Joy begins the newsletter from the Canterbury Lay Preachers Association …
Linda and I have assembled a resource with an Easter theme this time. As always we hope you find the collection of prayers and poems we have compiled inspiring, encouraging and useful in your personal worship and lay preaching ministry.
This resource begins with material inspired by John chapter 20, which tells of Peter and the Beloved Disciple running to the garden tomb after Mary Magdalene had reported to them that the body of Jesus was missing, followed by Mary’s encounter with the risen Christ.
Last Christmas, when my husband and I were packing our motorhome in preparation for our annual summer holiday, I popped in three books for holiday reading. One was a novel written by a good friend and former work colleague, in which she recreates the amazing story of her ancestor, who was born an illegitimate daughter of Australian convicts and rose up through the social ranks to eventually become a friend of King Louis Philippe of France. The second was a book on container gardening, and the third a book on Mary Magdalene. Apart from this eclectic selection of reading material, I also took away with me a bronchial infection which didn’t respond to antibiotics. Consequently I didn’t do much during our holiday, including much reading.
The novel and the gardening book remains untouched, but I have completed the book on Mary Magdalene, which was a fascinating read, although I did question some of its contents. …
[Click here to continue reading to download a copy of the newsletter and its resources.]
Call to worship:
The festival of Palm Sunday is a Christian custom,
a custom that extends back almost to the year dot.
Each succeeding year the faithful give voice to hope,
not just in devout song, but in cheers of acclamation.
Waving greenery wafts whispers of liberation,
– whispers that rise to crescendos of joy,
On reflection the commemoration is peculiar …
Because we know what that first crowd didn’t know,
We know how the journey ended …
So why add our hosannas to theirs?
Is it because a divine spark resides in all humans
A spark that calls us to rejoice in the journey
A spark that says no matter how it ends
Life is more about the journey than the destination.
What can be celebrated should be celebrated, for
Hope springs eternal and death does not defeat Joy.
We go from this service
mindful of calendar-changing
events of 2,000 years ago.
We go into a world of problems,
Problems so vast we feel helpless;
Yet as individuals we make choices –
But even small choices
make a small difference;
Collectively the difference could be great.
Help us make the right choices,
So we may live as you
would have us live.
See also – Palm Sunday – Customs and Traditions (compiled by RMS)
Joy Kingsbury-Aitken has written a Call to Worship for use on Christ the King Sunday which, this year, will be on 20 November – it can be found near the bottom of our resources for the Church Year page.
You may also be interested in having a look at the cover, table of contents and editorial from the Spring 2015 edition of Word and Worship, our quarterly magazine. Details on how to subscribe to Word and Worship are given on that page.