Collect for the Sunday next before Lent
whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory,
that we may be strengthened to suffer with him
and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Holy God, you know the disorder of our sinful lives:
set straight our crooked hearts,
and bend our wills to love your goodness
and your glory in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today: Sunday February 11th – Sunday Next before Lent
Eucharists at 8, 9.30
Evening Prayer 6.00
2 Kings 2.1-12; Psalm 50.1-6; 2 Corinthians 4.3-6; Mark 9.2-9 This Week
7.00 Saxby PCC
12.00 Funeral of Viv Gravill (Barton)
2.40 Funeral of Gill Odlin (Woodlands)
9.30 Ash Wednesday Eucharist (Barton)
1.15 Funeral of Sandra Marshall (Barton)
7.00 Ash Wednesday Eucharist with hymns (Barton)
7.00 Ladies' Singing Group (Barton Hall)
Sunday February 18th – First Sunday of Lent
Eucharists at 8, 9.30
Genesis 9.8-17; Psalm 25.1-9; 1 Peter 3.18-22; Mark 1.9-15
“We are like pilots of fog-bound steamers, peering into the gloom in front of us, listening for the sounds of other ships, and we can only reach our harbour if we keep alert. (Thomas Merton)
It strikes me that, at least in some Christian circles, the two big bogey-words are ‘doubt’ and ‘heresy’. Some groups concentrate on one, some on t’other, and a few on both. Lent is therefore a good time to buckle down to believing everything we’re assured is correct
Well, sort of….
A lot depends on what we mean by ‘doubt’ and ‘heresy’ For some folk, ‘Heresy’ means ‘something which doesn’t chime in with my beliefs. ‘Doubt’ equals ‘Daring to question what Father tell you.’ Neither is a particularly good model of Christian adulthood!
Which is where the quote from Thomas Merton comes in.
If you’ve never come across him, Merton is one of the giants of 20thcentury Christian spirituality. I don’t find him an easy read, not by any means, and we don’t have a lot in common – he was a brilliant theologian, profound man of prayer, poet, and a Trappist monk. But every now and again he comes out with a one-liner like the above which gets to the heart of what our pilgrimage of faith is all about. It’s about awareness of others who are also on the ocean of faith, and listening out for them so that we have an idea of where we are, and where we’re headed.
Properly understood, ‘doubt’ is the antidote to ‘heresy’. The idea underpinning heresy – ideas which don’t really sit well with those fundamental ideas of the Christian faith, like the Creation being God’s idea and delight, not a second-best – is all about getting so hung up one one idea that the wood can’t be seen for the trees.‘Eureka!’ the heresy-manufacturer cries. ‘I’ve found the solution to the puzzle. Forget everything else and sign up to this!’
The troubling fact that it doesn’t fit in with the lived life of faith of everyone else doesn’t trouble them a bit. The thought that someone else might have an idea worth listening to doesn’t cross their minds. (Deliberate ignoring of voices which don’t fit our own preconceptions are a feature of most areas of human endeavour, not just religion, don’t you think?)
Christian doubt, holy doubt is that awareness that we’re not the only vessel on the ocean, and that anyone who claims to have an every-detail-mapped-out chart of that ocean is going to come a cropper; anyone blithely full-steam-ahead-ing is more likely to encounter an iceberg than arrive triumphantly in port ahead of the opposition.
Entering Lent is an invitation to follow Merton’s wise counsel. We don’t have a complete picture. We’re not absolutely certain where we are in relation to the reality of the sea. Nor, for that matter, has anyone else – but they may well know things we don’t, have seen shores we have missed. Searching the fog, listening for our fellow-travellers and learning from where they are, where we might be isn’t about ‘playing safe’ or slavish obedience – it’s about recognising that the point of the voyage is to get to journey’s end in one piece, - and preferably without sinking anyone else.
Whether it’s the Scripture and the writings of our ancestors in the faith (from Aquinas to Wesley – or Zwingli, if you really must),or the lived witness of our fellow believers, both the ones like us and the ones unlike us, or our own experiences (including the ones which didn’t quite work out) – these are the voices to which we’re urged to pay heed, slavishly following none, but seeking the aid of all in setting our course for home.
And perhaps of all times of year, the quiet calm of Lent is time for looking for our fellow travellers, and listening out for them. Even together we don’t have all the answers – they belong to the God who calls us home – but we’re much less likely to hit a rock that way. And may even help others make safe harbour.
Have a good and rewarding Lent,
For our prayers
Our parishes, deanery & diocese at a time of change.
The Church in South Sudan.
Our keeping of Lent
All in authority.
For respect for human life and dignity.
All trying to resolve the crisis, political and humanitarian, in Gaza.
Those leading in the protection of our planet and the resolution of the issues surrounding migrancy.
The governments & peoples of Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Yemen
The Low Villages — Saxby, Horkstow, South Ferriby, Bonby & Worlaby.
(Diocese) Healthcare Services
Those in need
All who are fleeing war, poverty or climate change.
People living under the shadow of fear, deprivation or illness;
the anxious, the lonely and all who mourn.
Those struggling to make ends meet.
Those in hospital or who watch with them.
Coffee, cake – and snowdrops
If you’ve ever passed along the Low Villages road in February, you can’t help but to have noticed the fine sweep of snowdrops around and above St Maurice’s Horkstow.
Well, if you fancy a little explore on Sunday 18th Feb, you can do so in the knowledge that a thawing cup of coffee and slab of restorative cake will be available in Church from 10.30 – 12.00, after the 9.30 Eucharist. Oh, and there’s a loo there as well! (Proceeds to St Maurice’s)
Ash Wednesday Eucharists at Barton
9.30 Ash Wednesday Eucharist with imposition of ashes
7.00 Ash Wednesday Eucharist with imposition of ashes and hymns
There’s some interesting stuff out there at the moment for individual study – particularly taking my eye was A Truth Universally Acknowledged 40 Days With Jane Austen [Paperback] by Rachel Mann; Also interesting looking isWomen of Holy Week - An Easter Journey in Nine Stories (Paula Gooder & Ally Barrett).
St Peter’s School has made for St Mary's a full set of Stations of the Cross– fifteen ‘stations’ or stopping points on the journey from Pilate’s court to Easter morning, It’s possible to use these individually, but on Saturday 24th at 10.30 there’ll be a ‘guided’ prayer walk around them. Anyone is very welcome to come along, and it’s especially suited to anyone who’d not given it a try before.
On Saturday 24th March –the day before Palm Sunday – we’re going to do what’s sometimes been described as a ‘teaching Eucharist’ – that is, a session looking at why we do the things we do and where they come from. We’re basing it on a similar session we did at Bonby last week, and it will end with a simple celebration of Communion. 10.30 at Barton Church Hall
And there’s the possibility of another session looking to Holy Week, which will tackle Mark’s way of telling the story of the Cross. More on this to follow.
If you’d like to discuss any aspect of your own faith journey during Lent, just have a word with one of the ministry team (Peter Large, Sue Brennan, or the Revd’s Julie, Kathy, Sue, Alan, Mick and either of the two Davids!)
We’re just in the process of finding out whether to book a bishop for the deanery to do a confirmation later this year. If you know of someone who’d like to enquire as to what it entails (or if you do yourself!) please have a word with Kathy or David R.
If anyone knows of a suitable home for some domestic appliances which are about to become surplus to requirements, or are able to put the word round, then the following items, in good condition and still having their manuals are on offer. These appliances are integrated, but should be able to work fine freestanding (with the exception of the oven, unless someone wants to remove the cabinet, too). They’re all about 5 years old,
All it needs on any of these is for the item to be disconnected here and collected by someone with a suitably sized vehicle. If you’d like to know more, have a word with Terina or James Hurley, or with David R
Thank you to all who helped with arranging Fr Ivan’s memorial service yesterday afternoon. A church full of so many people from so many different walks of life said so much about the remarkable depth and broad reach of his ministry. Thank you particularly to the catering crew and those who helped provide the cakes.
St Mary's Parish Church , Barton-upon-Humber
Burgate, Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire DN18 5EZ
Copyright © 2023 St Mary's Church Barton-upon-Humber - All Rights Reserved.
Photographs are copyright ® Mr Sam Wright, ® the estate of Revd. Gordon Plumb, and others, and are reproduced by kind permission.