Trinity I worried. Would I like the worship services here?

At the time I was reading Jonah. First Jonah ran away from God’s call. Then, he begged for God’s protection in the storm/fish. Eventually, Jonah delivered God’s message. The Ninevites repented and God relented. By chapter 4 Jonah is sulking. He’s outraged that God has not destroyed Nineveh.

God asks Jonah if it is right for him ‘to be angry.’ Jonah says yes. He is so cross he throws a tantrum and storms into the desert. Jonah believes that he has the right to tell God what is right and wrong. So, God gives Jonah a lesson in love.

First God grows a shady plant to keep Jonah cool. Jonah is happy. Then God destroys the plant. Jonah is furious. He argues that God unfairly killed the plant. In truth, he’s cross that he’s lost his comfy shade. God responds by asking Jonah why he cares about a plant that he has not nurtured and not about the people of Nineveh.

Those words cut right into my heart. My first response to being invited to consider a curacy at Holy Trinity was selfish. It was all about I wanted not about joining in with what God is doing.

Humbled, I met Tina. The rest is history.

I am so grateful that God used the story of Jonah to show me my hard heartedness. Its terrifying to imagine I could have thrown away my chance to be part of this wonderful community. Somehow I had confused God’s mission with my preferences. Like Jonah with the plant. Trust me - joining in with God’s restoration of the world is far more exciting than singing my favourite hymns!

God’s presence is right at the heart of this church. His love for the people of Blacon is tangible in everything that happens here. I am so grateful that God invited me to join in. That’s why reading Jonah always reminds me what it really means to be a Christian.

With love,
Louise Annison


NOTICES
Holy Trinity Blacon are the living church of our living God, and we continue to be at work here! If you are able, do check the parish website www.holytrinityblacon.org (especially the Coronavirus Support page) or our Facebook page (holytrinityblacon) for updates.

SUNDAY WORSHIP We are now meeting at Holy Trinity Church at 9.30am each Sunday. Everyone will need to wear a face covering (unless exempt). If you have a cough or are feeling unwell, please do not come to church. The church will remain open for a while on Sunday morning, for private prayer after the service is over. The services on 20th September and then on 4th October will be a Eucharist. Alternate weeks will be a service of Morning Prayer.

MINIBUS The minibus will be providing lifts to church on Sunday mornings for those who need them. If you would like to have a lift, please contact the parish office or Tina Upton.

JOIN US FOR EVENING PRAYER every Wednesday at 5pm via Zoom. This will continue for the foreseeable future. If you are not on the internet, it is possible to join us over the telephone – please contact us in advance if you would like to do that.

DIGGING INTO THE BIBLE – A group continues to meet on Thursdays at 7.30om via Zoom. We are about to start looking into the letter to the Philippians. Newcomers are very welcome. If you would like to join us, please contact Tina or Louise who will happily share the link with you.

DAILY HOPE is a free phone line for hymns, prayers and reflections – 0800 804 8044

KEEPING IN TOUCH We will continue to produce these weekly letters. Please collect your letter when you attend church.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING and vestry meeting will be held on Sunday 27th September at 10.00am. We will be electing Churchwardens, PCC members and deanery synod members, as well as appointing sidespeople. Nomination forms are available at the back of church, or else please contact Lynn Wakefield (01244 880135). Electoral roll for checking is in church also. The reports are attached to this notice, any questions in writing please to the parish office or the Rector, before 5pm on 24th September.

PRAYING FOR BLACON Louise and Tina are taking our exercise particularly along those streets we are praying for each week. Do join us in praying for those residents. This week we pray for: Durham Road, Canterbury Road, Lichfield Road and Warwick Road.

LOUISE ANNISON ORDINATION as priest will be at Chester Cathedral on Saturday 3rd October at 5.00pm. Sadly, due to Covid-19 restrictions, church members will not be able to attend, but the service will be live-streamed on the internet on https://youtu.be/EqZYNwA2IMg On Sunday 4th at 9.30am Louise will lead us in a special Eucharist, at which we will have a guest preacher, Mrs Denise Noble.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD This year a number of us are putting together shoeboxes for needy children for Christmas. They need to be completed by 9th November. If you are interested, please see https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
There are also leaflets and boxes available in church.


Charity number 1180853