This week’s Worship

Sunday 11th July 2021 6th Sunday after Trinity (2nd Sunday)
             9:15 am     Family Worship, 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
Herod Antipas was the youngest son of Herod the Great who, according to Matthew, murdered all the baby boys in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth, causing the Holy Family to flee into Egypt.  And Herod Antipas’ mother was a Samaritan, so Herod was never accepted as their rightful king by the people of Galilee over whom he ruled. They regarded him as an imposter, a puppet king, controlled by the Romans.  What is more, Herod had divorced his first wife in order to illegally marry Herodias, who had formerly been married to his brother Philip.  This was the relationship, denounced in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, which John the Baptist publicly condemned. That condemnation resulted in John’s arrest.
Despite John the Baptist’s denouncement of Herod’s adultery, Herod seems to have been fascinated by John.  We are told that Herod liked to listen to John and recognised John’s spirituality.  Herod was quite happy to keep John in prison where he could talk with him from time to time.  Herod’s wife Herodias was the one who resented John’s outspoken words and wanted to remove the irritation by having John executed.  Herod refused to agree, perhaps because he feared him and therefore protected him.
But Herodias spotted her opportunity, because she knew Herod’s weaknesses. It was Herod’s birthday, so celebrations in the form of a lavish birthday party for the royal court were the order of the day. As part of the entertainment, Herodias’ daughter, Salome, danced for the king, who then promised her anything.  The girl was young enough to run to her mother for advice and Herodias instructed her to request the head of John the Baptist on a plate.
Herod was stuck. His promise to the girl had been loud, public and proud, enabling his wife to neatly back him into a corner.  Either he kept his promise and had John executed, or he lost face with his guests.  Since it was dangerous for a ruler to show any signs of weakness, Herod chose to keep his promise.  But it did not end there.
When people began to talk about Jesus and his amazing powers, Herod’s first thought was that John the Baptist had come back to haunt him.  Herod was distressed by his own actions.  His pride and vanity had held him captive so that he had done something he did not want to do.  And the distress caused by his actions remained with him.
How often does our own pride and vanity hold us captive resulting in us doing something we really did not want to do?  We know when we have done something wrong and it can cause us great distress that remains with us.  The only way to avoid the distress caused by this sort of sin is to learn humility, just as Jesus showed us through his death on the cross.  Jesus refused to defend himself no matter what happened to him.  The sin of pride often has distressing consequences which do not easily depart from us.  Through his death on the cross Jesus showed us the way of humility, the only way to loosen pride’s grip.
Perhaps we too need to discover humility in ourselves.

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

Sunday 18th July 2021 7th Sunday after Trinity (3rd Sunday)
             9:15 am     Holy Communion, Croston

11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley

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 comes from St Mary de Crypt Church at Discover Decrypt, Gloucester, Rev Canon Dr Sandra Millar will lead our worship.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
John Mayor
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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Croston Village Place plan (Blackburn Diocese).
More leaflets have now been printed and distributed throughout Croston.  Please do take this opportunity to be involved in meeting the future needs of the village.
The information on the leaflet can be accessed online at:

https://www.caconsultation.info/

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/

Notice of Croston Graveyard Inspection – August 2021
We are required to conduct an annual inspection of the headstones in our graveyard, this will be undertaken during August and the inspection will follow the relevant Diocesan procedures. If you would like to speak to someone, would like to give us your contact details or have any concerns please contact Revd Michael at the church or by emailing revmwoods@gmail.com

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 derek_alty@sky.com

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.

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: We have been overwhelmed by requests for baptisms so it is taking us some time to respond to all enquires.
Please email: revmwoods@gmail.com 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.


The Collect
Creator God, you made us all in your image: may we discern you in all that we see,
and serve you in all that we do; through Jesus Christ our Lord.       Amen

First Reading
Amos asserts that he is not a “paid” prophet who has to earn his bread. Rather he is a prophet called by God to leave his farming work in order to prophesy to the people of Israel.
Amos 7.7-15
This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand.  And the LORD said to me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A plumb-line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘See, I am setting a plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.’
Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.  For thus Amos has said, “Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.”’  And Amaziah said to Amos, ‘O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.’  Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Second Reading
Paul praises God for all the blessings he has shown us and the gifts he offers us in and through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1.3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.  God destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of God’s will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of God who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.
In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people to the praise of his glory.

The Gospel
We hear the story of the execution of John the Baptist on the orders of Herod Antipas.
Mark 6.14-29
King Herod heard of the healings and other miracles, for Jesus’ name had become known.  Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’  But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’
But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’  For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her.  For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’  And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him.  But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him.  When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.   But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee.  When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’
And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’  She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’
She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’  Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptizer on a platter.’
The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.  Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head.  He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl.  Then the girl gave it to her mother.  When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, whose Son is the true vine and the source of life, ever giving himself that the world may live: may we so receive within ourselves the power of his death and passion that, in his saving cup, we may share his glory and be made perfect in his love; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.    Amen

 

 

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