What Does A Cross Mean

What Does A Cross Mean?
 
What does a cross mean? Well, it depends where and when it is used.

‘I Love you’
Look at the following crosses. X X X,  What does they mean?
We can all tell straight away what these crosses mean. A cross here stands for a kiss and it means ‘I Love you’.
When we think of Easter and the cross of Jesus, it means ‘l love you’ – God showing love for us in this, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The message of the Bible is that God loves us us and does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live.
‘You are wrong’

A cross can stand as a picture of love, and also it can mean something is wrong. Imagine someone making a mistake in a maths calculation, e.g., 1+1-3. If the teacher puts a big cross through this, it wouldn’t stand for a kiss! it would say, ‘You are wrong’. In the same way, the cross of Jesus points to our sins and wrongs. It is because we are sinners, people who have rebelled against God and broken his laws that Christ went to the cross. We deserve to pay for our wrongs, but on the cross, Jesus paid it all!
‘Christ died for you’

So, ultimately the cross that really matters for us is the cross of Jesus, for as we’ve been seeing, here, on this cross, out of love for us, Christ paid for all our wrongs. Here is God’s solution to man’s sin. Here is God’s love bringing us back to himself. Here is a message that changes lives and changes the world. And of course death could not hold him., On the third day he rose again. The tomb is empty, and Christ reigns in heaven to give eternal life to those who come in repentance and faith to the cross.
‘You must choose’

And there’s one more thing we can say about a cross. It can also stand for the cross we often put in a Ballot box when we are voting. That cross means acceptance of someone for office. There must come a time in our lives when we have heard the Gospel message that we respond to it. Ask God to give you the ability and power to come to him, to come to Christ and seek the forgiveness of your sins. Do not put this off. Now is the day of salvation the Scriptures tell us. This is the proper response to make the message of Christ crucified and risen.

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Sunday Services

NO ‘IN-PERSON’ SUNDAY SERVICES IN LAMBEG UNTIL MARCH. BUT THERE WILL BE A FACEBOOK SERVICE EACH SUNDAY AT 10.45AM

Hi folks,

The Church of Ireland authorities along with the other mainline denominations have directed that we should cease all Sunday in-person gatherings in church until March 5th.

We will continue with a Facebook broadcast at 10.45am each Sunday until we can get back to our church building.

Please pass on this message by phone or text to those of our parishioners, who do not use social media.

Please do keep safe and well and contact others who may be isolated by this recent lockdown.

Trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in all your ways.’

regards

Rector

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Free Will Offering 2021

Dear all,
As mentioned in our December magazine we were happy to receive contributions for 2020 up to and including 3rd January 2021. As we have recently updated our records the envelopes you have received for 2021 may have a  different number from 2020. It is therefore important that all 2020 envelopes are destroyed and only 2021 envelopes are used for this year .It is also necessary that your envelope is enclosed with any contributions delivered to the Rectory or posted to the Treasurer.
Regards
Angela

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Christmas and New Year Services

Because of the uncertainty caused by Covid-19, unfortunately we have not been able to prepare for our normal Christmas services. However, below is our hoped for services over Christmas and the New Year.

Christmas Day

8.30am Holy Communion in Lambeg

10.00am Christmas Morning Prayer via Facebook

Sunday 27th December

9.30am Morning Prayer via Facebook

19.45am Morning Prayer in Lambeg

New Year’s Day

10.30am Holy Communion in Lambeg

Online Children’s Nativity

Together with the Connor diocese, we are putting together an on-line Children’s nativity, featuring boys and girls from our Sunday schools. Keep an eye out for this on our Facebook page later in December. Contact Aimee, our youth and family worker, for further details.

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Christmas in 3 Words

Christmas in 3 Words

When many people think of Christmas, they think of Santa Claus and Rudolf the red nose reindeer. There’s a temptation to put the birth of Jesus into the same category- not really real, but sort of part of the fun of Christmas.

But Christmas is historical. It really happened. The Son of God truly came into this world. Born in a unique way, he truly took on our flesh, lived and died for us.

Secondly, Christmas is joyful. God really cares for us. The question is why did the Son of God come into this world in the first place? The angels described the birth of Jesus to the shepherds as ‘…good news of great joy… for all the people’ (Luke 2:10)

He has come to bring us the joy of salvation, of a new beginning, of becoming a new creation, the joy of being accepted by God, the joy of forgiveness.

In a miserable Covid-19 world, joy is in short supply. However,  God truly cares for us and has provided for our deepest joy in the person and work of his Son.

And thirdly, Christmas is essential.  Yes we know that Christmas shopping this year is essential for our retailers; we know that Christmas this year is essential for our mental health – just to have some normality in a very hard year.  But there’s another, deeper, way in which it is essential. The first Christmas was essential because it is essential that we have a Saviour, someone to pay the price we deserve to pay for our sins.  It is essential that we find forgiveness. All this is ours in Christ.

May you and all whom you love know the truth of Christmas and discover the joy of knowing the one who gave us Christmas.

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Harvest Service

Dear parishioners,

As I’m sure you are aware, recent guidelines issued in the last few days are making it mandatory to wear a mask on entering and leaving a church building.  Presumably, there remains the usual health exceptions.  

This Sunday is harvest Sunday and despite all restrictions, we want to warmly welcome you to our church service.

Regards,

Rector 

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Return to Church

                                                                                                                                            August 2020

Dear Parishioner,

I hope all is well with you and that you and all whom you love are keeping safe in these difficult times.  I know that some of you have suffered anxiety, depression, illness and bereavement because of Covid-19 and the ‘Lockdown’ restrictions we have had to endure.  Please be assured that you are constantly in our prayers to move forward step by step with the Lord’s help and strength.

I would like to bring you up to date with what is happening regarding plans to return to Church for worship.  Following the Government’s easing of ‘Lockdown’ restrictions, the Select Vestry and I feel that the time is right to make a return to in-church worship.  This has entailed a lot of preparation and planning, so that the Church can reopen for services from Sunday 6th September 2020.

Initially there will be just one service each Sunday – Lambeg at 10.45a.m.   We pray that services in Hilden will follow soon afterwards but for the moment our guidance is that there should be just one service in each parish.  However, I am also glad to confirm that our Facebook service will continue online at the slightly earlier time of 9.30a.m., also from 6th September.  Also, as usual, it can be accessed by telephone (028 92 508 097) later on Sunday.

The key messages impressed upon us by the Church and Government authorities are that if you or any member of your household are experiencing, or recovering from Coronavirus symptoms, or have any reason to believe that they have been in contact with anybody who has, they should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so. 

The Church we return to may feel and appear a little different to what we were normally used to, and in some respects, it may seem a little impersonal.  For example, social-distancing seating will be in place, which will mean that where you normally sit will probably not be available: we will not be allowed to sing hymns or to gather in groups to chat at the back of the church.   To help you deal with these and other changes, we have included in this communication some key information to prepare you for what to expect when you return to in-church worship.  The information that we giving to help us return to church is based on that which has been laid down in guidance set out by the House of Bishops and the Government’s Public Health Agency. 

In closing, suffice to say these are unique times, such as none of us have experienced before.  Some of you, for personal health reasons, may not be ready for such a return to church.  I perfectly understand that.  You can only do what is safe and best, as well as re-assuring for you.  So, while return to church may take time, let’s be confident in the Lord.  With His help we will endure through it, and by God’s will, return to some kind of normality in the weeks and months ahead.  Do please pray for our plans to re-open; for delivery from this plague; for those who are suffering especially at this time; for the work of the NHS and all front-line workers; as well as the development of a successful vaccine so that we can confidently go about our every-day lives in safety.  

Until then, keep safe and well.

Every blessing.

Rector

Lambeg Parish Church – Returning to Church – Sunday 6th September 2020 at 10.45 a.m.

  • First of all, and most importantly, please do not come back to Church if you or any member of your household are experiencing or are recovering from any of the Coronavirus symptoms, i.e., a fever or high temperature, a cough, difficulty breathing or a sudden loss of taste or smell.  Refer to N.H.S. Guidelines in this regard.  Also, if you have any reason to believe that you have been in contact with someone who has the virus, you should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until you have received medical advice that it is safe to do so. 
  • Secondly, if you are in an ‘at risk’ or vulnerable category, or are shielding, you should carefully consider when is the right time for you to return.  The virus is still about.
  • If you are bringing infants or young children with you, remember that you will be responsible for them – especially where maintaining social distancing could be a challenge.

 What to bring with you: Your Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), etc.

  • Gloves (recommended);
  • Face covering (optional, but strongly recommended because of the lack of good ventilation in the Church and because sometimes social distancing cannot always be guaranteed);  [This could become compulsory before 5th Sept]
  • Tissues (strongly recommended);
  • Your own hand sanitiser (if you would prefer to use that);
  • A pen (to complete your attendance slip);
  • A coat/umbrella (You could be queuing outside, waiting to enter the Church).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Car Parking:

  • When you park your car beside another car, please ensure that the occupants of that car have moved on before you leave your own car.  This is to ensure that proper social distancing is maintained. 
  • There will be car parking stewards there to help you park.
  • Should there be a lengthy queue waiting to enter the Church, the steward may advise you to wait in your car until it has reduced, especially if it is raining. 
  • The toilet block in the car park will remain closed for the time being but there will be one toilet available inside the Church (in the Clergy Vestry).

Approach to Church:

  • When approaching the Church (which should only be from the car park route), it will be important to observe the social distancing rule of 2 metres.  They are marked.
  • Read the notices on the way in but please do not create any bottlenecks. 
  • We will only be using the main door for entry.  There will be a Steward on duty to assist you enter the Church safely.

Entry to Church:

  • Once again, please do maintain the two metres distancing rule and wait for the Seating Stewards to call you.
  •  There will be a hand sanitiser station inside the door for use on entry.  The sanitiser works on a sensor basis when you hold out your hands and is quick drying. 
  • The Seating Stewards will also provide you with your Order of Service which will include your Attendance Slip.  They can, if need be, also provide you with a pen or pencil to complete same.
  •  You will note that most notices and materials have been removed from our Notice Boards and from the back of the Church.  This is to prevent bottlenecks.

Seating:

  • The Stewards will guide you to your seat on the basis that the first in will go to the front. Unfortunately, people who sat in traditional seats in the past will no longer be able to do so. 
  • Pews have been marked out with two metres gaps and every other pew is closed off.  Individuals from the same household may sit together but otherwise the two metres will be observed.
  •  The choir pews and some chairs will also be used.    You will also note that all seat cushions and kneelers have been removed.

The Service:

  • The Service, including the liturgy and Bible readings, will be printed in an Order of Service leaflet each week.
  • Hymn Books and Prayer Books will not be used and Bibles have been removed from the pews.
  • The Service will be slightly shorter than what you have been used to in the past, in order to reduce the potential for the transmission of the virus.
  • There will be no singing of hymns, etc., for the time being, as this can increase the potential for virus transmission.  The organ/piano may be played at certain stages before, during and after the service.
  • When exiting there will be a basket available for collecting your freewill offering envelopes or Church collections.

Communion Services: Because of the severe restrictions laid down for holding Holy Communion services, it has been decided that for the time being they will be deferred.  It is hoped that this will not last for too long and that in the near future we will be able to return once again to sharing in the Eucharist.

Exiting from the Church:

  • At the end of the service, please remain seated for a short period and the Stewards will direct you in a safe and orderly manner, in pew order, down the aisles to the main door, commencing at the back of the Church;
  • Please continue to maintain social distancing of 2 metres and avoid bottlenecks;
  • Please sanitise your hands again when exiting;
  • Bring your Order of Service, which includes your completed Attendance Slip, with you and deposit it in the designated box; If you received a pen/pencil they can be left there also, or left in the pew;
  • There will also be a plate or basket at the exit to receive your freewill offerings;
  • There will be a pedal-operated bin in which you can place any used PPE (gloves, tissues, face coverings, etc), though you may prefer to bring them home and dispose of them safely there;
  • While we appreciate that you will all want to talk to your many friends and fellow worshippers, we would ask that there be no undue or lengthy socialising or congregating in groups outside the Church or in the carparks.  Remember, the virus will still be about.
  • You will notice that the clergy and those leading the service will not be standing at the back of the Church, or outside, in order to greet you – this has been forbidden, in order to prevent bottlenecks and to maintain social distancing.  If you need to speak to the Rector please feel free to give him a ring at any time. 

Flowers:

 Because of the various risks associated with arranging for fresh flowers in the Church, there will be no Flower Rota in operation for the time being.                                                             

Toilets:

The toilet in the Clergy Vestry will be the only one available.  Please observe the notices regarding hand washing and use the hand sanitiser provided, both before and after using the toilet.

 Attendance Slips:

We will ask all attendees to provide their name(s) and telephone number each Sunday in case there is a need to track and trace them afterwards, because of an outbreak of the virus.  This is a regulatory requirement on the Church. The slips will be kept safe and secure and destroyed afterwards, normally after one month. 

 Volunteers:

There is still an urgent need for volunteers to replace many of the existing teams of people who look after our needs, week by week, but who are now prevented from continuing in these roles because of age limits and health vulnerabilities.  The specific roles to be filled are the Stewards, as described in this letter, and Cleaners who will prepare the Church for the next service.  (This will be done either immediately after the service or after 72 hours have elapsed).  All volunteers will receive full training and will be provided with whatever PPE items are deemed necessary.  There is also a particular need for young ‘Techies’ to come forward to assist us with future proposals to live stream or later stream our services.

COVID–19:

It has been emphatically stressed to us that anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who has reason to believe that they have been in contact with someone who has, should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so.  Should anybody attending Church, whether as a volunteer or not, subsequently contract COVID-19, or show symptoms of it, they should, as well as advising their medical adviser, also advise the Rector as a ‘track and trace’ exercise may be required.

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Organ Scholarship

‘Learn to play the organ with a scholarship from Down & Dromore, and Connor Dioceses

The Church of Ireland is offering a scholarship to any individual, who wants to learn how to play the organ.  Under 18s as well as adults may apply for this scholarship to do this course.  

For further details, please contact the Rector, who will send out all the necessary information and application forms. 

All applications must be in before the 30th August.’

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Return to Church, Latest News

Dear parishioner,

As you know, over the past three months we have all been in ‘lockdown’ because of the highly contagious Covid-19 virus.  Along with many other sectors of society, the churches had to close down, and only recently have been given permission to re-open.   Whilst we have been able to continue to meet virtually through the internet and to follow church services on the telephone, we have missed the warmth of our gathering together in our church buildings and are glad that we are now allowed to return.

However, this return is under strict conditions, which are mandatory before any church can meet.  As the health and safety of our parishioners is paramount, the Select Vestry has started to formulate a safe way back to church and this will take time.  It will be August before the committee appointed to this task reports back to the vestry to give clear direction on how we can fulfil government and church requirements.

Many churches are doing exactly as we are doing and though some may open in July or August, the majority are planning for a September return.  As far as Lambeg parish is concerned, the Vestry is in complete agreement that until everything is fully risk-assessed and we have the volunteers in place, we will not be rushing into re-opening.  We are very much mindful of the age profile of our congregation and that many have been ‘shielding’ at this time: we in no way want to put them at risk when we return to church.  We will only be opening when we feel it is safe to do so.

If you would like to be a volunteer to help in this re-opening process (volunteers must be under 70 with no underlying health issues), please send your name and contact details to our parish secretary or to the Rector, and if you have any queries, do feel free to give us your feedback.  We will of course be keeping you fully informed of our back-to-church timetable as soon as we possibly can.  Until then, continue to listen in to our Facebook service and if going on holiday, have a safe summer break.

Every blessing,

Rector

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Dial – In – Sunday Service

Good news!! From this Sunday you’ll be able to listen in to our service on the phone. Just dial 028 92 508 097 anytime from 12 noon. Calls will be charged at local rate.

We’re delighted, as this means those with no internet access can connect with us on a Sunday morning.  Also, if anyone would like to listen to our weekday messages this too will be available half an hour after they been recorded live.

If you know someone this would be useful for, please let them know!

Rector

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