“The MU is an organisation of which I am very proud to be a member. One of its objectives is to support and uphold marriage. Rita and I have much involvement with marriage – with Dennis and Sheila’s help, there will be over 20 weddings this year at St Mary Magdalene’s. Rita works as a relationship counsellor and helps couples whose relationships run into difficulties. To mark the“Celebration of Marriage Week” our MU members have come up with a great idea. They want to invite married couples to a ‘Sparkling Tea’ celebration, in the Coffee Shop on Saturday, 7th February at 3.00pm so if you want to celebrate your marriage, you are warmly invited.”
We are delighted that the new message boards should be in position on 26th January and will be unveiled on Tuesday 27th. Do come for the unveiling to show your support for this important work. It is the fruit of over a year’s labour from a team led by Susanne and Dennis. We are so pleased that we have finally achieved this.
Also, you may have noticed the glass angels which have been attached to the internal church notice boards to draw the eye to what is going on. These have been made by Ken Gratrex and Ken will be making smaller versions to sell in the Coffee Shop. I am very pleased to support Ken’s craftwork.
The MU “Just A Bite” Committee invites couples to come to a Sparkling Tea at 3 pm at the Coffee shop on Saturday 7th February to launch Marriage week, 7th to 14th February, when there will be a display at church. Do you remember that magical time when you were courting? Marriage week is a massive aide memoire to the nation which says – “if you are fortunate enough to be in a marriage then you should look after it.” If You can join us please sign the list at the back of church. Feel free to bring your Wedding photos albums. For more information please talk to Margaret Allen/Marlène Phillips/Rosemary Sage.
A Happy New Year to you all from the committee. All are welcome to our next meeting on Wednesday 4th February at 2.30 pm when we will have our Wave of Prayer Service. Chris Mahony (MU Marketing ) is our speaker. There will be a stall with Easter cards etc. Please bring something for the usual Bring & Buy table. See MU information table in church for information about the General Meeting in Nottingham in June. Tickets at £8.50 go on sale on 26th January.
“Already folk have signed up for our there are still plenty of places. We will be looking at all those difficult issues we have with faith and what it means to be a Christian. It is a basic course – ideal as a refresher, or simply to learn more. The atmosphere will be relaxed and informal – we will have a good time. Everyone will have their say if they wish to and it will be a really good start to the year. I am really looking forward to leading it. If you would like to be confirmed – it is definitely the course for you!”
We start on Thursday 5th February at 7:30 pm in the Upper Room, running weekly until and including Thursday 19th March. There is, however, no meeting Thursday 5th March.
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The two promises of Baptism are the forgiveness of sins for the past (while the past cannot be undone or changed … it can be forgiven) and strength for the future (through new life in the Holy Spirit). Are we falling short of what God has promised? You must claim the promises of God through endeavour.
“Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.” George Carey
Archangels seem to be few and far between. There may be many of these ruling (‘arch’) angels in existence, but only one or two are mentioned in the Bible, and although there are several named in the Apocrypha and in Islam, there is only one named in the Bible. Though Gabriel is best known as an archangel, he is never actually described as one. He appears to Daniel (Daniel 8:16, 9:21) and to Zechariah (Luke 1:19, 26). On these occasions Gabriel is a messenger.
In today’s reading, the archangel who descends with the Lord at the end of time is unnamed. But this most significant moment, the end of the world as we know it and the rapture of believers who are still alive on earth, requires the chief of the angelic host.
The only archangel to be named is Michael. I believe it is wrong for him to be called Saint Michael, since the word ‘saint’ is reserved for the redeemed people of God. Angels do not need redeeming (except for the fallen angels who cannot be redeemed). Michael is named in the letter of Jude with reference to disputing with the devil about the body of Moses (Jude 1:9). A fuller description of his activity is found in the book of Daniel where again he is in conflict with evil forces (Daniel 10). He appears to be the angel who has responsibility for Israel. Maybe that can now be applied to the New Israel (the people of God).
Nevertheless, he is a contender. We shall be considering the activity of the fallen angelic host, but rest assured that God provides us with spiritual protection in the form of his good angels, who are under the leadership of the Archangel Michael.
These battles may be unseen and often unrecognised, but in the heavenly realm there is warfare. (More next week!)
Lord, forgive me that I am ignorant of these things. Help me to trust you that those who are with us are more than those who are against us. Amen.
1 How many angels are at the disposal of Archangels?
Fancy afternoon tea? The next Signature event is a trip to Mr Miles (Riverside) on Thursday, 12th February at 3.00pm. Why not join us? It will be great fun. This will be closely followed by the Pancake Quiz evening on Tuesday 17th February.
New year is a time for new starts. If you have started to come to St Mary’s regularly Rod and Rita would love to come to their Welcome Tea at the Vicarage on 18th January. It is a time to find out more about our Church and meet the team.