2021 January 24 - Pew News

Services

Sunday 24 January 2021 - 3rd Sunday of Epiphany
At 09:30 we worship virtually in a Service of Morning Prayer
At 18:00 we offer a virtual service of said Holy Communion (BCP)
The readings for the morning service are Genesis 14: 17-24, John 2: 1-11.

A Special Prayer for The Third Sunday of Epiphany (for you to pray at home)
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 our Lord. Amen.

Words from Martin Brown, our Reader

Martin’s thoughts on our reading from Genesis (Chapter 14, verses 17 to 20).

If there is ever an unusual name in a reading I try to ask Andrew’s advice on how to pronounce it and, as you can imagine, I receive sound advice. Our Priest in Cornwall, when asked a similar question, would reply – just say it how you think it should be pronounced and with authority, and no one will be any the wiser.

On a couple of occasions I have actually omitted a difficult place name from a reading and to date, got away with it. One of my duties at our Church in Cornwall was to draw up the rota of readers and by pure chance I allocated the reading from the Acts of the Apostles for Whit Sunday to the same lady, for three consecutive years.

By the third year she had the pronunciation of the various tribes listed in the reading off pat. As you can imagine, I was thrilled last Sunday when I chose to preach on the set reading from Hebrews which features the gentleman who appears in our reading from Genesis for this Sunday. I suspect those attending the service last Sunday evening heard various pronunciations of Melchidezek throughout the service. I was tempted to simply call him Melch. Let us turn to Melchizedek who is one of the most interesting and hardest to spell characters, the Bible says almost nothing about. He is only mentioned in three books of the Bible, but that does not stop people from having a lot to say about him. Melchizedek is cited by some as an example of holiness and righteous living.

His name means "king of righteousness," and his title, King of Salem, means "king of peace." He was born in Salem, in Canaan, which later became Jerusalem and in a time of paganism and idolatry, Melchizedek clung to God Most High and served him faithfully. A surprising fact about Melchizedek is that although he was not a Jew, he worshipped God Most High, the one true God. There is no reference to any other people in the Bible who worshipped the one true God. Melchizedek blessed Abram after Abram rescued his nephew Lot from enemy captivity and brought back other people and goods. Abram awarded Melchizedek with one-tenth of his plunder. God revealed himself to Abraham, but we do not know how Melchizedek learned of the one true God.

The worship of one god was unusual in the ancient world; most worshiped several gods; some even had dozens of local or household gods, represented by manmade idols. The Bible does not shed any light on Melchizedek's religious rituals except to mention he brought out bread and wine for Abram. This act and Melchizedek's holiness have led some scholars to describe him as a type of Christ, one of those characters in the Bible who show the same qualities as Jesus Christ. Since there is no record of Melchizedek’s father or mother, or genealogical background in Scripture, this description is appropriate. Other scholars go a step further, suggesting that Melchizedek may have been a manifestation of deity in temporary form. Understanding Jesus' status as our High Priest is a key point in the Book of Hebrews. Just as Melchizedek was not born into the Levitical priesthood, but was appointed by God, so Jesus was named as our eternal High Priest, interceding with God the Father on our behalf. We read in Hebrews 5: 8-10: "Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek."

In this day and age, many "gods" compete for our attention, but there is only one true God, who is worthy of our worship and our obedience. Remaining focused on God in this present changing world is not easy, but if we maintain our focus on God, God will strengthen and encourage us so we may live a life that is pleasing to him. Amen With love and best wishes Martin The phonetic pronunciation of Melchizedek - mehl-KIHZ-eh-dehk

Worship for the week ahead

Monday to Friday 8:30 Morning Prayer (or Communion on Thursday).

Please contact the Rector or Marjorie Kipling if wanting a Zoom invitation. 

31 January 2021 
09:30 All-age Communion with hymns (‘Zoom Service’). 4th of Epiphany. 
18:00 Evening Prayer (BCP) 

For our prayers (contact the Rector or Wardens to add names): For unity and co-operation amongst Christians of different denominations. For the NHS and those delivering vaccines, here and abroad. For households engaged in ‘home schooling’. For those presently ill or in need of some extra care.

Notices

Scavenger Hunt: “Yes, I am fully aware that I said ‘all you need to do is LOG ON’. I certainly won’t be asking you to run and fetch a copy of your family tree”. Well done to those who took part in yesterday evening’s Scavenger Hunt. Congratulations to Long Jane Silver and George’s Marvellous Medicine for being our winners; and to the organising team for running and devising such an enjoyable event.

Anybody else with a wish to promote a lockdown activity, just have a word with the Rector: there is an audience out there.

Lent Groups and Studies: Plans are taking shape for activities to enrich our Lenten devotions. Watch this space for news of virtual groups and devotional materials. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on 17 February. There will be a Sung Communion at 6pm that evening via Zoom.

PCC Meeting: online this Wednesday 27 January, 7.30pm.

Westbourne Magazine: The first issue of 2021 has been published and is even now arriving at doors and sales points. Do subscribe (at £6 pa), if you haven’t already done so. Distributors will be asking for your annual payment now, if you have it delivered. Thanks to our editors, as always.

Closure Notice from 14 January the following actions have been implemented

1. Closure of the Parish Church to visitors until further notice. Access will be allowed for the needs of necessary servicing and maintenance and the obtaining and storage of materials and equipment; and for use and upkeep of the Organ.

2. The cessation of all gathered services in the Parish Church, including funerals there. These decisions, you will know, have been made in response to the latest circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, locally and nationally; with particular awareness of the rising level of hospitalisations and the consequent pressures upon the NHS and other providers. The decisions will be a matter of regular review. It is not presently expected that a re-opening of the Church in the middle of the week would take place before 1 March at the earliest. ‘Zoom’ on weekday mornings. The local church continues to worship at 08:30 (for half an hour), Mondays to Fridays.

As restrictions on our movements increase presently, it is suggested this might be of interest to additional members of our congregations or village. You can ‘attend’ with whatever frequency works for you, but to be added to the list of those invited please first contact The Rector who will be pleased to add you to the daily distribution list. Just send him an email.

Westbourne Help, which did such a good job locally in the earlier months of the pandemic has been called back into being by the Parish Council to help those who are isolating or have no other support over the winter because of Covid-19. Notices are being posted around the village. If there are causes or people that you wish to bring to the attention of the Church and its praying community, please contact Rector or Wardens.


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