Pastoral Letter: w/e 27th March 2021

Dear Friend from Bridport United Church, Uploders Methodist Church or Hope and Radipole United Reformed Churches
 

What a Bumper Bundle of Services you have received this week as we fast approach the most important week in the church calendar!  

With both Bridport United Church and Uploders Chapel re-opening on Easter Sunday and the rest of the country gradually unlocking it does feel a rather more hopeful and Spring-like Holy Week than this time last year, for sure?  

There are many amongst us, though, some who are not yet ready to return to in-person services, not least because we will be worshipping under the same restrictions we have had to endure the last two times that we re-opened (hand sanitiser, masks, distancing and no congregational singing).  Nevertheless at least this time we will be opening in the hope that this Lockdown is the last one and with most of our membership having had the protection of at least one vaccination?

Note, though that, as an extra bit of cautiousness the United Church will not be having a service on 11th April recommencing on 18th April and continuing thereafter.

It seems that, as so often, there are parallels with the original Easter event when, after a period of separation, doubt and horror, the disciples were reunited with the risen Jesus and the delighted disciples must’ve been washed over in a crazily mixed up set of emotions I imagine?  Try to imagine, if you can, if all the misery of these last 12 months of separation, doubt, uncertainty and horror were squeezed into the three days from the original Bad Friday (they didn't know it was Good yet!) and the Third Day … and we might have some idea of how they felt?  

And perhaps as we limp back into reopening and a return to some sort of normality, meeting, worshipping, celebrating and (eventually) singing too, there will be an increasingly lightening to our steps.  There might even be a little bit of a skip?  

Yours with an end-of-Lent spring in my step,

Your Minister,

Peter

PS  I shall be sending out another series of YouTube Links over the weekend with a daily devotion from me and the Bridport Ministry Team, including Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services.
 

So - your Sunday Service Options this week:


1)  Our Holy Week Additional Resources  include services from Rev'd John Yarrien for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday plus ‘Stations of Creation’ - an adaption of a devotional opportunity offered by our friends in the Bridport Anglican Team.  It is in the form of a booklet that leads you through a walk loosely based upon the Stations of the Cross.  It can be done anywhere - on a long hike (as I intend to do), on a short walk around the neighbourhood, in your garden or, with a little bit of preparation, in your living room as an imaginary  ‘walk’?  Some of us will end our walk by arriving at St. Mary’s Church at 3pm for the final prayer.  But, whether there in person or not, I invite you to at least join in that in spirit?

 

2)  This week’s Video Service on YouTube is led by the Rev'd Peter Clark and the video will be on YouTube from 5pm Saturday via the following Link (or via the Circuit Facebook Group):

 
3)  There is a bonus video service as I have recorded an additional YouTube video following the Stations of the Creation booklet in spots of West Bay and Symondsbury.  Here’s the Link:
 

 

4) The Audio Service  from the United Reformed Church will this week from the Daily Devotions Team is being led by Rev'd Geoffrey Clarke, recently-inducted Moderator of the East Midlands Synod of The United Reformed Church. The service includes an emotional drama of the Passion of Christ, too.
Hymns
   Christ, let us see by this most holy sign.
   All glory laud and honour,
   Our saviour, Christ of Godly Nature (Revd. Michael Forster) 
   My song is love unknown (Samuel Crossman).

https://soundcloud.com/andy-braunston/urc-daily-devotions-sunday-worship-28th-march-2021-the-revd-geoffrey-clarke-palm-sunday

 

Rev'd Peter Clark
URC Minister of the Bridport & Dorchester Joint Pastorate