Sunday, July 05, 2020

Sunday worship and other news...



Dear friends
The links to our worship this week are below.
Best wishes
Anne Le Bas


SUNDAY WORSHIP July 5 : Trinity 4

Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet       Morning hymn words
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong hymn Words


Seal Church Zoom meetings this week:

Zoffee – Sunday chat at 11 am email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the link

Wednesday Zoom Church – Wed  at 11 am Twenty minutes of informal worship with our friends at Lavender Fields. Everyone is welcome.
email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the link.

Zoom Children’s Choir -
Wed at 5pm
AND
Thurs at  4pm
please contact 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the link. Any children are welcome for 30 minutes of fun songs.

Zoom Adult Choir – Wednesday 7.15 Contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link.

Zoom home groups and Friday Group – email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the links.


Trinity 4


Today’s sermon ponders the words of Jesus “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”.

This weekend has seen a great deal of change in the world around us, with many businesses, pubs and restaurants opening up, and change can be very wearying. Churches can now open for worship again, but we are proceeding very cautiously, with a short service in church at 10 am, basically identical to our morning worship podcast - except that we can’t sing hymns, and, of course, it will be hedged around with all sorts of restrictions about where people can sit, hand sanitising, social distancing and so on. I am expecting that most people, and certainly those who are vulnerable because of their age or underlying heath conditions will prefer to stay at home. As we only have room for 35 people, there won’t be room for everyone anyway, and it will be “first come, first served”. It has been a lot of work – and quite a bit of worry – sorting out all the details that go with public worship at the moment, but I know that there are some folk, especially those who can’t easily access the internet, for whom it will be important to worship in the building. We will think about adding Holy Communion and Evensong when we are able to, but it may not be until mid-August. We will continue to produce podcasts for as long as we need to, and these weekly newsletters too.

It is all very wearying, though, for all of us as we contemplate another change in our patterns of life, even if it is a positive one, and I know that many people are feeling exhausted by the emotional strain of these past months, and contemplating the future too.  
  • What causes you to feel “weary and heavy laden?
  • Do you need to cut yourself some slack?
  • Jesus tells us to “come to him” when we are weary and burdened. How do you do that in your daily life?
All Age Ideas and Resources

Talk with your children about what makes them, and you, feel weary.
When Jesus talked about those who carried “heavy burdens” what do they think he meant?
What does it feel like to carry heavy burdens, and what helps us when we do?

Roots on the web family worship
https://www.rootsontheweb.com/i-am-looking-for/public-copies/worshipathome5july

Rochester Diocese all age worship sheet
https://www.rochester.anglican.org/content/pages/documents/1593504415.pdf

Adult reflection links
https://www.rootsontheweb.com/media/21132/liveyourfaith_108-lockdown-version_5-july.pdf
Prayer of the week

Be present, O merciful God,
and protect us through the silent hours of this night,
so that we who are wearied
by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
may rest upon your eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

This very ancient prayer is part of the order of prayer for the service of Compline, or Night Prayer, which ends the day. It comes from the Leonine Sacramentary, a collection of prayers which dates from at least the seventh century, and possibly much earlier, as it is named after Pope Leo 1  (440-61). It is wonderfully comforting  prayer, which reminds us that whatever “changes and chances” we are going through, God’s love is still the same, and always will be. If you are feeling weary, or wake in the middle of the night, this is the prayer for you!
HYMN OF THE WEEK

I heard the voice of Jesus say

This by Horatius Bonar  written in 1846, draws from a number of stories in the Gospel including the meeting of Jesus with a Samaritan woman at a well in John 4, but also to the Gospel set for today, in which Jesus says “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. The tune, Kingsfold, to which it is often sung is  a very ancient folk tune arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The picture is by Giovanni Brina

1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
weary and worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

2 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

3 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your days be bright."
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my Star, my Sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk,
'til trav'ling days are done.

 Horatius Bonar 1808 –1889
 Resuming public worship 

From this Sunday morning there will be a short service (not Holy Communion) at 10 am each week. We will add in Communion and Evensong when we feel we can safely manage them.
There will some quite strict restrictions on our worship, however, to comply with government guidance.

Those who are vulnerable for any reason are STRONGLY ADVISED to continue worshiping at home with our audio podcasts (see below), and others may wish to as well. There is a 
video explaining what to expect here (script here)  and a summary here.

There will be single use service sheets in church, but 
you can also download one here and bring it with you if you prefer. The contact tracing form will also be provided, but you can download one here.

The church will continue to be open for private prayer between about 9.30 and 5pm each day.

Our podcasts of morning and evening worship, which will continue to be produced for as long as we can't all be together, are above. Check back here on Sunday morning from 8.00 am onwards for the links.

You can find out more in the video below.
And finally...
With churches having very limited spaces on offer in the new dispensation because of the social distancing rules, some priests are getting themselves very organised… I am glad to be sticking to the “first come, first served” method myself, but if we still need to do all this by Christmas, I may have to take a leaf out of this chaps book… Thanks to several of you who sent me this, evidently wondering whether I might need the idea!
Copyright © 2020 St Peter and St Paul, Seal, All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday links and other news...

Dear friends
The links to our worship this week are below.
Best wishes
Anne Le Bas


SUNDAY WORSHIP June 28
The Feast of St Peter & St Paul


Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet       Morning hymn words
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong hymn Words


Seal Church Zoom meetings this week: email sealpandp@gmail.com for links

Zoffee – Sunday chat at 11 am


Wednesday Zoom Church – Wed  at 11 am Twenty minutes of informal worship with our friends at Lavender Fields. Everyone is welcome.
email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the link.

Zoom Children’s Choir -
Wed at 5pm
AND
Thurs at  4pm
please contact 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the link. Any children are welcome for 30 minutes of fun songs.

Zoom Adult Choir – Cancelled this week. Apologies - we'll be back next week

Zoom home groups and Friday Group – email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the links.


The Feast of St Peter and St Paul: Our Patronal Festival

Back in early March, before we were so rudely interrupted by coronavirus, we were in the middle of  a Lent course exploring the stories of our Patron Saints, Peter and Paul. Remember the days when we could do that sort of thing? Unfortunately we only got halfway through before the pandemic called time on it, but you can find the daily posts about their lives in here, and a short summary which I put together for Messy Church here.  The course was prompted partly by the time I spent last year on Sabbatical exploring the way communities celebrated their local saints. Philip and I were lucky enough to be able to visit Sardinia and Sicily, and be part of the grand procession to mark the feast of Sardinia’s patron saint, Efisio, an early 4th Century Roman soldier martyred by his Roman bosses when he became a Christian and refused to take part in the persecution of fellow Christians. It was an extraordinary experience. Cagliari’s streets were thronged with people watching the procession – hours long – of Sardinians from villages and towns all over the island dressed in the local costumes specific to their region, praying the rosary in Sardu. At the end of the procession, greeted with huge excitement and quite a bit of reverence, came the statue of St Efisio, in a gilded wagon, drawn by oxen with decorated horns. It was quite an experience, and though it was by far the largest, it wasn’t unusual. Churches around Sardinia and Sicily all seemed to have similar festivities, many around that time, and each church was immensely proud of their saint. Whole communities turned out, whether they were regular churchgoers or not, to be part of the celebration.

Here in Seal, as in most Church of England churches, Patronal Festivals tend to be rather more sedate affairs. The Reformation is largely to blame, when devotion to the saints was discouraged, statues and paintings demolished or defaced, and many church dedications forgotten. There were valid reasons to criticise some of the behaviour which had sprung up around the shrines of the saints, but, as with so many reforming movements, it was easy to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The kind of rituals which we saw in Sardinia and Sicily often bound communities together, and helped people deepen and sustain their faith in very tangible ways. Those Sardinians we saw praying their rosaries were not play acting. For many of them it was clearly a very genuine act of worship. The commitment that Efisio had shown to them, in being martyred to protect them, clearly still moved them, seventeen centuries later.

At its best, the act of remembering the saints draws us deeper into the love of God, reminding us that we are part of a community which is not limited by time and space. In the Creed, we say that we believe in “the communion of saints”; we don’t walk the way of faith alone, but in company with many others, living and departed. Christianity is not a solitary faith, even when we can’t gather together physically. God intended us to learn from each other and with each other, in all our rich diversity, whether that is through sharing in an act of worship – even if it is only online – by encouraging each other in small group meetings, and by making links with those who follow Christ across the world. The community of God isn’t limited by place, but nor is it limited by time. We also learn from and walk with those who have gone before us, people like Peter and Paul, who faced challenges, made mistakes, changed their minds but in and through it all bore witness to God’s love.
All Age Ideas and Resources

Roots at home https://www.rootsontheweb.com/i-am-looking-for/public-copies/worshipathome28jun

St Peter’s symbol is a pair of keys, because Jesus said that he was giving him the “keys of the kingdom of heaven”. He would help open the way for other people to come closer to God. Find some old keys and see what you can make from them. You could make some playdough and press the keys into it to make patterns, or make some windchimes or a mobile from them.

St Paul’s symbol is a sword, or sometimes a book. The sword refers to the way he died, or perhaps to the fact that he wrote about “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6.17). The book refers to the letters he wrote to the churches he founded, some of which are in the Bible.  Perhaps you could write some letters this week to encourage someone else.

You can find the story of Peter and Paul, here, with pictures to colour.
Rembrandt : St Paul in Prison 1627
Antonio de BellisThe Liberation of St. Peter,
This dramatic painting captures the moment when Peter is woken out of sleep by an angel in his prison cell. He can’t believe his eyes, but the angel pulls at his clothing, almost as if he will drag Peter out to freedom.
If you’d like to hear an introduction to the writings of St Paul, I can recommend this short talk by Paula Gooder
Prayer of the week

 A prayer of St Paul

Throughout Paul’s letters he tells us that he is praying for those who will receive them. His ministry was undergirded with prayer. This prayer, from Philippians 1.9-11 is typical. Though he can’t be with those he is praying for, he knows they are held in the hands of God.
“And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”

  • Who prays for you? What do you hope they pray for?
HYMN OF THE WEEK
And can it be

Charles Wesley’s (1707-1788)   great hymn was one of his earliest, and may have been written within hours of the time on May 21 1738 when he first really felt that his religious faith had come alive. His older brother John, followed suit a few days later, on the famous occasion when, while worshipping, he felt his heart “strangely warmed”. Together they went on to form the movement which eventually became the Methodist Church.  Charles was the 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and their youngest son. They had 19 children in all, though, to be fair, this was a small family compared to Susanna’s. She was the twenty-fifth child of her parents! Growing up as one of such a large brood seems to have energised Charles, though. This is just one of an estimated 6500 hymns he wrote, many of which are still sung – there are 21 in the hymn book we use at Seal, far more than any other author. He also gave us “Love Divine all loves excelling”, and “Hark the herald angels sing”.

1 And can it be that I should gain
An int'rest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

2 'Tis mystery all! Th'Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

3 He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

5 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

 Restarting public worship in the church building

We are hoping to be able to start some sort of public worship in the church building again next Sunday, but we haven’t yet received the details of the government guidance which will enable us to decide whether this is practical.

I will send an email as soon as we are able to make this decision.

From the information we have received, however, we are assuming that
  • We will have to maintain social distancing, which will put a limit of around 35 on the numbers who can come
  • We won’t be able to sing
  • The congregation may need to wear face coverings
  • We may need to collect names and contact details of those who attend, in case there is an outbreak of Covid 19 linked to the church, so that people can be contacted by the track and trace sheme.
  • We won’t be able to have refreshments or socialise after church.
  • Anyone who is especially vulnerable will be encouraged not to come.

My proposal is that I will essentially do the same sort of service as the weekly morning podcast (maybe adding a said Evensong in a few weeks, if that is manageable). The podcasts will continue as long as we need them, since there will be many people who will not be able to join us for a while (and should not do so). Worship in church may feel very different to the way it normally does, so please be prepared for some restrictions if you do come – you may prefer to continue to worship at home, and I would encourage you to do so if you are at all uneasy about coming to church, or feel it would not be sensible for you to do so.
And finally...
There are many things to think about in planning to reopen the church for public worship, not least, how to spread people out. Some churches are roping off entire pews. I sense that the church below anticipates that there might be challenges in persuading people not to sit in their usual seats. They have come up with every argument they can think of to put people off even thinking about it!
Copyright © 2020 St Peter and St Paul, Seal, All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Worship Links and other news...

Dear friends
The links to our worship this week are below.
Best wishes
Anne Le Bas

SUNDAY WORSHIP June 21 Trinity 2

Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong hymn Words

Seal Church Zoom meetings this week: 
email sealpandp@gmail.com for the links

Zoffee – Sunday chat at 11 am

Wednesday Zoom Church – Wed 24th 11 am Twenty minutes of informal worship with our friends at Lavender Fields. Everyone is welcome.
email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the link.

Zoom Children’s Choir - Thurs June 25th  4pm
We are consulting on a possible change of day and time for this again. Families involved will be emailed on Monday. Any others wishing to join in, please contact me  
sealpandp@gmail.com for further details and the link. Any children are welcome for 30 minutes of fun songs.

Zoom Adult Choir – Wed June 24th  7.15pm. Sing some favourite hymns with us. Everyone except the hosts are muted, so it doesn’t matter how well (or otherwise!) you sing. Email Philiplebas@gmail.com if you’d like copies of the music and words.

Zoom home groups and Friday Group – email 
sealpandp@gmail.com for the links.


TRINITY 2

I’m delighted that Revd Adie McCall is preaching on our podcast today. Many of you will remember the kind and generous help she gave last year during my sabbatical (what a long time ago that seems, but I am VERY glad I took it last year and not this!), so it is very good to hear her voice once again.

The readings in our Morning Worship today were obviously written by people who knew hard times. The Psalmist (Psalm 69) says. “I have suffered reproach…Zeal for your house has eaten me up”, and today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 10.24-39) speaks of Jesus’ call to his disciples to follow him, even though for many of them that would involve hard choices. They aren’t easy readings. They remind us that faith brings challenges. If what we believe really matters to us, then it should have an effect on our lives. Jesus also reminds his followers, though, that God cares for us. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

The New Testament Reading at Evensong, which Vanessa Griffiths is introducing and reading, tells the story of the Great Banquet, from Luke 14, by contrast tells of a banquet in which the important guests decline an invitation to a party, so the host invites anyone and everyone to join in instead. 
Looking for illustrations of this story I came across a great picture by Eugene Burnand, 1850-1921, a Swiss painter, who was known for his commitment to realism in his paintings. He often painted the rural landscapes around him, but as a devout Christian, also depicted Biblical scenes including a series on the parables Jesus told. His painting of the Great Banquet, below shows a bedraggled and rather surprised looking procession of people who have unexpectedly found themselves being invited to a feast. There are disabled people, people in rags, the old and the young. I wonder whether some of the children were modelled on Burnand’s own brood – he and his wife, Julia, had eight children, including two sets of twins – especially the two girls at the front of the procession, who look suspiciously alike in their blue dresses!
All the readings today, then, in their own way, speak of the love of God for those at the bottom of the heap, those who feel themselves to be excluded or unloved, and call us to live as people who are change by the love of God for us.
 
  • Do you feel treasured and welcomed by God? If not, why not?
  • How might that knowledge change you?

All Age Ideas and Resources

Roots on the Web activity sheet for children
https://www.rootsontheweb.com/media/20930/21-jun-2020-childrens-sheet.pdf

Live your Faith Sheet with comments on the readings for Adults
https://www.rootsontheweb.com/media/21005/liveyourfaith_107_21_june-lockdown-version.pdf

Ideas for prayer and activity for Fathers’ Day
https://www.rootsontheweb.com/i-am-looking-for/public-copies/fathers-day-ideas-and-prayers
My telling of the story of the Great Banquet, from Luke 14.
Prayer of the week

What could be more appropriate on Father’s Day but the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer so well known that it almost needs no introduction, and yet which bears so much meaning? This prayer was Jesus’ response to his disciples request to “teach us to pray”. It comes in two of the Gospels, Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2 in slightly different forms. In a way, there is nothing very revolutionary about it. It is modelled on similar prayers that would have been commonplace at the time, but that, in a sense, is Jesus’ point. Prayer isn’t rocket science – it is just us, as we are, coming before God as God is, and saying what is on our hearts. What is that? When we come before God, we are first aware of his greatness, and yet of his love too – he is a loving Father, but also the Holy One (hallowed). In the light of that loving relationship, we want to see the world reshaped by his love – “on earth as it is in heaven”. That brings our awareness to ourselves and our own needs, for daily bread, for forgiveness and the strength to forgive others, for help and protection in times of trouble. Jesus’ prayer wasn’t meant to be a mechanical formula or magic spell, but a pattern to help us to pray as we need to everyday.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Here's a setting of the Lord's Prayer, arranged by David Foster sung by Andrea Bocelli, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 
HYMN OF THE WEEK
Thy hand O God has guided thy flock from age to age

This hymn features in today’s Evensong service.  It was written by the Revd Edward Plumptre, a prolific writer, and one of the translators who worked on the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the first widely used new translation of the Bible since the Authorised Version, which had been produced in the Seventeenth century. Plumptre was an academic, Professor of pastoral theology and chaplain at Kings College London, principal of Queen’s College, London and an early advocate of higher education for women. He became Dean of Well’s Cathedral, and was remembered as a man who had worked tirelessly for the good of all in the city, especially the poor. He was a busy man who worked tirelessly for the Gospel, as this hymn suggests. In it, he gives thanks for all those who have gone before him, guided by God, in trying to invite people to “share the great King’s feast”, “through many a day of darkness” and entrusts his own age into God’s keeping, whose “mercy will not fail us”.

1          Thy hand, O God, has guided
            thy flock, from age to age;
            their wondrous tale is written,
            full clear, on every page;
            our fathers owned thy goodness,
            and we their deeds record;
            and both of this bear witness;
            one Church, one faith, one Lord.

2          Thy heralds brought glad tidings
            to greatest as to least;
            they bade men rise, and hasten
            to share the great King's feast;
            and this was all their teaching,
            in every deed and word,
            to all alike proclaiming
            one Church, one faith, one Lord.

3          Through many a day of darkness,
            through many a scene of strife,
            the faithful few fought bravely,
            to guard the nation's life.
            Their Gospel of redemption,
            sin pardoned, man restored,
            was all in this enfolded:
            one Church, one faith, one Lord..

4          Thy mercy will not fail us,
            nor leave thy work undone;
            with thy right hand to help us,
            thy victory shall be won;
            and then, by men and angels,
            thy name shall be adored,
            and this shall be their anthem:
            one Church, one faith, one Lord.

 Edward Hayes Plumptre (1821-1891)
GIVING TO SEAL CHURCH
If you are on our electoral roll or regularly give to Seal Church through our planned giving scheme you should have received a letter this week, outlining the financial challenges Seal Church, along with many other charities is facing, because of the loss of income during lockdown. We know that many people are struggling at the moment financially themselves also, and cannot afford to give, but if you can, and haven’t received the letter, you can find it here giving you information about how you can help.
 Would you like a visit (or to visit me)?
Zoom (and phone and newsletters etc) are all very well, but there’s nothing like seeing someone face to face in the flesh! Now that we are allowed by law to meet with a small group of others outside in our gardens, it is possible for me to visit those who would like a face to face chat. I am more than happy to come to you if you have a suitable outdoor space (and I can get to you on my bike!) or you can come to the vicarage, or we can meet in the churchyard. It’s important to stick to social distancing rules, and because of that I will bring my own mug of coffee ( and encourage you to bring a mug of your own if you visit me!) and we’d need to be careful to stay two metres apart.  If you would like a visit, please get in touch to arrange a date and time for us to get together.
And finally...
Some people have had to work really hard during lockdown, putting in all the hours there are into their jobs, others have had an enforced rest. Some have done jigsaws or gardened, and then there is this young chap, who seems to have had way too much time on his hands!
Copyright © 2020 St Peter and St Paul, Seal, All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday Worship and other news...

SUNDAY WORSHIP June 14 Trinity 1
Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet       Morning hymn words
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong Hymn Words



Seal Church Zoom meetings this week: email the vicar for links

Zoffee – Sunday chat at 11 am


Wednesday Zoom Church – Wed 10th 11 am Twenty minutes of informal worship with our friends at Lavender Fields. Everyone is welcome.
email sealpandp@gmail.com for the link.

Zoom Children’s Choir - Thurs June 18th  4pm
NOTE NEW TIME AND DAY
Email sealpandp@gmail.com for the link. Any children are welcome for 30 minutes of fun songs.

Zoom Adult Choir – Wed June 17th  7.15pm. Sing some favourite hymns with us. Everyone except the hosts are muted, so it doesn’t matter how well (or otherwise!) you sing. Email Philiplebas@gmail.com if you’d like copies of the music and words.


Zoom home groups and Friday Group – email sealpandp@gmail.com for the links.


TRINITY 1


In today’s reading Jesus sends his disciples out to preach and heal. It’s the first time they’ve gone out without Jesus. Luke names each one of them. What each does matters. It’s a challenge to all of us. What are we doing to build the Kingdom of God in the places where we are sent? What does our “mission” look like? We may never have thought we had one, but each one of us can make a difference, for good or ill. Some of us might travel the world (there’s not much of that happening in any physical sense at the moment, but we may be in contact with people on the other side of the world through the internet or on the phone, or by letter) , but even if we are stuck at home we have the power to affect the lives of others. The way we speak to, and of, others, the choices we make about what we buy and who from can all change the world in good or bad ways. Jesus call to us is to make sure we are proclaiming the Kingdom of God, making it possible for all to thrive, in the way we live. In today’s sermon I particularly ask how we might be part of problem or the solution to the painful issue of racism, and how we are challenged by the current wave of action by the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
  • Think about the people you have met – physically or over the phone or internet – in the last week. What impression do you think you might have made on them? How might you have helped them (or not)?
  • How do you feel about talking about your faith? What would you say to someone who asked you why you were bothering to read this, or listen to our worship podcasts?



All Age Resources

All Age resources from Reflectionary for Trinity 1 on Psalm 100

https://reflectionary.org/2020/06/13/together-apart-psalm-100/

Roots on the Web resources for Trinity 1

https://www.rootsontheweb.com/i-am-looking-for/public-copies/worshipathome14jun
If you have children who are wondering or worried about what they are seeing on the television about racism at the moment, Blue Peter produced a very good short message to explain and reassure. Highly recommended.
Reopening Seal Church for private prayer

The government have now decided to allow churches to reopen for private prayer. No services can take place yet, and we have no definite date for this to happen. The PCC and I have decided to reopen Seal Church from next Wednesday (17th June).
We will be asking people to observe some common sense guidelines to make this as safe as possible for everyone. These will include:
  • washing your hands in the sink in the corner of the church, or using hand sanitiser
  • staying at least two metres from anyone else who might be in church at the same time.
  • As far as possible we ask you to “look but don’t touch” while you are in the church.

As this coincides with us being allowed to conduct small funerals in church again, I will have to make the proviso that, if a funeral is booked, the church will be closed for 72 hours before and after the service.
HYMN OF THE WEEK
All my hope on God is founded

This well-loved hymn, like many others, has a long history. It was originally a German hymn  "Meine Hoffnung stehet feste" written in around 1680 by Joachim Neander, who also wrote “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”, but was translated into English by the poet, Robert Bridges, who was choir master at another St Peter and St Paul, in Yattendon. Originally it was sung to its original German chorale tune, but in 1930 the director of music at Charterhouse school asked a friend, the composer Herbert Howells, to compose a new setting for the school. He received the request over breakfast and said that a tune came to him on the spot “while I was chewing bacon and sausage”. He originally called the tune simply “A hymn tune for Charterhouse” but a few years later Howells' infant son, Michael, died, and Howells decided to rename the tune after him. It didn’t come to wider popularity until the 1960s when it was included in the supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern, but since then has rapidly become a favourite, with its words of assurance that whatever else is happening around us, God’s love endures.
A message from the Tuesday Home Group

The Tuesday Home Group met on Zoom as usual. All of us found we were feeling anxious and worried, not only about things going on for us personally but also because of the death of George Floyd and the circumstances around this. We shared our outrage, our frustration and disbelief that this horrific thing could still happen.
After spending some time talking and supporting each other we were quite drained emotionally and almost didn’t look at our bible passage suggested by Wivine. She felt the letter written to the Philippians when Paul was in prison would be helpful to us in our current situations of isolation.
We read chapter 2 and actually found it immensely encouraging and positive. Despite his circumstances Paul sounds positive and almost joyful about the reports he has received about this church; he reminds the Philippians (who he calls ‘beloved’) that there is ‘encouragement in Christ’,  ‘consolation from love and sharing in the Spirit’ and ‘compassion and sympathy’ (verses 1-2). We particularly liked how he wanted them to ‘shine like stars in the world’ (verse 15). Whilst stars individually are just tiny pinpricks of light in the night sky together they shine out and light up the sky. Whilst we feel helpless in the face of things going on in our broken world our individual small acts of kindness and support make a big difference to those who share and receive them. Paul’s letter is full of warmth and compassion for the Philippians and we found ourselves feeling consoled and encouraged after our reading and discussions knowing we are together in Christ and we can bring our worries, concerns and burdens to him in prayer.
Wivine, Mark, Babs and Vanessa
Prayer of the week
The prayer below was written by the Revd Canon Jeremy Blunden, the Bishop’s Adviser on Black and Minority Ethnic issues, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd
 Would you like a visit (or to visit me)?
Zoom (and phone and newsletters etc) are all very well, but there’s nothing like seeing someone face to face in the flesh! Now that we are allowed by law to meet with a small group of others outside in our gardens, it is possible for me to visit those who would like a face to face chat. I am more than happy to come to you if you have a suitable outdoor space (and I can get to you on my bike!) or you can come to the vicarage, or we can meet in the churchyard. It’s important to stick to social distancing rules, and because of that I will bring my own mug of coffee ( and encourage you to bring a mug of your own if you visit me!) and we’d need to be careful to stay two metres apart.  If you would like a visit, please get in touch to arrange a date and time for us to get together.
And finally...
While we haven't got a date yet for when public worship might be able to resume in some form in Seal Church, I am inspired (!) by the thought and care that Bethany Baptist Church have been putting into preparing for their post-lockdown worship...Some good ideas here for our Parochial Church Council to consider...
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