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Clergy Letter June 2023

We have just celebrated Ascension Day. What is Ascension Day? It happens 40 days after Jesus’

resurrection. He rises into the air and disappears into heaven.

The great news is that Jesus kept his promise to send the Holy Spirit, the powerhouse for the disciples and for us today, if we have put our trust in Jesus Christ.

As we approach summer let’s give thanks for the blossoming of the trees and flowers, bringing new life and filling our senses with colour, scents, and the sound of birdsong. Being thankful for your prayers and support Ied me to think about my Ordination as Deacon in June of last year and my coming ordination as priest on the 24th June of this year. How do I feel about becoming a Priest and being able to give communion?......excited, full of wonder and a little anxious.

What are the other names used for communion?

Eucharist, this literally means, ‘thanksgiving’ in Greek and refers to the service called Holy Communion, Mass or the Lord’s Supper. This can feel confusing, as within the Church of England all these names are used. It depends on the persons tradition and that of the congregation, as to which name is used. Putting the names aside, they all refer to the same service, which centres upon the taking, blessing, breaking and sharing of the bread and wine. There will be a sermon series on these four elements of the Holy Communion service in June. What am I looking forward to as a priest? … the blessing and presiding over communion. I believe that it brings us together in unity and helps us to remember Jesus’ words and actions in the last supper. This was an event that is remembered in all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The night before Jesus was arrested, he celebrated the Jewish Passover with his disciples. Jesus takes and blesses the bread saying, ‘this is my body’, then takes, shares, and blesses the wine saying, ‘this is my blood’. The disciples are to do the same things, ‘in remembrance of me’.(Luke 22.17-20).

I believe that Christ is truly present among us, and in a mysterious way, in the bread and the wine. We are to, ‘do this in remembrance of me’. In the coming together to share in Holy Communion we are called to live in unity and peace with each other, as Henri Nouwen, a spiritual writer, says, ‘Every human being is beloved of God, and that those who dare to believe it embark on a spiritual journey which leads to the fulfilment of the deepest desires of the human heart’.

Rev Chris Alexander, May 2023.


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