As I write this Liverpool and a great part of the Diocese are about to go have tougher lockdown measures imposed upon us and having lived through the last six months it all feels a bit depressing. Just as we were making plans both within families and here at the Cathedral as to how we can begin to return to some kind of normality it feels like we are close to being back to square one. It is of course OK to feel down and for some a little isolated so if you need a chat or a moan there are plenty of us here offering a listening ear.
There have been, however, a few green shoots recently which suggests to me that there are reasons for hope despite the latest news. Gathering for worship both in the Cathedral and at St Margaret’s albeit in a socially distanced way has been very moving, enhanced in both places by excellent singing by Cantors. Recently hearing the choir boys and girls practising in the Lady Chapel has lifted the heart. No fewer than 36 candidates were ordained as Priests and Deacons over the weekend of the 25th – 27th. September brilliantly orchestrated by Canon Myles thereby giving hope to the life of the Diocese and beyond.
Seeing young people return to Liverpool as students and listening to children in the playgrounds all around the city while bringing with them inherent dangers also suggests that we have moved on from last March.
One of the consequences of the blogs I have been inflicting upon you is that I am quite often greeted with questions about my family (as well as sympathy about my choice of football team!). We spent a week in Whitby with our daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren while Mark (our son who some of you know) and Hannah are expecting their second child NOW!
New life, renewed hope.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
The Gospel for this Sunday continues directly from last Sunday’s reading. In Matthew 21: 33-46 Jesus tells the parable of the vineyard. Jesus is teaching in the temple and the chief priests and elders of the people are listening to him and still feel angry about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as Palm Sunday riding on a donkey and about how Jesus kicked the money changers out of the temple. The parable of the vineyard draws on established biblical imagery that sees Israel as God’s vineyard. Jesus is challenging his listeners to take care of that vineyard or else to see it handed over to new management. The parable of the vineyard presses the case for responsibility or for change. The parable annoys Jesus’ listeners even more.
Reinterpreted for today this parable of the vineyard reminds us of our responsibility to care for the vineyard with which God has entrusted us. To prepare for this Sunday’s service I invited those of you who want to do some thinking beforehand to focus on the image of vineyards. In today’s picture from Exploring the Parish Church, Sara and Bethan are reminding us of the close link between the vineyard, the grapes, and wine prepared for the Eucharist.
Next week the image to help us prepare for participation in the Sunday service, whether offline in the cathedral or online at home, is party invitation. The Gospel reading is Jesus’ parable about the King who invited guests to come to his son’s wedding banquet. You can find out more about that theme here: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to Nelson.Pike@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk.
We warmly invite you to join us in worship on line here:
Sara and Bethan send their Sunday greetings to all.
One of the things I was doing before Covid 19 was on our radar was trying, as it were to put my life in order, and by that I mean sort out my Will. As many of you know I am single and I don’t have a lot of money, but what I do have, I want to give to the right people and the right charities after my death. I don’t want my family and friends having to deal with my end of life without clear instructions.
October is Free Wills Month. Free Wills Month ‘brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer member of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by participating solicitors in selected locations across England, Northern Ireland and Wales’ (www.freewillsmonth.org.uk).
The web-site goes on to say a written Will ensures that your wishes are respected. It also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones after your death. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and to provide for your favourite Charity, like Liverpool Cathedral.
Giving, as St Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians is a privilege. We give to God because God first gave to us. All that we have is not ours, but it is on loan to us from God. The whole Bible describes what God has done for us. God created humanity, God gave us a wonderful world to live in. God has done so much for us. What we have, we ought to give back to God.
One of the prayers that I miss saying regularly in the service of Holy Communion is:
Yours Lord is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour and the majesty. All things come from you O Lord, and of your own do we give you.
God has given us life’s blessings, God has made us stewards of them, and we should use our time, talents and money for his service.
If you are going to take advantage of Free Wills Month to either write or update your Will then please do consider giving to Liverpool Cathedral. As the Free Wills Month website says:
A gift in your will costs you nothing now but makes a difference for years to come.
You can download the legacy pack by using this link: Download our Legacy Pack now. or you can visit our page on https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/home/leave-a-gift-in-your-will.aspx
supporting you during these uncertain times
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter. Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God