The Stodden Churches

Welcome to the Stodden Churches website

"As the Stodden Churches we seek to move forward together in love and service, sharing the good news of Christ with our neighbours"

Notices

LINK to the notices for January 2023 (opens in new  page)

Sunday 29th January - Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany 

10.30                     Holy Communion at Melchbourne

LINK to the reflective service sheet

LINK to the Pew Sheet

Sunday 5th February - Third Sunday before Lent

9am                        Holy Communion at Melchbourne

10.30                      Holy Communion  at Yelden

Sunday 12th February - Second Sunday before Lent

9am                        Holy Communion at Shelton

10.30                      Service at Pertenhall

Sunday 19th February - Sunday next before Lent

09.15                      Café Sunday at Yelden

10.30                      Holy Communion at Melchbourne

Wednesday 22nd February - Ash Wednesday 

                               There will be a service; we just haven't decided when andwhere yet!

Sunday 16th February - First Sunday of Lent

9am                        Holy Communion at Swineshead

10.30                      Service at Dean

Looking to a new year

So another new year dawns with a nice shiny new number; 2023. At the moment we have no idea what the next twelve months may bring; it may be a year that can be looked back on with a fond smile, thinking “what a great year that was”. Let us hope so.
The last year has been a year that seemed to feel that the four horsemen of the apocalypse although not galloping at full pelt through humanity, but never the less seemed to be journeying through humanity and the World at a swift canter. We have had war in the Ukraine that has cast a long shadow over us. We have floods and famine and earthquakes; and drought. We have seen political turmoil and the death of a much loved monarch who had been a constant in so many lives for so long. We end the year with industrial strife which included hospitals and ambulance services.
For many of us the last year has not been easy at a personal, family level. Certainly for us at the Rectory it has been a challenging year to say the least!
So what about 2023? I believe as Christians we should always step into a new year with hope, no matter how challenging the prospects. Hope comes from putting our trust in Christ who declared himself to be the light of the world; and he promised to place his light within us. Hope is to know that light that is Christ within us.
But I think it also good to have a hope that is more of a desire; because that kind of hope can focus our prayers; on where we look for the good. For me, my hope of desire is a hope for Peace. When peace can come between nations, or within communities, or within families, then so much can be transformed and renewed. We should honour the peacemakers, we should encourage their endeavours, and seek opportunity to become peacemakers ourselves, for then we become hope to others.
However we should not lose sight of the true source of lasting peace that can sustain us through all life’s ups and downs. It is the peace that the old man Simeon encountered when Jesus was presented in the great Temple in Jerusalem by his parents at just eight days old. He longed to see the peace that was missing in his country and in his life, but not so much that he missed it when it was right under his nose.
It just so happened that he opened the temple door at the right time on the right day just as a poor couple came to present their baby as was their tradition. Immediately Simeon recognised the baby as the promised
Messiah. His face lit up in praise to God. From that moment on he knew that everything would be alright in the end – in the end peace would come.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation.”
Jesus is the eternal source of true and lasting peace that reaches beyond nations and family into the heart of every man and woman. Jesus has been born. Everything will be alright in the end.
As 2023 dawns let us hope for peace, that it may be a year of peace, but let us also commit ourselves to be peacemakers and pray for peace.
Shalom and happy New Year.  The Peace of the Lord be with you.
Stephen

Honeycomb On-Line

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Promoting a Safer Church

The care and protection of children, young people and adults involved in church activities is the responsibility of everyone who participates in the life of the church and is of the utmost of importance to us.  Please see our statement on promoting a safer church which tells you how to get support and what to do if you have any concerns.  Our parish Safeguarding Officer is Sarah Croft.

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