Notices 24th May 2020 

Live Streaming from Christ Church

10.00am: Holy Communion – John and the Resurrection Lord (Rev 1:9-18) – John Bell  
If you wish to receive bread and wine during the 10am service, please prepare in advance Click here for our YouTube channel and watch our live stream.  The songs for this morning’s service are available 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: Evening Worship –  Holy Spirit promised (Matt 1:4-11) – Vicki Bryson, Rector of St John’s Bedford 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!


Church Family News

Key Staff changes
AJ Wade – I am saddened to advise that on Monday AJ offered his resignation as Youth Minister, which I have accepted. He has given 3 months’ notice and will be leaving us, but not Christ Church I hope, sometime between mid and end August. I and the Staff Team will miss him as much as the congregation and the young people, with whom he served. I will continue to pray for him, as I ask you to do, and fully support him as he explores his next options.

Andrew, Kay and I have already spoken about a possible future and will be discussing with PCC members early next week the ways ahead. We have assured Jess, our trainee youth worker who is about to enter her 3rd year at Ridley Hall this September, that we can support her on-going training and will work out with her how she can best serve that training and the youth ministry here.

John Bell – It is with great reluctance that John and I have agreed to the request of Bishop Alan to furlough John from Monday 25th May to 30th June inclusive. We have not taken this decision lightly and John’s growing ministry amongst will be sorely missed, not least as we focus towards ministry on-line. We have stressed that he is working and serving hard and that furloughing will be a real loss to this church’s overall mission and ministry. However, Bishop Alan is also aware that the Diocese, like other charities, is looking at a major shortfall in income and savings are required. This is an unpalatable decision for all the curates affected.

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.

Congratulations to Ken and Pauline Barber on becoming grandparents again: Thea Lily Barber was born on 15th May.

Opportunities to Pray – our most important task.

Thy Kingdom Come Prayer – pray for the evangelisation of our nation and community each day in Ascensiontide at Noon from Friday 22nd May to Sunday 31st May for up to 1 hour. You can join us at the quarter hours (12.15; 12.30; 12.45), so: login for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 1 hour as you are able. Contact the church office for log in details. More resources for you, your children and grandchildren at thykingdomcome.global

Youth Prayer – pray for our children and young people each week on Mondays at 11am for 30 minutes. If you are unable to join us, please do pray wherever you are between 11am – 11:30am. Contact the church office for log in details.

Alpha Prayer – pray for our weekly online course on Tuesday evenings, with host, Judy Miller: Tuesdays from 8.15pm to 9pm. Join with her and others. Contact Judy for Miller


General Prayer – pray for the life and witness of our church and wider afield. Join us online as we 'meet' remotely together to pray on Wednesdays and Saturdays, both at 10am for 40 minutes.  Contact the church office for log in details.

Four Counties Ministry Training Course - leaflet here This year long course (30 weeks) will be taking place at Christ Church on Thursdays (10.30am-4.30pm) from September.  Cost £200 per term.  This non-denominational course aims to equip Christians across Herts, Beds, Bucks & Northants with high quality training for people who want to be better equipped to serve the gospel in their churches and everyday front-lines. The Course covers the whole Bible in good detail, together with important doctrines and practical pastoral work. Using local course tutors, this is a great way to deepen and strengthen your Bible knowledge and learn to apply it. Former students include: Chris Stevens, Christine Harrison, Daniel Gicharu, Penelope Valleley, Sidney Miller and AJ Wade.
 
Children’s activities
Messy Church Friday 29th May.  Join Gillian and Becky on Zoom at 4.30pm. There will be songs, games, stories and fun!  Contact the church office for log in details.

Online assembly Jo-Ann, one of the Impact workers has made an assembly for Pentecost and Impact have produced resources for Ascension and Pentecost

Diddy Disciples have a daily podcast for Thy Kingdom Come containing 2-minute prayers.  Listen here

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 and he 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, tinned potatoes, 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) and he will hand over to the Foodbank team.

A Word from Richard
We are nearing the end of an extraordinary 9 weeks – 9 weeks that have changed the world. Who would have believed just a year ago that we would live in fear of a deadly rampaging virus that would shut down all economic life, at great cost to the nation and our communities, and particularly our families and friends?

We could say the same again for the disciples some 2000 years ago. Some 9 weeks ago they had been bursting with pride as Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph on that first Palm Sunday. Here was the Messiah, the promised saviour, coming to claim his kingdom from the hated occupying Romans.

And then the rollercoaster of events they could never have made up – indeed they never even expected.

There was Jesus’ arrest in the depths of a dark night, followed by his rigged trials and crucifixion on that first Good Friday. Life for those disciples, the friends of Jesus, had spiralled down and down and down. Hope extinguished, hope dashed, hope crushed in the burial of their friend in that cold, dark tomb.

But then these extraordinary 9 weeks had another twist. On the Sunday, the tomb was empty and first some women disciples and then Peter and others and finally the disciples together met Jesus, risen from the dead, standing before them, talking with them, eating with them, being touched by them.

He was alive and they struggled to get their heads round this wonderful news. Over the next 40 days they kept meeting Jesus in different places with different people and in different ways, but it was always the same Jesus, risen, physically present, really alive.

And then these extraordinary 9 weeks had one final twist. Jesus was not going to stay on earth with them for ever and ever. He, who had left the glory of heaven to become one of us in his birth in Bethlehem, now returns to his glory in heaven, carried up on the clouds of heaven, to be seated at the right hand of God, his Father and our Father, seated at the place of honour, seated because his work is done, seated where he can intercede for you and me day by day, year by year.

Physically gone, but yet Jesus promised always to be with us. This extraordinary 9 weeks concludes with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of Jesus, his power and his love given to all who believe and follow him.

He now empowers us with his power and love to be his hands, his feet, his presence, his love in this world. From that tiny band of disciples has radiated out Jesus’ presence, power and love, from God’s people and through God’s people. We are to take this Good News of Jesus to all the world.

This we celebrate on Pentecost Sunday, the climax of those extraordinary, world-changing 9 weeks. Pentecost, the day we remember and celebrate the gift of the Spirit of Jesus to us, is the day we renew our desire to be his presence, power and love to this world in need of his presence, power and love.
 

For your prayers this week 

  • Give thanks for God’s goodness to us as a church and congregation
  • Pray Thy Kingdom Come for you, your family and friends
  • Pray for our services to be a blessing to more and more in our local community
  • Pray for our nation, government, advisors and civil servants to receive your spirit of wisdom to lead us effectively through this ongoing crisis.
  • Pray for the development of wider testing and a good vaccine.
  • 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 a good return to normality
  • 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 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