An update from Rachel for June

I want to thank you for being a part of our community here at St Mark’s Church Pennington. I am amazed and excited to be a part of this community here, and delighted seeing people’s faith deepening, hearing people’s questions and exploring.

If you’ve got questions, or want to explore more about faith, would you like to be part of a small group to think a bit more about the Christian faith? Have you ever thought of being baptised or confirmed? Want to join a small group where it’s safe to ask your questions, to share and learn together. Find out more – Please talk to me, or get in touch with Rob or Mair who will be leading these conversations – rob@cogresearch.com.

We’re now into June. Obviously in the UK, the 21st June is a significant milestone that we’re all awaiting news on. At the time of writing, we don’t yet know how the guidance will change for step 4, and what this will mean for our churches. We know that many of us are finding it really hard that congregational singing is not yet allowed, and that there is a cap on the numbers for amateur choirs too. We’re fortunate that Leigh and others have been able to work so hard to create the music that we are able to share and enjoy as part of our worship, and we look forward to being able to participate in this even more, as guidance emerges.

We will be continuing our current plan of an 8am BCP communion service and a 10am Common Worship service on Sundays. We will be reviewing this again after any new government guidance develops.

Across the Diocese of Winchester, the month of June is designated Generous June. There is a daily podcast that we’ll be sharing on our Facebook page and linked through our website each day, where we’ll join with others across the diocese delving into Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, and reflecting on biblical truths of giving and generosity. (You may recognise the voice for 3rd June!) There are paper copies of this monthly reflection booklet too, if online doesn’t’ work for you, please let me know if you’d like one, or pick one up from the back of church.

As we reflect on generosity together, I invite you to consider what this means for you. This might be about use of money, or it might be a time to reflect on use of your time, your prayers, your resources in so many different ways. For some of you, this might be a season to reflect on your giving to our church and our community. To keep our church buildings and our ministry going in this community, through our services, our work in schools, through funerals, weddings and baptism, our care for each other, all takes time and money.

There are some practical ways that you might want to think about generosity with your money

  • Have you signed up for our planned giving scheme, which makes it easy to choose how much you want to give each month, and to transfer this by direct debit? If you’re already giving in this way, as this season changes, is now a time for you to review your giving? Planned giving to our church helps us to plan for the year, and it helps to ensure that your gift can take advantage of the charity tax support that is available.
  • Have you considered leaving a legacy to St Mark’s Church? Much of the work that has taken place on our building has been funded by the generosity of those that have previously been part of the worshipping community here in Pennington. The last year, as covid pandemic has been happening all around us, it’s brought our mortality into sharper focus for many of us. I wonder what you’d like your legacy to be, to our wider community here in Pennington?
  • We value you being part of our community however much you are able to give financially. Jesus told a story honouring a widow who generously gave a very small amount to her worshipping community. Likewise, the least expensive thing we need to buy – our communion wafers – are the most essential part of our worship. By all of us contributing what we can, we can feel we are all building our shared worship resources together. None of us has the resources to fund our worship and community life alone. We need to rely on God and on each other and build this together.

Part of us being a community, a church, is continuing to listen to each other, is having patience with each other and a desire to understand the different experiences within our community. We’re starting to explore how we will be church together as we go forward. I’m sure we will continue to face new challenges, to encounter things we’ve not yet imagined. I really hope that you will continue to work with us, to share your own experiences, to help us understand what is working for you, to share what is difficult, and to help us work together to find the way forward.

We want to continue our online church, as a fresh expression of church. We’d really like your help with this. In particular, we’d like to draw together a team who are passionate about our online church, and who want to continue worshipping together online. Would you like to join us as we explore these ideas forward? If you’d like to be involved in this in any way, please do email us at takepart@penningtonchurch.uk and let us know how you’d like to be involved, or have a chat with Rachel or Paul.

Our services and events for June 2021

Sunday – 6th June
8am – BCP Communion service (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Contemporary communion service (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Online service, shared Lymington and Pennington Church

Sunday 13th June
8am – BCP Communion service (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Morning Praise (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Online service, shared Lymington and Pennington Church

Saturday 19th June
Community Churchyard Clear up Day – from 10am
Please bring garden tools with you, if you have them, to help us to clear up and care for our churchyard. We will be filling in holes / smoother over bumps in old graves, strimming and clearing some of the overgrowth from old graves near the war memorial. All are welcome, bring your friends and neighbours too, to help us care for this shared, peaceful space.

Sunday 20th June
8am – BCP Communion service (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Contemporary communion service (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Online service, shared Lymington and Pennington Church

Sunday 27th June
8am – BCP Communion service (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Morning Praise (in St Mark’s Church and streamed online)
10am – Online service, shared Lymington and Pennington Church

As usual, a reminder that:

If you have any symptoms of covid, please do not come to the church building.

  • Entrance will be through St Mark’s Room, including hand sanitiser station and collecting
  • track and trace contact details (which will be held for three weeks).
  • Face coverings are required in a place of worship
  • Congregational singing is not allowed
  • We need to adhere to social distancing. To help with this we have markings on the floor outside the church and inside. You will be directed to your seat as you come in, with those arriving first being seated at the front of church. At the end of the service, we will leave from the back rows first. Given social distancing and seating, there will be a maximum number of people that can attend worship. At St Mark’s Church, this is up to 34 small house holds. If the church is full we will not allow additional people to enter, and you will need to join in the service online.
  • Socialising is not permitted, either in church, or in the church grounds

I look forward to seeing you or speaking with you again soon, either at church, online or via email. I pray that we will continue to be gentle with each other, to encourage each other, and to continue to find ways to notice God, to pray, to worship, to dream together.

With my daily prayers
Rev Rachel Noël,
Priest in Charge

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