Hope Springs Eternal. Newsletter No 34 - 1st March 2021
Our theme throughout Lent is how we can share with and care for others.
One person who set the standard for caring and sharing is a man named Phocas. He lived in the fourth century just outside the city of Sinope on what today is the northern coast of Turkey on the Black Sea. Phocas who is believed to have been the Bishop of the Christian community of that city is known for both his hospitality and how he shared the produce of his garden with those in need. He is also known as Phocas the gardener.
Sinope at the time was a city within the Roman Empire and during the reign of a notorious Emperor named Diocletian, orders were issued by Diocletian that all leading Christians were to be arrested, tried, and executed. Magistrates were dispatched by Rome with the names of leading Christians and on one of these lists was the name of Phocas of Sinope.
Phocas lived in a house on an approach road to the city and he would often invite travellers into his home and garden to rest and take refreshment before making the final leg of their journey. Whilst entertaining his guests, Phocas would use the opportunity to share his Christian faith.
When the Officers and Magistrates from Rome travelled to Sinope to arrest Phocas, unbeknown to them they were about to pass the house of the man that they were seeking when Phocas approached them and invited them to enter his garden, to rest and take refreshment. During the resulting conversation, the senior Magistrate was asked by Phocas about the purpose of their visit to Sinope. The Magistrate revealed how they had received orders from Rome to travel to Sinope to arrest, try and execute a Christian man named Phocas. The Official asked Phocas whether he knew the man and if he did could he direct them to him.
"I know him well” said Phocas. "He does not live far away at all. Why don’t you and your men rest here tonight and tomorrow I will direct you to him.” That night Phocas went into his beloved garden and dug a hole. A garden where he had spent many happy hours entertaining and sharing his Christian faith. The hole was large enough for just one body.
At dawn, Phocas awoke the Roman officials and announced who he was. That he was Phocas, the man who they sought. The officials were astonished and could not bring themselves to put to death the man who had provided them with so much hospitality and who had been so kind.
Phocas’s response was even more astounding, he said to them "Oh please do! I am a Christian, death is not important to me; whereas if you do not fulfil your orders you will get into trouble. Think of yourselves. You must do your duty. It will not alter my love and affection for you.”
So, the execution took place. A love that had given so much had no more to give; it had given all.
Lent Challenge Continued – Doing the little things in life by being kind to others, the world and yourself.
- Tues 2nd. Contact somebody either by letter, email, text, or phone call and ask them how they are?
- Wed 3rd. Be more generous by giving or sending a small gift to a friend.
- Thurs 4th. There is much wind-blown waste around after the recent storms. Fill a bag and place in a dustbin.
- Fri 5th. Take a break from routine and do something different; something you’ve been unable to find time for.
- Sat 6th. Make a list of coming birthdays to ensure that you do not miss someone special.
- Mon 8th. Do a job around the house that you have been putting off for some time.
- Tues 9th. Plan a different meal and try something new.
- Wed 10th. Think about how you can help in some small way the fight against climate change.
- Thurs 11th. Check up on a neighbour. See how they are doing during ‘lockdown’.
- Fri 12th. Examine your food cupboard to see if there is anything you can donate to the ‘Foodbank’.
- Sat 13th. Go for a walk regardless of the weather. Look around for signs of Spring.
- Mon 14th. Check your car to see that it is in good order; tyre pressures, oil, and windscreen.
- Tues 15th. Identify a book or DVD you could lend to someone else. Something they might enjoy.
Coming Events in March. Remember to use the new access information below.
Zoom Meeting ID: 874 0789 6194 Passcode: 427 632. Alternatively, if you receive emails you will have received one advising you to simply click on the link contained in the email for all Church Zoom events.
Morning Worship on Zoom.
Sunday 7th at 10.30 – Led by Alan Hodgkinson from his home in Corwen. *Includes Sacrament
Sunday 14th at 10.30 – Mothering Sunday Fellowship Led Worship – by members of the congregation.
Sunday 21st at 10.30 – Missionary David Robinson will lead our service from his home in Sale and tell of his work amongst the Thai people who live in the UK.
Sunday 28th at 10.30 – Palm Sunday Led by Diane Bennett. Return to Church.
Lenten Bible Study Series - The Prayers of Jesus – all meetings start at 8.00 pm for just one hour.
Tuesday 2nd. The Raising of Lazarus – ‘that they may believe that you sent me’. (John 11:42)
Bible Reading. John 11:1-7,17-21,32-35,38-42.
Tuesday 9th. Jesus’ Hour – ‘for this very reason I came’ (John 12:27). Bible Reading John 12:20-36.
This week Roy directs us to Mark 14: 1-11. Mary was perceptive by foreseeing Jesus’ crucifixion and she then anointed Him with expensive oil according to Jewish tradition. Praise God that we can be perceptive to help others in their needs.
Are you a fan of ‘Bake Off’, ‘Master Chef’, ’Celebrity Best Home Cook’ or do you have your own ‘go to’ recipes that have been handed down from family and friends? We are looking for favourite recipes which are quick and easy to prepare, do not cost a fortune and do not require lots of preparation and pots and pans. They can be sweet, savoury, snacks, teatime treats, in fact anything that you enjoy cooking or baking and would like to share. Perhaps you have a recipe for a homemade beauty treatment, tonic or even a useful way of cleaning household items which could be included.
We are compiling a booklet of recipes to raise funds for Church. This will only be successful if we share our recipes, so please send us your favourites, either by email or handwritten and pass to your cluster leader or dictate by phone. We also need a title for our booklet, so suggestions please. All responses to Anne or Kath.
2nd Jason Willets, 6th Audrey Flint, 5th Bob Ellison, 12th Betty Blease, 17th Tony Middleton, 20th Dilys Hancock, 21st Brenda Matthews.
19th Dilys and Tom Hancock, 21st Maureen and John Johnson
Belated congratulations to Leslie and Kath Baguley who celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary on 24th February.
Fairtrade Fortnight (22nd February to 7th March)
We are currently in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight. The aim is to recognise and celebrate as individuals, groups and companies, the people who grow our food, around the world who are often exploited and poorly paid. This year the focus is on climate change and the impact it has had on Fairtrade farmers and producers. As part of our Lenten challenge, we in our own small way can help by purchasing Fairtrade products.
Let us not forget our own Warrington Foodbank.
Items currently in short supply are, tinned rice pudding, tinned potatoes, cream crackers, tinned meat(hot), corned beef, Angel Delight, custard, potato mash, tinned fruit, fish / meat paste, jelly, cat food. If you wish to donate any of the above or other items via church, please advise you cluster leader, Anne or Brenda.
Stop Press:Dilys Hancock is now well enough to receive telephone calls.