THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER - THE GOOD SHEPHERD
The culture of Jesus' day knew a thing or two about shepherds. Unlike today, where sheep tend to be free to graze safely in enclosed areas, Palestine was a different matter altogether. There were no enclosures, and being a shepherd meant staying with your flock. At the start of the day the shepherd would lead the flock - who followed (no rounding up from behind with a sheep dog!) - to the place of good pasture, where they would remain the whole day. The shepherd's duties were to watch the sheep constantly, ensuring sheep didn't stray, and going after the ones who did to bring them back safely to the fold. He had to lead them to water - to running streams or wells to drink, especially in those hot conditions. As evening fell, the shepherd led the flock back down to where they could safely spend the night, counting them all back in. At night it was the shepherd's job to ward off predators and keep the sheep safe from wild beasts - or indeed prowling thieves. Bad shepherds were those who were lazy and did not protect or sufficiently look after the fold. And for those larger flocks where there might be hired underlings to support the work of shepherds, well they did not have the same concern or vested interest in looking after the sheep. The sheep really did recognise the shepherds' voice and trust where they would lead them, knowing pasture and water would be found for them. It is therefore no surprise that Jesus should call himself the Good Shepherd. This is what God does for us - his care and watch over us, his nourishment of us, his knowing each of us, and the trust we can place in him. Most of all, his presence with us, through all things.
HOLY TRINITY, MINCHINHAMPTON
8.00 a.m. Said Eucharist
10.00 a.m. Sung Parish Eucharist except First Sunday - All Age Service.
5.30 p.m. First & Third Sunday: Evensong (BCP).
Second, Fourth & Fifth Sunday: Said Evening Prayer
8.00 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday - Eucharist
11.00 a.m. Wednesday - Eucharist (BCP)
4.30 p.m. Friday - Said Evening Prayer in the Lady Chapel
5.30 p.m. Monday - Thursday - Said Evening Prayer in the Lady Chapel
ST. BARNABAS, BOX
9.00 a.m. Eucharist with hymns.
8.00 a.m. Wednesday – Holy Communion
For additional services please use the Calendar.
Her Majesty the Queen has appointed the Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney in the Diocese of London, as the next Bishop of Gloucester.
Rachel Treweek will be the first female Diocesan Bishop in the Church of England following legislation passed last year enabling women as Bishops.
The bishop designate comes to the diocese having served previously in a number of other ministries. She is the current Archdeacon of Hackney, a role she has held since 2011.
You can find more on the Diocesan website
Anyone on the electoral roll is welcome to attend the APCM. If you are not on the electoral roll of the church, do see Pam Page or the Rector - forms are available at the back to fill in. At the APCM we present the Annual Report and the Accounts, and will be electing the PCC. Do see the nomination forms that will be at the back of Minchinhampton and Box Church from beginning of April if you are interested in standing for election. Ideally we would very much value a member of Box Church standing for election to PCC so that Box Church is fully represented - indeed, we are supposed to have someone!
We also need to elect someone to stand for Deanery Synod, and if you would like to know more about this role, please speak to Margaret Sheather or Linda Jarvis, who are currently our other two representatives. This is an important role, and it would be very good to fill it.
Please do make this meeting a priority in your diary.
APCM 7pm, immediately following the Vestry Meeting, in the hall of Minchinhampton School.