Easter 7

SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION Hymns: 338, 296, 277, 443

FIRST READING Acts 1.6-14 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel? ‘He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 68

Response: Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.

Let God arise, let his foes be scattered. Let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is blown away so will they be blown away;
like wax that melts before the fire, so the wicked shall perish at the presence of God. R

But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God, they shall exult and dance for joy.
O sing to the Lord, make music to his name; rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence. R

Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, such is God in his holy place.
God gives the lonely a home to live in; he leads the prisoners forth into freedom. R

SECOND READING 1 Peter 4.12-14;5.6-11 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

GOSPEL John 17.1-11 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.'

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.

A Fashion Show with a Difference! MADM (local charity Making a Difference Maidstone) is organising a Fashion Show of formal/bridal wear at MidKent College on Friday 26^th^ May. All the outfits shown will be secondhand – a chance to address the cost of living crisis, to encourage recycling, to raise money for MADM – and to see how glamorous a quality second-hand fashion item can be! Refreshments will be available, admission is free, and donations on the day will be much appreciated. There is actually going to be a pop-up shop! There will be two sessions -12.30 pm and 2 pm – and you can make sure of a place if you reserve your free ticket by scanning the QR code on the poster in the narthex. This show will go on for just under an hour and is in our own locality (Oakwood Road) – do support it if you can!

From Our Tower:

Kent County Association

Maidstone, Kent

St Michael and All Angels

Friday, 5 May 2023 in 42m (6–1–24 in C)

1296 Northumberland Surprise Minor

1. Pam Thomas 2. Jacqueline Barlow 3. Janice Byrne 4. Mark Elvers 5. Philip Jarvis 6. Neil Jones (C) 

Rung on the eve of the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla

Saturday, 6 May 2023 (6–1–24 in C)

General Ringing

Cambridge S Minor 

1. Jacqueline Barlow 2. Charlotte Elvers 3. Emma Jarvis 4. Mark Elvers 5. Philip Jarvis 6. Neil Jones (C) 

Rung to mark the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Don't forget the PCC meeting – the first of our “new” PCC – in the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, 24^th^ May, at 7.30 pm.

Volunteers' Day: On Tuesday, 24^th^ May, we are welcoming a group of student volunteers from Oakwood Park Grammar School, who will be tackling various maintenance jobs around our church building and its grounds. Warmest thanks in advance to them, to their Director Miss Kirsty Ryan, and to Martyn and the other church members who will be on site to ensure that all goes smoothly.

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