St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew †
St Alban † St Edmund †
Sunday 15th February 2015
Sunday before Lent
The Empty Quarter
This time last year I had just got back from two weeks visiting Muslim friends in Oman. This was my first visit to an Arab country and it had a profound effect on me – body, mind, heart and soul. The sound of the Adhan (call to prayer) five times a day, the smell of frankincense in the souk (market), the sight of camels ambling along the road, the touch of the beautician who decorated my hands with henna, the taste of an Egyptian almond cake which some neighbours delivered –
all of these still live vividly in my memory.
One experience I will definitely never forget is the evening we spent in the Empty Quarter. This is the name given to the world’s largest sand desert. It spreads across four countries (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates) and covers an area larger than France.
These few hours in the desert were a deeply spiritual experience and this close encounter with the kind of environment where Jesus spent forty days and nights continues to challenge and enrich my prayer life and reflection.
Our Lent Course this year is inspired by that evening in the Empty Quarter. We will be exploring the themes of being deserted, thirst, shadows, fire and footprints - with the help of Biblical passages and some of the photos that I took whilst I was there.
Each session will begin with three minutes of silence as we wait for the sand to flow into the empty quarter of a kitchen timer. I hope you will be able to join us as we journey together as pilgrims through this barren land.
8.00am & 10.00am Mass at St Mary’s Quintin is Celebrant and Preacher
10.00am Mass at St Bart’s Ann is Celebrant and Preacher
10.00am Mass at St Edmund’s Fred is Celebrant and Preacher
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 2: 1-12 2 Corinthians 4: 3-6 Mark 9: 2-9
Readings for 22nd February: Genesis 9: 8-17 1 Peter 3: 18-end
Mark 1: 9-15
In Our Prayers: Stephen & Peter our bishops, our clergy & our mission to East Ham;
Children & Young People: Newham Pre-School Learning Alliance; Fellowship House Children’s Centre; Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers; Beavers,Cubs,Scouts; St Mary’s, St Alban’s & St Edmund’s Pre-Schools; Sea Cadets; Air Cadets; Army Cadets; XLP
The sick and suffering: Clarice, Martin Gammon, Les Rowe, Alice Singh,
Janice Wenlock, Graham Davis, Gladys, Rose Geaney & her son Stephen.
St Mary’s Birthday’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Pat Davis,
Ashley Smith, Elizabeth Mason, Margaret Wallace & Isabella Mason
Congratulations to Elizabeth & Amos who were married
at St Mary’s yesterday.
We are sorry to have to tell you that Gladys has been re-admitted to Newham General Hospital. She is in Silvertown ward if anyone would like to visit her.
Please keep her in your prayers.
Next week at St Mary’s we start on our Lenten series
on the mission of the Church.
We have invited as our speaker Emma Kevan from US ( formerly USPG).
US is a charity that works overseas helping the church
& St Mary’s have been a long standing supporter of this charity
At the back of St Mary’s are some prayer books from US so that we can pray with them about concerns throughout the Lenten Period.
Do pick one up.
A BIG THANK YOU to all those who helped organize the Tea Dance
held at St Mary’s yesterday. We also say a very Happy Birthday to Norman who celebrated his birthday yesterday.
ASH WEDNESDAY 18th February
St Mary’s. Please bring your palms and drop into the Vicarage,
1 Norman Road before Wednesday. Thank you.
Sue would like to thank the few who came and supported the
cake sale/bric a brac last Friday (6th Feb). A total of £135.00
was raised for the British Heart Foundation.
This being a regular event the next cake sale will be on
Friday 10th April with proceeds going to PDSA.
classes start TODAY after the services at all Churches.
These classes will take place for six weeks up to Easter
and are open to children from around the age of seven.
Details about Confirmation will follow later and we will start the classes after Easter.
The date of the Confirmation Service is 11th July 2015
Win Shirley, who moved to Burnham-on Crouch about a year ago, will be joining us at St Bart’s midweek service on
Thursday February 19th and lunch afterwards.
I’m sure she would love to see as many of her old friends as possible, so do try to come along.
Rob to be Bishop's Missioner (Mission Priest)
at St John's, Digswell, Hertfordshire
It will be announced this morning by the Diocese of St Alban's that Rob has been appointed as Bishop's Missioner (Mission Priest) in the benefice of Digswell with Panshanger. His task will be to lead a 'turnaround strategy' at the Church of St John the Evangelist Digswell. It is a three year, half time post.
Rob will be licensed by the Bishop of St Alban's in June and will move into the Rectory at the beginning of May.
The rest of his time will be taken up working as a consultant to the
Diocese of Chichester and writing a book based on his thesis.
Please pray for Rob and the people of St John's. They have had a challenging time over the past decade and they are looking forward to sowing seeds
for a longer term future.
LENT 2015 The Empty Quarter
This year's ecumenical Lent course is called "The Empty Quarter"
and has been written by Nicola, our Methodist Minister –
featuring photos, reflections and questions from her trip to the desert
in Oman last year!
We will explore silence, being deserted, thirst, shadows, fire and footprints!
The five week course commencing 25th February will run as follows:-
Wednesdays 10.00am Mass at St Edmunds with a short reflection
2.00pm Main Session at Pilgrim's Way
6.30pm Mass at St Mary Magdalene followed by Main Session
Thursdays 12.30pm Mass at St Bart's with a short reflection
Saturdays (28th Feb and every Saturday in March)
12noon Soup Lunch and Main Session at St Edmunds
Ash Wednesday 18th February
12.30pm ST BART'S
6.30pm ST MARY'S
7.00pm ST EDMUNDS followed by PCC
WEDNESDAY 10.00am St Edmunds
WEDNESDAY 6.30pm St Mary's
THURSDAY 12.30pm St Bart's
You are welcome to whichever of these you are able to attend.
The Parish Office is open Monday – Friday 9.30am – 3.30pm
Telephone 020 8470 0011
Registered Charity No: 1127847