Newsheet and Easter Services

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Dear Friends,

I have always enjoyed attending the sunrise service held at various locations on Easter Sunday morning.
My first experience was leading such a service on the Isle of Wight where before sunrise we made our way from the Manse up through wooded paths to a beautiful spot at Carisbrooke Castle. Others soon joined us and as the sun rose, we read the Easter story and sang 'Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son!'

Moving to Keynsham, the tradition was to travel to the tranquil Chew Valley Lakes. In the morning mist we stood by the shore, shared in bread and wine, had a fish BBQ (OK — I didn't like the fish bit!) and pictured the scene of the risen Lord later meeting the disciples on the shores of Lake Galilee. (See picture 2017!)

I didn't think anything could top that but last year we were invited to join with CofE friends in a beautiful garden/farm at a stunning location in Beach (Alton). The dewy grass was covered with cowslips, sheep filled the meadows and lambs skipped with delight as we enjoyed a perfect sunrise whilst singing 'Christ the Lord is risen today!' (Followed by bacon butties!) (See Picture 2019)

It was early in the morning that news of the first Easter broke in dramatic form.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them.... 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!'

Of course, when this was reported to the disciples, they did not believe the women and thought their words were nonsense... until over the coming hours and days they too met with the risen Lord.

See what a morning, gloriously bright
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes
Tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce Christ is risen!

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty ccli:237133

The disciples moved from despair to hope and then joy as they realised that Jesus truly was the risen Lord!
We will celebrate Easter in many different and unexpected ways this year — lets make it a special time when we relive the resurrection story and remember with gratitude that our hope and our joy rests in knowing the risen presence and the peace of the Lord Jesus in our lives now and always. Happy Easter!

Ways to Worship

The Methodist Church have provided a weekly printed sheet (attached) to help us share in worship whilst at home — last week Angela and I also sang along to some worship songs!

We will miss having Holy Communion however we can offer what is called a 'Spiritual Communion' (attached) which is for those unique occasions when we are not able to share consecrated bread and wine. Why not add it to your Easter celebrations!

BBC 1 'Sunday Worship' — from Bangor Cathedral. (check time — it moves!)

The BBC also offer 'Easter Songs of Praise' at 1:15pm with Katherine Jenkins

BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship at 8.10am — why not sing along with the hymns!

NEW! Easter Day Worship — songs and reflections led by Philip & Angela (Click play on the YouTube arrow). You can also visit the Good Friday Service tab and listen to a reflective service.

And in other news...!

Last Saturday was to be Easter Messy Church at Alton. We sent out to families a whole host of video clips, songs and lots of crafts. We also invited them to send in pictures. Well done the Gibbs Family for their pictures and for Noah for the video.

How did you do in the spring flower/plant quiz?
Several replies revealed that to date Ron & Norma got the most 16/18 — well done! (answers attached). Now for the Easter Quiz!

Easter Prayer

When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again, your love broke through.
Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.
The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.
Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.
We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.
Amen.

This prayer has been written by the Revd Michaela Youngson

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