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Shelterbox for the Philippine Disaster

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We have all seen the dreadful disaster in the Philippines. Today and next week there are buckets at the back of Church for the relief fund. The money will go via Shelterbox who provide emergency tents (You may remember when we had one in Church). We have been approached also by the Pilipino Community in Taunton. They are sending blankets, towels, toiletries, small size clothes, and small size shoes themselves and asked if we could help provide items. Please bring them to church next week.

Thursday Late Night Shopping

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StMM Church - IMG_0227

On Thursday evenings in December it is late night shopping in Taunton. We hope to open the church and invite folk in out of the cold – showing them some Christian love and care.

Would you like to help with this?

Please sign up at the back of church for the first evening on 5th December.

Boiler Update

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Good News - questionnaire-3-1395674-mWe now have raised £15,500 towards the cost of the new boiler!

A big thanks to everyone. Not only will we be warm but we will have reduced our carbon footprint significantly and have reduced running costs.

Thank you to Angela, Caroline and Mick, our Church Wardens, who have worked very hard to sort this out quickly.

I would like to say that everyone has shown great forbearance. The Coffee Shop has kept going and we haven’t had to close the church. We were most blessed with a spell of mild weather.

Craft Stalls

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On the morning of Saturday 30th November we shall be holding craft stalls in church for those who have made things for sale.

Tekna will also be offering Christmas craft activities for children in the church at the same time.

If you would like to have space to sell your goods in order to raise money for the Organ Fund please contact Sheila or Mick Polley.

Christianity Explored

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Bible with magnifying glass - 643698_jesus_weptWe are half way through Christianity Explored and folk are really enjoying it. We hope to run another course soon, perhaps in an afternoon. Look out for it.

 

Joint Benefice

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There have been no formal objections to the proposed benefice between St. Mary Magdalene and St. John the Evangelist. We have been given a provisional time and date – 6.30pm 3rd April – for a service to celebrate our new union.

 

Wheelchair Needed

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The church wheelchair is becoming difficult to push and very heavy and awkward to manhandle when putting it folded into a car. Does anyone have, or know of someone, who has a wheelchair they no longer use which is more manageable, or where we could purchase a used chair? If you can help please speak to one of the Churchwardens or contact the Office.

 

Gardening & Maintenance

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TIM our caretaker also does gardening and maintenance at very reasonable rates.

A contribution to church funds will be made from any work gained from church members.

If you are interested call Tim on 07572371339.

 

The Storms of Life – Authority

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 The Reading: Mark 5:21-24, 25-34, 35-43

“Little girl, I say to your arise.” (v.41) RSV

Last week’s thoughts may have been a bit of a bombshell to your understanding of the Christian walk. Indeed it may have even seemed blasphemous. But remember that Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the received theology of his day. It is a shock to many a devout believer that we are not mere servants who don’t know what our Master is doing, but are heirs, sons, princes. We have the authority of the Master to do his work, yes, and even greater works!

We have been looking at the calming of the storm (Mark 4:35-41), but Jesus applies this same authoritative use of words of command in all his ‘miracles’, whether it be over demons or nature or sickness. Today we have read about the healing of the 12 year old daughter of Jairus (a ruler of the synagogue). The request is made, and the situation deteriorates with the delay caused by the pressing need of the women with a 12 year old flow of blood (vv.25-34). But Jesus is undaunted.

When he arrives at the home of the ‘dead’ girl he puts out all the unbelievers who only confirm that the little girl is irreversibly dead. He takes with him the girl’s parent together with his strongest disciples: Peter, James and John. In the room, he does not kneel down and ask his Father to heal her, but as his Father’s ambassador he speaks on behalf of God, indeed, as the mouthpiece of God, and gives instructions to be obeyed.

Faith needs commands. Are we prepared to take authority and command? “Little girl, get up.” She responds, and rises. How often have we spent ages, even years praying for something or someone, and have had no apparent response. Why? Perhaps it is because God has been whispering in our ear. “You do it. I’m not going to do it for you.” Are we prepared to speak to the weather, or to our child, or work colleague, or to a disease? If so, then we need to hear what God is saying. It’s not a matter of forcing (and failing!) to make our own will come true. Pray and listen. What is he whispering? When you know, go and do it.

Father, this seems too much to believe. Help me to digest this new aspect of ministry. Help me to listen to you, and then to be bold enough to act upon it. Amen

Explore More

1 How did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead?

John 11:38-44

2 How did Jesus heal the demon-possessed boy?

Mark 9:21-29

3 What would have given them the authority?

Mark 9:28-29

Remembrance Sunday

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poppy-1109230-mOn Remembrance Sunday we remember those who have died or have been injured fighting to defend our country. We are particularly pleased to welcome the Archdeacon of Taunton, the VenerableJohn Reed, who will be preaching at this year”s Service of Remembrance.

Particular “thank yous” go to our flower team for the poppy hangings which are so effective and poignantly pointing us to prayer and reflection.

Our day of remembrance continues with a service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at the evening service when the names of loved ones who have died are read and their lives celebrated. We also remember the names on the memorial window in the St. Andrew Chapel. This is a very moving service and all are welcome to come and light a candle.