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Weekly Sheet 2 January 2022

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Readings for this week

Monday:             1 John 3. 1-6; Psalm98. 1-6 John 1. 29-34
Tuesday:              1 John 3. 7-10; Psalm 98. 1,2, 7-9 John 1. 35-42
Wednesday:       1 John 3. 11-18; Psalm 100 Luke 2:22-35
Thursday:            Isaiah 60. 1-6; Psalm 72. 10-15 Ephesians 3. 1-12; Matthew 2. 1-12
Friday:                  1 John 3. 18-4.6; Psalm 2 Matthew 4. 12-17, 23-25
Saturday:            1 John 4. 7-12; Psalm 72. 1-8 Mark 6. 30-44

All can be found here

The joy of Christmas is still with us – and will remain with us until 2nd February, when Jesus is taken to the Temple. On New Year’s Day we celebrate His Naming – the formal act which is a proclamation of who this Child is- Jesus, Yeshua, God who saves His people. This name, common enough at the time, becomes significant because of who this Yeshua is – the Word made flesh, God come to dwell among us. So the name becomes more than just a name – it becomes a proclamation of where Salvation can be found, in the this small, weak, defenceless Child who will grow to give Himself for us on the Cross and triumph over sin and death.

1st January is, then,  for us more than just a passing from one year to the next: it is a day hallowed by the Name given and shared, a reminder to us, who are God’s children in faith, that the world and all that is in it and the days and weeks and months to come are God-given, a place where Salvation is to be worked out.

So what is yet to come is God’s time. What has been is God’s time too – a year of hardship, of Covid waxing, waning and now waxing again. A time where the light of faith is ever-more important, especially when we cannot meet and share as we used to. Our daily broadcasts still have a wide (and mostly appreciative) audience and remind us that the faith we live and teach is there for everyone. From his fullness, as Sunday’s gospel puts it, we receive grace upon grace.

1st January brings too a new beginning- the Margam Ministry Area, uniting Margam Abbey, Pyle & Kenfig, Kenfig Hill and Newton Nottage, Porthcawl into one unit, albeit of several parts. The new charity will need Trustees, so we will be seeking two representatives from each church to volunteer to serve on the new PCC (or Ministry Area Council), together with subwardens and so on, as usual. Nomination papers for this are in each church. The Meeting to set all this up is supposed to be on 19th January but since (hopefully) this will attract more than 30 people and will have to wait until the Covid rules are adjusted. Very much a work in progress, you won’t notice much difference! Do please return your Electoral roll forms…..

As the year ends, I would like to offer my thanks to all who serve the parish so well – the retiring wardens, Ruth and Kevin, the subwardens and treasurer, the musicians, the ringers, the flower arrangers, the magazine distributors, everyone who gives and shares their time and energy in a way which helps this parish thrive. A special thanks to my two colleagues, Fr Geoff and Fr Mark whose willingness and genial nature makes life sooo much easier and life a bit more fun-filled. Next May I will have been the priest here for 30 years: in all that I have been sustained by your generosity and faithfulness. My thanks to you all.

Wishing you every joy and blessing in the year to come,
Fr Philip