Parish of Swaledale with Arkengarthdale
Sunday 29 March 2020
5th Sunday of Lent
You are invited to light a candle, read the bible readings, and pray the prayers and Collect at 10am each Sunday, and in so doing, to share in a short time of worship together with others.
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus, says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’
So, I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason, the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’ After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’ Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’
When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So, the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’
Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So, they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection
of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith
in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Let us pray to the Lord,
who is our refuge and stronghold.
For the health and well-being of our nation,
that all who are fearful and anxious
may be at peace and free from worry:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
For the isolated and housebound,
that we may be alert to their needs,
and care for them in their vulnerability:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
For our homes and families,
our schools and young people,
and all in any kind of need or distress:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
For a blessing on our local community,
that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship,
where all are known and cared for:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Lord, as we face both the major difficulties
and the petty irritations of life today,
let us lose neither our sense of proportion
nor our sense of humour.
Help us to retain our inner serenity,
and when our patience is strained to breaking point,
remind us again of your infinite patience with us.
Renew our flagging spirits
with the brightness of your presence
so that no shadow may long oppress us;
and when we do feel low,
save us from spreading gloom that darkens
the light by which others are trying to live.
Help us to face each day as it comes
with courage and quiet confidence
and teach us quickly to forget our woes
but to have a long memory for our blessings.
by Rev. Edmund Banyard, published in Turn but a Stone, NCEC 1992
Thank you to Richard Good for sharing this with us.
We have often prayed in our weekly intercessions, for those who cannot meet as we do today, because it is not safe for them to gather for worship….usually we have had in mind the Christians in Pakistan and other countries where Christians live under religious pressure. Little did we ever think that we would not be able to meet because it is not safe to do so here. Of course, we are not being persecuted by the authorities, but we could be putting ourselves and others in danger if we gathered for worship today as we usually do.
Our buildings are now closed and locked, but the Church – The Body of Christ - is alive and active in prayer and service. Maybe this can be a time for us of discovering again what it means to be the church on earth, living out our faith in this very particular place and time where God has called us. Bishop Nick has written to the clergy his week, and he said this - We often talk about ‘re-imagining ministry’, but now we are all just doing it.
Our bible readings today tell big stories of life coming out of death, by the power of God at work. They are of course anticipating and leading us up to Easter – and this is the biggest festival of the Christian year because it tells our big story – Resurrection – which means life is never the same again.
In our gospel reading, we hear that Jesus said to Martha,
I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
She said to him,
Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who is coming into the world.
Jesus wanted to hear this declaration of resurrection faith before he went to where Lazarus was laid. He then stood by the tomb, asked for the stone to be moved, and called Lazarus out.
The people watching expected a terrible smell when the stone was removed - but there was none.
They expected to go in and see a dead body
- but a man came walking out, alive.
They expected a tomb full of a corpse
- but they saw an empty tomb.
They expected death and saw life - because of Jesus, who is Life.
Today is Passion Sunday. Today we begin the journey with Jesus towards Jerusalem, Good Friday, suffering and death. That could be a journey that we face without hope, but we can hold on to the fact that when trust in Jesus, he walks with us and death is not the end of the story.
One of the prayers in the funeral services has these words,
Your mighty power brings joy out of grief and life out of death.
The Easter garden at Grinton this week
Maybe this virus situation will lead to some death and resurrection in our national life and Church life…some things might die, or we might realise that we can live without them, and maybe some new ways of being church will have space to emerge and grow.
This could happen in our own Christian discipleship too. I hope we won’t just go back to ‘business as usual’ when this is all over – that we will pause before just going back to the old ways, and remember how we learned to be church - the people of God – in new and different and life giving ways, and have been led through this to a different place on our journey.
Just now we have the opportunity for the church to be known as, ‘the people of God among us, who pray and serve and love’. We suddenly have no meetings, no minutes, and no buildings – but maybe we do have some of the ‘more time’ we have always hoped we would have. Let's try to use this experience to grow our own prayer and spiritual lives, and to pray and speak deep healing - life out of death and resurrection hope - for our hurting world.
If you give to the church by standing order, please continue to do so during the current crisis. Our church buildings still need to be kept running and the bills and Parish Share to be paid.
If you usually give money by envelope or in the plate, please consider setting up a standing order, or sending in a monthly cheque.
The church treasurers will be glad to hear from you to discuss your giving during this time. Thank you to all who give faithfully to allow our work as the church in this place to keep going.
News and Notices
Have you changed your clocks?
Telephone Book Club
If anyone would like to take part in a telephone book club, please e-mail or phone Mike Evershed.
The plan is to choose one book each week relevant to Christians and then discuss them in a telephone chat room. All you have to do is telephone a special number which Mike will provide and then join in. The cost is the same as a normal UK call under your contract (so if you have free minutes for UK calls this will be included). The first book will be The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis, but after that the club will be open to suggestions. Contact email@example.com or phone 01748 884926.
The Easter Collection for Refugees Spring Appeal have sent a message from Rev John Richards as follows:
It may come as no surprise to you that we are having to postpone our Spring Appeal. Hopefully this idea will be able to be set up again later in the year.
In the meantime, if anyone would like to support the work of the Methodist Asylum Project in Middlesbrough directly this can be done by using the bank details below:
Account: Methodist Asylum Project Middlesbrough
Account number: 73360539
Sort code: 20-45-45
We have been assured that donations of any size would be received gratefully and spent wisely.
With best wishes. John
The Good Friday Walk has been cancelled. Please let others know, especially if they usually travel to the dale from away to take part in this event.
Andrew and Elizabeth Bedford have decided that, if the weather is fine, they will walk from Keld to Grinton on Good Friday, carrying a palm cross (not the big one) and they will read the stations of the cross on the way. They will plan to read the stations at regular timed intervals – say every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour through the day – so that others can join in from their homes or wherever they are. If the weather is bad and they don’t walk, then they will still read the stations as planned. Please do join in with the prayers if you would like to mark the day in that way – but please don’t join them to walk, this is not a group event.
PCC meetings and the APCM have been cancelled for now and current churchwardens will continue in post until at least October. We hope to have an APCM before the end of October, unless this is extended again, and a possible date will be published soon. New churchwardens are asked to step up and will be legally licensed when possible. There will be updates on this as we go on.
This is the current advice, which has changed since last week, and which will continue to change as the situation develops.
Please pray for all those who will be affected by this.
All church buildings are now closed, and the doors have been locked. If you live near one of our buildings, or will be passing it, please keep an eye out and let the vicar and churchwardens know of any problems.
The message to share is that the buildings may be closed but the church – The Body of Christ - is alive and active in prayer and service
Baptisms will be postponed until further notice and no further bookings taken.
Funerals will take place with a small number of family members, and only at the graveside or crematorium. Each crematorium seems to have their own guidelines as to the exact number of people who can attend.
Weddings cannot be held in churches or civil venues. Those booked have been postponed and no more bookings are being taken.
With thanks to Mike Evershed
Online Services and Worship Resources
Radio 4 usually has a Sunday morning service
The website of the Taizé Community - https://www.taize.fr/en
The Church of England website - https://www.churchofengland.org/
More worship resources to follow in future newsletters –
please do share any that you find helpful.
Practical Help during the Covid 19 Virus Situation
Melbecks Support Group
If you are self-isolating or avoiding going out because of coronavirus (Covid 19) and live in Melbecks Parish we’d like to offer to help you.
We are a group of local people living in and around Low Row and we can help you with shopping, collecting a prescription, posting mail, a friendly phone call, changing books at Reeth library or anything else that might make life easier for you at this difficult time.
Please phone Elizabeth Bedford on 886974 or Delyth Rennie on 886057 (if there’s no reply, please leave a message and we will get back to you).
If you are on email you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to join us as a volunteer helper, please get in touch using any of the above contact details.
We look forward to hearing from you.
There is a Facebook Page – Reeth and District Community – with lots of practical help and discussion.
Due to the Corona Virus Reeth Market has been cancelled for now, however the following traders have offered to provide the following order and delivery services:
Beavers Butchers, Masham
Home deliveries will now be from 4pm to Reeth on Tuesdays & Thursdays
01765 689269 (24hrs answer phone) Mobile: 07515393184
We can take debit/credit card payments over the phone or BACS to: Santander Sort Code- 09-01-29 Account No- 32385111. We can also take payment by card on delivery
Please note when you place your order via the above, we will need your payment choice, any specific delivery instructions on where you would prefer the order to be left & your best contact number so we can contact you with estimated time of delivery
Orders must be in by 11am to be delivered the same day
Fruit & Vegetables
Delivered to Reeth for collection or delivery to door on Friday afternoon. Contact Colin 01677632264 or mobile 07934091906. Orders must be placed by Wednesday 6pm.
The Little Yorkshire Cheese Company
Orders can be placed via 07837433581 or email: email@example.com Orders can be collected from the van which will be parked on the cobbles at an advised time.
Shopping & Prescription Collection Service
Reeth & District Community Transport (Community Bus) is working with Hudson House, Reeth Medical Centre and Reeth Post Office to offer a shopping, prescription collection and delivery service for everyone that needs us.
We can collect your weekly shopping and prescriptions and deliver to your door, if you need us please call us to make arrangements. There will be a small charge of £1 to cover the cost of running the service. Please call 01748 880021
If you need support with anything else not covered by the above, please contact Helen Guy on 880212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help you.
The Arthur Rank Centre has a website of resources for this time: https://arthurrankcentre.org.uk/together-apart/
The Church of England website has advice which is updated regularly:
If you would like to send anything to be included in this weekly newsletter, please email it to the vicar email@example.com by Thursday evening.
This newsletter will replace the pew sheet and
the printed newsletter until further notice.
Please do share this with others.