PARISH NEWSLETTER

Sunday 10th January 2021

The Baptism of the Lord

Some ancient and poetic words to help us begin to understand and reflect upon this remarkable event in Jesus’ life at the beginning of his public ministry:

‘Come then and see new and astounding miracles: the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man.

Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day. Then the water of the flood destroyed the human race, but now the water of baptism has recalled the dead to life by the power of the one who was baptized. In the days of the flood the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odour of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a dove, reveals the Lord of mercy’. (St Proclus of Constantinople)

As we enter lockdown 3 although public worship may continue in some circumstances, your Churchwardens, deputies and I have considered carefully whether we should do this in our churches here, and with great regret we have concluded we cannot offer public worship and sufficiently ensure the safety of those who might attend at this time of heightened risk of the transmission of the virus. We concluded that it was paramount to keep our folk safe. We will review this decision at the end of the month for February.  This has been an agonising decision to take given the progress made in recent months, but we hope you will understand the reasons for it.  We shall continue to provide a service online through the website, and to provide information about how to access prayers, reflections and sacred music.Each Sunday a service will be streamed on the website at 10.00:

www.stmichaels-stokenham.co.uk

Thank you! To all those who decorated our churches with flowers candles and other decorations so beautifully for the slightly more restrained celebration of Christmas 2020.  Thank you too to those who have overcome ‘stage nerves’ to read on camera, provide videos for the carol service, clean our churches and launder the linen.  Thank you too, to Steve Collier for helping us with the broadcasts. Despite the strange isolation of the times, our churches are very much still open for prayer and worship, and as a hub to broadcast services to those who must remain at home for a while longer. You are all very much still held in our prayers.

St Michael's and St Martin's will be open to all for private prayer and reflection each Sunday. We will be doing this between 10.00am - 12.00noon at St Michael's and 10.00am – 4.00pm at St Martins on Sundays. You are very welcome to come in for any period, however short. Bring your prayers, for others, for our world and for yourself, your Bible, and most importantly, an intention to simply be in God's presence.

Morning and Evening Prayer: On Wednesdays from Wednesday 13th January at 9.00am & 6.30pm by Zoom.  This form of prayer gives a much needed rhythm to the day, and frames our waking and our sleeping and seeks to bless and redeem all that comes between!  It comprises psalms, a Canticle and some prayers and lasts about 20 minutes. You do not need to bring anything or to have any previous experience and the words will be given you on screen. Do give it try and there will be a little time for a chat afterwards. The meeting ID is 560-019-2609. and the password is 1HBHiQ.

Also, said daily normally (except Wednesdays) at 9.00am & 6.00pm by Fr Michael with prayers for Parish and People. Please join him at these times in your homes. You might like to use the Form of Morning and Evening Prayer for Ordinary Time which is available on the website, or your own Book of Common Prayer.

Reading the scriptures:

If you would like to use some notes to help you make a daily short reading of the Bible and reflect on it then you might try Bible Alive (a Roman Catholic publication but follows our daily and Sunday cycle of readings) at https://www.alivepublishing.co.uk/publications/bible-alive/ or

Bible Reading Fellowship

https://www.brf.org.uk/

'Daily Hope' is a free phone line of hymns, reflections, and prayers. Now that we have begun public worship again and have the streamed service online, the weekly reflection has come to a natural end. But those unable to join us in either way can access this free telephone line to hear hymns, daily prayers, and reflections: 0800 804 804

Our prayers this week for:

Bishop Nick …a greater sense of our planet as a common home for all  creation…growth in our Churches…Kingsbridge Area Foodbank …those who find lockdown difficult…young people, school children and teachers…the depressed, lonely and anxious... our home communicants......all who have asked our prayers including the sick and among them Gill and Trevor Moore, Jean Flawn, Bobby Parsons, Dick Lloyd, Gill Mickel, Evelyn Hedger, Keith and Jackie Rollinson, Katherine Yandell, Jamie Cooke and Marjorie Godden.. those who have died recently, and among them Carlene Whittington and Judy Foss…those whose anniversaries we keep at this time and among them Thomas Dorling, Muriel Bishop, Colin Arundell, Samuel Hannaford, Marina Trout, Arthur Spedding, Emma Cooke and Dorothy Hutchings.

Visiting & Home Communions

I am very sorry that I will have to suspend home visits and home communions for the time being. I will of course visit in extreme circumstances, provided it is safe to do so. Those at home are always included in our Parish prayers, at the Eucharist, and in my own prayers.

If you would like to contact me about any personal or pastoral matter please do so, I should be very happy to help you. Please leave a message on my phone 01548 580908 or send me an email.

Your Church is still here for you, please know we are praying for you, for those in need, and for all those you love. Please do get in touch if there is anyone or anything I can pray for or if I can help you in any way.

With my prayers and very best wishes

Fr Michael

Priest in Charge: Fr Michael Berrett, The Vicarage, Stokenham, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2ST 01548 580908 mvberrett@gmail.com

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