A letter from Father Michael

My Dear Friends,

I pray that during these trying times you and yours are well.

We had our Church AGM yesterday and afterwards the first meeting of the new Church Council.

At that meeting it was decided that for the month of July we will continue, weather permitting, with our 11.00 a.m. Sunday service outside. If it is raining the church is already prepared for us to go inside for the service.

As previously we will maintain social distancing, only receive Communion in the one kind, sign in so that we have a record of who is present, (please bring your own pen) and generally take the same precautions that we have observed for the past three weeks. However, with the expected arrival of visitors in July, it has been decided that with effect from the 5th July 2020 and until further notice, it will also be compulsory for everyone attending the Eucharistic Service to wear a face mask. This is just a precautionary measure to ensure that all that has been achieved during the past months is not jeopardised.

As always, with my love and prayers.

Fthr. Michael

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Notice of Annual Chaplaincy Church Meeting

Chaplaincy of Madeira

The Annual Chaplaincy Church Meeting will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Rua do Quebra Costas 18, 9000-034 Funchal, Madeira Friday 26th June 2020 at 10:30 am.

For the election of Parochial representatives of the laity as follows: –

To the Archdeaconry Synod – 2 representatives;

To the Chaplaincy Church Council – 6 representatives;

For the appointment of the Independent Examiner or Auditor;

For the consideration of:-

(a) A Report on changes in the Electoral Roll since the last Annual Chaplaincy Church Meeting;

(b) Annual Report on the proceedings of the Chaplaincy Church Council and the activities of the Chaplaincy generally;

(c) The Financial Statements of the Council for the year ending on the 31st
December 2019, audited or independently examined;

(d) A Report upon the fabric, goods and ornaments of the Church

(e) A Report on the proceedings of the Deanery Synod;

and other matters of Chaplaincy or general Church interest.

NOTE:All persons whose names are entered upon the 2020 Church Electoral Roll of the Chaplaincy (and such persons only) are entitled to attend and to vote at the election of Chaplaincy representatives of the laity.

Signed: (Issued Electronically)

The Reverend Michael R Jarman Chaplain
Chair – Chaplaincy Church Council

Date: 12th June 2020

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Notice of a Meeting for the Election of Church Wardens

Chaplaincy of Madeira

A meeting for the election of churchwardens will be held in at Holy Trinity Church, Rua do Quebra Costas 18, 9000-034 Funchal, Madeira on Friday 26th of June 2020 at 10:30am.

This meeting may be attended by:

1. All persons whose names are entered on the church electoral roll of the parish

and

2. All persons resident in the parish whose names are entered on a register of local government electors by reason of such residence

Signed (Issued Electronically)
The Reverend Michael R Jarman
Chaplain

Dated 12th June 2020

In this Notice “parish” means an ecclesiastical parish.

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Information about the service on the 7th June (Trinity Sunday) to be held at Holy Trinity Church, Funchal

Dear friends,

As you know we are planning our first service at the church since the lockdown, for Trinity Sunday, the 7th June.

To conform to C. of E. and government requirements, it will be necessary to observe the following procedures:-

Please bring your own writing implement(either a pen or pencil) so that you can register your name and contact details in the book provided. We are trying to avoid sharing articles.

We will be printing a service sheet which we would like you to take home with you and bring each subsequent week you attend a service. If you are asked to read a passage of scripture, the readings will be available as previously, but we would ask that you take the reading home with you.

Those of you who plan to attend the service and need to park your car at the back of the church, could you please arrive not later than 10.40 a.m. It is a possible option that parts of the internal road network within the church may be needed for the service.

Sadly at this stage we will not be providing fellowship and light refreshments at the end of the service. Please therefore leave at the end of the service, but it does mean you can double park at the back of the church.

Particular procedures, which will be very straight forward, to enable us to safely conduct the service will be explained on the day.

I look forward to seeing as many people as possible on the 7th June.

With my prayers and best wishes,

Fthr. Michael Jarman

Chaplain

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A message from Father Michael for your devotions this Sunday (31st May, Pentecost Sunday)

Waiting

The period between Ascension and Pentecost (this coming Sunday 31st May) is a period of waiting and praying for the Disciples ref. Acts 1:-
“After His suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for the promise of the Father. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer”.

We can imagine that having experienced the risen Lord for forty days after his resurrection the disciples would have been keen to get out amongst the people and spread the good news of the Gospel. However, the instruction from Jesus was explicit, wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture is full of instructions to wait, some of which are:- Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord, and Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and our shield also Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

The worldwide lockdown, because of the pandemic, has been difficult for everybody but especially perhaps for the younger generation because they are more used to instant gratification. In the past, people had to wait for things. They had patience and realized that not everything in the world is instant. Society now demands that everything should happen right away and we should not have to wait for anything, but that is making the world full of impatient, entitled people. Instant gratification has caused a lot of problems in society, including taking away face-to-face communication, patience and certainty.

It is in this context that people are finding it exceedingly difficult physically, mentally and spiritually to deal with the current situation and the restrictions on their movements and relationships. As Christians, it is at times like this that we have to put our whole trust in the Lord in the sure and certain knowledge that He is there for us.
The Iona Community is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community based in Scotland working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship. Herewith a prayer from that Community relevant to the above.

You keep us waiting,
You the God of all time want us to wait for the right time in which to discover who we are,
where we must go, who will be with us and what we must do.
So, thank you… for the waiting time.

And in all this you keep us through hard questions with no easy answers.
Through failing where we hoped to succeed and making an impact when we felt useless
Through the patience and the dreams and the love of others
And through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, you keep us.

Father. Michael Jarman

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A meditation on this Sunday’s reading (24th May) by Father Michael

John 17 1-11 (The reading for Sunday 24th May 2020)

As you know last Thursday was Ascension Day, the account of which we can read in the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1.

Before our Lord ascended to heaven his apostles, who were gathered together in Jerusalem asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority…’

People are still asking that same question today. Some Christian bookshops are full of novels and theological books and magazines which all seem to be asking, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’

Jesus’ Ascension message seems to suggest that his followers should put aside such political ambitions. Politics changes things. But God transforms things. And God can open our eyes to see the world in new, and liberating ways.

On Ascension Day, the disciples’ minds were transformed – like the couple on the Emmaus road. On the Ascension mountain all the disciples together had their minds opened, at last, to understand the scriptures. Now, at last, they understood who Jesus was, that he was the Christ who suffered and rose from the dead on the third day. So, in John’s gospel reading for today, Jesus could say, thankfully, to the Father, ‘Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.’

And the disciples also understood who they now were, the people who would be his witnesses, preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name. The kingdom of God would come through his followers’ peaceable testimony to the waiting world:
‘…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

So, we need to gratefully grasp the power of the Ascension, because as it transformed the disciples it can transform us too.

We need the power of the Ascension in our church. We are easily discouraged by failure or falling numbers. And sometimes our vision is as low as the pavement. The Ascension encourages us to have confidence not in our church but in Jesus’ Church, not in our faith but in Jesus’ gospel, not in our success but in Jesus’ Ascension.

And just as the disciples knew after our Lord’s ascension who they were and the task that was ahead of them in spreading the good news of the Gospel, so let us also be witness to the kingdom of God in our daily lives. Amen

Psalm 46 Verses 1-3

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth shall change,
Though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea
Though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

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Trinity Sunday Service 7th June 2020

To celebrate Trinity Sunday there will be a said Eucharistic service at Holy Trinity Funchal starting at 11.00 a.m. Social distancing and other precautions to avoid the spread of the Virus will be observed. Everybody welcome.

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A thought and a prayer for this Sunday (17th May) from Father Michael

A Thought

Many years ago when you were travelling to a foreign country and going through customs, it was common to hear a uniformed officer ask you ‘Have you anything to declare?’ If you said, ‘Yes’, you knew you were in for some questioning! So, many people who actually had some illegal product to declare actually said, ‘No’, to save themselves the trouble. Some got away with it, and some didn’t.

Today I often wonder if the world is unconsciously putting this question to the Christian Church: ‘Have you anything to declare?’ In other words, in the face of all the pain in the world, do we have a strong Word from God to declare, a Word that will make a difference and bring hope to people’s lives? Because a church with ‘nothing to declare’ has no reason to exist, except to be a kind of spiritual country club to its members. A strong church needs a strong message to declare to the world.

This coming Thursday we celebrate Ascension Day and the message of the Ascension, simply put, it is that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and we as his disciples are to go into the world and preach the good news to all creation as per His instruction (Mark chapter 16 verse 15). Note that the instruction is to all creation and a lot of people, including myself, see this command from the Lord very much in an ecological sense. As stewards not owners of God’s creation, Christians have a responsibility to care for and nourish all living things including the plants and trees. Now more than ever the world needs to hear a strong message of love, care and constancy.

Scenic View

A Prayer

Compassionate God, as you know each star you have created,
So you know the secrets of every heart;
In your loving mercy bring to your table all who are fearful and broken,
All who are wounded and needy,
That our hungers may be satisfied in the city of your peace;
Through Christ who is our peace.
Amen

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A message from Father Michael for this Sunday’s devotions (26th April)

Mentioned 146 times in Scripture, the number 40 generally symbolises a period of testing and trial and is not accurate in terms of actual duration.

You will no doubt remember that the flood lasted forty days, Moses fled Egypt for forty years, forty days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to receive the Commandments, our Lord fasted forty days etc.

Theologians suggest that the number forty represents change, it is a time of preparing a person or people to make a fundamental change.

With the Coronavirus we are all, throughout the world, in a period of testing and of change. However, during this time, the rivers are becoming cleaner, vegetation is growing, the air is less polluted and there is less crime in society.

On Wednesday the 22nd April we celebrated Earth Day which is a global event organised every year, when the organisers select a particular theme to attract the attention of the global public. This year the theme was the most challenging environmental issue i.e. Climate Action.

As an aside, a news cast recently announced that drug trafficking in Asia is nearly eradicated because of the restrictions on people movement!
I am not for a moment saying that the current situation is a blessing in disguise, but with all of the news of deaths and isolation, we have to look for positive aspects of our present predicament.

So, during this time, take the opportunity to become closer to your loved ones in which ever way is safe and possible. Family prayer is a blessing, and the knowledge that you are praying for your loved ones and they are praying for you can be a source of great comfort.

May these days of quarantine, (the Latin root of the word is forty) bring spiritual liberation to us, our nation and to the world.

With my prayers and blessings

Michael

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A Note from Father Michael for this Sunday’s Devotions

These times are testing physically, mentally and spiritually.

As always we look to the Bible for comfort and reassurance:

Psalm 16

Protect me O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Easter Flower Arrangement

Best wishes,

Michael

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