Newsletter – 10 January 2021

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, we thought our congregations might appreciate an emailed letter with the prayers and readings for the Sunday and a short devotional piece, as a way of keeping us together and sharing any thoughts we may have.

Sunday January 10th The Baptism of Christ

The First Sunday of Epiphany

Collect

Eternal Father,

who at the baptism of Jesus

revealed him to be your Son,

anointing him with the Holy Spirit:

grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit,

that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God. now and for ever.  Amen.

TODAY’S READINGS

First Reading                         Genesis 1:1-5

God reveals himself in his creation. He first created dark and light, echoes of which (as repentance and forgiveness) we read and hear of in today’s Gospel reading.

Second Reading                   Acts 19:1-7

Paul’s baptism of some new disciples in Jesus’ name did not replace or negate John’s baptism but enhanced it. Through it, the Holy Spirit reveals himself to them and empowers them.

Gospel                                    St. Mark 1:4-11

In his baptism Jesus is revealed publicly as the one John describes as, “the one..more powerful than I.” In his baptism the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus: The Spirit who reveals himself to all believers and whose empowering gifts are boundless.

Reflection

Just as we thought things could not get worse, they did! A new, more infectious, strain of the virus and a sharply rising rate of infection, even here in Cornwall, where, mercifully, it has so far been low, has caused us to be plunged into a third, even stricter, national lockdown. Although the Government has said that public worship can continue, many parishes, our own included, have decided that it would be safer to suspend worship in church for a while. (There are notices about this elsewhere in this Weekly News). This was done, I am sure, with a heavy heart, but in view of the average age of our congregations – not to mention some of the priests! – it seemed the wiser thing to do.

But, of course, if the churches are closed that does not mean we cannot worship!   Church buildings as we know them did not exist for hundreds of years of Christian history, but the Church worshipped where ever it could. Many of Cornish saints we are so proud of were hermits, living and worshipping alone; if we are called to be hermits for a while, for the greater safety of all, let us try to look on the positive side of the situation, to make good use of the extra time we din we have for reading, for prayer – just for thinking and meditating.

Today the Church remembers the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. John was a hermit, living in the desert, dressed in rough clothing and with a meagre diet, but he had a great effect on people, although he was dependent on people learning about him by word of mouth, and could be heard only by those within earshot of him. We are blessed with modern means of communication, which even our grandparents could not have dreamed of. It has been calculated that during the time of the pandemic more people in this country have “attended” online services than are usually to be found in church on a typical Sunday. Let us be grateful for that, and remember that “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4.24) That we can do anywhere, in church or out, in company or alone, remembering that Jesus told the disciples not to pray “on the street corners”, but “ whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt.6.6)

May I take this opportunity to wish you, despite everything, a very Happy New Year! – Michael

Post Communion Prayer

Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens

and revealed yourself as Father

in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son:

by the power of your Spirit

complete the heavenly work of our rebirth

through the waters of the new creation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

Workers in health and social care and emergency services, local GPs, all keyworkers.

Our Benefice with all its communities

Our new Rector – Revd Ian Gulland and his family Schools – teachers, children and parents

Those losing jobs, or facing financial difficulty

Those with mental health problems

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace, equality and justice for all

– those affected by Coronavirus                   

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely

– refugees and all who are homeless

Radio 4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org

www.trurocathedral.org 

            (Video Recordings page)  

www.kerdh.co.uk for readings, prayers & reflections.

Facebook pages:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

St Columb Minor & St. Colan Parish Churches

Facebook Newquay Online Church

https://www.facebook.com/groups/690831511862960/

United Benefice of West Kerrier

Wednesday Morning Prayer 9.00am by Zoom

Sunday Service of the Word 10.00am by Zoom

Email Revd Fiona for link   giorlaf@outlook.com

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us

from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray to Almighty God,

who alone makes us dwell in safety.

For all who are affected by coronavirus,

through illness or isolation or anxiety,

that they may find relief and recovery …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies that they may make wise decisions, and that all people will be considerate of others …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,

that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our homes and families, and our local communities, that all who need help will be known and cared for …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves,

and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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