The healing of Simon’s mother-in-law is a classic healing story. It’s what Jesus does. But there is something sort of disturbing about this story that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with healing. “Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.”
She’s healed so that she can serve? Whom? Did she want to? That’s all she could do? Didn’t she have any other aspirations? If you are brought back from the edge, from almost death, or from the brink of what you thought your life had to be, shouldn’t there be something else for you, some sort of new vocation, new career, new identity? And she served them? As if that was what she was expected to do. As if that was the only thing she thought she could do. As if that was the only thing she could do?
But, what if the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law was bringing her back to be the mother she always was and that she always wanted to be? And in being brought back to who she was, she became a disciple, called to minister, to serve, like the angels did for Jesus in the wilderness and like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served but to serve?
The choir returns to us on Sunday will 10 new members to be inducted together.
Following the service there will be a sausage sizzle in the cloister courtyard,
thanks to the choir parents!
Changes in the church
To comply with the COVID requirements, the whole church is cleaned at 7am on a Sunday following the Sat@6 service.
The 8am service will be conducted in the Pioneer Chapel from this Sunday in order to reduce the extent of the subsequent cleaning necessary between 9-10 am each Sunday. After the 8am service we now go to the Dendy Deli Café for a coffee and/or breakfast, but mainly for fellowship.
The choir will be seated at the front of the church at the 10am service. Due to the COVID social distancing requirements, they will also be using the front three pews when seated, and these rows will be cordoned-off at the beginning of the 10am service.
Last week we began having coffee and tea in the narthex following the 10am service and whilst we will be outside for the sausage sizzle this Sunday, we have opened up the narthex to create more room for refreshments.
Despite the narthex glass doors being open, please ensure that you only use the central aisle when entering the church.
Masks must now be worn in church (due to a local case of COVID), except for the clergy (when speaking) and choir (when singing the anthem and motet).
On Saturday we welcomed Thomas, and his godmother, Emily, into the church of God through the sacrament of Holy Baptism.
Lenten Bible Study
This year the Brighton Covenant Churches are using a study series based on materials prepared by St George’s College in Jerusalem. For St Andrew’s, I will be conducting the studies on-line by Zoom on Thursday mornings from 10-11am and the link will appear on the front page of our website and in next week’s Vicar’s News.
Refreshments at 10am service
This weekend we are reintroducing refreshments after the 10am service. Because of Diocesan restrictions on the provision of food served by parishes under the Parish’s COVID-Safe plan, these will be limited, at this stage, to tea, coffee, mineral water or cordial. All the cups will be disposable, so please place your finished cups and napkins in the bins provided in the narthex. Biscuits individually served on napkins (to avoid cross-contamination) will be available too. The refreshments will be provided by the Parish, but we do need to make a roster of people to assist with pouring the tea and coffee – there is a sign-up sheet on the sign-in registration desk at the rear of the church if you are able to volunteer. The more names, the less often you need to assist.
This week at St Andrew’s
click here to see our calendar of services and events
Advance notice for your diaries & registration
Chinese New Year
The Lunar New Year is on 12th Feb this year. After 10 am service on 14th, our Chinese Congregation will serve the morning tea in the cloister. All parishioners are welcome to have a taste of different Chinese teas with Chinese rice biscuits as part of the celebration of the Lunar Year.
As a Chinese tradition, there will be a Chinese calligrapher, Deshuang Lai, a BGS student’s grandfather, to write the Chinese character “福“ which means blessings and will be handed out to anyone who is interested.
The biscuits ingredients:
Rice (57%), Palm Oil (Antioxidant (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone 319), Sugar, Corn Starch, Glucose, Soy Sauce Powder, Salt, Flavour Enhancer (Monosodium Glutamate 621)
This year it is on 16 February and we will be having pancakes in the cloister and Pioneer Chapel at 6pm. You can register to attend here.