The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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November 2017


Judy East

Our colour supplement makes a second appearance this month - do look at it and check details of the events advertised. (And note that the Diary starts on page 6 this month).  But don't miss the other events - there is more, much more happening that is no less interesting  though not so glossily advertised.  The Lunchtime concert on 1st,  the Living Book Club on 5th (following the Confirmation service in the morning), and a special celebration after Evensong that day because James Sherlock will be making a brief visit from his busy new life in Helsinki; the Literary Hour on 15th, the Christmas Market on 18th - it's a busy month again - and you can find details of all these further on in this issue. 
Inevitably our thoughts this month turn back to the First World War and on Remembrance Sunday we will be reading out the names of men from Hampstead who died in 1917 - this is a list taken from our various memorials and the parish magazines of the time. 

On Wednesday afternoons I could be practically anything Kit Williams

On Wednesday, when the sky is blue, and I have nothing else to do, I sometimes wonder if it's true That who is what and what is who.  Winnie-the-Pooh 
Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all: Thursday for crosses, Friday for losses, Saturday no luck at all.     Old English Rhyme

Not a completely random selection of quotes - I have a purpose.  On three Wednesdays each month we have events in church - a concert, a "working group" (loosely so called, we knit or sew or pack up Christmas cards, fold leaflets - anything really that needs doing at the time), a literary hour.   But the fourth Wednesday hasn't found its purpose yet.  If anyone has any ideas so that we could offer something every Wednesday (I believe the Friends of the Drama have ideas for the occasional fifth, though not this month as there's a school booked in to rehearse for their carol service) do let me know. Whatever the event tea and coffee feature at some point in the afternoon.

To kneel or not to kneel....
...... a subject that has taken up several column inches in the Church Times lately!   Why do / don't people kneel ?  Do you feel inhibited if you want to kneel but your neighbour in the pew doesn't?  Do you feel guilty if your neighbour DOES kneel but you can't?  Do we really get hung up over things like this?  Well, apparently we do.  There are rubrics in our orders of service indicating "kneel" and if people don't the chances are they have problem knees.  The Church Times did acknowledge that  absence of kneeling wasn't so much a sign of the times as a sign of ageing congregations who simply can't!  I'm one of those myself.  I wish I could kneel.  It changed in some subtle way my ability to engage with prayer and it took me a long time to get back into the mindset I had previously flopped into quite easily as I fell to my knees.  So if you want to kneel - kneel.  If you prefer to sit - sit.  And don't worry about what everyone around you is doing.  Church is about our relationship with God and our neighbour - neither of whom is going to be offended by posture!

At this time of year we seem to be on a collision course with Christmas - whether we like it or not.  So here's an item to reassure you that there is life AFTER Christmas and possibly set you on a collision course with Lent instead!

The Stations of the Cross
Calling all artists! Start thinking about the Stations of the Cross now.   Ash Wednesday is 14th February next year so we need items to be in the church by Monday 12th.  Although we have pictures from previous years it would be nice to have a new set and so we invite you to choose a subject and get working.   PLEASE though, ask me before you start because, as I've often said before, we can't have two of one Station.

The Stations, with the relevant Bible references are:
 1.    In the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14.32-36
2.    Judas betrays Jesus (Mark 14.43-50)
3.    Jesus before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14.55-64
4.    Peter denies Jesus (Mark 14.72)
5.    Jesus before Pilate (Matthew 27.22-24, 26)
6.    Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns (Mark 15.17-19)
7.    Jesus carries the cross (Mark 15.20)
8.    Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus (Mark 15.21)
9.    Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (Luke 23.27-31)
10.   Jesus is crucified (Mark 15.24)
11.    Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief (Luke 23.39-43)
12.    Jesus on the cross, his mother and friends (John 19.26,27)
13.    Jesus dies on the cross (Mark 15.34-37)
14.    Jesus laid in the tomb (Mark 15.46)

 Judy East

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