Returning to Church … in May

It will be wonderful to be back at Church on 16th May –

Sunday Services are now allowed but there are remaining restrictions for everyones health and safety

  • 1 hour maximum services
  • Face coverings need to be worn
  • No congregational singing

– booking in for services in the Carraig Centre is required to ensure adequate seating at services

The Parish office continues to be accessible via email – office@cupcork.ie – you can leave a message on the answer machine 0214877260 which will periodically be checked.

For pastoral & parish queries please contact Reverend Robert Ferris via phone 0851800720 or by email robert@cupcork.ie

Sunday Service will be available online live at 11am & 9.30 – links are available www.cupcork.ie/hall

Below is a guide produced by Robert Ferris in consultation with Vestry, Church Wardens and the Sunday AM Leadership team and is in-line with current government and church protocols. Please do take a read at this.

Now that all the regulations have been read and we’re now about to slowly open up the Churches in the Parish there’s a few things which underpins all that is below .

It’s not ‘business as usual’ 

But on the other hand there is much that will be recognizable – we are still able to meet together to worship God, to enjoy him and each other’s company

The last couple of weeks we’ve been meeting as a Vestry, Church Wardens and staff team to ensure that we take all of the necessary precautions.

There are a basic few things which underpin this:

Stay Safe:

This might seem obvious but it is necessary – If you are feeling ill – or have any of the COVID-19 symptoms please do not come out to church!. Similarly if you have been around someone who has had COVID-19 in the past 14 days please do not come to church!

  • If you are in one of the groups which have been cocooning and are feeling uneasy about coming out – please do not feel you NEED to come to church right away – come out at your own speed. Do join us online.
  • We are making provision for families – we’d love to see you! – however we also would request that parents help us to maintain the 2m distancing rules with and between kids.  This is really important for all of our families to feel safe on Sundays.

Protect Each other:

In line with this we are asking people to do a few things:

  • Make sure you keep your distance – 2m where you can. 
  • Please ensure you sanitise /wash hands on the way into church and after going to the toilet – we as clergy will be observing hand hygiene protocols right the way through services.
  • Make use of a face covering if you are aged over 13 in our buildings considering the risks this virus poses to some of those who may be in the building alongside you.
  • If you use the toilets please wipe down surfaces before and after use with the cleaning products supplied.

Capacities of our Buildings:

This is a changing picture – which depends upon government guidelines on distancing, and also maximum capacity caps as well as our ability to adhere to all of the guidelines.

At time of press there’s a 50 people max capacity in the Carraig Centre  at the beginning of September  – please do book a ticket via our website links are found on www.cupcork.ie/booking

In Blarney, Inniscarra and St. Peter’s churches there are smaller capacities – please do come earlier than usual so we can help you find your seats. If we are over-subscribed please do bear with us – we may have to say to you that we are full.

As you come into each of our buildings, you’ll see that there are the 2m markings outside that are familiar – we might have to queue to get in!

There is a hand sanitisation station! – please sanitise your hands well.

We’re also making a list for contact tracing purposes – so if we ask you your name / contact phone number please don’t be surprised. These will be held for 21 days.

When you get to the front of the queue – one of the wardens / service hosts will be pleased to escort you to your seat!

During the service

The service words will be either projected or there will be service sheets already in your pews/seats.

There will be no congregational singing – there may however be music of some kind.

The service will take our usual formats with some differences.

If it is a Communion service you will notice the peace will have to be shared differently and also the presiding minister will let you know how the receiving is to happen.

Holy communion will be in both kinds (wine in small glasses) but if you prefer to simply receive in one kind please do.

For families with kids – we recommend you bring some activities / toys with you for the service. We will provide colouring/puzzle sheets for children in every service – so please bring along your own colours! 

Use of toilets:

This is a particular area of risk!

Please do speak to wardens / service hosts and they will direct you.

If you need the toilet in our churches, please ensure you sanitise your hands going in and coming back out again.

There is a particular cleaning protocol in place for these – please do read the notice and follow the directions in place.

Leaving Church:

Please follow directions of the wardens/service hosts – you will most probably be leaving from a different door than you came in. In the traditional churches this will be through the vestry / kitchen, in the Carraig Centre this will be through the side exits.

Please do not congregate outside the door but rather move right away to allow others to exit.

Face-coverings and the Administration of Communion:

This is one of the areas where there could be issues.

Some may receive the bread in the usual way at a particular point in the service.  Others may wish to maintain their face-covering until they are in their seats away from the presiding minister..

Face Coverings: 

Face Coverings will continue to be mandatory for the next while in church spaces

2021 Easter General Vestry

2021 Easter General Vestry

ReOn Wednesday 14th April at 7.30pm Carrigrohane Union of Parishes will hold our Easter General Vestry. This is a meeting for the parish as we elect our Select Vestry for the next year, recieve the audited accounts and hear what’s been happening and what’s going to happen in the coming year. This year due to government restrictions this will be on-line via Zoom

 

If you would like to send your apologies – please fill in this form or leave a message at the Carraig Centre – 0214877260

Documents will then be sent out via email to all those who have registered & are on the register of vestry persons on the afternoon of Wednesday 14th April.

Agape Supper

On Thursday 1st April – Parishioners and friends/family are invited to join us online via zoom to celebrate Maundy Thursday together. It will be a short service – simply bring some bread and water/beverage of some sort and we will mark this important day in the Church’s Calendar. To register to get the link – click here

Background to Agape suppers (Edited notes from the United Methodist Church in USA)

The Love Feast, or Agape Meal, is a Christian fellowship meal recalling the meals Jesus shared with disciples during his ministry and expressing the koinonia (community, sharing, fellowship) enjoyed by the family of Christ.

Although its origins in the early church are closely interconnected with the origins of the Lord’s Supper, the two services became quite distinct and should not be confused with each other. While the Lord’s Supper has been practically universal among Christians throughout church history, the Love Feast has appeared only at certain times and among certain denominations.

The modern history of the Love Feast began when Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians in Germany introduced a service of sharing food, prayer, religious conversation, and hymns in 1727. John Wesley first experienced it among the Moravians in Savannah, Georgia, ten years later. His diary notes: “After evening prayers, we joined with the Germans in one of their love–feasts. It was begun and ended with thanksgiving and prayer, and celebrated in so decent and solemn a manner as a Christian of the apostolic age would have allowed to be worthy of Christ.”

It quickly became a regular part of Methodist society meetings in Great Britain and throughout the English–speaking world. 

While Love Feasts became less frequent in the years that followed, they continued to be held in some places; and in recent years the Love Feast has been revived in methodist circles.

The Love Feast has often been held on occasions when the celebration of the Lord’s Supper would be inappropriate—where there is no one present authorized to administer the Sacrament, when persons of different denominations are present who do not feel free to take Holy Communion together, when there is a desire for a service more informal and spontaneous than the communion ritual, or at a full meal or some other setting to which it would be difficult to adapt the Lord’s Supper.

The Love Feast is most naturally held around a table or with persons seated in a circle; but it is possible to hold it with persons seated in rows. A church sanctuary, fellowship hall, or home is an appropriate location.

One of the advantages of the Love Feast is that any Christian may conduct it. Congregational participation and leadership are usually extensive and important, especially involving children.

Testimonies and praise are the focal point in most Love Feasts. Testimonies may include personal witness to God’s grace or accounts of what God has been doing in the lives of others. Praise may take the form of hymns, songs, choruses, or spoken exclamations and may vary from the relative formality of an opening and closing hymn to spontaneous calling out of requests and singing as the Spirit moves. Sometimes the leader guides those present alternating spontaneous singing and sharing in free and familiar conversation for as long as the Spirit moves. Wesley counseled that all the above be done decently and in order.

Prayer is vital to a Love Feast. A fixed form of prayer may be used, especially something like the Lord’s Prayer or Be present at our table, Lord, that is familiar to the people. Spontaneous prayer requests and prayers may come from the people.

Scripture is also important. There may be scripture readings, or persons may quote Scripture spontaneously as the Spirit moves. There may be a sermon, an exhortation, or an address; but it should be informal and consist of the leader’s adding personal witness to what spontaneously comes from the congregation.

Most Love Feasts include the sharing of food. It is customary not to use communion bread, wine, or grape juice because to do so might confuse the Love Feast with the Lord’s Supper. The bread may be a loaf of ordinary bread, crackers, rolls, or a sweet bread baked especially for this service. If a loaf of bread, it may be broken in two or more pieces and then passed from hand to hand as each person breaks off a piece. Crackers, rolls, or slices of bread may be passed in a basket. The beverage has usually been water, but other beverages such as lemonade, tea, or coffee have been used. Early Methodists commonly passed a loving cup with two handles from person to person, but later the water was served in individual glasses. The food is served quietly without interrupting the service.

My hope for our Virtual Agape Supper 

After so many months of not being physically together as the Church Family, It is my hope that we would be able to break bread together on the night that Jesus broke bread with his disciples. 

I would hope that we would be able to share some thanksgivings, a few thoughts and a few prayers together and bread. 

This will be a very simple gathering of whosoever would like to be here. As we journey towards the foot of the cross this year. 

It will take place 6.30 -7.15ish 

All are welcome 

Robert 

Our Agape Supper – Order of service 

Welcome to everyone & Introduction 

Worship Song 

Giving thanks and praise – What do we want to thank God for ? 

Reading –  John 13:31-34 

Thought / Sharing 

Worship Song 

Short Prayers of Thankfulness  & Intercession 

Lords Prayer 

Reader: We are all invited to the common table to share in an Agape Feast. At this table we come as brothers and sisters in the Holy Family of God. Taste and see that God is good.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. 

Let us pray. 

over the drink, 

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You give us refreshment to enjoy; and on this night we remember that you have refreshed us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen. 

Over the bread, 

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and on this night you have given us the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. As grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen

The bread – as we break it reminds us of the bread Jesus broke on this night. 

Sharing bread & drink 

Going out thought: Maundy Thursday & the events of this night

Let us pray. Christ our Lord, your love is poured out in death for our sakes: Hold us in your embrace as we wait for Easter’s dawn. Comfort us with the promise that no power on earth, not even death itself, can separate us from your love; and strengthen us to wait until you are revealed to us in all your risen glory. Amen.

Conclusion 

Day 31 – What steps might I need to take to get there ?

Day 31 – What steps might I need to take to get there ?

On Monday the question was about Big Picture thinking and what might be in the years ahead

For me as a positive person who does like to dream big dreams about things that I know that need to be changed I do like to think about what could and should be.

I am also as a practical person and likes to see how the change can happen – what steps need to be put in place – what the route may be.

I also know that the world / family / church / business / whatever … doesn’t follow my plans, it doesn’t read my script of how things need to be for me to fulfil my vision – actually I’m very glad of that! as most people actually are really sensible! as annoying as that is! and that some of my ‘there’ picture might not be that great in reality and I may have to actually work with people to find a much better and solid picture of what needs to be.

So … in my own experience I set out from here to where my ‘there’ might be – identifying the big picture working collaboratively with others discerning and praying as I go. There may be distractions and some of those may have to be jettisoned but there might be things that would be helpful.

These things are important … being adaptable and adventurous stepping out and heading in the direction that will bring us life and call us to something more is really important … yes there might be a slog required, some hurdles to climb over but knowing that we’re heading in the right direction is important … having breaks along the way to enjoy – taking time to take stock and celebrate and have fun … as well as cups of coffee (or whatever you are having yourself!) is really important.

I have found in those cups of coffee with others there is wisdom, there is direction and generally friendship.

Coffee anyone??