Notices 17th May 2020

10.00am: Click here for our YouTube channel and watch our live stream.  The songs for this morning’s service are available here 

During our service there will be a Mission Slot – find out more about Just Love here

After the service, do join us for Zoffee (Refreshments via Zoom).  Watch out for the link that will be sent out on Sunday morning: you will need to make your own drinks! 

6.30pm: Click here for our YouTube channel and watch our live stream.

After the service, do join us for Zevy (refreshments not at the Devonshire Arms). Watch out for the link sent out during the service: you will need to bring your own drinks!

Ascension Day Thursday 21st May – 8pm – Gather with us to worship the Risen and Ascended Jesus on this Church’s Festival Day. Sue Marshall, a church member, will be speaking. Click here for our YouTube channel and watch our live stream.


Opportunities to Pray – our most important task.

Youth Prayer - Join us online here as we gather to pray for our children and young people on Mondays at 11am for 30 minutes. If you are unable to join us, please do pray wherever you are between 11am – 11:30am.
 
Mission Prayer This Sunday is the third Sunday in the month and there will be a zoom prayer meeting for our Mission Partners, and mission in general at 11:30am after the morning service and Zoffee.  If you would like to attend please contact Steve Gardner (mission@ccbedford.org) and then look out for a reply from him, with the meeting details.
 
Alpha Prayer – covering our weekly online course on Tuesday evenings. Judy Miller is holding a time of prayer throughout the course – Tuesdays from 8.15pm to 9pm. Join with her and others. Contact Judy (via the Church Office) for Zoom link.

General Prayer – Join us online here as we 'meet' remotely together to pray on Wednesdays and Saturdays, both at 10am for 40 minutes.  We know some of you aren't able to access what we are doing online but please do join us in spirit between 10:00am and 10:40am as we pray for our Alpha Online course, our church and national leaders, our community, and our nation’s keyworkers.

THY KINGDOM COME – Ascension Day to Pentecost (21st to 31st May) is a national prayer initiative, praying for our nation and for our friends, neighbours and family to come to faith. More details of how to join in on Tuesday’s email – thykingdomcome.global
 

Church Family News

Edward and Margaret Tufnell
If all goes to plan Edward and Margaret Tufnell will sadly be leaving Bedford to move to Sheffield on 27th May.  Edward and Margaret moved to Bedford when Edward retired as Rector of Bourton-on-the-Water in 2011. They have served Christ Church in so many different ways in the past 9 years.  We will miss them greatly.

If you would like to join us in giving Edward and Margaret a farewell thank you gift, please give ideally via BANK TRANSFER (sort code: 40-52-40 / Account No:  00020562   Ref: TUFNELL).  Otherwise donations of cash/cheques (payable to “Christ Church Bedford PCC”), labelled clearly 'Tufnell' may be posted to / put through the door of The Vicarage, 115 Denmark Street, Bedford, MK40 3TJ ASAP.

Table The Tufnells are offering a round pine table, 107cms diameter and 2 chairs to anyone who could use them - with a voluntary donation to Home of Hope.  Click here for photos.  If interested contact the Tufnells via the Church Office ASAP

Next edition of Christ Church Life
Due out at the beginning of June, wouldn’t it be encouraging to share a Bible verse or passage that has been a real help and reassurance to you? Hannah Hibbert is looking for your contribution, so please email editor@ccbedford.org with a) your Name; b) Bible text; c) brief reason how it has helped you.

Children’s activities - Impact Club will run again on Thursday 21st May 12.30pm-1.00pm, look out for the invite video and more details in the Tuesday email.
 
hope
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.  The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

Helping one another
If you know of someone local to you, who could value the gift of some Rapid Response Freezer meals from their local church, we are well supplied in the church kitchen. Please contact Richard or John and they will make arrangements with you to get some meals out for you to deliver. It would be lovely to bless those around you, as you are able. If you are isolating, then we can make arrangements to call on your behalf.

FOODBANK We welcome appropriate food for FOODBANK – Their most needed items at the moment are: long life fruit juice, long life sponge pudding, tea-bags (40/80), squash, cup-a-soup, spray cleaners, washing up liquid and washing tablets. There is a collection basket in the Hub (open on Tuesdays between 12.30pm and 2.45pm), or leave with Richard (115 Denmark Street) or John (161 Dudley Street) and they will hand over to the Foodbank team.

A Word from Richard
I have found this ‘lockdown working’ more emotionally/physically challenging than I would have thought.

Initially, I was energised by the need to grasp the opportunities. I worked hard with the staff team and volunteers to discover how we could make the steps to an on-line life and presence, and how we could maintain good pastoral contact when we cannot physically meet together.

In many ways, I feel deeply encouraged by the progress we have made as a church and congregation. I’m also heartened by the contact that we’re having with those who don’t see themselves as regulars at Christ Church. If that’s you – thank you for visiting us: we’re delighted to walk with you in these troubling days.

On the other hand, I’m processing the enormous cultural changes that have overwhelmed us. We’ve been knocked sideways by the complete wide-ranging variations to ‘normal’ life, whatever that was!

We are part of a generation that is going through huge cultural change and there will be good things that come out of it and some really sad (or is that bad?) things: I’m particularly worried about the young school children learning that life outside the home is lived 2m apart – surely that will affect them socially and psychologically as they grow up? They will be the Covid-19 generation.

But back to the emotional and physical challenge. A former church member here, James Webster, helpfully wrote that undergoing major cultural change is not new. Overseas missionaries, of which James was one, experience similar challenges as they move wholesale to a new way of life:-

  • It requires considerable energy to process change. Working overseas, we are told 3 out of your 4 cylinders will be taken up with the bombardment of new sights, sounds, smells and so on. In our current situation, the ways of relating, new programmes etc. similarly require much energy as we adjust to the newness of everything. Thus you will not be able to achieve what you feel you should, or normally would, and you will get more tired in doing so than normal. Don’t feel guilty at this ‘under-performance’ – it is normal and indeed necessary as you assimilate the ‘new normal’. Certainly don’t push yourself or you won’t properly enter into this process of assimilation and adjustment.
  • In the days of missionaries getting a one-way ticket for a six-month sail to India via the Cape, the head of a mission organisation was standing at the docks in Southampton. As the boat cast its ropes she cupped her hands to shout some last pearls of wisdom to the embarking missionaries. She said “Don’t forget to eat and sleep well”. She knew that, just as a new baby spends most of its time eating and sleeping (and crying!) as it copes with everything new, again, eating and sleeping well is fundamentally important and a necessary response to a radically different life. And then there’s the crying …
  • All this newness leads to (culture) shock. The timing and severity of this will vary from person to person, but it is a well know trajectory that everyone goes through. You will run on adrenalin for a while, and the thrill of rising to the challenge, but eventually these motivating chemicals and factors will wear off and you will crash. ‘Depression’, not necessarily clinical, will set in to one degree or another. And as you begin to mourn the loss of the former life, you may even begin to resent the new one. Keep in touch with these emotions and don’t suppress them! Make space and take time to grieve for what was.
But take heart: we are not going overseas; our culture has much that is the same; we have not chosen this way of life for it has been forced upon us.

Nevertheless, we actually need each other more rather than less at the moment: to support, to encourage, to pray. God is still at work. He is still listening. He is still building His Kingdom among those who seek Him.
 

For your prayers this week Click here to download
  • Give thanks for God’s goodness to us as a church and congregation
  • Pray for our services to be a blessing to more and more in our local community
  • Pray for our nation, government and civil servants to have great wisdom
  • Pray for the development of wider testing and a good vaccine.
  • Pray for NHS/care home staff, at hospital and across the community, and other key workers you know to be given extra grace and strength in these days.
  • Pray for those you know may be lonely, vulnerable and struggling.
  • Pray for our on-line Alpha course, especially that the Holy Spirit will bless our guests and leaders: Andrew, Helen and Will.
  • Pray for your local community, its shops and businesses, and for God to sustain us all.
  • Pray for those working from home, who miss the friendships of the workplace.
  • Pray for our young people that God will surround them with his peace and comfort during these difficult times.
  • Pray for many to come to faith as we all pray Thy Kingdom Come during Ascension Day to Pentecost.
  • Pray for God’s grace & healing for those you know personally.
  • Pray for all who have lost a loved one at this time, and God’s peace and comfort.

God of Mission, who alone brings growth to your church. Send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions, and power to our witness. Help our church grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you, and in service to our local community, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen