Dear Church member
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is a celebration of Holy Communion, two months after its institution at the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. Of particular importance to Roman Catholics, we should all value and give thanks to God for the gift of this special means of grace, that which we do together in remembrance of the death of Jesus on our behalf, gathered together as the family of God. Holy Communion has been difficult - and at times impossible - to celebrate during the pandemic, but as restrictions ease (God willing!), we look forward to be including regular services of Holy Communion (on Sundays and also weekdays) within the range of services we offer across the benefice. Please be praying about the discussions about this pattern of 'services in 2021 and beyond' taking place, and the decisions that will be made.
Our evening service this week (6.00pm at St Matthew's) will in fact be a service of Holy Communion, so do please consider coming along to this service if you wish, indicating your intention to do so here (as we are still needing to limit numbers and ensure social distancing).
Our other 'in person' service this Sunday is an experimental 'interactive' service at St Matthew's at 10.30am, including informal worship (with singing outside, weather permitting!), activities for children, and discussion groups for teens and adults. As with the evening service, we currently have restrictions on the number allowed to attend (but more flexibility if the weather is good and we can use outside!), but do please consider coming along if you wish.
In both our 'in person' and online services this Sunday we will be starting our seven-week 'Bible Series', which I am really excited about. This is a great exploration of the overall story of the Bible, with each week touching on key themes and how they relate to universal human needs, such as the need for meaning, freedom, peace, love, community and home. A number of our homegroups will also be joining in with this series.
Speaking of services, this year's annual D-Day memorial service held at the RAF Harwell Memorial Stone will be taking place, but given that very few will be permitted to attend, it will be live-streamed, and available online afterwards, for those who wish to watch at home. The service is due to start at 5.30pm on Saturday (5th June), and can be watched on the following link: https://youtu.be/DrIinkW9KOg
This weekend, then, we honour and remember the sacrifices made by a previous generation for those who would follow. Their sacrifices reflect that of our Lord Jesus Christ which we remember together in broken bread and wine outpoured, and in the great story of the Bible, which tells of God's good purposes for the world.
"God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
and he will dwell with them. They will be his people,
and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying
or pain, for the old order of things has passed away"
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton