This week’s Worship

2nd Sunday after Trinity 26th June (4th Sun.)
                      9:15 am               Holy Communion, Croston
9:30 am      Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am              Walking day worship, Bretherton
followed by walk to Congregational Church for fellowship
Wednesday    9:00 am      Morning Prayer, Mawdesley
Friday          9:00 am      Morning Prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

For the first time since 2019 we will be having our walks of witness celebrations in all three of our villages commencing this weekend where we celebrate the feast of John the Baptist at our church in Bretherton with our friends from the congregational church.  After the service walking carefully along the pavement to their church for some fellowship. The following week its Coffee Day in Croston on Saturday 2nd July and Mawdesley make a whole weekend of it the following week from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July.  These are all Eccumenical events which clearly indicate the inclusivity of our Christian faith even if there are so many issues being debated that seem to contradict that within our different denominations.
These internal wrangling’s, particularly within the Church of England, I find so sad, arguments about Women Bishops and Priests and Human Sexuality to name but a couple are so nuanced and come with all sorts of prepositions and always seem to be so negative with one particular group seeking to get their own way.
The Old Testament is full of arguments about how different groups of people wanted to interpret God speaking to them through his word and the prophets.  John the Baptist provides the bridge from the old to the new – where God got so fed up he actually sent his Son Jesus into the world, and John, his cousin prepared the way for him.
Even Jesus found it pretty tough going and actually ended up laying down his life for us, but before he did that he simplified things for us with the 2 great dominical commandments that he himself gave to the world.
1- Love Go
2- Love your neighbor

The bible tells us that we (all of humanity) are made in the image of God and so if we are to follow our Lords command we are to love everyone – you cannot get more inclusive than that – can you?
I was saddened recently to hear of the retirement of Revd Richard Coles, the Vicar, broadcaster and former Communard, I particularly enjoy his Saturday morning Radio 4 show.  He cited one reason for his retirement as being: his disillusionment with the regressive direction of the Church of England, Coles will be a great loss to his Parish and the wider church – but I do hope he continues to speak out against injustice and prejudice.
In our own lives we will often face many difficult challenges and questions about just how God wants us to live our lives and what course of action he would want us to follow.  While all our questions may not be answered – indeed there are questions about God which cannot be fully answered – it is encouraging to remember that many people have made mistakes in their Christian lives, have doubted God and doubted the validity of their faith, but yet God has kept faith with them, so remember that if we persevere through the times of challenge and questions we may just find ourselves renewed and ready to praise and serve God in new ways.
If you’re anything like you may you may wonder – what’s the point of being a Christian?
Fr Timothy Radcliffe in his book of the same title (2005) concludes that it is simply to point others to Christ.  Which is really what John the Baptist did and in doing so he formed the bridge between the prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus Gods own Son who shows us and the world what God is like.
Can we in our lives point others to Christ, so that they too can come to know, love and follow him, we will if we strive to follow his commands.

          May the Father strengthen you in faith.
May the Son build you up in hope.
May the Spirit make you grow in love.

With love & Prayers

       Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

 

Next Sunday – 3rd Sunday after Trinity 3rd July (1st Sun.)
                     8:00 am      BCP Holy Communion
9:15 am               Holy Communion, Croston
9:00 am      Family Worship, Bretherton
11:00 am      Baptism & Holy Communion, Mawdesley

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Ron Kearton
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord, may light perpetual
shine upon him, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.

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Revd Janet Taylor will be licenced to St Leonards Penwortham on Tuesday 26th July by Bishop Philip

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 weeks Church of England worship will celebrate Petertide and comes from Dunstable Priory in the Diocese of St Albans.
Rector of Dunstable, Rev Rachel Phillips, will be leading the service and preaching on St Peter and the foundation of the Church. You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via

Walking day celebrations across the3churches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bretherton Sun. 26th June Feast of John the Baptist & Walking day

11 am worship at St. John the Baptist followed by walk to the Congregational Church for fellowship

*Thank you to our School & everyone who has made
our walking day celebrations possible after the 3 year gap*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Croston Saturday 2nd July ***Note times changed this year***

 

 

Mawdesley Tea Party Weekend is back
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July

  • Saturday 9th July Walking day
    begins with a short service in church at 1pm prompt.
    The Tea Party in the Marquee will start when the Walk of Witness arrives.
  • Sunday 10th. July – Ecumenical Service @ 11.00am
    In the Marquee at the cricket ground.

Bretherton Church and Grounds Maintenance
Can you help with cleaning inside church and/or the maintenance of our churchyard?  Please speak to Churchwarden Naomi or the rector if you would like to help – many hands make light work!

Can you help with the cleaning of Mawdesley Parish Room once per week?
If so please call Barbara 01704 822468

Can you help at Croston Church?
New people are needed to join both the cleaning team on a rota basis, and also to help maintain the church and cemetery Grounds.


The Collect
Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails: deepen our faithfulness to you and to your living Word, Jesus Christ our Lord.           Amen

First Reading
Elisha becomes Elijah’s disciple. Elijah lets Elisha go back and say goodbye to his parents before he leaves. Elisha and his parents have a farewell party.
1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.
Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.  He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Go back again; for what have I done to you?’  He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

Second Reading
Christ has set us free to choose to respond to his commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves and to live by the Spirit.
Galatians 5.1,13-25
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.  For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.  Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

The Gospel
Jesus engages with three would-be disciples, telling them they must abandon their lives and not look back if they want to follow him and be part of the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:51-62
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem.  When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’   But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’  And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’  To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’  Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’  Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

Prayer after Communion
Loving Father, we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son: sustain us with your Spirit, that we may serve you here on earth until our joy is complete in heaven, and we share in the eternal banquet with Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen   

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