News – Page 13

Anglican Church News

From the Vicar

Dear Friends,

Eastertide is the period of forty days between Easter and Ascension Day (10th May), which may seem crazy when Easter is clearly over, but if you look on the Bible Reading Sheets, you will find the Sundays are numbered Easter 4, Easter 5, and so forth.

Eastertide is the forty days during which the Risen Christ appeared again and again to his disciples, following his death and resurrection. The Gospels give us little of Christ’s teachings and activities during this period, but Jesus was seen by numerous disciples: on the road to Emmaus, by the Sea of Galilee, in houses, etc. He strengthened and encouraged his disciples, and at last opened their eyes to all that the Scriptures had promised about the Messiah. Jesus also told them that as the Father had sent him, he was now going to send them; to all corners of the earth, as his witnesses.

On Ascension Day the sequence of events that began at Easter was completed. Christ ascended to his Father in Heaven, and now it was the time for the promised Holy Spirit to come. Pentecost is the time when the Church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, the Church was soon off to a flying start. What took place was an incredibly dramatic moment in Christian history. The book of Acts tells us that thousands were added to their number each day!  No wonder Pentecost Sunday (20th May) is a celebration in the Christian year. In fact, in many Christian traditions, Pentecost comes second in importance only to Easter itself.

When we read through the book of Acts, we find evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit on every page; the same Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus, and the same Holy Spirit that we read of so actively in the creation stories of Genesis. The same Holy Spirit we witness at work in our church communities now, guiding, encouraging, and empowering us in our discipleship.

Pentecost falls on the fiftieth day after Easter, when, according to Luke’s account in Acts, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples in Jerusalem, who were gathered there on Jesus’ instructions, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised.”

Even so, the Holy Spirit’s arrival astounded everyone. The disciples certainly did not expect a sound like a mighty rushing wind from heaven, tongues of fire coming to rest on their heads, and the gift of being able to praise God in languages unknown to them. Luke’s description of Pentecost focuses on the impact of the event on people: the disciples were empowered to preach the gospel, to break down the barriers of language separating them and their audiences, and to heal and restore.

This season is a season of empowering and enabling in the church’s year, and so to must it be a time of empowering in our church life too. Let us be churches that seek to encourage others, by the Holy Spirit, to discover God’s gifts and ‘have a go’. We may not see ‘thousands’ but I do believe that we will see ‘those being called’ added to our number too.

Please do join us for an Ascension Day Holy Communion at All Hallows, Gedling, 7.30pm, when we will join in worship with all the churches in the Deanery.

Every blessing, Anthony

Church Services in May
Woodborough, Epperstone, Oxton & Gonalston

6th May

8.00a.m Holy Communion (W’b)

10.00a.m All Age Worship (W’b)

10th May (Ascension Day)

7.30p.m. Deanery Ascension Day service, All Hallows, Gedling

13th May

9.30a.m Holy Communion (W’b)

11.00a.m Holy Communion (Ox)

20th May (Pentecost)

9.30a.m.a.m Benefice Christian Aid Service (W’b)

11.00a.m BCP Holy Communion (Gon)

6.00p.m Bereavement Memorial Service (Ox)

23rd May

12.30p.m. Mid-week Holy Communion, plus bring & share lunch (W’b)

27th May

9.30a.m. Morning Prayer (W’b)

9.30a.m. All Age Worship (Ep)

11.00a.m. All Age Worship (Ox)

Church Happenings in May

Wednesday 2nd May

10.0a.m. Coffee Drop In @ St. Swithun’s

7.30p.m Julian meeting, St. Swithun’s

Sunday, 6th May

10.00a.m. Sunday Club, Oxton village hall

Tuesday, 8th May

2.00p.m Church Fellowship, The Institute, W’b

Wednesday 9th May

9.30a.m. Play Church. St. Swithun’s

Friday 11th May

2.00p.m Scramblers, Oxton village hall

Wednesday 16th May

7.30p.m Julian meeting, St. Swithun’s

Wednesday 23rd May
9.30a.m. Play Church. St. Swithun’s

Wednesday 30th May

7.30p.m Julian meeting, St. Swithun’s

The annual Christian Aid Service will be held in St Swithun’s Church on Sunday 20th May at 9.30am.

Hannah Silcock from Christian Aid will be our speaker. Everyone is very welcome.

If you wish to contribute to the work of Christian Aid, please put your contribution into a Christian Aid envelope, which can be collected and returned to either St Swithun’s Church or 3 Pinfold Close, Woodborough.