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‘Call to Prayer’ at St John’s

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ST JOHN’S PCC and congregation will meet from12noon – 2.00pm each day from Friday 6th May – Saturday 14th May (apart from Friday 13th May) for the Archbishops’ “Call to Prayer”.  There will be a couple of prayer stations and from 1.00pm to 1.30pm each day they will use the “Conversations at the Crossroads” booklet which the Canterbury Diocese has produced as a source.  St Mary Magdalene’s congregation are welcome to join them.

Archdeacon John Retires

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Archdeacon John retires this year after thirty years of ministry in this diocese, the last seventeen as your Archdeacon. There is to be a farewell service for John and Gill at St Mary Magdalene on Thursday 30th June at 7.00pm. This will be open to everyone.  Afterwards there’ll be some refreshments and an opportunity to say goodbye. Many people have asked how they can express their thanks to John for hisdistinguished ministry as Archdeacon of Taunton and Warden of Readers. If you would like to contribute to a thank you presentation gift please hand to a churchwarden or to the Parish Office.

 

Magdalene Fayre – Call for Items

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MAGDALENE FAYRE 23rd July 2016

This is an early request for you to begin looking out any items that you could donate for the following stalls!

  • BOOKS, PUZZLES, BRIC A BRAC, WHITE ELEPHANT, BOTTLES & CANS TOMBOLA, HANDBAGS & JEWELLERY, TOYS & GAMES, BATHROOM/TOILETRIES. (We need a volunteer to run this stall!)
  • CAKE & PRESERVES Stall, for which homemade cakes etc will be needed.
  • COFFEES, TEAS & LUNCHES produced by our wonderful catering team led by Sandra and Margaret.
  • RAFFLE – We would like to have a really good raffle, so prizes for this would be extremely welcome, and can be handed in to Tim (caretaker), Caroline Lee, Sandra Daw or Debbie Whittaker any time from now.
  • BOOKS – Usborne Books will be having a stall and will donate 20% of their takings to us.  They sell very good educational children’s books, and others, eg cookery, craft books, and it will be something different.

There will not be a second-hand clothes stall this year. Items cannot be stored in the pews until after 9th July when there is a wedding, so please keep them at home and bring them from 11th July onwards. All proceeds from the Fayre will go to the Mission of the church.

Thank you, from The Team.

Stuart Townend Concert

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IMG_0310-from Ernie-9x4Last Friday we enjoyed the Stuart Townend Concert. The church was packed with Christians praising God and listening to Stuart’s powerful testimonies. Our team managed the event so well and it went very smoothly. Lots of people have said how much they enjoyed this concert.

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Bells Removal

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BELLS – These are being removed 3rd – 13th May.  Please note that during this time the West Door will not be in use and access to the church will be through the South Door.  However, there will be the opportunity to view the bells coming out via the web cam.

‘Signature Event’ on the Tarka Line

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On Wednesday, we enjoyed a super Signature outing to Barnstable via a train ride on the beautiful Tarka Line. The day was bright and we all set off in good spirits. We visited the parish church and looked around the market and the historic centre. Signature trips are designed for everyone to enjoy – you simply sign your name on the list at the back of church. No commitment – just come along to the ones that interest you. It is a really good way of meeting folk.

 

Malachi – 2nd & 3rd Questions to God

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 The Reading:  Malachi 1:6-14 

How have we despised thy name?  How have we polluted it?” (vv.6-7) RSV

We have so far considered the sin of Israel, and how they were woefully unaware of God’s goodness to them.  We now turn to the sin of the priests.  Their job was to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the people.  As far as they are aware they have done nothing wrong: “How have we despised thy name?”  Once again we note that pained, self-righteous tone.

God answers them fairly and squarely.  They have been offering substandard sacrifices.  They have given second or even third best to God.  They obviously did not think it mattered if they offered blind, lame or sick animals to God.  After all, they probably reasoned, the sacrifice is going to be burnt so what’s the difference?

However, God is not impressed.  They have “polluted it” (v.7).  The offering of a sacrifice is not an opportunity to bribe God or impress him, but it is an opportunity to show gratitude and love.  It is also a unique chance to fulfil God’s contract for the forgiveness of sins.  The terms that God has laid down are that the sacrifices should be perfect.

These perfect sacrifices are, as we know, a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God” (Hebrews 9:14).  Jesus was, as Peter puts it, “a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19).

Jesus gave himself for us, so that we in our turn might give ourselves (all that we are and all that we have) in response to him.  We should give nothing less than the best we have.  We give the cream not the skim.  We give the first fruits not the last fruits.  Let our giving (in whatever form that may be) honour our Lord; may we not “despise his name” (v.6).

Lord, you have been so generous, patient, forgiving and giving to me.  Help me O Lord to respond in like manner.  Forgive me when I became mean.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  Who would not offer to God that which cost him nothing?

    2 Samuel 24:24

2  What are God’s instructions for animals for sacrifice?

    Exodus 12:5, Deuteronomy 15:21