Church of England Diocese of Blackburn Fleetwood St. Nicholas

Weekly News Sheet

28 Aug 2021, 11 a.m.

St Nicholas Parish Church, Fleetwood

Week beginning 29th August 2021

Sunday 29th August

8.30 am Holy Communion in Church

9.30 am Worship via Zoom

10.45 am Holy Communion in Church

Sidespersons – Carole & Sandra: Reader - Karen

12.30 pm Baptism of Arlo Pirie

3.00 pm Memorial Service for Eileen Wright

Tuesday 31st August

2.00 pm Holy Communion in Church

Wednesday 1st September

7.00 pm Meeting of the PCC in the Jubilee Room

Sunday 5thSeptember

8.30 am Holy Communion in Church

9.30 am Worship via Zoom

10.45 am Holy Communion in Church

Sidespersons –

12.30 pm Baptism of Nova Clark

1.30 pm Baptism of Jayden Reynolds

6.30 pm Induction of Fleetwood Methodist Minister (Pilling Methodist Church)

Afghanistan. Tragic. Dangerous. Unnecessary.

Tony Blair recently used these words to describe the Afghanistan crisis. Despite the ex-PM’s reassurances that the UK’s sacrifices were not in vain, Blair conceded that gains of the past two decades are likely to be lost.

Twenty years of intervention in Afghanistan has amounted to nothing. Or so we fear.

We might question whether our efforts and prayers to make the world a better place will ever make a difference. The words of a biblical author ring in our ears: ‘all the things that are done under the sun … are meaningless, a chasing after the wind’ (Ecclesiastes 1:14).

The situation in Afghanistan stirs questions we often do our best to avoid. What if our work is all for nothing? What if the sacrifice was in vain? What if it’s all meaningless anyway? But look carefully, and you may catch a glimpse of a different story.

A pregnant Afghan refugee boarded her evacuation plane and went into labour during the escape from her homeland. Moments after landing at a German air base, a baby girl was delivered in the aircraft’s cargo bay. A birth to a refugee, in an unexpected setting, is a Good News story worth noticing!

There’s a force at work in the world more powerful and more beautiful than we’re often shown. The gospel of Jesus tells us as much. And wherever gospel-affected people apply themselves, their efforts tell the same story – be it in Afghanistan or aisles in Aldi, with refugees or mums-to-be, in boardrooms or playrooms. Sin and chaos are pushed back. The power and the beauty of the gospel break in.

This is not triumphalism that turns a blind eye to tragedy. We and all Christians rightly mourn and pray for Afghanistan. But underlying these prayers is a conviction that in God’s story, tragedy gives way to joy. Danger will be overcome by peace. Through the cross, we have hope that what seems like unnecessary suffering will one day be revealed as sacrifice not in vain. It is not all for nothing!

Pray for Afghanistan

O God of mercy and of peace,

We hold before you the peoples of Afghanistan.

Be living bread to those who are hungry each day

Be healing and wholeness to those who have no access to health care amidst the ravages of pandemic

Be their true home to all who have been displaced

Be open arms of loving acceptance to those who fear because of their gender, ethnicity, religious or political views

Be peace to those engaged in armed conflict and those who live within its shadow.

Turn our hearts and minds to your ways of just and gentle peace,

Open our eyes to see you in all acts of compassionate care

Strengthen our hearts to step out in solidarity with your suffering people and

Hold us all in your unfailing love.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who emptied himself of all but love in order to bring life in all its fullness.

Amen

Please add to your prayers;- Nigel, Helen, Jane, Margaret, Elliott, Janet, Alison, Nick, Elizabeth, Heather and Maureen, whose needs at this time are known to God.