16th February 2017 Sunday b Lent

A warm welcome to worship in
THE PARISH OF ALVERSTOKE


St.Mary’s ✢ St.Faith’s ✢ St.Francis’
“‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.
Listen to him!’” Matthew 17v5
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Sunday’s Worship across the Parish:
8.00am St.Mary’s BCP Communion
Revd Humphrey Prideaux
9.15am St.Mary’s Communion
Revd Andrew Norris & George Oliver
9.30am St.Faith’s Morning Prayer
Susan Smith
10.45am St.Mary’s Church Alive
Darren Clarke
11.00am St.Luke’s Communion
Revd Phil Hiscock
11.15am St.Francis’ Worship
Susan Smith
6.30pm St.Mary’s iNViTe Prayer Night
Revd Andrew Norris
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ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES 1st March
Join us on Wednesday for the start of Lent at our service of Communion for Ash Wednesday with optional ashes in the sign of a cross on your forehead as a sign of turning to Jesus.
7.30am Parish Centre
7.00pm St.Mary’s Church
OPEN THE BOOK Assemblies Team
Members of our parish school assemblies team will tell us about their ministry at our 9.15am and 10.45am services this Sunday, and we’ll pray to commission them in this mission they perform for us as a church. We are privileged to share the Bible stories and regularly lead worship in all six of our local primary schools.

iNVITe PRAYER NIGHT
Sunday evening at 6.30pm in St.Mary’s we’re going to turn the focus of our monthly 6.30pm iNViTe service towards nurturing prayer and offering prayer ministry; our iNViTe Prayer Night for at least the next six months!

COFFEE MORNING Tues 28th February
10:30 am until 12:00 noon. £2.50 for drink and cake.
Come and join us for tea, coffee, cake, chat, and more.
Come with friends, make new friends, and help raise money for a new Parish Centre. Thank you for all your support as the total raised is now £8114!

PILGRIMS
Our midweek fellowship for Bible Study, Prayer and Friendship – 7.15pm for refreshments in the Parish Centre on Thursdays.

WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
This Friday 3rd March, 10.30am at Gosport URC -St.Columba’s, Elson Road, Gosport PO12 4WB.

DIOCESAN NEW WINE CELEBRATION
Next Sunday 5th March. Refreshments from 6pm with worship commencing at 6.30pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Crookhorn Lane, Crookhorn, PO7 5QB.

New OLDER YOUTH CELL (14 -16+)
2nd & 4th Wednesdays during term.
7.30-8.45pm at 6 Carlton Way PO12 1LN with Clare & Tim Watson. For Bible Study – Prayer – Nibbles.
Starts 8th March – Creation & Fall
Contact the Watsons to book a place: 023 9243 9737

ST.FAITH’S & AGM 12th March
Many thanks to the 18 folk of St.Faith’s who shared in the recent consultation (and soup!). The options to release the church building for mission and focus on the Thursday Communion as the principal service were very strongly supported. In the light of this the church committee have again met to recommend the options and look forward to the future flourishing and mission of the community at St.Faith’s. More information will follow in preparation for St.Faith’s AGM on Sunday 12th March after morning worship, with a view to any changes being implemented after Easter.

ST.FRANCIS’ AGM on Sunday 19th March morning.
PARISH APCM (AGM!) on Tuesday 11th April at 7.00pm

IT TAKES TWO – Building a Lasting Marriage. Thurs 16 March by Care for the Family.
A fun, informative and very popular evening being held for couples across the UK. Coming to Cosham Baptist Church from 7.30-10pm. https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/event/it-takes-two-portsmouth or call Tel: 02920 810800
SEEKING PRAYER FOR OTHERS
You are invited to write requests for intercessory prayer on the small leaflets and pegging them to The Prayer Tree (by St.Mary’s Chapel) or Prayer Cross in St.Francis, or Prayer Wall in St.Faith’s.

SEEK PERSONAL PRAYER AT ST.MARY’S? Two members of our renewed team of 12 will wear badges and be available to pray with anyone who seeks prayer between 10.15am-10.45am in St.Mary’s each week – don’t hesitate to ask.

We’d love you to join in March!
THE CHURCH ELECTORAL ROLL
By your faith in Jesus you belong to his church – your baptism celebrates that belonging. But you can express ‘belonging’ to a local CofE congregation through our ‘Church Electoral Roll’. It even gives you a vote at the annual meetings – so why not sign up? Application Forms are at the back of church to be returned to Sue in The Parish Office. In fact you can belong to more than one Electoral Roll and don’t even have to be an ‘anglican’ as it is about this parish rather than the CofE! Application closure date is 27th March, two weeks before our Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

VISIT BY BISHOP CHRISTOPHER
A long advanced notice so that we can all be there to welcome Bishop Christopher to St.Mary’s on Sunday 26th November.

BAPTISM & CONFIRMATION 26th November
On 26th November Bishop Christopher will be pleased to Confirm those who wish to affirm their baptism, and be prayed for to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The ancient prayer said is: “Confirm O Lord your servant (N) with your Holy Spirit”. For those baptised as infants this is the completion of the baptism and fulfilment of the promises made by your parents; for you to make it your own.

For those adults who are not baptised it offers the opportunity for baptism (including by immersion for those who wish) immediately followed by the prayer. There will be preparation in the Autumn for older teenagers and adults who’d like to affirm and declare their faith by Confirmation or through adult Baptism..

STATEMENT FROM BISHOP CHRISTOPHER
I write after the General Synod declined to ‘take note’ of the House of Bishops’ paper on ‘Marriage and Same Sex Relationships’.
I had agreed the report, which reflected the agreed consensus among the bishops and the closest to agreement we could discern amongst us, so I supported it with my vote.

The way forward indicated in the report did not command support in Synod, with a majority of clergy members voting against, and there is clearly further work to do.  In a media statement I have committed myself to a church, and so a diocese, which is fully inclusive in its welcome and in which all who wish are affirmed as valued fellow members of the Body of Christ.  I shall further be considering how in our diocese we give effect to the bishops’ shared intention to use maximum freedom to offer spiritual, pastoral and liturgical ministry to all people.

This brief note gives you the background to my press statement which reads: “All people must be valued by the Church as they are by God. Whatever the disagreements about how we formally express that – and further thinking is clearly needed – I’m committed to using the maximum freedom, which was encouraged by all the bishops in their report, to welcome and affirm everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, nationality or any of the ways in which people can be so hurtfully differentiated.  I’ll be exploring how this inclusion can be supported in our diocese including some guidance to clergy and lay leaders.”
With thanks for our partnership in the Gospel.
+ Bishop Christopher

ST MARY’S BELLS
There will be no bell-ringing today as a result of scheduled replacement of the pulleys and emergency repair or replacement of the clapper of the 6th bell (which broke on Sunday 19th February).  The clock and its chiming mechanism are not affected.  We hope to have the new pulleys installed and to be able to ring at least the front five bells by next weekend