St John the Baptist Parish Church

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News from the clergy

Vicar's column- May 2017

“Thy Kingdom Come”

“The Lord is risen”... “He is risen indeed, Alleluia”. There is more to Easter than Easter Sunday. The season of Eastertide stretches before us and in our planning we anticipate the concluding festivals of Eastertide. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a call to prayer from Ascension Day until Pentecost, for the witness of Christians in this country, with a threefold aim:

  • To join in prayer with the whole family of God the Father
  • To pray for the empowering of God the Holy Spirit
  • That we may be effective witnesses to God the Son, Jesus Christ

It is a call to find deep unity of purpose in prayer, not only across the Anglican Communion but it has now gathered momentum as an ecumenical event. It was piloted successfully last year and the Archbishops are keen to widen the net for more churches, like ourselves, who didn’t participate last year to do so this time. In fact they want all churches to be involved.

At the heart of “Thy Kingdom Come” is the commitment to corporate and individual prayer. When we utter those words in the prayer that Jesus taught us it expresses a longing for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as in heaven. The Archbishops write, “In the Kingdom of God the hungry are fed, the poor hear good news and the oppressed find justice. In that Kingdom the broken are made whole, the sick are healed and the sinner is set free. In that Kingdom all can know right relationship with the Father, through Jesus, the Son, and so find the goal and purpose of their lives. In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities.” It is powerful stuff. When we watch all the news reports of famine, war, terror and injustice, we are confronted by how much our world presently needs that kind of transformation.

At St John’s we will engage with this by having a Pentecost Quiet Day on Sunday 4th June. It will begin with our usual Sung Eucharist at 10 am and end with closing worship at 3.30 pm. There will be talks, prayer stations and time for individual prayer throughout the day. Let’s hope for fine weather so that we can spread out into the churchyard as well. Please do put the date in your diaries and endeavour to stick around for the full day if you can. If you have other commitments, then you are welcome to join us for the part of the day that you can manage. Jesus prayed that we might be one that the world might believe (John 17:21). As we come together, we do not only do so as a church, but also, globally.

Rev Lisa Cornwell