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Sunday 19th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday before Advent with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 26th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist celebrating Christ the King with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Cool Drinks and Refreshments
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Ricky Yates

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11th March 2011

Dear People & Friends of St. Clements,

Yes – the season of Lent has begun. We marked the beginning of the Lenten season with our Ash Wednesday Evening Eucharist two days ago. It was a wonderful service, enhanced musically by the visiting Episcopal High School Choir from Baton Rouge, La, USA. Thank you to everyone of our regular congregation who attended the service. I am well aware that midweek evenings are not easy for many in our congregation, either because of work or family commitments. But I did notice that we had one parent of each of several of our married couples with young children present. Clearly, several couples had decided that one parent would stay home with their children, thus freeing the other parent to attend the service.

Lent is meant to be what we call a ‘penitential season’, during which we reflect on our own lives and thus better prepare ourselves to celebrate the great feast of Easter. Most people think that Lent lasts for forty days – actually there are forty-seven days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Day as the seven Sundays are deemed to be ‘feast days’ and not ‘fast days’. The forty days of Lent are based on the time Jesus spent in the wilderness before the beginning of his public ministry. This coming Sunday 13th March at our 11am Sung Eucharist, the Gospel Reading is Matthew’s account of that time, including the various temptations Jesus experienced & his response to them. The passage is Matthew 4. 1-11 and as always, I would encourage you to read it in advance of attending worship on Sunday.

On Sunday, Children’s Ministry will be led by Alison Hellam and, following our worship, there will be Coffee Hour in the hall on the third floor of Klimentská 18.

Lent Course

This year, our Lent Course will run on five Tuesdays in Lent (15th, 22nd & 29th March + 5th & 12th April) between 6.30 – 8.00pm. The venue will be Klimentská 18 using the small meeting room on the first floor where Children’s Ministry & Church Council meetings take place. The theme will be, What I believe and why? and each evening will feature a different speaker from a variety of Christian traditions. However, each will be asked to speak under the same five headings.

My Christian Tradition – the rock from whence I’m hewn

My Journey to Faith – hearing the quiet still voice

Moments of Crisis in my Faith – The dark night of the soul

The Place of Victory – I will lift up mine eyes

Ways Forward – Be thou my vision

I’m very pleased to say that our first speaker on Tuesday 15th March will be Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Karen is a Mission Partner, working with our host denomination, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in the Ecumenical Department of their HQ here in Prague. Many of you will have already met her as she has been worshipping with us since early November 2010. On Sundays she attends not one but two services, worshipping first with our host congregation in Czech & then with us in English. In one of those amazing ‘God-incidences’, next Tuesday will be the 24th anniversary of Karen’s ordination.

I do hope that many of you will come along next Tuesday. As I explained previously, having this course on Tuesdays and starting at 6.30pm is an attempt by me to fit in with the timetable of those who have expressed a desire to attend. There will be a time for questions & answers and the evening will finish with prayer and possibly singing the speaker’s favourite hymn.

A reminder again of our next ‘Ethics at Lunchtime’

Ethics at Lunchtime

Jointly organised by St. Clement’s and the British Chamber of Commerce in the ČR, our next Ethics at Lunchtime event will now take place on Thursday 24th March starting at 12.30pm and the subject for discussion will be “Is religious faith necessary in order to have ethical values in business?” Everyone is welcome but each person will be responsible for paying the Zinc Restaurant for their own lunch (390 CZK per person for a two course set menu including tea/coffee and petit fours). If you plan to attend, please register here.  Particularly if you work in central Prague, try and invite colleagues for what is always an excellent lunch and what promises to be a lively discussion.

New on our website

If you visit our Church website , you will see a new feature on the home page. It is a Pay Pal button that allows any visitor to the website to make an online donation to support the work of St. Clements. The Church Council at it’s meeting last Sunday, specifically asked me to draw attention to it via my Weekly Message being aware that this goes out to many more people than just the current regular congregation. Many people who have spent time in Prague & then return to their home countries, often specifically say to me, “Ricky – please don’t take me off your circulation list”. And I don’t remove anyone unless they ask me to. Therefore, if you have enjoyed worshipping at St. Clements in the past but are no longer resident in Prague, the Pay Pal button does offer an easy way by which you can still make a donation from time-to-time to support our work.

The other people who you might like to tell about the Pay Pal button are your relatives and friends back in your respective home countries. No doubt they have heard about St. Clements from you. Why not suggest to them, as one Church Council member said he was going to, that they might like to give a donation to support our work, using the Pay Pal button?

St. Clement’s Charity Christmas Cards

A few weeks ago, I sent out a separate message about an idea formulated by Steve & Camilla Entwistle, of having Christmas produced to sell in Church to raise money to support the St. Clements, but also to provide something that many in the congregation might want – nice Christmas cards with English text! You were asked to complete an online survey to help assess demand & my thanks to all those who already have done so. However, if you haven’t yet done so, the link to the survey is here

I did put this link into another message but for some reason, the link didn’t work. I’m going to double check that this time, it does work. But if anyone does have difficulties with it, please let me know.

Church Council Business

Your Church council have asked that after the minutes of one meeting have been approved at the next meeting, I should pass on a brief précis via this message. The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd January 2011, were approved at the meeting held last Sunday. As I looked through them, I realised that I had already conveyed most of the information already. The Council received draft accounts for 2010, showing a small excess of income over expenditure, but only because of considerable extra funding from ICS for which we are most grateful.

The Council also agreed a budget for 2011 and this will be presented in much greater detail to the congregation by letter very shortly. However, in simple terms we need to raise a further CZK 170,000 in 2011, over what we anticipate that our income will be, in order to break even at the end of this year.

The Council also agreed a basic three pronged strategy.

To work towards financial self-sufficiency

To seek to grow the congregation and to increase our profile further amongst the English-speaking expatriate community

To increase our involvement in areas of social concern

You will be hearing more about all of these things in the next few weeks & there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions at our forthcoming Annual Church Meeting.

Annual Church Meeting – Sunday 27th March 2011

The Church Electoral Roll as it currently stands, is displayed on the noticeboard at the back of Church. It is now closed until after the Annual Church Meeting as is required by the Church Representation Rules under which we operate.

Also on the noticeboard at the back of Church, there are forms for written nominations for

Two Churchwardens

Two lay representatives to the Archdeaconry Synod

The Churchwardens & the Lay Synod Reps are ex-officio members of the Church Council.

Up to nine additional places on the Church Council

All these positions are for one year, except for the lay reps to the Archdeaconry Synod which are for three years. All nominations have to be in writing and need a proposer, seconder & the consent of the candidate all of whom must be themselves members of the Church Electoral Roll.

According to the laws that govern the Church of England, it is the duty and function of the Church Council to ‘work in co-operation with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical’. Please think seriously who are suitable people to do this or whether you would be willing to play a part in the future running of St. Clements.

And finally…….

I leave you with the Collect for Ash Wednesday, which I pray daily during Lent when I say Morning Prayer each day.

Almighty and everlasting God,

you hate nothing that you have made

and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

create and make in us new and contrite hearts

that we, worthily lamenting our sins

and acknowledging our wretchedness,

may receive from you, the God of all mercy,

perfect remission and forgiveness;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

Best wishes