Welcome…

St. Michael and All Angels has been a centre of Christian worship in the Birchwood area for over 60 years.
Our principal service is Holy Communion on Sunday morning, with a Sunday Club for children.
We also have a thriving Messy Church that meets once a month where youngsters (of all ages!) are getting to know God through art and craft!


TheMagi

This Week

Sunday 14 January 2018:

Second Sunday of Epiphany

09:30 – Eucharist
Celebrant & Preacher: Ven Janet Mackenzie, Archdeacon of Hertford

Readings:
from the Old Testament1 Samuel 3.1-10
the Gospel readingJohn 1.43-51
other readings for the day • Psalm 139.1-5,12-18*• Revelation 5.1-10

Almighty God,
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


In the Western churches, the Epiphany (‘manifestation’) became an occasion
to celebrate one element in the story of Christ’s birth, the visit of the
far-travelled magi, understood as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.
Matthew’s account speaks simply of ‘wise men from the east’; later tradition
fixed their number at three, made them kings and recalled their resonant
names – Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. In this perspective, Epiphanytide
is an apt season to pray for the worldwide mission of the Church. The feast
of the Conversion of St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, appropriately falls
in the Epiphany season, as does the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In the
Eastern churches, the Epiphany is, rather, the celebration of Christ’s baptism
at the hands of John, when the heavens were opened and a voice from heaven
declared Jesus to be God’s beloved Son.The miracle of Cana in Galilee, where
Jesus ‘first manifested his glory’, follows immediately:

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,
Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;
and at Cana wedding-guest
in thy Godhead manifest. (Christopher Wordsworth)

The arrangement of the Sundays of Epiphany in the Revised Common
Lectionary deliberately draws out these aspects.

The season of joyful celebration that begins at Christmas now continues
through the successive Sundays of Epiphany, and the festal cycle ends only
with the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas). The child who has been
manifested to the magi at his birth is now recognized by Simeon and Anna,
when he comes to be presented in the Temple according to the Law of Israel.
He is both ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles’ and ‘the glory of God’s people
Israel’. But the redemption he will bring must be won through suffering;
the Incarnation is directed to the Passion; and Simeon’s final words move
our attention away from the celebration of Christmas and towards the
mysteries of Easter.


NEWS!

Messy Church: “Messy Christingle” – Thursday 25th January 2018 3.30 – 5.30pm. Help on the day would be very much appreciated – All Welcome.


Rambles+
INFO! Saturday 03 February 2018 – Ramble 168
Ramblers will meet at 10.00am St. Michael’s car park.
The ramble will be around Wareside – more information to follow.


Messy Church
“Messy Christingle”: Thursday 25th January 2018 – 15:30 to 17:30
Great fun for both children and adults involving arts, crafts and games plus a time to talk and a cooked tea.


Looking ahead…
Thursday 25 January – Messy Church: “Messy Christingle” – St. Michael’s
Saturday 03 February – 08:00 – Men’s Breakfast – St. Michael’s Church Hall
Saturday 03 February – 10:00 – Ramble 168