Easter 5

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER Hymns 285, 351, 280, 113

FIRST READING Acts 7.55-60 But filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 31

Response: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me. R

Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy. R

Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your kindness. R

SECOND READING 1 Peter 2.2-10 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: ‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner’, and ‘A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

GOSPEL John 14.1-14 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.'

ST MICHAEL'S NEWS

A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Today we are celebrating His Majesty's Coronation with a parish lunch, to which everyone is invited. Let us keep The King in our prayers – and also all those who are taking up positions of responsibility now that the local elections have taken place.

Warmest thanks to all who have provided food and help for today's lunch – particularly Alison, for masterminding both this occasion and last Sunday's agreeably fizzy APCM!

St Andrew's, Barming, is holding a Coronation Tea this afternoon, 2.30-4.30. Visitors from St Michael's are welcome – no charge, donation appreciated.

Thanks once more to those public-spirited members of the congregation who are serving our church in new, or newly reaffirmed, ways in the wake of the Annual Meeting. We congratulate Jonathan, our Churchwarden, Paul, our Deputy Warden, Katja, our Safeguarding Officer, and the other members of our PCC: Alison Ponter, Catherine Garland, Sara Dray, Nelly Kwalombota, Margaret Gatehouse, Eleanor Relle. The first meeting of the PCC will take place on 24^th^ May; if there are any items you would like raised, please speak to a PCC member. And please support our office-bearers in every way you can, particularly by keeping them in your prayers.

Our Strawberry Fair is planned for 1^st^ July, 2pm-4.30 pm. The central attraction will be the strawberry teas, but some people are already working towards additional offerings, including a raffle, a craft stall and a tombola. Sara will welcome further ideas, items for the tombola etc., offers of help with publicity, and of course supporters who can cook, prepare or wash up. As her work sometimes keeps her away from Mass, please note that you can contact Sara on 07837 919761, or email sara_pointer@msn.com.

From Our Tower:

Kent County Association: Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 30 April 2023 in 37m (6–1–24 in C)

1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major

  1. Terry Barnard
  2. Rona Joiner
  3. Jacqueline Barlow
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Paul Barton
  6. Richard Barclay
  7. Mike Birkbeck
  8. Neil Jones (C)

Remembering John Tester (April 2022) and Pat Barton (May 2022), R.I.P.

Rung on the Saint's Days of St Pius V, Pope; St Catherine of Sienna and St Pandita Mary Ramabai, translator of the Scriptures, 1922.

Mothers' Union Members: This Thursday's 10.30 Mass is the monthly MU Mass, - it would be so good to see as many members as possible joining us.

Forward in Faith Members – a reminder from the Administrator: “There are a few places left at the Forward in Faith Festival on Saturday 20th May! This is a great opportunity to find out about what’s been happening in Forward in Faith and The Society, and to meet other members from around the country. If you would like to attend there is still time to book – please confirm by Wednesday 10th May and I can get your place reserved. The Festival takes place from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday 20 May at the church of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, London EC1N 7RD. The day starts with a Solemn Mass at 12pm with high quality choral music and concludes with Benediction at 3.30pm. Between those liturgies there is a hot lunch with wine and a short annual meeting along with a couple of presentations. All you need to do is to email me to confirm your attendance and then make a £10 donation on the day towards lunch costs (a card machine will be available at St Alban's). If you need any further information, please do let me know.” The annual Festival is always an inspiring occasion, and it would be great if St Michael's could be represented. Telephone Louisa on 020 7388 3588 or email admin.assistant\@forwardinfaith.com.

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