8 Dec 2022 • General news
Leader: Today is the third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy.
Our Joy is in God and in his Son Jesus Christ.
Like peace, joy is a gift from God. It overtakes us
and fills us when we remember what God has
done and what he has promised to do.
We light this candle today to remind us that Christ
came, and is coming, so that all people might have
a rich and abundant life. We thank God for the hope
he gives us, for the peace he bestows, and for the
joy he pours into our hearts.
We light two purple candles and the pink candle.
All: O God of Joy, Emmanuel, send your light
into our hearts at this time. Help us to be ready
for the time of Christ’s appearing. Fix our hearts
and our minds upon those things you have done
and those you have promised to do that we may have
the joy you have promised. As we worship you,
strengthen us so that we may always do your will
and so bless you and the world you have made. Amen.
We sing: Let there be joy shared among us,
let there be joy in our eyes.
May now your joy sweep this nation;
cause us, O Lord, to arise.
Give us a fresh understanding,
sisterly love that is real.
Let there be joy shared among us,
let there be joy.
This Week’s Readings
Isaiah 35. 1-10
1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus2it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.
3Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.’
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
but it shall be for God’s people;
no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
9No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
James 5. 7-10
7Be patient, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Matthew 11. 2-11
2When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to Jesus, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ 4Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’
7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.”
11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.’
Those Who Live in these Roads
Woodway Close Arkle Drive Regina Crescent Chaceley Close Henley Road
Blackshaw Drive Cheltenham Cft Regis Walk Mapperley Close Newton Close
Crowmere Road Darnford Close Woodway Lane Shirley Road Pandora Road
Those who are sick or in need of our prayers
Those who have died
Many of you will have known Ron Abbott who was Tower Captain at St Mary's for a number of years. He sadly passed away on Monday 29th November, so could you hold his wife Phyllis in your prayers. No funeral details as yet.
A new area has now been created in church at the back of the North aisle for families with small children.
If you give through the weekly envelope scheme the new ones which started on the 4th December are on the table by the door into church for you to pick up.
Junior Church meet again today to rehearse their Nativity which will be performed on 18th December. We are still in need of more Junior Church leaders, so if you think that you might be able to help, please see Revd Tom or Stephen Baker.
Church Christmas Card
We will be producing a card which will be distributed to all in the congregation for Christmas which raises funds for a charity and saves lots of individual cards. In the church centre there is a basket with slips of paper for you to write your message and leave a donation, suggested
minimum £2.00.We will be printing this on Thursday so any messages need to be in the office by Wednesday 14th.
Walsgrave Baptist Church
Open Door - a warm space, with a welcome and hot drink is offered at the Baptist Church from Monday to Thursday from 10.00am until 12.00pm. On Friday there is an invitation to join them at their Open House.
Christmas Lunch – on Christmas Day a lunch
The following services are to be held:
18th December 10.00am – Holy Communion and Nativity
20th December 6.00pm – Carols by Candlelight
22nd December 6.00pm – Nine Lessons and Carols
24th December 3.00pm – Christingle joint service with the Baptist
24th December 11.00pm – Midnight Mass
25th December 10.00am – Holy Communion
Christmas Services Postcard
The postcard showing our services which we produce in conjunction with Walsgrave Baptist Church has now been printed and is ready for distribution. They are in the church centre and have been divided up into roads, could you please help by delivering some, even if it’s just the ones around where you live. Thank you in anticipation of your help.
Books for Grace Academy
Recently I have had the joy of visiting Grace Academy and meeting many from the senior leadership team. The Head Teacher told me that they really need help with having enough books to give to students. The school has a passion for helping young people fall in love with reading. But to do this they need books!
We are going to start collecting books for Grace Academy. So if you see a book in a charity shop you think might be good for someone between the age of 11-16 (or even younger) then please get it and bring it in! This is a wonderful way of engaging with our young people in the community and supporting a local school. Please put you donations on the blue table by the sign.
I want to thank you in advance for all your help with this book collection.
Celebrating YOUR story at St Mary's
We want to hear about your stories of St. Mary's
What sort of stories do you want?
We want to learn about what your story is that involves St. Mary's. Did you get married here? Do you picnic in the grounds? Perhaps you have been a members at St. Mary's and can tell us about exciting things that have happened in the past. We want to hear them all.
How do I submit my story?
The best way to submit your story is by email. If you cannot send emails then you could type it up and give us a physical copy of you story. Or, if you would be willing we could film you telling your story.
Would you film it?
We want to help tell peoples stories. One of the best ways to do this is to film people telling their stories. So, if you would be willing to let us film your story then please let Revd Tom know.
When will we hear all these stories?
We are planning a celebration of St. Mary's and all the stories on Sunday 29th January, 2023. We will be doing this with a party! There will be a bring and share lunch following the celebration service. Sharing our stories over food is a great way for us to get know each other more.
For more details and to keep up to date please go to www.stmaryscoventry.org/story