St Thomas’ Church - keeping in touch
Building the Kingdom...................................
I am sorry that the last Newsletter became out-of-date by last Friday when the Director of Public Healthissued a message that prompted the suspension of public worship. Please bear with us as these are times of change and often change at short notice. However, at the time of producing this Newsletter, church services are suspended until further notice but continue on-line.
Please do keep on reading your Bible and have time with God in prayer. Theweek 18th to 25th January is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Pleasepray that all those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus and believe in Him will be of one mind and heart and seek unity “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4 v 1b – 6 New International Version)
Just a few notes on the people who are remembered this week in the church’s calendar:
Amy Carmichael was a missionary in India and opened an orphanage and mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without taking leave and wrote books about her missionary work.
Wulfstan was bishop of Worcester, a holy man who took great interest in the community and played an effective role in secular life. Despite being confessor for King Harold, he remained a bishop under the first 2 Norman kings.
Agnes, child martyr, was a beautiful young girl, 12 or 13 years old, in Rome. She denied suitors because she said she belonged to Christ. Christianity was condemned by the Roman authorities, so when Agnes was betrayed to them by one of her rejected suitors, she was tried and executed. Agnes is the patron saint of girls, chastity and rape survivors.
Vincent of Saragossa, like Agnes, was imprisoned, tortured and martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian in AD 304. According to legend, ravens protected his remains from the wild beasts until his followers could recover the body and give him a proper burial.
Richard Rolle was not a priest or a monk but a simple layman who spent time with God and sought to get ever nearer to Him, in mind and soul. We can learn much from the faith of these saints and believers who have gone before us.
Our readings for this week SUNDAY 17th January – 2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Morning: Psalm 96; Hebrews 6: 17 – 7: 10; John 1: 43 - end
Monday 18th January
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Amy Carmichael, spiritual writer, 1951
Psalm 146; Amos 6;
1 Corinthians 6: 1 – 11
Psalm 71; Genesis 6: 11 – 7: 10;
Matthew 24: 1 - 14
Tuesday 19th January
Wulfstan, bishop, 1095
Psalm 132; Amos 7;
1 Corinthians 6: 12 – end
Psalm 89: 1 – 37; Genesis 7: 11 – end; Matthew 24: 15 - 28
Wednesday 20th January
Richard Rolle, spiritual writer, 1349
Psalm 81; Amos 8;
1 Corinthians 7: 1 – 24
Psalm 97; Genesis 8: 1 – 14;
Matthew 24: 29 - end
Thursday 21st January
Agnes, child martyr, 304
Psalm 76; Amos 9;
1 Corinthians 7: 25 – end
Psalm 99; Genesis 8: 15 – 9: 7
Matthew 25: 1 - 13
Friday 22nd January
Vincent of Saragossa, deacon, martyr, 304
Psalm 27; Hosea 1: 1 – 2: 1
1 Corinthians 8
Psalm 73; Genesis 9: 8 – 19;
Matthew 25: 14 - 30
Saturday 23rd January
Psalm 122; Hosea 2: 2 – 17;
1 Corinthians 9: 1 – 14
Psalm 61; Genesis 11: 1 – 9;
Matthew 25: 31 - end
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord makes His face to shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace. Amen. (Numbers 6: 24 – 27)