Epiphany of the Lord, 3rd January, 2016. Cycle C

31/12/2015

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:

Epiphany of the Lord, 3rd January, 2016. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: BEARING GIFTS

It’s not too late to bring our gifts to honour the baby of Bethlehem. The wise men came bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh. And if we want to celebrate Epiphany then it must be with more than prayers and songs. We must bring our gifts too.

Today we ask God to accept our gold. This is more than money. It is all that we hold dear and precious in life. We bring our health and thank God for it, however frail it may sometimes be. We bring our family and loved ones, those who mean more than gold to us. And as we do so, we ask God to accept our gift of rededication. For today we recognise that all our gold was actually God’s first.

We bring the frankincense of our lives. Frankincense is one of life’s sweeteners, the perfume or aromatic odour that makes our atmosphere more pleasant. What gifts has God given to us that allow us to make life fresher and brighter for others? Are there talents and gifts that we can use to better effect than we have been doing? Do I have a good voice, a creative vision, a skill with my hands? Epiphany is an invitation to use the frankincense of our talents to the fullest.

And then, of course, we bring our myrrh. Myrrh is the gum resin or ointment that is used for the knocks of life, and none of us can escape these. As we offer our ups and downs to God by the patience with which we endure them, we also remember our own healing role in the lives of others. On Epiphany we pledge ourselves once more to use our listening ear, to extend the hand of comfort, to speak those words of encouragement rather than just think them. Today it becomes clear that the gifts we bring to God are the same ones that he has first given to us. We return them along with the bread and wine that come from his hand, so that he may transform them all into something that brings new life.

NEW YEAR’S BLESSING God be with you at the turning of the year, that you may know the Lord is ever near.

In days of struggle may his Spirit be your strength,

and as the times and seasons run their length,

may Jesus Christ your rock and fortress be,

renewed in faith, in hope and charity.

So praise our God whose great and mighty hand

supports all humankind in every land.

The opening year his faithfulness he shows;

his mercy be among us till its close. Amen

WORD OF GOD

Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears. The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. (Isaiah 60:2-3)

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.

A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Feast of the Epiphany 3rd 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Pauline Rushfirth RIP

Sr Marie Clare RIP

Prayer Meeting

Monday 4th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 5th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Wednesday 6th 2.00pm Mass in St Johns Junior School

Ints. Birkenhead Carmel

Thursday 7th 9.15am Friends & Relatives Fullerton Family RIP
Friday 8th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Saturday 9th
The Baptism of the Lord 10th 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Ints. Margaret Dunne

Margaret Duncan RIP

Thanksgiving Service

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy have taken their Christmas break and will restart next Sunday, 10th January, 2016
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.

Money Matters: £581.99p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

The Priests Retirement Fund collectionwill be taken not next weekend but on the weekend of 16/17th January. Envelopes and leaflets are at the back of Church

Fr Bernard thanks you for your very generous Christmas Offerings and for the numerous cards and gifts he has received all of which are much appreciated.

Thank you to all who worked so hard to make each of the Advent and Christmas Services special at St John’s this year. Thank you too to the ladies who cleaned and decorated the Church with flowers, posters/drapes and of course the crib which willremain in situ for a further week until next Sunday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for the work of the Catholic Children’s Society,who offer much care and support to needy families around the Diocese.

The Children’s Society is also our Diocesan focus for the present Refugee Crisis. Please be especially generous to the Crib Offerings this year as the needs of our refugee brothers and sisters are great.

A Thanksgiving Service for those children baptised at St John’s in 2015 will be held in church next Sunday 10th January at 3.00pm. Parents, Godparents, families especially welcome. Tea/Coffee and Biscuits will be available at the back of church after the service. We hope this will become an annual event.

Scripture Group will recommence with the fourth session this Thursday,

7th January, 2016 in the Day Chapel. This is 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 bring your bibles.

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.

Holy Year of Mercy.A series of reflections is being offered at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Ellesmere Port beginning on Wednesday 13th January at 7.30pm-9.00pm on the theme “Jesus Christ is the Face of the Father’s Mercy”. They run over four Wednesdays. Each evening consists of input, discussion and prayer. Please see leaflets at the back of church.

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.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Monday 18th January as usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area. Full details in next week’s bulletin. Prayers for Christian Unity here at

St John’s will be held on 7.Saturday morning

23rd January 10.30am.

Parish Centre Committee please meet in the Presbytery next Monday

11th January at 7.30pm.

St John’s Parish Pastoral Team next meeting Tuesday 19th January at 7.30pm in the Presbytery

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