This week’s Worship

Mothering Sunday (4th of Lent) – 27th March (4th Sun.)
                                9:15 am     Holy Communion, Croston
9:30 am    Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
Wednesday              10:00 am      Holy Communion, Croston
Friday                      9:00 am      Morning prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Any Mother will tell you just how challenging and unpredictable motherhood can be, of course there are many joys, but there is also a great deal of sacrifice involved.  Motherhood is fuelled by the deep love for her child, but then, because of that love comes all the anxiety, fatigue and heartache that continues even when they  loss when they fly the nest.  Across the world today, not just in Ukraine there will be many Mothers who are bearing the heartache of mourning their child.  In today’s Gospel reading Mary presents Jesus in the temple, as was their custom, perhaps her thoughts went back to when Gabriel addressed her as the “favoured one”, being the bearer of God’s Son (Luke 1:28), and how blessed she had felt then (Luke 1:48).  But the prophet Simeon foretold that with this blessing would come hardship and sacrifice, warning that a sword would pierce her own heart (Luke 2:35).   Simeon was of course referring to the death of Jesus upon the cross when Mary will encounter the worst pain of all: the death of her child.  Mary probably didn’t appreciate the significance of Simenon’s prediction, but the time would come when despite his own pain on the cross, Jesus remained acutely aware of his mother’s distress, hence his appeal to the beloved disciple to become a son to her.  Indeed, Jesus did not just sympathise with his own mother’s suffering but seems to have appreciated the love of mothers for their children in general, recognising how this causes them to suffer with and for their offspring: en route to his crucifixion, Jesus passed many weeping women.  He told them to stop crying for him and weep instead for themselves.  By leaving Mary in the beloved disciple’s care, Jesus also ensured that her maternal love would continue for someone else.  Jesus also expected new kinds of families to be built within the Church, not dependent upon biological ties but upon a shared faith and a shared love. He described those who do the will of God as his brother, sister and mother (Mark 3:35).  He also promised that those who left family for the sake of the Gospel would be rewarded with hundredfold brothers, sisters, mothers and children (Mark 10:29-30) which all demonstrates the importance of the church family.  The strong bond of motherhood brings struggles and sacrifice as well as joy, which is all intensified for those who have to face losing a child.  For some people Mothering Sunday is a difficult and challenging time, but the beloved disciple’s adoption of Mary is an example of great hope, for it shows that the Church can offer support as a family too.  On Mothering Sunday we remember all who have mothered us, not just our biological mothers but anyone of any sex who has cared and supported us, and we are encouraged to fulfil such roles ourselves for others.  So perhaps the next time we hear of someone struggling with a rebellious teenager or we see a toddler throw a tantrum during the service, we may hesitate before criticising and try desperately to see those struggling as our daughters, sons, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers etc. and offer our love, prayer and support.  In the church family, Christians have plenty of opportunities to both give and receive support as the beloved disciple did in his relationship with Mary. Within the Church family, the body of Christ there are no outsiders any longer, but we are all part of God’s family, let us support each other.  No Christian should be isolated and alone but instead should be part of a loving network of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, who are all receiving and giving love.

With love & prayers.                   Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Next Sunday – 5th Sunday of Lent – 3rd April (1st Sun.)

8:00 am           BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am           Family Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am            Holy Communion, Croston
11:00: am            Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Mawdesley Prayer Group, Tues. 29th March 10:45 for 11am start.
Meet at Robin Hood Cottage (Bluestone Lane, opposite Nook Lane) Hope you can come and join us.  Please bring a Bibles and the “signs of life” booklets which we’ll be using as a basis for study during Lent.

Please be Vigilant
Flagstone thefts from churches in the Northwest
Please keep an extra watch over the churches
and report any suspicious activity to the police
immediately, also take a note of number plates.

 


Confirmations 2022 at St. Michael’s Church Sat. 14th May
Please pray for our candidates as they continue preparation.

Alexander, Connie, Martha, Matty, Ruby & Sophie


Daily Lenten devotions
Signs of Life – Follow us online each day during lent as we journey with Jesus through Johns Gospel, booklets are also available in church.

Google – #LiveLent 2022: Embracing Justice
Offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a prayer, as well as a practical challenge linked to the week’s theme. An accompanying child’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together.

 

 

Please do continue your support of the Food Bank

Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we all hear in the news financial pressures are increasing and more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will continue to make a real difference to people’s lives.

 

Covid Guidance Thankfully the high infection rates are receding but:

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • We are no longer required to wear face masks but please be mindful of those who may be less confident and choose to wear a mask.

 

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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 weeks Church of England worship on the 4th Sunday of Lent is from Canterbury Diocese.  Rev Dr Jonathan Arnold, Director of Communities and Partnerships will be leading the service,
and Darren Howie, Founding Director of Sacred Bean Coffee, Derby will be preaching on ‘Justice as Encounter.’
You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wFS-UC3Gtk

 

Croston Palm Sunday Worship 10th April
blessing of Palms 9:45am outside
We will then process (with Donkeys) to the Croft field and back, followed by Eccumenical worship at 10:30 am at Trinity Methodist Church.

Afternoon Holy Communion 4:30 pm
at St. Michaels

St. Michael & All Angels
Childrens Sunday Club every 1st and 3rd Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Ella Snape, Roy Worthington
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory. 

Dates for funerals

Roy Worthington 3:30 pm, Tuesday 29th March, St. Peters

 

St. Peters School Lenten Crosses
The Children at St. Peters School are trying to keep ‘Lenten Promises’ and have made and decorated  some cross cards, please do take one and pray for our young people that they may keep their promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A prayer for Ukraine:

Almighty God, seated above all the affairs of humankind
and sovereign over nations and leaders,
hear our prayer for Ukraine at this time of war,
that lives may be spared,
that national boundaries be respected
and that forces of aggression be restrained.
Grant, Lord God, peace in your world in our time.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Also pray for the people of Russia
that they may be freed from this ruthless dictator.

Humanitarian Disaster – ways to support for the people of Ukraine
See our Facebook page and posters in Church for ways to support this locally.  The disasters and emergency committee appeal can be found at: www.dec.org.uk which is an effective way to offer your support.


The Collect
God of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.           Amen

First Reading
Moses’ mother and sister save his life.
Exodus 2.1-10
A man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman.
The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months.
When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.  The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it.
When she opened it, she saw the child.
He was crying, and she took pity on him, ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’
Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother.  Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’
So the woman took the child and nursed it.
When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because,’ she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’

Second Reading
Paul and his readers share suffering and consolation.
2 Corinthians 1.3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.
If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering.
Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

The Gospel
Soon after Jesus’ birth, Simeon warns Mary of the trauma that lies ahead for her.
Luke 2.33-35
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Jesus.
Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

Prayer after Communion
Loving God, as a mother feeds her children at the breast you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life: help us who have tasted your goodness to grow in grace within the household of faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen

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