Union Notes June 2020

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words and

Parish Information at a time of National crisis

  “May God be gracious to us, bless us and make His face shine on us”

Psalm 67

June 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Christians Supporting the Common Good

I do hope you are continuing to keep safe and well. Last Friday 5th June it was announced that there would be a further easing of restrictions and churches will be able to open after the 28th June. We are all drawing some encouragement from the reduction in the number of cases of those contracting the Corona virus.  Let us pray and hope that this improvement will continue.  There may be many things that we are unable to do during the pandemic but one thing that we can all do is to take personal responsibility for our lives and to ensure that we observe the simple guidelines for hygiene and social distancing, to ensure that we play our part in the containment of the virus.  In our families and among our friends we can also be strong advocates of appropriate behaviour and through all our actions, including hand washing, coughing etiquette, social distancing and wearing masks when necessary, encourage those whom we live with and know to follow our example.  Christians are called upon to think of “others” as well as of themselves.  We have a mandate to support the common good and, by putting the common good to the foremost of our priorities, we can all play a very positive part in helping to resolve the current issues we all face in the country and wider world.

 

I would also like to express my appreciation and sincere thanks to parishioners working in the Health Service, other public services, in commercial life, in providing care and in voluntary service, for all the good work they have done and the invaluable contribution they have made during the pandemic, which in so many cases required them to take a personal risk in order to help and support those in need of their service.

 

 

Re-opening of church buildings

Under the government programme for the easing of restrictions, it is intended that church buildings will be open on 28th June.  The Bishops of the Church of Ireland are preparing guidelines which we will follow. The Select Vestry will consider the guidelines before the 28th June and advise all parishioners of the arrangements for the re -opening of the church buildings and the holding of Services.

Killucan Church Bell

I would like to thank Alfie Bailey who has faithfully rung the bell every Friday at 12noon during the pandemic. The ringing of the bell is a sign of hope and Alfie has done a wonderful job which is appreciated by the whole community of Killucan.

 

 

Virtual Coffee Mornings

Each Thursday in All Saints’ Church Hall we gather together for coffee and conversation to raise money for local charities.  Arthur and Marion O’Toole are fantastic hosts – Arthur’s “Tasty Treats” will always leave you coming back for more.

With the Church closed these charities are missing out – so we plan to host some virtual coffee mornings in the form of an online Zoom Meeting and Facebook chats. We will launch this on Thursday 11th June.  Full details on how to access will be on the website beforehand.  Now we know that this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea or coffee!  However in the circumstances it’s all we can do for now – but we hope people in the parish and beyond will support our “Go Fund Me Campaign” generously so that the charities we support can continue to benefit.

The money raised in this campaign for June and July will be divided equally among our two chosen charities for these months. They are T.E.A.M (Temporary Emergency Accommodation Midlands), and Meals on Wheels, two charities that are really under pressure as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.

As restrictions ease you may like to host a small coffee morning with close neighbours or friends  and family  – any money raised can be donated here or by contacting us at info@mullingarunionofparishes.net or texting us on 089 2497078

 

You can Type this link to reach the go fund me campaign page  – or follow links on the website and social media.

 

Lighten Our Darkness

The 100 days of the Prayer Initiative will be marked on Tuesday 23rd June.

The Prayer Initiative undertaken by the young people continues every evening at 7.00 p.m.  Now that the school year has concluded for those in secondary and third level education, the young people are going to engage in further preparation for the work of the project.  The project as presented on Sunday 1st March continues to have a striking relevance and will certainly have a valuable contribution to make to Ireland in post-Covid 19.  I would again like to thank all the young people for their interest, enthusiasm and commitment and if other young people in the Parish would like to know more about the Project I would be delighted to hear from them.

 

 

All Saints’ School

The Board of Management has written to Peter Burke TD, to enquire about the guidelines being produced by the Department of Education and Skills for the re-opening of schools.  The Board hope that these guidelines will be made available as soon as possible so that there can be adequate time over the summer to prepare for the re-opening of the Parish National School at the end of August.  I would like to assure the parents of children attending the School, and the parents whose children will be starting at the end of August, that they will be kept fully informed of all developments by the Board of Management.

 

Select Vestry

There will be a meeting of the Select Vestry by ‘ Zoom’ on Monday 22nd June at 8p.m. the Hon. Sec will notify members by e mail.

 

Bereavement

We offer our deepest sympathy to Nia and Alasdair Richardson following the death of Nia’s aunt, Sharon.  Nia’s aunt had been hospitalised towards the end of her life and endured her illness with enormous courage.  She passed away peacefully in hospital.  Nia had provided her aunt with truly sensitive care and support which was a great comfort to her aunt at this very difficult time for her.  We pray that Sharon, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

We also offer our deepest sympathy to Robin and Lesley Aust, following the sad passing of Robin’s father, Sidney and his step-mother Beryl, in London.  Both Sidney and Beryl were hospitalised together at the end of their lives and had the comfort of being cared for in the same room.  Their passing was clearly a very sad time for Robin and his family and, in offering him our deepest sympathy, and appreciating the loving care he provided for them, we pray that both Sidney and Beryl, who are now at peace, may rest in the fuller presence of God and rise in glory.

 

 

I do hope that you will continue to keep well and safe and if I can be of any assistance or help to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me in the Rectory on 044-9348376.

 

 

With kind regards and with God’s blessings,

 

Rev. Alastair Graham

Rector

 

Virtual Coffee Morning

 

Thursday 11th June

 

Details on Parish website

 

 

Message from our Treasurer RE: Parish Donations and Offerings During Covid19 Restrictions

 

We have taken the steps necessary to set up a secure online payment portal through Paypal on the website  – we also have details of the BIC and IBAN Number of the Parish Account on the Donations Tab on the website.

 

To set up a standing order or to donate by bank transfer please use the following account details:

 

Account           Mullingar Union of Parishes

            IBAN               IE74 BOFI 9018 5315 7250 71

            BIC                  BOFIIE2D

 

I want to take this opportunity to extend a most sincere “Thank You” to all who have already sent cheques, lodged to the bank account direct, donated through Paypal and set up standing orders for monthly transfers, your ongoing support is very much appreciated at this time.

 

We understand that financial circumstances have changed for a lot of our parishioners in light of the current economic affect of the pandemic and we would ask that no parishioner puts themselves under financial pressure in order to support the parish during this time.  If you would like to contact me at any stage my number is 087 2709685

 

Keep well & safe

 

John Hales

Parish Treasurer

Psalm 71

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.

2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.

3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.

7 I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.

8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.

9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.

10 For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together.

11 They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.”

12 Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me.

13 May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace.

14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.

16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.

17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds.

18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God?

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.

22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.

23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.

24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words

Psalm 31

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.

10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.

11 Because of all my enemies I am the contempt of my neighbors – an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.

12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.

13 For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.

16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.

18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.

22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.

24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, verses 1-12

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Prayers

Living God, we pray for everyone in Ireland as we face the future with uncertainty and anxiety.  We pray for those who feel troubled in any way and long for peace and an end to conflict.  We pray for those who face trauma and upheaval in their lives, feel insecure and search for hope.  We pray for those who doubt their ability to cope with what life may bring, those overwhelmed by pressures, paralysed by fears, crushed by sorrows.  We pray for those faced with difficult decisions, circumstances beyond their control, unexpected dangers, awkward choices.  Living God, reach out to all of us for whom the future seems uncertain and unwelcome, and bring the assurance that, even in the darkest moments, greatest challenges, most worrying times, you are always there, able to bring light out of darkness, hope out of despair, joy out of sorrow and good out of evil.  Amen.

 

Most merciful Father, we commend to your care and protection those who succumbed to the Corona virus and those whose work is dangerous, especially those who risk their lives in providing care to those with Covid-19.  We thank you for their courage and their devotion to duty and pray that in every hour of need they may know that you are with them and need fear no evil.  Amen.

 

Lighten our darkness O Lord, we pray, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers at this time, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.