Readings for Week 15 in Year 1
Monday: Exodus 1:8-14, 22; Psalm 124; Matthew 10:34-11:1
Tuesday: Exodus 2:1-15; Psalm 69:1-2, 32-36; Matthew 11:20-24
Wednesday: Exodus 3:1-12; Psalm 103:1-7; Matthew 11:25-27
Thursday: Exodus 3:13-20; Psalm 105:1-15; Matthew 11:28-30
Friday: Exodus 11:10-12-14; Psalm 116:12-19; Matthew 12:1-8
Saturday: Exodus 12:37-42; Psalm 136:1-3, 10-15; Matthew 12:14-21
Apologies for this delayed letter- the office computer is beginning to feel like it needs some tlc; but that is next week’s problem.
We now have a definite shape for the new Ministry Area we will be part of from next January and we will be having a Parish Council meeting to make the formal declarations that are needed about the transfer of our assets to the new Area. We will be joining with Pyle and Kenfig, Kenfig Hill and the ‘old’ parish of Margam, as it was in 1978, (so without the area in Port Talbot around St David’s). What we haven’t had is any meetings or direction or requests from our Ministry Area Leader, Fr Jonathan, to set up the planning groups they have elsewhere for some time. Another of next week’s issues!
The new camera is All Saints is now up and running, bringing with it an improvement in both vision and sound for our broadcasts. My colleagues have mastered the system and will be drawing up a handbook for people like me. We have also installed a WiFi router (password: AllSaints1914) and hope to bring in Contactless collections, letting people use a card rather than cash. If this works well we will find a way of doing this in Nottage and Newton, using a machine linked to a phone. Lockdown has certainly pushed us forward in ways we never thought we would travel. ………..
Coffee has re-started in Saint John’s on a Friday, using disposable cups and pre-packaged milk and sugar, so there is no handling from person to person. It is a relief and a joy to have time to sit and talk in our socially-distanced tables of 6!
This Sunday’s gospel is a familiar one for us who have a Parish Church dedicated to the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. It is, amongst many other things, a lesson in the dangers of good and fair government being overcome by influence from close relatives and friends. The death of the last of the prophets because of his fearlessness in calling out bad behaviour has chilling echoes through history.
The weather, at last, seems to be changing for the better – summer at last, we hope!
St John the Baptist
Midsummer night, and bonfires on the hill
Burn for the man who makes way for the Light:
‘He must increase and I diminish still,
Until his sun illuminates my night.’
So John the Baptist pioneers our path,
Unfolds the essence of the life of prayer,
Unlatches the last doorway into faith,
And makes one inner space an everywhere.
Least of the new and greatest of the old,
Orpheus on the threshold with his lyre,
He sets himself aside, and cries “Behold
The One who stands amongst you comes with fire!”
So keep his fires burning through this night,
Beacons and gateways for the child of light.