Have you visited our revamped coffee shop – Magdalene’s – yet? Lots more people have. This week we received the first indication that the income generated has increased significantly and is rising as the weeks pass. This is good news. Magdalene’s is a community café and a special part of the mission of the church. The more folk who come in, the more mission opportunity we have and the more we see God’s Holy Spirit
working amongst us.
We would welcome some more volunteers for our expanding mission please. It is getting busier by the week, so some more names on the rota would be wonderful and it would really help spread the load more thinly. Please have a word with Sandra Hall or one of the wardens if you think you might be able to give some time to this. Many thanks.
Taunton Street Pastors has been selected to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2014.
This is a national honour.
As a winner, they will receive:
Permission to use the official QAVS Logo (see below) on our official communications
A signed certificate from Her Majesty The Queen; (presented locally by the Lord Lieutenant for Somerset later in the year) – The citation on the certificate records that the award is made to Taunton Street Pastors for ’dealing with the issues of vulnerable people and helping to diffuse aggressive situations’.
An English Crystal with the logo insignia
Publication of our group’s details have been made by Buckingham Palace at one minute past midnight today (2 June) in a special edition of The London Gazette (available to view online at )
Four representatives of their team were invited to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on the 3rd June.
The award recognizes the outstanding commitment shown by every member of the team, past and present.
They were nominated for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by some of The Lord Lieutenants’s Deputies in Somerset who, having observed their teams in action during the winter months, were deeply impressed and wrote a glowing commendation.
The Award was established to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and recognize the contribution made by teams of volunteers to the wider community. It is described by the Palace as ‘The MBE for voluntary groups’.
“… what is man that thou are mindful of him …” (v.4) RSV
“What is man?” is a question put to God in the face of our great insignificance. When the Psalmist looked around him at all that God has created, such vastness, such magnificence and beauty, he is amazed that God has time for little, muddling and sinful people.
Yet, he is reminded that despite human physical weakness and spiritual weakness, man is nevertheless the peak of creation. The two differing stories of creation put man first as the peak of creation (Genesis 1:26-31), and secondly as the purpose of creation (Genesis 2:7-17).
Over this week we shall learn more about our species, but today we need to get it firmly fixed in our minds that we are the high point of God’s activity on earth. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm. 139:14). Whilst on earth we are ”little less than God” (v.5)! We have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Now if we are tempted to despise ourselves or others, we need to remind ourselves that in God’s sight we are precious.
Indeed, God thought us so precious that even “while we were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Our value is not found in our intricate physiology, astounding though that is, nor is it found in our great intellect for we all know very little and as Paul says, “see through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Our value is that God has made us, made us in his own image, and he loves us. He loves us as individuals and he loves us as a community.
We are not just of the earth, earthy. We are not just an evolved animal. We are that, but we are also inspired by God. We are a living soul. God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).
Thank you Lord for the great mystery that makes me/us great in your eyes. May I love myself as you love me. Amen.
There are various reasons to celebrate this Sunday June 15 – it is Father’s Day, and it is also Trinity Sunday. But locally we are also celebrating with Alan Beck and his family the 60th anniversary of his ordination. At the 10.00am service we shall be singing two of Alan’s hymns and he will be assisting us with the distribution of the bread in the Eucharist
Our choristers and young readers will be presenting an evening of music and word in order to raise money for the Ron Tickner Trust. This trust fund helps support some of our choristers in developing their music
skills by helping fund individual music lessons.
Do come and support our choristers at this – it promises to be a most enjoyable event – and please do spread the word to other possible supporters!
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THE FLOWER TEAM at St Mary’s is busy planning a Flower Festival to be held in July 2015. Prior to that date they will be undertaking various fund raising events to cover their costs so that all the proceeds can be donated equally to the church organ and bell funds. The first event is a Day of Bridge – all tickets gone , but please look for future events.
Thomas was a doubter, but so are all of us. We all have many questions that lie unanswered. But faith does not depend on answered questions. It depends on sufficient evidence together with the internal verification of the Spirit. It is the word of God combined with the internal witness of the Spirit that gives assurance. Because of that we can live quite happily with doubts.
Thomas’ problem was that he allowed his doubts and his scepticism to dominate his faith. He could not and would not believe until his questions were answered. Well, God in his mercy acceded to his request. Living proof stood before Thomas in the person of the risen Christ. He was even invited to touch and see. Did Jesus then tell him to stop doubting? No. He told him not to be faithless. Faith is an act of obedience. There is no evidence that Thomas actually needed to touch Jesus’ body. It seems that the challenge to believe was sufficient.
The response of Thomas was perhaps more than that of any of the other disciples. He said, “My Lord and my God!” (v.28). Let this be our response too. The resurrection proves the uniqueness of Jesus. Surely God had been in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and now has risen fully vindicated and victorious. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
But Thomas had failed to believe based on the witness of others. He had to see for himself. Jesus firmly said that that should not be necessary. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (v.29). Let our belief be based upon the witness of the Apostles in scripture.
Thank you Lord for the lessons I can learn from Thomas. Keep me from presumptuous and arrogant unbelief. Grant me a humble and teachable spirit that will shout: “My Lord and my God!” Amen.
What does Peter say about not seeing, and yet believing?