St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice;

Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

websites: www.stjohnevang.co.uk www.lpa24.org

1st Sunday of Lent Yr. B 2012

FAITH IN FOCUS: FIGHTING BACK

‘Spiritual warfare’ is not a very popular term because it tends to conjure up the image of Christians who are besieged by a hostile world and holed up in some sort of religious system which is a bastion against all progress and development. Sometimes it is the rallying call for off-balance people who want to ban all pleasure and find fault in the most innocent of things. The Church, of course, is not an organisation that is primarily against things. It’s in favour of life and goodness in all its forms. It’s something wholesome and positive.

Yet in today’s scriptures we cannot escape spiritual warfare. We find Noah’s ark battling the floodwaters of all that is evil, and we meet Jesus in the wilderness fighting off the temptations of the devil.

There is no doubting that evil exists in our world. There’s no need here to give a long catalogue of terrible things that happen day by day. We can all cite the examples. And even more speedily we can recall the various ways in which we ourselves co-operate with evil. For evil is not just something that other people get involved in. We are tempted each day to become part of it. Far from being something terrible, like genocide or war, evil creeps up on us in the simplest and craftiest of disguises. It may be the gossip we chip in with that blackens someone’s character, the small act of dishonesty that weakens us for the next time, the festering coldness with which we treat members of our family or the prejudice we house for certain types of people. Evil starts as a small seed and is prepared to bide its time.

But it is never too late to fight back against sin and evil. God told Noah that although the world had turned from goodness and truth he would never allow evil to get the better of humanity. And Jesus himself, although he was really tempted at the roots, gave us the pattern to fight against temptation. God has made a covenant with us that ensures we can never be overcome against our will.

Lent is the period for taking stock of how we allow evil to take hold of us. And with God’s grace it’s the period for fighting back.

I establish my Covenant with you: nothing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.

(Genesis 9:11)

WORD FOR TODAY

As Lent begins we are reminded that there is nothing in this world that can ever overcome God’s loving care for us. No hold, no addiction, no temptation can ever be greater than God’s grace. In the next forty days we pledge ourselves to co-operate with God’s call to conversion and repentance.

Blessed is he who has never been tempted, for he knows not the frailty of his rectitude.(Christopher Morley)

Have you ever wanted to run away with your neighbour’s wife? If you have not, then do not condemn the man who does…you might have done likewise.

(H R L Sheppard)

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

The danger with Lent is that we think of it as “repentance” multiplied by six. In fact it is a journey with recognisable signposts as the weeks go by. This year (Year B) it is characterised by the challenge to be considered fools for Christ’s sake. Our renewal involves pledging ourselves to values that seem sheer madness to the consumer mentality of much of our world. So we confront our temptations (Sunday 1) and we take comfort from the promise of glory (Sunday 2). We profess lives moulded by God’s will rather than our own (Sunday 3). As we recognise our need to be born again and believe in the power of Christ’s saving death (Sunday 4), we acknowledge that we are only fully alive when we die to those aspects of our character that most drag us down (Sunday 5). (Oliver Todd)

1st. Sun Lent Yr. B 26th. 5.30pm 10am

8pm

George Hunt

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon 27th. 9.15 Sean Barratt
Tues 28th. 9.15 Theresa Toner
Wed 29th. 9.15 Eleanor McGuigan
Thurs. 1st. 9.15 Eddie Foley
Fri 2nd 9.15

2pm

Ted McKeene

Women’s world day of prayer.Hr. Bebington URC

2nd.Sun Lent Yr. B 4th. 5.30pm

10am

3pm.

8pm

Parishioners

Nan & Patrick Corr

Stations of the cross

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

John Price, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, Mary Bryden, Owen & JosieToohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster, Norah & John McManus. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Money- thank you

Offertory £955 94p.

Boiler £20

120 Club No.113 M Rooney £20

The SVP are to have a monthly retiring collection to boost their funds which go to help the poor. We will give you a week’s notice but can’t specify a particular Sunday because of other demands on your purse strings. The first of these collections will take place next weekend.

As you see above there is to be a service of Stations of the Cross next Sunday (2nd in Lent) and again on the 4th Sunday.

Pope’s Intentions March 2012

General Intention: Contribution of Women. That the whole world may recognise the contribution of women to the development of society.

Missionary Intention:Persecuted Christians. That the Holy Spirit may grant perseverance to those who suffer discrimination, persecution, or death for the name of Christ, particularly in Asia.

In April, at the Little Theatre Grange Rd West, the Carlton Players present the Hound of the Baskervilles, based on the book by Arthur Conan Doyle. The performance which is to be given on Tuesday 24th April is in aid of the SVP of the area. Performance starts 7.30 but gather from 7pm.Tickets are £6 and are available from Teresa Young. Please rehearse your blood- curdling screams in advance (at home).

Fairtrade fortnight will soon be upon us. It starts on 27th February and runs until 11thMarch. The produce from Fairtrade sources easily matches that produced by nonFairtrade outlets. The goods are very varied and there are sure to be things you could buy in preference to non Fairtrade items, so get ready to use your hard earned cash during the two weeks which highlight Fairtrade.

On 30th March at 7.30pm in the parish hall, there will be a dance to celebrate St Patrick’s Day (albeit belatedly).

Tickets a mere £5 Tel.201 5837 or see Maria Fryer. List at back of church as numbers limited.

Llangollen Male Voice Choir is to perform at St Alban’s Liscard on Friday 16thMarch at 7pm. Tickets are just £5 from Phil Corcoran 637 1617. Proceeds are in aid of the Lourdes Nurses Fund. Nurses who go to Lourdes with the Diocese give up their own holidays to look after the sick and most of them also pay their expenses from their own funds. The Lourdes Nurses’ fund helps provide a subsidy for those who are unable to fund themselves.

Please take home your personal copy of the Bishop’s pastoral letter to read in your own time.

If you are lucky enough to be in Wales on March the first, you will find the country in a festive mood. Every self-respecting man, woman and child will be celebrating St. David’s Day in one way or another. Saint David, or Dewi Sant, as he is known in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales. Dewi was a very gentle person who lived a frugal life. It is claimed that he ate mostly bread and herbs. Despite this supposedly meagre diet, it is reported that he was tall and physically strong. Dewi travelled far on his missionary journeys through Wales, where he established several churches. He also travelled to the south and west of England and Cornwall as well as Brittany and possibly Ireland. It is claimed that Dewi lived for over 100 years, and it is generally accepted that he died in 589. His last words to his followers were in a sermon on the previous Sunday. These are transcribed as ‘Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.’ ‘Do the little things’ (‘Gwnewch ypethau bychain’) is today a very well-known phrase in Welsh, and has proved an inspiration to many.