'Temptation of Christ,’ Vasily Surikov (1848-1916)
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Genesis 2.15-17; 3.1-7 · Psalm 32 · Romans 5. 12-19 · Matthew 4. 1-11
‘Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted’ (v.1 )
Most of us have an ambivalent relationship with temptation. If truth be known, we don't want to discourage it completely. We're rather attached to the regular skirmishes with familiar temptations and would be somewhat lost if the battle was entirely one. On the other hand, we're not entirely easy about this compromise, and experience shows that if we focus on the battle, we will very likely lose nine times out of ten. There must be a better way,
What Jesus faced in the wilderness were the temptations that would constantly snap at his heels throughout his ministry - the temptation to focus on earthly needs rather than their heavenly roots, to be spectacular rather than consistent, to take short cuts rather than to put God first in everything, The fact that he was having to deal with these temptations throughout his life is vividly illustrated by the fierce battle he still had with them in Gethsemane.
What Jesus did with these unwelcome visitors is helpful to us too. Rather than get into battle with them, he 'looked over their shoulder' to Scripture with its positive guidance and reassurance. If we battle with our temptations toe to toe, we'll be exhausted, ill-equipped for moire positive discipleship, and we'll probably lose anyway. In dealing with a familiar temptation, General Gordon of Khartoum wrote in his diary that 'he hacked Agag to pieces this morning before the Lord;. Most of us are not so determined or successful. But if, like Jesus, we look beyond the presenting issue to a more attractive alternative, we leave the temptation behind in the dust.
Standing in solidarity with the City of God
It's five years since our Rector, Fr. Nicholas, returned to the UK after seven years spent working as the Anglican parish priest of the Church of Christ the King in the City of God, one of Rio de Janeiro's most deprived and violent communities.
Our Lent Appeal this year seeks to raise funds to support the work of the church there and ensure that Fr. Nicholas's successor - Fr. Antonio Terto - can continue to minister to this very needy neighbourhood.
Times are tough in Brazil at the moment, as Fr. Nicholas found out on his recent visit, and it's a big struggle for a small Christian community in the face of huge economic, political and social upheaval to be able to financially support a priest along with his wife and two children.
So this Sunday, after the 11am Sung Eucharist in the Parish Room, Fr. Nicholas will be talking about the community he served in the latest of our Sunday Conversations and why we should be reaching out to them. Afterwards, for those who want to stay on, he will be showing the award-winning film by Fernando Mireilles, 'Cidade de Deus'. The talk begins at 12.45pm over refreshments and the film will start at about 1.30pm and last for two hours.
Says Fr. Nicholas: "The Church of Christ the King is a beacon of light in a community where drugs trafficking leaves many lives in ruins. We have so much to thank God for in the life of our church community and this is an opportunity for us to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. After all, we are all one family."
Lent collecting boxes - made by the Anglican mission agency USPG who support the work in the City of God through their 'Partners in Ministry' programme - will be available after all the Sunday services if you would like to take one and return it to church during Holy Week.
Above: Fr. Antonio Terto, Anglican parish priest since 2015
Below: (Left) Anglican Church of Christ the King (Right) The City of God
The Beauty of Holiness
There is nothing more compelling than a life lived for others that brings love and joy to the world. We may think of one of the saints or perhaps a neighbour who makes a big difference to our community. All too often our awareness of our own frailties and faults discourages us from seeking to emulate those spiritual giants but we are all called to be 'something beautiful for God’ and by His grace working in us we can be transformed.
The season of Lent provides an opportunity to engage our whole selves in just such an adventure. Its forty days recall the time Jesus spent in the desert preparing himself for the offering of his life. Originally, it was the time when new Christians prepared for baptism at Easter or when those separated from the life of the church through sin were restored to its fellowship.
There is something for everybody at Holy Trinity this Lent to help us grow in the beauty of holiness. Not everything will be for everybody. But I pray that through study, self-examination, penitence and prayer you will come to Easter Day renewed for your witness in the world.
Fr. Nicholas Wheeler · Rector
Holy Communion in a time of Coronavirus
The World Health Organization has declared that this is a public health emergency of international concern. This enables resources to be targeted at countries which have a weak public health infrastructure. The risk to the public in the UK is currently set at moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The number of cases in the UK is very small and good preparation is in place.
Most people recover from the illness after experiencing heavy cold / flu like symptoms for 6 – 8 days, but as this is a virus and not flu no vaccine is available. It is now being understood that death rates are much lower than was first thought – initially only the serious cases were reported, and not the ones that just seemed like flu. Deaths are most likely to occur where there is a pre-existing condition.
While it is our faith that the sacraments are means of grace and not of sickness, they are physically ministered, and we should take physical care. As well as the specific concern about Coronavirus, this advice is generally applicable for all infectious disease.
Do not intinct. Because hands can be as much a source of pathogens as lips, intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) is no safer than drinking and can introduce germs into the cup. Intinction can also threaten those with certain immune or allergic conditions. For instance, those with gluten intolerance for whom traces of gluten can be hazardous are at greater risk when other communicants have dipped their communion wafer into the wine.
Consider receiving Holy Communion in one Kind. It is Anglican teaching that to receive the sacrament in one kind only (ie. just the bread) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety. The celebrant should always receive from the Chalice. Should a communicant feel ill or not wish to drink from the chalice then he or she ought to receive the consecrated bread alone. There is no need at this stage to cease offering the chalice to the congregation.
The Peace. At this time there is no need to refrain from sharing the Peace. Possibly further advice will need to be given were the virus to spread widely in the UK.
The Ven. Luke Miller
Archdeacon of London
World Day of Prayer
This year’s World Day of Prayer service (formerly World Women Day of Prayer) is taking place at St Mary the Boltons on Friday 6 March, 11am-noon, followed by Refreshments. The theme is ‘Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk’. It has been prepared by the people of Zimbabwe and will be presented by representatives from twelve churches in the Borough. All are welcome.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2021
It is always very moving to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, there is so much to see and experience and learn together. St Jerome said: ‘Five gospels record the life of Jesus. Four you will find in books and the one you will find in the land they call Holy. Read the fifth gospel and the world of the four will open to you.’
We invite you to come and know this for yourselves whether you are new to the Holy Land or have been many times before; there are always new sights and sounds to reflect upon. Reading the gospels will never be the same again and by visiting the Holy Land we are standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters there too. To have the chance to meet the ‘living stones’, the local Palestinian and Israeli Christians who are the ongoing, living church in the region, is humbling.
Our pilgrimage will include the sites where the most important events in Our Lord’s life and ministry took place: in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and further north in Galilee. We hope that if you have never been on pilgrimage to the Holy Land before you will choose to join us and, if you have been before, we welcome you back. Our journey is a life changing as well as faith changing experience. We invite you to journey with us and to share in this great opportunity to see those places we read of in the Scriptures.
The cost is £1,995 sharing a twinbedded/double room with ensuite bathroom. We stay in two religious guest houses - St Andrew’s in Jerusalem overlooking the Old City and in Galilee we stay at the popular Pilgerhaus in Tabgha right on the lakeside. The tour is on a full-board basis with buffet breakfast, lunch and evening meal included daily. Touring is by airconditioned coach and we will be accompanied by a local guide who will share leadership responsibilities and look after the formalities of hotel check-ins, etc. All entrance fees are included as well as gratuities.
For more information, see the brochure in church or contact email@example.com
CONCERTS and EVENTS
News from THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Lent challenge is 40 small steps and prayers to protect creation
‘Switch off the floodlights’, ‘turn down the heating’, and ‘plant a tree’ all calls to action as part of the Church of England’s first ever Green Lent campaign.
As Lent begins, conversations around the country will pose the question: “what are you giving up?”
And while people may traditionally give up just one thing for Lent – marking Jesus’s time of fasting in the wilderness - this year, the Church of England’s #LiveLent challenge sets out 40 challenges, topics for thought and prayers to help those taking part along the journey of Caring for God’s Creation.
‘Could you switch away from harmful chemicals in your kitchen or bathroom?' 'how much water was used to make your pair of jeans?' 'When was the last time you gazed at the night sky?' and 'What was the carbon footprint of the meal I just ate?' – these are just some of the questions and topics participants will explore, with a different challenge every day.
Launching the resources, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:
“We urgently need to rebuild our relationship with our planet. To do this, we need to change our habits – in how we pray and how we act."
“Lent is not just about discipline. It’s about allowing Christ to show us what’s keeping us from loving and serving Him – and joyfully letting it go."
“Whatever age you are, this Lent I hope you’ll engage with God’s plea for us to care for His creation, and that these campaign resources will help you on that journey."
The #LiveLent resources are available in a booklet, which has already sold nearly 100,000 copies, as well as a free app, via daily email updates or for smart speaker. For more information and to sign-up see www.churchofengland.org/LiveLent
Sunday 19 April 2020 at 11am Fr Grant's Farewell at Holy Trinity
Sunday 4 May 2020 at 8pm Fr Grant's Institution and Induction
as Vicar of All Saints, New Cross at All Saints, New Cross
All events at Holy Trinity Sloane Square unless otherwise stated
SUNDAY 1 MARCH The First Sunday of Lent
Intention: Parish and People
8.30am Holy Communion
11.00am Sung Eucharist Holy Trinity Choir
Miserere Henry Purcell Mass in A minor Imogen Holst In ieiunio et fletu Thomas Tallis Preacher: The Revd. Grant Bolton-Debbage
12.45pm Sunday Conversation: 'City of God'
with Fr. Nicholas
6.00pm Choral Evensong and Benediction sung by the University of London Chamber Choir Magnificat and Nunc dimittis 'St Paul's Service' Herbert Howells
Almighty and everlasting God Orlando Gibbons
Monday 2 March Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672 Intention: Vocations
5.45pm Free Teatime Concert
7.00pm Sloane Square Choral Society
Tuesday 3 March David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales c.60 Intention: Pilgrims
7.00pm PCC Standing Committee Meeting
Wednesday 4 March Ember Day Intention: Victims of Slavery
5.30pm Confessions (by appointment)
7.00pm Lenten Supper Study Group in the Parish Room
Thursday 5 March Intention: Lent Appeal
6.30pm Stations of the Cross
Friday 6 March Intention: Unity
Saturday 7 March Perpetua, Felicity and their Companions Intention: Those in need
11.00am Church Cleaning Guild
SUNDAY 8 MARCH The Second Sunday of Lent
Intention: Parish and People
8.30am Holy Communion
11.00am Sung Eucharist Preacher: The Revd. Canon Nicholas Wheeler
6.00pm Choral Evensong and Benediction
WHO'S WHO and CONTACTS
RECTOR The Revd. Canon Nicholas Wheeler E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ASSISTANT PRIEST The Revd. Grant Bolton-Debbage E-mail: email@example.com
HONORARY ASSISTANT The Rt. Revd. Dr. Michael Marshall
CHURCHWARDENS Jeffrey Kabel Carolyn Hallett
ASSISTANT CHURCHWARDENS Gill Dunley
TREASURER David Fairlamb
PCC SECRETARY Martin Bonham
PARISH ADMINISTRATOR Sophie Wilson E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 020 7730 7270
FACILITIES AND EVENTS MANAGER Clinton McMaster E-mail: email@example.com
Telephone: 020 7730 7270