The Parish of S Michael and All Angels
SUNDAY 3 May 2020
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
The Good Shepherd has risen,
who laid down his life for his sheep
and willingly died for his flock, alleluia.
Dear friends as you will have heard we cannot have any public services at S. Michaels during the current emergency. Mass and the Daily Office will continue to offered every day, but in the Vicarage. Even if you can’t be with us you will be in our prayers.
We are producing this sheet each week instead of our usual notice sheet, to keep everyone in touch and to provide some things to help you as you pray. The only way for us to do at the moment is to send it with an email. Please pass sheets or information on to those for whom we don’t have an email address.
THIS WEEKS GOSPEL READING.
I am the gate of the sheepfold
‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.
So Jesus spoke to them again:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All others who have come
are thieves and brigands;
but the sheep took no notice of them.
I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out
and be sure of finding pasture.
The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come
so that they may have life and have it to the full.’.
MAKING A SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.
Even if we cannot be at mass and receive Holy Communion, we can always make a Spiritual Communion. God will always fill our hearts with his grace if we ask.
If you want us to bring someone or something to our Lord in prayer, please let Fr David know. Prayer is one of the most important things that we can do at this time.
Please remember these people in your prayers
Today as we think of the Good Shepherd is kept as Vocations Sunday. Please pray that God will give us Priests and Deacons to serve the Church and for Vocations to Religious Communities.
Almighty God, give us priests:
MAY the month of MARY.
May is traditionally a month when we think in a special way of the Virgin Mary. This year Christians throughout the world are being encouraged to use most ancient known prayer to Our Lady. It was probably written the the 3rd Century. Why not try to say this prayer every day in May.
We fly to Thy
THE REAL HIPPOPOTAMUS
‘Is it real?’ said the little girl, sitting on top of the Hippopotamus.
‘No of course its not real’ said her dad.
Don’t worry I haven’t been taking psychedelic drugs, but I did go for walk through the Lessness Woods the other day. There is in the woods a life size wooden sculpture of a hippopotamus, some years ago these used to wander around Abbey Wood. It was on this wooden hippopotamus that the girl was sitting. In one sense the dad was wrong. There was really a wooden hippopotamus there, but it wasn’t a hippopotamus. We demand something else for it to be real.
The little girl didn’t give up and kept asking ‘is it real. and the dad with adult exasperation kept saying ‘no of course it is not!’
The conversation reminded me of a famous children story called The Velveteen Rabbit. The toys are in the playroom and the toy rabbit asks the rocking horse. ‘How do I become real?
God gives us life to be lived, to be lived to the full. That means that we cannot have protected lives. It is the knocks, the times we fall down, the pain and hurts that make us and make our lives.
For us to believe in someone, is not see them as a perfect person, but to rather truly know them, believe in them is to know them as the imperfect and battered person that they are.
The Christian Faith always encourages us to go beyond the surface, the front that we all present to others. It demands an honest with ourselves and others. But that is something that we can do because God meets us in the reality of Jesus.
We think this week of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. He is not some romantic Shepherd from a story book, but one prepared to give his life for his flock, A Shepherd who rashly will spend all to search for one lost sheep. And when he has found us will carry us back in his arms. Accepting us, embracing us, because God sees us and makes us real.
© Fr D Sherratt April 2020. Fr David exerts his right as author of this piece and to its Intellectual Property
Our worship this week
Mon 4 THE ENGLISH MARTYRS
Tue 5 Tuesday of the 4th week of Eastertide
Wed 6 Wednesday of the 4th week of Eastertide
Thu 7 Thursday of the 4th week of Eastertide
Fri 8 Friday of the 4th week of Eastertide
Sat 9 Saturday of the 4th week of Eastertide
The Anglican Bishops have forbidden all podcasts etc. from church buildings. If you want to follow a service online it is therefore perhaps best to see here
OUR PARIS H LIFE
RE-FORMATION. Our PCC are thinking about the plans for the re-formation of our Parish Life, Public Worship and Mission in our community. Please keep our Parish in your prayers as we prepare for this. This task doesn’t just belong to the Clergy and the PCC but to all of us. If you would like to receive a copy of the discussion document Re-Forming Our Parish, Fr David will happily email you a copy.
FUNERALS. If you know of anyone who has to arrange a Funeral over the coming weeks, please advise them that if they want a member of the clergy to take the service, they will have to tell this to the undertaker, otherwise they will be given a Civil Celebrant. If you would like Fr David to conduct a funeral please give the undertakers the contact details on this sheet.
THIS WEEKS FEAST. On Monday we celebrate the English Martyrs, all of those valiant men and women who lost their lives during the horrors and intolerance of the Reformation in our land.
PASTORAL WORK If you need him for something or just want a chat, please phone or email Fr David, he is here for you. During the current situation either email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 07796 432357
If you are self-isolating and need help getting shopping etc., please let him know and he will do his best to find someone to help you. A kind person has donated a quantity of food etc. for a family or persons who may need it. Please contact Fr David if we could help you or someone you know of.
PARISH PRIEST. Fr David Sherratt. Tel. 0779432357
Assistant Priest Fr Derek Robinson
Churchwardens Mr Peter Ludlow, Mr Christopher Harper
Safeguarding Officer Mrs Susan Robinson
WEEKLY OFFERINGS. We know that this will be a time of financial hardship for many. But if those who are able can keep up their regular giving to our Parish, it will enable us to keep operating as normally as we can. We cannot have collections, but there are still bills to pay. The best way to do this will by Internet banking. The details are Sort Code 30-99-88, Account No 00160771, Account Name is PCC Saint Michael and All Angels Abbey Wood. In the reference section please put your name followed by; ‘Offering’.
PARISH MAGAZINE. We are unable to print and deliver this at the moment, but we have placed some of the articles from the May Magazine on the Parish Website.