Thoughts from the Vicarage 89

Dear Friends of The Valley,

I trust this finds you and yours well on this beautiful sunny morning. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Palm Sunday thank you to Jenny for her palm crosses – great work! Will you be supplying the Valley next year ?

Weaving a crown of thorns

I’ve recently discovered a tradition of weaving a crown of thorns which struck me as so apt. Sr Angelis Lemke, a Polish-American Franciscan Sister of St Joseph (FSSJ) from Hamburg New York and the order’s pro weaver reveals the secrets and stories of their richly, beautiful palm weaving tradition. If you’d like a challenge there it is!

Palm crosses

Palm crosses are ready for you to collect from each church. Please bring them, or your home crafted Palm crosses to coffee from 11.10 on Sunday where we can celebrate Palm Sunday when the crucial stage of the journey begins, as churches are dressed in red…

A journey

A journey that started before time began. Before Eden, before the Crib. We recall how Jesus comes to fulfil a destiny that was his from the moment of his birth. He arrives in humility, seated on a humble donkey, but still the crowds turn out to greet him in great number. These are the same crowds who in just a few days’ time will stop shouting ‘Hosanna!’ and instead pick up the call to ‘Crucify him!’.

Some thoughts to reflect upon …

• Where will our hearts be in a week’s time, in amongst the uncertainty of life at the moment?
• Can we journey with Christ through the difficulties of the coming week, Holy week whatever it may hold for us?
• Can we keep our hearts and eyes fixed on him in amongst the temptations and distractions of the world?
• Can we continue to shout Hosanna?

Children and the young at heart

For the children or grandchildren and the young at heart … maybe remind ourselves how when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, people placed palm leaves on the ground to form a kind of carpet. They did this to show that he was a special person, an important person, to them. Think about the people in your life who are important to you. If you want to, make a palm leaf shape and write or draw a thought or a prayer for that person, or those people and place it on the altar in your local church. I will add their name to our prayers of thanksgiving.

Services for Holy Week

This year our services will look and feel different as they will be online. You are welcome to join in at any point. You may like to have a holding cross for the reflections, perhaps a Bible at your side or a candle.

  • Monday March 29th 8pm Reflection on John 12:1-11 followed by Compline zoomed from St James the Greater Eastbury (no in person congregants)
  • Tuesday March 30th 8pm Reflection on John12:20-36 followed by Compline from All Saints East Garston (no in person congregants)
  • Wednesday March 31st 8pm Reflection on John13:21-32 followed by Compline from St Michael & All Angels Lambourn (no in person congregants)
  • Maundy Thursday April 1st 8pm Reflections, music and prayer followed by Compline
  • Good Friday April 2nd 3pm At the Foot of The Cross followed by Compline
  • Good Friday April 2nd noon Adoration of the cross in person at the Catholic church, Baydon Rd, Lambourn by kind invitation of Fthr David

Wednesday @ 7

Wednesday @ 7 will gather on Aril 7th. At the close of the last session people were interested in the links between the Old and New Testaments.

At which point the group was nearly highjacked by an over enthusiastic priest talking about the oaks of Mamre and the Trinity!

These links are not only really intriguing and exciting but also full of reminders of the whole story of God’s Kingdom, of how the people of God in Biblical times were just the same as us, albeit in very different contexts. And as we explore more of the bible we find themes that are as powerful and relevant now as they were then. For that reason we agreed to begin with ‘Comfortable Words – a call to restoration with reflections on Isaiah 40-55’ The book of Isaiah isn’t always easy to read but it repays deep and careful study.

Do come along and join in – there is an accompanying book which is available from the usual suppliers but order quickly! All are welcome.

And finally …

And finally, not wishing to leap ahead, but a little reminder…

Easter Day – April 4th 10.30 Benefice Easter Day Eucharist and lighting of the Paschal Candle !