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CHURCH NEWS - NOVEMBER 2000
From the Rectory
In the series of questions that we are seeking to answer, we turn now to a very serious question that deals with life after death. "Is there a Purgatory?" It is the doctrine of Purgatory. Perhaps, this doctrine, because of the way that it intruded into the practical life of ordinary people during the Middle Ages, became a central focus of the division that occurred between the Protestant Churches and the Roman Church. It is a crucial question and at one level it raises a very serious question about the requirements of entrance into the presence of a Holy God.
We need to define the term. Simply put, it is a state or place in which the souls of those who have died in a state of grace undergo suffering, limited in the length of time but not in the extent of suffering, to remove their venial sins and become purified of their remaining mortal sins. The word takes its origin from the Latin word, "purgare", meaning to clean or purge.
At first sight, the teaching would appear to have much to commend it. It takes the holiness of God very seriously. It also recognises the fallen-ness of mankind. In order for fallen man to stand before a Holy God there must be some transaction which will make mankind fit for Gods presence. However, where it falls short is that there is no mention of this in the pages of the New Testament.
The apostle Peter says nothing of it, nor does St John, nor again St Paul. It is not until the fifth century that the doctrine begins to take shape. In fact, the doctrine flies in the face of the teaching of the New Testament concerning how anyone may be right with God, which is itself based on Old Testament teaching.
What is more serious is the fact that at least to some degree the doctrine bypasses the Lord Jesus Christ in his obedience to the Law of God and his sacrificial death on the Cross which makes infinite and eternal satisfaction before God for the sins of the world. It throws mortal man back on his own strength that is insufficient and replaces the completed work of Christ with the intercessory work of the priesthood in the Church.
The practice led to the great scandal of the sixteenth century with the sale of indulgences throughout Europe and this led to Martin Luthers rediscovery of the doctrine of how mankind might be declared to be legally right before God. It is called justification by faith.
Put simply it means that when anyone turns in repentance towards God and casts themselves on the mercy of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, God forgives that person and declares that through Christs work such a person is legally right before him through faith. Faith is trust in God and his promises in Christ. That faith unites the person to Christ in his obedience, his death, his resurrection, his ascension and his continuing intercession.
Now begins a period of cleansing which we call sanctification. It is not complete in this life but at death the believer is made completely holy. Nothing else is required other than faith in Christ and that delivers from Hell. There is no Purgatory in the life to come. Faith must be exercised now in Christ demonstrated by a turning away from those things that we know to be wrong.
This seems very strange to those whom the New Testament calls the natural man and when the doctrine is overlaid in the Church, the Church loses its way and congregations decline. Christianity becomes nothing more spiritually profound than a set of virtuous principles around which one can construct a means of living from day to day.
While we accept that the doctrine of Purgatory seeks to deal with some very important issues, it is clear that this is a doctrine for which there is no warrant in the Scriptures and therefore must be strongly denied. There is no need for Purgatory when Christ himself has accomplished infinitely and eternally all that the Father requires of him for mankind. All that is required of mankind is to trust Christ.
Sincerely in Christ,
Remembrance Sunday - Sunday November 12th.
Please note that our service will begin at 10.45 am in order to share in the two minutes silence at 11 am.
Admission of Keith Merret as Church Warden
After the morning service in All Saints on November 5th Keith Merret, who was elected Churchwarden to replace Tim Dodwell, will be admitted by the Archdeacon of Bedford, the Venerable Malcolm Lesiter.
This occasion will be followed by a Fellowship Lunch in the Rectory. Everyone is welcome. Please could those wishing to attend the lunch contact Valerie Streater.
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please dont ask for prayer outside your own family without peoples permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone David (720234) or Dennis (822992).
Dates for November.
Wednesday 15th 10.30am at Eileen Shakespeares, Corner House, 38 Wymington Park, Rushden.
Tuesday 28th 10.30am at Mary Rogers, 2 Hall Close, Sharnbrook.
Wednesday 13th Meeting Point and Bring and Share Lunch at Catherine Corkerys, Manor Cottage, Harrold.
Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning
You are warmly invited to the
Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning at
Hobbs Green Farm on Friday 8th December
from 10.30 12.00. Admission free.
Please come and enjoy a cup of coffee and if you can, please bring with you a gift that would go towards making up a hamper for the mothers and children at Christian Family Care.
Jubilee Sailing Trust Supper
The Jubilee Sailing Trust Supper, held at Watermead on Saturday October 14th, was a great success, raising a remarkable £884.52 for the charity.
This excellent result is thanks to the 41 people who came, plus the many others who donated money, food, drink, raffle prizes etc, or helped on the night. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.
Michael Lavender Jones, the chairman of the St Albans & District Branch of the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and all his committee would like to join us in thanking everyone involved for their contribution.
Tim and Liz Dodwell.
The Church Flower Rota
Would anyone be willing to take on the task of organising the Flower Rota? It just needs someone to remind the person involved each week. Please have a word with Jill Cheadle if you can help.
We still need another sidesman for the 3rd Sunday of each month to join Mr. J. Harrison. Any volunteers please have a word with Jill Cheadle.
Our Giving in Novemberwill be shared between the British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society.
Many still depend on these two organisations for all kinds of help including medical care and your generous giving enables continuous support for those damaged in body, mind and spirit by the ravages of war.
Aid For Romania from North Bedfordshire Help!
I have just spoken to the transport company who carry our goods to Romania in December and they tell me there are complicated new regulations and problems with customs out there, so they want all our goods earlier than usual (17th November) for the last run before Christmas, and they want all our detailed lists of boxes with contents and weights by 11th November.
Tim and I are going to Romania in October so that will give us very little time to sort and pack all the clothes and make up the necessary paperwork. You may remember we pack the boxes for each of the 26 or 27 families with items of clothing that we know will fit and suit each person, so it isn't a simple process. First we sort everything into age categories and heights and then we chose for each family.
Can You Help?
First of all please leave any clothes and shoes (in good, clean condition) as soon as possible (in the porch if we're not here), preferably labelled and sorted for age and sex.
Secondly, please try to find some time to help, and phone me (720640) to fix to come and sort for any period (even one hour) between October 30th and November 16th (except Tue 31st and Wed 15th mornings).
It will cost £800 to send out 1.5 tonnes of gifts so any donations towards this cost will be very welcome.
Thank you very much. Liz
PS Some strong men to move bags and boxes needed on Monday Oct. 30th and Thursday Nov. 16th
Jill Cheadle would like to thank all those who supported the coffee morning in aid of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
£71 was raised.
Looking to Jesuswith Anne Turner:
Isaiah 48:17; Proverbs 11;25 Try it!
"He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart."
Isaiah 40:11 NLT
You are not alone! Listen to these words by Margaret Fishback Powers. "I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. In each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to me, and the other belonged to the Lord.
"When the last scene flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints and noticed that many times along the path, there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life.
"This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. 'Lord, you said that once I decided to follow You, You would walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don't understand. Why, when I needed You most, did you leave me?
"The Lord replied, 'My child, I love you and I would never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you say only one set of footprints, they were mine - that's when I was carrying you!
Listen to this promise. "Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am He....who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you"
(Isa 46:4 NIV). What more do you need?
Printed with kind permission of United Christian Broadcasters. Tel:01782 642100
We share our love and prayers with Derek Gadsby upon the death of his mother GLADYS who died in Milton Ernest Nursing home on 13th October aged 92 years.
Our thoughts and compassion are very much with Frank Dowdeswell on the sudden tragic death of his son James (Jim), and also with Jim's son Tom, recently gone to the United States to study at a University. Jim died suddenly at Rushden on 12th October aged 54 years.
In tragic circumstances we feel so helpless, but can assure the families concerned that our prayers are surrounding them.
As is our practice, we uphold in prayer all the sick and suffering, housebound and lonely and all others who are in need of love and healing. Many people appreciate a chat over a cup of tea or a telephone call - just simple things that help the day to pass along. Even a smile and a 'hello' may brighten someone's day. And of course a prayer will always be heard!
Father, sometimes when tragedy strikes we find it hard to understand why, feeling so very helpless because the void seems too big and although our hearts ache with those who mourn, we still feel so inadequate. So dear Lord, we pray that you will uphold these dear people, giving them strength for each day, with Your Angels protecting them, and pray that one day through all the tears and sadness that they will learn to smile again as their faith is restored totally. Thank you for the lives of Gladys and Jim. We pray that they are at peace in the realms of your love, in Your kingdom. Through Jesus Christ. AMEN. Anne Turner
Emmaus Road Show at Bedford.
Visit The Holy Land - 90 minute tour - Travel in the X-Plane!
A few seats are still available for Wednesday 1st November at 7.00pm. Or, fly on Tuesday 31st October at 1.45pm or 7.00pm from the Methodist Church, High Street, Oakley.
Book with Ann Hudson (720587). Tickets £1.50.
Coffee morning at Abigail House
Saturday 4th November 10.30 onwards.
An opportunity to meet Geoffrey and Helen Ochana informally. They are spending the weekend in Odell and looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. Do come and hear all they have been doing in Kenya, Uganda and other parts of the world since we last saw them. Why not pop in before or after the Mencap coffee morning at 93 High Street?
The Childrens Society
Forthcoming fundraising events:
November 11th 7.30pm St. Pauls Church, Bedford. Concert with Luton Male Voice Choir and Bedford Town Band. Tickets £6/£5 includes wine or juice. Tickets available from St. Pauls Church Office and Kim Gutteridge (01767 260714).
December 2nd 2 4pm 2.30pm Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, Bedford. Interactive Childrens concert. Tickets £8 family, £3 adult, £2 Child. (Telephone number as above).
The Harvest Supper, Saturday September 30th.
The Harvest Supper, which took place in the village hall on September 30th was once again a very convivial evening which was well-attended. The food was delicious and the singing hearty!
The highlight of the evening was the talk, with slides, given by Jill Cheadle, Catherine Corkery, Jane Eshelby and Elizabeth Lewis on their recent trip to the Holy Land.
1st 7.00pm Emmaus Road Show, Oakley Methodist Church.
4th 10.30 12.00 Coffee Morning for Mencap, 93 High St., Odell.
4th Morning Meet the Ochanas, Abigail House, Odell.
4th Evening Dance at Odell Village Hall with Dennis Love.
5th 10.00am Inaugeration of Mr.Keith Merret as Church Warden, All Saints, Odell.
11th 7.30pm Concert in aid of The Childrens Society, St. Pauls Church, Bedford.
12th 10.45am Service of Remembrance, All Saints, Odell.
14th 7.30pm W.I. Meeting in Village Hall.
15th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen Shakespeares, Corner House, Wymington Park, Rushden.
28th 10.30am Meeting Point at Mary Rogers, 2 Hall Close, Sharnbrook.
29th Evening Meeting of Parish Council, Village Hall.
8th 10.30am Christian Family care Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.
13th Morning Meeting Point and bring and share lunch at Catherine Corkerys, Manor Cottage, Harrold.
Please send all entries for the December and January joint magazine to Tricia Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by November 12th at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
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