This week’s Worship

Sunday 24th January 2021 3rd Sunday after Epiphany (4th Sunday)

       9:15 am     Holy Communion – Croston
11 am       Holy Communion – Bretherton

Wednesday 10:00 am Holy Communion, Croston

** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

This week would normally be our family annual skiing trip away to Itter a beautiful little village near Soll in Austria, whilst we will miss that greatly we are thankful that we are all safe and well at the moment.  This is a time of great change for everyone across the world, we are living through perhaps a once in a century pandemic, but we will come though this, and things will one day be better once again.   We would prefer that we didn’t have to experience this particular time of change, but it does provide us with a forced opportunity to reflect and live in the moment, in the here and now.   This is a time for us to appreciate the important things in life and how interdependent we all are on one another.  For some people this will be a lonely time shielding at home, but the phone call or video call is so appreciated, the TV and Radio become lines of connection to the outside world.  For others this is a time of being stretched to the limit, working on the frontline in a hospital ICU must be exhausting both physically and emotionally.  Very different experiences of living in the here and now in this time of change.  We are beginning to see signs of hope that things will change for the better, the vast majority of people seem to be following the government guidance and so the infection rates in Lancashire and across the country may have peaked?  Sadly hospitalisation rates and deaths will lag behind this.   We do seem to have a ‘World Class’ vaccination programme here in the UK and we must be thankful to all those who stepped up to help make that a reality.  These are all great very real, very material signs of hope, signs of change for the better.  Our Christian faith uses very real tangible things – things we can touch and taste and feel – in order to bring change and blessing to our lives.  In baptism the water is a life giving sign of cleansing as we become members of the body of Christ.  In the Eucharist, our Holy Communion Jesus uses bread and wine to strengthen us and bless us with his presence.  It is through them that we take the Lord himself into our system and become one with him. “This my body”, he says, “this is my blood.”  This is how we become one with him and he with us, Jesus uses other things to bring us his blessing too, the ring at a wedding, a sign of never ending love, these material things are the outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace that God blesses us with.
At the heart of our Christian faith is our communion with our Lord Jesus Christ, our sharing in his divinity as he himself has shared in our humanity.   At the Eucharist the priest presents the gifts of bread and wine as tokens of our lives, doing what he told us to do and Jesus will take them, and as he takes them, so he takes us.  I know that many of us are not able to gather physically together at this time, but we are still gathered spiritually.  We are taken into his presence and just as water changed into wine we are changed, transformed, renewed and refreshed by God’s blessing, week in and week out.  The whole point of Jesus’ mission was to join God and humanity and to revive our relationships with the loving union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So at this time of great change in the world may we all appreciate one another and those ordinary things that Jesus uses to bring us his extraordinary blessing.  The days are beginning to get a little longer and soon there will be the early flowers peeking through, signs of hope as we look forward to spring and summer. So as the changes of life continue it is a good time to start just wondering how our lives might be different once we come through this pandemic.

May you all remain a safe and well.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Vera Ayre.

Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord may light perpetual shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.

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Resources – 3rd Sunday of Epiphany
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany
(Note this week these readings are different from our lectionary readings on our pewsheet – another mystery of the CofE!)
3)       Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
Sunday 31st January 2021 3rd after Epiphany (5th of the month)
          9:15 am        Holy Communion – Croston
11 am            Holy Communion – Mawdesley

Remember

  • It is not an obligation to attend its ok to worship from 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.

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:

 

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 John’s Leyland, led by Sue Champness (Licensed Lay Minister) it can be accessed from 9 am via:                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHXp4Yv8cL8&t=4s

This weeks Church of England worship is led by Rev Charles Hadley, it celebrates the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and explores living with difference, featuring the Chemin Neuf Community  you can follow along with the order of service at cofe.io/ChristianUnityService

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We are looking to livestream some services in the future if anyone can offer any advice please contact Revd Michael.

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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

Please do continue to support the Food Banks
All the food brought into the3Chuches is taken to the ecumenical food bank in Skemersdale, supported by the Trussell Trust.
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).

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the food banks

LAPTOP APPEAL for local schools.

 

 

 

 

 

With the current lockdown families are trying to support learning at home and for many families the lack of suitable technology is proving challenging.

Schools have been allocated a limited number of laptops by government but there are still families in need.

Our Local schools would appreciate donations of any second hand laptops/chrome books that can be reconditioned and used by families who are currently not able to access the learning resources adequately.

Please drop off any laptops/chrome books with charging cables
to 97 Station Road or 3 St Michaels Terrace in Croston.


The Collect
God of all mercy, your Son proclaimed good news to the poor, release to the captives, and freedom to the oppressed: anoint us with your Holy Spirit and set all your people free to praise you in Christ our Lord.  Amen

First Reading
This ancient text is one of hospitality and blessing on Abram, who is soon to become Abraham.
Genesis 14:17-20
After Abram’s return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).  And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.
He blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.

Second Reading
As God’s justice unfolds, and the forces of evil are defeated, angels tell of when Christ will come and gather his Church to himself.
Revelation 19:6-10
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure’ – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’  Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus.  Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

The Gospel
Another wedding and another blessing: this time it is water into wine, poverty into riches, exclusion into embrace.
John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’  And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me?  My hour has not yet come.’  His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’  Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’  And they filled them up to the brim.
He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’  Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Prayer after Communion
Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.  Amen

 

 

 

 

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