This week’s Worship

Sunday 21st March 2021 5th Sunday of Lent (3rd Sunday)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion – Croston
11:00 am       Holy Communion – Bretherton

No Worship at Mawdesley this Sunday

 Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)

Creation is amazing isn’t it, often I find myself pondering its mysteries from gazing up into the vastness of the universe on clear night or sometimes looking at humanity, especially a new born baby and just thinking WOW we can create this.  We are after all made in the image of God, but still the mystery and wonder of God’s creation is deeper and richer than anything we could imagine or manufacture.
Much as we would like to understand all the complexity, interaction and detail we can’t, being merely human.  But creation is full of examples of new growth and life springing up from what appears on the face of it to be something devoid of life.  When I planted my daffodil bulbs all those months ago it is so hard to imagine what beautiful flowers appear in the spring.
This week our Lenten journey takes a different turn, towards Jerusalem and death, Jesus himself knew the value of death because he knew what came next. He understood how his own death would open new opportunities for the kingdom of God to bring new life to the world.  It’s not surprising his friends and followers failed to grasp his teaching about the death he was to face, how could they imagine any good coming from the loss of their Master.
Jesus’ words in the Gospel today also speak to us about our own human experience in general, often we will have to confront a loss before we fully appreciate a fruit of life we may not have seen coming our way?
These last 12 months have been so difficult, where small steps forward have often been followed by several steps backwards.  If you’re anything like me it’s at those times when we cry out questioning God, “why did this have to happen, why me, why now …..”
But that’s ok, it’s a natural part of being human and wanting to understand, it’s ok because Jesus himself asked the same question of his “Father”.  But Jesus also gives us the advice that we must trust.
As he seeks to teach, Jesus is always positive, looking to the future, urging us to grow closer to God through him.
In order to advance and move forward sometimes we must leave some things behind in order to progress and grow, but that requires trust on our part that God will take us through to another and better place.
This goes for all the little losses we experience throughout our lives, as well as the acceptance of our ultimate loss, on this earth.  But as we know even that is not the end, our trust will see us safely home, our eternal lives saved, as Jesus promised.  As Captain Sir Tom Moore reminded us “Tomorrow will be a better day”.   We are all caught up in the great mystery of creation and whilst we can’t understand everything we can all trust in the goodness of the God who continues to makes all things new in us.  Jesus encourages us to grow as disciples by following his example: uniting ourselves with him in accepting God’s will for us, if we can do that, then his promises will bear fruit in us.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)

Wishing you every blessing as we move into Passiontide.

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

 Resources – 5th Sunday of Lent
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for the 5th Sunday of Lent
3)       Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
4)       Day of Reflection Act of Prayer for use at home
5)       Day of Reflection colouring sheet for use at home
6)       Journey Through Easter with the Senses – a family resource
7)       Outdoor Easter Activity Sheets
8)       Outdoor Easter Scavenger hunt

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

John Waring

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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1st anniversary of lockdown Day of Reflection March 23rd

The Marie Curie charity has organised a National Day of Reflection this coming March 23, including a minute’s silence, to acknowledge grief and loss over this very difficult last year.   In that time over 125,000 people have died in the UK after testing positive, many more have been seriously ill, education has been disrupted and numerous jobs have been lost, people are invited to:

  • keep a silence of one minute at 12 noon on March 23rd
  • place a light or candle in your window at 8pm
    (See attached prayer & colouring sheets for use at home)

Sunday 28th March 2021 Palm Sunday of Lent (4th Sunday)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion – Croston
9:30 am      Family Worship – Mawdesley
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton

Palm Crosses will be blessed and available at all our churches on Palm Sunday throughout the day, please pop in and pick one up.

Passiontide & Holy Week resources

  • Walking the way of the cross Sign up for the Podcasts from Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, Dr Paula Gooder and Bishop Philip North launched this Sunday, sign up here:
    https://cofe-way-of-the-cross.captivate.fm/listen
  • ‘Looking Out in Lent’ our weekly online Lent course based on Marks Gospel comes to a conclusion this week on 24th March at 7 pm. Archdeacon Mark has produced this weeks video on ‘Treasuring Creation’ https://bit.ly/3r6uXmJ.
    We use Zoom for this and it will last for no more than 40 mins to join the meeting use this link:
    https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75238245809?pwd=M3VLdkFLb1U2c3E5cjZSUHN5M2pwQT09
    Meeting ID: 752 3824 5809  Passcode: SryEB5
  • 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
  • Journey Through Easter with the Senses
    This is a terrific resource for families to use at home during Holy Week, created by new engage worship team member Gemma Scharnowski (engageworship.org).
    It encourages mixed-age groups to use all their senses as they journey through the week up to Easter day, with reflection questions, activities and things to write and colour-in.
    You could use these sheets at any time, but one suggestion would be:

    • Monday – Anointing At Bethany (smell)
    • Tuesday – Washing the Disciples Feet (touch)
    • Wednesday – The Last Supper (taste)
    • Thursday – Gethsemane (hearing)
    • Friday – Jesus Crucified (sight)
    • Sunday – The Empty Tomb (all the senses)
      Feel free to share this with any families you know.

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 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 Preston Minster and is led by the Revd Sam Haigh, it can be accessed on Sunday via: https://youtu.be/KAl6i911tZw

This weeks Church of England worship marks Passion Sunday, the fifth Sunday in Lent.  The online service can be watched from 9 am: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland
or via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y-DO8iVI2E

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Baptisms to Recommence after Easter
We will be restarting baptisms after Easter but we will be complying with Covid-19 restrictions and numbers will be limited.  We will mirror the restrictions placed on Weddings which are:

No earlier than 12th April: limit 15 people excluding workers
No earlier than 17th May: limit 30 people excluding workers
No earlier than 21st June: hopefully all restrictions lifted

Note: dependent upon the government guidelines being confirmed

We will shortly be writing to all who had baptisms cancelled since the start of Covid and those who have recently made enquiries.

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’ Foodbank is in need of items such as;

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
Gracious Father, you gave up your Son out of love for the world: lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion, that we may know eternal peace through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood, Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen

First Reading
The prophet Jeremiah, speaking the word of God, castigates the people of Jerusalem for failing to listen to the Lord and provoking him to anger.
Jeremiah 31:31-34
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Second Reading
The author of the letter to the Hebrews writes of Christ, who was made perfect through suffering, and was appointed high priest.
Hebrews 5:5-10
So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’; as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

The Gospel
Some Gentile Greeks want to meet Jesus. Jesus’ response is to say that his “hour has come” and to speak of his death in terms of his own glorification.
John 12:20-33
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’  Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.
‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – “Father, save me from this hour”?   No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.   Father, glorify your name.’
Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder.  Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’  Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.  Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’  He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

Prayer after Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for you: give us the will to be the servant of others as you were the servant of all, and gave up your life and died for us, but are alive and reign, now and for ever.            Amen

 

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