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Street Theatre

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STREET THEATRE EVANGELISTIC/APOLOGETIC Work in Taunton Town Centre.

Please contact Stephen Perks on 01823 665909 if you are interested in taking part in some street theatre, and also talking to by-standers about what they are seeing.

 

Late Night Thursday Opening

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As opening the Church last Thursday for the Christmas Shoppers was such a success we would like to do repeat it again this week (6.30pm and 8.30pm).

Please could you help with this? We need servers and listeners to man the Church.

We also need the gift of cakes.

If you are able to help please complete the signup sheet at the back of Church.

 

Deadline for Chocolate Collection

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A reminder that the deadline for collection of the “mini” or “fun” sized chocolate bars for the TCT Christmas Give-Away Event is 10th December.

Please place your donations of chocolate bars in the box at the back of Church.

Thank you!

 

Mulled Wine and Mince Pies

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MULLED WINE – We are looking for a volunteer to make the mulled wine for after the Carol Service on the 23rd December (wine and ingredients provided). If you feel you can help, please speak to one of the wardens.

MINCE PIES – If you can provide some mince pies for after the Carol Service on 23rd December please would you add your name to the list at the back of Church.

 

Waiting – Creation

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The Reading:  Romans 8:18-25 

… the creation waits with eager longing …” (v. 19) RSV

Has it ever occurred to you that the greatest ecological crisis is caused not by carbon emissions but by our spiritual sins – our rebellion against God?  Our passage today indicates that all creation has been groaning (v.22), waiting to be released from “its bondage to decay” (v.21).

This process has been depicted for us in the story of creation.  In Genesis, the Fall of Adam and Eve resulted in (amongst other things) the cursing of the ground: “thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you” (Gen. 3:18).  Now, Genesis gives us a theological account of creation, not a scientific one.  It explains the significance of what has happened.

Genesis therefore explains that angels, and man and animals and trees and rocks and the weather are all intertwined.  So when one moves out of step it affects all the others.  Hence human rebellion has knocked all of creation off-kilter.

Creation is longing for restoration, but it won’t finally know it until it passes through its own death and resurrection.  One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1).  Until then creation waits for the salvation of the human race.  It waits.  There is nothing else it can do.  Meantime the earth witnesses to the glory of God.

If we are bothered about this beautiful but broken world, then we need to join the ranks of those who are saved.  We need to move onto the side of Jesus and walk in harmony with him.

Of course we should in every way try to save the planet, but nothing we do will be as effective as walking in step with the Creator.  “… the creation waits with eager longing …” (v.19) for us to do so.

Lord, life is a great mystery.  Thank you for the world that you have created.  May I help its salvation by walking in harmony with you.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  What did God tell us to do with creation?

    Genesis 1:26,28   Genesis 2:15

Special Service at Wells Cathedral

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MONDAY 26 November 12 noon – In the light of General Synod’s decision this week to reject the proposals for the consecration of women to the episcopate, there will be a special service at Wells Cathedral. It will take the form of some time and space in which all can gather to pause, pray, reflect, and listen to God together, around a Eucharist. This invitation is for all to come, whether you are clergy or lay, supporters or opponents of the proposals. It will be an opportunity to reflect on what has happened, and also to start to look forward to the bridgebuilding and the commitment to care for each other that the Archbishop has called for in his response to Wednesday’s vote. We very much hope this will be an occasion for anyone who is free to come to attend.

Congratulations Paul!

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Our Curate, Paul, will be moving to the Midlands in January to take up the position of Vicar of in the Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul, Water Orton, on the north east edge of Birmingham. The date of his institution is likely’ to be the 11th February at 7.00 pm. He has written of his forthcoming appointment: “I consider myself fortunate to have been selected for this position and very much look forwards to it with a degree of trepidation. I have also enjoyed my time in Taunton and so there will also be that sense of sadness as I move on. The parish I am going to would describe itself as evangelical in nature having two morning services, the first more traditional and the second more informal with a music band.”

We congratulate Paul on his future prospects and are sure he will accomplish a rich ministry in his future parish.  No doubt some form of transport will be organised so that a crowd from St Mary’s can support him on the day of his institution.

Waiting – The Farmer

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The Reading:  James 5:7-11 

“… the farmer waits for the precious fruit …” (v. 7) RSV

“Be patient” (v.7) says St James.  God’s times are not our times.  We are impatient for answers to prayer.  We want God to act now and to sort everything out.  Ultimately we want our Saviour to come, get rid of sin and evil, suffering and death.  We want, in other words, “the coming of the Lord” (v.7).

But James wisely points out that life is not like that.  Nature itself teaches us that things happen in their season and not before.  We cannot rush the growth of plants or of animals.  “… the farmer waits for the precious fruit” (v.7).  Of course if the farmer has not ploughed and harrowed, planted and tended then he can wait as long as he likes, but no fruit will ever come.

Patience is required after we have done all we can.  God will not bless inactivity and irresponsible super-spirituality.  He blesses those who have endeavoured to help themselves.

But we know there are times when having done all we can, and we still cry out for God.  “Where are you?” we plead.  “Why do you not answer my prayers?” we cry.  This is when our faith grows through the exercise of patience.

We need to learn (and it is learning through practice) to contain our souls in patience.  The farmer knows that the fruit will eventually come, that is why he is able to wait.  We too need to believe that ultimately God, through Jesus, will come.  He has promised to provide food and clothing, and all things needful for life.  It must therefore grieve his heart when we grumble and complain both to God and to other people.  Such lack of faith is no testimony to the God of promises.  Let us develop serenity and trust, accepting God’s timing.

Thank you Lord for the wonders of nature.  Thank you that the birds do not strive and that the grass grows.  Help me to learn from them.  Amen. 

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1  What do we learn from the birds of the air?

    Matthew 6:25-26

2   What do we learn from the lilies of the filed?

    Matthew 6:28-29

Close Encounters of a New Kind

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Service:  10:00 am Holy Communion

Preacher:  Revd Dennis Cavaghan

Readings: Hebrews 10:1-14, 19-25 and Mark 13:1-8

Jesus has brought us out of the Old Testament into a new and living encounter with God.  Yet many Christians live a sub New Testament life with God distant and priests needed to bring God closer.  We need to lay hold of all the privileges Jesus has won for us; let us be “more than conquerors”.

 

Women Bishops

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Next week General Synod meets and Bishop Peter Price has asked us to pray for this event. The vote about women and the Episcopate takes place on Tuesday 20th November which is the reason for this additional meeting. Whatever the result there will be those who feel joy and those who are distressed. Bishop Peter also mentions the transition that the Church is going through with our new Archbishop Justin preparing to take up his new post and asks us all to pray for that as well.

Worlds Aids Day

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On Saturday 1st December we remember those affected by the Aids/HIV virus, something that is less news worthy today, but still impacting on many people’s lives including our own Country. The theme for this year is Zero. Zero to new infections and Zero to discrimination.

Soup will be served from 12.30-1.30pm followed by a Time of Reflection at 1.40pm.

Names will be read out at 2.15pm and there will be Holy Communion at 2.30pm.

All monies raised will go to the Terrence Higgings Trust (Taunton), who provide information and support across the South West for anyone affected by HIV/AIDS.