This week’s Worship

15th August 2021– 11th Sunday after Trinity (3rd Sunday)

9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston

11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Mawdesley

** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life,” says Jesus, “and I will raise them up on the last day.”   These were shocking words for the Jews listening to Jesus all those years ago, who knew well the commandment in Genesis 9 that forbids them to eat meat which still has blood in it: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you… Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
In his Gospel John does not give us an account of the Last Supper, but in the accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke we hear words similar to those used by Jesus in today’s Gospel reading.  Jesus gives bread and wine to his disciples saying “Take, eat; this is my body”, and: “Drink… all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”  Of course Jesus is using the bread and wine in a symbolic way but it would still be shocking for his disciples in the upper room as is the language he uses in Capernaum, when he addresses the crowds who have gathered to listen to him. These words of Jesus prove to be too much for many of his followers, who leave him at this point, and still many today also struggle to understand them.
In a service of Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, we are invited to “receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ which he gave for you, and in more normal times also his blood which he shed for you… feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving” we are told.
We’re reminded that, as John says at the beginning of his Gospel, in Jesus God’s Word becomes flesh and lives among us.  Jesus is the Son of Man who in his humanity understands the life we live and experiences all the joys and sorrows that we do.  We receive into our bodies, our flesh, the fullness of human life that we find in Jesus.
We absorb that fullness of life so that it can transform us and enable us to become the people that God wants us to be.
Having received the body and blood of Christ we are called to live his risen life, to bring life to others, to give light to the world, and to invite others to join us in our journey of faith, strengthened and encouraged by the true food and true drink we receive each time we share bread and wine.

With love & prayers.  Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Sunday 22nd August 2021 12th Sunday after Trinity (4th Sunday)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion, Croston

9:30 am      Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton

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Stanley Parker and John Radford
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.

We are saddened by the sudden death last week of our faithful Churchwarden at St. Peters, Mawdesley w Bispham, John Radford.   John’s funeral will be at St. Peters on Friday 20th August at 2pm.
Please keep Elizabeth, Andrew, Anne and all the family in your prayers at this time of great sadness for them all.

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Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
An Act of Worship from Blackburn Cathedral will be available every Sunday from 9am.  You can view this on the Cathedral YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4GsctW6SLc or on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlackburnCathedral
This week’s Church of England online worship comes from St Chad’s Ladybarn, exploring The Magnificat as a vision of the Kingdom of God.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland

Please do continue to support the Food Bank
You can leave donations in our Churches in Croston & Bretherton on Wed. & Sun. from 10 to 4pm, or on Sunday at the service in Mawdesley.
Despite the feeling that we are beginning to live ‘normally’, many families are even more stressed as:
furlough is coming to an end…
some firms are laying-off staff… or not re-opening…
the ‘extra’ £20 per week on Universal Credit is finishing soon…
utility companies are raising prices…
If you are able, please continue to support this worthy enterprise.

Notice of Croston Graveyard Inspection – August 2021
Will, weather permitting, take place on Wed. 18th or Thurs. 19th August. If you would like to speak to someone, would like to give us your contact details or have any concerns please contact Revd Michael (600548).

Croston dates for your diary
We are hopeful that Music in the Woods will happen on Sept. 4th.
By popular demand 909 will be headlining again this year.
Ticket sales will be in church on Sunday August 22nd from 1pm until 4pm.  First come – first served.  Ticket price is £15 per adult accompanied children free.  Cash or cheque at the time please.

We are planning another Harvest supper on October 2nd in the Old School.  Hotpot, dessert, live music and great company.  All for only £10.  Please let Diane or Kathryn know if you would like to join us.

The Christmas tree festival is pencilled in for Nov. 27th / 28th with the Christmas markets being on the following Sunday.

Baptisms
We have been overwhelmed by requests for baptisms and at the moment the Rector is waiting to plan a two week break so it is taking us some time to respond to all enquires, we apologise for the delay.
Please email: revmwoods@gmail.com for further details.

Faith reference cards for school applications
Whilst Covid 19 restrictions remain in place across our churches, as they have done since the start of this pandemic we will treat all requests for a faith reference as full attendance.  We will begin to once again monitor attendance from the start of the new term in September. The faith reference cards will be available towards the end of August in Church.


The Collect
O God, you declare your almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity: mercifully grant to us such a measure of your grace, that we, running the way of your commandments, may receive your gracious promises, and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure; 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

First Reading
Wisdom, personified as a woman, calls people to share in her riches by abandoning immaturity and seeking insight.
Proverbs 9.1-6
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, ‘You that are simple, turn in here!’
To those without sense she says, ‘Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.’

Second Reading
St Paul exhorts Christians to live wisely, avoiding drunkenness and debauchery in order to be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5.15-20
Brothers and sisters, be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel
Jesus causes scandal by suggesting that his followers should eat his flesh and drink his blood, in order to have Jesus himself living within them.
John 6.51-58
Jesus said to the Jews: ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’
So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died.  But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’

Prayer after Communion
Lord of all mercy, we your faithful people have celebrated that one true sacrifice which takes away our sins and brings pardon and peace:
by our communion keep us firm on the foundation of the gospel and preserve us from all sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord.           Amen

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