Prayer & Preaching 19th May

A letter from the Rector…

Friends,

Throughout this month of May, I would like to invite you to reflect prayerfully on the process of renewal we are committing to. Sunday by Sunday, the renewal of our life together will be a particular focus for our worship, but it would be wonderful to know that we are all committed personally to praying that the renewal we are embarking on is gifted in the Spirit and will lead to our growth numerically and spiritually.

This Friday 17th May, I will be available, along with other members the PCCs, Ministry Team and Leadership Team, to discuss in more detail the vision we have for a flourishing church family in each village. We’ll meet in the new St James Centre – what a gift of the Spirit – 6-7pm with drinks and nibbles. This open evening will be relaxed but purposeful – do come if you can.

In this Diocesan Year of Vocation, we are also keen to encourage you to explore how you can share your existing giftedness – and discover new gifts! To that end we are asking all those who presently lead our intercessions, welcome and readings – as well as those who want to explore a God given calling to these important elements of a flourishing church – to come to the equipping sessions on offer. All are welcome to come to any of the following:

‘Renewing Intercessions’ : Saturday 18th May 9.30am – 11.00am @ SJC
‘Renewing Welcome’ : Saturday 25th May 9.30am – 11.00am @ SJC
‘Renewing God’s Word’ : Saturday 1st June 9.30am – 11.00am @ SJC

Of course, we’re very excited to be welcoming Bishop Martin to the Church of St James to preside and preach at the Parish Communion on Sunday 19th May. He will also Dedicate our new centre – a facility for all our churches and communities. It’s great too that the St James congregation will be joined by the congregation of St Nicholas. No doubt the refreshments after the service will be extra special. All are welcome to come and share in worship with the Bishop.

Bishop Martin has challenged us to ask with what degree of confidence we can say to family, friends and neighbours “Come to church, it’s amazing. You’ll love it”.

Well, let’s also pray for Bishop Martin and all those who are called to plan, prepare and lead worship. May they be so gifted in the Spirit that our life together in prayer, praise and service may indeed be amazing and fill us with new life in Christ.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Collect
Risen Christ, your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life: give us compassion and courage to risk ourselves for those we serve, to the glory of God the Father.  Amen

We continue to pray for:
Clemmie, Michael Palmer, Ellen Chapman, Kris Tippen and Jane Swindells

And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Ceri Lakeman, Michael Watts, John Fursse and Carole Richardson

The Cremation service for Michael Watts will take place at Chichester Crematorium on Thursday 23rd May at 2.00 followed by refreshments at the Wittering Royal British Legion.

If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.

Should you wish to contact the Rector his mobile number is 07538 011579.

Services for this weekend
8.00 BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering and Itchenor

At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Bishop Martin will be preaching. At West Wittering (10.00am) Ben Harvey’s sermon theme will be “Your Memorable Day”.  There is no 11.00am service at Itchenor today but you are invited to join the congregation at Birdham to celebrate the Dedication of the St James Centre.

Sunday 19th May
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Morning
Acts 11. 1-18; Revelations 21. 1-6; John 13. 31-35
BCP
James 1. 17-21; John 16. 5-15
Evensong
Daniel 6. 6-23; Mark 15. 46-16.8

Sunday 26th May
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Rogation Sunday
Morning
Acts 16. 9-15; Revelations 21. 10, 22-22.5; John 5. 1-9
BCP
James 1. 22-end; John 16. 23b-33
Evensong
Zephaniah 3. 14-end; Matthew 28. 1-10, 16-end

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