Due to holiday any sermons recorded on the 15th and 22nd May will be uploaded by the 29th May.
After an eventful few days the bells have made their descent from the tower to be loaded onto a flat bed lorry for their final departure from St Mary’s.
Service: 6:30 pm Evensong
Preacher: Revd Martyn Wratten
Readings: Isaiah 44:1-8 & Ephesians 4:7-16
Do notice the new prayer cards that have beenplaced near the votive candles. These can be taken away or used in church by folk who would like some prayers to pray. Prayer is so important to the health of a church. Presently, the ministry team have been praying for ten minutes in St Andrew Chapel for our services and for the other churches in Taunton. We would like to open this to anyone who would like to come. We begin at 9.20am and end at 9.30am.
Following the Archbishop’s Pentecost call to prayer we have arranged an evening of prayer on Thursday 12th May between 7.00-9.00 pm. There is more information inside the Today Sheet. St John’s is praying too from 12noon – 2.00pm each day from Friday 6th May – Saturday 14th May (apart from Friday 13th May). There is also a poster at the back of church with their details.
WORSHIP@5 is having its fifth service on May 15th.
It‘s being led by Rod who’s going to talk on …
‘How do we cope when we have hurt the one we love?’
If you know someone who might benefit from its relaxed, contemporary style please do tell them about it. They can also get a feel for the service by looking at the short video on this website.
The service starts at 5pm but the doors are open from 4:30pm and folk are very welcome to come early for a cuppa and a biscuit.
Service: 10:00 am Holy Communion
Preacher: Daphne Seddon (Reader)
Readings: Acts 16: 6-34; John 17:20-26
The Reading: Malachi 2:13-16
“Why does he not (hear/answer)?” (v.14) RSV
The fourth question that God answers through Malachi concerns divorce. The men cannot understand why God is not accepting their offerings. They pray, they plead, they carry out their religious observance, and yet the heavens are as brass. Why does God not answer? Why is he not pleased with them?
Maybe we too would want to ask: “Why does he not?” (v.14). Once again the answer is clear and it may catch us off guard. We don’t find a perceptive truth easy to accept. God’s answer to their question was that they were not being faithful to their wives. They were using the Law of Moses as an easy get-out clause for their marriage vows.
Many years later Jesus accused the Pharisees of a similar misuse of the Law. Some, under the school of Hillel, were very liberal and said the man could divorce his wife for more or less any and every reason e.g. burning the cakes. Shammai’s school of thought was tighter but gave ‘indecency’ (pornea) as a valid cause for divorce. However both of them gave some reason that justified a man divorcing his wife. In other words he bore no guilt. Jesus corrected this by saying that divorce is always against the way things were meant to be, and so there is always guilt and regret.
God therefore said, “I hate divorce” (v.16). Hopefully everyone hates divorce. It is hurtful and it is destructive. However, it does not mean that God does not allow divorce. He manifestly does, and for some it can be release into a new and more fruitful future. But even if that is so, it does not justify divorce or make it less than hateful. Divorce always comes about because of human sin. This sin is not just confined to the couple but may arise because of a badly arranged marriage, or in-law pressures or financial constraints. Whatever the reason(s), the cause is summed up by Jesus as “hardness of heart” (Matthew 19:7-8).
If we want God’s blessings to flow and want to be in a fruitful relationship with our Lord then we must look to our human relationships, and especially the marital one.
Save our marriages, O Lord, and bless us. Amen.
1 See how Jesus taught divorce was not God’s original plan.
2 Paul also took a strong line on divorce.
“Last week I said that I would report on the James Galway concert. This concert was heavily oversubscribed, 5000 people seeking 600 tickets but some tickets were reserved for church members. The church was very full and folk who came were rewarded with Sir James and his wife, Lady Galway playing some beautiful flute music along with a string ensemble. Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway used our vicarage as their green room and Rita and I thought they were delightful people. They are regular church members and strong Christians. Hopefully, one day they’ll come back again and thrill us once more.”
Revd Rod Corke
This Sunday 8th May, we were to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Reader Church of England. One of our readers, Ronnie King, has been unwell and so we decided to postpone this until later in the year. Ronnie is improving and hopes to be in church today.
It also marks the beginning of Christian Aid week and the coffee shop will be decorated with banners promoting the valuable work that Christian Aid does. Envelopes will be given out in the Today sheet next week to give people an opportunity to contribute.
Next week, on Sunday 15th May, the Venerable Nicola Sullivan, currently Archdeacon of Wells but soon-to-be Dean of Southwell, will be coming to St Mary’s to preach and preside. Nicola led our last parish weekend away and her ministry was welcomed by all who went. We will be celebrating Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Do come if you can.
As you will have already experienced, we are currently unable to use the main West Door. This is because John Taylor, the bellfounder, has begun the process of removing the old bells from the tower. This is difficult and dangerous work; a highly skilled operation. We expect the tower to be out of action for two weeks. We live in exciting times. When the new bells are in situ we don’t expect them to come down again for at least 500 years. We are making history.