From our Vicar

Dear FriendsTomorrow is Ascension Day and is the day that we celebrate Jesus’ascension to heaven 40 days after Easter.  It also marks the beginningof the 10 day period to Pentecost – the arrival of the promised HolySpirit.  At the end of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus’ final words to thegathered disciples on the shore at Galilee are; “Remember, I am withyou always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)On Good Friday Jesus died on the cross and his departure in death wasfull of sorrow, horror and despair.  Easter Sunday saw his return inglory, and now he departs again – but this time it is not with sorrowin the wake – but joy!  “While he was blessing them, he withdrew fromthem and was carried up to heaven.  And they worshipped him, andreturned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:51-52).Why joy?  Jesus has gone again – the disciples are on their own and itis far from safe.  Luke goes on to write in the book of Acts about thepersecutions that follow.  Do the disciples scatter?  No – they go toJerusalem and wait and pray – exactly as Jesus has asked them.  Theyare filled with joy because they now know that even though Jesus isnot physically present, the events of the resurrection reveal thatneither are they alone.  Jesus is truly Emmanuel – God with us.  Andat Pentecost they are rewarded by being filled with the Spirit andequipped to go and continue the mission; to ‘go and make disciples ofall nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son, andthe Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)Joy and happiness are not the same thing.  I doubt very much thedisciples were happy to see Jesus leave.  He is their friend, theirleader, their very identity as the first Christians.  I am quite surethey would rather he had not left!  But joy is different.  It is abouthope, and inner feeling and drive, a conviction, that despite thecircumstances there is much to be grateful for and to rejoice in – andmuch to come.  It is about belief in the power and unity of love andtruth that will overcome adversity.Indeed, it is one of the hallmarks of living in the Spirit – theSpirit that is waited for and prayed for in these 10 days.  As St Paulwrites to the Galatians; “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, andself-control.  There is no law against such things.”  (Gal 5:22-26)SERVICES THIS WEEK AND NEXT:Thursday 26th May – Ascension Day – 7pm St John’s Tatworth.  Rev’dPhilip.  Holy Communion using Celtic and Taize influences.Sunday 29th May – BENEFICE Service – 10:30am St Stephen’s, Winsham.Rev’d Philip.Sunday 5th June – Jubilee:8am – BCP Holy Communion at Forde Abbey10am – Holy Communion at St Stephen’s, Winsham11:30am – Jubilee Celebration service at St John’s, Tatworth6:30pm – Jubilee and Flower Festival Songs of Praise at St Mary’s,Cricket MalherbieBAPTISMS AND WEDDINGS:Saturday 28th May, Chaffcombe, 2pm:  Wedding of Olivia Henry-Riley andLee Goodland.  Also Baptism during the wedding of Olivia, Dulcie andEli Goodland.Sunday 29th May, Tatworth, 2pm:  Baptism of Edward Rendell.Saturday 4th June, Winsham 12pm:  Wedding of Gemma Evans and David Brown.Saturday 4th June, Thorncombe, 1pm:  Wedding of Katrina Herrod and Luke Edwards.PRAYERS:We are all shocked to hear of the news of more shootings of schoolchildren in America, and we hold the people of Uvalde and all thoseconnected with Robb Elementary School in our prayers.From within our communities please also pray for all those you knoware struggling, including:Dave Boyland; Terri Boyland; Sheila Clement; John and Wendy Cotton;Hannah Knott; Jan Knott; Mary Marsh; Tony Taylor; Rosemary Walton;Margaret Bandy; Dorothy White, Tony Meech, Di Nicholls, Hester Down.The Collect for Ascension:Risen Christ,you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven:help us to seek and serve you,that we may join you at the Father’s side,where you reign with the Spirit in glory,now and for ever.Amen.BlessingsPhilipThe Reverend Philip ButcherRector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham,Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)The Vicarage3 Home FarmTatworthChardTA20 2SH01460 221286PASTORAL EMAILS – please to: twoshiresre

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