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CHURCH NEWS - MAY 2000
ODELL PARISH MAGAZINE - May 2000
- CHURCH NEWS
From the Rectory
I am writing this letter in Holy Week so it is not inappropriate that the subject of the third question should concern the resurrection. The precise wording is,
"Do you believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ?"_
This question goes directly to the heart of the Christian faith. Even the apostle Paul asserts to those Corinthians who were doubting that, "If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is also in vain." In other words, the confirmation of Christ’s person and his work hinges on the fact that he was raised from the dead. The resurrection confirms the truth of Christ’s claims.
Why is this? In the first place, Christ’s resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament in numerous passages. Christ identified himself with these predictions and told his disciples, as well as the Temple authorities that he would rise from the dead in three days. If he did not rise from the dead the prophecy would be false.
It is clear from the New Testament records that the disciples did not understand precisely what Christ’s predictions entailed. They themselves were slow to believe the fact but once the resurrection appearances had taken place both their morale and conduct changed markedly. The facts were easily verifiable so that should the authorities have had the body in their possession the resurrection could have been denied effectively. That it was not is a major pointer to the fact that it had taken place. The brave conduct of the disciples indicated that they were not in possession of the body or knew of its whereabouts other than the fact that Christ had risen from the dead and appeared to many. If Jesus had recovered from his appalling suffering on the cross so that he had not died but swooned, he would have been discredited with his disciples.
The witnesses to the fact that Christ was seen alive after his death upon the cross were numerous, competent and worthy of confidence. For many, that confident witness led on to sacrifices of themselves and many sealed it with their death. This witness was confirmed by the witness of the Holy Spirit bringing multitudes to faith in the immediate aftermath of the resurrection and that witness has continued in each generation and throughout nearly all the peoples on earth. The spreading of the Christian Church is itself a testimony to the fact that Christ Jesus both died and rose again.
What then was the nature of Christ’s resurrected body before he had ascended to heaven? To put it paradoxically, it was the same yet different. It retained the human form but some of the present properties of the human body were changed. Christ refers to himself not as "flesh and blood" but as flesh and bone. In his appearances he was not always recognised immediately, although whether this was because he did not wish to be recognised or whether there was a sufficient difference is difficult to ascertain.
His ascension and his entering into glory changed this state. The apostle Paul contrasts them "natural" body with the "spiritual" body; that is the body that is mortal and that which is immortal. Paul says that it is sown (on death) a "natural" body and it is raised a "spiritual" body. Precisely what that means we do not know but it is sufficient to note that it is still a body. It occupies space and has a form that is recognisably human.
We ask the question why many wish to deny the resurrection and to disbelieve the witness? The fact is that it challenges all authority on earth, religious and political. Both ruling Roman and religious Jews conspired to crucify him. Atheists for their own reasons wish to deny the event on the basis that no miracle can take place. A miracle can take place, although as extraordinary events God uses them sparingly. As God maintains all life throughout the whole cosmos moment by moment, to suspend those laws temporarily while maintaining the creation is no problem to his power.
On the basis of contemporary sources and the witness of the world-wide Church together with the witness of the Holy Spirit we can confidently affirm that we believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day. We believe that he appeared to the apostles and to many other witnesses who were alive at the time that Paul wrote to the Corinthians. For the Christian, Christ’s death and resurrection are the great hope of the "resurrection of the body and the life everlasting."
With all good wishes,
Sincerely in Christ David Streater
Annual Vestry Meeting
On Wednesday April 12, the parish met in the Village Hall to elect the Churchwardens for the coming year. This is an ancient office that was originally designed to maintain and protect the property of the parish in the Church. The people of the parish elected the wardens. This continues in some measure today, although the wardens are regarded as officers of the bishop. The election of the wardens is open to all residents of the parish and that is why there is the Vestry meeting preceding the Annual Meeting. This year Tim Dodwell stood down after five years. The Rector thanked him for his services. In the election Mrs Jill Cheadle was re-elected and Mr Keith Merret was elected to replace Tim Dodwell. The Rector thanked Mrs Cheadle and welcomed Keith Merret.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting
Some twenty members were present for the meeting. The Parochial Church Council was re-elected with two additions, Tim Dodwell and Valerie Streater.
The number on the electoral roll is now sixty-six. Forty are resident in the parish and twenty-six are non-resident.
Reports were received from the Treasurer and other organisations. The Rector thanked all for their unstinting help in running a small but busy parish. Minutes and Financial Report will be found hanging in the Church Porch.
The Prayer Chain: The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please don’t ask for prayer outside your own family without people’s permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone David (720234) or Dennis (822992).
North Beds Healing Group
Wholeness and Healing Services and Evening Studies in North Bedfordshire.
Our next Deanery Service of Prayer for the Sick will not now take place as planned on 25 May at one of the Stodden Churches, but on Tuesday 27 June, 8pm, at St Lawrence Church, Wymington.
Speaker: Mrs Ann Bowes, who runs Wellsprings at Hockliffe, Leighton Buzzard - a Christian Centre for many things including hospitality, study, relaxation, therapy and general healing.
More details later, but make a note of the date now.
For more information about the North Beds Healing Group or any of these meetings please contact Liz Dodwell (720640) or Catherine (720348).
Forward in Healing
An introductory course for the Ministry of Healing for groups and Individuals organised by the Diocesan Group for the Ministry of Healing at St Nicholas' Church, Rectory Lane, Stevenage.
Wednesday evenings 7.45-9.30pm June 7,14, 21, & 28 & July 5 &12.
This course aims at broadening understanding, building confidence and fostering the ability to listen and to pray effectively. It is a practical course involving worship, teaching and work in small groups. Small groups of lay people who expect to work together in this ministry will be particularly welcome as will individuals who wish to prepare themselves to join an existing church team.
The fee is £20, to include a copy of the revised edition of the booklet 'Forward in Healing'.
There are a few enrolment forms in Odell church, or contact Liz Dodwell, or phone 01923 283708 for more details.
Sunday June 11th Pentecost with Churches Together.
Instead of holding our own out-door service on the site of the Fete, we intend to once again join the ‘Harrold and Carlton Churches Together’ group as they celebrate Pentecost. This is also planned to be an out-door service though the details have not yet been fixed – possibly Harrold Green or the Country Park. Just keep the date clear for now, and watch out for details nearer the time, or ask.
After the service it is also hoped to hold a joint picnic lunch or barbecue somewhere appropriate.
Can you recognise any of the people in the above photo of a wedding in Odell Church on 26th March 1955?!!!
Tuesday 2nd 10.30 venue to be arranged.
Wednesday 17th 10.30 at Doris Bannard-Smith’s, 10 The Bury, Pavenham.
The ladies of Odell Meeting Point thank everyone who helped with or came to the Lenten Frugal Lunch at Watermead on April 5th.
The sum of £100 was contributed to the fund to help relieve a serious food shortage in Tanzania.
Further details and photos can still be found in church or from Maurice Thompson.
Our giving in May will be to the Church Army.
Over the last few years following its strategy paper ‘People to People’, Church Army has been concentrating both its existing work and the development of new posts into five focus areas, including Church Planting and Area Evangelism. It has aimed to reach out to those parts of the community which are geographically or perhaps culturally apart from the rest of the community. The church plants themselves are often growing more rapidly than their parent church, meeting in buildings where people carry on their everyday lives and often in places which the Church itself would find hard to reach.
Please give generously to this charity to help enable those in the Church Army to reach out and meet the spiritual hunger which exists in our nation.
Looking to Jesus with Anne Turner:
Thought for the month: Jesus died on the cross for me!
Reading for the month: Psalm 23
The Power of Prayer. Read Ephesians 6: 10-18
While crossing the Atlantic on a ship many years ago, Bible teacher and author F. B. Meyer was asked to speak to the passengers. An agnostic listened to Meyer's message about answered prayer and told a friend, "I didn't believe a word of it."
Later that same day, the agnostic went to hear Meyer speak to another group of passengers. But before he went to the meeting, he put two oranges in his pocket. On his way, he passed an elderly woman who was fast asleep in her deck chair. Her arms were outstretched and her hands were wide open, so as a joke he put the two oranges in her palms. After the meeting, he saw the woman happily eating one on the pieces of fruit.
"You seem to be enjoying that orange," he remarked with a smile. "Yes, sir, " she replied, "My Father is very good to me." "What do you mean?" pressed the agnostic. She explained, "I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had sent me not only one but two oranges!" The agnostic was amazed by the unexpected confirmation of Meyer's talk on answered prayer. Later, he put his trust in Christ.
Yes, God answers prayer. – HGB.
For answered prayer we thank You, Lord,
We know You're always there
To hear us when we call on You;
We're grateful for your care. - JDB
God always gives what we ask – or something better.
Printed with kind permission of Radio Bible Class (Our daily bread). Obtainable from RBC Ministries Box 1 Carnforth Lancs
We were sorry to hear of the sudden death of Eric Shakespeare whose funeral service was recently held at All Saints. Our love and prayers are with Eileen and her family at this sad time.
Our love and sympathy go to Leslie Knowles and family whose wife Rebecca Knowles also died recently. Leslie and the family are held within our prayers at this time.
We are pleased to know that Ann Hudson is now home and feeling much better after the operation at Bedford Hospital, we continue to pray for strength and healing for her.
Our praise goes to The Lord for Meg Clark and her successful treatment at South Wing, - it's good to see her back at our church services.
Again we thank The Lord for a successful operation and loving care that surrounds Joan Thompson who recently underwent an operation - and to see her back at Church so soon. A lady of remarkable faith!
Still we continue to hold within our prayers John Hancock, Hilda Wright, Phyllis Ames, Ernie Surridge, Gladys Gadsby, Marjorie Owen, Marion Smith, Phyll Dowdeswell, Mrs Eshelby (Snr), Lin Samuels, Barbara Lady Luke, and the family of Peter Randall.
We continue to pray for those much worse off than we are here in England, particularly remembering Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania, and for real peace in N. Ireland
Many people will remember the smiling face of Betty, (Lady Luke's ex-carer). Betty suffered a stroke about a year ago, which decidedly ended her working days, so it was a pleasure to be invited to her recent 80th birthday party at St. Albans.
Jen Cuddeford, Emily (the present carer) Barbara Lady Luke and Anne Turner all journeyed to the party - Betty having no idea that Lady Luke would be strong enough to go, let alone actually attend! So imagine her surprise when we rang the door bell and let Lady Luke stand alone ready for when Betty answered the door. No words can describe the joy, the happiness and amazement that Betty showed when she saw who was standing there. Betty said it was the loveliest present she could have had - she absolutely adores Lady Luke. Her joy was certainly something to be remembered. I know that Betty receives this magazine and enjoys it - we too enjoyed your birthday Betty. Thank you!
Trevor and Mavis Lightowler were also amongst the guests, which made it like a family reunion.
Mothering Sunday was led by Liz Dodwell who looked at the life of Jesus through the eyes of His mother, Mary.
Local children along with Daphne Cansdale gave a monologue along with readings. Trish and the children gave us touching heartfelt prayers. Flowers were beautifully bunched in posies by Avril Saunders and Myrna Horn, and presented to the mothers attending, and further out into the community. We do love to see the children taking part in our services! Thank you to all the children - you made our Mothering Sunday a really special day.
Nelson Mandella was in Bedford on Friday 7th April. So many people were there, that of course one could not see him, just listen or try and watch him on the large screen. What was so special was the thrill and excitement just standing as part of the crowd. That was worth being there for! A.Turner
A Special Thank You.
Many thanks to all neighbours and friends for their kindness and support since I became ill just before Christmas. Although it has been a worrying time it has been made easier knowing we had friends to help out with shopping, provide a lift to the doctors, pray for us or just telephone or pop in for a chat. I received so many lovely cards and presents and am grateful to you all. I had the treatment to stop and re-start my heart and it is now back to its normal rhythm once more. All I need to do now is to get my strength back! Once again, many thanks to you all from myself, Len and all the family.
Eileen, Helena-Jayne and Roy would like to thank all our friends for their kindness and expressions of sympathy in their sad loss.
Special thanks to David for a very moving service. Our thanks to Jill Cheadle for the beautiful arrangements of flowers in the church, and to the ladies who provided food. Your thoughts and prayers have comforted and sustained us at this sad time.
"We believe that Jesus died and rose again, so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him".
Thessalonians 4 V 14
extends a warm invitation to their Prayer Meetings held at 10.30am at 63 Philpotts Avenue, (coffee at 10.15) on:, May 12th.
Coming soon in Bedford…
Hopes and Dreams – a community event for the Millennium, Saturday 17th June.
Programme of events.
5pm: The Banquet – hosted by the local churches as part of our thanksgiving to God. Come to the banquet and share in hopes and dreams for Bedford
7pm: The Millennium Musical – Hopes and Dreams.
The music, dance, monologue and comedy expressed in this musical explore the many facets of what is probably the world’s most famous prayer – ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ – and reminds us of just how relevant the words of the prayer are to our millennium celebrations.
John Sackett 01234 216880
Hazel Hurlbut 01234 210033
Acorn Christian Library
Acorn Christian Library is open every Wednesday morning from 10.00am – 12.00 noon and at other times by request. Coffee is served.
Life in our universities today.
Often a simple leaflet or magazine article can speak to us as powerfully as a good book. This happened to me recently when I picked up the April-May issue of 'NB', a publication of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship.
The main theme is Students under Pressure. On the one hand are peer pressures, sex, drugs and alcohol. On the other is a class even more toxic and corrosive.
In the well-known words of Paul, 'whatsoever things are true... honest... just... pure... lovely... of good report... think on these things' (Philippians 4: 8) it is noteworthy that truth heads the list. Significantly, in the humanities departments at least, truth was one of the first casualties. Today, even the suggestion that truth can be known is attacked as 'immoral'. The point has been reached when the subject matter that many undergraduates have to study is brazenly anti-Christian.
Truth is now regarded as being simply personal and not absolute. (One wonders what a preacher of an earlier generation who said, 'Truth never becomes powerful until it becomes personal', would make of this!). Further, because truth is regarded as relative, all claims to it are seen as equally valid.
These ideas are now widespread across university life, and cause enormous pressures on students. 'Truth is considered to be a lie'! Perhaps this explains a heading, which appeared in a newspaper recently, to the effect that a well-known personality should not feel guilty about lying but should rather be congratulated. Truly, what is taught in our universities soon bears its fruit in our society.
If you have a relative at university and are concerned about this situation, do read this issue of 'NB'. If you yourself are 'going up' this year, do read it too. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Happily, this sombre report, which constitutes a call to prayer, is counterbalanced by an encouraging account of effective witness by Christian students at Cambridge, and no doubt this is happening elsewhere also.
Ann Hudson would like to thank all her friends for their good wishes,
prayers, cards and flowers during and following her time in hospital. She is making very good progress.
Odell Fete 10th June
Now is the time to put on your thinking caps (or cloches as it would have been in the 1920’s) in preparation for the exciting events and challenges of this year’s fete!
There will be a 1920’s Fancy Dress Competition for adults and children so sort out those old clothes and long strings of beads. Lily the fairground dance organ will be in attendance so how about getting fit with a ‘Charleston’, just to put you in the mood.
Why not plant up a container and enter it in our Container Competition? Entry is free and you can enjoy the fruits of your labours all summer long!
Watch out for further Fete details in next month’s issue.
Helen Chapman, Fete Committee
We need volunteers to help with cleaning the church and making coffee after the services. Has anyone a bit of time to spare to help? Church cleaning takes about 1 hr and comes round every 6 weeks, and the coffee rota is monthly. Please contact Jill Cheadle if you could help.
Happy birthday to…
Michael Hall, 12 on the 24th and
Ann Freeman whose birthday is on 31st!
2nd 10.30am Meeting Point, venue to be arranged.
9th 7.30pm WI AGM Odell Village Hall.
15th 8.00pm Parish Council Meeting Village Hall.
17th 10.30am Meeting Point at Doris Bannard-Smith’s, 10 The Bury, Pavenham.
1st 7.30pm Ascension Day Evening Service, Stevington
11th Outdoor Pentecost Service with Harrold and Carlton Churches.
27th 8.00pm Deanery Service of Prayers for the Sick, St. Lawrence’s Church, Wymington.
Please send all entries for the June magazine to Tricia Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by May 12th at the latest. We are always interested in short articles or items which may be of a general interest to the church and village community. 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.