Weekly Pews News
no 20-17 Third Sunday of Easter
26 April 2020
Follow services online: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online Chichester Cathedral services: https://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/worship/live-service
Broadcasts: Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 8:10 am and BBC1 at 10.45 am*; Songs of Praise on BBC1 at 1.15 pm. For young people: Guardians of Ancora (free game-app); Chichester Diocese resources: https://youth.chichester.anglican.org/ChildrenChurchesandCovid-19/
*Check schedules on the day, as the stated time has been changed in recent weeks
Collect Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Readings: Holy Communion (BCP: Second Sunday after Easter): 1 Peter 2: 11-17; John 10: 11-16
The Eucharist: Acts 2: 14a, 36-41; Psalm 116: 1-3, 10-17; 1 Peter 1: 17-23; Luke 24: 13-35
Sunday 26 April
Intention: the elderly, lonely and bereaved; all those in residential care and those who care for them.
Church family: Frank Williams; Laura, John, Sophie, Eva & Harriet Williams; Diane Wills; Heidi & David Wilson-Le-Moine; Shirley Witcomb; Jenny & Colin Wood; Maureen Yates.
Monday 27 April
Intention: all who work for peace and justice; the maintenance of good relationships with the United Nations and all other countries.
Church family: the recently baptised and those preparing for baptism.
Anniversary: Pamela Clift (2000)
Tuesday 28 April
Intention: vocations to the ordained ministry, especially in our own parish; theological colleges and ordinands in training; our own Parish ordinand Gemma Green; vocations to the religious life.
Church family: the recently married and those preparing for marriage.
Anniversary: Ronald Reed (1985)
Wednesday 29 April – Catherine of Siena, Teacher of the Faith, 1380
Intention: our mission to our own parish; the outreach of our parish newsletter; all newcomers to Pagham, and to our Church family.
Church family: newcomers to our Church family.
Anniversary: Ernie Webb (2003); Derek Willson (2006)
Thursday 30 April
Intention: our neighbouring Churches, and the work of Churches Together in Bognor Regis and District.
Friday 1 May – Philip & James, Apostles
Intention: our Parish Team – Clergy: Colin Wood, Bill Meyer; Reader: Roland Ell; Churchwardens: Mike Wake, Stephen Cox-Rusbridge.
Church family: Adriana, Phil & Alexandru Antoniu-Martin; Beatrice Armstrong; Caryl & Michael Atherton; June Baker; Jessica, Paul, George, Teddy & Jack Baker; Helen Barnett.
Anniversary: Gordon Eddy (2001)
Saturday 2 May – Athanasius, Teacher of the Faith, 373
Intention: our hospitals, doctors, nurses and midwives, home care assistants, pharmacists, therapists, opticians, dentists; all who provide health care.
Church family: Anne Baxendale; Hilda Baxendale; Mary Baxter; Brenda Bell; Marilyn & Dave Bishop; Alison Blenkinsop; Madge Breakspear.
Anniversary: Norma Tuckett (2015)
PRAYERS AND INTENTIONS
We pray for all in need of healing in body, mind or spirit: Lynette, Chloe Green, Rosie Sims, Nicola, Richard Rundle, Terry Haskell, Jean Martin, Gemma Green, Lila Cowee, Barbara Crew, June Evans, Zoe, Bea & Laurie Tucker, Shelagh, Karen Cox, Jim Druce, Val, Margaret Rees & family, Hilda Baxendale, Jim Fowler.
For urgent prayer, contact Gillian Purvis (267597) or Colin Wood (264192) to activate the Prayer Chain.
Those who have died: Chris Taylor, Pauline Lucas.
Thanksgiving: we thank God for the survival of Jim Fowler (Heather Lock’s brother) after treatment for severe CV-19 illness, and continue to pray for ongoing recovery in his care home in Florida.
We remember in our prayers Church family who live in residential care or usually receive communion at home: Edna Swinnerton-Beet, Jane Upton, Maureen Yates.
We pray for God’s blessing on all who live in our parish: Harbour Road, Harbour View Road, Heron Mead.
We pray for all affected by Covid-19; those struggling with their mental health; all in the grip of despair; volunteers and professionals in listening and pastorally supportive roles.
Covid-19: all places of worship are closed but many services continue online, and are being broadcast on radio and TV. There are also many virtual resources for daily prayer, for example the Daily Prayer and Pray As You Go mobile apps (Google and Apple), and also online:
Pagham Church Facebook page ‘Thomas Becket’. Please follow the page, join in the conversation, and share with friends and family. For those online but not on Facebook, do follow the news on the Pagham Church website. For those not online, see the contact phone numbers below for updates.
Church roof: the last of the tiling has been completed – thanks be to God! We are deeply grateful to all who fundraised and donated, and all who worked on the repairs.
Church cleaning and maintenance: many thanks to the Church Farm team for their ongoing hard work.
Chichester Diocese has set up a new pastoral helpline, ‘Hearing You’, for listening and prayer support: 01273 425047.
Samaritans: call free on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you.
Safeguarding: the past few weeks have seen unprecedented changes to our daily lives, which require families to spend exceptional lengths of time together. The stress this may involve can cause extra problems for those experiencing any form of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is always unacceptable, whatever the circumstances. If you have any concerns regarding domestic abuse please contact Worth Domestic Abuse Service 0330 222 8181 (weekdays) or 07834 968539 (weekends and bank holidays).
Children may also be at risk, in the domestic abuse situation and also in child abuse situations, particularly as they are isolated from their usual support environments.
In the event of any child abuse concerns, please contact: WSCC MASH 01403 229900, https://www.westsussexscp.org.uk/2016/04/multi-agency-safeguarding-hub-mash/
Our Parish Safeguarding Officer, Jan Brockhurst, can also be contacted for advice: firstname.lastname@example.org and our Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator, Linda Hill: email@example.com 07759 855719.
Foodbank: please continue to donate into the crates in supermarkets, or give monetary help which is now urgently required. https://bognorregis.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/
Churchwardens: Mike Wake and Stephen Cox-Rusbridge: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07899 705632//07974 177905.
Church website update: email email@example.com to add content.
Safeguarding Officer: Jan Brockhurst: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pews News: Alison Blenkinsop: email@example.com 261131.
Luke 24:13-35 The Third Sunday of Easter 26 April 2020
The Walk to Emmaus
Two forlorn followers of Jesus, Cleopas and one other, were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance of about seven miles. It was the afternoon of Easter Day and they were discussing the events which had been happening in Jerusalem. As they were talking to each other Jesus himself joined them, though they did not recognise him. Jesus asked them what they were talking about and they explained that they were talking of how Jesus, the one who was going to bring salvation to Israel, had been crucified three days earlier and of how earlier that Easter Day some of the women had gone to the tomb, but could not find his body. The women said that they had a vision of angels telling them that he was alive, whilst others who went to the tomb found it as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.
What is interesting is that when Jesus joined these two followers, at first they did not recognise him (v16). By the time we get to the end of the story (v35), they explain to the disciples that they had seen and recognised the risen Jesus. What made the difference? The reason this is important is that the resurrected Jesus, the Living Lord, can impact on our lives today.
When we read of the resurrection appearances, those to whom Jesus appeared were often in a negative mood at the time. They were downcast, sad, or dispirited. When Jesus appeared to the two followers on the Emmaus Road ‘they stood still, looking sad’ (v17). Similarly, the disciples in the upper room were afraid and living behind closed doors. When Thomas was told by some that they had seen the risen Lord, he doubted and did not believe. Yet it was in those down periods that the risen Christ appeared to them. This can still be true for us today in those dark periods of our lives, our times of pain, fear, perhaps some kind of loss, perhaps those times when we are at a low ebb. But God never abandons us and it is at times like these that we may have an encounter with the risen Jesus. We never walk alone.
The two followers of Jesus walked several miles with Jesus on the Emmaus Road without recognising him. They were not unique in their slowness, for example Mary Magdalene, when she first met the risen Jesus mistook him for the gardener. We too are often slow to realise that the presence of the risen Lord is with us every step of the way and can impact on every part of our lives. The resurrection is not just something that happened two thousand years ago, it is not just history, but a truth that affects our lives now. Gerard Hughes says ‘The power of his resurrection gives us hope in a situation where before we felt it was hopeless, gives us courage to face a task when before we wanted to run away, gives us the ability and strength to be open and vulnerable when before we could think of nothing but our own protection and security’.
For those two followers of Jesus on the Emmaus Road, a change in their lives from despair to elation took place. There are two things which are mentioned that made the difference.
First, whilst walking with them Jesus said to them ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory? Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures’ v26-27. When later they returned to Jerusalem they met the disciples and were talking to them when Jesus appeared and said to them ‘These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled’ v44. We too learn about Jesus through reading our Bible and realise that the Old Testament finds its fulfilment in Jesus the Messiah in the New Testament.
Second, they recognised who Jesus was when he broke bread with them ‘When he was at table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him’ v30-31. I find it interesting that even though these two followers of Jesus were not in the group of twelve disciples, so they were not at the Last Supper, still they recognised Jesus in the breaking of bread. It would be the breaking of bread which would become a central sacramental act of the Christian Church, Jesus said ‘do this in remembrance of me’. The Liturgy of the Word and The Liturgy of the Sacrament are two principal features of The Service of the Eucharist.
Tom Wright says ‘Scripture and sacrament, word and meal, are joined tightly together, here as elsewhere. Take scripture away, and the sacrament becomes a piece of magic. Take the sacrament away, and scripture becomes an intellectual or emotional exercise, detached from real life. Put them together, and you have the centre of Christian living as Luke understood it’.
The result – the two followers of Jesus could not keep the good news that they had seen the risen Jesus, that he was alive, to themselves ‘Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been known to them in the breaking of bread’ v35. William Barclay wrote ‘The Christian message is never fully ours until we have shared it with someone else’.
The Walk to Emmaus reminds me of another walk. At the FA Cup Semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest played on 15 April 1989 at Hillsborough, there was a tragic accident in which many of the crowd were crushed, 96 people died and 766 were injured. It was the worst stadium related accident in British history and as a result many crowd safety features have since been incorporated into football stadia.
A year later, on an Easter Sunday afternoon, there was a memorial service for those who died. By this time Liverpool FC had adopted as their anthem the song ‘You’ll never walk alone’. Originally the song was in the Rogers and Hammerstein Musical ‘Carousel’ (1945), but in 1963 the Liverpudlian Merseybeat group Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded it and made it acceptable for another generation. In the 1960’s the DJ at Liverpool’s Football ground at Anfield played the ‘Top Ten’ albums in their order before the match, and as ‘You’ll never walk alone’ fell down the charts, the time came when it was the last one to be played before the match started. But the Liverpool Kop choir picked it up and continued to sing it and so it became Liverpool football club’s song.
At the Memorial Service at Anfield football ground on that Easter Sunday afternoon, this song was sung by the Liverpool crowd with great passion and fervour:
When you walk through a storm,
hold your head up high,
and don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm is a golden sky
and the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind,
walk on through the rain,
though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on,
with hope in your heart
and you’ll never walk alone,
you’ll never walk alone.’
That is the great Christian message. Despite the uncertainties of the present time, we are a people of hope. We have a sure and certain hope, a living hope of the victory over death because of the resurrection of Jesus. And as we live our daily lives we never walk alone, we walk on with hope in our heart because Jesus is alive, he has conquered death, he is with us every step of the way. So we rejoice in that Resurrection assurance and really can:
Walk on, walk on,
with hope in your heart
and you’ll never walk alone,
you’ll never walk alone.’
As Peter said : ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’. 1Peter 1:3
‘Alleluia, Christ is Risen’. ‘He is Risen indeed, Alleluia’