Upcoming Events

Taizé-services-2018

A Time of Reflection & Preparation for Easter

Services and events over the next few weeks in La Coudre church (these may be held in the hall downstairs for heating purposes)

 

Sunday 14th April 10.00 Palm Sunday service by Rev. Clive Atkinson, followed by refreshments (bring and share) and the 2019 AGM. Please come if you can and show your support for our English-speaking church in Neuchâtel!

Easter Sunday 21st April: See below*

Sunday 28th April 17.00 Holy Communion

Sunday 12th May 10.00 Service of the Word

* EASTER: Members of our congregation are invited to worship at the French-speaking services of the Swiss Reformed church in Neuchâtel as the Easter weekend does not fall on our service days on the 2nd or 4th Sunday of the month.

Here are the Good Friday and Easter Sunday service times. Of course you may prefer to attend an English-speaking service in Biel/Bienne – see below – or in Berne (St Ursulas’s, Lausanne (Christ Church),  Vevey (All Saints) or Geneva (Holy Trinity). More details on the website – see Archdeaconry pagevendredi, 19 avril

10:00 Culte paroissial / Temple de La Coudre / Christophe Allemann
16:00 Chemin de croix / Collégiale
 
dimanche, 21 avril
05:30 Culte aube / Collégiale / Florian Schubert et Jocelyne Mussard
10:00 Culte / Chapelle de l’Ermitage / Christophe Allemann
Chemin du Pertuis-du-Sault 5, 2000 Neuchâtel, Suisse (plan)
10:00 Culte / Collégiale / Florian Schubert et Jocelyne Mussard

Anglican services in Biel/Bienne: Rev. Mark Pogson

The EASTER service is on 21st April at 5pm (17:00)

 Services are at 5 pm (17:00) on the first and third Sunday of the month. Tea and coffee are served after the service. All services are at the new address:  Heilsarmee,  Dufourstrasse 46,  2502 Biel

Taizé services 2019

Ecumenical Prayers : Next service on Sunday 28th April at 18.00 in Boudry RC church, Rue des Lières, followed by refreshments

************************************************************************

Lent is a time of preparation for the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a period of 40 days of repentance, with prayer, fasting and abstinence, and Confession. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday.

The season of Lent is an opportunity to reflect and consider our own preparation for Easter. It is part of the Christian calendar. Christians remember and celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection. Some people might give something up during Lent, but not all Christians do.

Background:  Lent may originally have followed Epiphany, just as Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness followed immediately on his baptism, but it soon became firmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults. This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter.

Now is the healing time decreed for sins of heart and word and deed, when we in humble fear record the wrong that we have done the Lord.  (Latin)

As the candidates for baptism were instructed in Christian faith, and as penitents prepared themselves, through fasting and penance, to be readmitted to communion, the whole Christian community was invited to join them in the process of study and repentance, the extension of which over forty days would remind them of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, being tested by Satan.

Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence; from the middle ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. The calculation of the forty days has varied considerably in Christian history. It is now usual in the West to count them continuously to the end of Holy Week (not including Sundays), so beginning Lent on the sixth Wednesday before Easter, Ash Wednesday. Liturgical dress is the simplest possible. Churches are kept bare of flowers and decoration. Gloria in excelsis is not used. 

Convocation to observe Lent  

Brothers and sisters in Christ, since early days Christians have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord’s passion and resurrection and prepared for this by a season of penitence and fasting.

By carefully keeping these days, Christians take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Christ, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.

The First Sunday of Lent  Readings

 > Deuteronomy 26.8-10

8The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.’ You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. 

 > Psalm 91.1-2,9-16*

1  Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High •

   and abides under the shadow of the Almighty,

2  Shall say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my stronghold, •

   my God, in whom I put my trust.’

9  Because you have made the Lord your refuge •

   and the Most High your stronghold,

10  There shall no evil happen to you,   neither shall any plague come near your tent.

11  For he shall give his angels charge over you, •

   to keep you in all your ways.

12  They shall bear you in their hands, •

   lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13  You shall tread upon the lion and adder; •

   the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14  Because they have set their love upon me,

      therefore will I deliver them; •

   I will lift them up, because they know my name.

15  They will call upon me and I will answer them; •

   I am with them in trouble,

      I will deliver them and bring them to honour.

16  With long life will I satisfy them •

   and show them my salvation.

> Romans 10.8b-13

8But what does it say? ‘The word is near you,  on your lips and in your heart’

(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

 > Luke 4.1-13
4Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ 4Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’

5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ 8Jesus answered him, ‘It is written,

“Worship the Lord your God,    and serve only him.” ’

9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you,

   to protect you”, 11and  “On their hands they will bear you up,

   so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’ 

12Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ 13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. 

Collect

Heavenly Father,

your Son battled with the powers of darkness,

and grew closer to you in the desert:

help us to use these days to grow in wisdom and prayer

that we may witness to your saving love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Questions:  

  • Why a time of reflection?  
  • What Scriptural lesson do we need to understand as a time of Preparation for Christ’s Passion?
  • What is our model?

The Second Sunday of Lent

> Genesis 15.1-12,17-18

15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ 2But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ 3And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ 4But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ 5He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.7 Then he said to him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.’ 8But he said, ‘O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?’ 9He said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, …

18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,

 > Psalm 27

1  The Lord is my light and my salvation;

      whom then shall I fear? •

   The Lord is the strength of my life;

      of whom then shall I be afraid?

2  When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes,

      came upon me to eat up my flesh, •

   they stumbled and fell.

3  Though a host encamp against me,

      my heart shall not be afraid, •

   and though there rise up war against me,

      yet will I put my trust in him

4  One thing have I asked of the Lord

      and that alone I seek: •

   that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

      all the days of my life,

14  Teach me your way, O Lord; •

   lead me on a level path,

16  I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord •   in the land of the living.

17  Wait for the Lord;    be strong and he shall comfort your heart; •

   wait patiently for the Lord.

> Philippians 3.17 – 4.1

17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. 19Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. 41Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

 > Luke 13.31-35

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ 32He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’

Collect

Almighty God,

you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,

that they may return to the way of righteousness:

grant to all those who are admitted

into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,

that they may reject those things

that are contrary to their profession,

and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Additional Collect

Almighty God,

by the prayer and discipline of Lent

may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,

and by following in his Way

come to share in his glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Questions:  

  • What did Abraham need to do to be assured of God’s help?  
  • What Scriptural lesson do we need to understand here as a time of Preparation for Christ’s Passion?
  • Who is our model in this 2ndweek of preparation?  
  • Why?

The Third Sunday of Lent

> Isaiah 55.1-9

55Ho, everyone who thirsts,

   come to the waters;

and you that have no money,

   come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

   without money and without price. 

2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

   and your labour for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,

   and delight yourselves in rich food. 

3 Incline your ear, and come to me;

   listen, so that you may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

   my steadfast, sure love for David… 

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found,

   call upon him while he is near; 

7 let the wicked forsake their way,

   and the unrighteous their thoughts;

let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,   and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

   nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

   so are my ways higher than your ways

   and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

 > Psalm 63.1-9

1  O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; •

   my soul is athirst for you.

2  My flesh also faints for you, •

   as in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.

3  So would I gaze upon you in your holy place, •

   that I might behold your power and your glory.

4  Your loving-kindness is better than life itself •

   and so my lips shall praise you.

5  I will bless you as long as I live •

   and lift up my hands in your name.

6  My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness, •

   and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,

7  When I remember you upon my bed •

   and meditate on you in the watches of the night.

8  For you have been my helper •

   and under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.

9  My soul clings to you; •

   your right hand shall hold me fast.

> 1 Corinthians 10.1-13

10I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.’ 8We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

 > Luke 13.1-9

13At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’  6 Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7So he said to the gardener, “See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?” 8He replied, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig round it and put manure on it. 9If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” ’

Collect

Almighty God,

whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,

and entered not into glory before he was crucified:

mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,

may find it none other than the way of life and peace; 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.

Additional Collect

Eternal God,

give us insight

to discern your will for us,

to give up what harms us,

and to seek the perfection we are promised

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect on the Eve of the Annunciation

We beseech you, O Lord,

pour your grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel,

so by his cross and passion

we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection;

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.

Questions:  

  • What did God provide for their time in the desert?   
  • What Scriptural lesson do we need to understand here as a time of Preparation for Christ’s Passion?
  • Who is our model in this 3rd week of preparation?  
  • Why?

The Fourth Sunday of Lent    

 > Joshua 5.9-12

9The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.’ And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

10 While the Israelites were encamped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

 > Psalm 32

1  Happy the one whose transgression is forgiven, •

   and whose sin is covered.

2  Happy the one to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, •  and in whose spirit there is no guile.

3  For I held my tongue; •

   my bones wasted away

      through my groaning all the day long.

4  Your hand was heavy upon me day and night; •

   my moisture was dried up like the drought in summer.

5  Then I acknowledged my sin to you •

   and my iniquity I did not hide.

6  I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ •

   and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

7  Therefore let all the faithful make their prayers to you

8  You are a place for me to hide in;

      you preserve me from trouble; •

   you surround me with songs of deliverance.

9  ‘I will instruct you and teach you

      in the way that you should go; •

   I will guide you with my eye.

12  Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord; •

   shout for joy, all who are true of heart.

> 2 Corinthians 5.16-21

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

> Luke 15.1-3,11b-32              The Prodigal Son

15Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’  3 So he told them this parable:

11 Then Jesus said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.” So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.’ ” 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” 22But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.

25 ‘Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.” 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!” 31Then the father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.” ’

Collect

Merciful Lord, absolve your people from their offences, that through your bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins which by our frailty we have committed; grant this, heavenly Father,  for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Questions:  

  • What does God’s shelter have to do with this?  
  • What Scriptural lesson do we seen in forgiveness and our return to God as a time of Preparation for Christ’s Passion?
  • Who is our model in this 4th  week of preparation?  
  • What does the knowledge of God’s grace and forgiveness 
    have to do with  this?  
  • Explain please.

As Holy Week approaches, the atmosphere of the season darkens; the readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death, and the reading of the Passion Narrative gave to the Fifth Sunday its name of Passion Sunday.

Devotional exercises which may be used in Lent and Holy Week outside the set liturgy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9qq-Dw87kU&feature=youtu.beor

https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/books/9780715147313/the-joy-of-the-gospel

This six-part course for parishes and Lent groups is based on Pope Francis’ much acclaimed recent reflections on mission and evangelism, published as Evangelii Gaudium (‘The Joy of the Gospel’). Widely recognised as offering wisdom and vision for all Christians in a culture that is often hostile to the church, Evangelii Gaudium offers a positive and realistic approach to sharing faith in the modern world.

Paula Gooder introduces its key themes to readers in all denominations and challenges them to consider its application in their own contexts. The course includes: 
Preface: Why Study Evangelii Gaudium? 
1. The Joy of the Gospel 
2. The Church’s Missionary Transformation 
3. Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment 
4. The Proclamation of the Gospel 
5. The Social Dimension of Evangelization 
6. Spirit-filled Evangelisers

Paula Gooder is an internationally known writer, speaker, educator and broadcaster. She is a member of ARCIC III and is closely involved with Anglican – Roman Catholic relations at the international level.

The Stations of the Cross, made popular in the West by the Franciscans after they were granted custody of the Christian sites in the Holy Land, are the best known:
The Way of the Cross:‘Traditional’ Stations

I         Pilate condemns Jesus to death

II        Jesus accepts his cross

III      Jesus falls the first time

IV      Jesus meets his mother

V        Simon helps Jesus carry the cross

VI      Veronica offers her veil to Jesus

VII     Jesus falls the second time

VIII    Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem

IX      Jesus falls the third time

X        Jesus is stripped of his garments

XI      Jesus is nailed to the cross

XII     Jesus dies on the cross

XIII    Jesus is taken down from the cross

XIV    Jesus is placed in the tomb

A further station depicting the 
resurrection of Jesus may be added.Do you think you are better prepared now after these readings and discussion for understanding and living through Christ’s Passion?