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Queen Elizabeth II

Prayers of Thanksgiving

We give thanks for the life and service of Queen Elizabeth, for her humility, gentle spirit, servant hearted leadership and for all she communicated of the Christian faith. We give thanks for the welcome of God to her, ‘You are my beloved one in whom I am well pleased.’

‘Call out in us again a willingness to love and serve.’ (from the Eata liturgy)

We pray for King Charles III. May God grant him wisdom in the coming days and years, and that his own service might prove to be a profound blessing. 

‘Call out in us again a willingness to love and serve.’

We pray for those who grieve, that they might know the consolation of God as they walk this difficult path. 

‘Call out in us again a willingness to love and serve.’

We pray for the UK and the Commonwealth in the disorientation following her death. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

‘Call out in us again a willingness to love and serve.’

We pray for ourselves that God would strengthen our own vocations to live Availability and Intentional Vulnerability in the name of Christ:  ‘Call out in me again a willingness to love and serve.’

We invite you to add your own prayer by clicking on the button below, which will then be held within the prayer rhythms of Nether Springs, the Mother House of the Northumbria Community.

Cover Photo: Open Government Licence v3.0

Gather Round a Treasure: ‘Community of the Heart: Building Blocks’

A new resource from Trevor Miller…

We are delighted to announce that some core Northumbria Community teaching from Trevor Miller, one of our Elders, is now available in booklet form. Part of our, affectionately named, ‘traffic light’ series (under the specific umbrella of ‘How then shall we live?’), this particular foundation stone explores four key building blocks, which Trevor highlights as crucial to any understanding of Community as ‘a way for living’:

RelationshipCreating the story of Community through relationships as Covenant: an inner togetherness of a mutual commitment to God and one another which treats daily life as a training course.

MemoryWriting the story of Community to provide Continuity: an ongoing story that is still being written.

Language Telling the story of Community by establishing a means of Communication that is not just about words, but about other creative means of pointing to the story of our life alone/together.

Tradition – Living the story in a way that demonstrates Culturality: an awareness of the plurality of cultures that is the reality of life today.

You can listen to an introduction from Trevor himself, by clicking on the link to the online shop below. The booklet can be purchased for £5 + P&P.

CELEBRATING ST AIDAN’S DAY

31st August 2022

Long ago, on the island of Iona, a meeting had been called. An angry brother spoke about his failure, telling of the hardness of heart in the kingdom of Northumbria, a land of darkness refusing the life-giving light, inhabited by a stubborn, unreachable people. And one man heard, and his heart was stirred with compassion for that land and its people. To open his heart to this could cost him everything: leaving the island he loved, the companionship of his brothers, their prayer and work. Were there not others still to reach much closer to home? If he stayed seated among his brothers no one would notice him, no one would know what he had heard in his heart: the cry of the desert, ‘Come over to Northumbria and help us.’

‘O Lord’, he prayed, ‘give me springs and I will water this land. I will go, Lord. I will hold this people in my heart.’ A moment later it was his own voice, the voice of Aidan, that broke the awkward silence. ‘Perhaps, my brother, if you had spoken with more gentleness, and of the love of Christ, giving them the gospel to nourish them like milk is given to a tiny baby, then you would have won them and remained among them.’


I think the key thing about Aidan that we can learn from is this. Listening. He listened to God habitually. You could say he listened for God even when there was nothing forthcoming, so that when God did speak he was already paying attention. He listened to other people, recognising that everybody had something to teach him and so paying attention to what they had to say. He listened for every sign of what God may be doing in the heart or life of each person he met, whether they acknowledged God yet or not. He listened deeply, rather than assuming that he already knew what they needed to hear. It showed humility, not presumption. He paid attention, and was willing to have the course of his day or his life altered by what he heard. Andy Raine


JOIN IN

THE AIDAN LITURGY

Some reflection questions:

  1. Part A of the Aidan liturgy describes a willingness to respond to God’s call. How can we hear the call of God ‘deeper in [our] hearts’? What might help to deepen our attentiveness and sharpen our response?
  2. Part B of the Aidan liturgy expresses the desire to be more open to the world and a plea for God’s intervention and protection. How do we maintain an openness that feels ‘pain and brokenness’ and ‘suffering and injustice’ without giving in to despair? Given so much disturbing daily news, how can we remain ‘free from sin’, ‘protected from all anxiety’ and expectant ‘in joyful hope’?
  3. Part C of the Aidan liturgy asks for ‘the gift of friendship and of faithfulness’ and to ‘be freed from selfishness’. Why does true friendship and loyalty require us to be authentic? In what sense is pretence a form of selfishness? How does being authenticity relate to being ‘intentionally vulnerable’?
  4. Part D of the Aidan liturgy speaks of the desire to be ‘an island set apart’. What is the difference between solitude and isolation? How can times of silence and solitude help to prepare us for ‘the busy world beyond’? Why do we need courage to be ‘left alone with God’?
  5. Read Part E of the Aidan liturgy. In your own context, what situations and issues need God’s wisdom? How might you demonstrate God’s goodness in the midst of these?

Listen and reflect…

ST OSWALD’S DAY 2022

5th August 2022

Each year, on St Oswald’s Day, those of us who can, make a pilgrimage to Heavenfield, Northumberland. It is in the good ground of Heavenfield that Oswald planted a wooden cross as a waymark. Oswald had returned to Northumbria, the land of his heritage, to reclaim the throne and crown by battle. His wish was to put an end to the years of fighting and division so that his people might live. On the eve of the battle, Oswald and his companions knelt together at the the turn of the road, at the foot of the cross, and prayed. The battle that followed was decisive, Oswald was victorious, and Northumbria was united under his Kingship.

THIS YEAR, AS LAST YEAR, YOU CAN JOIN IN LOCALLY, OR AS PART OF THE DISPERSED NETWORK, either by taking part in a physical pilgrimage to Heavenfield, or by gathering round a livestream/ materials from the archives. Find out more by clicking on the button below.

JOIN IN WITH ST BRENDAN’S DAY – 16th May

Happy St Brendan’s Day. This year we are pleased to offer you some special treasures – old and new – from our archives. These include:

  • some questions to help you reflect on, and go deeper with, the Brendan liturgy
  • a couple of short films from Lynda Owen-Hussey to introduce two special Brendan places from County Kerry, Ireland.
  • a special recording of ‘The Story of Brendan the Fisherman’, written by Clare and Ant Grimley and read by their daughter, Katie.
  • a short film of the Overseers building a coracle , as part of a retreat with the Bethany Community, Leicestershire, in September 2021
  • a creative reflection on ‘Beyond these Shores’ by Iona

Click on the link below to find the resources: