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Mid-Week Communions

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Don’t forget our mid-week communions.  They are very popular.  Nineteen people came on Thursday and after the 8am Friday communion we regularly have breakfast together at County Stores.  Do join us.

TCT Election Hustings

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The plans for the Taunton Churches Together General Election Hustings are proceeding apace.  The event will take place at Taunton Baptist Church on April 26th and six candidates have been invited.

The organising committee are inviting questions for consideration and ask that you send them to election.hustings.tbc@gmail.com .

Easter Lilies

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The Church is a mass of colour with the Easter lilies taking the fore.

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A big thank you to our flower team who have produced such a colourful and meaningful display.

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Time flies and it won’t be long before we have our Flower Festival on the weekend on 10th to 13th July — we are really looking forward to that!

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New Associate Priest

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Next week on Sunday 12th April, Shelia will be licensed as Associate Priest. This means that she will officially leave her curacy and be licensed as an NSM in this Benefice. Archdeacon John will be coming to commission Shelia officially and we would love you to come to support her. I am thrilled to have her ministering with us.

Ascension – Going Up?

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The Reading:  Acts 1:6-11 

… he was lifted up …” (v. 9) RSV

If you stand in a lift you can only go up or down, but if you’re going to heaven is it ‘up’?  Famously, the first Russian astronauts did not find God up above the bright blue sky.  Why?  Because neither God nor heaven is geographically or spatially ‘up there’.

And yet when Jesus prayed it says he looked “up”, or, “lifted up his eyes to heaven” (John 17:1).  So there is no doubt that spiritually speaking God is above us.  But when Stephen was being stoned to death he gazed not so much up as “into heaven” (Acts 7:55) RSV.

That is why when Jesus bodily ascended to heaven it was not so much upwards and upwards, but upwards and inwards.  His ascension was not a matter of levitation (though that could have been possible), for he was “lifted up” (v.9).  The cloud of angels took him through the veil into the ‘heavenlies’.

This may still seem strange to us, though the resurrected body of Jesus seems in no way to have been limited to the restrictions of our mortal bodies.  St Paul says that when Jesus returns at the end of time we too (who are alive) “will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air;” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

The disappearance of the risen Christ in bodily form was an historic and visible act.  It signified much of which we shall look at during the weeks that lie ahead.

Dear Lord, help me to learn much more of the meaning of your glorious ascension for me and your Church.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  Who else ascended into heaven?

    2 Kings 2:11-12

2   Read Luke’s simple description of Jesus’ departure

    Luke 24:50-53

It was our sin that held Him there …

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On Good Friday, Revd Sheila Murray led us in an inspiring Last Hour at the Cross.  With a combination of scripture, reflection and music we were encouraged to write our burdens and besetting sins upon a black card and hang them on the wooden cross.

 

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The blood red shroud was then wrapped over both Cross and cards representing the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.  At the Cross we are set free from the guilt of sin in the past and the power of sin in the future.

 

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On Saturday in the dead of night the sin laden cards were burnt in the first fire and light of the Easter morn.  Sin gone, gone forever!

Good Friday Walk

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We joined with Christians from many other churches for a Good Friday walk through Taunton.  We then united in an act of worship as we held high our wooden crosses in front of the Market House, so that all who passed by could witness the importance of Good Friday.

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