Monthly Service Timetable & Vicar’s Letter

Sunday 3
9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
9.30am Eldroth Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
11.00am Keasden Holy Communion

Wednesday 6 Ash Wednesday
9.30am Austwick School Holy Communion with the imposition of ashes
7.00pm Clapham Church Holy Communion with the imposition of ashes

Sunday 10
9.30am Austwick Morning Prayer
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
2.00pm Keasden Holy Communion
6.30pm Austwick Holy Communion

Sunday 17
9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
7.00pm Eldroth Taize Worship

Sunday 24
9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
7.00pm Keasden Evensong

Sunday 31 Mothering Sunday
10.30 am Austwick Holy Communion
7.00pm Clapham New Inn Church in the Pub with Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley

Lent Conversations in March
Tuesday 12 March , Newby Chapel, 7.30 pm
Whay am I carrying a stone? – seeking reconciliation in a judgemental age

Tuesday 19 March Eldroth Church, 7.30 pm
When God seems absent – suffering and loneliness in a connected world

Tuesday 26 March, Austwick Church, 7.30 pm
The woman caught – reflecting on justice and gender

Morning Prayer in Church throughout Lent and into Holy Week
A short service of prayer, readings and silence each day with Rev John: All welcome
Starting Monday 11 March ending Thursday 18 April
Monday in Clapham Church at 9.15 am
Tuesdays in Eldroth Church at 9.15 am
Wednesdays in Austwick Church at 9.15 am
Thursdays in Keasden Church at 10.00 am

John’s Notes:  Public shaming and writing in the dust

Justine Sacco made a qip to her small circle of Twitter followers and it ruined her life forever.  It was a feeble little joke, sent absent-mindedly at the start of a flight from New York to South Africa.  A poorly phrased racial comment meant to be self-critical but easily misread.  As the plane took off and she slept, the joke ‘went vira’.  It seemed the whole tweeting world saw it and condemned her so strongly and insistently that before her plane landed Sacco had been sacked from her PR job: via Twitter of course.Worse was ahead of her – castigated by her family, publicly reviled, Sacco has never recovered from that episode.  This story of disproportionate damnation features in Jon Ronson’s book So you’ve never been publicly shamed.

 Some see such humiliation as a useful way to allow people right injustices on the internet.  Others say it encourages online mobs to destry the reputation and careers of those who make perceived slights.Jon Ronson say, “I think social media is robbing us of our empathy, and it’s also robbing us of our ability to distinguish betweenserious and non-serious transgressions.  I think we’re forgetting that there are human beings on the other end.”

A crowd once brought to Jesus ‘a woman caught in the act of adultery,’ saying, “The Law commands us to stone to death any such woman.What do you say we should do?” Jesus just stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. When the crowd persisted with their questions he stood up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned should throw the first stone at her.”  Then he stooped down again to write in the dust.  When they heard this, the people began to leave one by one, the older men first and then the others.  Jesus was left alone with the woman standing there in front of him.  He sent her on her way with a gentle encouragement to clean up her act. (John 8.1-10)

At a moment of crisis Jesus broke the tension and created space for reflection by writing in the dust.  The consequence was an unexpected change in direction, a twist in the tale from which all learned and benefitted and no-one became a killer or victim.  I’m certain that long-ago event in the grounds of the Jerusalem Temple has so much to say to our situation today.

In our Lent meetings we will take time to reflect together on some of the challenging situationsof our times.  Things that affect us, in our everyday lives.  We’ll be guided by the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery and other scriptures.  It’s an opportunity for us to do our own ‘writing in the dust’ and see what comes out of it.  Everyone is welcome:  do come along to share in the conversation and the contemplation.

Revd John Davies, Priest in Charge

Contact Details: 01524 805928

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