Updated: Feb 12
This Sunday we remember and celebrate the glorious mystery of Christ’s Baptism. The gospel story is thrilling! The expectation of the crowd, the buzz about John’s message and identity, and after Jesus comes up out of the water, a dove alights, a voice from heaven speaks – this is no ordinary person; this is the beloved Son of God. Jesus’ divinity is made sparklingly public. It is a moment of marvel and of joy that we are invited to be captivated by.
Alongside this, the community of All Saints are in a ‘moment’ of deep sadness and heaviness of heart. Early on Monday our beloved churchwarden, Nigel Heath, very suddenly and tragically died. Nigel was a real ‘salt of the earth’ man; loving, gentle, funny, kind and gave of himself to others generously and tirelessly. He leaves a wife, Luci, and two young daughters who will be very much held in our hearts and prayers over the coming days and weeks.
All Saints church will remain open after Messy/Muddy Church this coming Sunday 9th, to give people some time and space to drop in in for private prayer, fellowship or refreshments. We will also have a card for people to sign if they would like to. All are welcome.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Our Services for this coming Sunday 9th January are: 8.00am – Holy Communion at All Saints led by Revd Lizzie 10.00am - Holy Communion at St Mary’s led by Revd Lizzie 10.30am – Muddy/Messy Church at All Saints - with Revd Janey, Elisa and Dave Williams. All families and children are welcome. This is followed by the church remaining open from 11.30am for around an hour.
7.15pm – Generations led by Revd Lizzie
Here are the Roots At Home and Activity Sheet. Weekly Notice Sheets can be found at the end.
In the week ahead, we have two services: Wednesday 12th - 9.00am Celtic Morning Prayer at All Saints and Thursday 13th - 10.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s
We are also delighted to have a wedding at St Mary’s on Wednesday 12th. Please hold Susan and Oliver in your prayers as they prepare to be married. Next week, Sunday 16th January, we have the following services: 10.00am Creative Church at St Mary’s - with Revd Lizzie 10.30am Holy Communion at All Saints – with Revd Janey, and we look forward to welcoming Bishop Lee as our celebrant and preacher. +Lee is coming to be amongst us at All Saints after the tragic loss of Nigel. ·
6.30pm Epiphany Carols at St Mary’s - with Revd Janey and Revd Lizzie – a beautiful service of music and readings for the Epiphany season.
My morning devotional reading this New Year is ‘Sabbath as Resistance’ by Walter Brueggemann. Some of his words really speak to into the moment of grief and shock many of us are experiencing after Nigel’s untimely death, but also more generally they speak to us as we orient ourselves towards whatever this New Year may unfold for us. He says this:
“We used to sing the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy.” But perhaps we should be singing, “Take time to be human.” Or finally, “Take time.” Sabbath is taking time … time to be holy … time to be human.”
I hope this week you are able to take all the time you need - time to be human, time to simply ‘be’ with the God who surrounds you with his holy love and who holds all time in the palms of his hands. May you know that you are beloved of God. And may you be blessed and upheld by the hope we have in the message of new birth and everlasting life given to us in and through the wonderous work of Jesus Christ.
Janey _______________ Rev. Janey Hiller
All Saints & St Mary's, Fishponds www.justcallmejaney.wordpress.com @Mthr_Kerfuffle Sabbath "summons us to intent and conduct that defies the most elemental requirements of a commodity-propelled society." - Walter Bruggemann