Sunday 14 February 2021

JAM is looking forward to presenting an all age service on St Valentine's Day @ 10.30 on zoom.

If you would like an invite, please email Cheryl on

paul.cheryl@blueyonder.co.uk


To find today's service, 24th January, please click the link below 

https://youtu.be/1lcai0t2BJ0

Prayer

So Jesus was walking by the lakeside and as He walked He called Peter and Andrew, James and John. These were not a random choice of disciples that Jesus called. Some of them, probably, were already disciples of John the Baptist. In the fourth gospel, right at the beginning in chapter 1 verse 29, before this point in the story, John the Baptist points out to his followers Jesus, walking towards them, and calls him the Lamb of God. So, prior to this point it is possible that Jesus had already talked with Peter, Andrew, James and John before this particular meeting. Jesus sought them out to call them to him. This is the significant moment for them - once and for all they were now to throw down their nets and throw in their lot with Jesus. Or as Jesus said 'Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.'

But why call these men? They were not men of great scholarship, or influence, or wealth or social background. They were not poor necessarily, but simple working people with no great background, and certainly, anyone would have said, with no great future. But they were fishermen. Fishermen must possess certain qualities and perhaps these were the qualities that Jesus was looking for.

Now for fisherman you could use instead fisherwoman.

A fisherman or fisherwoman must have patience. He or she must learn to wait patiently until the fish will take the bait. If he is restless and quick to move he will never make a fisherman. A good fisher of people for Christ will need to have patience too.

A fisherman must have perseverance. He must learn never to be discouraged but always ready to try again. Any teacher or preacher must not be discouraged when nothing seems to happen.

A fisherwoman must have courage. There was an old Greek prayer to the god's. 'My boat is so small and the sea is so large.' She must be ready to risk and to face the fury of the sea. Any preacher and teacher must be well aware that there is always a danger in telling the truth, especially in this post truth generation. Anyone who tells the truth, more often than not takes their reputation and life in their hands.

A fisherman must have an eye for the right moment. The fisherman knows that there are times when to fish would be hopeless. He knows when to cast and when not to cast. A good teacher or preacher chooses his or her moment. There are times when people welcome the truth and times when they resent the truth. There are times when the truth will move them, and times when the truth will harden them in their opposition to the truth. The fisherman must fit the bait to the fish. One fish will rise to one bait and another to another. The Apostle Paul said that he became all things to all men if by chance he might win some.

The wise fisherman must keep himself out of sight. If he obtrudes his own presence, even his own shadow, the fish will not bite. The wise teacher or preacher will always seek to present not his or her self, but Jesus Christ. The aim is to fix our eyes not upon the preacher but on that figure beyond. Amen

Prayers for Sunday 24th January. Ros Cockrill

Let us pray together.

Lord, bless the family of the church worldwide. May we accept one another as brothers and sisters finding strength and joy in our lives together. Help us all to spread the warmth of Your love to everyone we meet and help us to be alert to their needs. Jesus called Peter and Andrew, James and John to follow him. They made the decision to do so, and we have the same choice. Help us to accept this challenge, and let Jesus take the lead. Father God we pray for our Church, here in Wrea Green, our vicar Reverend Philip and his wife Janice, and all those who work so hard to support our church.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord God, despite the restrictions placed upon us and the circumstances in which we are living, we are thankful that we can praise and worship you the living God. We ask you to have mercy upon this nation and our world in this time of fear and confusion. Loving God we pray for all who work for peace and unity, and for all world leaders that they will continue to seek for an end to the suffering caused by war and violence and bring healing to the world. We pray especially for victims of terrorism and Civil war, and for those who are refugees and seek safety in another country, despite the dangers of the journey.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer


We pray for all medical professionals, that through their skill and insights, many people will be restored to health. We ask for your support for all keyworkers, working hard to keep our country going, and for the work and service of all care homes and day centres for the vulnerable. Thank you for the many charity organisations who raise money and provide supportive services to help. We ask you to be with those who are guiding our nation, making decisions that affect us all. Bless all the members of the Armed Forces, who are deployed in different roles, supporting communities at home and abroad. We ask this in the power of the Holy Spirit, through your son, Jesus Christ.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Compassionate God, we remember today all those whose homes and communities have been damaged by flooding caused by Storm Christoph. We give thanks for the courage and dedication of the emergency services who have come to the help and rescue of all, and for the kindnesses within communities caring for them.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

God our Father, we pray for our children and young people whose lives are directly affected by the pandemic, for teachers providing innovative education, and for all parents educating their children at home. Give them the strength to hold their faith in you, to keep alive their joy in our wonderful world and to realise that now we have vaccines available, we can look forward to a better future. Help us to reassure them, and to encourage them to enjoy the extra precious time of close family life. Though many of us are unable to see our families at this time, we thank you for the technology which enable us to keep in touch with each other.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

We bring before you those who are suffering from the Coronavirus and we pray for all those who are ill at this time, or who watch by the sick bed of those whom they love. We pray for those who are now in isolation; that they may know your comfort and company, and that those around them may truly show love to their neighbour through prayer and in works of care and kindness. We have in our hearts some that are known to us, some known to the Church and some known only through the news. We bring them to mind now. We pray especially for

And for the families and friends of who have recently died.

May they find comfort in your healing love.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Everlasting God we pray for ourselves; as we start the week ahead, we ask that in all we do, we may we walk more closely with you at our side, safe in the knowledge that your fatherly love and care knows no bounds. We give thanks that, although we have not been able to formally worship together, we have found ways and means to share our common faith, support each other and acknowledge that you are always with us through your Holy Spirit.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.


To find today's service, 17th January, please click the link below

https://youtu.be/odPa38K_CXI

Jesus begins to put together his disciples. There are several accounts of how Jesus calls his disciples he sort of wanders about doesn't he and selects his followers from all sorts of backgrounds. Today we have heard how he called Philip and how Philip introduces Nathanael. Philip says to Nathanael " We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael replies "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

When I was appointed as a vicar in Burnley at the turn of this century in Lancashire there was a need for regeneration. A lot of the traditional industries had gone and new businesses were being encouraged. It was a challenging time especially in large parts of my parish, some of the housing was poor and run down. I got involved with all sorts of meetings with the community - and I was asked by someone where I was from. When I said Blackburn in Lancashire, someone said "Can anything good come out of Blackburn." There was always a certain rivalry between those to towns especially with regard to the football.

It reminded me of this piece from John's gospel.

Assumptions and stereotypes. When Nathanael says 'can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip doesn't get drawn into a discussion or argue the case but simply says "Come and See!" Come and see - come and find out for yourself.

This Christmas season has been different for all of us, but in normal times in the build up to Christmas many people come to Church. They may have all sorts of reasons. It might be because their children are in the nativity play or it might be because for them too there is something magical about the event. They hear the proclamation the angels made to the Shepherds go and see this child - go and see for self the glory of God made manifest. Usually for many that would be their last visit to church until the following Christmas (unless they get invited to a wedding, funeral or Christening of course in between). They somehow leave their understanding and spiritual development with the baby in the crib. OK Jesus did say that we should receive him with the innocence of a child but he didn't mean like a day old infant. You see this child grew up this baby became a man who can unlock for them the glory and the personality of God. Above all he can give them a relationship and a window on God. All they need do is drop any assumptions throughout the year, and come and see.

The Apostle Philip - what about him. I guess his role in the new testament is introducing people to Jesus. He is not mentioned an awful lot but when he is - he is usually talking to someone that requires an audience with Jesus, for whatever reason. We have heard how he introduces Nathanael - later on in John's gospel some Greeks approach Philip and say 'Sir we want to see Jesus' and Philip of course makes it happen. When I lived in the Midlands in the UK and was invited to preach at various churches and Chapels, I found in some of the Wesleyan and Methodist chapels a sign. As I made my way up into the Pulpit, there would be a sign saying "Sir, that we would see Jesus". I apologies for the sexist presumption that the preacher is male - but then again some of these chapels are so old even Wesley himself may have climbed the stairs to preach. The point is, that is what the preacher is there to do whether male or female. That the people may see Jesus . So, the message today is 'Come and see, if you haven't been in church before, or for a long time. When things settle down and the pandemic has passed. Come and see, that you may see Jesus'. Amen Rev Philip

Intercession 42 - 17th January 2021 Mr Frank Andrews

Let us Pray

Lord Jesus we know that you sit on the right-hand side of God the Father, and we ask that you hear our prayers and intercede for us.

Please strengthen and encourage all persecuted Christians and help them to know that they are loved by you; remind them, and all of us, that you are our strength and shield. We ask you today to give courage and comfort especially to Christians in countries like China, India, Iraq and Iran. Please lord will you sustain those wrongly imprisoned and surround their families with peace. May they find rest, joy and hope for the future. Thank you that you are close to the broken hearted and that you will save those who are crushed in spirit.

Lord in your Mercy - Hear our prayer.

We pray for world leaders and ask that they govern with wisdom, mercy and truthfulness and especially, at the moment, for the elected representatives in America. We ask particularly that they will value honesty and that they and President Trump will to do what is right in your eyes.

We also ask you to guide us on the important decisions regarding the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union. We ask that in your infinite wisdom the Holy Spirit will guide all our MPs and the European ones to make fair, honourable and wise decisions.

Lord in your Mercy - Hear our prayer.

We ask for your help to treat and guide all those who suffer and who are at risk from the corona virus. We ask especially that your holy spirit will guide, help and protect all our key workers both in the NHS and other services. We ask for the efficient rollout of the vaccines in this country and for all people world-wide. Lord we ask too that we will learn from this pandemic and become a more caring society for us and for our environment.

Lord in your Mercy - Hear our prayer.

We are becoming more aware of how we treat our planet. You remind us that we should not be wasteful of any resources and to really care for the wonderful world you have given us. Help us to think about the way we farm and the impact we have on other species. Help us too to remember that we share this fragile world with all creatures and we pray particularly for those on the edge of extinction including tigers, rhinos and elephants, slaughtered daily for their tusks. We pray for all wildlife conservation agencies and volunteers who are helping to forge relationships with Governments and local leaders to establish anti-poaching controls. Lord please help all people to live in a way that does not endanger life but cherishes and nourishes the life around us. Lord please guide us in your ways and help us to see the consequences of our actions through your eyes.

Lord in your Mercy - Hear our prayer.

Lord we want our friends and family to know you. We pray that our lives will bear witness to your Spirit, Your unconditional love and Your Grace so that others will draw closer to you.

Please remind us all here at St Nicholas of the importance of supporting your church, your work and your people financially. We acknowledge that this wonderful church is running out of funds and ask you to guide us over what action we should take. Lord we know that everything we have comes from you and of your own do give you. Remind us of how best to support this your church and of the joy of helping others and demonstrating the love that you so readily show us.

Lord in your Mercy - Hear our prayer.

We also ask you to comfort the family friends of all those who have recently died including ......... and to heal those we know who are sick including John Lavells, Margaret Ingham, Ivy Davies Linda Hollis and Catherine Stacey. Lord please comfort and heal them and may they, their families and friends feel the warmth of your love.

Lord in your Mercy - Hear our prayer.

Lord we ask for discernment in all our daily decisions that we will know Your leading and Your guidance so that we live and work as you would have us do.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

To find today's service, 10th January, please click the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I72cdLHdoec&feature=youtu.be

Homily The Baptism of Christ

So today we celebrate the baptism of Jesus. The pandemic has brought us many challenges both physical, emotional and financial. But it has also given us opportunities to reassess where we are, what we may want from life, what direction are we going in? Many have given of themselves in heroic and compassionate ways. NHS workers, key workers and those volunteering out in our communities have given us examples of sacrificial selflessness. For the love of their fellow human beings. Not Altruism for the sake of Altruism, but always, knawing away in the heart, something far more something far greater.

The pandemic has also given the church an opportunity to reassess itself. How we might be a Church, fit for the 21st century. The key to this is recognising that the Mission that we are on is God's Mission and it is each and every one of us that is called to be a part of that Mission. It is in actual fact the Mission of the baptised. Baptism is the primary Sacrament in which we all share - not ordination or marriage or anointing the sick or even the Eucharist - but Baptism. It is what marks you out as a Christian and it is your commission in the Missio Dei the Mission of God. It is so important as a sacrament that even Jesus was baptised before he set out to fulfil his purpose.

For thirty years Jesus had waited in Nazareth, faithfully performing the simple duties of the home and of the carpenter's shop. All the time He knew that a world was waiting for Him. All the time He was increasingly conscious of His waiting task. The success of any task is decided upon by how and when to begin. Jesus must have waited for the hour to strike, for the moment to come, for the summons to sound. And when John the Baptist emerged in the desert He knew that the time had come.

'Times they were a changin'. The Jewish people of the time knew and used baptism. Baptism was for sinners, those that had lost their way and were looking for a fresh start. At this time when John the Baptist came forth it was the first time in Jewish history that people started to realise their own sin and their access to God was not necessarily a given, just because they were born into a particular group or religion. Never in all history had there been such a unique national movement of penitence and search for God, as there was, around the Jordan, at that time. The time was right and ripe for God, just as now is the right time in our society for God and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This was the very moment for which Jesus had been waiting. People were conscious of their sin and conscious of their need of God as never before. This was Jesus' opportunity. In His Baptism, He identified Himself with the search of people for God. When Jesus presented Himself to be Baptised He was identifying Himself with the people He came to save, in the hour of their new consciousness of their own sin, and of their search for God.

People are searching for something that the oracle of our age, the internet, cannot provide, nor social media, or the depravity of Celebridom, but they are searching for something meaningful that transcends the mundane and transient. They are looking for the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen

Rev Philip

INTERCESSIONS SUNDAY 10 JANUARY 2021, by Rachel Rosser

Almighty God, as we go through these worrying and uncertain days, help us to remember that everything is in your sovereign control. When we feel vulnerable and afraid, remind us that with you all things are possible.

Jesus, during Your ministry on earth you showed your power and caring nature by healing people from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. We ask you to be present now with those who really need your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses. We ask that you remove the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from those who are suffering from, or receiving treatment for COVID-19 and to protect those who are shielding.

Heavenly Father

Hear our Prayer

Father we thank you for the miracle of modern medical research and for answered prayer in the development of a vaccine. We pray for a smooth roll out of the vaccine in our nation.

We bring before you also all those working on the frontline in our hospitals. We pray for their protection and that you give them extra reserves of strength and resilience to help them to cope with the extremely stressful circumstances they are working in.

Heavenly Father

Hear our Prayer

Lord we pray for our government in these uncertain days. We ask you to give them wisdom, clarity and guidance as they react to the unfolding challenges presented by the uncertainties of the pandemic.

Heavenly Father

Hear our Prayer

Father we pray for all those whose education has been disrupted by the virus. We pray for families juggling the pressures of work and home-schooling. We pray also for university students with concerns about paying rent, fees and student loans, whilst receiving a compromised academic experience.

Heavenly Father

Hear our Prayer

We thank you for modern technology and the way it enables us to remain connected to our church and to each other. We pray that increasing numbers of people will find their way to you through online and broadcast church services. Help us to use our ingenuity to reach out in a fresh and relevant way to those who don't yet know you.

Heavenly Father

Hear our Prayer

Lord, we bring before you all those who are in need. Be close today to the lonely, the bereaved, the despairing and the hopeless, remembering especially those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and those who are struggling with isolation, unable to meet with family and friends at this time.

We pray also for those facing financial worries at this time. We ask you to be with those who are shouldering responsibilities and who are struggling to see the way forward. We ask you to shine the light of hope into their lives.

We also pray for you to give your deep healing to the sick, remembering especially today:

_________________________________________________

And in a moment of silence, we remember those known personally to us

Heavenly Father

Hear our Prayer

Lord of compassion, we remember those who have recently passed from this life, remembering especially:

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

and his/her/their family(ies) and friends. We ask you to pour out your comfort and peace on all those who mourn, may they feel the presence of your love surround them at this time.

Merciful Father Accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen

Amen.

To find today's service, 3rd of January, please click the link below. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iimLZwAbfNA&feature=youtu.be

Prayer

It said in our Epistle reading this morning from Hebrews. 'The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. wow.

The readings that we have had this morning all speak about the creative energy of God. And how Jesus is a co worker with God in bringing about all that he has created. In the Gospel reading the writer ascribes to Jesus the name word. Now in this case the word word isn't a word. Do you get that - in this case the word word isn't a word. Its not something that that you find in the dictionary - the meaning of the word in this case is logos. And logos means knowledge (x rpt). You might think why not use that word logos instead of the word word. Well that would be too easy would'nt it. So we will use the word logos. Logos is a Greek word and of course it is the root of the word that we use when we have an ology - you know what I mean sociology, theology, geology, biology. It means to have knowledge about what ever subject you may study. I study theology (theos meaning God) - I therefore have knowledge about God (however limited my knowledge may be). Sociology knowledge about society, biology knowledge about living things and so on.

So Jesus is the logos, he is the knowledge or in the words of the old testament, 'the wisdom' That is what Jesus was, is, and always will be. The best thing about being a Christian, is being in possession of the logos, the knowledge, the Wisdom. Other faiths, as commendable as they may be, keep God at a distance. God to them is the transcendent Diety. To the Christian we are part of the creative force. It says in the Gospel this morning. 'To all who receive Christ, who believe in his name, will be given power to become children of God.' That spark of God, that light of Christ is also our light too

Think of a party popper, remember those back in the day when we used to have parties. They have a potential and a purpose. Inside they are packed full of tissue paper and a small amount of explosive. Ok we know that they are used in parties and for special occasions. They give out energy and joy. They help the party go with a bang.

We Christians and co-creators of God's Kingdom have been packed with the Holy Spirit. His power and life are packed inside us - and we must not keep all of that within us. The love, the truth, the faith and power that are inside us need to be released for the good of others. But unlike the party popper, the more that we give out the more God refills us. Amen                     

Intercessions January 3rd 21 12-23 

Written by Barbara McClean

Father God, the star that led the Magi to the stable announced to the world that its saviour was born. Today we live in a world that still needs to make the journey to the stable door. We pray for Christians everywhere, particularly those persecuted for their faith, that whatever our difficulties our lives may reflect your light day by day as we seek to serve where you have placed us and that we might be the means through which others can encounter Jesus Christ.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We give thanks Lord for the work of people in research that has produced vaccines to help to combat the spread of Covid 19. We pray for all the doctors, nurses, carers and key workers as they continue their valuable work after months of the strain of living with the virus and are now having to deal with a surge of new cases due to the mutation. As we move forward into a New Year we pray that we will remember the good and positive things we have encountered during this difficult time. How much we appreciated the love and support we received from friends and neighbours and the huge reservoir of care and consideration that has been tapped. Help us to carry this appreciation of others with us in the days ahead.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving Lord there are times when we feel helpless with the enormity of the problems of the world. Help us to put our trust in you and place our lives in your hands. When we feel overwhelmed with the troubles around us help us to remember that small acts of kindness can make a difference in other peoples' lives, sometimes far more than we can imagine. By thinking of others we have the power to make the world a happier place. We won't always know whose lives we have touched and made better for having cared, what is important is that we do care and act.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Oh Lord at this time we pray for all politicians concerned with our future relationship with Europe. We ask that they will act wisely, exercise tolerance and work together so that we can begin to establish a good working relationship with our European neighbours in the difficult days ahead. Lord you broke down all the barriers between people of different races, creeds and cultures, at this time of uncertainty we pray for our country that we will all exercise the same qualities that we desire in our leaders.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all children and young people whose education has been disrupted and who are facing a new term with further uncertainty ahead of them. Give guidance to the teachers and education authorities who are seeking ways of ensuring fair and just assessments which will affect the future of pupils and students. Bless our school in Wrea Green and grant that they may soon be able to return to a more normal situation.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Creator God, who loves us more than we can know, be with the many thousands of people throughout the world who are suffering from the effects of the virus. Those who are sick, the many who mourn the loss of loved ones and those who have lost their jobs and face an uncertain financial future. And we pray particularly for

And in a moment of quiet we think of those known especially to each of us (pause).

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

As we face the uncertainties of the New Year help us to remember Mary and Joseph who placed their trust and hope in You as they moved into a difficult and uncertain future. May they be an example to us when we feel daunted by the difficulties ahead. Help us to trust and hope even when we don't understand, knowing that you are near, with us and for us. Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son, our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

God loves a cheerful giver!" (2Corintians 9 v7) Please donate to the work of St Nicholas Wrea Green by using the link below

Magazine

More details can be found on our COVID - 19 page


For the latest COVID-19 advice and prayer resources, please visit -  https://www.churchofengland.org/

Also, for the latest COVID - 19 news with our Parish, please see our dedicated COVID-19 page.


10 ways to worship together even if not gathered


Today, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu called for all Church of England churches to suspend public worship to help stem the spread of Coronavirus.In light of today's announcement, we have created a list of 10 ways churches can worship even if they cannot be gathered together. Click here for the list of ideas.


Let us pray for one another during this difficult time.

"Cast all your cares on to Him, for He cares for you."

1 Peter 5:7


For other village information, visit 

Child Friendly Church Award

St Nicholas is proud to be a Child Friendly Church.

The church first received this award at a special Education Sunday service at Blackburn Cathedral on Sunday 31 January 2010.

The award has been renewed since that date.