Approaching the half way point in Advent our services today are the 8am Holy Communion at Bere Regis then 9.15am Parish Eucharist at Affpuddle and then at 11am the Family “cake” Service at Bere Regis – this follows Junior Church which is at 10am.
Collect for today
 O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us, your bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, now and for ever.
Epistle Reading: Philippians 1, verses 3 to 11
    I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
    It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
     And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.
Holy Gospel Reading:  Luke 3, verses 1 to 6                                             
      In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene – during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.  He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
 Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.”
For the Church and the community of Christ                                                                                                                                                                                      Lord we thank you for the calling of John the Baptist and  pray that we may prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas and above all for his love to be in our hearts                      ~for all in the community of Christ to follow your commandment to love you and to love one another                     ~for those of little or no faith to turn to God and put faith in Christ                        ~for our Churches especially here in this benefice and for Charles and Felicity contemplating their move to Devon             ~we pray for young people in their faith, for its strengthening and deepening, for their friendships and lifestyles                   ~ we pray for the Church in the Sudan and South Sudan: today for the  Most Revd Alapayo Manyang Kuctiel, Archbishop of the Province of Eastern Bahr el Ghazal.
For the world and its leaders
We pray that world leaders  turn away from war, genocide, torture, and violence           ~ for an end to suffering  in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and elsewhere                 ~we pray for constructive talks to take place to end civil war in Yemen                           ~for all in need of food, clean water and decent sanitation                  ~we pray for brave decisions to be taken and implemented to save life on our planet : thinking among many things of plastic waste, air pollution and the loss of precious habitat                 ~for our country and continent we pray for all those involved in Brexit 
For our parishes and community   
Thank you Lord for the facilities of our villages: particularly our local surgery, doctors and all staff, our primary school, teachers and all staff, our shops and Post Offices, community organisations and sports clubs: give goodness to all who run and use these facilities                   ~we pray for those with young families as they seek to balance many demands on their time             ~we pray for the vulnerable                ~we pray for all that are lonely including those loving alone who feel isolated and those on their own following relationship breakdown
~we pray for all who are homeless or under threat of homelessness  locally,  and for affordable housing for young people                  ~and for those receiving from local foodbanks and all who keep the system going
For the sick and their carers                                                                                                                                               
~We pray for all in hospital and for those awaiting treatment, operation or the outcome of tests                ~for all carers and those who give support            ~for those whose faculties are deteriorating and for all with dementia                         ~ and in our parishes for Ted Cox, Margaret Bartlett, Edna Marsh, Jo Powell, Benny Hazlehurst, John Dewey, Linda Thomas, Mary Fegan, Kirstin Duffield,  Mary England, Peter Taylor and Ivor Mullins  
For the deceased and those who mourn                                                                                                        
We  remember any in our own lives we have known and loved and thank you for their lives and example to us      
~ we pray for all  in grief at the loss of those close to them                     ~and we commend to you the souls of those from our parishes who have died recently:  Colin Jutting, Edwin House and  Rene Phillips         
Post Communion  Prayer  
Father in heaven, who sent your Son to redeem the world and will send him again to be our judge: give us grace so to imitate him in the humility and purity of his first coming  that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Advent study groups: Affpuddle on Mondays evenings in Advent (please call Audrey  if attending 471214);     Bere Regis on Thursday mornings beginning  (please call Brenda if attending 471391)  -   both groups looking at Favourite Carols
 Services next Sunday 16th December - Third Sunday of Advent
8.00am   Affpuddle:      Holy Communion
 10.00am   Bere Regis:   Parish Eucharist 
 6.00am  Bere Regis:   Candle-lit  service of  nine lessons and carols