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Newsletter - Third Sunday of Epiphany

14/1/24

Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team

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Services this week

Sun 21 Jan

9.30am - Holy Communion at St John's

9.45am - Holy Communion at St Margaret's

11am - Ven Bede hub service (Parish eucharist)


Thurs 25 Jan

10.30am Holy communion at Ven Bede


 

Dates for your Diary


Wed 24 Jan

7pm Standing committee


Sun 28 Jan - Candlemas

11am - Ven Bede hub service (Team eucharist)

celebration and thanksgiving for those who have been baptised and their families.


Wed 7 Feb

7pm PCC at St Margaret's


 

News


Candlemas - Sunday 28th Jan


Those who have been baptised (christened) in our churches are invited every year to this special celebratory service along with their loved ones and Godparents.



Some useful info

  • This family-friendly service will last less than an hour. 

  • There will be some light refreshments after. 

  • If you still have your baptism candle then bring it with you to light them during the service (don’t worry if not, there will be some spare candles!)

  • There is no need to RSVP but if you would like to contact us for any reason: church@benwellscotswod.com or 07968 162067

p.s. Do you have photos of baptisms in our churches? However long ago or recent, we would love to show them in the service!


 

Arthur Knaggs


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arthur, a much-loved member of both Broadmead Way Community Church and the Venerable Bede Church, where he played the organ for many years as well as being well known in the wider community.


His funeral will be held on Monday 22nd January, 10am at Broadmead Way Community Church, NE15 6TS, followed by the burial at 11am at the West Road Cemetery, led by the clergy from our Team. There will then be refreshments back at Broadmead way. Please let us know if you would like to attend so we can inform Broadmead way of how many to expect.


It has been requested for there to be no flowers, but there will be a collection for the Slavic Gospel Association at the service.


May Arthur rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

Embrace - Gaza appeal


The people of Gaza are living through an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Israel’s response has led to indiscriminate civilian suffering, with residents forced to move from place to place in search of safety. Food and medical supplies have all but run out; water, electricity, and fuel have been cut off.

The people of Gaza were already on their knees with 80% of residents reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. Please, can you make a donation into help in their hour of need?

You can donate online, by clicking below, or by calling 01494 897950. Your gift will support Embrace’s Christian partners in the immediate aftermath of this humanitarian crisis and to help to heal the wounds it’s caused across Israel – Palestine.





 

Sunday Worship

Sunday 21st January 2024

3rd Sunday of Epiphany

White or gold




Intercessions


Prayers for others:

  • Pat Law

  • Maria Hawthorn

  • Herbert, Lucy, and Luke Agbeko

  • Ellis Nelson

  • Pauline Nelson

  • Michell Wilson

  • Peter Wilson

  • Alan Taylor

  • Maureen Tayor

  • Irene Foskett

  • Lorraine Atkinson

  • Lynn Mosby

  • Diana Humphrey

  • Esther Kolie

  • David Veitch


Rest in Peace

  • Arthur Knaggs


Other

  • The ongoing situation in Russia, Ukraine, Gaza and all other places at war.


If you would like to add someone to the prayer list please email church@benwellscotswood.com

The name will stay on the list for 1 month unless requested to be long-term.



Sermon

by Revd Chris

 

What are you like at parties? Do you like parties? Do you even go to parties? Are you the sort of person who wishes they were invited but you’re not, or are you glad not to go? Are you somebody who relishes being in the crowd, the centre of attention? Or do you love finding that quiet corner for in depth one-to-one chat?

*

There is nothing quite like a party to reveal and divide us based on social anxiety and confidence, vulnerability and popularity. Jesus is here at a party. A wedding party no less. We have no idea who the couple are though. This passage is often referred to at weddings, and I often wonder why. The message does not seem to be about the sanctity and holiness of marriage, if anything it seems to be about getting as wrecked as possible and having a good time. And it’s Jesus who takes the limelight for away from the couple, rocking up late at the party with a few bottles of water ready to get this party started. Or something like that…

*

The terrifyingly complicated social interaction at a party reveals so much about us. How we handle attention, whether we crave it or want to run and hide from it, who we find interesting and are drawn to, and what we find boring avoid. For Jesus, this party was rather revealing too, but instead of revealing his ability for small talk, it revealed something far more surprising- his ‘glory’, the power of God within him. It is at this party that he performs his first ‘sign’ for the rest of the world to see, a miraculous action, seemingly impossible for anyone except God. As the wine runs dry and the party atmosphere seems to take a downturn, he is there to save the day, turning massive jars of water into wine. We can sense in this story abundance and generosity, the celebratory atmosphere, a moment of unbounded enjoyment.

*

A sign is just that - something that signifies more than the thing itself. This is a sign that tells us so much more. It is full of meaning and references, we can see a premonition of the wine at the last supper, the wine which we drink in communion every Sunday, a drink which will never run out. We are also being shown the new creation, revealed at the wedding feast, the wedding between God and his church, the never-ending heavenly banquet. In this drink heaven and earth are united, and it unites us in our relationships to one another and God. All of this in one cup of wine.

*

However, it also reveals something else, something seemingly so contradictory. It begins with Jesus not wanting to perform his first miraculous sign for the world to see, it is only because his mum tells him to sort it out that he actually does it. At the same time as all this glorious divinity, there is revealed something else, something incredibly human: a true son responding to his mum in all his stroppy glory. She knows what he can do, and he has no choice, for his mum has told him. This story doesn’t just reveal his Godly nature, but how he is somehow fully human and fully God at the same time.

*

There is something about a party that just reveals so much about us, it might not be everyone’s preferred social setting, but gathering together and having a drink is such a popular way to socialise because it is a setting where we are vulnerable with each other. Whether it is the drink helping us lose inhibitions or the pressure of having to talk with people. This story is saying that drinking is good or bad, but that human connection, and human connection to God is something that requires vulnerability, something that requires openness, and ultimately that leads to something full of joy and worth celebrating.

*

Alcohol can be used for positive and negative purposes, so I won’t use this sermon to tell you whether a night out on the Bigg Market is morally right or wrong for a Christian – that’s for you to work out. But it is a reminder that God wants to connect to us, for us to be known to him and be vulnerable. And that he wants us to be the same with each other. He does not want an inhuman boring bunch of people, but real humans who know one another and love one another. And that means we need to re-shape our churches to be places where real people encounter and celebrate one another in all their variety, places where people feel able to be themselves. And if that means fewer meetings and more parties, then I’m all for it.

*

Amen.

 


Collect


Almighty God,

whose Son revealed in signs and miracles

the wonder of your saving presence:

renew your people with your heavenly grace,

and in all our weakness

sustain us by your mighty power;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


or

God of all mercy,

your Son proclaimed good news to the poor,

release to the captives,

and freedom to the oppressed:

anoint us with your Holy Spirit

and set all your people free

to praise you in Christ our Lord.



Readings


Revelation 19.6–10

6Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out,

  ‘Hallelujah!

  For the Lord our God

   the Almighty reigns.

7 Let us rejoice and exult

   and give him the glory,

  for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

   and his bride has made herself ready;

8 to her it has been granted to be clothed

   with fine linen, bright and pure’—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.


9 And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ 10Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

 

This is the word of the Lord.

All:  Thanks be to God.



Gospel Reading


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

All:  Glory to you, O Lord.


John 2.1–11

2On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ 4And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ 5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ 6Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.


This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:  Praise to you, O Christ.



Post Communion

Almighty Father,

whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world:

may your people,

illumined by your word and sacraments,

shine with the radiance of his glory,

that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth;

for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

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