You are here6th February 2022

6th February 2022


By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 03 February 2022

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

Have you seen God recently? In a sense, this was a question our colleague Dennis asked us, as we celebrated the Conversion of St Paul. St Paul dramatically “saw the light” on the Damascus road – and Dennis pointed out that something took him to Church one Sunday morning long ago. Once again – we have a “God of surprises.”

Our readings this week are full of seeing God. Isaiah the prophet sees God dramatically in the Temple. St Paul tells us of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus (wouldn’t we all like to know more about that time Jesus appeared to 500 at once?) Finally we go with the fishermen to the Lakeside, where a huge catch of fish makes it clear to Simon that he is dealing with someone who is far and away beyond us and yet close, at the very same time

Church attendances notwithstanding, it is fairly clear that a lot of people in these isles really HAVE seen God recently. Statistics tell us that, when nailed to the point, between 30 and 50% of adults have something of a spiritual encounter at least once in every year! The sad thing is that they do not carry this through, of course. Unlike Paul, Isaiah and Simon, they don’t follow up on these experiences – and in consequence, miss out on a great deal. The underlying truth of all these things is that God calls us all – but are we listening?

Truthfully, our own encounter with the divine is ongoing. Every time we come to Church we expose ourselves to the “still small voice.” Our God knows us intimately – and longs for us to know him as well. There is no end to that knowing – I remember the dramatic words I read in a book at college once, which described the gospel as a vast sea. We can paddle around the edges, but the truth is that we can also easily get out of our depth as well!

Today begins 4 Sundays of “Ordinary time” for us in the Lectionary. One of our former colleagues used to so dislike the name. How can anything be “ordinary” as we journey with our Lord?

 

Ian Cardinal

Hymns for today

                        Aston                          Stone

49                                310

            70(for Ps)                    53

                        304                              522

316                              452/127

186                              235

 

Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Elsie Richardson, Vera Tomkinson, Gary Kelsall, John Richardson, Peter Bowler, Catherine Ritchie, Miles Brain, John & Ann Shuttleworth, Margaret Wright, Molly Wright, Norman Latham, Gillian Wright, John Hargreaves, June Stringer, Pam Miles, Jean Gulliver, Margaret Tomlinson, Dave McGlynn, Sue Kenchington, Carl Hartley, Mike Thompson, Helen Tallent, John Ecclestone, A’bella,

 

For the recently departed, remembering their families and friends:

Trevor Holland, Eileen Knapper, George Babb, Jessica (aged 6), Jacqui Meredith, Martin Wemyss, Sheila Evans, Graham Little, Monika Delonge

Remembering their families and friends at this time

 

This week:

Tuesday 8th 11.45am- 1pm DROP INN CAFE St Michael’s Hall

Thursday 10th 10.30am Holy Communion – St M&W

 

LATEST COVID GUIDANCE

The latest advice from Government to churches is that Social Distancing and mask wearing is still strongly advised. Stone PCC has voted unanimously to uphold this, Aston PCC meets this week

 

ORGAN FUND:The PCC has been offered an extremely high quality instrument at half the cost (£20,000) for full installation. A unanimous decision has been made to purchase this – but so far, we have only £4,000 in cash. Donations are now urgently sought and, if you have pledged money, please may we receive your money?  Thank you very much

 

ST MICHAEL & ST WULFAD PORCH  All being well, by the time you read this, the porch ceiling will be well on the way to full restoration. Delays with Covid and materials have held this up a long time. It may be that we have to use the South Door whilst the plaster dries. Please be patient

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