This week’s Worship
Sunday 30th May 2021 Trinity Sunday (5th Sunday)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday recognised as one of the most challenging times for anyone who has to preach about our belief that God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which we call the blessed and Holy Trinity. God is Father, Jesus is also God who chose to come amongst us, as one of us, but God is also at work in the world today through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It may all sound quite straightforward but it’s easy to tie yourself up in knots trying to explain the Trinity. So this year I want to point you to a video posted last year by the team at St. James Church Sussex Gardens, which is the Parish Church of Paddington, where my friend Fr. Paul Thomas is the Vicar.
So follow this link to find out all about the Trinity, explained in a far better way that I could ever achieve.
I hope you enjoyed that!
Our image this week is Andrei Rublev’s Ikon of the Trinity, which is my favourite Ikon, it is inspired by Gen 18:1-16 where three Angels visit Abraham and Sarah and promise them a son. Rublev interprets this encounter in a Trinitarian way that invites us in to experience in a deeply personal way, rather than explain, the Trinity.
For me, as an engineer who wanted to understand and explain everything, coming to an acknowledgement that ‘God is’ was a major step in my faith. The simple fact is that either God is or God isn’t, for years as a young man I was looking for absolute rationale proof for Gods existence, but then when I came to believe, through faith that God existed it was rather liberating. For me all things then became possible for God, I could believe in the Virgin Birth, the resurrection, the work of the Holy Spirit, I then began to read scripture with a fresh insight.
I remember gazing at this Ikon and strangely feeling drawn into this gathering, which was Rublev’s intention by using reverse perspective. If we can acknowledge these three persons represent the revelation of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then this ikon invites us into that relationship and it is we that complete the circle. The focal point at the centre of the circle is God, and the three persona of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit invite us into that living loving relationship with God who is at the centre of everything.
These three angels, or persons, are all different so let us briefly consider those differences and what they might say to us.
The person on the left is the only one sitting upright, the other two incline towards him, he represents the Father. Both hands hold firmly to his stave which is pointed towards the earth and heaven, he has all authority of the heavens and the earth. The house, rising directly behind him, points to the welcoming hospitality of God “in my Father’s house are many rooms” (Jn 14:2).
The central figure represents the son whose robe of reddish brown represents the earth and his humanity. The tree that rises behind the Son is a symbol of the Tree of Life (from Genesis) and the Wood of the Cross. On the Cross the son transforms this tree of death into a tree of life whose fruits are passed on to us through our baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The figure on the right represents the Holy Spirit, which is always a challenge to define, who like the Son, is inclined towards the Father, from whom he proceeds according to Jn 15:26. Like the Son, the Spirit has an arm free which reminds us that the Son and the Spirit are equally the two “hands” of the Father, through which he works everything. Behind we see a rock protruding which in the bible is a privileged place to encounter God, just as Moses did.
This Ikon is a Trinitarian circle of love where there is always space for another, an open space in which we are invited not only to observe but to participate in this living loving relationship with God at the centre. The focal point of the picture is God who is represented by the Chalice, which reminds us that we complete this circle of communion where there is always space for others.
We (that’s you and me), are not merely spectators, we are invited and welcomed to participate as the fourth link in this mystical chain that is the revelation of God to the world. This Ikon invites us all to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist, which renews us refreshes us, so that we can then live our lives as witnesses of the resurrection who, following the example of Jesus, strive to love and serve others.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 6th June 2021 1st Sunday after Trinity (1st Sunday)
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
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Rodney Robinson, Mary Taylor
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.
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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 week’s Church of England worship for Trinity Sunday, is led by 2 friends of mine Rev Rebecca Mathew in the Diocese of Derby and
Rev Shemil Mathew, Chaplain for Oxford Brookes University
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
Baptisms to Recommence
We are now restarting baptisms in our 3 churches and we will be complying with Covid-19 restrictions and numbers will be limited, following the governments roadmap.
We will mirror the restrictions placed on Weddings which are:
Currently: limit 30 people excluding workers
No earlier than 21st June: hopefully all restrictions lifted
Note: dependent upon the government guidelines being confirmed
Please email: email@example.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 indicates that the earliest that all restrictions will be lifted is 21st June, if this is the case the period from that date through to the end of August will need to be monitored. Therefore we are not yet issuing replacement attendance records.
Confirmations 2021 Postponed
We only had a couple of people come forward for confirmation in July so we will cancel that date and book another service for late in the Autumn term. Hopefully people will have more confidence by then.
The APCM meeting at Croston took place on Monday 17th May
Hilary & Juliet were elected once again to serve as Churchwardens, we also filled most vacancies on our PCC. We do have 1 vacancy remaining and we are also looking to appoint a secretary to the PCC.
The APCM meeting at Brethertron took place on Sunday 23rd May
Chrissie and Naomi were elected once again to serve as our Churchwardens, we also now have 2 vacancies on our PCC. Paul Johnson will continue as secretary and Stephen Gregson as Treasurer.
The meeting at Mawdesley w Bispham took place on Wednesday 26th May David and John were elected once again to serve as our Churchwardens, we also now have 3 vacancies on the PCC.
Susan will continue as secretary and Barbara as Treasurer.
The traditional walks of witness in our villages and the activities around them cannot take place in their normal formats this year due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Hopefully we will be able to mark these traditional days in a safe but different way this year.
More details to follow in the weeks ahead regarding the feast of St. John the Baptist in Bretherton, Coffee Day in Croston and Tea Party Weekend in Mawdesley w Bispham.
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.
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity: keep us steadfast in this faith, that we may evermore be defended from all adversities; 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
Isaiah the prophet has a vision of the Lord. Isaiah is purified of his sins and receives the commission to be the prophet of God.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.
And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’
Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’
Paul writes that we are called to live by the Spirit of God because we are children of God and so joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ -if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
Nicodemus meets with Jesus at night. He is challenged by Jesus about the nature of spiritual birth and spiritual life and Jesus’ own role in the salvation of the world.
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Prayer after Communion
Almighty and eternal God, you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and live and reign in the perfect unity of love: hold us firm in this faith, that we may know you in all your ways and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory, who are three Persons yet one God, now and for ever. Amen.