This Sunday is Advent 2.
The third chapter of St Luke’s Gospel grounds, in history, what it is about to describe– for the events of God growing His kingdom within and around us are much stranger than any fiction we could dream up! – and, yes, these events really did take place, take time and they were embodied, first, in John the Baptist and then in Jesus. But this is not a history lesson; it is inviting us to value and cherish being in the place where we are; for, at this moment, it is the only place in which God can be made known to us. William Crocker writes about it thus:
If this is not a place where tears are understood,
Where do I go to cry?
If this is not a place where my spirits can take wing,
Where do I go to fly?
If this is not a place where my questions can be asked,
Where do I go to seek?
If this is not a place where my feelings can be heard,
Where do I go to speak?
If this is not a place where you’ll accept me as I am,
Where can I go to be?
If this is not a place where I can try to learn and grow,
Where can I be just me? “A People Place” by William J. Crocker:
Services throughout BTCP this weekend: Sunday, 5th December, Advent 2.
8am Communion St Peter’s
10am Communion St Peter’s: The Rev’d Dr Chris Steed will preside and preach.
10am Communion St Augustin’s: I shall preside and preach.
10.45am Communion: St Stephen’s: The Rev’d David Lund.
4pm Choral Evensong: St Peter’s
Next Sunday: Advent 3, 12th December.
8am St Peter’s: Communion
10am St Peter’s: Communion + Holy Baptism: I shall preside and our good friend,
the Rev’d Bryan Apps, will preach.
10am St Augustin’s: Communion: The Rev’d Dr Chris Steed.
10.45am St Stephen’s: Communion: The Rev’d John Staples
4pm St Peter’s: Choral Evensong.
On 17th December, my friend and colleague, Bryan Apps, will have been a minister for 60 years. We shall mark this at the 10am Communion at St Peter’s on Sunday, 12th December. Bryan’s ordination, as a Deacon in the Church of God, reminds us all that we are all God’s ministers, simply as Christians, and our commission is to live out in our daily lives in service to others our incorporation into Christ at Baptism. It is appropriate, therefore, that, during this Eucharist, in which we give thanks for God’s gift of Holy Orders for ministry, I shall lead us in baptising Amelia Rawles. Amelia sings in St Peter’s Choir – she is nine years old – and she tells me that she is much looking forward to making, for herself, the Baptism promises. Let us rejoice in this opportunity to gather round, as the Body of Christ, and support her, whilst we give hearty thanks for Bryan’s ongoing ministry amongst us.
Amongst others, your prayers are asked for Trevor Lambe, who died peacefully on Wednesday afternoon and for John Davis, who died peacefully this morning.
May they rest in peace
And rise in glory.
Your prayers are also asked for those who are approaching the end of their lives: particularly for Jen Fisher.
Might we politely ask you to be just a little more conscious than we have been recently of the desirability of making and keeping church as a safe space? Please, let us refrain from leaning over others and from hugging them? Masks can be worn at worship in all three churches – although it is no longer a legal requirement. Sanitising remains a safe practice. If you don’t want to be next to folk who are singing robustly, just quietly and politely move away. Our churches are large enough to accommodate people with a variety of views and vulnerabilities.
Communion will continue to be offered in one kind (bread only, dipped lightly into the consecrated wine) to those who queue, one by one, distanced, in the main aisle.
Let me know, please, if you can help with teaching in Sunday School – it is an urgent and sharp need, to enable us to care properly for the many children who are brought to our churches.
Enjoy the week!
The Rev’d Dr Ian A. Terry
DTh, PhD, MA, FRSA
Visiting Research Fellow: Winchester University
Team Rector: Bournemouth Town Centre
Chair: Local Governing Body: Bournemouth Collegiate School
18 Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6NT
Registered Charity Number: 1186400