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saint mary's
stoke newington
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Our calling is to share the loving hospitality of God, seeing Christ in friend and stranger.

March 2016

During Lent we've been focusing on our mission statement: our calling is to share the loving hospitality of God, seeing Christ in friend and stranger.
Many of us have been at Lent groups, meeting to discuss what it means to be a church sharing hospitality in the wider community and we've had three Open Table evenings of wonderful food, great speakers and involved conversation.
And that conversation continues, heading into Holy Week and Easter, as we remember and celebrate a God who serves and who draws all creation into life and light.

Everyone is welcome - here is what's going on over the next week or so.
Palm Sunday, 20th March
We gather at 9.45am outside Abney Park, in the High Street,
joining with Christians from all over Stoke Newington for the
Palm Sunday Procession. Our service begins at 10.30am in
the New Church, the largest of our two church buildings.

Monday
7.30pm, Film Night in the New Church Rooms.
Tuesday
8.30am, Morning Prayer & Eucharist in the Epiphany Chapel.
Wednesday
7.30pm, Eucharist followed by meditation
(you are welcome at either or both).
Maundy Thursday
7.30pm, Open Table in the Old Church,
remembering Christ's 
last supper, including
a simple meal, meditation and informal communion.
Good Friday
Midday to 3.00pm, service of reflection and veneration.
Easter Day
5.30am, Vigil in The Old Church.
6.30am, Dawn Eucharist in the New Church.
11.00am, a celebration of Easter for all ages.

The BREATHE Festival in The Old Church is very nearly over and has been a great success. There is an open invitation to everybody at St Mary's to the closing party which begins at midday. Click here to read all about BREATHE.

To tie in with the festival a group of representatives from local faith groups have met together twice to hear about the inspiration behind the festival and the VOX and KITE projects and to discuss the theme of air, wind, spirit from their own traditions.

The VOX project added to our own worship too as we listened to the wind harp in conjunction with a service of compline and plainsong at the beginning of March.
Stop Trident March

A group of 20 (17 adults, 2 children and a dog with a Stop Trident scarf) gathered outside St Mary’s church on Saturday Feb 27th to make their way together to the national Stop Trident march from Marble March to Trafalgar Square.  Speeches in the Square from committed political, trade union, religious and pressure group leaders, plus Vanessa Redgrave, between them filled out the whole picture. If you wanted to be there, but couldn’t, or are not yet convinced of the case, see this recording of Jeremy Corbyn’s talk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdqp9aCjdt8

Graeme Watson adds ‘For someone who has never been on such a march I thought it was a truly inspiring day’.

Night Shelter

The last Hackney Winter Night Shelter at St Mary's is fast approaching. So far every night things have gone quite smoothly - there haven’t been any major problems, although having to provide a hot meal for our guests without a working oven in the New Church Rooms was tricky (many thanks to Dilly for allowing us to use her kitchen).

Each night we have had around 23 to 25 people for supper, and then 9 or 10 of them go off to St John-at-Hackney to sleep, leaving us with 15 people staying overnight. We continue to have more women staying than ever before - one night, we had 8 women, although since then there have been 6 or 7 women each week. We work hard to provide a warm welcome and a peaceful atmosphere for our guests as well as a hot meal and comfortable beds.

Our professional Night Shelter workers continue to work with our guests to try and help them move on to more long-term accommodation. They say this is increasingly difficult in the current economic climate, but they have had some successes: out of 78 guests in total this winter, 24 have moved on positively, to other night shelters, hostels, council accommodation, privately rented flats, and one to a live-in job. Sadly we have had to ask 7 people to leave the shelter during this season.

Donations of new socks or underwear are always appreciated by our guests.

Many thanks to all who have helped to run the shelter so far this winter.

Jonathan Gebbie.

Painting the New Church
Some springtime decoration has been happening in the larger of our two church buildings. Many thanks to Jeff, John and Betty for organisation and refreshments and to all who helped to paint: you were such an elite group of decorators that the work was finished a day and a half early!
Sexuality, Struggle & Saintliness

Savi Hensman, a member of St Mary's, has written a book, published by Ekklesia, called Sexuality, Struggle and Saintliness: Same-Sex Love and the Church.

Here's what Savi says about it:

There has been much controversy over Christian attitudes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and same-sex partnerships. The book outlines the shift in thinking on sexuality among numerous theologians over the past century, delves beneath the surface of recent debates in various churches, looks afresh at the Bible and tradition and examines how those with different views on this issue can remain in fellowship.

If you'd like to buy a copy you can find it here. Savi has offered to lead a discussion on the book and the subject, so keep your eyes/ears open for news on when this might happen.

Breakfast Club
For 10+ year olds - meets once a month on a Sunday morning for breakfast. The next one is at 10.15am (after the All Age service) on 3rd April in the New Church Rooms.
Save the date

20th May
GRAND FUNDRAISING AUCTION


More information to follow.
Babysong
Music for 0-3 year olds (and their carers). Every Wednesday morning at 10am in The Old Church. Babysong takes a break during the Easter holidays.
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