Third Sunday of Advent. 16th December, 2018. Cycle C

17/12/2018

St John the Evangelist
128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, CH62 5BJ
Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish Priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw Deacon: Revd Michael Daly Phone: 0151 645 3314
Email: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com Websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

Third Sunday of Advent. 16th December, 2018. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: ALL-SINGING ALL-DANCING GOD

The only way we can talk about God is by treating him (her?) as if he were like us. This isn’t as stupid as it sounds, since if we are made in the image and likeness of God then all good things about us must reflect something of the nature of God, albeit dimly.
Yet we tend to think of God as ever so serious. Surely God would never be caught having a belly-laugh, enjoying a good party, singing or dancing? Well, the answer, of course, is yes he would.
Our Advent God is a God of joy. Jesus said he wanted us to know all about the Father so that we could share in his joy. And time and time again during Advent the keyword of our songs, psalms and prayers is joy.
So it comes as no surprise today when we hear from Zephaniah that God is quite capable of letting his hair down. Zephaniah has been prophesying doom for a people who have given in to moral decline and decay. But God knows that there is a small minority, a “remnant” that is trying to remain faithful to the agreement between God and Israel. And this alone makes him want to celebrate.
In fact Zephaniah tells us that God breaks out into song and dance at the thought of his faithful people: “He will sing with joy over you…he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.”
When during Advent we pray and sing, “Come, Emmanuel” we run the risk of calling upon a rather boring and predictable God to show himself. For we tend to put God into a category where we worship him but do not find him very exciting company. This is because we don’t really know him. How many times have you heard someone say that they’ve just seen another (more human) side to Mr or Mrs So-and-So? Maybe this Advent will really come alive when we recognise that God is bigger than our view of him.
And when that happens, there’s sure to be a song and dance!

Advent Prayer

In this Season of Advent, inspire us to be a people of hope.
Encourage us not to be greedy for material possessions, but
for justice and truth,
Enflame us with a love for others, which crosses boundaries
of race, religion and nationality.
Stir within us an appreciation of the immense beauty of the earth.
Be with us, Lord, at this time, that we may be a people of hope. Amen

My name is Cheryl Thomson and I am the manager of British Red Cross, 44 Bebington Road, New Ferry CH62 5BH I am currently contacting local churches and community groups to see if any of their members would be interested in volunteering with us or would merely like more information about what we can offer in terms of volunteering, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and I will help in any way I can. Please contact me on 0151 644 1997. Thank you

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings.

If you have a notice for the bulletin please email it to the parish email address or put it through the presbytery letter box by 12 noon on Thursdays. Many thanks.

Third Sunday
Of Advent
Cycle C 16th 5.00pm
9.30am
3-4pm
7.30pm Mary Haigh Annv RIP
St John ‘s Parishioners
Holy Hour
Prayer Meeting
Monday 17th 9.15am Ints Mary Mulraney
Tuesday 18th 9.15am Phyllis Cray Annv RIP
Wednesday 19th 9.15am Ints Colette Sarson
Thursday 20th 9.30am Ints Lew & Mary Doyle
(in school)
Friday 21st 9.15am Rels/Fnds Brannon & Kenny Families
Saturday 22nd
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Cycle C 23rd 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Arthur Brockway RIP
St John ‘s Parishioners
Prayer Meeting
Confessions 10.30am -11.15am
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily Masses
Advent at St John’s:
Each Sunday in Advent…. Holy Hour in Church from 3-4pm
Fr Bernard will be in Church each Saturday during Advent from 10.30am to 11.15am; an opportunity for confession, prayer, for a chat.
Please note that on Thursday Mass will be celebrated at 9.30am in St John’s Junior School as our schools reach the end of term and look forward to the Christmas break. Fr Bernard will be leading an assembly in the infant school on Monday and then taking the Mini-Vinnie group (junior SVP) from the Junior School for a Carol Service at Birch Tree Manor Care Home in Port Sunlight.
Canon Hoban will celebrate the 9.15am Mass on Monday.

Christmas Services at St John’s
Christmas Eve
Crib Service for Children at 3.00pm in Church,
Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm
Christmas Day
Mass 9.30am
Christmas Week Mass Times
26th-28th will be at 10am
Feast of St Stephen: 26th December.
Mass at 10am will be offered for our Altar Servers.
Feast of St John the Evangelist: Patron Saint of our Parish. Mass will be held at 10.am

Sat/Sun 29th/30th Dec: Feast of the Holy Family
Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and
Sun 9.30am
Tues 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God
Mass at 12 Noon.
Sat/Sun 5th/6th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany
Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.

Money Matters: Last weekend’s Offertory collection amounted to £616.39p.

The 3 L’s Concert: Many thanks to all those who attended last Wednesday morning’s Christmas concert in Church and thank you to the 3 L’s group for their sizeable donation to St John’s Parish which is much appreciated.

Tea & Coffee after Sunday 9.30am Mass every week in the Parish Centre. Why not stay a while and meet up with friends old and new.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE FOOD BANK. The last Christmas pick up of food from St John’s will on Sunday 16th December. AFTER THAT DATE, PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY FOOD DONATIONS UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS WHEN collections will then resume in the new year.
Thank you for your very kind donation of 54 kg of food. Please continue to give generously to the Foodbank. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items for the ITEMS URGENTLY NEEDED: Tinned fish and/or meat, tinned fruit, tinned custard, pasta sauce, long grain rice, instant mash, deodorant, washing powder tablets

Mass Intentions: If you would like to have a Mass said for your intentions or someone else’s intentions or for your deceased relatives and friends etc during Advent or Christmas season, please fill in one of the Mass Offertory envelopes at the back of Church, place a donation in it and hand it to Fr Bernard nor put it through the presbytery letterbox.

Memorial Books and Plaques: In January we will be updating the Memorial Books and now we have a new supplier giving you the opportunity to remember your loved ones by buying a small plaque to be fixed to a chair or bench in Church. Appropriate Forms for both will be available next weekend and over the Christmas period. When completed these forms should be returned in the accompanying envelopes through the presbytery letterbox

THE BIG CARD will be at the back of from next Saturday 8th December. Please write your Christmas message at a suggested minimum donation of £1. All proceeds will go towards the work of The Ark. Please support this very good cause and thank you for your support over the years.

St John’s SVP is now back, up and running, doing visits around the parish and meeting regularly on Thursday evenings at 6.30pm in the Day Chapel. If anyone would like a visit from the SVP, suggest someone who would benefit from a visit from the SVP, or would like to join the group, please let us know.

Carols by Candlelight will be held at St Joseph’s Church, North Road, Birkenhead on Thursday 20th December at 7pm. All welcome.

CHRISTMAS POSTERS – Posters are available at the back of church. Please display in your window. These are provided free by Wirral Knights of
St Columba as part of the Christ in Christmas Campaign.

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