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Why does Jesus say ‘Son your sins are forgiven’ – is he hinting that he was sent to forgive us our sins?

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Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’

MARK 2.9

 As the Scribes recognised “Only God has the power to forgive sins” – so Jesus is effectively hinting about his true nature. When I pronounce the absolution of sins, it is not me doing it,but Christ, who has called me to make this known to people.

Very few people Jesus met at the time truly understood who he truly was, and even then oftengot the wrong end of the stick (Peter would be a good example) and especially what the true meaning and purpose of the Messiah would be – not (as many in Israel believed) a great warrior king from God, but a humble suffering servant of the people.

The OT speaks of the Messiah being both but when you are under Roman rule, it’s easier to hope for the former to free you, rather than to truly ‘free’you from your sin.

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Question: Why does the crucifixion and resurection of Jesus mean that our sins are forgiven – could God not have done that anyway without this happening?

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FIRST OF A NEW SERIES: Fr Simon tries to explain some common and key questions about the faith in “There is no such thing as a dumb question”

The first thing to say is that there are a lot of different perspectives on this, which is at its heart an almost unfathomable mystery: all theology and faith is grasping the edge of something quite beyond our human understanding, but we can see glimpses, and the best clue we have to getting a grip on what God is, and what he wants, was when he stepped into this world as a human in the form of Jesus Christ.

This mystery is call the atonement and is about the reconciliation of God with us. We broke the system because we do the bad things: ‘sin’. Metaphorically this is described as the Fall in Genesis (eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – not an apple!) but that is just an ancient way of trying to describe why we as humans mess up. God is constantly trying to win us back (sending prophets etc) but we still didn’t listen and went our own way. Finally he comes himself in the form of Jesus (understand that ‘Son of God’ means the same as ‘God’ himself). That was a bit of a threat, so they had him killed. He foretold this in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matthew 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12; Luke 20:9–19).

The purpose of the Incarnation (God born in human form) anyway was to overcome the pile of mess we made and wipe the slate clean, to make it right. Some fundamentalist churches will tell you its because someone has the take the punishment and so Jesus (the one who never sinned) takes it for us, but that’s a little child-abuse-y. Others might say that God himself beats sin and death by absorbing and overcoming it (not punishment, but a sort of cosmic moral battle), and so the cross is the weight of our sin and the winning is the resurrection. 

We might be so dumb that we need a very clear demonstration that sin and death is overcome. I can tell you that God has forgiven you, but you might say “how can I tell?” My response might therefore be to point to the Cross and the Resurrection which shows that the God who overcomes death demonstrates the reality of wiping the slate clean.  For all of us, fear of death is the most prevailing and universal fear of all: it’s going to happen to all of us and so the Christian promise is that God makes it alright.

Does that mean that if God has sorted it, then I can do just what I want? Murder? Eat Drink & be Merry? We are called to a good life because it is a response to that forgiveness, not because if I am bad I will be cosmically smacked. This is more carrot than stick. The thing is, although my faith in Christ and the power of my Baptism buys me into that victory, I get up the next day and mess up again. I will have to face up to that, like standing outside the headmasters study (which I did a lot of) which I think will probably be worse than any medieval notion of being poked by demons with little pitchforks. Ultimately, I will gain that which Christ won for me: because he loved me so much he was prepared to take on my bad stuff and overcome it for me in that sign of victory – the cross and prove it by the resurrection.

This is not a dumb question, it’s a very fundamental one, and this is not an exhaustive answer, but merely a scratch on the surface.

This video tries to demonstrate this very powerfully..

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Christmas 2018

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The Parishes of Bickleigh & Shaugh Prior are planning on holding it on Dec 25th this year, if that’s okay with you…

For more information call, text, email, tweet or send a carrier pigeon to
Fr Simon on 07976 802123 | fr.simon@rundell.org.uk | @frsimon
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Annual Report 2018

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The Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting will take place after the 9.30am Team Eucharist at S. Anne, Glenholt PL6 7JA on Sunday 29th April 2018 (approx 10.30am-ish)

Anyone is welcome to attend.

Download: Complete Annual Report 2017 (pdf, 1.5Mb)

Minutes of the 2017 APCM: APCM Minutes 2017 (pdf, 60k)

The reports will not be read at the meeting, but are available above. Questions on any of the reports may be raised from the floor, but only AOB notified to the chair (fr.simon@rundell.org.uk) will be taken.

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Sacrament of Reconciliation

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Download the Sacrament of Reconciliation

¶ The Gathering

In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord Jesus, who came to reconcile sinners,
welcomes all who are penitent. Grace, mercy and peace be with you
and also with you.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1.8,9

The priest and penitent say together

Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; according to the abundance of your compassion blot out my offences. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51.1,2,11

¶ Confession and Counsel

The Lord be in your heart and on your lips
that you may truly and humbly confess your sins.

The penitent makes confession of sins in his or her own words, beginning

Almighty God, long-suffering and of great goodness: I confess to you, I confess with my whole heart my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments, my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking; the hurts I have done to others, and the good I have left undone.

In particular I confess [since my last confession in … / in this my first confession] …

O God, for these, and all other sins that I cannot now remember, I ask your forgiveness.
Forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The priest may give appropriate counsel or guidance and whatever help is necessary to enable the penitent to complete his or her confession. The priest encourages the penitent to make restitution, and may recommend some prayer or action as a sign of repentance and in thanksgiving for reconciliation

¶ Reconciliation

The penitent makes an act of contrition using these or similar words

My God, for love of you
I desire to hate and forsake all sins
by which I have ever displeased you;
and I resolve by the help of your grace
to commit them no more;
and to avoid all opportunities of sin.
Help me to do this,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

¶ Absolution

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive you your offences: and by his authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins, in the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

And of your charity, pray for me, a sinner also.

The priest may say

Merciful Lord,
we thank you that you have delivered this your servant from the power of sin and restored him/her to your peace in the fellowship of your Church;
strengthen him/her by your Spirit, that he/she may please you until he/she comes to the fullness of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

God of grace and life, in your love you have given us a place among your people; keep us faithful to our baptism, and prepare us for that glorious day
when the whole creation will be made perfect
in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

¶ The Lord’s Prayer

The priest and penitent may say the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

¶ The Dismissal

The priest may say a blessing

May Christ, who out of defeat brings new hope and a new future, fill you with his new life;
and the blessing of God almighty, the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.
Amen.

(or)

May God, who in Christ has reconciled all things in heaven and earth, grant you grace to walk the path of forgiveness; and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.
Amen.

The Lord has put away your sins.
Thanks be to God.

Go in peace, and pray for me, a sinner also.

The Penitent may then depart and undertake the penance or thanksgiving suggested to them

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DATA PRIVACY NOTICE (General Data Protection Regulation Compliance)

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DATA PRIVACY NOTICE

The Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) of S. Mary the Virgin, Bickleigh and S. Edward, King & Martyr, Shaugh Prior

1. Your personal data – what is it?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

2. Who are we?
The PCC of the parishes of  S. Mary the Virgin, Bickleigh and S. Edward, King & Martyr, Shaugh Prior is the data controller (contact details below). This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

3. How do we process your personal data?
Our PCCs complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.

We use your personal data for the following purposes: –

  • To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public living in, or worshipping at our Churches within the Parishes of Bickleigh & Shaugh Prior;
  • To administer membership records;
  • To fundraise and promote the interests of the charity;
  • To manage our employees and volunteers;
  • To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid applications);
  • To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at our churches;
  • To share your contact details with the Diocesan office so they can keep you informed about news in the diocese and events, activities and services that will be occurring in the diocese and in which you may be interested.

4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?

  • Explicit consent of the data subject so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and process your gift aid donations and keep you informed about diocesan events.
  • Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;
  • Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: –
    • the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and
    • there is no disclosure to a third party without consent.

5. Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other members of the church in order to carry out a service to other church members or for purposes connected with the church. We will only share your data with third parties outside of the parish with your consent.

6. How long do we keep your personal data ?
We keep data in accordance with the guidance set out in the guide “Keep or Bin: Care of Your Parish Records” which is available from the Church of England website https://www.churchofengland.org/more/libraries-and-archives/records-management-guides .

Specifically, we retain electoral roll data while it is still current; gift aid declarations and associated paperwork for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate; and parish registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals) permanently.

7. Your rights and your personal data
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: –

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which we hold about you;
  • The right to request that we corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;
  • The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for us to retain such data;
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time
  • The right to request that the data controller provide the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable).
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable)
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.

8. Further processing
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

9. Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact the Vicar on 07976 802123 or email: simon@rundell.org.uk

You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

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Beer, Bible & Balti

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bbb

A safe space for blokes to get together over a pint, a (cheap) curry and talk about life, the  universe and everything.

Beer, Bible & Balti meet during term times at the Lopes Arms, Roborough, Plymouth PL6 9BD from 7pm

We chat about everything from politics, football and who’s going to front Top Gear through to discussions about evil, the challenge of living well and living faithfully, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It’s easygoing and non-threatening and many people just like to hang out with a pint and listen. You’re not going to have a single perspective shoved down your throat and especially not Jesus because all viewpoints are valued and respected. We don’t think there are enough spaces where we can speak uninhibitedly about things that matter, as well as a lot of tosh.

You are welcome to join us. For more info please email: bbb@roborough.org.uk or follow on Twitter: @BBBalti or simply turn up.

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