Picture

This Sunday - 14th February

Join us Online: YouTube (from 6am Sunday)

We are not encouraging people to come to the church building at present, but for those who feel safe and would find it a support to come in person we will be open at 10:30am on Sunday:

If you plan to come please book to attend:

Register to attend

Also, join us for a chat at 11:30am on Sunday: 

Click this link to join the Zoom meeting.

Picture

"A new command I give you: Love one another.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

(John 13:34)

For some people one of the great things about being a part of church is being surrounded by a group of like-minded people. Of course we need the encouragement of others who trust in Jesus as we do, but is that what the command above is all about? Far from being a radical new command is this just an invitation to be part of a cosy community? Is it less radical than loving your neighbour or your enemy, which Jesus also commands?

When we read the verse out of context it does lose its edge, but in the context of John 13 it is a very radical command. Jesus has just washed his disciples' feet, the act of a slave not a teacher and in the context of John's gospel symbolic of an even more radical act of service - his death on the cross. What is more among the disciples whose feet he washed was Judas.

The command is radical for three reasons:

  1. Loving one another in the church community will include loving those who gather with the community, but may in reality act as its enemy like Judas.
  2. We are called to love as Jesus loves. That means being willing to act as a slave of others and to love sacrificially as Jesus loved us by dying on the cross.
  3. In the next verse Jesus says, this command is so that others "will know that you are my disciples." (John 13:35). This love is the foundation of a community that should stand as distinctive from the world around and be a lived out witness to the truth of the love of God in the good news we share.

So how well do we follow Jesus's new commandment? How effective are we at caring for one another as a community of his followers in Ramsgate? How well have we managed to continue caring during lockdown? These are the questions we are considering in our Sunday Service this week.

In the meantime, there is a lot going on this week for our community. Do consider how you might engage.

Firstly, the last week has been dominated by snow, so one way to engage is: to send in photos of your snowmen, so we can share them as part of our service this Sunday.

Also, Sunday is Valentine's Day, Tuesday is Pancake Day, and Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent! We will also be making some big announcements about the future for St. Luke's in our Sunday Service, so do read on to find out more and to see how you can engage with some of these.

Picture

Join us this Sunday as we focus on care. The reading is Acts 4:32-35. If you haven't yet taken the survey on care at St. Luke's then please do by Friday 10am:

Picture

Our next survey is on Sharing God's word. This is about how we encourage one another in the church from God's word as well as sharing the Good News with the world around us. Please complete this survey by Friday week:

Picture

Please read on...

  • Prayer: Please encourage others by sending in an opener for our online service. Also, people to pray for.
  • Care: Opportunities to ask questions about this Sunday's announcement and ideas for a virtual Pancake Party.
  • Share: More details on this week's questionnaire and some blogs to get you thinking!
Picture

Contributions to this week's Opener

Thank you to those who gave some brief answers to last week's question on 'Prayer' for our Opener. Please send a video of yourself giving a one word or one sentence answer to the question: "What does the care and support of other Christians mean to you?" It would be great to have children as well as adults. If we have too many we may use them in other parts of the service as well as the Opener.

Please send contributions in as soon as possible (by 10am on Friday). You can send them by Whatsapp (07769 871520) or by WeTransfer.com to: vicar@stlukesramsgate.org.

Prayer Requests:

​​Be assured I will do my best to check that people are happy for the requests to be shared before including them. Please pray...

  • For the work of those in our medical services working hard with those who are in hospital with Covid and in the roll out of the vaccines.
  • For teachers and other school staff, that they will have a chance to be refreshed over half-term and not be too anxious about the changes likely to come with more children returning to school in March.
  • Give thanks that for Dick and Caroline Seed's training in South Africa: "that despite one power outage and a few dips in the internet, the technology held out and the week was successful.  It was challenging for some at first, but things turned out well in the end and all the lecturers finished the first phase of the course full of enthusiasm." Pray for the lecturers in the next phases of the training.
  • For the couple of people starting a Christianity Explored course today.
  • Colin Ryan - Give thanks that Colin's eyesight is now much better.
  • Annie's mum now in a respite home in Dover, waiting for assessment for the next step.
  • Evelyn (Audrey's sister) who although she had been making a good recovery has had a couple of small strokes this week.

  • Nathan Court for his continuing treatment.
  • Barb (Gloria's daughter's friend) has now completed her Chemotherapy and is feeling well, but waiting to hear about the next stage of her treatment.
  • Pray for Jeannette (Claudia's sister in USA). She has now had an operation, which was successful and starts Chemotherapy in 6 weeks. Please continue to pray for for the Lord's healing touch, strength and love around her and her family!
  • For those whose appointments or operations have been cancelled or postponed as a result of the increase in covid-cases.
Picture

This Sunday's Announcement

On Sunday, we will be making a big announcement about the future of St. Luke's, which will probably raise some questions for people. So on Thursday next week (18th February) at 8pm, we will have a special meeting on Zoom for those who want to ask questions about the announcement. 

Click this link to join the Zoom meeting at 8pm, Thursday 18th.

Virtual Pancake Party

In the past we have had big gatherings in church for a Pancake Party. Obviously, we cannot do that this year, but here are a couple of ideas for some fun competitions across the church, but done at home.

Pancake Tossing Competition:

If people video themselves tossing pancakes and counting the number of times they toss the pancake without dropping it. Then we can show the person with the most tosses in our service on Sunday week.

Decorating Pancakes:

It can be fun to decorate a pancake with food before eating it! Why not take a picture of your best design and send it in, then we can show your designs in our service on Sunday week and award a prize to the best design.

I look forward to your contributions!

Picture

Last Week's Talk:

Prayer (Acts 4:23-31) - Available Online

We are often taught that to pray you need to put your hands together and close your eyes. However, the Bible does not teach this. Rather, as we pray, we need to open our eyes to the God we are praying to, to his people, his character, his ways and his mission. This is how we grow in prayer.

Survey on 'Share'

One of the amazing claims of the Christian faith is that God, the creator of the universe, speaks to us mere human beings. The focus of that communication is of course Jesus, "the Word who became flesh" (John 1:14), but the main means we hear God's word is through the Bible - the inspired words of God.

As Christians we want to share these wonderful words with one another helping each other to understand what God is saying and applying them to every aspect of our lives today. This is the heart of what being a Christian disciple is all about and what it means for the "the message of Christ to dwell richly among us" (Colossians 3:16).

We also want to share the good news about Jesus with others outside the church, that they can come to know the joy and life that is found in following him.

This survey is a chance to find out how lockdown has effected our relationship to the Bible as Christians at St. Luke's.

Click here to take the survey...

Interesting Blogs and Podcasts

Hear John Stott's sermons...

John Stott was probably the most influential Evangelical writer and Anglican Vicar of the Twentieth Century. If he had lived long enough he would have been 100 this year. To celebrate, Premier Radio are putting one of his sermons out each Sunday in 2021 as a Podcast. You can even listen on Spotify. Why not listen in to one of the great preachers of the last Century?

Living with Loss

Talking about death can be difficult and we may wonder how we can talk with children about this topic. This blog from Bible Reading Fellowship explores how to do just that.

The Power Struggle: Renewable Energy and Reconciling Generations

How do different generations view energy use and climate change? For older generations the use of fossil fuels has brought great advances and prosperity in their lifetimes. For younger generations they threaten the future of the planet. How should the generations talk together about these issues?

Finally, keep caring for one another as God has cared for you!

Yours in Christ,

Paul Worledge 

Vicar, St. Luke's Ramsgate

Picture