Welcome

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast Cluster web site 

We are living in strange times.
If 
you would like to listen to our services please go to the audio page in the media section
orders of service for the services are also avaiable there.

if you know of someone who has not got internet access then the daily service can be
accessed by phoning 01872308750 it is charged as local call,
the service will start after a moments pause, please share this with those you know who may like this.  

I will contine to post things that I have found helpful below as well as the Sunday Reflection

above is a photo the blessing which is in my hall, the celtic blessing,
produced by the wonderful calligraphy artist, Tess Cooling

Useful links

From the Times - Ways to Improve your Mood

A 3 minute meditation 
Singing out loud or joining a virtual choir
A kitchen disco - 35 minutes of dancing
Drawing for 45 minutes
Take a hot bath - May be more beneficial than exercise for people with depression
Gardening - 20 minutes of gardening can reduce stress and boost cognitive function
Deep sleep  - 7 hours at least 3 times a week
A 20 second hug - if you’re lucky enough to live with someone or some creature that can provide it.
One to one phone calls. (Happier people have more meaningful conversations with much less small talk)

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Reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter 
(you can listen to this reflection as part of the Service of the Word for the 7th Sunday of Easter, found on the Audio page of this site) 

 

Covid 19 measures have meant that many of the traditional services for the season of Lent and Easter have past us by, almost unnoticed.   Thursday this week saw the last of feasts of the Easter season, the feast of the Ascension, the time the church remembers the last sighting, by the disciples of the risen Christ , as He is ‘taken up to heaven.’ Our reading from Acts recounts this and our Gospel reading also reflects this theme of last encounters, with another section of the long last discourse of Jesus to his close friends on the evening before his arrest and crucifixion.

Sometimes of course we don’t always know something will be the last, until it is past, sometimes we may have an inclination and last words can remain long after the speaker has gone,

Some ‘famous’ last words that I like

Lady Astor ‘Am I dying or is it my birthday?’

Humphrey Bogart,  ‘I should have never switched from scotch to Martinis.’

and ‘I may be some time’ Captain Oates on Scott’s ill fated Antarctic exhibition. 
Last words can inspire, be poignant and  even help lighten the darkness.  Well-chosen words can go someway to help, comfort and strengthen those left behind.  Certainly the old adage that sticks and stones break bones but words never hurt is fundamentally incorrect – words can be most damaging. 

Words reflect something of the individual who says them and reminds people of the character of the individual long after that individual has gone but also what is important to remember that what said is also as much about how the hearer takes them.

I had a friend who experienced life through the lens of autism, she would described herself as ‘on the spectrum’  although admitted at times she was way out at the edge of it, but she said something that I found really helpful about what we say,

There is what we think we say

There is what we actually say

There is what someone hears

And finally, there how someone hears it, what speaks to them and how they react 

and all are different, so when Jesus says the words to his close friends He already knows what is happening, knows these words are important and He is careful about what He says. 

He knows that they are not only for his friends there and for all who come after, but those hearing do not know the context and cannot fully understand what is being said.

Jesus is trying to offer words to inspire, comfort, support and guide not just to those then, but to us now, those in between and all those who are still to come, His words speak into different contexts and people will hear and receive them very differently .  What you have heard will not be what I heard.

So I offer a little unpacking of the words that may help, you, hear something,

Verses 1-8 constitute the beginning of a prayer in which Jesus reiterates his relationship with God and the authority He received from God.

Verses 7 and 8.  Says that Jesus only gives what he has received from God and that his followers will receive what Jesus has given them. There is nothing else, all is from God.

Verses 8 -11 are prayers on behalf of Jesus' followers past, present and future,  Jesus prays for us to help us, to strengthen us, to guide us

Verses 9 to 11. All Christ followers are ‘No longer solely in the world" but are part of Christ .  All are bonded with him,  abide in him. All are  "in" the world, but in addition, also part of the reality of Jesus.

Finally notice that - as with other blessings - there is a larger purpose for being protected.  We are protected so that we may be one as Jesus and God are one,.  The blessing Jesus prays for us is:

That we, Christ’s followers may be one as Jesus and God are one that we continue to do as Christ did, to teach, to heal, to help those who are given to us, those we connect with in our lives

At  this time it is more important than ever that we strive to be more Christ like in our lives.

To care, to have compassion, to share,  to help to forgive, to pray.  That was what Christ did, who Jesus was.  It is what His close friends did even when he was finally taken from their sight, that is what we are called to do,  to be as Christ in a world of pain and struggles, which we all are part of

His words are meant to strengthen and uphold His followers in times of struggle and darkness , in times such as these.  His words remind us all that Christ is one with God and we are blessed to be one with Him

May we learn to share this blessing freely with others

Amen

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Prayer
Lord Jesus, be with us,
for this life is challenging and tiring
be our companion in the way,
kindle our hearts
awaken hope,
and open our eyes, Amen 

 

St Cubertus by Sue Parkington
Written about her favourite church.   
Photo taken from happier times when the church was open

“Tis closed”, the old man said,

“Locked and cold within”, 

‘Why’s that?’I asked

‘I can’t make sense of thee’.

“Tis the virus; and the Bishops,

So they say, 

They’m scared we might get sick.

 I’m only ninety three”

‘Let’s chat outside a while’ I said,

Though raining heavily. 

“No good”, he said, then added,

“Just come along with me,

‘Tis cosy in the south porch,

And sheltered from the breeze”.

And so we shared our crib there, 

Saffron bun and mug of tea.

Keeping social distancing!

A friend and company.

 

 

Precious Life   (An Acrostic for Easter Time 2020) by Liz Cleves 

Perhaps we are listening, and

Remembering what is dear to us

Each of us recollecting Spring times, and the promise of nature bringing its gifts

Conscious too that the beautiful Earth is suffering from our ‘overload’.

In the morning I listen to the robin and the wren guarding my garden, and

Out early I see the mighty sun lift over the horizon

Unfettered and free in it’s course.

Softly I give thanks for all in my care and all that I receive.

 

Let me give thanks

In every way let me treasure my life and all that is dear to me

Fearing only fear itself and

Enjoying all while I may.