From the Vicar's Desk - 2nd April 2020
 

Dear Friends
United as a Parish family, to grow in faith and support our communities and neighbourhoods.

Prayer resources

We have attached a prayer guide for your use over this Holy Week starting from this coming Sunday – Palm Sunday. May this resource unite us in this time as we are a church without walls, in our homes set within the communities we live. Read, reflect, share, sing and pray together as we walk through Easter week. As we heed the advice to stay at home may we know that we are doing our part in being the hands and feet of Jesus to others.
 
Supporting families

Things are moving quickly within the Youth, Children & Families Ministry as we now have a new Facebook page (www.bit.ly/YCFMinFB) and from this Friday, 3rd April, at 4pm we’ll be launching ‘Friday Family Fun’ on the Parish YouTube channel (www.bit.ly/TonParishChurchYT), an opportunity for you to gather with others from around the Parish for a shared activity – this week it’s Bingo!’

To encourage you
We cannot share everything, but we have been thrilled to hear news of our members, actions and responses. Here are just a few to share with you now:
Actions   A few of our home groups have been meeting on-line and sharing together. 
Many acts of kindness by our members to their neighbours – Daffodils given together with prescriptions collected to mention one.
Responses ‘this has brought great comfort at a very trying time’
‘thanks to Mark and the team for all your wonderful efforts to bring us our service on Sunday via YouTube’

Join us on-line
Join us this Palm Sunday at 10:00am for our live stream service on our YouTube channel. Do check our website for the link and for more gatherings which we hope to offer during Holy Week. For this Sunday if you want to practice ahead here are the links for two songs that may not be familiar to all

You Never Let Go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ifTTuL4XI
The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVIhb-c_4Tw

Easter people in a Good Friday world
My prayers are with you as you seek God’s grace to grow in faith during these challenging times. Surely we can prove the power of prayer and faith in our crucified and risen Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases Him and shows that we are an Easter people that live in a Good Friday world.

Yours in Him

Revd Canon Mark Brown



From the Vicar's desk - 26 March 2020 - Download here

Dear Friends                                                                           
Spread the word not the virus
‘Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him
the good news about Jesus’ Acts 8:35
 
Good citizens
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities…Then do what is right and you will be commended. Romans 13:1-3
 
Our members must be committed to following the government’s guidelines to protect the NHS and save lives so may I underline the importance of being a good witness to our Lord by ensuring that these are abided by.

Good neighbours
‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?  The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ Luke 10:36-37
 
Many of you will have already made good connections. If you have capacity and the willingness do please prioritise this above other offerings you might want to make. You will be salt and light in the Lord’s timing and goodness where you are. Let your light shine! Let your salt savour at home and as a good neighbour.
The Parish with its four churches, albeit physically closed, is still there for the wider community. If you know people who need specific support or groups who want to partner with us in responding then please let us know.

Good connections
 ‘From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work’. Ephesians 4:16
 
Families - Here is some news 'Singing, baking, colouring, dancing... These are just some of the ways you as a family can engage and interact with us and each other. Throughout the week we'll be putting out videos on Facebook and Instagram with challenges and activities for you to try at home and we've also got our weekly family activity sheets that are released following the streamed
 Sunday morning service - these can be found at here. We're working on fresh content and news ways to engage all the time so don't forget to regularly check our website and social media feeds!'
 
 
Callers - A team of over 40 callers have connected with you our parishioners (around 500 individuals) in the past week. This has been an incredible achievement in such a short period of time and without the help of this team it simply would not have been possible, so deep gratitude to you all. Please continue to stay in touch with one another, now knowing you have a point of contact, supporting one another with conversation, in prayer and seeking practical support where needed and appropriate.
 
Church on-line - Many of our members are meeting on line in various ways through our Sunday’s livestream service we will be live from 9.55am https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFLnwnkZe4BmwVEKNOq0wHg
You can print the order of service using the link https://tonbridgeparishchurch.org.uk/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=247345
You will know of our Thought for the day on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TonParishChurch/   and in Media Resources on this site
We will offer a prayer card next week which will also be available from our website.

Good gifts
‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’. I Corinthians 12:7
 
If you would like to support us we are happy to hear from you. We are conscious that our needs as a Church fellowship and staff team, who are eager to serve, are changing very rapidly.
 
  • At the moment there is a specific request for people to work with us on Microsoft Office applications, website and social media communications. 
  • We also need a co-ordinator of volunteers who can help us maintain good support with those who don’t have internet provision and are only reached by our team of callers.
  • There might be other ways you feel you are able to help. 
 
If we can support you reaching out to others with your neighbourhood links, community initiatives, projects set up for these days then we are here to help

God’s good ways
‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’-. Romans 8:28
 
During changing and stressful times our own relationship with God can grow and develop so may I say that, in addition to the above priorities, I and the team will be praying that depth and grace grows for each of us during these days in our own walk with the Lord.
 
With my warm greetings and prayers in Christ.
 
Stay well and safe.
 
Revd Canon Mark Brown