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Pentecost – Togetherness

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 The Reading: Acts 2:1-4

“They were all together in one place” (v.1) RSV

Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit. They were much encouraged through his post resurrection appearances over a 40 day period. But now they are huddled together, fearful (“behind locked doors for fear of the Jews”), yet expectant and prayerful.

Our most effective praying is done when we are together, together especially in heart and mind. It is no use meeting if we are at loggerheads and cannot agree. Love covers a multitude of differences (age, brain-power, theology, priorities, etc). We need to be united in mutual respect and agreed upon what we are praying for.

When we meet together to pray we do not need to be few or many, but simply in harmony. We do not need to pray aloud or use set prayers or be lengthy or brief. These things depend on time and aptitude. But we need to be united in common prayer, letting our request be made known to God.

Do you pray with others? Sunday worship is one opportunity. A home group is another.

Maybe even prayer expressed on a shared website is acceptable to God. Do you pray with anyone in your family?

The disciples were “all” together. There may have been about 120 persons (see Acts 1:15). I can’t imagine the quieter ones leading in prayer, nor the women (at that time). The prayer did not make God send the Holy Spirit, but it brought them into line with God’s purposes, and allowed him to move in great power among them.

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your fellowship with the Father and the Son. Thank you for that example of heavenly harmony. May we know that harmony on earth.

Amen. 

Explore More

1 What are some of the benefits of meeting together?

Hebrews 10:23-25

2 What word is the key for fellowship?

John 13:34-35

3 Even husband and wife need that love.

1 Peter 3:7

Trinity Sunday

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Sunday 26th May – Trinity Sunday— the day when we explore what it means to worship a Trinitarian God.

A classic definition of the Trinity is:

The Trinity defines God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; “one God in three persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature”.

A nature is what one is, while a person is who one is.

Join us as we explore this further.

Rod

A Very Special Weekend

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Away Day 18-05-13 -DSCF9734_mini

Last weekend was very special indeed.  Starting on Saturday 18th May, the PCC Away Day at the Mill House was encouraging. We basked in the sunshine in beautiful surroundings. In the afternoon, the PCC discussed updating the Coffee Shop area and several suggestions were put forward.

 

Fr Frank & pulpit-7x2-IMG_2971_mini

At our 10:00am service on Sunday, Fr. Frank preached powerfully on “The Holy Spirit”. If you missed his sermon you can hear it again on our Sermons page.  He has now returned to The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka taking with him our warm greetings.

Peter Price 19-5-13 -DSC_8211_mini

At 5.30pm Margaret Caddick and her hard working team produced a cream tea to greet Bishop Peter Price as he came to preach at the service held to commemorate the centenary of the Taunton & Somerset Music, Drama & Dance.  The worship which followed was rich and spiritually uplifting.  We pray for Peter and Dee that they adjust comfortably to a well earned retirement in June.

Rod

Highlights of these and other activities of this special weekend can be seen in our ‘Bumper Pentecost Weekend’ video!

‘JUST A BITE’ – MOTHERS’ UNION

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Meets in St Mary Magdalene Church on the first Wednesday of every month at 2.00pm and all are welcome.

More details from Marlene Phillips 01823 282486 (please contact Rosemary Sage 01823 276797 during June and July).

He Who Sings Prays Twice

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Bishop Peter Price-7x2-19-5-13-IMG_2995_mini

Rt. Revd Peter Price preaching at St Mary’s

Service:  6:30pm Festival Centenary Service – Celebrating 100 years of Taunton Dance, Drama and Music.

Preacher:  Bishop Peter Price, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells

After a welcome tea of jam and scones the Rt. Revd Peter Price, our Diocesan Bishop joined us for one of his last engagements before retiring in June.  We have benefited so much from his leadership, wisdom, preaching and support over the last eleven years and here he speaks on the divinity of music.

Birth of the Church

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Fr Frank pulpit-7x2-IMG_2969_mini

Father Frank Hakoola, City Canon/Priest at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia preaching at St Mary’s

Service:  10:00 am Holy Communion

Preacher:  Father Frank Hakoola

Readings:  Acts 2: 1-21 & John 14: 8-17, 25-27

The arrival of the Spirit changed the frightened disciples into a group bold to witness and to be the people of God.  The same Spirit can change us into His witnesses today.

Pentecost – The Promise

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The Reading: Acts 1:4-9

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness …” (v.8) RSV

Power to do what? Or even, power to be what? Power to be a good witness for Jesus and his Gospel. This will require both ‘doing’ and ‘being’; it may even require ‘speaking’. We are witnesses whether we like it or not. Our lives witness to who we are and what we are. Despite what we claim to believe, our lives will speak of what we truly believe.

Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will make our lives match up to our profession of belief. He will give us a new heart, new desires, new perspectives and new motivations. If we allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts day by day (through worship, praise and prayer) he will make us into good witnesses.

Witnessing is not primarily about speaking, but about being and doing. Jesus was not impressed by those who only called him “Lord, Lord”, but those who did the will of the Father. Someone once wrote: “It is better to be and not to speak, than to speak and not to be.”

So, the ‘power’ that Jesus promises is the power to be a witness for him. The main ingredient for those first witnesses was ‘boldness’. Something needed to drive them out from their church building, that is the Upper Room, and out into the world. The Holy Spirit comes to embolden us and free us from the fear of consequences and failure. Just go and live it out, and be prepared to give a reason for the hope within you.

Lord Jesus, help me first to know what you have promised, and secondly to be able to believe your promises. Thank you that you have promised all things necessary to living a life that pleases you and blesses others. Amen

 Explore More

1 What else does Jesus promise the Holy Spirit will provide for you and his church?

John 14:26, John 16:13

2 What does Jesus promise the Holy Spirit will do for the world?

John 16:8-11

Day of Pentecost

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Pentecost Banner Church 7x2-IMG_0340_mini

Pentecost (Whit Sunday) is when we remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem just as Jesus had promised.

It is a delight to see the Pentecost banner once more looking so splendid.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4

Thanksgiving Evening Service with Bishop Peter Price

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We are thrilled that Bishop Peter Price is coming to a special evening service of thanksgiving this Pentecost Sunday at 6:30 pm to celebrate the centenary of the Taunton and Somerset Music Dance and Drama Festival.  Musicians from all over Taunton will converge on St. Mary’s to lift our worship to new heights.  Bishop Peter will preach.

This will be one of Peter+ last engagements and, he should be with us for scones and jam from 5.30pm onwards.

If you would like to come to the tea – simply sign up at the back of Church to help us with the catering numbers.

Sunday 19th May – we look forward to seeing you.

Fr Frank Visits

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Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka, Zambia

Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka, Zambia

This Pentecost Sunday at our 10:00 am Communion service, we welcome Fr. Frank Hakoola, City Canon/Priest at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia.

Fr Frank works with Fr. Charley at the cathedral and will be preaching for us today.

We are delighted to welcome him.

 

Two Teas on Pentecost Sunday

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On this Sunday afternoon, 19th May,  Rod and Rita host the Welcome Tea at the Vicarage. If you have joined us recently do come along. They would love the opportunity to meet you

Welcome Tea - 452050_time_for_tea_1Then follows another tea!

We are having jam and scones at the back of Church to greet the Rt. Revd Peter Price, our Diocesan Bishop. Peter retires in June and this is one of his last engagements. We have benefited so much from his leadership, wisdom, preaching and support over the last eleven years. Peter is preaching at a special service at 6.30pm to celebrate 100 years of Taunton Dance, Drama and Music. We have singers and musicians coming from afar to help us worship God and celebrate. Do come!