Second Sunday of Advent, 6th December, 2015, Cycle C

08/12/2015

St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw (also parish priest of the parish of St Anne, Rock Ferry)

Deacons: Revd Philip White; Revd Michael Daly

Phone: 0151 645 3314

Email: stjohntheevangelist

Websites:

Second Sunday of Advent, 6th December, 2015, Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: TWO REASONS TO HOPE

When God first agreed to be our ancestors’ God, by signing the covenant, he said it would be based on two things: “hesed and emeth”. These two Hebrew words mean “steadfast love and faithfulness”.

Even a fool can see that our ancestors didn’t take long to break their side of the agreement. They soon forgot that their “special relationship” with God depended on how they behaved, how they responded to God’s favour by the way they treated him and other people.

So you might think that God would have torn up the covenant and declared it null and void. But God remembered his part of the bargain, those two things: steadfast love and faithfulness. God never stopped being loving and faithful, whatever his people got up to. No matter how far people strayed, God remained steadfast and faithful.

This dual characteristic of God, steadfastness and faithfulness, is the reason why Christians trust God. It is the basis of Christian hope.

Our Advent liturgy today invites us to deepen this sense of hope. Don’t be miserable, says the prophet Baruch, don’t go around sad and distressed because your God is coming to set things right. Advent looks forward to the fulfilment of the promises that God has made to us. And God is steadfast and faithful.

But Christian hope is not merely about the future. It’s not like the vague hope that one day we might win the lottery. It affects how we live our lives today, because the seeds of the future are based on my relationships here and now. Hope shines a new light on this reality. It’s a dynamic gift that stops us from closing in on ourselves and instead spurs us on to new beginnings, to new challenges and to new life. We live by faith; we continue through charity; we flourish in hope.

The hope we entertain is not simply an optimism that Jesus will return at the end of time, but is a conviction that here and now he can come into our lives as Messiah and can set us free from whatever weighs us down. And come he will if we invite him. For he is steadfast and faithful.

BIBLE SUNDAY (December 6th)

Do you think of the bible as an old book that contains episodes that happened long ago? Or maybe you see it as full of laws and regulations that applied to the ancient people in the desert? Perhaps you think of it as something that’s so difficult to read that it’s best left to academics in their ivory towers? In fact the bible is one way in which God can speak to us today. God still speaks and his word in scripture is as relevant to us now as it was to our ancestors in the past. Bible Sunday encourages us not to let our bible gather dust but to open it and be amazed. This year’s theme is entitled “Count on It”. It is taken from the Book of Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 1-11. It helps us to rediscover the living certainties of God’s word in times of trouble. Go and read it!

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpfulreflection on next Sunday’s readings and do not forget to take a look at the Church Notice Boards giving details of other events and happenings and to look at the Book Stall and to buy your Catholic Paper.

As you do your weekly shop and if you are able to afford to add just one item to your basket for the Foodbank collection you may be confident that you are helping those people who are struggling at this time. There is a list on the notice board of the items which are particularly needed at the moment. Thank you for your continued generosity. WIRRAL FOODBANK IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST WITH SUPERMARKET COLLECTIONS. CONTACT 638 7090

OR 07790205481 wirral.foodbank SEE LETTER AT BACK OF CHURCH

Shrewsbury Diocesan Refugee Response

Catholic Children’s Society has been named as the Diocesan point of contact. To enable information sharing, links to useful websites and opportunities for parishes and groups to inform/involve others in fundraising activities, collection points, offers of accommodation, volunteering time and skills, a Facebook page has been opened. In order to gain access please do the following connect to the websitecathchildsoc.org.uk, click on the Facebook icon (top right hand corner of home page) and scroll down the page to click onto the Shrewsbury Diocese Logo and you are in, or please enter the following UTL: . Donations of men’s clothing can be left with Rev. Mike at Christ Church Bebington.

Second Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

6th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Vic

Gemmell RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer

Meeting

Monday 7th 9.15am Fr John Woods RIP
Feast of the Immaculate Conception 8th 7.30pm LPA Mass at Christ the King Bromborough
Wednesday 9th 11.00am Memorial Mass for

Sr Marie Clare RSC

Thursday 10th 9.15am Mrs Chris McGreevy RIP
Friday 11th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Saturday 12th
Third Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

13th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Anthony W & Anthony S Haigh RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Children’s

Liturgy at Sunday 9.30am Mass. Please encourage your children and grandchildren to participate in this

Confessions Saturday 4.00 – 4.45 pm
Morning Prayer of the Church 15 minutes before weekday masses

At this time of year especially please pray for our sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital please let Fr Bernard know.

Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Fr John Woods retired priest of the Diocese who died peacefully last Monday in Macclesfield. May he rest in peace.

Money Matters: Offertory £668.08p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Many thanks for your Family Fast Day contributions this Autumn which amounted to £619.20p. A cheque has been sent to CAFOD

Please say a prayer for Fr Frank Rice as he celebrates his 61st Anniversary on Tuesday.

Please note Wednesday’s Mass is at 11.00am and will be in the Main Church. It is a Memorial Mass for the late Sister Marie Clare, Sister of Charity and former parish sister here at St John’s. Many of the Sisters of Charity living and working in this area will be joining us for this Mass.

Scripture Group An opportunity to rediscover the joy of the personal encounter with Jesus and to consider afresh the good news of our saving from all that would harm us. Please join us for the third session on Thursday at 10am in the Day Chapel. Please bring your bibles.

READERS: Could all readers please let

Dot Humphrey know if you are NOT available at any time over the Christmas period:

24th-28th December.

Newsletter Team There is a need to expand the number of people who compile the parish weekly newsletter. If you would like to join a rota please have a word with Fr. Bernard. The newsletter is an important vehicle of communication within the parish. The more people who join any rota the less of a burden it becomes.

A BIG THANKYOU to all our Altar Servers and Confirmation Candidates who took part in the Cake-Bake Sale and made some fantastic cakes and for all the parishioners who supported them and helped raise £150. This was a fantastic achievement and deserves the highest praise.

The next singing practice is this Thursday, 10th December at 7pmin the day chapel. We will again be looking at music for Advent and Christmas. These are not CHOIR practices but for ANYONE who enjoys SINGING. All welcome.

LPA Mass at Christ the King Bromborough this Tuesday at 7.30pm on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the beginning of the Holy Year of Mercy. All four parishes from the LPA will be taking an active part in the celebration. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this Mass which will be followed by light refreshments in the Parish Centre.

Scouts Stamps will be on sale at both weekend Masses up to and including Sunday 13th December. Stamps 30p each. Last posting is Wednesday 16th December at 12 Noon.

Pilgrimage to Walsingham During the forthcoming Year of Mercy the Chester and Ellesmere Port District SVP have invited me to lead their annual pilgrimage to Our Lady’s National Shrine at Walsingham from 4th-7th April, 2016. There are some places available at a cost of £185 per person so if you would like to be part of this pilgrimage please let me know as soon as possible… a non-returnable deposit will be required by Christmas. Arrangements will be made with Carvers Coaches for a local pick up point.

CHURCHES T0GETHER will be holding the forthcoming events:

Carol Singing – 12th December, 11am outside Co-op, Lower Bebington Carol Singing – 19th December, 4pm outside

Co-op, Higher Bebington.

Advent Booklets and Leaflets plus Christmas Cards are available at the back of church

Full details of Christmas Masses and Services will be in next week’s Bulletin

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