This week’s Worship
The Baptism of Christ – 9th January 2022 (2nd Sun.)
9:15 am Family Worship, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
Wednesday 10 am Holy Communion Croston
Friday 9 am Morning prayer, Mawdesley
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
The season of Epiphany is all about the revelation of just who Jesus is and what his purpose is. The baptism of Jesus marks the start of his public ministry, here we see Jesus standing alongside ordinary people who hear the voice of God, and see that God gives him the Holy Spirit to empower him for the challenges ahead. Jesus is baptised in the same water the crowd had had been baptised in, the crowds had come with all the troubles and fears of their lives. It is significant that The baptism of Jesus is not within the religious establishment, but rather in a way that is very different from the religious norms of the day. Jesus is standing alongside the ordinary people in the desert, not with royalty in the king’s palace. This emphasises that Jesus stands alongside us in the places we feel most frail, pained, inadequate and sinful? Jesus does not remain aloof from us, judging us from on high. He comes right to where we are gathered with all our burdens and takes them up into himself, as we wait upon the Holy Spirit in prayer.
The descent of the Spirit upon Jesus is not just about Jesus, just as our baptism is not just about our personal relationship with God. We are baptized into a community, where we share together a creed, a history, and a struggle to make our faith real in the world. The Spirit calls us into community and is present in the community.
God does work in spectacular ways; but if we continually look for spectacle we most often will be frustrated. In and through his baptism by John we see Jesus making a rather anonymous entrance that the crowd missed, even though they had been “filled with expectation.” It takes the Spirit’s gift of fire to burn away the veil over our eyes and our false expectations to purify us so that we notice Jesus’ daily entrance —there among the ordinary, especially the downcast, people. During this season we see that God came amongst us, as one of us. God calls each one of us to simply be with him as he is with us in Christ Jesus. Let us all reaffirm our baptism vows, to turn away from sin, to reject evil, to turn to Christ as Saviour and to trust in him as Lord. May we all welcome the energy of God to be present in our lives and perhaps we too will then hear that quiet voice inside which tells us that God is with us and will empower us to walk the path which he has set before us.
With love & prayers.
Tel: 01772 600548, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday – 2nd Sunday of Epiphany 16th January (3rd Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:
We are following the Government & Church of England Advise
- Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
- Take regular Lateral Flow tests to protect yourself and others
- Be mindful of those who may be less confident.
- Don’t forget the Hands, Face Space guidance
- Unless exempt you must wear a face mask when attending worship in Church (Please leave your mask on whilst singing)
Faith reference cards for School Applications
The new faith reference cards for the spring term should be available in church, don’t forget to return your card for the Autumn term.
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 Church of England worship comes from St Martin-In-The-Fields and marks the 100th national online service. Intercessions are led by the online community who join from their homes each week and St Martin’s Voices lead the sung worship. Watch the service from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv20efA-6bU
St. Michaels Church Burns Night Celidh Saturday January 22nd
7pm at Croston Community Centre, Castle Walks, Tickets £15, Supper, live Band and BYO drinks for further details Call 01772 600962
Croston Riverside Path from Church to the Croft field
Closed this week
The path will be closed during working hours this week for essential maintenance work to a section of the fence and to the path itself. Notices are in place and please use one of the alternative routes.
Please do continue your support of the Food Bank
Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we begin the New Year financial pressures are increasing, and the pandemic shows no sign of easing more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will make a real difference to people’s lives.
Mawdesley Prayer Group
The Prayer Group will meet on Tuesday 11th January, at 10:45 for an 11am start. Robin Hood Cottage (Bluestone Lane, opposite Nook Lane) is the venue for this meeting, as our numbers are increasing, so we need a little more parking space. We will be discussing “Who is the Holy Spirit?’, before our prayer time, so bring Bibles to help us consider. Hope you can come and pray alongside us for our community.
We have been made aware of a problem with forms for baptisms being submitted via our Website, we are looking into this and trying to resolve the difficulties. If you have submitted a form via the website and have not heard from us please accept our apologies and if you received an acknowledgement email at the time you completed the form could you please forward that email to email@example.com.
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 on the plate or in weekly planned giving envelopes.
Any donations you could make will be greatly received and one off donations or regular giving can be made by using ‘Online banking’ facilities, the bank details you will require to do this for each church are:
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 transfer funds 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 would greatly help support our regular income.
Heavenly Father, at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son: may we recognize him as our Lord and know ourselves to be your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen
God’s people are precious in his eyes: he has formed us, redeemed us and promises his presence with us.
Thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’,
and to the south, ‘Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’
Those who had been baptised in the name of Jesus receive the gift of his Holy Spirit.
When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Someone mightier than John the Baptist is coming: the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus at his baptism and a heavenly voice declares, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”
(In the wilderness John proclaimed a baptism of repentance.) As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
Prayer after Communion
Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son: by the power of your Spirit complete the heavenly work of our rebirth through the waters of the new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen