It is often in the most unexpected moments that we discover a time of joy. Joy is not something that you can ‘book’, or order on Amazon. Although Joy can be that sense of excited anticipation as you open an Amazon parcel as the little kid inside you pretends it’s a present! (even though it is something you ordered!). You can arrange to do things that you know from experience or expectation might bring happiness, but that is not the same thing as Joy. Joy is something much deeper. A sense of joy is not just possible when things are going well, but when things are difficult too, in fact, especially so. It is a state of being, through which we can also bring joy to others.
One such moment that I became aware of the power of Joy was on Tuesday. I had some time between meetings and Michelle was using the office, so I decided it was a good opportunity to sit down and either read or watch something interesting. Scrolling through the documentaries on BBC IPlayer I landed on the documentary “Mission : Joy”, which is the film of the meeting in 2015 between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama. It was spell binding, and the joy shared between those two great spiritual leaders, and in their answers to some huge questions, is simply infectious. If you have time, please do watch it! BBC iPlayer – Mission: Joy – With Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama
This Sunday our Gospel reading is the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9). Jesus has taken 3 of his disciples away to a mountain top and in a moment of shining glory is transformed in front of them. They are literally awestruck and ask to remain there – but after the moment has passed Jesus leads them back down the mountain to their companions and the continuation of their work. This is joy – the hard work continues, but it continues in a new way, transformed by the joy they experience and receive (and carry with them).
There will be moments of joy in your everyday. They may be hard to find – but they are there. Take note of them, let them dwell deep within you, and let them be transformative for you, and those around you. As Mother Teresa said, “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls”.
SERVICES IN THE BENEFICE FOR THE COMING FORTNIGHT:
Sunday 11th February:
8am – BCP Holy Communion; St Stephen’s, Winsham
10am – Morning Worship; St Mary’s, Thorncombe
10.30am – Holy Communion; St Michael & All Angels, Chaffcombe
Tuesday 13th February:
9:30am – Morning Prayer; St John’s, Tatworth
ASH WEDNESDAY – 14th February:
Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes is being held through the following two services on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent.
11am – Said service of Holy Communion for Ash Wednesday; St John’s, Tatworth
7pm – Sung service of Holy Communion for Ash Wednesday; St Stephen’s, Winsham
Sunday 18th February:
10am – Morning Worship; St Stephen’s, Winsham
10.30am – Holy Communion; St John’s, Tatworth. There is a Sunday School running at this service, which meets from 10.15 in the Church room at St John’s. It is a Pancake special this month!
Tuesday 20th February:
9:30am – Morning Prayer, St John’s, Tatworth
LENT WALKS 2024
The Lent Walks in 2023 were a huge success and we are looking forward to them again this year. The first one is on Thursday 22nd February at 11am, meeting at St John’s, Tatworth, followed by a light lunch (soup) from around 1215. All Welcome to the walk and lunch, or either part!! Like last year, I will host a Bible study series after Easter, between Easter and Pentecost / Ascension.
Wild Church 2024 starts on 17 February! The first gathering is for a walk and explore at Chard Reservoir, meeting in the main car park (Chard end) to start at 3pm. This is obviously slightly weather permitting, so please do check for updates if you think it’s looking doubtful!
We hold in our prayers all those we know who are ill or struggling in any way, and we are asked to pray by name for the following. If you would like to add someone. or yourself, to this list, then please do get in touch.
Margaret Bandy, Dave Boyland, Andrew De-pury, Christopher Mitchell
We remember in our prayers all those whom we love but see no longer. Particularly at this time we remember Denis Hunt, and Mona Harding.
The collect for this Sunday:
Almighty Father,whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The Reverend Philip Butcher
Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
3 Home Farm
Rest Days – Mondays (Tuesdays where following a bank holiday)
For non-urgent enquiries please allow up to a week for responses.
Mornings are best times for phone contact!