Welcome

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast Cluster web site 

We are living in strange times, and we are permitted to open our churches for private prayer and worship.
The Churchwardens are working hard to ensure that the churches will be safe places for people to visit.

Currently there are no Sunday Services being held in the cluster, one line services are aviable, via zoom or on the audio page of this site.   

If you wish to obtain the zoom link for Sunday worship please email atlanticcoastcluster@btinternet.com  

if you know of someone who has not got internet access then the daily service can be
accessed by phoning 01872 308750 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 2nd Sunday of Lent
(you can listen to this reflection as part of the Service of the Word for the 2nd Sunday of Lent, found on the Audio page of this site) 

Reflection

We continue our Lenten journey through Mark’s Gospel and today we are treated to a  Peter moment. One theme that runs throughout this gospel is the idea that God is doing something new and different through Jesus.  That the old has passed away and the new has come, and the challenge that presents to anyone who has fixed ideas about how God does things.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I rather like Peter. His ‘say it he sees it’ style, is something I like.  He is no reserved introvert, staying quiet, and pondering on things.  He jumps right on in there.  He often says what many others are thinking, so gets it out in the open, so to speak, but often then needs to be put right.

Here, just after Jesus has asked his followers, who they say he is, and Peter has responded with ‘You are the Messiah’ we see another case of Peter getting in there and challenging, saying what everyone else would be thinking.

So, having made the affirmation that Jesus is the Messiah, Peter cannot understand the words of Jesus.  There was no way, the leaders of the church could, would, treat God’s anointed one, the Messiah, in such a way.  The Messiah would be hailed and venerated.  The Messiah would come and lead God’s people into a new age on earth,.   The whole point of the Messiah was that he would be the one to deliver Israel and vindicate the claims of God’s people.  The Messiah would be recognised by his leadership and by the overthrowing of the Roman overloads and the re-establishment of the nation. He would lead them from oppression to freedom, reinstate them as a great free nation.  The Messiah would be venerated, not killed. Peter’s ideas and those of the faithful had been set. This is what a Messiah would do, a suffering, dying Messiah was not the plan.  Peter’s mind set was not unique, or unusual it was the norm.  He says what everyone else understands to be true.  This could not happen.  If Jesus is the Messiah, he cannot die in this way, and
especially not at the hands of the faith leaders.

Jesus response could appear to be terse and hard.  Get behind me Satan! He calls Peter out, telling him he and therefore the elder’s, the scribes and the chief priests have got it wrong.  Peter and the leaders are only seeing things from an earthly perspective, a worldly perspective, where self is king, but the Messiah is about so much more.  The cosmic, heavenly vison, the Kingdom of God, does not conform to earthly things.  This is not about an earthly nation, this is about the Kingdom of God, being established.    This is not about re-creating anything that has been before this is about a new creation.  Behold I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not precede it, to use the words of Isaiah. 
Naturally, some got this, new amazing Good News, like those who chose to follow Jesus, and some did not, like those who condemned Jesus.

Jesus then goes on to remind people, that there is a cost to following him.  In accepting the new way that God is acting, it is going to be costly.  It is not a literal call for all to take up their cross and follow Jesus to Golgotha, although some will, but rather it is warning to the new community of followers, that there will be a loss of self in this new way of God.   That there should be a willingness to sacrifice through love for others rather than live in a selfish, self-absorbed way. The promise of real change and the establishment of the  kingdom of God can only happen, when the importance of self and worldliness is reduced.  Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.

The message is, following Jesus does not come without a cost.  We are called to be a people who put others before self, who care for the whole of creation.  It is not just about what I want, about self-gratification.  The kingdom of God is not about dominance and power of status.  It is about sacrificial love and service.  It was a new message when Jesus preached it, nearly 2000 years ago, and many found it too radical, and too far away from their intrinsic expectations of God to accept it.  It is still a message that many have yet to hear and some who do find it too challenging but for offers it is hope.  Hope of a better world here, hope for the poor, oppressed, weak and vulnerable, hope for an eternal home where the struggles of this world are overcome.

So, we all need to keep alert, for signs of God at work, remembering that our God is a God of surprises and is still doing new things, we need to be alert to them, ready to join in, bearing our cross of love and service in the help and support of others. 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.