Worship in church resumes
We are out of lockdown now, and this means that we will be able to return to public worship in church. All the usual safety measures are in place. Being in Tier 3 means that there should be no socialising outside of your household or bubble. This is the same as when we were gathering in October.
Join us in church! Go to our Services & Worship page to see upcoming services and sign up. You can do that by clicking or tapping on this link:
Join us online! Head to our YouTube Channel to join us Live at 10am on Sunday, and access other videos. You can do that by clicking or tapping on this link:
NEW THIS WEEK
We now have a dedicated Christmas page on the website. Here you can see all of our upcoming services and start signing up now.
Coffee Morning this Tuesday!
Come and join us on Tuesday 8th December, 10:30am-11:15am. It doesn't matter whether you've been before or not, come and have a catch up with friends old and new.
Click the link above, and fill in your details. You will be sent an email with a link to join via Zoom.
Happy Birthday to Sheila Torrance who celebrates her 80th birthday on 8th December.
Love and best wishes to you Sheila from all at St Mary’s.
100 Club Christmas Draw winners
£100 Ron Noble, £50 Derek Daniels, £30 John Charlton
Our Christmas Appeal
Giving to our chosen charity will be very difficult this year because of social distances and other restrictions. If you go to our Christmas page, you will see a link to our chosen charity for this Christmas: the Disaster Emergency Committee Coronavirus Appeal. Christmas will be difficult enough for us in the UK, and even more so where there aren't the public health resources to cope. Anything you can spare would help make a difference.
This year, rather than send out a newsletter, we are sending out a small and simple Christmas card.
This means that we can be confident that what we send out doesn't become out of date as soon as lockdown rules are changed!
If you have been involved in distribution before, you may have been contacted already. Once we have identified which streets need extra man-power, we will put out a plea for help. This is a really valuable ministry, and keeping in touch with every home in our parish is such a vital part of the life of St Mary's. The postcards will be available to pick up from church when it is open (on Sunday 6th, and on Wednesday 9th).
After 3 weeks of voting, the results are in for which charities we will support in 2021.
Good news and Goodbye
I am delighted to share some good news with you all in these difficult times. I am engaged to be married and we hope this will be at St Paul’s church sometime next Autumn. This seems very appropriate as it was where I grew up in the 70’s when my father was the vicar there.
Goodbye though, as Buster and I will be worshipping there too. I am ready for a change and for us it is a time of new beginnings. I won’t be far away though and will stay in touch and come back to see you every so often.
Thank you for your friendship, support and prayers over my years with you all.
A message of thanks
Dear Friends at St Mary’s, thank you so much for your cards, messages, love, sympathy and prayers that you have sent to me over the last week after Norman died. Thank you also for my prayer shawl, so soft and comforting. A special thank you to ‘Clare the Curate’ – she has been a tower of strength over the many months of Norman’s illness. Clare has spent time giving comfort and prayers and has been a true friend. St Mary’s Church may be closed but its heart is still beating.
Please do not pop Christmas Cards into the pigeonholes in the church vestibule this year as you may have done in previous years. Due to the current virus situation this isn’t an option. If you are really struggling to deliver your cards this year then please do get in touch with the office or the staff team as we may be able to help you with this in some way.
As we are unable to run the Traidcraft stall in church at present we would urge you to consider browsing the web site, particularly as Christmas approaches.
Much love, Anne and Rick
Light a Candle!
As in other years we will still be lighting candles on the church windowsills on Christmas Eve in memory of loved ones. The candles will burn continuously for 7 days. Each candle costs £5 and you can pay for a candle by Bank Transfer (BACS) as this would be the safest way during this time of pandemic.
Bank details are: HSBC - Sort code: 40 46 28 - Account no: 01444948
Please add a reference to the payment so we know that it's for the candles. You could also send payment by a cheque made payable to: St Mary’s Monkseaton, PCC and again, please put a note with the cheque to say that it's for the Christmas Memorial Candles. Do remember that the parish office isn't open at the moment so do not bring any cash or cheques into the church building.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Church is open for Private Prayer from 9am on Wednesdays in church until midday for those who wish to visit during these times and all are welcome to attend. Face coverings must be worn.
The Parish Office
Dot and Carol continue to work from home. Phone messages or emails will be checked regularly and correspondence can be popped through the letterbox in the north door and will be responded to as soon as possible.
The Bay Foodbank
Please continue to donate non-perishable items at Sainsbury’s & Morrison’s.
Plants Sale for Church Funds
Dave Haddock who has been selling his plants to us over the summer has now put all of his new stock on his new website, including an easy order form.
Or you can contact Dave on 0191 2524985 or 07976 687973. 30% of sales will be donated to St Mary’s, so be sure to mention St Mary’s when you order! So far £260 has been raised through this scheme!
Derek’s book ‘A Light To My Path’ is available to order from Waterstone’s in Newcastle and from Amazon.co.uk. The new version has a foreword by Tony Garland along with a dedication and has some reviews at the back.
FOR YOUR PRAYERS
Your Prayers are requested for
Rest in Peace
Les Merrison (Anniversary)
Don’t forget, you can add someone to the prayer list by emailing or phoning as usual, but you need to get their permission before adding them to the sick list. You can also use the form on the website here to submit a prayer request online.
THIS SUNDAY'S HYMNS & READINGS
Come now, O Prince of Peace
make us one body.
Come, O Lord Jesus
reconcile your people
Come now, O God of love; make us one body. Come, O Lord Jesus; reconcile your people.
Come now and set us free, O God, our Saviour. Come, O Lord Jesus; reconcile all nations.
Come, hope of unity; make us one body. Come, O Lord Jesus; reconcile all nations.
© 1991, WGRG the Iona Community (Scotland), admin. GIA Publications, Inc.
O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succour us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again
as judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.
A reading from Isaiah
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Isaiah 40: 1-11
A reading from Peter’s second letter
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him.
2 Peter 3: 8-15a
The Gospel according to Mark
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee. Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of ev'ry nation, joy of ev'ry longing heart. Born thy people to deliver; born a child and yet a king; born to reign in us for ever; now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal Spirit, rule in all our hearts alone: by thine all-sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
Longing for light, we wait in darkness Longing for truth, we turn to You. Make us Your own, Your holy people Light for the world to see.
Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in Your church gathered today.
Longing for peace, our world is troubled Longing for hope, many despair. Your word alone has pow'r to save us. Make us your living voice.
Longing for food, many are hungry Longing for water, many still thirst. Make us Your bread, broken for others Shared until all are fed.
Longing for shelter, many are homeless Longing for warmth, many are cold. Make us Your building, sheltering others Walls made of living stone.
Many the gift, many the people Many the hearts that yearn to belong. Let us be servants to one another Making Your kingdom come.
© 1993, 2000, Bernadette Farrell, Published by OCP
Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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