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www.silverendcongregationalchurch.org

KEEPING IN TOUCH
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”                                                John 3:16 NLT

 

APRIL  2021

NEWS LETTER

Hello everyone and Happy Easter to you all

 

I do hope you are all doing okay? Can you believe we’ve nearly reached Easter already? I don’t know about you, but 2021 seems to be absolutely flying by for me at the moment! CLOCKS go forward this weekend too. Spring is well and truly with us. The primroses and violets are in abundance in the hedgerows and the hedges are sprouting green shoots.  The Pussy willow is fully out and the Horse Chestnuts did have sticky buds, but they are now bursting green shoots, in another few days we will see the miracle of Spring again as everything turns green. I have seen Hares in the fields down Sheepcotes Lane or should I say ‘Silver End Promenade.’ The Ducks are all pairing off and the Swans are back on the back pit and using their old nest site. On sunny days the Bees are buzzing and collecting nectar from the spring flowers. What an exciting time, spring is; so many good things ahead; the promise of new life. We connect Easter with thinking about new life, and the new life and hope that we can have through knowing Jesus as our friend and Saviour.

St. Paul writes: ‘You have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by the same Spirit living within you’ (Romans 8:10-11 NLT) Songwriter Alfred Ackley put it this way: ‘You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.’


 

 

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL DURING THESE

EXTRAORDINARY TIMES

I expect like me you are looking forward to Monday 29th March when you can welcome a friend or family around to sit in the garden for a cup of tea and a chat. I am meeting up with a couple of friends next week, which will be lovely. It makes all the difference to be able to just see people in the flesh, we have missed human contact. Things are looking more positive as we follow the roadmap out of lockdown and let’s hope and pray that this time we will be able to relax the restrictions slowly and safely. What a year it has been. This time last year we would never have believed we would still be living in lockdown and have experienced such a traumatic and sad time. I am sure you are all wondering how you will feel, physically and mentally about living normally again and having the confidence to go out and about as you used to without a thought or care. We have all got used to living in our own little cocoons and you possibly may be feeling anxious about how you will feel as we return to normality. I can almost hear myself saying, don’t get carried away, we have been here before and look how that ended. We still have some way to go, but thanks to the brilliance of the science and medical experts who have created these vaccines we are very hopeful for the future.

 

Music:I know I keep chatting about the same old topics! I was thinking how much music is important to me and I am sure you too must appreciate how awful life would be without music. Isn’t it wonderful that there is music for all tastes and I am one that likes lots of different sorts. I grew up listening to Glen Miller, my Dads favourite, and of course I love 60/70’s music, my era! As I think I have told you before, music and singing have always played an important part of my life. As a child I was always singing, we all sang and whistled back in the day. Dad working on farms meant that we lived in quite isolated places when I was very young. I had the best childhood ever! So much freedom and fun living on the farms. When I look back on the things my brother and I got up too, health and safety would have a fit. How fortunate we were to grow up with so much freedom and without fear. That’s not to say that we didn’t know how to look after ourselves because, of course there were dangers but we were not held back by fear.


 

 We didn’t have a television until I was much older but we always had a wireless. When my own family came along, the radio was always on at home and we had music as we travelled in the car, singing along to tapes of the Spinners, Jim Reeves, Don Williams, John Denver and of course the car radio. Even my children look back on those times with fond memories.

 Music satisfies my moods, so many different types of music. It comforts and soothes us, and helps see us through the dark times. The world has got a lot noisier and we battle noise constantly, don’t we? But what joy we can feel to just immerse ourselves in music and indulge. The lyrics are very important too, I always give thanks to God for composers, lyricists and musicians, what a wonderful gift they have to share for us all to enjoy.

Below is one of my favourite hymns. I sang this as a solo in church when I was about 10. The words are easy to understand, but are powerful and a personal testimony, and very apt for Easter.

Song writer Alfred Ackley -I Serve a Risen Saviour

I serve a risen Saviour, He’s in the world today; I know that He is living whatever men may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer; and just the time I need Him, He’s always near.

He lives, He lives, Christ  Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me I see His loving care, and though my heart grows weary I never will despair; I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast, the day of His appearing will come at last.

He Lives, He lives….

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King! The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find, none other is so loving so good and kind.

He lives, He lives …

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”                        Psalm 104:33 ESV

So, Sing Your Hearts Out Everyone‼

It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t sing just let go and enjoy!


 

 

THANKS & PRAYERS

Did you manage to fill out your Census 2021? It was a bit difficult for many people who didn’t have an internet connection; I hope you weren’t effected too much and all managed without trouble. They wanted to know so many things about all of us. Good job it is only once every 10 years. It reminded me of the census taken around Jesus’ birth. Mary and Joseph had to travel back to Bethlehem when Mary was 9 month pregnant. Imagine if we all had to do that now, go back to our place of birth. It would be impossible or maybe you were born in Silver End!  

Giving and News: Thank you all so much for all the gifts you keep passing onto me. I will be going again next week to the bank to complete the end of the church financial year. A few things to report. Dave our annual window cleaner came and cleaned all the windows inside and out. He is working on his own now as his mate has retired. He missed seeing Doreen’s smiling face and all the coffee and chat folk. Doreen usually looks after him with tea and cakes. Unfortunately none of that this year, I felt quite mean, so I did give him a big bar of chocolate as a little gift, when he had finished. He was very happy! Also the wooden doors at the front of the church have been given a makeover. They were beginning to look a bit worse for wear. My son Luke has rubbed them down and stained them, it has certainly given them a boost. Martin is coming to give the grass its first cut next week. Allan and I will make an Easter Banner to brighten up the front of the church.

Some good news to share. After Easter holidays the Guiding group hope to meet up outside in the church garden. Please remember Carol and all the leaders, as they plan for these meetings. It is very exciting for the girls to be able to meet up together. I know Dan from Scouts will be very  pleased to open up too. We pray for their safety and enjoyment. Also Harriet’s Dance Group will meet and Silvertots intend to re-start after the Easter holidays. Of course they will all be following strict guidelines and following the up to date risk assessments. I am just so thrilled to see some life going on in the church buildings. Hopefully next month we can bring more news.

Thanks for keeping in touch with one another, it all helps to keep some normality and brighten our day. It is lovely to receive a call or a note through the door. Even better a chat on the doorstep. Our Postmen in the village have been marvellous such lovely friendly and helpful young men. Have you seen the Manors? Barbara has done a brilliant job decorating for Easter. Please take a look if you walk through the Memorial Gardens. Thank you Karen for making those who receive the CD’s from Malcolm a little gift for Mothering Sunday, what a lovely surprise.

Prayers Pray for those who have hospital appointments for their eyes and still recovering from falls. Please continue to pray for those who are grieving. Pauline’s cousin’s funeral is very soon. We pray for all the family, it is so very hard for all who have suffered loss, so unnatural not to be able to hug one another or come together as you do at such times. We pray for all Ministers/vicars/Chaplins who are supporting and bringing God’s comfort to those who grieve. Please continue to remember all who are in constant pain. There a number of our folk who are suffering this way in our fellowship, especially suffering with their backs and finding walking very difficult. Roy is doing really well please keep him in your prayers he has received wonderful news that his cancer has not got worse and his treatment is working. He is so thankful to God and full of Praise and Joy.