United Benefice of

St Mildred’s, Whippingham

and

St James’, East Cowes

2nd January 2022 : Epiphany (transferred)

CURRENT AND FUTURE WORSHIP ARRANGEMENTS

Please continue to be vigilant and to observe social distancing measures at all times. We need to be particularly wary of the omicron variant, which is highly contagious. At present numbers in church remain unrestricted, but if this changes we will give details on the pewsheet. IT IS NOW COMPULSORY TO WEAR A MASK IN CHURCH, although this may be removed for singing.

Meanwhile the diocesan website www.portsmouth.anglican.org still has a direct link to parishes that are streaming live worship, while for those unable to access such resources this pewsheet continues to contain material for offering a “spiritual communion” at home. You must do whatever feels right and safe for you.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS THIS WEEK:

Give thanks for: doctors and nurses; paramedics; the ambulance service

Pray for: all people whose New Year prospects are blighted by lack of hope, by troubling challenges, or by the anticipation of bad news; all those affected by the new Covid variant

PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN NEED:

Emergency prayers needed for: Kay; Sandra; Sandie; Ruth M; Paul and family; William and family

Long term, please pray for: Charles; Stuart; Alistair; Lusia; David; Reg and Eileen; Irene and Henry; Richard G; Bob; Beryl; Joy and Dave; Margaret; the family of Emily and Sammie; Richard S; Peter; Mike; Marie; Carol T.

Give thanks for: all people involved in producing and administering the Covid vaccines

If you wish particular names to be added to the prayer list, please inform Rev Susan. All names are reviewed on a monthly basis. Please keep Rev Susan updated if you would like a name to stay on the list beyond the current month.

PRAYERS FOR THE DEPARTED:

The Rt Rev Desmond Tutu; all those whose anniversary falls at this time.

******************

COLLECT FOR THE EPIPHANY

Creator of the heavens,

who led the Magi by a star

to worship the Christ-child:

guide and sustain us,

that we may find our journey’s end

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

READINGS

NEW TESTAMENT READINGEphesians 3 : 1-12

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…

2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

GOSPEL – Matthew 2 : 1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Christ would be born. 5 “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet: 6 And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: Because out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”

7 Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen at its rising. It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

From the Letter to the Ephesians

Paul writes that his insight and knowledge of the Gospel message came to him by spiritual revelation, rather than through having met Jesus in person like the original apostles. What does this say to us as fellow Christians who are not able physically to see the incarnate deity? Do you think God regards us as lesser disciples, or is this more a view we should be adopting ourselves out of humility, like Paul? How might God be revealing himself to us in our daily lives?

The apostle highlights the role of the church as the means by which God’s wisdom shall be made known to the wider world. As a member of the church, what does this mean for you? How have you helped spread the Gospel to people in your own life up until now? Is there a New Year’s resolution that you could make to continue doing God’s work in new or better ways?

From the Gospel of Matthew

The wise men left the comfort of their homes and crossed the desert in search of the new-born king. If God called you to undertake a similarly challenging journey today, how would you respond? What would be the ‘desert’ you were being asked to cross? What do you think your guiding star might look like?

The three gave Jesus the most precious and valuable things that they owned, and asked for nothing in return. Do you think God might be asking us to do the same? If you had been with the Magi then, what would you have offered as a gift to the infant king? As a person in the modern world, what in your life now can you offer to God?

INTERCESSIONS

Let us worship the Saviour with joy and make our prayer to our heavenly Father.

The magi came from the east to worship your Son: Father, grant to Christians everywhere the spirit of adoration …

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

The infant Christ received gifts of gold, incense and myrrh: Father, accept the offering of our hearts and minds

at the beginning of this year.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ: Father, grant an abundance of peace to your world.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

The Holy Family lived in exile and in the shadow of death: Father, look in mercy on all who are poor and powerless, and all who suffer.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

Your Son shared the life of his home and family at Nazareth: Father, protect in your love our neighbours, our families and this community of which we are a part.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

Father, we rejoice in our fellowship with the shepherds, the angels, the magi, the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and all the faithful departed, remembering especially your servant Desmond Tutu.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

PREPARING FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

In union, Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, I offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body with the sure hope that I may always be united to you. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you and embrace you with all my being. Let nothing ever separate you from me. May I live and die in your love. Amen.

You might like to sit in silence for a while, then pray:

Post Communion

Lord God,

the bright splendour whom the nations seek:

may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light

discern the glory of your presence in your Son,

the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

To conclude, simply rest quietly in God’s presence.

EPIPHANY CAROL SERVICE AT ST MILDRED’S

Next Sunday, the 9th January at 4pm, there will be a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols for Epiphany at St Mildred’s. Music will be sung by the liturgical choir Cantus Vesperi, who kindly provided us with a carol service at St James’ last year.

PEW SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

Pew sheet arrangements continue to be handled by Stuart. Please can any prayer requests, intercessions, and other notices be sent to him each week by Wednesday evening. His contact details are stuart_mckerracher

ONLINE PHOTO OF ST MILDRED’S REREDOS

I have received an email from Mr Roger Mechan, a keen septuagenarian photographer who has taken a rather lovely picture of our reredos and is selling framed copies as gifts available online. For those able to access the internet, you can find sight of it at this link:


https://shop.photo4me.com/1079418/framed-mounted-print?o=21&e=12&s=309&u=in&share=true

Roger is donating profits to the church, so if you are still looking for luxury Christmas presents, why not have a look?

BROWSERS LIBRARY

Have you been along to the Browsers Library at St James’ yet? Do drop in on Saturdays from 10.00-12.00 for a coffee, choose a free book, buy a jigsaw or just have a socially distanced chat.

DOG WALKING VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED

The Cinnamon Trust is the national charity whose wonderful volunteers help people over retirement age and those in the latter stages of a terminal illness by offering all kinds of free pet care. They are looking for volunteers to help a resident of East Cowes whose delightful dog would love to go for a good walk.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can download a volunteer registration form from their web site appeals. If you would like to have a more in-depth chat about becoming a volunteer, please call during office hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) on 01736 758 701.

FOOD BANK

There is still an urgent need for these items, if you can help:

Long life milk

Long life juice

Custard

Sponge puddings

Coffee

Due to the generosity of the public, we have plenty of:

Cooking sauces

Baked beans

Tinned vegetables

Tinned tomatoes

Tinned fish

Tinned meat

Tinned soup

Pasta

Cereal

Tea

Rev Susan

Every blessing to you all for a happy New Year!!!