Issue 127  “UNION NEWS” October 2020

MULLINGAR UNION OF PARISHES

Issue 127                    “UNION NEWS”                           October 2020

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Keeping Focused

As we continue our journey through the pandemic it is so important that all of us keep our focus on just doing the “right things” in terms of our personal hygiene and contact with others.  There is no doubt that this pandemic will eventually come to an end but, as we journey towards the “finishing line”, we must not lose our concentration or our personal responsibility to do all that we can in supporting all the efforts to keep everyone safe and well.

For Christians, of course, there is an added dimension.  We know we are not alone on this journey and that God is with us.  We have the lovely story in St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 20, when Mary Magdalene, feeling at a very low point following the death of Jesus, was suddenly strengthened and encouraged when she met Jesus and went to the disciples with the news “I have seen the Lord”.  Through our prayer and worship we, too, experience the presence of the Lord which is a comfort, strength and consolation in these challenging times.  Christians are people of hope and it is so important that we remain hopeful as well as being responsible.

 

Harvest Festivals

At this time of year parishes hold Harvest Services to give thanks to God for, yet again, crowning the year with His goodness by giving us the fruits of the earth in their season.  This month there will be three Harvest Services, each held in the Open Air which, we hope, will be very well supported.  The services will be held as follows:

Sunday 4th October

11.30 a.m.    Killucan      Outside the Parish Hall on the Mullingar Road.

Sunday 4th October

3.30 p.m.     Almoritia     In the Church Grounds

Sunday 11th October

11.00 a.m.   All Saints’    At the rear of the church

The Service in All Saints’ will be conducted by the young people from the Lighten Our Darkness initiative.  Due to the pandemic the churches will not be decorated for Harvest this year but we invite people to bring gifts of fruit, flowers and vegetables with them to the Harvest Service, which they will be asked to take home afterwards.  At each of the Services we will have the opportunity to hear the familiar Harvest hymns.

 

Bible Study- 10.30 a.m. Saturday 17th October – All Saints’

Open for Prayer – All Saints’ Wednesdays 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Oct – 12noon to 2p.m

Healing Service

Sunday 18th October is St. Luke’s Day.  As we know, St. Luke was a physician and, in celebrating St. Luke’s Day, we remember God’s gift of healing and the importance of the healing ministry in the Church.  There will be a special Healing Services in All Saints’ at 10.00 a.m.

 

Church Attendance

FOLLOWING LEVEL 3 GOVERMENT ADVISORY THERE WILL BE NO CHURCH SERVICES FROM MIDNIGHT 6th October for 3 weeks we will update as this progresses.

I warmly invite parishioners to come to church.  You will find that in the church you will feel completely safe, and the guidelines are adhered to.  I am pleased to say that this month we will start having monthly Services in both Almoritia and Kilbixy, in addition to the Services in All Saints’ and Killucan.

 

Ecumenical Prayer Initiative

I am currently in discussion with the leaders of the other Christian churches in the Mullingar area to discuss the holding of a special Christian Prayer Initiative.  I will announce further details when the arrangements are finalised.

 

Family Services

On Sunday 25th October, at Services in All Saints’ and Killucan, we will invite parents to bring children to church for a short Prayer Service.  This is experimental but, I hope, it may set a nice pattern to enable children to attend church.

 

All Saints’ Patronal Festival

This year All Saints’ Day falls on Sunday 1st November.  Each year we have a special celebration to mark the Patronal Festival.  This year the Service will be at 11.00 a.m. and will be conducted by the young people from the Lighten Our Darkness initiative.  Given the significance of their initiative the Service will be a United Service for all the churches in the Union, and I do hope that the Service will be well attended.  Further details will be provided in the November Union Notes.

 

Parish Website and Facebook – www.mullingarunionofparishes.net.

I warmly commend both the website and the Facebook to you.  You will not only find news of our Parish but also news of other Parishes and Dioceses that will be of interest to you.

 

General Easter Vestry

The General Easter Vestry Service on Sunday 20th September went very well and I would like to congratulate those who have been appointed and elected to Office in the Parish.  I would also like to again thank those who have given such service to the Parish, particularly during these last few months.  I hope we can look forward to the next year with confidence and hope.

Bereavement –We offer our deepest sympathy to Patrick and Caroline Pilkington. Patrick’s mother passed away peacefully following an illness she bore with courage and dignity. Patrick and his family provided a wonderful prayerful and loving presence for their mother which I know was a great comfort to her as was the close loving presence of Almighty God. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

Daily Reflection

Last month I included some comforting words and prayers which I hope you had the opportunity to use.  This month I am including on the back page, “The Great Realisation” by Tomas Roberts and I hope you will take some time to use the reflection as a time of discernment. I would again like to thank you for your support and I hope you will all keep safe and well.  As you know, I am always available if needed and I will look forward to hearing from you.

 

With God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham, Rector

087-7870985

 

 

CHURCH SERVICES THIS MONTH

           

Sunday 4th October

All Saints’        10.00 a.m.        Holy Communion (said), Rector

Killucan           11.30 a.m.        Harvest Thanksgiving Service

(Venue – Outside the Parish Hall)

Almoritia            3.30 p.m.        Harvest Thanksgiving Service

(Venue – Church grounds)

Sunday 11th October

All Saints’        11.00 a.m.        Harvest Thanksgiving Service

(Venue – Church grounds)

 

Sunday 18th October

All Saints’        10.00 a.m.        Healing Prayer Service

Killucan           11.30 a.m.        Children and Family Service

Kilbixy                4.p.m.             Evening Prayer

 

Sunday 25th October

All Saints’          9.30 a.m.        Holy Communion

11.00 a.m.        Children and Family Service

Killucan           11.30 a.m.        Morning Prayer- Richard Tansley

 

 

 

The Great Realisation by Tomas Roberts

 

It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

back before we understood why hindsight is 20/20.

You see the people came up with Companies to trade across all lands

but they swelled and got much bigger than ever we had planned.

We had always had our wants but now things go so quick,

we could have everything we dreamed of, today, or with a click.

We noticed families had stopped talking, that didn’t mean they never spoke,

but the meaning must have melted and the work/life balance broke.

The children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone,

they filtered out the imperfections but amidst the noise they felt alone.

And every day the skies grew thicker till we couldn’t see the stars,

so we flew in planes to find them and down below we filled our cars.

We’d drive around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run,

we swapped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks till there were none.

We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped,

until each day when we went fishing we pulled them out already wrapped.

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us that it’s best not to upset the Lobbies, more convenient to die,

But then in 2020 a new virus came our way, the governments reacted and told us all to hide away.

But while we were hidden amidst the fear and all the while,

the people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile,

They started clapping to say ‘thank you’ and calling up their mums,

and while the car keys gathered dust they would look forward to their runs,

And with the skies less full of voyagers the earth began to breathe,

and the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off in to the seas,

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking,

we’d grown so used to bad news but some good news was in the making.

And so, when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside,

we all preferred the world we found to the one we left behind.

Old habits became extinct and they made up for the new,

and every act of kindness was now given its’ due.

But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?

Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick my boy before you start feeling better.

Now lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that you can do

And who knows if you dream hard enough maybe some will come true.

We now call it The Great Realisation and since then there have been many,

but that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight is 20/20.

 

I pray you will keep well and safe.

Thought For The Week 24/09/2020

Thought for the Week

Each year in September, the Church of Ireland appoints the second Sunday as a time for special prayers for vocations to the Church.   One of the very well known passages of Scripture is found in Matthew Chapter 4 when Jesus calls the first disciples, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John.  They, of course, were fishermen beside the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus asked them to follow him and they did.

Why did they respond?  Indeed, the same can be said today.  Why is it that people respond to the call of Jesus and follow Him?  Often Jesus’s call comes slowly.  It grows over a period of time until it can no longer be ignored.  For some others, of course, it comes dramatically as it did for the first disciples.  Part of the answer is that Jesus himself had such astonished magnetism that when we encounter his love we find ourselves drawn into his presence and inspired by his holy spirit.

Simon Peter never imagined when he decided to follow Jesus that he would end up with a huge church in Rome dedicated to his memory.  Andrew didn’t suppose that whole countries such as Scotland, Greece,and Russia would regard him as their patron saint.

But it wasn’t just Jesus’s magnetism that drew people.  Historians all agree that the reason people in the ancient world travelled from near and far to be with Jesus was because of his remarkable healings.  He really did have remarkable powers of healing and these healings were signs of the new thing that God was doing through Jesus – bringing God’s healing rule.

The first disciples found themselves at the very centre of bustling crowds.  Like the early disciples, we are called to serve and to minister to people.  Those called by the Lord are ambassadors of healing, showing the difference God’s rule makes and how His healing facilitates the restoration of our relationship with Him.

We see God’s healing power working individually in our lives, healing us of that which harms us.  We see God’s healing power melting the hostility that often dwells between people of different race, colour and creed.  We see God’s healing power enabling nature to recover its’ greatness when people realise that their role is not to plunder God’s earth but to treat it with respect and love and to admire its’ diversity.

So, as we this month remember those called to serve God through ministry, and how we ourselves as Christians are called to serve and show God’s healing power through our lives and witness, we can draw strength from our prayerful discernment as we remember the words of Frances Havergal’s lovely hymn “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee, take my moments and my days and let them flow in ceaseless praise”.

 

Thought For The Week 17/09/2020

Thought for the Week

There will be dismay among many people now that it appears the number of people affected by the corona virus is rising again with the subsequent restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the virus in the country.  While this setback is disappointing, it does remind us of the need for everyone to take personal responsibility for their own hygiene and to encourage others to do likewise.  If we all behave responsibly we will be supporting the common good and helping to repress the spread of the virus.

 

Christians, of course, can also draw comfort and inspiration from God’s love and grace.  The psalmist, in Psalm 46, reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its’ waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”  Through our prayerful relationship with God we can be confident in knowing that, as the book of Deuteronomy says, “underneath are the everlasting arms”.  So, while we need to be and should be careful, we do not need to be afraid because we are blessed with God’s protection and His love.

 

The prophet Isaiah summed it up so well when he said “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41, v 10.

 

“May God be gracious to us, bless us and make His face shine on us” Psalm 67 and may you keep well and safe in your daily life.

Thought for the Week 09/09/2020

Thought for the Week

Last Sunday in church we read some words of Scripture from Matthew 18, where Jesus speaks of the bedrock of principles in dealing with reconciliation.  Despite the dominance of Covid19 in the media, the result of larger scale acts of human conflict have not been suppressed.  We’ve seen the community violence in the cities of the U.S., political repression and the attempt to crush the integrity of elections.  We have also become aware of domestic violence, shattered families and feuds between neighbours and neighbourhoods.  Human endeavour struggles to secure reconciliation in these situations but, sadly, so often without lasting success.

Christian faith offers real hope.  We learn of this hope through the pages of the Bible. The story of humanity begins in the Bible with the break in the relationship between people and God.  It is followed immediately by human hostility as seen in the story of Cain and Abel.  The Bible makes clear that only when our relationship is restored with God can relationships with people be healed.  Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God makes all humanity his friends through Christ.

The antibiotic for the infection of human conflict is forgiveness not revenge.  The Bible shows how when we repent of our mistakes and sin, we turn from the past to God, His loving forgiveness awaits us. We enter a new life as forgiven people with the grace and power to forgive others.

The fruit of reconciliation is peace.  Reconciliation means peace with God, peace between men and women and between communities and nations.  Those who were enemies now found themselves members of the same family – God’s family.  The enmity that divided them is unimportant compared with the relationship with God which now unites them.  St. Paul calls upon us to be reconciled to God and to participate in the ministry of reconciliation.

I hope you are encouraged by knowing that there is a path through human conflict to reconciliation and peace.

Alastair Graham

All Saints’ Church Mullingar

Good News.  Good News. 

We warmly welcome Luke Hawkins, the new chaplain of Wilson’s Hospital School to the Parish and to Westmeath, and also his delightful wife Esther.  Luke and Esther bring an invaluable teaching experience from their time as teachers in England and also share a faith and love that is both inspiring and endearing.   We hope they will both be as happy in Westmeath as we will be having them among us.

Union Notes September 2020

 

MULLINGAR UNION OF PARISHES

 

Issue 126                    “UNION NEWS”                       September 2020

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Return to Church

We were happily able to open the churches again for worship on Sunday 5th July.  The Services since then have gone very well and those who have attended have, I hope, felt safe and uplifted by being able to again worship Almighty God in church.  I warmly commend the Services to all parishioners, young and old.

At the General Vestry Service I will give details of the Services that we hope to hold over the coming weeks.  Like other activities in the community, it is very important that parishioners find a way to support the church.

In our Parish we can all draw strength from God’s love and protection and from the support we offer each other.  Together we stand and under God’s love we will overcome adversity.

September

Normally September heralds the reopening of many Parish organisations after the summer break.  Due to the ongoing pandemic this will not be happening in the way we normally expect.  Little by little we hope to be able to continue the momentum of witnessing to God’s love and grace, always keeping in mind the medical advice concerning the Corona virus.  In that regard, we would continue to urge everyone to take personal responsibility for their own hygiene and to encourage others to do likewise.  If we all behave responsibly, we will be supporting the common good and helping to repress the spread of the virus.

I would again like to express our deep appreciation to all those in the Health Service who have so courageously and compassionately provided the much-needed care for those who have succumbed to the virus.

 General Easter Vestry

Following a consultation with the Diocese, a General Easter Vestry Service will be held in All Saints’ Parish church on Sunday 20th September at 11.00 a.m.  This is always a very important occasion in the Parish and I am sure, as always, it will be well supported.

All Saints’ National School

In accordance with the government’s guidelines, the School re-opened on Thursday 27th August and the daily life of the School is going exceptionally well.  We warmly welcome all the new children who have just started attending school and we hope their school experience will be both enjoyable and beneficial for them.  I would also like to thank the Principal, teachers and staff for all the good work they undertook to prepare the School for the re-opening and to all the parents and the Board of Management for their kind cooperation with all the protocols and procedures.  It is a delight to hear the voices of the children in the church precincts and we hope that everything will go well in the life of the School this school year.

 Students at Secondary School and College

We also offer all those attending Secondary School and Third Level Colleges, and all the teaching staff, our best wishes for the academic year.  We pray that the academic year will proceed without disruption.

Harvest Festivals

Each year the Harvest Thanksgiving Services are greatly enjoyed by parishioners.  This year, complying with the guidelines, I hope it will be possible to hold Harvest Thanksgiving Services in the Parish and times and dates will be given in the October issue of the Union Notes.

Bereavement

Following the sad death of Peter McGill, we offer our deepest sympathy to Sheila and their children Rachel, Clare and David, and all the grandchildren, family, and their many friends.  We pray that Sheila and the family will be comforted by their wonderful memories of Peter.   Peter passed away peacefully after a long illness borne with such courage and dignity.  Peter, of course, was the highly respected and much-loved surgeon in Mullingar Hospital for many, many years and was also highly regarded by everyone in the community and in the societies and organisations in which he was involved.  Peter was also a devoted husband to Sheila and a deeply loved father, grandfather, and dear friend.  We pray that Peter, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in peace.

Lighten Our Darkness

The amazing group of young people working on this project spent a lot of their time during the summer months developing the project and researching a lot of the facts and details that will be an integral part of the programme moving forward.  From September, in addition to their Prayer Ministry, they will become more involved in the worship of God in the Parish.  I would invite everyone to continue to pray for the good work the Holy Spirit is doing among the young people, both enhancing and enriching their faith and understanding of the Bible.

Vocation Sunday

On Sunday 13th September special prayers will be said in all churches in the Church of Ireland as we remember those who are responding to God’s call to a vocation in the church, and also for all those who may feel that God is calling them to ministry in the church.  This is a significant Christian calling and as Diocesan Director of Ordinands I will be very happy to meet with anyone who might like to discuss a call to ministry with me.

Parish Website Address – www.mullingarunionofparishes.net.

You may like to keep in touch with the Parish through the website.

Rev. Alastair Graham, Rector

087-7870985

Some comforting words to support each day

 Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

The psalmist wrote, “I lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence comes my help, my  help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, the Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life, the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forever more”

Prayers

 The Presence of God

Lord, we come to you in the assurance that you are present with us now, we do not have to seek your presence, we are daily living in your presence.  Make us aware of it, make it real to us and help us in these moments of prayer to know that we are speaking to one who is near and not far off, whose love is all around us and who knows our every need.  Amen.

We lift our hearts and minds in prayer in the faith of God the Father who loves us, in the name of God the Son who forever lives to intercede for us, in the power of the Holy Spirit who comes to aid our weakness.  Hear us in your mercy O God this day and always.  Amen.

Remember in mercy our Father those who are passing through illness and especially of whom we are now thinking in our prayers.  Bless all that is being done for their good and surround them with your healing love and power, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour.   Amen.

May the God of peace who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him and may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit be with you now and always.

We pray that everyone in the Parish will keep safe and well.

 

Union Notes July 2020

 

Corona Virus Pandemic

  “The Lord is my shepherd”

Psalm 23

 

Dear Parishioners,

Return to In-Church Worship

We are all delighted to know that, from Monday 29th June, Parish churches reopen for public worship and we look forward to welcoming you back to church.   Our last Service before the pandemic was midday prayers in All Saints’ on Monday 16th March.  That was 16 weeks ago and so it will be very nice to open the church for worship from this Sunday 5th July.  In response to national guidelines the Church of Ireland has drawn up protocols which we will observe on our return to church and details of these are in the Union Notes.  The Select Vestry will be very grateful if parishioners would follow the protocols and guidance of the churchwardens.  Initially we have been given permission to open two churches for worship – All Saints’ Mullingar and St. Etchen’s Killucan.  The Service in Mullingar will be at 10.00 a.m. and in Killucan at 11.30 a.m. every Sunday.

Online Services

While the churches were closed for public worship we were so blessed to be able to provide online Services every Sunday and Wednesday and a Friday school assembly during term time.  I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Services – the readers, those who led the prayers, the Choir and those who provided the floral arrangements each week.  We also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Lorraine Hales who prepared the presentations for the online Services.  She did a truly wonderful job and enabled everyone to still have a church connection while the churches were closed.

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 recently virtual coffee mornings have been held in the form of an online Zoom Meeting and Facebook chats.  I would like to thank those who participated in the virtual coffee mornings and also to those who have contributed so generously to the Go Fund me campaign  https://www.gofundme.com/manage/allsaintscofeeforcharity

The Zoom Coffee Mornings will continue for the moment and details can be found on the Parish website.

Lighten Our Darkness

The Bishop sent a special message of thanks and encouragement to all the young people who undertook the Candle Prayer Initiative for 102 days.  We will continue to pray for those who have succumbed to the corona virus and those who compassionately are responding to help.  However, the Group Prayer Initiative came to an end after 102 days but individually the young people will continue to offer their own prayers.

 

Christians Supporting the Common Good

In the June issue of the Union Notes I encouraged everyone to take personal responsibility for complying with the hygiene guidance we are now so familiar with.  I would urge everyone to continue “being hygienic”.  As we know, the Christian faith strongly encourages us to think of others as well as ourselves and so there is an added imperative to keep up our “hygienic habits” to ensure that we are part of helping the common good and the welfare of all people.  In our church Services we will continue every Sunday to remember those suffering from Covid19 in both our own country and in the wider world.

 

Select Vestry

The Select Vestry met on Monday 29th June and approved the protocols for in-church worship.  The Select Vestry will meet again on Monday 27th July at 7.30 p.m.

 

 County Westmeath

This is the third week since the onset of the pandemic that there are no cases of Covid19 in the county.   Let us hope that through the good efforts of others and ourselves this will continue.

I do hope you are all keeping 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 at the Rectory – 044 9348376.

With kind regards and with God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham

Rector

 

Return to In-Church Worship Protocols

We ask all parishioners to follow these protocols on returning to church.

  • On entering church parishioners are asked to go to their seats or pews as requested by the churchwardens.  In All Saints’, families will sit together in the Gallery where possible.
  • Parishioners are asked to be flexible in the use of seats and pews.  Parishioners are asked to arrive before the Service.  The Service Sheet will be placed on the seats and, in All Saints’, seats must not be moved.
  • Prayer Books and Hymnals will not be used.
  • There will be no singing at present but organ music is permitted.
  • Tissues will be provided if required.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided and parishioners are requested to use this on entrance and exit.
  • Safe distancing both inside and outside the church is required.  Little movement should take place in church.
  • If you intend to wear a mask please bring your own mask.
  • Holy Communion.  The clergy will wear shields and sanitize their hands before and after Communion.  Parishioners are asked to stand for Communion and are also asked to neither kneel nor queue.
  • Please avoid bottlenecks as parishioners exit the church.
  • Fresh flowers will not be used at present.
  • Churchwardens will keep the names of attendees for 3 weeks for social tracing purposes.
  • Outside the church, after the Service, people are asked to observe social distancing in meeting each other.

 

The Church of Ireland authorities have asked churchwardens to take on the important role of overseeing the protocols and I am sure you will give them your full co-operation and support.  I would like to thank the churchwardens for generously agreeing to undertake this role.

We look forward to welcoming you back to church.

Prayer has been a wonderful source of strength to all of us during these very challenging weeks and months and we will continue to have a very strong focus of prayer as we now return to the worship of Almighty God in church.

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.

 

Union Notes May 2020

MULLINGAR UNION OF PARISHES

 Corona Virus Outbreak

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

 

May 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone and, sadly, tragic for many.  While the phased reopening plan outlined by An Taoiseach has give some confidence, we are still in a very challenging situation.  I am very conscious of the financial, employment, farming, health, social and personal pressures so many people are suffering in the Parish.

We remember in prayer and offer our deepest sympathy to two families in the Parish who have recently been bereaved.  On Sunday 26th April, Ivan Bourke sadly passed away.  Everyone in the Parish and the wider community was heartbroken on hearing the sad news.  Ivan was a legend in the business community with his ownership of Hutchison’s store, in the Parish community of All Saints’ where he played the organ for over 60 years, in the wider community through his involvement in the Mullingar Choral Society and many other organisations.  He was the epitome of the true gentleman, with a graceful, generous, compassionate and kind personality which won the admiration and affection of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.  Ivan was pre-deceased by his beloved wife Elsie and we offer our deepest sympathy to David, Olwyn, Shirley, Adele, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister and all members of the wider family.

Sadly, on Monday 27th April, Ann Hill of Killynon, Mullingar, passed away suddenly at her home. Ann was a warm-hearted loving person whose welcome to visitors was unsurpassed, with her lovely friendliness and her great generosity and hospitality, with plenty of cups of tea.  Her beloved husband, Bob, passed away last August and we offer our deepest sympathy to Robert, Anna and Aidan, her adoring grandchildren and her great-granddaughter, her brothers and sisters, and all the members of the wider family.

We pray that both Ivan and Ann may rest in peace and rise in glory.

Every week through the Parish website, (mullingarunionofparishes.net), and Facebook, Lorraine Hales is working exceptionally hard to keep everyone in the Parish up to date with Parish news.  I would like to sincerely thank Lorraine for her wonderful work and kindness, and if you are able to convey your own appreciation please do so.

Remember the Parish community Noticeboard : Text or Whats app   089 2497078  or email info@mullingarunionofparishes.net  It’s a lovely way to keep in touch and remind us that we are still together and united as a parish.

PARISH COMMUNITY NOTICEBOARD

The Sunday Service at 12.00 noon is now well established.  The Bible Reflection continues every Wednesday at 8.00pm on the website and the virtual School Assembly is held every Friday morning at 11.00 a.m. on the All Saints’ School website. www.allsaintsns.org

The phased reopening will allow for churches to reopen for public worship on 20th July.  I will be liaising with the churchwardens and Select Vestry to agree what arrangements the Parish will be making and I hope to be able to give you details in the next issue of “Union Notes” in June.

I hope you will continue to keep well and safe and prayerfully benefit from the select readings and prayers I am including in this issue of the Union Notes.

If I can be of any assistance to you at any time, 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

 

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

 

******************

1 Peter, Chapter 1, verses 3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Matthew 6, verses 25-34

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

Reflection:  We live in a world filled with anxiety, and it’s easy to let it rub off on us.  Jesus in this passage is talking about the Creator, who has filled the world with wonderful and mysterious things, full of beauty, energy and excitement, and who wants people above all to trust Him and love Him and receive their own beauty, energy and excitement from Him.  Jesus watched a thousand different kinds of flowers growing in the fertile Galilean soil.  He held his breath at their fragile beauty.  One sweep of a scythe, one passing donkey and this beautiful flower is gone.  Where did its’ beauty come from?  It didn’t spend hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup.  It didn’t go shopping in the market for fine clothes.  It was just itself, glorious, God-given, beautiful, showing us the goodness of God our heavenly Father.

 

Psalm 31, verses 1-5

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

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

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

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

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

Prayers

For those fearful of the future:

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.

 

The Great Realisation by Tomas Roberts

This has already been read by over 18 million people:

It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

back before we understood why hindsight is 20/20.

You see the people came up with Companies to trade across all lands

but they swelled and got much bigger than ever we had planned.

We had always had our wants but now things go so quick,

we could have everything we dreamed of, today, or with a click.

We noticed families had stopped talking, that didn’t mean they never spoke,

but the meaning must have melted and the work/life balance broke.

The children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone,

they filtered out the imperfections but amidst the noise they felt alone.

And every day the skies grew thicker till we couldn’t see the stars,

so we flew in planes to find them and down below we filled our cars.

We’d drive around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run,

we swapped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks till there were none.

We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped,

until each day when we went fishing we pulled them out already wrapped.

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us that it’s best not to upset the Lobbies, more convenient to die,

But then in 2020 a new virus came our way, the governments reacted and told us all to hide away.

But while we were hidden amidst the fear and all the while,

the people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile,

They started clapping to say ‘thank you’ and calling up their mums,

and while the car keys gathered dust they would look forward to their runs,

And with the skies less full of voyagers the earth began to breathe,

and the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off in to the seas,

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking,

we’d grown so used to bad news but some good news was in the making.

And so, when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside,

we all preferred the world we found to the one we left behind.

Old habits became extinct and they made up for the new,

and every act of kindness was now given its’ due.

But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?

Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick my boy before you start feeling better.

Now lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that you can do

And who knows if you dream hard enough maybe some will come true.

We now call it The Great Realisation and since then there have been many,

but that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight is 20/20.

Keep safe, keep well.

 

Order of Service Sunday 19th April 2020

Order of Service for Easter 2

Welcome

Hymn 269 – Hark ten thousand…..

Greeting  – page 201 Prayer Book

Collect for Purity

Gloria

Collect for Easter 2

Readings

Psalm 16

1 Peter 1 verses 3-9

Gradual Hymn 263 – Crown him with many crowns

Address

Gospel John 20 verses 19 – 31

The Prayers

Prayer Humble Access -page 207

The Peace

Prayer – the Great Thanksgiving page 209

The Lords Prayer

Communion – during which the choir will sing the Anthem – ‘Greater Love’

Prayers

Announcements

Blessing

Hymn 288 – Thine be the Glory

Mullingar Union Notes April 2020

Corona Virus Outbreak

 Prayerful thoughts and comforting  words and Parish information at a time of  National Crisis.

‘The Lord is my Shepherd’

Psalm 23

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to thank you very much indeed for the kind and generous comments regarding the prayers and readings I sent out to you following the outbreak of the Corona Virus.  I thought you might like to receive some more suggested readings and prayers which I hope will be of comfort to you during the challenging time we are all experiencing.   However, first may I just wish you all a very happy and holy Easter.  I hope it was a nice time for you given the social restrictions we were all asked to observe.  I would also like to update you on what has been happening in the Parish in recent weeks.

 

Church Services

As everyone will know, the holding of public church services is not permitted at the moment, and in the Parish we were fortunate to have been able to live stream a church service every Sunday morning.  During Holy Week we were able to live stream a Prayer Service each evening.  I am greatly indebted to Lorraine Hales who has so generously made her experience and expertise of technology available to the Parish, so that everyone can enjoy watching these church services.  Lorraine has been ably assisted by her husband John and I know I would be speaking for everyone when I offer them our sincere thanks and appreciation.  The numbers watching the Services have been quite remarkable.  Last Sunday, Easter Day, well over 1200 people watched the Service from All Saints’ and during the evenings of Holy Week over 500 people watched each evening.  On Good Friday evening that number rose to over 700.  The church services will continue to be live streamed every Sunday at 12.00 noon and everyone has very easy access by simply going to the Parish website or Facebook – www.Mullingar Union of Parishes.net – and follow the very straightforward instructions Lorraine has provided.

 

Community Noticeboard

We have now put up a Community Noticeboard for messages.  Parishioners might like to share a comment or idea and again the procedure is very straightforward either by WhatsApp or text 0892497078 or by e mail to info.@mullingarunionof parishes.net.  You are invited to send a message to either the Mullingar Union of Parishes website or Facebook and it will then be posted on Community Noticeboard.

 

Wednesdays – Bible Reflections

Starting on Wednesday 22nd April, at 8.00 p.m., I will be giving a live streaming Bible reflection.  If you would like to join me just go to the website and Facebook every Wednesday evening at 8p.m.and the instructions will be very clear.

 

Lighten Our Darkness Project

Every evening at 7.00 p.m. the young people light a candle and offer prayers in their own homes.  You are very welcome to join them by also praying in your own home every evening at 7.00 p.m.  The words of the prayers can be found on the Parish website.

 

Let’s Keep Talking

At this time we are encouraging everyone to keep in touch by telephone and I am trying to contact as many people as I can.  You, too, might like to join us by ringing people in Parish that you know.  The young people involved in Lighten Our Darkness Project telephoned a number of people over the Easter weekend and will continue to do so.

 

Bereavements

Recently there have been four bereavements in the Parish and we offer each of the families our deepest sympathy.

 

Billy Walshe of Anneville passed away peacefully and we offer our sympathy to George his son and Avril his daughter, Charlie and Mervyn, his grandchildren Sophie, Steven, Benjamin and Rebecca, and everyone else in the family circle and all friends.

 

Ivor Fogg of Lynn Avenue passed away peacefully and we offer to our sympathy to Janet his daughter and Gerald his son and Ivor’s wider family and many friends.

Douglas Matthews of Ballinea passed away peacefully and we offer our deepest sympathy to his daughters Olwen and Lorna, Martin and his grandchildren Carolyn, Leah, Joshua, Alison, Vicky,  Muriel Ray and Ilona and his wider family and circle of friends.

 

Frank Small of Newcastle passed away peacefully and we offer our deepest sympathy to Mary his wife, Mark and Vicky his son and daughter, Billy his brother, Marie his sister, his grandchildren and wider family and circle of friends.

 

Keeping in Touch

We will be updating both the Parish website and Facebook regularly with all the news in the Parish.  Please do go on the website, or ask a family member to do it for you, so that you can keep abreast of all that is happening.  I will always be very pleased to hear from you in the Rectory and my mobile telephone number is  087-787 0985.

 

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Prayers

 

Psalm 40, verses 1-5, 16 and 17

I waited patiently for the Lord;  he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,  out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock  and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord  and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one  who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,  to those who turn aside to false gods
Many, Lord my God,  are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us. None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,  they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40:16-17

16 But may all who seek you  rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,   “The Lord is great!”                                                        17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;  may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;  you are my God, do not delay.

 

Psalm 42, verses 1-5

As the deer pants for streams of water,   so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food  day and night, while people say to me all day long,   “Where is your God?”
These things I remember  as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise  among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

 

Acts 5, verses 12-16

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

 

Romans 8, verses 35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Colossians 3, verses 1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

Prayers – Let us Pray

Almighty God, whose son our Lord Jesus Christ was made perfect by the things that He suffered: have compassion on those who are passing through illness and pain.  Uphold their faith that they may trust and not be afraid and give them the comfort and strength of your presence for your tender mercies sake.

  Amen.

 

We remember in mercy, Our Father, those who have succumbed to the Corona virus and those who have thankfully recovered and their families and friends and those who have sadly passed away. We ask you to bless all that is being done for their good by doctors, nurses, ambulance paramedics, medical staff, carers and pharmacists. We pray that you will surround everyone with your healing love and power. We make this our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.

Amen

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

We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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 

Living Lord, conqueror of death, we remember with gladness how on the day of your resurrection you appeared to your disciples in your risen power and said to them ‘Peace be with you’.   Speak that word to our hearts today, O Lord. Lift us above all our doubts and fears; and help us to practice your presence and to rest upon your victory that your peace may be with us, now and for ever more.

Amen.

Living God,     Speak to each one in your still small voice,                                                                                And grant them your peace which passes understanding,                                                                                           that quiet confidence that only you can bring,                                                                                                      And so may their burdens be lifted,                                                                                                                         And their souls refreshed.                                                                                                                                    Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

In time of National anxiety

O God our refuge and strength in every hour of need, raise up among us at this time faithful and fearless people who know that through loyalty to your word and will alone can a nation find true peace and security.

 

To such and to all in authority give a right judgment and the courage to follow your way for the good of all people and for the honour of your name.

 

Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer  

                                                                                                                                                     May the Almighty and merciful Lord, grant us all peace and preserve each of us this day and forever more.

 

With God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham.                                                                                                                    Rector