Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is the last weekly bulletin during the great 50 days of the Easter season which concludes with the feast of Pentecost on Sunday 31st May. It seems a bit ironic that as we continue to live within the slightly relaxed guidance of lockdown we will be praying for the gift of the Spirit to send us out to proclaim the Good News. But as we have come to realise during these last couple of months the church is not confined to our buildings no matter how important they are to us. But the Holy Spirit is multifaceted, which see in this week’s readings, it is both strong and powerful and yet it can also be calming and peaceful. So as lockdown for so many continues we pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit as we live with continuing uncertainty for some time to come. There is endless speculation about how we can be released from the current restrictions and we are seeing different guidance for each part of our United Kingdom, and there is even talk of very local differences in an attempt to beat down this virus.
Many are beginning to ask how will we get through this? Will life ever return to normal? If not what will it look like? We all need to be careful that we don’t end up living in a state of constant worry and anxiety about what is to come. Revd Ian Dewar is hospital chaplain at Lancaster and Morecambe bay trust (previously he was chaplain at St. Catherine’s Hospice) and Ian reflects on the words of Viktor Frankl, a Jewish, Austrian Psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz Ian writes. ‘‘We need to come out of this pandemic, but not as survivors. Frankl came out of Auschwitz not as a survivor but as a man with purpose, becoming a writer and developing a theory of psychiatry. In his own words: ‘It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future.’ We need what I would call an Ethics of Hope, or what St. Paul might describe as; ‘suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces hope.’ The world is in fear and it is not going to get better anytime soon. It needs to have hope and hope is a choice.”
Brothers and sisters we are a people of hope and we must not lose sight of that during these challenging times, but Jesus hasn’t left us helpless and alone he sends his Spirit to be with us always, so let us pray in confidence and trust, Come Holy Spirit.
God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people.
And kindle in us the fire of your love.
Please remember the recently departed souls of:
Brian Bennett & Stephen Barry Sutton.
May they rest in the eternal peace of Christ.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile: 07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources – Pentecost
Attached to this email are:
1) The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2) The Prayer and worship at home sheet for this week
Coronavirus Village support groups
Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
There will be a Worship Video on Sunday mornings at 10 am.
Mid week there will be worship/reflection every evening at 7 pm.
Join in personal daily prayer using the resources on the Church of England Website at:
Or you can download the ‘Daily Prayer’ App to your phone or tablet.
The church of England posts on Facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this Sunday its an impressive line up!
His Holiness Pope Francis will take part in the Pentecost service, alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, and a number of other senior UK church leaders..
The3churches YouTube Channel
We now have a YouTube channel for the3churches – our Sunday services will now be uploaded for 10 am each Sunday.
Access the videos by searching for ‘the3churches youtube’ on your search engine or the3churches directly on YouTube or follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdXC7P9kQ3xEk_kKf5JZE-A
The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched Daily Hope, which offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Please continue to support the Food Banks
In Croston – the foodbank is very grateful for your regular donations to them please do continue to drop items off at either 19, Highfield Rd or 32, Westhead Rd. There are regular runs to the Food Bank.
In Bretherton – The box will remain at the gate, 154 South Road.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date!
In Mawdesley – we have been giving donations of money rather than food which gives the foodbank flexibility to buy what they need at specific times. Any donations can be dropped at Robin Hood Cottage, Bluestone Lane, Mawdesley, L40 2RG (opposite Nook Lane), cheques should be made payable to ‘Ormskirk Food Bank’ these will then be delivered to the Food bank on a regular basis. Eggs are also available from Robin Hood Cottage (thanks to Rosemary & the hens of course)
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our local food banks and all the other good causes at this time.
Could you make a donation to support Church?
All our churches rely upon the generous donations of our parishioners to provide the financial support that both maintain our buildings and provide care and support to all those in the local community.
Although some use standing orders or other methods of online giving, many donors use cash, either in the plate or in weekly planned giving envelopes. As good stewards, although at present we are unable to meet together in our church buildings, but we are still the church and together we share the privilege and responsibility of ensuring that the ministry can go on and we can continue to be a symbol of God’s presence in our local communities.
Even though the doors of the buildings are presently closed, there are many ways of giving to support our local churches and we will explore these over the coming weeks. We can make donations or send our regular giving using ‘Online banking’ facilities, the bank details you will require to do this are given below for each church:
Bretherton – St. John the Baptist
St. Johns Bretherton PCC Account, No: 10031333, Sort code: 16 17 41
Croston – St. Michael & All Angels
St. Michaels PCC Account, No. 11215462, Sort Code 16-17-41
Also if you have no facility to pay electronically, envelopes can be dropped off with our Treasurer Derek Alty, 12 Lostock Road, Croston.
Mawdesley w Bispham St. Peter
Mawdesley PCC Account, No 87032805, Sort code 60 24 02.
If you decide to make a donation electronically you may be given the opportunity to set up a standing order, which will be far easier for us ensuring that we will have a more regular income.
Collect’s & Reading’s for Pentecost Sunday
God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Holy Spirit equips the disciples to witness to Jesus.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The Spirit gives the Church all the gifts it needs to do its work for Jesus.
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body Jews or Greeks, slaves or free and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Jesus promises that believers will become like rivers full of the thirst-quenching water of the Spirit.
It was evening on the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
Prayer after Communion
Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal: open our lips by your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen