This week’s Worship
Sunday 20th June 2021 3rd Sunday after Trinity (3rd Sunday)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
This past week has been like sailing on troubled waters following the government announcement that they were not going ahead with the full easing of restrictions as they had planned. There would be a delay of 4 weeks, and I think we all understand their reasons for doing this. But they have given some relaxations for increased capacity at weddings, but getting hold of the legislation, then unpacking it isn’t straightforward and I expect that as more restrictions ease without fully being removed the more difficult that task will be.
In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus and the disciples are caught at sea in what we might call troubled waters, a violent storm.
The disciples panic, and run to the stern, where Jesus is asleep, and they accuse him of not caring about them, demanding that he help them, so up he gets and stills the storm. However he doesn’t seem particularly willing or cheery about doing this – he has, after all, just woken up!
It looks like the disciples are beginning to take Jesus’ miraculous deeds for granted: “This is the man who walks on water and raises people from the dead,” they must be thinking. “Surely changing the weather will be nothing to him?” So when they seem to panic when he does not immediately do so, he asks them, “have you still no faith?”
Just because he is not immediately, dramatically making things better or changing things, this does not mean that he has forgotten about those who love him, and are supposed to trust in him. “Have you still no faith?” he asks, in other words, “Don’t you trust me?”
How often do we view God as someone who will fix things, but God is not some kind of religious genie who makes difficulties disappear when you ask nicely. What God would far prefer us to do, and what he frequently requires us to do, is use our own initiative and our own courage to get through difficulties and hard times. What we cannot do is what the disciples do in this passage – run to Jesus with all our problems and expect instant, miraculous change, then fall into despair when this change does not immediately happen.
This attitude can also be found in our personal relationships: is there someone in our lives on whom we rely, perhaps to the point of burdening them? Is there someone we run to with our problems, and expect them to sort them all out? In short, is there someone in our lives that we take for granted, whom we expect to always pull us out of our troubled waters, in hard times?
This is not, of course, to discourage us from building trusting, supportive relationships. It is important to build friendships and bonds where we can feel safe and encouraged and where we feel able to talk openly about our emotions and difficulties. But its a fine path we walk in such close relationships, not to overburden people, to assume that this person has a solution, and to assume that you can no longer handle a given situation, and must therefore lay it at someone else’s door. Sometimes, we all have to ask ourselves, “Have you still no faith?” Faith in ourselves, faith in our own abilities to deal with life’s hardships, and, ultimately, faith in God’s love, and the courageous power of his Holy Spirit.
So, will we be like the disciples, running to God or to a trusted friend with all our troubles, asking them to solve them instantly, and setting ourselves up for crisis and disillusionment?
Or will we “have faith” in ourselves, and in the strength that God can give us through prayer and trust in his love? Do we actually have the maturity to be strengthened by others, without draining them of their own strength? While life may indeed be filled with many “troubled waters”, we cannot simply wait for a bridge to spring up. We must find our own bridge, whatever form it may take, and with the strength of the Holy Spirit and the strength of those we love, we must have the courage to cross it. Sometimes the Holy Spirit challenges us to step out in our own strength and trust that God is still there.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: email@example.com
Sunday 27th June 2021 4th Sunday after Trinity (4th Sunday)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
9:30 am Family Worship, Mawdesley
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord may light perpetual shine upon her, may she rest in peace and rise in glory.
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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 week’s Church of England worship is led by Cathy Ross and Jonny Baker, of the Church Mission Society (CMS), the service explores Mark 4.35-41 and ‘the other side of the lake’.
You can find the order of service at cofe.io/CMSService
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
Baptisms have restarted
We have now restarted baptisms in our 3 churches and we will be complying with Covid-19 restrictions and numbers will be limited, following the governments roadmap announcement last Monday.
We will mirror the restrictions placed on Weddings which are:
Currently: maximum guests allowed by each church, whist complying with current social distancing guidelines.
No earlier than 19th July possibly all restrictions lifted
Note: dependent upon the government guidelines being confirmed
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Faith reference cards for school applications
Whilst Covid 19 restrictions remain in place across our churches, as they have done since the start of this pandemic we will treat all requests for a faith reference as full attendance. The Government Roadmap currently indicates that the earliest that all restrictions will now be lifted is 19th July. It is very unlikely now that we will monitor attendance before the start of the new term in September. This will be reviewed over the summer.
Celebration for Croston Coffee Day 2021 Saturday 3rd July
People are encouraged to make their own individual arrangements to mark the day. There will be a Church Service at 1.00pm (adhering to the current Covid guidance) followed by 12 members of Eccleston Brass Band playing outside church from 1.30pm to 3.00pm. Further details to follow next week.
Celebration to mark Mawdesley Tea Party day Saturday 10th July
There is a meeting this week to discuss the details of arrangements and so further details to follow next week.
St. Peters Mawdesley w Bispham
Do you have time to help keep YOUR Graveyard tidy at St. Peters
If so please ring DAVID 07919558259
Do you have time to help clean the brasses in Church?
If so please contact the Churchwardens.
Croston Village Place plan (Blackburn Diocese).
As one of the major owners of undeveloped land in Croston the Diocese is consulting the residents of Croston as to how the village could be shaped in the future. Leaflets should be delivered to all residents in early June and there will be links provided online through facebook etc. https://www.caconsultation.info/
This is an opportunity for residents to be involved in meeting the future needs of the village for years to come so please do respond. Also don’t forget Project Space that was launched earlier this year by the Sports Club and Croston together details can be found at: https://crostonsportsclub.co.uk/space/
If you do not receive a leaflet please do let the rector know as I am aware a number of people have not yet received them.
Croston St. Michael and All Angels
The grounds around church and our graveyard are always so well maintained and a delight for all who visit.
If you can spare a few hours each week to help with the mowing and general maintenance and tidying up please contact:
Derek Alty – tel. 600584 or email@example.com
God our saviour, look on this wounded world in pity and in power; hold us fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Lord answers Job out of the whirlwind, and reminds him of his insignificance in the order of things.
The LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements – surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? ‘Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb? – when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped”?
Paul opens his heart to the Church at Corinth as to the personal cost of his discipleship. In return, he asks them to open their hearts to him.
2 Corinthians 6.1-13
As we work together with Christ, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.
For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see – we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return – I speak as to children – open wide your hearts also.
Jesus calms the storm on Lake Galilee. The disciples are awestruck, and ask themselves who Jesus can be to have such power.
When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’
And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’
Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’
And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
Prayer after Communion
Eternal God, comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken, you have fed us at the table of life and hope: teach us the ways of gentleness and peace, that all the world may acknowledge the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.