United Benefice of

St Mildred’s, Whippingham

and

St James’, East Cowes

5th December 2021 : The Second Sunday of Advent

CURRENT AND FUTURE WORSHIP ARRANGEMENTS

Please continue to be vigilant and to observe social distancing measures at all times. Cases on the island are heading in the right direction, but we still need to maintain due caution, especially remembering that to have had two vaccinations does not stop people from carrying the virus.

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: prophets – people who are not afraid to speak truth to power in the face of derision or personal threat

Pray for: the victims of the growing hunger crisis in Afghanistan; all those affected by the new Covid variant

PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN NEED:

Emergency prayers needed for: Paul and family; William and family; Alistair; Lusia; David.

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

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:

John Rowell; Mary McDonagh; Pamela Mackenzie; all those whose anniversary falls at this time.

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COLLECT FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Almighty God,

purify our hearts and minds,

that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as

judge and saviour

we may be ready to receive him,

who is our Lord and our God.

Amen.

READINGS

OLD TESTAMENT READINGMalachi 3 : 1-4

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

GOSPEL – Luke 3 : 1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”’

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

From the book of Malachi

The prophet speaks about Christ coming to refine and purify his people and their offerings to God. In what ways can this apply to us in a modern-day setting? Are there any things in your life that clash with the teachings of Jesus, or are not quite in accordance with the spirit of the Gospel? What could you do to try and remove these ‘impurities’?

From the Gospel of Luke

The evangelist Luke puts a lot of historical details into his account of Jesus’ life that sometimes have little to do with to the central plot, like the names of minor local kings as a means of dating the year. Why do you suppose he chose to do this? How important is it to have the events of the Christian story placed within the context of wider ancient history?

In this passage, John the Baptist quotes the prophet Isaiah in telling people to clear the path for the arrival of the Lord. What mountains of difficulty or preoccupation are standing in the way of your discipleship right now, and how might they be flattened? What valleys of need or absence are you unable to cross at the moment, and what would you need to fill them in?

INTERCESSIONS

Our God speaks tenderly to his people, and cares for them as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Let us therefore bring to him our thanks and our prayers for our own needs and the needs of others.

In this Advent season, we pray for God’s church throughout the world. We pray that she will indeed be a herald of good tidings, speaking in a strong voice of the glory of the Lord revealed in Jesus Christ.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

We pray for all the nations of the world and their leaders. We pray that in all the uneven, rough and unjust places of the world the way of the Lord may be prepared to bring equality, healing and justice to all his people.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

We pray for the communities in which we live, work and worship. We pray that with God’s help we will reveal his glory in the way we live and in his love we will be at peace with all people.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

We pray for all those in particular need who are weak and vulnerable. We pray that they will be touched by God’s gentle tenderness bringing them comfort and strength.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, we bring our prayers to you, trusting in your great faithfulness and compassion. As we look forward to celebrating once again the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, help us also to look forward to the time of his coming again and to prepare ourselves for that day when your kingdom will at last be established on earth.

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

Father in heaven,

who sent your Son to redeem the world

and will send him again to be our judge:

give us grace so to imitate him

in the humility and purity of his first coming

that, when he comes again,

we may be ready to greet him

with joyful love and firm faith;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

To conclude, either follow the links below to our new YouTube channel or simply rest quietly in God’s presence

Spirit of God – AMHS 389 – YouTube

God is working his purpose out – HON 172 – YouTube

JOHN ROWELL

We were all greatly shocked and saddened by the sudden death on Friday 26th November of John Rowell, a regular and much loved member of St Mildred’s congregation. His kindness, generosity and positivity will be greatly missed. Funeral details are yet to be announced, but our thoughts and prayers go o0ut to his family, especially James, at this very sad time.

PEW SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

For the foreseeable future, administration of the pew sheet will continue to be handled by Stuart McKerracher. Please send any prayer requests, intercessions, and other notices to him by Wednesday evening each week.

His contact details are stuart_mckerracher

ST JAMES’ COFFEE MORNING

A coffee morning will be held at St James’ church hall on Tuesday 14th December from 10.00 to 12.00. Do come along and support us.

ADVENT DEVOTIONS

If anyone would like to join an Advent study group, All Saints’ Ryde are holding one online via Zoom. Ask Rev Susan for the link.

CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS

Christmas reflection booklets are now available to pick up from the churches.

ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS CALENDAR EVENTS
TODAY 5th December 6.00pm Advent carol service sung by Cantus Vesperi at Brook church
12th December 4.00pm Town Carols at St James’, East Cowes
14th December 10.00am Coffee morning and Christmas stalls at St James’, East Cowes
16th -18th December 11.00-3.00pm Christmas Tree Festival at St Mildred’s, Whippingham
19th December 1.00-3.00pm Conclusion of Christmas Tree festival, St Mildred’s
19th December 4.00pm Carol service, St Mildred’s, Whippingham
Christmas Eve 11.30pm Midnight Mass, St Mildred’s, Whippingham
Christmas Day 10.00am Holy Communion, St James’, East Cowes
26th December NO SERVICES AT EITHER CHURCH.

Sunday worship resumes on 2nd January

9th January 4.00pm Epiphany Carol Service with Cantus Vesperi at St Mildred’s, Whippingham

We are sorry that the traditional crib service at Whippingham has had to be cancelled this year due to Covid concerns surrounding young children.

Please note that there will be no Midnight Mass at East Cowes this year due to the Covid situation. There is, however, a 10.00am service on Christmas Day instead. Those wishing to attend a midnight service are very welcome to attend at St Mildred’s.

EPIPHANY CAROL SERVICE AT ST MILDRED’S

On Sunday 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.

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 a need for the following items, if you can help:

Packet rice

Tinned spaghetti

Tinned potatoes

Squash (750ml)

Pudding (rice/sponge)

Biscuits

Coffee

Laundry tabs/powder

Washing up liquid

Toothbrushes (single)

Razors

Toothpaste

Shaving gel

They now have plenty of cooking sauces, baked beans, tinned fish, tinned meat, tinned veg, pasta, cereal, soup, tinned fruit, tinned tomatoes, tea – so no more of those for a while, please!

Rev Susan