This amazing international festival of prayer starts as the sun rises over Samoa and sweeps across the world visiting New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, North and SouthAmerica, and concluding in American Samoa! With this year’s focus on England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
2022 is a special year for World Day of Prayer service. It has been both challenging and rewarding to write about the three countries that make up our area: our landscape, people and culture all shaped by our history. We celebrate our diversity and the contribution made to our countries by the many groups and individuals who have made their home here. We use our Bible text “I know the plans I have for you” from Jeremiah to reflect on some of the issues facing us today: poverty, fear (including domestic abuse) and isolation. For further information and resources, and for other local World Day of Prayer services, please visit: wwdp.org.uk
A World Day of Prayer service of worship, including interactive prayer stations and singing, will take place at the Church of Saint James with Holy Trinity, Seamer Road, Scarborough, on Friday, 4th March at 10.30 a.m. All are welcome to come along as we pray together for peace and hope for people living in poverty, fear and isolation. The service will be followed by refreshments and a chance to meet and chat together. See poster attached. For those worried about Covid, people will be asked to use hand sanitiser, wear masks when movingabout, but not when seated or when singing, as there will be one metre plus spacing between groups.
The annual C.T.I.S. Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place on Sunday, 23rd. January at Westborough at 6.30 p.m. The service will basically be that prepared by the Churches of the Middle East and provided by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland with the theme of “We saw His Star in the East …”. The preacher will be the Chair of C.T.I.S., the Reverend John Hartley. An offering will be taken for the charitable organisations supported by C.T.I.S. Please come and share in this act of worship as we unite as Christians in Scarborough and beyond.
District prayer gathering online– starting on 6th January, at 6.30pm!
A few weeks ago District Chair, Leslie Newton, suggested we begin a regular online District prayer gathering. It was encouraging to receive much positive feedback. So, from Thursday 6th January, we’ll be hosting a weekly online time of prayer – focussing on seeking God’s renewal for our lives, church and world. We’ll begin at 6.30pm for about 45 minutes.
Letter from Rev Graham Morgan, Superintendent Minister
As 2021 draws to a close, I look back on a year that has been difficult and different in so many ways. We began in lockdown and continued to reach out to one another via telephone calls, messages through the post, electronic communications, including Zoom business meetings and online services. I give thanks to everyone that rose to the challenge of those difficult days and kept the message and the business of the church alive.
Easter Day was the day in which many of our churches reopened their doors for worship though some people were cautious about rushing back through the doors.
As the year has progressed and people have been ‘jabbed’ and ‘double jabbed’ church life has begun to resemble some kind of normality though with some notable differences.
I look around and observe some of those differences; In some churches there is no longer a vestry prayer with the preacher, rather the preacher is welcomed at the beginning of the service and a prayer offered, not only for the preacher, but for the whole congregation.
The offering is made as people enter, or leave the church, meaning that the offering plates are not passed around the church which often caught unsuspecting visitors by surprise and sometimes was the cause of embarrassment.
Holy Communion is taken in our seats and all eat and drink together.
I note that, apart from special occasions, there are no evening services on a Sunday but I also note that some churches, that previously held evening services, are thinking imaginatively about worship being offered mid-week.
Some of those changes have become the ‘new norm’ and there is a reluctance to go back to the way that things were because the way that things are now are working so well.
Amidst the changes, we still worship the one who changes not. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
This causes me to look forward as we approach a new year. If the last year or so has taught us anything, it has surely taught us that the unexpected can happen and ultimately, the message of Advent is look out because one day, Jesus will return to this world of ours. Whatever 2022 brings, and some churches need to have difficult conversations and have difficult decisions to make, let us (look up) “fix our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:2
As 2022 draws near I pray that you have a happy and blessed Christmas. Let us look ahead with confidence knowing that our God has gone before us, walks with us and has promised never to leave us nor to forsake us.
With Christian love and prayers, Graham
You are invited to join the Sewing Bee sessions which take place in term times on Tuesdays 1.15 – 3.15pm at Gallows Close (see poster attached). The group is joining the Big Stitch 2022 and more information about this project is also attached. Go to https://bigideasbythesea.com or contact Emma & Diane at email@example.com
This takes place on Saturday 11th December 11am – 3pm. It includes stalls, food and the Cayton Calypso Steel Band. All Welcome. The service is on Sunday 11th December at 10.30am and is followed by coffee and mince pies. All welcome.