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Harvest Festival

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2015-10-04 - Harvest

Do remember our Harvest Festival service. It will include traditional Harvest hymns and there will be a bring and share lunch afterwards.

Hezekiah – His Prophet: Isaiah

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The Reading:  Isaiah 36-39 

Isaiah said … ‘This is what the Lord says …’” (37:5) RSV

All that we have read in 2 Kings over the last few weeks is more or less repeated in these four chapters of Isaiah.  They serve to emphasise how much Isaiah was involved in the nitty-gritty of politics and national affairs.  Woe betides any church that lives only for its own growth and its local situation.  We are part of a movement that seeks to bring God’s timely words of warning or encouragement to those in power.

Isaiah seems to have been a lone, yet much respected voice.  We should welcome any opportunity that is offered to us, or our church leaders, to be involved in national or local affairs.  Our mission is not just to individuals, though of course it is that.  Our mission is to the world that God made and loves.

Isaiah was at the King’s side to encourage his religious reforms.  He was there when Assyria was at the gates of Jerusalem.  He was there at Hezekiah’s life-threatening illness.  And he was there when Hezekiah betrayed the nation and thereby invoked God’s judgement.

A prophet is not there so much to foretell, as to forth-tell.  He has the task of bringing God’s immediate and relevant word to people.  Whereas the priest represents the people to God, the prophet represents God to the people.  The prophet needs to spend time with God so that he has an open ear.  He also needs to spend time keeping up-to-date with local and world affairs.  Within himself he brings God and the world together, and then hears what God has to say and what God is doing.

Jesus (our PROPHET, priest and king) said that he only did what he saw his Father doing (John 5:19), and only said what he heard his Father say (e.g. John 15:15).  In our own small way we need to follow in his footsteps.  And we need to pray for Christians who have access to high places, that they may be courageous.  We also need to pray that people of influence will be prepared to heed the truth.

Lord, you have called your Church to be a prophetic voice in this fallen world.  Help us by word and deed to fulfil this high calling.  Amen.

Explore More

1  What did John the Baptist say to Herod?

    Mark 6:16-20

2  What did Peter and John say to the religious leaders?

    Acts 5:27-32

Long live our noble Queen

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This week we have witnessed the longest reign of a monarch in British history. The ringers marked the occasion by ringing all of the twelve bells. Our Queen, Elizabeth II, has served our country and the commonwealth with unbounded dedication and grace. Her wisdom and charm have enabled many a tricky situation to be overcome. We thank God for the answered prayer expressed constantly in our National Anthem: “Long live our noble Queen … Long to reign over us”.

Harvest Festival

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HARVEST FESTIVAL 4th OCTOBER

There will be a bring and share lunch after the service. Please sing up on the sheet at the back of church, and there will be a £2 charge on the day to cover additional costs (drinks etc).

Collation of Canons’ Service

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We have been asked to host as special service for the Collation of Canon’s on behalf of Lusaka Cathedral. This will take place on the 27th September at 10am and we are thrilled that Jenny Humphreys is being made a Canon. The other person is The Revd John Kawanga who is head of Anglican Mission in the UK. Jenny has been a great friend to St Mary Magdalene’s helping us to forge a link with Lusaka Cathedral and helping to arrange for staff from the Cathedral to come over and for parties from our church to visit Zambia. Jenny is about to retire from her post and this is a fitting tribute to her. Bishop David from Lusaka is to preach and preside and we will enjoy a special celebratory cake at coffee time.

Service of Healing

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Last Sunday we held a Service of healing in the evening which was very well attended. The presence of the Holy Spirit was felt very strongly indeed. We are planning to lead a non Eucharistic healing service soon and then review. Healing is a vital part of the church’s ministry.

Confirmation

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On 22nd October a Confirmation service will be held for our Deanery at Staplegrove Church.

If you wish to be confirmed , please let Rod (via the Parish Office) know ASAP.

10 Parishes Festival

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A celebration of visual and performing arts 12th-13th September. This is a two day programme of one dance and seven musical events, with very talented and classically trained local musicians. This is to raise money for urgent repairs and maintenance to St Michael’s Church Raddington, a largely unaltered medieval church. Further information at the back of church and on www.2015tenparishesfestival.org.uk