I am sure that, like me, you have memories of receiving special gifts in your life – a surprise gift that you did not expect; particularly memorable Christmas presents when you were a child; amazing birthday treats. For me, I can still remember the Christmas I received my dolls house. It had its own garage and came with a beautiful red racing car. I adored it. One birthday (when I was in my late 30s, I think), my two children presented me with a brand-new bicycle. I remember discovering it standing in the centre of my living-room proudly adorned with bows of ribbon. I felt 11 years of age all over again!
It makes us feel good to give gifts too. One of the hardships of this Lockdown, was not being able to see my London Grandchildren open their presents. A WhatsApp thank you call was lovely in its way – but not the same.
Of course, gifts do not necessarily have to be materialistic. Despite the awful negatives, we have experienced amazing gifts during this pandemic. That wondrous Spring, we enjoyed last year when everything was at a standstill, and we had “time to stand and stare” and listen. The support of friends and neighbours; the Thursday evening applause for the NHS and Frontline Workers; the smile and friendly greeting from complete strangers and, not least, the discovery of effective vaccines. It’s not that I deny the severity of the challenges – far from it. I remember the fear, the sense of isolation, separation from loved ones, not being able to receive or give hugs, the dreadful loss of life and exhausted faces of hospital staff. But, amidst the darkness, I recognised bright streams of light.
Below I have copied out the words for today from a little devotional book I use called ‘Jesus Calling’ by Sarah Young. Sarah has been inspired to write each message for the day as if directly from God. The Bible references support the text. May these words be a gift to you.
‘Open your hands and your heart to receive this day as a precious gift from Me. I begin each day with a sunrise, announcing My radiant Presence. By the time you rise from your bed, I have already prepared the way before you. I eagerly await your first conscious thought. I rejoice when you glance My way.
Bring Me the gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to rich communion with Me. Because I am God, from whom all blessings flow, thankfulness is the best way to draw near Me. Sing praise songs to Me; tell of My wondrous works. Remember that I take great delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing.’
Psalm 118; 24. Psalm 95; 1-2 Zephaniah 3; 17
Vicarage Working Party
Could you help to give the vicarage and vicarage garden a tidy up? On Saturday the 3rd July between 9am and 1pm I’m looking for some volunteers to help please.
We have interviews taking place the following week, and it would be nice if we could make everywhere presentable before then. If you can help, please let me know. Please bring your own tools. Thank you.
Nick Tooby – Churchwarden
Shortlisting Applicants for Interview
I’m pleased to say that we have shortlisted 4 people for interview to become our next vicar. The interviews will take place on the 8th July. Please continue to pray for the candidates and those involved in appointing the right person.
Nick Tooby – Churchwarden
The church is open for live worship every Sunday and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Our next Children’s service will take place in church on Sunday 4th July. If you would like to reserve a place, please contact Julie on 07756 918847 or email@example.com
Aldermoor Farm school have really depleted stocks of children’s books in their library. Many have disappeared and funding is now low to restock. Please could I ask people to hunt in their cupboards for any age children’s books please they no longer require. I am happy to collect from anyone kind enough to donate. Please ring me, Linda Chylinski, on 07962 028625. Thank you.
Please remember to 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
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 parish administrator or the churchwardens.
Please pray for St Andrew’s as work continues to take place in the process of finding a new vicar.
Churchwardens: Nick Tooby – 07951 925772 and Becky Crowe – 07875 552518
Parish Administrator: Julie Crow – 07756 918847