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February 2016


28th February 2016

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

Maundy Thursday Eucharist

Bishop Clive invites:

 

"It is with joy and anticipation that I invite you to the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday, March 24, at 11.00 a.m. The service will provide us all, lay and ordained, with an opportunity to renew our commitment to the Lord’s service, as well as to receive oils blessed for use in our parishes.  

 

"It is an occasion when we have the chance to come together at a profoundly important moment in our Christian year, both to demonstrate our devotion to God and to show our fundamental unity as sisters and brothers in Christ.

 

"I very much hope that you will be able to make this your priority for the day and I look forward greatly to sharing in worship and fellowship with you."

 

As usual we shall be taking the Green bus to the Cathedral for this special occasion. There are just 13 places on the bus and you need to sign the list at the back of Church if you would like a place

 

21st February 2016

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

On the second Sunday of Lent, we move from Jesus' retreat to the desert and temptation by the devil to the glory shown in Jesus' Transfiguration. On the first Sunday of Lent, our Gospel always tells the story of Jesus' temptation in the desert. On the second Sunday, we always hear the story of Jesus' Transfiguration.

The Transfiguration occurs on a mountain in the presence of just three of Jesus' disciples—Peter, James and John. These are among the first disciples that Jesus called in Luke's Gospel. We recently heard this Gospel at Mass, on the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Only Luke's Gospel, which often describes Jesus at prayer, indicates that Jesus is praying as his appearance changes to bright white. Luke indicates that the three disciples were sleeping while Jesus prayed. They will be sleeping again as Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane before his Passion and death. As they awake, Peter and the disciples see Jesus Transfigured and Elijah and Moses present with Jesus. Elijah and Moses, both significant figures in the history of Israel, represent Jesus' continuity with the Law and the Prophets. In Matthew's and Mark's Gospels, there is reference to conversation among Jesus, Elijah, and Moses, but only Luke's Gospel explains that this conversation is about Jesus' later accomplishments in Jerusalem. Luke describes this as his exodus, connecting Jesus' Passion, death, and Resurrection with the Israel's Exodus from Egypt. On witnessing Jesus' Transfiguration and seeing Jesus with Elijah and Moses, Peter offers to construct three tents for them. Having just awoken, perhaps Peter's offer was made in confusion. We also notice that Peter reverted from his earlier confession that Jesus is the Messiah, calling Jesus “master” instead. As if in reply to Peter's confusion, a voice from heaven speaks, affirming Jesus as God's Son and commanding that the disciples listen to him. This voice from heaven recalls the voice that was heard at Jesus' baptism which, in Luke's Gospel, spoke directly to Jesus as God's Son. In his Transfiguration, we see an anticipation of the glory of Jesus' Resurrection. In each of the reports of the Transfiguration, the disciples keep secret what they have seen. Not until they also witness his Passion and death will the disciples understand Jesus' Transfiguration. We hear this story of Jesus' Transfiguration early in Lent, but we have the benefit of hindsight. In our hearing of it, we anticipate Jesus' Resurrection even as we prepare to remember Jesus' Passion and death.

Nichola Abbott

14th February 2016

 

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

A personal note

On Tuesday this week, we received the shattering news that my brother, Martin, is now terminal with his Cancer and has been given 3 months to live. You may be aware that he has fought this since diagnosis in December 2014 and that we have been swinging up and down with him since then. Treatments have seemed to work and then not to complete the job. The last treatment was a savage chemotherapy and stem cell transplant in October, since when he has never entirely picked up strength

For me, personally, Martin is the last member of my close family, although I have some cousins that I rarely see. The last few years seem to have been very difficult, somehow.

We brought nothing into this world, and we take nothing out. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”. How many times have I read these words at Funeral services? But I will not hide from you that this is devastating news for me and for my family. And I do, of course, ask you to pray, not only for Martin, his wife Janet and their grown up family, but also for Steph and me, and for our daughters.

We should have been away on holiday for half term this Sunday, but as I write this, it is entirely unclear as to whether or not we will be away or at home. Much will depend on the needs of Martin and Janet at this time

Thank you for your support and understanding

 

Ian Cardinal