5 April 2020 Newsletter

Dear friends,

I hope you are coping with this very strange new world we find ourselves in!

People seem to respond to the lock-down in many different ways – some feeling isolated and lonely, others relishing some space and quiet; some rushed off their feet with extra responsibilities, and others feeling bored. And for many of us there’s probably a nagging anxiety around what is likely to happen in the future, and how might I, my family and friends be affected. Last Sunday I preached about Martha and Mary’s struggle with Jesus when he didn’t come in time to heal their brother Lazarus, and how they (Martha in particular) learned something really important through that difficult and painful time. (Check it out in John chapter 11 verses 1-45). The writer Brian McLaren wrote “when we call out for help, we are bound more powerfully to God through our needs and weakness, our unfulfilled hopes and dreams, and our anxieties and problems than we ever could have been through our joys, successes and strengths. It’s a strange irony – but I’m sure many of you can attest to the truth of that statement. So perhaps this is a time for some of us to draw closer to God, to bring our frustrations, our worries or our fears to God, and to be open to what God might want to teach us or how God might be changing us through these difficult weeks.

Revd Anne and I are praying for you all, and little by little phoning round the congregation. We’re also running a shopping delivery service for a growing number of isolated or vulnerable people in the community. So please don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat, a prayer request, or any practical needs.

Plans for Palm Sunday

And meanwhile the Sunday services continue – not quite as normal, but each week is a bit different! This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and we have some suggestions for you:

There will be dozens of palm crosses individually sellotaped to the front and back doors of the church (I will be wearing gloves so they won’t be touched by anyone) and if you are taking some exercise over the coming couple of days, feel free to walk past church and take one home.

If you can’t collect from church, why not make your own palm cross – either from paper or card, or if you have a garden, use something green from it!

Then here’s a challenge…. decorate your front door on a Palm Sunday theme – perhaps using palm crosses and the Palm Sunday Poster (or something similar, so your neighbours know what it’s about) – or in whatever creative way you can imagine! Then take a picture of yourself (and family) in front of the door, and email it to us! We (or rather, Jacob!) will make a collage to post on the St Andrew’s Facebook page – some time after Sunday. So keep a look out for it!

A Palm Sunday and Holy Week children’s activities book that Revd Anne has put together for Palm Sunday and Holy Week – some activities for younger children, some for older (and some videos to watch that re-tell the Easter story). Feel free to forward it around other friends and families. it’s one way of helping your children to explore with you what Holy Week and Easter are all about.

And don’t forget to tune in to our Facebook page on Sunday at 10am (St Andrew’s Church, Fulham) when this week there will be several people participating as part of the Passion reading. The Order of Service and the Passion Reading is available here:Palm Sunday liturgy and will be emailed out before Sunday.

We look forward to you joining us then!

God bless you,

Lesley

The Revd Lesley Bilinda

Vicar, St Andrew’s Church, Fulham Fields

Dean of Women’s Ministry for the Kensington Area, Diocese of London