Kingsteignton & Teigngrace

The Electronic Link - Parish Magazine


The Electronic Link

Parish Magazine 

for 

St Michael’s Kingsteignton 

St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace


St Michael's

St Michael's Kingsteignton








St Peter & St Paul's Teigngrace

St Peter & St Paul's Teigngrace







April 2021


Easter Logo


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Welcome



“… ‘do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has been raised; he is not here’ …”(Mark 16: 6).

When this edition of The Electronic Link is published, we will be very close to the great Feast of Easter.  

At the end of Lent comes Holy Week.  This is the time when we walk with Christ through his last days on Earth.  If we participate in the liturgy of the Church during this week, then we may come to sense the growing unease that surrounds the mission of Jesus as he turns his face towards Jerusalem.  His enemies circle around, looking for an opportunity to strike.  After the last meal with his friends we witness the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, as he wrestles with the demands of the work he has to do and his human fear of what is to come.

The Last SupperOn the night of Maundy Thursday, the Christians of our Mission Community stand alongside Jesus.  Normally we would share in the Eucharist of the Last Supper and then symbolising the emptiness of the world without Christ by stripping the church of ornamentation, leaving the altar bare and the ambry open and empty.  This year we will have a simple service on Zoom to remember those events.  There then follows the Office of the Watch, where we would normally have the opportunity of staying in the church and joining with Peter, James and John, alongside Jesus as he prays.  This year we are asking that you keep some part of the Office of the Watch in your own home and maybe use some of the recordings we have produced and which will be available on Youtube (see the weekly email for the link). When we observe The Watch in the side The Agony in the GardenChapel at St Michael’s until Midnight, some of us stay for only 10 minutes, others for the whole 3 hours; either way, though, we are responding to the request of Jesus that we “remain here and keep awake” (Mark 14: 34).  We can do the same at home just for a short time, or maybe until Midnight.


On Good Friday, we walk with Christ through his Passion, another word for ‘suffering’.  We do this in the liturgy called the Stations of the Cross and it is where we remember, and through that remembering we participate, in the humiliation and crucifixion The Crucifixionof Jesus.  We also do it on the afternoon of Good Friday, at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, timed to coincide with the last hour of his life.  This year, again, both of these activities are available on Zoom, with the access link in the weekly email.



Holy Saturday is a time of quiet.  There is no celebration of the Eucharist in the Church during the daylight hours in normal times, because it is a time when we wait outside the Lord’s tomb.  Following very ancient tradition, though, in the darkness of the night the Easter Vigil begins.  It is here that Christians remember their roots in the Jewish faith and in the salvation that God achieved for the Jews.  The symbolic light of Christ is processed into the darkness of the church and new Christians are baptised, while established Christians renew their baptismal vows.  The resurrection is The Resurrectionthen proclaimed for the first time again, as the First Eucharist of Easter is celebrated and all receive the Body and Blood of the risen Lord.  This year all of this, apart from the First Eucharist of Easter will be available on Zoom.  The First Eucharist will be livestreamed on Facebook on Easter Morning.






The three days I have described are known together as the Easter Triduum.  They end Holy Week and the season of Lent and enable us to stand with Christians around the world and through history, who have lived the death and resurrection of Our Lord in the same way.  I commend the Easter Triduum to you all and encourage each of you to walk closely with Christ in his Passion this Holy Week, that you too might know the fullness of joy in his Resurrection.

Fr Mark

 

(Picture 1: 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simon_ushakov_last_supper_1685.jpg; Photo – ‘The Last Supper’; Public Domain, Copyright Free

Picture 2:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andrea_Mantegna_036.jpg; Photo – ‘The Agony in the Garden’ from National Gallery, London by The Yorck Project (2002); Public Domain, Copyright Free

Picture 3:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dreux_Budé_Master_-_The_Crucifixion_-_Google_Art_Project,_FXD.jpg; Photo ‘Crucifixion of Jesus’  by Dreux Bude Master at J Paul Gety Museum; Public Domain, Copyright Free

Picture 4: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Noel-coypel-the-resurrection-of-christ-1700.jpg; Photo ‘The Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel 1700’ by http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Noel-Coypel/The-Resurrection-Of-Christ,-1700.html; Public Domain, Copyright Free)

 

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Prayer Intentions 

for April

 

 

1st

MAUNDY THURSDAY

Reconciliation

2nd

GOOD FRIDAY

Obedience

3rd

Holy Saturday

Patience

4th

EASTER SUNDAY

Our Parishes

5th

Monday of Easter Week

The fearful

6th

Tuesday of Easter Week

Healing

7th

Wednesday of Easter Week

Joy

8th

Thursday of Easter Week

Peace

9th

Friday of Easter Week

Church Growth

10th

Saturday of Easter Week

Revelation

11th

2nd Sunday of Easter

Our Parishes

12th

Weekday of Easter

Insight

13th

Weekday of Easter

Understanding

14th

Weekday of Easter

The World

15th

Weekday of Easter

Spiritual Guides

16th

Isabella Gilmore, Deaconess, 1923

Sign Makers

17th

Weekday of Easter

Bakers

18th

3rd Sunday of Easter

Our Parishes

19th

Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012

Carers

20th

Weekday of Easter

Food Industry

21st

Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1109

Philosophers

22nd

Weekday of Easter

Bakers

23rd

George, Martyr, Patron of England

England

24th

Mellitus, Bishop of London, 1st Bishop of St Paul’s, 624

Parish Clergy

25th

4th Sunday of Easter

Our Parishes

26th

Mark The Evangelist

The Church

27th

Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894

Poets

28th

Peter Chanel, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841

Missionaries

29th

Catherine of Siena, Teacher 1380

Contemplatives

30th

Pandita Mary Ramabai, Translator of the Scriptures, 1922

Biblical Scholars

 

 


 Pray without Ceasing




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Contributions to The Electronic Link

 

The editor of The Electronic Link would welcome articles for inclusion in the new magazine but reserves the right to alter, amend or not publish any that are submitted.  The deadline for submission of articles will be 20th day of the month preceding that for which the next edition is dated.  For example, articles for the October edition would need to be submitted by 20th September.  All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format and included as an attachment to an email sent to either of these two addresses:

 

kingsteigntonchurch@btinternet.com

teigngracechurch@btinternet.com

 

Please write in the Subject heading of the email:

 

‘Article for The Electronic Link’

 

Please include in the name of the attached file an indication of it’s content.  For example, for a report on swift boxes in St Michael’s Church Tower, something like ‘Swift Boxes Report’.  This makes it easier for the editor to manage any articles that are submitted.



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The Church – A Praying Community 

 

In the March 2021 edition of The Electronic Link, we thought about the way in which, the more we read and contemplate the Word of God as we encounter Him in the Bible, so we are changed in to seeing the world as the Word does.  Jesus is that Word and it is the eyes of Jesus that slowly develop within us as a result of our reading.  We saw, too, that, as Paula Gooder says, the gaze of Jesus is “one of compassion that sympathises with our weakness but is also clear and true.  As we learn more from the word of God we can adopt that gaze as our own and begin to see ourselves as Jesus, the Word of God, sees us” (in Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey – The Bible, 2015, CHP: 52).

 

This month we are going to spend a little time thinking about how we can make reading our Bible’s a part of our daily lives. 

 

In St Matthew’s Gospel we read of how, when tempted by the Devil to use his powers to change stones into bread, Jesus responds by saying ‘One Breaddoes not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4: 4).  In other words, what we find in the Bible is nourishment that is like bread.  Bread feeds our bodies, while what we read in the Bible is food for the soul and helps to sustain us in our discipleship.

 

In the prayer that Jesus gave us, the Lord’s Prayer, we say ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.  In other words, what we are praying when we say this, is that our souls and our spirit be nourished every day.  Daily reading of our Bibles, whereby we are exposed to the Word of God, Jesus, is a very important way in which we are able to receive this ‘daily bread’.  And this is the pattern of life that has been followed by very many Christians since the earliest days of the Church.

 

WatchesWhen we first begin, doing this isn’t always easy.  Many of us have busy lives and finding some time to fit something else in is sometimes hard.  For many people, part of the solution is to try to have a regular time and place when they do this holy reading.  In other words, to create a time in their day that is set apart, in a place that is also special and separate from the other activities and concerns of the day, where they can read their Bible.

 

Something else that many Christians have also found very helpful, is to read their Bibles as part of a regular pattern of set prayers, many of which, themselves, are based upon passages from the Bible.  This is what is Daily Officesometimes called a ‘Daily Office’, which means not a room with a desk and a computer but, rather, a regular space for offering prayer and praise to God.  

 

During Lent I have been posting Morning Prayer on the Kingsteignton & Teigngrace Mission Community Facebook page.  This is an example of the Daily Office and, as such, is a way of “… praying the Scriptures through reading the psalms each day and a short passage from the Old and New Testaments … (which offers) …a regular, balanced diet from the Scriptures” (Steven Croft in Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey – The Bible, 2015, CHP: 59).

 

When we read the Bible, whether in Church or at home or elsewhere, it is often good to pray the prayer that Eli taught Samuel: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3: 9).  This is because it is not always easy to listen, especially when we recognise that God often speaks very quietly indeed.  When the word of God came to Elijah, for example, it was not in an earthquake, or a great storm or a fire but through a still and small voice, sometimes also translated as a sheer silence (1 Kings 19: 12).  Elsewhere, we are told, as well, that we should “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46).

 The Monks' Room

All of this, then, points to how we need to read Scripture.  It needs to be done patiently and slowly.  We will often need to read a passage several times, looking up words we don’t understand, looking for phrases or words that stand out and grab our attention, reflecting on what those words mean and why they stand out. Sometimes, we might wish to memorise short phrases or verses, so that we can return to them repeatedly, as we have need.

 

It is best not to approach our reading with fixed expectations a to what we will see or understand.  This can vary from day to day and, sometimes, we may find nothing. When we read, we are on a long journey and today’s Contemplationlack of understanding maybe the start of tomorrow’s insight.  As Steven Croft says, “There will be moments of deep encouragement and occasionally challenge. Our minds may be changed.  Sometimes there will be questions that we need to take to a friend who can help us” (in Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey – The Bible, 2015, CHP: 60).

 










Above all, when we read our Bibles, we need to be conscious that, in Scripture, to listen is to obey.  It does not mean simply to hear or read the words, it means to be transformed by those words in our thoughts and actions.  As we saw last month, the words of Scripture are, for Christians, a double-edged sword that cut very deep.  In those words of Scripture, we encounter the Word, Jesus our Lord, who teaches us and nourishes us, so that we can grow as his disciples.

 

Fr Mark

 

(Photo 1:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Home_made_sour_dough_bread.jpg; Photo ‘Home made soughdough bread’ by Tomascastelazo; Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License;

 

Photo 2:

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cmarmex_wrist_watch..jpg; Photo ‘Watches are on the counter of a watch store’ by Новиков Евгений АлександровичReproduced under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License;

 

Photo 3:  Fr Mark

 

Photo 4:

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fontenay_Abbey_-_The_Monk%27s_Room_(35028363723).jpg; Photo ‘Fontenay Abbey – The Monk’s Room’ by Elliot Brown; Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License;

 

Photo 5:

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monk%27s_Loneliness_La_soledad_del_monje.jpg; Photo ‘Paular Monastery, started building in 1390. A place for peace and contemplation …’ by Jesus Solana; Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License;

 

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Bible Bites




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Picture Parable


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A Saint from the Calendar for April  


St GeorgeOn 23rd April, along with the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Coptic and Eastern Catholic Churches, in the Calendar of the Church of England, we celebrate the life and witness of St George.

 

It is widely believed that the first church dedicated to St George was built in Lydda in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina, his home town, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine (AD 306-337).  Whether St George was born at Lydda or in Cappadocia, in modern day Turkey is a matter of controversy, although it is generally accepted that he probably spent his childhood in the town.

 

Accounts of his life are generally believed to be unreliable, but the widely shared biography is that after his father died when he was 14 and his mother when he was 17, St George joined the Roman Army at Nicomedia in Syria Palaestina.  In his late 20s, St George had been promoted to the rank of Military Tribune, a rank that may have made him second in command of a Legion.  His unit was part of the Imperial Guard stationed at Nicomedia.

 

In 303AD, the Emperor Diocletian issued an edict which required all Christian soldiers to be demoted and every soldier to offer sacrifices to the Roman Gods.  It is said that St George, recognising the ‘writing on the wall’, as it were, then freed his slaves and sold his property, before meeting with the Emperor and declaring himself a Christian.

 

Diocletian was concerned to save St George, who by this time was in charge of a whole Legion, offering him money and land and slaves.  All of this failed, so the Emperor had him arrested and then sent a courtesan to the prison where he was held, to seduce George.  He, though, had little time for worldly matters and simply converted her to Christianity as well.

 

So, the story goes, the Emperor gave up and St George was executed by decapitation, outside the walls of Nicomedia, on 23rd April 303.  His body was sent to Lydda for burial, and Christians then started to make pilgrimages to the town, leading to the construction of the shrine and church there dedicated to his patronage.

 

Did St George fight a dragon; indeed, did St George actually ever exist?  There seem to be fairly compelling reasons to answer ‘no’ to the first of these questions and few reasons for not answering ‘yes’ to the second.  He is a ‘saint’ because he preferred fidelity to Christ and death to apostasy, and so is revered as a Christian Martyr, not because he allegedly killed a fire-breathing monster.

 

Whether St George really was a soldier and a Christian may be debatable.  However, it is easy to see why St George might be attractive to the Crusaders of the 11th and 12thcenturies.  They were soldiers and Christians, too, and their reverence for St George could only have been boosted after the church dedicated to him was destroyed by Saladin and his Muslim army in 1010.

 

Up until the 14th century, St Edward the Confessor, King of England from 1042-1066, was considered to be the patron saint of England.  It was only after Edward VI outlawed the banners of all other saints apart from St George, in 1552, that St George took over the mantle.  The cross of St George remains the flag of England and so is present in every Union flag as well.

 

As well as in England, St George is revered in Georgia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and parts of Spain. He is also esteemed throughout the Middle East, where both Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities ascribe to him a special status.

 

The picture above is of an Orthodox Bulgarian icon of St. George fighting the dragon.  It comes from Alciato's Book of Emblems, first published in 1531.  It is copied from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orthodox_Bulgarian_icon_of_St._George_fighting_the_dragon.jpgand is public domain copyright free.

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A Picture for Reflection


The Resurrection of Jesus


“…the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said” (Matthew 28: 5-6)



















(Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rafael_-_ressureicaocristo01.jpg– Photo: ‘The Resurrection of Jesus Christ’ by Raphael; Photo by www.masp.art.br – Public Domain, Copyright Free).