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Rejoice in the Lord always

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Dear All Saints and St Mary’s

As Diane reminded us last week, joy is a theme that runs through Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi. Yet there are times when Paul’s call to rejoice always, to be glad at all times, is hard to hear. In a week where we have had another major earthquake and one of the most horrendous terrorist attacks in living memory, it can feel hard to be joyful. In Ecclesiastes 3.4, the author says that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance”. It is important that we do not forget to lament the pain and suffering in the world. Responding to the world’s needs in prayer and practical action is part of the mission of the church.

However, Paul knew that, it is important to look out for the good things that God has given. This is particularly true when things are not going well. When writing this letter, Paul himself was in prison. Yet he started his letter with thanks and an expression of his own joy. Even though he was in prison, he could rejoice in the success of the Christian community at Philippi.

There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, but they can be the same time. If we only ever rejoice and give thanks for the good things in the world, we can fall into simplistic naivety. If we only lament and weep for the pain and suffering, we can be trapped in despair. To hold the two in tension is to acknowledge that evil is real, but that, in Christ, God has overcome the power of evil.

This Sunday, we have the Harvest Festival at St Mary’s and Holy Communion at All Saints:

10:00am

St Mary's

Harvest Festival

10:30am

All Saints

Holy Communion

This week we have our normal weekday services, with Celtic Morning Prayer at All Saints on Wednesday and Holy Communion at St Mary’s on Thursday. Next Sunday follows the normal fourth Sunday pattern, with Holy Communion at All Saints at 8.00 am and at St Mary’s at 10.00 am. The 10.30 am service at All Saints will be café church, with our last session looking at Jonah.

Weds 18th

09:00am

All Saints

Celtic Morning Prayer

Thurs 19th

10:00am

St Marys

Holy Communion

Sun 22nd

08:00am

All Saints

Holy Communion (said)

10:00am

St Marys

Holy Communion

10:30am

All Saints

Cafe Church

So let us come with joy to rejoice, but to bring the needs of the world to him who, by the power at work within us, can accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3.20)

Mark

Mark Simms Licensed Lay Minister

Benefice of All Saints and St Mary, Fishponds

15th October 2023 Email Notice Sheet
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Download PDF • 1.27MB
St. Marys - 15th October 2023
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Download PDF • 107KB

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