St Thomas Blog

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Advent Countdown, Thu 3rd Dec: V

Thursday 3rd December 2020

V is for... the Virgin Mary Mary was a young Jewish girl, probably only in her mid-teens. She loved God, kept his commandments, and lived a holy and kind life. She was engaged to be married (betrothed) to Joseph. But before the ceremony took place, an angel (called Gabriel) appeared to her with amazing and important news: she had been chosen to bear a special baby, Jesus, God's own son! This would happen miraculously, by the power of God's Holy Spirit. Mary knew that this was a great honour, but also a great responsibility. She and Joseph would have to give a safe and loving home to Jesus as he grew up to do great things in God's service. Mary also knew that…

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Advent Countdown, Wed 2nd Dec: W

Wednesday 2nd December 2020

W is for... Wise Men St Matthew's Gospel tells us about wise men, or "Magi", who saw the sign in the night sky and knew it meant that a new and important king had been born to the Jewish people. They expected the baby king to have been born as the son of the existing king, Herod the Great, so they went to the Royal Palace in Jerusalem. But Jesus had been born in much humbler circumstances in Bethlehem, and his father was God in Heaven, not any king on Earth. Having been told that the special king, the Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem, the wise men travelled the short distance from Jerusalem (shorter than the distance from Exeter to…

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Advent Countdown, Tue 1st Dec: X

Tuesday 1st December 2020

X is for... "Gloria in eXcelsis!", "Glory in the highest heaven!" (OK, we're cheating a bit here, but there are no names, or even any words, beginning with the letter X in the traditional King James version of the Bible. So we hope all you people of X-eter will allow us some leeway, in the generous spirit of Xmas!) The joyful songs and shouts of praise to God from the angels when Jesus was born amazed the shepherds who saw and heard them. Their words are often put into carols and other songs in the Latin language, like in "Ding Dong! Merrily on high". (You can watch the choir of King's College Cambridge singing this carol here; there may be adverts!) Can you…

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Advent Countdown, Mon 30th Nov: Y

Monday 30th November 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Y is for... "following Yonder star" When a baby is born in a family they joyfully tell everyone about it, putting pictures on their facebook page and sometimes a message in the local newspaper. When Jesus the Son of God was born God put a sign in the sky for everyone to see (though only some recognised it). In the Bible (chapter 2 of St Matthew's Gospel) the wise men speak of a star that they saw newly rising in the sky. Modern astronomers have suggested several things it could have been:a distant, old star that dies by exploding (what is misleadingly called a nova or a supernova)a comet (several were seen around that time - but they were usually regarded as…

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Talk for Advent Sunday

Monday 30th November 2020
The Revd Alison Whiting

Read here the Revd Alison's words about the season when we prepare to greet the Christ child anew.

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Advent Countdown, Sun 29th Nov: Z

Sunday 29th November 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Z is for... Zechariah Zechariah was a priest in the Temple in Jerusalem in the years before Jesus was born. He and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin of Mary the mother of Jesus, were getting old but had not been able to have any children. One day an angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that he and Elizabeth would have a son, who would be the forerunner of the long-awaited Messiah of the Jewish people; they should name the boy John. Zechariah found it hard to believe the angel, so he was made unable to speak. But when the baby was born, just as the angel had said, Zechariah wrote that the child should be named John, and…

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Advent Countdown - coming soon!!

Saturday 28th November 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Starting on Advent Sunday, 29th November, we will be working backwards through the alphabet, from Z to A, as we count down the 26 days to Christmas. Each day we will look at someone or something connected with the Christmas story, or with our Christmas traditions, linked to that day's letter. There will be posters on our church noticeboard on Cowick St, and in the window of the church hall, and there will be articles here on the St Thomas Blog. Check them out daily! We start with the letter Z - who or what do you think that will be?

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Talk for Second Sunday before Advent - The Parable of the Talents

Friday 20th November 2020

Read here how we should not feel too guilty if we are "people of the one talent" during this pandemic crisis. There are also signs of the growth of the five and two talent slaves.

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Remembrance Sunday

Sunday 8th November 2020

We marked today by a Zoom service on line, and by a very brief Act of Remembrance outside at the war memorial in the churchyard, with a wreath laid by PCSO WIll Malcolm. Thanks to Helen for a copy of her painting of poppies to mark the occasion. Read Phil Baker's Zoom talk here

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All Souls - reading the names of those who have died

Monday 2nd November 2020

Revd Alison and Ian Totterdell, our Churchwarden, read the names of those who have died and have links to this community. We have produced this recording due to restricted numbers at the All Souls service where this list is also read. See and hear the recording here

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