This week’s Worship
Sunday 21st February 2021 – 1st Sunday of Lent (3rd Sunday)
9:15 am Holy Communion – Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion – Bretherton
No services at Mawdesley today
Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
I expect we are all waiting with hope for the government announcement on Monday which will begin to lay out a plan for the coming out of the current lockdown. All the data seems to be moving in the right direction and the vaccine rollout continues at a tremendous pace. But I don’t think we are expecting anything to significant initially it is most likely that the easing of restrictions will follow a cautious path, but the Prime Minister has said that he wants to follow an irreversible path! That may have seemed a strange thing to say, but clearly he wants this lockdown to be the last and he wants to follow a new path looking with hope to the future rather than looking back over our shoulders worrying when we will back in the next lockdown. We would all I am sure hope these changes will be irreversible. When we truly give ourselves to Jesus and follow him, wherever he may lead us, we have chosen an irreversible path, we have let him into our lives and life will never be the same again.
In this week’s Gospel Jesus himself starts on an irreversible path, we don’t know much about the gap between his birth and his own Baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. In Marks Gospel we read that ‘just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ But that moment of great affirmation is quickly followed by a great struggle as ‘the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.’ But these two contrasting experiences in the life of Jesus, baptism and affirmation followed by wilderness and struggle, are two sides of the same coin. Both these experiences mean that Jesus is prepared and ready to begin the work and ministry to which he is called: to proclaim the good news that “the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near”. Mark is characteristically economical with words when he writes about Jesus in the wilderness: ‘He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.’ Mark doesn’t focus on what lies behind but rather on what lies ahead Jesus’s public life and ministry of healing and teaching. Lent is a time where we can reflect more deeply on our own experiences of struggle and testing. We may recognise in our own life-experiences some stark contrasts between times of joy and times of sorrow; times of hope and times of fear; times of health and times of pain or illness. Sometimes we can live through times when contrasting events and emotions are running side by side and it feels like we’re on an emotional rollercoaster.
So I wonder how the strange times of the last 12 months have affected your life, your faith and your relationship with God and those close to you. It may have been a time of contrasts, highs and lows, times when you have felt close to God and others, but there may well have been those wilderness experiences when you feel alone, abandoned and afraid wondering where is God in all this. The Gospel comforts us with the knowledge that Jesus, even after being affirmed as God’s Son, had to face a tough personal struggle. Yet he remained faithful to God and he will remain faithful to us in our struggles. Sometimes knowing someone is alongside us in the hard times is like receiving the ministry of an angel. When that someone is Jesus himself we may perhaps have faith again that we too are God’s beloved son or daughter. Let’s hope he is well pleased with us also.
May you all remain a safe and well.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: email@example.com
Resources – 1st Sunday of Lent
1) The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2) Prayer and worship at home for the 1st Sunday of Lent
3) Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
4) Jesus storybook Bible Lent Guide 2021
5) Lent Calendar for use by families
6) Lenten devotional booklet – Read Mark and Learn
Sunday 28th February 2021 2nd Sunday of Lent
(4th of the month)
9:15 am Holy Communion – Croston
9:30 am Family Worship, Mawdesley
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Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:
Kate Flaxman, Robin Forshaw, Lillian Sandiford
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord may light perpetual shine upon him, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.
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- 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.
We are still hoping to be able to live stream services soon apologies for the delay
- I hope you have been able to join in with the Lenten daily reflections ‘Read Mark and Learn’ all our booklets have been distributed.
- #LiveLent national campaign You can engage with this online by signing up at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/livelent-2021-church-resources-gods-story-our-story
You can also download 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.
Video 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 so he can send you the link.
Week 1: February 24 (Video talk – Bishop Jill)
Looking Out in Lent by: Telling the Good News (Evangelism)
Mark 1, 14-20 Proclamation of the Kingdom and call of the disciples. Video is here https://bit.ly/2NIzRbG please watch this before joining the meeting.
- Thursday 7 pm Lent talks at Blackburn Cathedral
Each Thursday during Lent at Blackburn Cathedral there will be a brief talk from one of the Cathedral clergy on the theme of ‘God’s story, our story’ followed by a chance for questions and conversation. The whole session will last no more than 30 minutes. The event will be on Zoom, and the ‘talk’ part will be uploaded to YouTube afterwards. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
- How Deep the Father’s Love. Bishop Philip will lead a Quiet Morning for Lent on Saturday March 27th from 9.30am until 1pm. Each half hour will be dedicated to one of the Seven Last Words from the Cross which means people can leave and join on the half hour as they wish.
To book email email@example.com
- A calendar for daily reflection during Lent for families of all ages to do together at home – attached to bulletin.
- Jesus storybook Bible Lent Guide 2021 a free resource attached to this bulletin for children and families ideally to be used with ‘The Jesus Storybook Bible’ available online
- 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.
Coronavirus Village support groups
Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
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
Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship comes from far north of the Diocese and the villages of Slyne with Hest where worship will be led by the
Revd Susan Seed, it can be accessed from 9 am via: https://www.youtube.com/user/blackburndiocese
This weeks Church of England worship is led by Rev Canon Paul Cartwright from St James the Great, Ryhill, the online service will mark the First Sunday of 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
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. Amen
God tells Noah he is establishing a covenant with him, his sons and their descendants. He sets his bow in the sky as a sign.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.
I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’
Peter tells us that although our sin separates us from God we are saved from that separation by baptism into new life.
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you – not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
Jesus is baptised by John and receives God’s approval. He is immediately driven out into the wilderness, where he is tempted by Satan, before he begins his ministry.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
Prayer after Communion
Lord God, you have renewed us with the living bread from heaven; by it you nourish our faith, increase our hope, and strengthen our love: teach us always to hunger for him who is the true and living bread, and enable us to live by every word that proceeds from out of your mouth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen