This week’s Worship
Sunday 14th February 2021 – Last before Lent (2nd Sunday)
9:15 am Family Worship– Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion – Mawdesley
No services at Brethertron today
Wednesday 10am Ash Wednesday Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
One of the things I am missing at the moment is getting out and about in the hills and mountains and so this Old Man is looking forward to being able to walk up the highest mountain in Lancashire once again.
I will leave you to guess the name of that mountain but I have given you a good clue! When I get up high and take in the amazing views, often away from the crowds it gives a great perspective of the world and my place within it and I somehow feel closer to God. Today we encounter the transfiguration which is one of the most important events of the Gospels, yet it is only witnessed by three disciples. Marks Gospel is very factual, real and grounded, focusing on the humanity of Jesus, so this week’s reading is quite different, which underlines its importance. Here we encounter the divinity of Jesus which is at the heart of his humanity, it is such a remarkable truth, that only a few are able to comprehend it. Peter, James and John are entrusted with this is a special insight, they are close to Jesus and able to “listen to him”. But even then, they are taken away from other distractions to see something that has been right before their eyes – the truth of who Jesus is.
We may be left wondering why Jesus then tells them not to tell anyone? This so called “Messianic secret” in Mark’s Gospel has puzzled many, it may have been that he knew others were not yet ready for this truth? Perhaps he knew that this mystery about his nature needed to be understood in the light of the passion and resurrection. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, and this special season is a time when we are called to set aside time to be with Jesus, to “listen to him” and renew our relationship with him. At the moment we are not able to climb mountains, or indeed go anywhere different, so this is a great opportunity to set aside some time each day to try and gain a fresh perhaps even a new perspective of just who Jesus is.
We are all facing challenging times at the moment but spending time reflecting on who Jesus is may be a source of refreshment, as we may begin to discover Jesus at work in our world and our lives.
So please during this season of Lent do get involved with some Lenten pattern that allows you to reflect and discover for yourselves who this Jesus really is.
Leonard Cohen has a line in his song, “Anthem”: “There’s a crack, a crack, in everything – it’s where the light gets in.” Many of us may well have even more cracks in our lives at the moment, but these cracks are really important, especially when the light of Jesus gets into them. If we can let the Light of Jesus into the cracks in our own lives we may begin to see things more clearly. So this Lent why not look for the cracks, and see what they reveal about Jesus and where he is at work in the world and in your own life – then listen and follow.
May you all remain a safe and well.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources – The Last Sunday before Lent
1) The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2) Prayer and worship at home for the 2nd Sunday before Lent
3) Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
4) Lenten devotional booklet – Read Mark and Learn
Sunday 21st February 2021 1st Sunday of Lent
(3rd of the month)
9:15 am Holy Communion – Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord may light perpetual shine upon him, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
- It is not an obligation to attend church, you can worship at home.
- If you join us for Public worship you must not socialise with people who are not from your household or bubble.
- People should stay at home as much as possible
- You cannot meet other people indoors or in your garden, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
- You can meet with one person not in your household or support bubble in a public space for exercise.
- Hopefully we will be able to live stream services from the start of lent beginning with the Ash Wednesday service at 10 am on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelAllAngelsChurchCroston
We would then aim to livestream 1 of our services each Sunday, we may need your prayers to make all this happen!
- We have some of the Lenten booklets ‘Read Mark and Learn’ still available if you would like one please contact the Rector we can deliver if necessary.
The reflections will be published daily on each of our churches facebook pages and a digital version is circulated with this bulletin.
#LiveLent national campaign
It is based on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book for 2021, Living His Story by Hannah Steele, published by SPCK
You can engage with this online by signing up at:
You can also downloading the free app #LiveLent from your app store or use the daily hope phone number 0800 804 8044.
- ‘Looking Out in Lent’ our new weekly online Lent course based on Marks Gospel starts on Wednesday 24th at 7 pm.
Talks from our Bishops and Archdeacons will be used to help us explore ways of being a more outward-looking church as we hopefully start to move out of this pandemic. We will be using Zoom for this and it will last for no more than 40 mins. You will need to email the rector to register.
- We hope to start confirmation preparation leading to a service in early July. Due to restrictions this will begin online using Zoom. Children must be in year 6 or above at School, but I hope there will also be a group for older candidates.
If anyone is interested please contact the Rector.
If you are isolating at home this resource may be helpful especially if you do not access the services online
This resource may be helpful for those who are unable to return to church services at the moment, or for anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely and who doesn’t have access to the internet.
There are also the daily prayer resources on the Church of England Website where you can download apps at:
Church of England Daily Prayer
Coronavirus Village support groups
Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship comes from Revd Sarah Gill, Vicar of St James and St Stephen’s Blackburn. The theme is healing and the preacher is Archdeacon Mark Ireland, it can be accessed from 9 am via: https://www.youtube.com/user/blackburndiocese
This weeks Church of England worship is led by Rev Helen Shannon and will mark the Sunday before Lent and can be watched from 9 am: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via YouTube:
Please do continue to support the Food Banks
The Food Banks all net-work with each other to reach all parts, including small villages and outlying houses.
We now have a small store of supplies in Croston (Contact the COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group if you know of someone in need.)
The ‘main’ Bank has taken supplies to Newbugh, Rufford & Burscough in recent weeks… There is no ‘rivalry’, just pride in being able to help anyone, anywhere. At the moment the main warehouse is very short of the following items.
Food: Long life milk, Long life juice, tinned meat, Sugar (especially the small bags), Coffee (small jars), Tinned veg., Instant mash, Teabags, Tinned fruit
Personal & domestic cleaning: W – up liquid, detergent pods, Kitchen/bathroom spray, Loo Rolls, Toothbrushes & paste, Shampoo, Shaving foam, Razors, deodorant (M & F), Soap, Nappies.
Please continue to bring items to any of our churches (all are open on Sundays & Wednesdays) or:
In Croston – You can leave donations in St. Michael’s Parish Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10 to 4pm or bring them to 32, Westhead Road or to 19, Highfield Road.
In Bretherton – You can leave donations in St. John the Baptist Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 9:30 to 3:30 pm or in the box at the gate at 154 South Road.
In Mawdesley – You can leave donations in St. Peters Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10:30 to 4:30 pm or monetary gifts in sealed envelopes please to Robin Hood Cottage, Blue Stone Lane (Opposite Nook Lane).
Please donate if you can.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the food banks
Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
Elisha accompanies Elijah to Bethel, aware of his imminent departure. Elisha’s capacity to see the fiery chariot in which Elijah leaves this world confirms his inheritance of Elijah’s prophetic ministry.
2 Kings 2:1-12
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’
Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’
Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’
So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.
Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
Paul celebrates with the Corinthians that in Christ, God’s glory is made visible to those who are open to receiving his light and his lordship.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
On a mountain height, Peter, James and John witness Jesus’ transfiguration into radiant glory, with Moses and Elijah alongside. A voice from an enveloping cloud confirms Jesus as God’s Son.
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Prayer after Communion
Holy God, we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ: may we who are partakers at his table reflect his life in word and deed, that all the world may know his power to change and save.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen