MICHAELMAS (transferred) Hymns 190, 343, 336, 475

FIRST READING Genesis 28: 10-17Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 103 Response: Bless the Lord, O my soul

The [Lord]{.smallcaps} has set his throne in heaven,
and his kingship has dominion over all. R

Bless the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding, *
and hearken to the voice of his word. R

Bless the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, all you his hosts, *
you ministers of his who do his will. R

Bless the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion; *
bless the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, O my soul. R

SECOND READING Revelation 12: 7-12 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!’

GOSPEL John 1:47-51 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

Could you pass on this sheet to someone else who might like to see it?

On this our patronal festival, 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 Matthias, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. Everyone is warmly invited to buffet lunch in the Vestry Hall after Mass today. If new to St Michael's, you are particularly welcome. Thank you to all whose offerings of food and help have made this possible!

Valerie Brown, a faithful member of St Michael's congregation for many decades, died peacefully on Michaelmas morning. She will be remembered by so many for her flower arranging, her singing, her work as Electoral Roll officer and the unfailing kindness and charm with which she carried out countless tasks for this church, many of them the inconspicuous ones known chiefly to God. We extend our sympathy to her family, and thank God for her example and for all she has meant to us. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Our lovely series of Angel Windows (Old Testament angels on the north side, New Testament angels on the south side) helps to make our church a Grade 2 Listed Building. Perhaps we have grown so used to our windows that we need to take a fresh look at them. Today would be a good time to linger over them and thank God for the ministry of His holy angels – and to be inspired by the generosity and dedication of those who saved to have those windows installed, one by one, 140 years ago.

Margaret Smith, Ralph, Mary and Mike received a warm welcome at St Michael and All Angels', Harbledown on Friday at the parish's Patronal Festival. Solemn Mass was celebrated by the Rector, Fr Peter Harnden, and the preacher was Fr Angus Beattie, Rector of St Andrew's, Deal and Holy Trinity, Ramsgate. Celebrations continued in the church hall with a magnificent buffet-reception.

Our Harvest Thanksgiving is next Sunday, October 8th. Everyone is invited to enjoy a glass of wine and cake after Mass. Please, if you can, come to church with an offering of food to be delivered to the Christian Care Foodbank in Knightrider Street. Imperishable food is most welcome, but so is fresh garden produce. Thank you in advance for your generosity – particularly appreciated in these difficult times.

Choral Evensong often speaks not only to active Anglicans but to many people whose links with the Church are far less definite. Everyone will be welcome at Choral Evensong at St Michael's on Sunday, 29th October, ar 5 pm, with a gathered choir conducted by Gareth James. Do pass the word around! Grateful thanks also to Gareth and the extra singers for leading our music this morning.

The Maidstone Deanery Roadshow at St Luke's, Maidstone, on October 16th at 7 pm - what is it? Deanery Roadshows are a chance for parishes to learn about the financial plans of the diocese and how they will affect the deanery and its parishes. Those present can ask questions and, indeed, make representations about financial matters that concern them. Recently St Michael's has made its presence felt, and its voice heard, on these occasions. Please note the date and try to come along.

Our pre-Christmas Fair, on 2nd December from 12 noon to 4 pm, will need the work of cake-bakers, jam-makers, plant-growers, craftspeople, prize-donors - and others, including kindly angels who will give help on the day. It will also be a better Fair if people contribute bright ideas beforehand. How could you help? Sara will be delighted to hear (in person or on 07837 919761) from anyone who is willing to be involved in any way. Let's get together to make it a wonderful day for all concerned!

A chance to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution: there's a box for your used stamps in the narthex. Please don't try to remove them from the envelope – if feasible, about an inch of envelope all round is ideal. Thank you!

From Our Tower: Kent County Association - Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 24 September 2023 in 39m (6–1–24 in C)

1271 Ipswich Surprise Minor

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

Rung on the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Pre-loved Christian books! MADM (Make a Difference Maidstone) now have not only their general charity shop at 28 High Street but also a Christian bookshop at The Living Word, 49 Church Street, open 10 am - 2 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can drop in and browse, have a cuppa and a snack, and find out about children's story-times and craft activities. A chance to pick up something solid to read, and also to support MADM's work with people who are homeless or in crisis.