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Weekly Sheet 22 August 2021

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Readings for Week 21 in Year 1

Monday:          1 Thessalonians 1. 1-10; Psalm 149. 1-5; Matthew 23. 13-22
Tuesday:          Isaiah 43. 8-13; Psalm 1. 1-3; Acts 5. 12-16; Luke 22. 24-30
Wednesday:    1 Thessalonians 2. 9-13; Psalm 126; Matthew 23. 27-32
Thursday:        1 Thessalonians 3. 6-13; Psalm 90. 13-17; Matthew 24. 42-51
Friday:            1 Thessalonians 4. 1-8; Psalm 97; Matthew 25. 1-13
Saturday:         1 Thessalonians 4. 9-12; Psalm 98; Matthew 25. 14-30

All can be found here.

Remember those days when we had a summer where you could sit outside, relax and enjoy the weather rather than huddle indoors avoiding the rain? The Porthcawl Park Run, restarting today has had a cold and wet beginning (I am of course, in church and cannot join them).

The news from Afghanistan is, in a sense, a predictable horror staved off for years by the endurance and sacrifice of our troops and those of our allies. I do not begin to understand why our political leaders chose to remove that support for peoples’ lives, still less abandon those who have served with us as interpreters and associates. Neither can we easily understand an interpretation of Islam which demeans, diminishes and degrades women and people who speak differently to that particular interpretation. What can we do? Be sure that those who come here as refugees are made welcome and supported. Pray for those whose families and friends are affected. Pray for our government that it may not just speak words of compassion but put them into practice – this morning’s gospel reading at Mass, Matthew 23. 1-12 totally condemns those who seek places of honour but leave heavy burdens on others.

Wednesday saw the first (at last!) meeting of the ‘Ministry Area Transition Team’. The late start in discussions means that there is a tremendous amount of work to do before the formation of the new ministry area in January, not least what it is to be called. Trivial compared to Afghanistan or the horrors following the earthquake in Haiti but still something that will shape our future together. We need a name which will link Newton Nottage, Porthcawl, Pyle & Kenfig, Kenfig Hill and Margam. Sensible suggestions welcome!

This week’s gospel concludes our reading through chapter 6 of John, words all worth reading and re-reading. Jesus teaches us that He is the bread of life – that coming to Him means we will not hunger of thirst for what is right both in this world and the next. ‘This teaching is difficult’ said the disciples and Jesus acknowledges that there are some, even among his disciples who do not believe (and some turned away). The ones who remain echo the words of Peter ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to know and believe that you are the Holy One of God.’ Much there for us to think on and act on as well.

Further steps back to normal with the 200 Club in the Schoolroom next Saturday and later today for our first baptism since 2019. Please pray for Enid Arianwen, her parents, family and godparents. Congratulations to her grandparents, Sian and David Jones on their 40th wedding anniversary tomorrow and belated congratulations to Mr & Mrs John Pearman on reaching 50!

Keep well and keep safe and remember that the virus has not disappeared..

Fr Philip

Soldiers of Christ! arise,
Now put your armour on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Through his eternal Son;
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in his mighty pow’r;
He, who in his Redeemer trusts,
Is more than conqueror.

Stand, then, in his great might,
With all his strength endued;
Take ye, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
Then, when your work is done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye shall o’ercome, through Christ alone,
And stand entire at last.

Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul;
Take ev’ry virtue, ev’ry grace,
And fortify the whole:
Ever together join’d,
To battle all proceed;
Arm ye yourselves with all the mind,
That was in Christ your Head.

Charles Wesley, based on today’s second reading