St John’s Newsome
St Paul’s Armitage Bridge
Holy Trinity South Crosland
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Thought for the Day
If you look into the north eastern part of the sky near the horizon after dark, throughout July, you may catch a glimpse of the comet Neowise.
The comet was only discovered in March by a NASA telescope. Where did this visitor come from and where is it heading? Only God knows.
Our sun is only one minor star among the 100 billion stars that comprise our Milky Way galaxy. Just one galaxy in a whole universe of countless galaxies.
If you hold a 5p piece at arm’s length whilst looking at the night sky, the coin would block out 15 million stars from your view (if your eyesight was powerful enough).
Isaiah said “Lift your eyes and look: he who created these things leads out their army in order, summoning each of them by name. So mighty is His power, so great His strength that not one fails to answer.” (40:26)
Prayer for Today.
Lord I marvel at the vastness of space and the vastness of your power in creating the universe. I marvel that out of that vastness you choose to love me, a tiny speck living on a tiny speck within a universe so vast I cannot comprehend it. Thank you that from within the vastness of space, you stoop down and hold me safely in the hollow of your hand.
Rev David Kent.
Friday 10 July 2020
To all parishes in the Diocese of Leeds
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are living through challenging and extraordinary times. The church, committed to the real world and the communities in which we are set, has continued to worship and serve despite the restrictions. Given the nature of the virus, it will be some time before we emerge into something resembling ‘normality’. We have to be clear and honest about that.
Thank you for both the remarkable ways you have continued to be the church … in the world … even if the buildings had to be closed for a long time. I want to say one or two things to encourage you, building on material you might have seen on the diocesan website or had passed to you from letters I have written to the clergy.
Inhabiting the Scriptures
Lockdown and our attempts to innovate ways of worshipping together have been experienced by many as a sort of ‘exile’. In the Old Testament prophets (such as Isaiah) we see people exiled to a strange land where nothing is familiar. All that shaped their life and worship had been stripped away. They lamented the loss of their familiar life (and what this said about God and them); they tried to come to terms with the present realities; and they then began to look forward to shaping a different future.
This time in our life enables us to re-read the biblical experience afresh – so much of the Bible was written by and for people whose normality was uncertainty and fragility. This also accords with the daily experience of most Christians around the world, including those in our link dioceses in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania and Pakistan. Let’s not waste the opportunity to learn anew how to live with uncertainty, aware of our own limitations and fragility.
Being the church
The Church of England has a unique vocation in and for England: we are committed to particular places. We are called to pray for those in our parishes, to be the answer to our prayers when appropriate, to love and serve those in need, to care for the sick and to support those who mourn, and reach out with the good news of God’s grace. We have been doing all this – and will continue to do so into the future. We know we are not always strong, but God is and we trust in him … whatever comes our way.
We don’t know what the future church might look like in every place, but we do have a role in shaping it. There will be things we need to let go of and new ways of being that are being discovered or yet to be discovered. We will emerge at different paces over the coming months and care needs to be taken over how and when we open our buildings and hold onto the new forms we have learned recently. Church House is providing detailed and digested guidance at every step, but your archdeacon and area bishop are there to be consulted for any support as we move forward.
Encouragement and challenge
I mainly want to thank and encourage you. We will face big questions – nationally as well as in our diocese – about finance and buildings, threats and opportunities. But, as a diocese we are confident and well set up to face these. Indeed, we have been doing just this since our creation in April 2014; so, this isn’t a new challenge. You can be confident that we will deal with the challenges of the months ahead with confidence in God, confidence in the Gospel, confidence in our clergy and lay leaders, confidence in our unique vocation as a church to worship and serve God together.
So, be encouraged. Use the resources available to you in the diocese and parish. Pray simply and hopefully, knowing that God is never surprised.
And please be assured of the prayers of your bishops and archdeacons, the deans and area deans, our lay staff at Church House and all who are committed to you. May God bless you in all you are and do. I look forward to the time when we can be together again, physically and in person.
Rt Revd Nick Baines
Bishop of Leeds
Following the governments announcement that places of worship can re-open for public worship from 4th July (if they feel it is safe to do so), the Parochial Church Councils of The Emmanuel Benefice have consulted with the Rector and they have passed a resolution to remain closed throughout July. We will review the situation during the month and will post any developments on our website: theemmanuelteam.org.uk
We are sorry if you have come to church today to pray. We realise that these are difficult times and you may be looking for somewhere to be quiet with God and we hope you will find somewhere to do that. If you would like someone to pray with you please contact Julie our Rector who would be very pleased to pray with you over the phone or in her garden.
We will do our very best to open the church as soon as we feel it is safe so please see our website for any updates and to find details of how to join others online for prayer, worship, and support.
Julie Anderson is the Rector of this church and can be contacted by telephoning 01484 962184 or emailing email@example.com
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
We still need to protect the vulnerable amongst us, so please only leave your home for essential trips and stay alert.