This Sunday we will hear Jesus speaking to the disciples and saying, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.” “I am the vine, you are the branches.” (John 15:1-2,5)
The full passage for Sunday is at the end of this letter, and I invite you to really spend time with it over the coming days.
I really enjoy getting into the garden, and in particular looking after my roses. I am not an expert by a long shot, but I do my best! Every winter I prune all the roses back and I worry that I am cutting out too much – that I am doing too much damage and they won’t come back. And then in the spring, it is such a delight (and relief) to see the pink and green leaf buds start to appear on the empty stems, and you realise that what has appeared quite dead for many months is actually alive and well.
Then, as those new shoots grow you are watching for shoots that might overcrowd the plant, and more importantly, signs of disease and bug attack. Throughout the growing season there are little bits of pruning to do here and there, to keep the branches as healthy as possible, which of course then leads to beautiful flowers! Over time, you get to know each plant. Some need more attention than others. Some might need a lot of help – others just seem to get on with it.
Jesus tells us we are those branches. He is the vine – he is the core. We cannot exist without him – there would be nothing to attach to. God the Father is the gardener – the one who oversees the whole plant. We all, individually and collectively, have bits about us that need constant attention, pruning, feeding, nurturing. Sometimes severely, sometimes less so.
Spend some time with this passage this week and reflect on what it means to look after you through the seasons. And then think about the same thing with respect to our collective faith – our church lives.
· In the winter what do we need to cut right back?
· What food do we need?
· Where do we see the new buds of spring?
· What needs constant attention in Spring, Summer and Autumn?
PRAYER & WORSHIP
You can find dates and times for all upcoming worship to the end of May here:
Thursday 29 April 7:30pm – TEZ:
Online prayer and worship on Zoom at 7:30pm. This week we will be doing Compline.
Meeting ID: 851 5624 4352
Sunday 2 May:
8am Forde Abbey Chapel. Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion – Revd Philip
10am St John’s, Tatworth. Morning Worship – Mary Dewar.
10am St Mary’s, Thorncombe. Lay Led Morning Worship
6:30pm St Mary Magdalene, Cricket Malherbie. Holy Communion – Revd Judith
11:15am – Live Zoom service. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches’.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 654 350 6459; Passcode: twoshires
For telephone audio only access you can phone any of:
0131 460 1196; 0203 481 5237; 0203 481 5240; 0203 901 7895; 0208 080 6591; 0208 080 6592
Wednesday 5th May:
11am St John’s, Tatworth. Holy Communion.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
Filming takes place on ‘The Rev’ in St Mary’s Thorncombe over the weekend of 7-9 May. It is a short comedy / drama being produced by a small independent production company with the backing of the British Film Institute that we are delighted is taking place in and around Thorncombe. The production company are still looking for a few extras – especially for final scenes. If you want to consider that you can find more information in the shop at Thorncombe.
St John’s Toddlers is back regularly from this Friday (30 April) 10am – 12. You can find more information here, and we look forward to seeing all the families again very soon!
ANNUAL PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETINGS
APCM’s will be happening in all the parishes at the end of May. They will be taking place within the weekday services as advertised on the service rota. Under COVID restrictions we are unable to hold ‘in person’ PCC meetings until after May 17th, but look forward to recommencing regular PCC meetings as soon as possible thereafter.
If you are responsible for a group or committee that would normally report to the APCM through the Annual Report please can you provide your report to your PCC secretary as soon as possible. In most cases those reports are going to be very short indeed!
We pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Bishop Peter Hancock; Jan Knott; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne and Bruce Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Frank & Celia Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway; Dorothy Down; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Winnie Barge; Izzie Luty-Wells; Tracy; Mary Butler.
We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved. We remember June Ball, whose funeral will be in Thorncombe on 18 May.
Please also pray for the following couples as they prepare for marriage in the next 3 months:
Charlotte Down & Nick Hawker
Lindsay Blackshaw & James Spurdle
Ashleigh Chislett & Keiren Pope
Julie Hampshire & Chris Bingley
Thomas Palmer & Lisa Bicknell
SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK
John 15:1-18 – The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
The Collect for this week:
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father.