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Dear <<First Name>>

Welcome to the
Athelney Benefice Weekly Bulletin

In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever. (Ps 45:16-17)

Sighs too deep

Sighs too deep

The news this week has been hard to bear. I lament with so many, I am sure, at the resurgence of violence and civil war in Afghanistan. I heard yesterday that it is likely that by the time of the 20th anniversary of the attack on the twin towers in New York, the Taliban will be back in control of Kabul. After twenty years, the country is returning to what it was: ruled by extremist views, based on conflict and destructive fervour. I lament. Like Jesus, I weep

Then, on Thursday, we learned of the shootings in Plymouth: barely two hours from home, not half way around the world. Plymouth, where we go to board ferries for France. Where our we might go to university, a city nestling below Dartmoor, on the way to Cornwall. A normal British city. Five people dead because, it appears, a young man was turned toward violence by the way he perceived society was treating him. Now he is dead along with the people he shot: his mother, a young child and her father and two other people who just happened to be there. Plymouth.

It is easy to lament when the victims are in a central Asian nation. Far from home and often protrayed on our screens as hash and unforgiving. But the people in Afghanistan are the same as us, of course: mothers, fathers, small children, who weep and lament just the same when they learn of death.

Our world is filled with challenge. We are faced with daily assaults on our desire to do good. When we hear of violence and death and oppression we throw up our hands. How can it be?! Why doesn't everyone just get along? Why do people turn away from goodness and embrace horror? Romans 8:26 has this, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words."

It is often impossible to find the things to say when faced by sorrow. When we suffer pain and struggle we might not know where to turn. And that is just the time when turning towards the grace of God can be so important. We spend our Sundays singing of praise and giving thanks for the good things. But when there is horror and sorrow we need to know who God carries us through. In our peaceful and beautiful part of the world we must not turn inwards and batten down the hatches—easy as that is—we need more than ever to have faith and hope that the love expressed in 1 Corinthians 13 will come to bear. "And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

Revd Simon

Sunday Worship: The Blessed Virgin Mary

Collect

Almighty God, who looked upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and chose her to be the mother of your only Son: grant that we who are redeemed by his blood may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Psalm 132 (KJV, Evensong at North Curry)

1 Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions:

2 How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;

3 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;

4 I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,

5 Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

6 Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.

7 We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.

8 Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.

9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.

10 For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.

11 The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.

13 For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.

16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

17 There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.

18 His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

Isaiah 6:10-11

Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate;

Galations 4:4-7

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Post-communion prayer

God most high, whose handmaid bore the Word made flesh: we thank you that in this sacrament of our redemption you visit us with your Holy Spirit and overshadow us by your power; strengthen us to walk with Mary the joyful path of obedience and so to bring forth the fruits of holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pastoral Care

Years Mind

We call to mind parishioners who have died at this time in recent years.

Margaret Denman, Sanna Wardle, Bruce Wall, Liz Grant

For those who are sick or in need

We hold in our prayers those affected locally and nationally by the Coronavirus: patients, carers, families, and friends.

We pray also for Alan, Alison, Andrea, Andy, Anne & family, Anne, Aoife, Audrey (2), Barbara, Ben, Bill, Brian, Chris & Jean, Dave & family, Jean, Val, Jan and Peter, Di, Diane, Eileen, George, Gill, Helen, Janet & family, Jean, John, Joyce, Judith & David, Kay, Ken, Lorraine, Margaret, Mary, Mignon, Nicholas, Pam, +Peter, Jane & family, Portia, Primrose, Ralph, Rita, Sheila, Sue & Robert, Susan, Thomas, Victoria … ... and for their families and carers, and all those who are in need but not named. Give thanks for those who have recovered.

If there are people or concerns that you wish to be mentioned in prayer, please tell the vicar or churchwardens.

Please note: during August we shall be renewing the prayer list. If you are a ‘sponsor’ for anyone mentioned in these prayers, please can you let Simon or churchwardens know if you wish for their names to continue to be published?

News and Notices

Wednesday 18th: North Curry Church Coffee Morning, 10am.

Saturday 21st: “The return of” Lyng Church Coffee Mornings, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Saturday 21st: Stoke St Gregory Summer Fete.
St Gregory’s will be having a church stall.

Saturday 21st: Bells Appeal Concert in North Curry Church, 7pm.

If you have any news that you would like included in this bulletin, please send it to: bulletin@athelneybenefice.com

The zoom broadcast this week will be from the 11am Eucharist at
Stoke St Gregory

Each Sunday we endeavour to provide an online Zoom broadcast of our worship from one of the Benefice parish churches. This is a little bit hit and miss because connection is unreliable. Please click on the link below and we will be online (we hope!)

Zoom Worship Connection
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