Baptism of the Lord (Year C)
Sunday 9 January 2022
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
As the Christmas Season draws to a close this Sunday with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we move into a short period of so-called liturgical “Ordinary Time” – a rather infelicitous translation into English of the Latin “per annum”. There is nothing “ordinary” about this part of our year. It is marked by those Sundays that enable us to once again review and renew our following of Christ by reflecting on the ministry and life of Jesus as portrayed to us through the inspired eyes of a particular Evangelist who, in Year C, is St Luke. His Gospel is characterised by its emphasis on the divine realities of mercy, forgiveness, healing and compassion, its focus of the centrality of God’s concern for the poor and outcast – the “anawim”, the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit, the importance of women both as disciples of Jesus and as participants in salvation history like his mother, Mary, and prayer.
As Luke comes from the Gentile, non-Jewish, world and is reputed to have been a physician by profession, his Gospel abounds with a sense of the universality and inclusivity of the Reign of God inaugurated through the ministry and paschal mystery of Christ and with the healing and wholeness that is on offer to those who know their need of God. Some of the parables of Jesus that are most familiar to us and beloved of the Christian community, and which speak most profoundly of the attributes and nature of the God we believe in, are only found in St Luke’s Gospel, such as the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:30-37), the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32), , the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) and the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18:9-14). So, in preparation for this next part of our year, I encourage you to familiarise yourself once again with the Gospel of St Luke, and to engage with openness and excitement with the Word that we will hear proclaimed, as we journey together with Jesus on the road to Jerusalem with Luke as our guide!
By way of reminder, from 18-25 January we celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity across the Christian family. This year the daily prayer and meditations of the Week of Prayer have been produced by the Christians of the Middle East and they have chosen as the theme “We saw his star in the East…”. These materials will no longer be produced in printed format, but they can be accessed and downloaded for free from https://cte.org.uk/wpcu2022/. The Churches and Christians of the Middle East have suffered for centuries and this continues unabated into our own day. There is even the extremely sad prospect of the complete eradication of a native Christian presence in the lands of the Bible in the not-too-distant future if efforts are not made to stop the persecution and suppression of these communities, some of which date from the first century of the Church. I encourage all of you to take part in the Week of Prayer, even if it is only by following the daily reflections personally. I have also included in the Newsletter this week one interesting initiative being proposed to the whole Christian family for 2022 – the Hospitality Pledge (https://hospitalitypledge.org/) – which is in response to the challenges and often harsh reality of the times we are living through socially, politically and globally. This pledge of both practical and potentially life-changing for the “giver” as much as for the “receiver”.
We do have a few parishioners suffering from Covid at this time, so please do keep them and all those who are sick and vulnerable in your prayers.
May God bless you all
SPUC White Flower Appeal
This weekend there will be a second collection to support the work of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. SPUC is currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-life witness is being restricted now more than ever, and we must be able to speak freely to protect unborn children. Please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend the unborn and their mothers. Please take a card and a White Flower sticker with you.
Memorial Garden Plaques
Due to deterioration, David Perry has taken down the plaques in the Memorial Garden to repair the woodwork and to clean the plaques. They will be put back as soon as possible.
Christmas Fair and Raffles
Thanks to your amazing generosity, the Christmas Fair raised £839.58, the Raffle for Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake raised £358.20 and the Main Christmas Raffle raised £555.50. Given the challenges we are living through, these sums are impressive. A special thank you goes to all those who put in the time and effort to prepare these initiatives.
Online Event: Refugees and Migrants
On the Feast day of St Bakhita, 8 February 2022, 5-6.00pm, all are invited to join Caritas Plymouth for an hour of prayer, reflection and discussion on the challenges facing migrants, refugees and those affected by modern slavery. We will look at the opportunities to take action, including through community sponsorship. You can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following this link https://forms.office.com/r/K3uz5LLY2X.
Online Event: Homelessness
Caritas Plymouth is running an online event on homelessness on 18 January 2022, 6-7.00pm, together with St Petroc’s, Cornwall. Everyone is warmly welcome to attend. The event will reflect on homelessness in our Diocese and what practical actions we can take to reach out to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Please register by emailing email@example.com and by following this link https://forms.office.com/r/NkUZyhwcKf.
“Unwanted Gifts” Sale
There will be a sale of “Unwanted Gifts” in the Hall after the weekend Masses this weekend at St James. Don’t forget to have a look and give a home to an “unwanted gift”. Thank you for all the donations!
Bacon Sandwich Breakfast
After 10.00am Mass this Sunday there will be a Bacon Sandwich Breakfast.
Congratulations to Colette Best who won the £30 prize and to Gerry Kelly who won the £20 prize in the January draw.
Parishioners wishing to join the 200 Club are invited to speak to Simon Coombs or Sheelagh Bourdon at St James or to Teresa Cummings at St Boniface.
Taizé Prayer Evening
You are invited to an evening of song and light to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St Mary’s Church, Uffculme, EX15 3AN on Sunday 23 January at 7.00pm. For more information contact Revd Michelle Parton on 01884 266741 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marriage Matters – “Being What We Promised To Be”
Today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord tells us who Jesus really is; it calls us to be what we promised at our wedding – a sign to the world of God’s love for all of us. At the core of this commitment is the undertaking to trust our spouse with who we really are – feelings, thoughts, ideas; all that makes us who we are today.
A short reflection on the Scriptures of each Sunday with married couples in particular in mind by https://www.twoinoneflesh.org.uk/, a member of https://www.allianceofcatholicmarriageorganisations.org.uk/, where helpful resources can be found for married couples and those preparing for marriage.
The Hospitality Pledge
Hospitality towards strangers and those in need is a defining feature of Christian life. The theme runs through the Scriptures and provides a clear call to love and welcome others.
However, it is not straightforward. From childhood we are primed to fear strangers, our divided communities reinforce the cultural barriers and the global pandemic has forced us to keep our distance. We have spent much of the last two years closing our doors to others. The Hospitality Pledge is an attempt to revive, encourage and inspire a national surge in welcoming. It is a commitment to making 2022 a year of Christian hospitality.
There are many people in our communities who need to be shown hospitality, including those experiencing loneliness, homelessness, and those seeking asylum. There are millions of people fleeing conflict, persecution, famine and climate disaster that are in need of a safe place to call home.
The Hospitality Pledge is an invitation to take three simple yet revolutionary steps each week:
♥Talk with…you are invited to talk with someone new each week and to engage in meaningful conversation with them. This could simply be a phone call to a sick relative, lending a listening ear at a drop-in centre, or chatting to someone at the bus-stop.
♥Share with…you are invited to share something you own once a week with someone in need.
♥Eat with…you are invited to eat with someone that you wouldn’t normally spend time with. This could just be taking some biscuits around to an elderly neighbour, sharing a packed lunch on a bench in town with someone who is homeless or inviting a refugee family over for a meal.
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 8 January – Weekday of Christmas after Epiphany
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
Sunday 9 January – The Baptism of the Lord (C)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo, Bacon Sandwich Breakfast follows
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
First Week in Ordinary Time
Monday 10 January – Weekday
- Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall
Tuesday 11 January – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
- SVP Meeting at 7.45pm in the Hall
Wednesday 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx, Abbot
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 13 January – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 14 January – Weekday
- Crematorium Funeral Service at 10.30am for Edward Wood RIP
- Adoration and Confessions at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
- Tiverton Rangers at 6.30pm in the Hall
Saturday 15 January – Weekday
- First Communion Preparation at 10.00am
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
Sunday 16 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)