Last Wednesday, our wonderful Sue Masters led the first session of Building our Faith. This season we shall be exploring different images of the Holy Spirit and our focus this week was on The Holy Spirit seen as wind or breath.
Part of our study was focussed on Ezekiel 37; 1-14. This tells the familiar story of the Valley of Dry Bones. God takes Ezekiel to a valley where all around are dry bones and then asks him to prophesy over them: “I will put breath into you, and you shall live. I will fasten sinews on you, bring flesh upon you, overlay you with skin, and put breath in you and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37; 6) Ezekiel obeys God and, immediately, the bones join together as skeletons, they are covered with sinews and flesh and they stand up a living, breathing host of men. To be honest, it all sounds rather terrifying and nightmarish, and I know that artists and cartoonists have had a field day interpreting this image graphically. But the whole point of this story is its symbol of hope to the Israelites.
For the Israelites were in despair. Seventy years before, Jerusalem had been conquered by the Babylonians and they had been taken from their homes and exiled to Babylon. It was their own fault. God had warned them many times, but they had continued to disobey His Law and ignore Him. Their faith, like those bones, was all dried up and lifeless and they needed a sharp lesson. Now God was saying that He was going to breathe new life into the Israelites. “I will put my spirit into you and you shall live; and I will settle you on our own soil, and you shall know that I the Lord have spoken and will act.” (Ezekiel 37; 14).
I mention all this because during this last year or so, it seems as if we have been experiencing some sort of exile. Yes, we are still on our own soil, but so much has been sacrificed in lives, in work, in education, social interaction and economy.
Not for one moment do I blame God for this. Like the Israelites, we in the world have been given fair warning about our behaviour, our greed, our selfish and thoughtless use of resources at the expense of our environment. Do you remember the purity of air last year when we were in strict Lockdown? The blue skies, the warm sunny days. Are we wiser? Have we learnt anything? I do hope so.
Let us pray to God, thank him for His mercy and ask Him to breathe afresh His Spirit within us.
Lesley Lee – Reader
Bulletins will be sent out on Wednesday and Friday next week due to the bank holiday.
With the church now open for public worship we are seeing an increase in requests for baptisms and therefore have an urgent need to add some people to our Baptism Verger rota. Baptisms take place after the morning service on Sundays usually at 12 noon and last about an hour to hour and half. If you are interested, please let Julie or the Churchwardens know and training can be arranged. This role is important as you will be the welcoming face of St Andrew’s to people who may not have been to church before. A fixed rate is paid for each baptism.
The church has now re-opened for live worship every Sunday and will also open for private prayer on Thursdays.
Due to limited seating, places may be reserved by contacting Julie on a first come, first served basis. As before, we urge you if you have an invitation not to forget and if you are suddenly unable to attend to let us know at the earliest possible moment. Face masks continue to be required. If you see anyone not wearing a face mask, it is because they have medical exemption. We are not allowing any other exception. It is imperative the rules are strictly adhered to. This means gelling hands immediately upon arrival, taking your pew straight away as directed by the steward including whether to sit by the wall or the aisle; not moving from your place at any point during the service; and leaving promptly afterwards.
To reserve a seat please contact Julie at email@example.com or 07756 918847.
After booking a seat, if you find that you are unable to attend a service please inform one of the churchwardens so that it can be offered to another person.
As there were empty pews on Sunday we are looking to put together a reserve list of those people who are willing to be contacted at short notice to attend a service. If you would like to be included on this list then please let Julie know.
Attending St Andy’s Services
If you would like to attend a service at St Andy’s please contact Julie as she will be taking bookings. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07756 918847 if you want to attend.
Dogs in Churchyard
Due to an increasing amount of dog fouling in the churchyard we must ask dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead and ensure that any poop is bagged and binned.
Help Needed for an English Conversation Class
Are you a native English speaker? St Andy’s have started running a conversation class for refugees and asylum seekers in the Tile Hill area. We need volunteers to help run the conversation class on Wednesdays, 11.15am-12, currently meeting on Zoom. All you need is to be able to speak English and love God! If you are interested, please contact Sue Best (email@example.com/07837488721).
Cleaning the Church
As we are opening the church again from Easter Day, our thoughts are turning back to cleaning the building. Currently, we have a very small team who are on the rota to clean once a week. The team is Phil and Denise Davies, Diane Wilson, Becky Crowe and I who clean on a voluntary basis. Ideally, we would like to add some more volunteers to help us.
It normally takes a couple of hours to clean the church and side room (we are not cleaning upstairs currently) to make sure it is ready for a service on Sunday.
Cleaning of the building is important at the moment, not just to show visitors that the church is cared for, but also as part of the arrangements to allow us to open the church safely. Would you be able to help? If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Nick Tooby
The date of the church’s annual meeting has been set for Monday 17th May at 7.30pm via zoom. The access codes to join the meeting will be available nearer the time.
The APCM will elect churchwardens and PCC members. If you are an existing PCC member, would you please let Julie know if you are willing to stand next year by 1st May or if you are interested in standing, please let the one of the churchwardens know.
Children’s Society Boxes
It’s that time of year, so if you have a money collection box can you either leave it in church please, or contact me to collect it. I will not be able to personally collect the boxes till mid-April. Thank you for your support and a special thank you to Jackie Lynch who has stood down this year as the Children Society parish representative. Nick Tooby.
We are looking to safer recruit volunteers for our Youth work. If you feel you could help with either the Drama Club, Rock Solid or the Youth Wellbeing course then please get in touch with Emma at email@example.com
To donate to Central foodbank, Sue Barnes is coordinating this so please contact her to drop off food at her house. Contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are unable to give food you can also donate online here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/rddonate-checkout/
Sunday Coffee Gathering
The access codes for the 11.15am Sunday gathering are available from the churchwardens.
Betty Rippingale would like to thank everyone who sent her cards and flowers for her 97th birthday this week.
Below is the link to the prayer guide for May 2021.
A new daytime Pilates class is commencing at Eastern Green Village Hall on 17th May at 1.15pm. If you are interested, please contact Julie on 07792 965370 or email@example.com
Please pray for Rita Muir who has had a fall and is badly bruised: and for John Shelton whose health is improving but has a slow recovery ahead.
Please also pray for St Andrew’s as work continues to take place in the process of finding a new vicar.
Do send Julie your favourite bible verses or hymn verses, names for prayer and any birthdays, celebrations or articles for inclusion in the bulletin. Julie can be contacted on 07756 918847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Administrator: Julie Crow – 07756 918847
Churchwardens: Nick Tooby – 07951 925772 or Becky Crowe – 07875 552518