This week’s Worship

2nd Sunday of Lent – 13th March (2nd Sun.)
                                9:15 am     Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Wednesday              10:00 am      Holy Communion, Croston
Friday                      9:00 am      Morning prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
As the horror of the War in Ukraine continues President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been ever present in the news not least this week as he told our own MPS ‘we will not give up’ when he made a historic address in the House of Commons via a video link.  He quoted both Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare in his plea for the United Kingdom to provide further practical support and stand in solidarity with Ukraine.  Zelensky echoed Churchill by saying: “We will fight until the end, at sea, in the air.  We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost.”

Zelensky is a remarkable man – a former actor and comedian who like Churchill is a leader of the policy of “no surrender”.
This weeks Gospel starts with some Pharisees warning Jesus that Herod is out to kill him. At first glance we might think that the Pharisees have suddenly had a personality change and become nice to Jesus warning him of a potential threat from Herod.  Jesus understood what a nasty character Herod Antipas was, following the death of John the Baptist.  But Jesus stands firm with an uncompromising reply with no respect for Herod, referring to him as “that fox”.  We can see that Jesus has a clear awareness that he will meet his fate in Jerusalem, I can’t help wondering if president Zelensky has a similar awareness about his own fate in this conflict?
Is he like Jesus prepared to suffer for the sake of his people?  Many Christians, still in parts of the world continue to suffer greatly: the loss of status, the loss of liberty and even the loss of life, but they count that as the price that must be paid to be true child of God who take the apostle Paul at his word when he writes in today’s Philippians reading: “our citizenship is in heaven”.
So what is your destiny? What work is God calling you to do in the name of Jesus and for the kingdom of God?
Jesus’ priority is not his own safety but rather in doing what he recognises as God’s will, even though that places him in mortal danger.  May God give strength to all of those called upon to do the same today in many parts of the world and especially at this time in Ukraine.

With love & prayers.                   Michael   (Rector)

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

Next Sunday – 3rd Sunday of Lent 20th March (3rd Sun.)

9:15 am             Holy Communion, Croston
11:00: am            Baptism with Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am             Holy Communion, Mawdesley

 Mawdesley Prayer Group, Tues. 15th March 10:45 for 11am start.
Meet at Robin Hood Cottage (Bluestone Lane, opposite Nook Lane) Hope you can come and join us.  Please bring a Bibles and the “signs of life” booklets which we’ll be using as a basis for study during Lent.

 

Daily Lenten devotions
Signs of Life – Follow us online each day during lent as we journey with Jesus through Johns Gospel, booklets are also available in church.

 

 

 

Google – #LiveLent 2022: Embracing Justice
Offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a prayer, as well as a practical challenge linked to the week’s theme. An accompanying child’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together.

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Confirmations 2022 at St. Michael’s Church Sat. 14th May
Young people must be year 6 or above – no upper age limit!
Please contact the Rector for further details

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Please do continue your support of the Food Bank

Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we all hear in the news financial pressures are increasing and more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will continue to make a real difference to people’s lives

 

 

Covid Guidance Thankfully the high infection rates are receding but:

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • We are no longer required to wear face masks but please be mindful of those who may be less confident and choose to wear a mask.

 

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 Please be Vigilant
Flagstone thefts from churches in the Northwest
Please keep an extra watch over the churches
and report any suspicious activity to the police
immediately, also take a note of number plates.

 

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 on the Second Sunday of Lent comes from St Paul’s Church Scotforth in Lancaster, and the Church Urban Fund .  Rev Dr Rebecca Aechtner, the Vicar at St Paul’s Church Scotforth leads the service with Rev Canon Dr Anderson Jeremiah, Lancaster University , who is also preaching.
Rachel Whittington, Group Chief Executive, Church Urban Fund & Averil Pooten Watan, Churchwarden, St Barnabas and St James The Greater, London, will both also be sharing.  This service has BSL interpretation in-vision and has been manually subtitled.
You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wFS-UC3Gtk

St. Michael & All Angels
Childrens Sunday Club every 1st and 3rd Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A prayer for Ukraine:

Almighty God, seated above all the affairs of humankind
and sovereign over nations and leaders,
hear our prayer for Ukraine at this time of war,
that lives may be spared,
that national boundaries be respected
and that forces of aggression be restrained.
Grant, Lord God, peace in your world in our time.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Also pray for the people of Russia
that they may be freed from this ruthless dictator.

Humanitarian Disaster – ways to support for the people of Ukraine
See our Facebook page and posters in Church for ways to support this locally.  The disasters and emergency committee appeal can be found at: www.dec.org.uk which is an effective way to offer your support.


The Collect
Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                      Amen

First Reading
In response to Abram’s doubts, God confirms in a solemn ceremony the promise that Abram will have many descendants, who will live in a special God-given land.
Genesis 15.1-12,17-18
The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.”  But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”  But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I shall gain possession of it?”  So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking brazier with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”

Second Reading
The fact that our true home is in heaven must affect our earthly priorities.
Philippians 3.17-4.1
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.  For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.  Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.  Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

The Gospel
Jesus laments over Jerusalem, the city special to God, which nevertheless has a history of persecuting God’s prophets, and is the city where he will die.
Luke 13.31-35
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’  He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.  Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”’

Prayer after Communion
Almighty God, you see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                                      Amen

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