This week’s Worship

Sunday 28th February 2021 2nd Sunday of Lent (4th Sunday)
          9:15 am        Holy Communion – Croston
9:30 am        Family Worship, Mawdesley
                   No services at Bretherton today

Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
There seems to have been a mixed response to the roadmap for the easing of Covid – 19 restrictions that was announced by the Government on Monday.  Some fear it is to slow others concerned about the speed of easing in the 4 stages, whatever they decided it would be impossible to please everyone.  We have been busy this week rearranging many wedding for after the 21st June, when hopefully the legal limits on social contact will be removed, but this is an aspiration rather than a guarantee.   We often in life get news that we would rather not hear, and in this week’s Gospel this happens to the disciples as Jesus teaches that he will be rejected, killed and rise again on the third day.   Quite naturally Peter finds it difficult to believe that the Messiah he has just acknowledged must die on the cross.  Jesus urges his disciples to have faith in him and as he prepares to carry his own cross, to the place of his execution, he tells his disciples, tells us, who believe in him, to take up our cross, too.  But what does this mean?
This means that we must seek to follow the example of Jesus, of self-sacrifice and total commitment, to set our minds on divine things as well as human ones: love God with all our heart, and love our neighbours as ourselves.   Looking at the example of Jesus we can pray, as Jesus did, that God’s kingdom may come, God’s will be done.  But we can also give, as Jesus gave himself. “This is my body, given for you.”   We too can give: money, perhaps, to the Church, to charities and relief organisations.  We can also give time: to visit people who are lonely or unwell, work as a volunteer, we can also give time to reflecting on just what our faith means to us.  On Wednesday at 7 pm we have the next Lenten ‘Looking Out in Lent’ course which is based on Marks Gospel.  There is a Video talk to look at before the meeting, this week Bishop Julian reflects on Mark 4, 21-34, Parables of growth.  You can engage with this from the comfort of your own home, wherever you may be, and it will last for no more than 40 mins, not a big time commitment.
All you need to do is email me and I can send you the link.
Whilst some will be frustrated by the slow pace of the easing of restrictions we must bear this cross in the short term for the gains later in the year when hopefully our freedoms will eventually be restored.  When we face life’s problems, we need to be patient and use our time wisely to read God’s word, pray and stay attentive to his guiding still small voice deep within us, which can help us grow to know Jesus’ character.  This will then equip us to be more in tune with what it means to walk in his ways.  We can use the season of Lent especially as lockdown continues, to live and proclaim the way of the cross: letting Jesus lead us, as we seek to follow the way of the cross and yield our lives to him.  Paradoxically, what looks like a loss in this world is the only route to eternal life.

May you all have a meaningful and fruitful lent.

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

 

Resources – 2nd Sunday of Lent
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for the 2nd Sunday of Lent
3)       Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets

Sunday 7th February 2021 3rd Sunday of Lent (1st Sunday)
          8:00 am        BCP Holy Communion Mawdesley
9:15 am        Holy Communion – Croston
9:00 am        Family Worship, Bretherton

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Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:

Kate Flaxman, Lillian Sandiford, Alan Silcock

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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Remember

  • 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.

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It is based on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book for 2021, Living His Story by Hannah Steele, published by SPCK

Lenten resources

I hope you have been able to join in with the Lenten daily reflections ‘Read Mark and Learn’ all our booklets have been distributed.

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: 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 continues on Wed. 3rd March at 7 pm.
Video talks from our Bishops and Archdeacons are 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 2: March 3 (Video talk – Bishop Julian)
    Looking Out in Lent by: Teaching the Faith (Discipleship)
    Mark 4, 21-34 Parables of growth
    Video is here https://bit.ly/2ZPmxF3  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: missioner@blackburncathedral.co.uk  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 hunter@blackburn.anglican.org
  • 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.

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Coronavirus Village support groups
       Croston      COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley   Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton   Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
email bethertoonwi@btinternett.com

 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

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer/subscribe-our-prayer-podcasts

 

 

Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship comes from St Cuthbert’s in Fulwood with Rev. Mark Bradford it can be accessed from 9 am via:                   https://bit.ly/2ZW1rFg

This weeks Church of England worship is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury marking the Second Sunday of Lent, the online service will explore how to #LiveLent and can be watched from 9 am: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via YouTube:

https://youtu.be/JEnBowcRV8U

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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


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
God makes a covenant with Abram to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. God gives Abram and his wife Sarai new names, Abraham and Sarah, and promises that Sarah will bear a son.
Genesis 17:1-7. 15-16
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.  And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’
Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.  I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.  I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.’

Second Reading
Paul explains that God’s promise depends on faith, and is for all who share the faith of Abraham. His faith was reckoned to him as righteousness and will be reckoned to us who believe in God who raised Jesus from the dead.
Romans 4:13-25
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.  If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.  For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.  Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’, according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.  No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.  Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’
Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also.
It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

The Gospel
Jesus teaches that he will be rejected, killed and rise again on the third day. Peter rebukes him, but Jesus rejects his rebuke and tells his disciples that those who lose their life will save it.
Mark 8:31-38
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.  He said all this quite openly.
And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

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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