Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Worship Podcast worship links: Jan 22

 

Dear friends

Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast    Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building today

10 am   Holy Communion
6.30pm Evensong

Next Sunday  - Candlemas
10 am  Holy Communion
6.30pm Evensong

This week:
Mon      2-3.30 Talking Village at Deniz Cafe in the High Street
Wed     10 am Zoom Church
Fri         9.30am Morning Prayer in church
             10.30-12.30 Friday Group in church hall

Epiphany 3
As Epiphanytide progresses we hear a series of stories of people gradually realising who Jesus is. For some that realisation changes their lives, as they are called to follow him as he travels around preaching, leaving their old lives to do so. 
The four Gospels tell the stories of these callings in slightly different ways, but the message is the same. Apparently unlikely people - fishermen, tax-collectors, prostitutes, rather than religious experts - are drawn to Jesus, and eventually sent out by him to spread his message. It must have been as much of a surprise to them as it was to those around them. Life changes when they meet Jesus in ways they could never have imagined. 

InMaps of the areas of Zebulun and Naphthali, showing Capernaum at the top of the sea of Galilee today's Gospel reading, Matthew tells us of four of these first followers, two sets of brothers, who we will meet again and again in the rest of the story. They live in Capernaum, at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, in the area which had once been the territory of the ancient Jewish tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. Seven hundred  years before the time of Jesus, though, those tribes had been deported from their land by the Assyrians, and scattered across their vast empire, where they simply disappeared, absorbed into the nations they went to. In turn, others from that empire were settled on their land, and they were joined by many others as the area was conquered by the Babylonians, Greeks and, by the time of Jesus, the Romans. This means that it was a very mixed, multi-cultural and often troubled area, and somewhere where people would be reminded daily that they lived in an occupied land, where they often suffered abuse and oppression.  

 
All Age Ideas

The sea of GalileeIn today's Gospel story, we meet more of Jesus' first followers, fishermen who were called to follow Jesus. They lived by a big inland lake called the Sea of Galilee. There's a picture of it here, and another of a model of one of the fishing boats they might have used. 
  • I wonder how it would it would have felt when Jesus came along and asked these people to come and follow him. Do you think they would have felt excited or scared, or a mixture of both. 
  • I wonder what God is calling you to do to help others and to show his love today?
  • The people Jesus called lived in an area where there were lots of Roman soldiers, who were ruling over their land, and often treated them cruelly. They probably sometimes felt as if nothing could ever change. Have you ever felt as if you were trying to deal with a problem that was too big and scary for you? Who can you talk to if you feel like that? What helps you in times like that? 
  • You could make some fish out of paper or cardboard, and write some prayers on them as you think about this story.

A model of a wooden boat like those Jesus' first followers would have used
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS 
PCC feedback
We had our PCC meeting last Thursday. Among other things, we talked about:
  • our current finances - we have managed to put together a finance team which is proving very helpful as we look at our financial situation and processes, but we are still concerned at the effect of the drop in our income since the pandemic (something many churches and voluntary organisations are experiencing)
  • various repair works, including plans to mend the clock, which will cost around £6000. 
  • succession planning. Paul and Sally will be standing down as churchwardens in May, so we are looking for people to take on that role, probably alongside a "fabric and maintenance" team, rather like the finance team. We also have a number of vacancies on the Parochial Church Council, so if you would like to come onto that body let me know. You will need to do some safeguarding training, have a DBS check and not be disqualified from being a charity trustee.
  • We also talked about what we thought the "core tasks" of a church were. Words and phrases that came to us were caring for the community, worship, prayer, spirituality, fellowship. What would you answer?
RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch - Next weekend Jan 27-29
Many of us take an hour over the last weekend in Jan each year to count the birds that visit our gardens. This year, we're inviting anyone who'd like to do this in the churchyard to come along from 3-4pm next Sunday - Jan 29 - to do it together if you'd like to. As part of working towards our Bronze Eco-Church award, we'd like to survey the wildlife and plants in our churchyard. Churchyards are often really important undisturbed spaces for wildlife, and it's important that we know what's there, so we can value and look after it. If you are coming, wrap up warmly, and bring a warm drink with you!



SEAL VILLAGE FUND: CALLING ALL ORGANISATIONS/CLUBS AND SOCIETIES THAT OPERATE IN SEAL VILLAGE

Do you need some extra funding for a specific project or need? Then the Seal Village Fund may be able to help you!
Successful fund raising events have resulted in excess funds being available to distribute to the groups that provide such wonderful opportunities and support in our friendly village.
The Seal Village Fund will consider bids from any village organisation/club/society that benefits those that live, work or play in the village.

The Rules of Engagement:-
1 - Only bids up to £250 please
2 - Submit a written proposal providing details of the project/initiative, how it will benefit the village, and the amount of funding being requested. Proposals need to be received by Friday February 24th 2023.
3 - You must be prepared to come and present your case at the Seal Village Fund AGM which will take place at the Know Your Neighbours Meet and Greet session on Saturday March 11th 2023 in Seal Village Hall at 11,30.
4 - All successful bids will be notified shortly after the AGM.

Any questions and written proposals to be sent to Becky Watson (Seal Village Fund Secretary) at beckywatson@btinternet.com

SAVE THE DATE - SAT MARCH 11TH 11.30-1.00 SEAL VILLAGE HALL  KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS MEET AND GREET PLUS SEAL VILLAGE FUND AGM.

Come along, have a coffee, cake and a chat with members of local village organisations and find out what happens in our village. Also, let's have your ideas for what you would like to see in the future.

Stone Street Toad Patrol 2023

This wonderful local Toad Rescue group NEEDS YOU!!!
Last year, we saved the largest number of amphibians (toads, frogs and newts) 
in Kent, by helping them across the roads to and from their spawning pond in Stone Street, near Seal. 
Without our help, 4,500 animals may undoubtedly have been road traffic victims.
It is incredibly rewarding and, if amphibian-friendly, fabulous fun!!
We would much value more volunteers for our very friendly and well supported rota of 
Toad patrollers this season.
We are expecting that the amphibians will be out and moving to the pond from 
the local woods by then end of January/early February- they cross the roads on mild, wet nights from dusk onwards.
Hi Vis vests, torches, buckets and clickers are all provided.
For a very interesting chat about what’s involved, including safety factors, 
Please contact Colleen: colanrob@hotmail.co.uk (please note not as last week's email).


KENT WILDLIFE TRUST Winter Walk Challenge

Kent Wildlife Trust’s Sevenoaks Greensand Commons Project is running a Winter Walk Challenge! Can you please help us to raise awareness for challenge?
Did you know that spending time in nature can alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder? The project manages eight commons across Sevenoaks, Westerham and Seal, and we want to raise awareness of their value so that residents can take advantage of the sites for leisure, exercise and more this winter.

The Winter Walk Challenge pack is free and includes information on species identification, the heritage of the Commons and parking and public transport information. The pack includes maps of the sites and information on how the plant and animal species of West Kent use the Commons during winter.
The pack has been designed to help families to continue exploring natural spaces despite the cold weather! Spending time in nature is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. If your organisation can help us to spread the word about these free resources, our staff and volunteers would be incredibly grateful. If possible, please share the Winter Walk Challenge via your website, social media and mailing list.

 The Winter Walk Challenge can be accessed here. Participants can download their packs digitally and physical copies are also available for collection from our Visitor’s Centre at Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3DH.



2023 - JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE!!!
Just a thought, we know there will be a very big day to celebrate in May next year - King Charles' Coronation. 
As a village, we will clearly want to celebrate this in a big way, but, once again, we will need people to take on the organisation of this community event. Those of us that have taken on these events over the past years/decades, are feeling somewhat jaded, and really need new blood to take over. We would like to suggest that plans are started early, maybe put your good selves forward (maybe individuals or several groups of friends). I am happy to compile a list of names and introduce you to each other. We know there are loads of skilled young people out there - we need you!! 

Again, we will have some funds thanks to our 100 Club revenue, but, undoubtedly, more will be needed. We can help in this way, but we really need you to come forward and take over please!

If you are planning, or already running some activity in Seal you would like to share with us, please contact marionjgilchrist@gmail.com, and we will do our best to spread the word. Also, please remember to tell any new neighbours about Know Your Neighbours, so that we can add them to our circulation list, or they can use the FaceBook page - search for Know Your Neighbours in Seal.

 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday Worship Podcast and other news from Seal Church: Jan 15

 

Dear friends

Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast    Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building today

10 am   Holy Communion
3-4.30pm Messy Church in the Church hall
6.30pm Evensong

Next Sunday 
10 am  Holy Communion
6.30pm Evensong

This week:
Mon      2-3.30 Talking Village at Deniz Cafe in the High Street
Thurs   10.30 Lavender Fields communion (visitors welcome) Note change of day
             8pm PCC meeting on Zoom
Fri         9.30am Morning Prayer in church
             10.30-12.30 Friday Group in church hall

Epiphany 2
In today's Gospel reading, John the Baptist points his own followers towards Jesus. Two of them literally follow Jesus, until he turns and asks them what they are looking for. His question leads them to spend time with him, and they become his disciples. 
It's a story which invites us to use our imagination. What would it have been like to spend time with Jesus, in his house, doing ordinary, everyday things - eating, drinking, talking. We aren't told what happened in that time, but it transformed them. 
We too are called to "remain" with Christ, so that he becomes part of our lives and we become part of his. 
  • Can you think of times when you first spent time with someone who became a friend (or even a partner or spouse)? What was it that convinced you that this person was someone you wanted to have in your life permanently?
  • How do you "remain with Jesus" in your daily life? Are there simple things you could do - creating a habit of prayer, a time for just sitting quietly with Jesus?
The courtyard of a stone built house, with steps to an upper level. The courtyard has tools propped against the walls and low doorways to the interior.The picture on the right is of a reconstructed 1st century Palestinian Jewish house. There is more detail about domestic life in the time of Jesus here
All Age Ideas
DON'T FORGET - MESSY CHURCH IS THIS AFTERNOON FROM 3-4.30PM IN THE CHURCH HALL!

In today's Gospel story, some people who would eventually become close friends of Jesus meet him for the first time. He invites them to "come and see" where he is living, and spend time in his house. The picture above shows what his house might have looked like. In the warm climate of Israel, people did a lot of things outdoors, so the inside would have been quite small and dark. 
  • I wonder what it would have been like to spend time with Jesus. If you could spend a few hours with him, in your house or in his, what would you like to do together with him? Imagine what it might have been like.
  • What makes you feel welcome when you go to someone's house? How do you make people feel welcome in your house?
  • You could make a model of Jesus' house, the way you imagine it, out of things you can find around the house, or make a special place, or a house out of sheets draped over the furniture, where you could imagine Jesus coming to visit you.
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS 

MESSY CHURCH 
Messy Church takes place this afternoon from 3-4.30pm. Crafts, activities, Bible story ,a bit of worship, and cake! In Seal Church hall. Free. 

SEAL COMMUNITY LUNCH 
The first Community Lunch of 2023 will be on Wednesday 18th January in Seal Church hall.  It's completely free, and everyone is welcome for hot soup and home made pudding (as well as good company). Turn up from 12.30 - lunch is served at 1pm. It's a great way to get to know others, as well as enjoying a good meal!

SEAL ECO CHURCH
 St P& P’s Church, Seal, is now a registered Eco Church, working towards a bronze award at this time of accelerating climate change  and species loss.  We warmly welcome anyone along with an interest in protecting nature and caring for God’s Earth (A Rocha Uk) Hope to meet you soon! Babs Bartholomew (07973 478968)  & Lise Michaelides (07570 125115). 

SEAL VILLAGE FUND: CALLING ALL ORGANISATIONS/CLUBS AND SOCIETIES THAT OPERATE IN SEAL VILLAGE

Do you need some extra funding for a specific project or need? Then the Seal Village Fund may be able to help you!
Successful fund raising events have resulted in excess funds being available to distribute to the groups that provide such wonderful opportunities and support in our friendly village.
The Seal Village Fund will consider bids from any village organisation/club/society that benefits those that live, work or play in the village.

The Rules of Engagement:-
1 - Only bids up to £250 please
2 - Submit a written proposal providing details of the project/initiative, how it will benefit the village, and the amount of funding being requested. Proposals need to be received by Friday February 24th 2023.
3 - You must be prepared to come and present your case at the Seal Village Fund AGM which will take place at the Know Your Neighbours Meet and Greet session on Saturday March 11th 2023 in Seal Village Hall at 11,30.
4 - All successful bids will be notified shortly after the AGM.

Any questions and written proposals to be sent to Becky Watson (Seal Village Fund Secretary) at beckywatson@btinternet.com

SAVE THE DATE - SAT MARCH 11TH 11.30-1.00 SEAL VILLAGE HALL  KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS MEET AND GREET PLUS SEAL VILLAGE FUND AGM.

Come along, have a coffee, cake and a chat with members of local village organisations and find out what happens in our village. Also, let's have your ideas for what you would like to see in the future.

SEAL LIBRARY NEWS
Happy New Year from the library- we are already up and running with the first Reading Group session taking place already on Tuesday. I do have a couple of copies left of this month's books if anyone fancies a copy:
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, a cold case thriller and 
The Offing by Benjamin Myers, a story of friendship across age, gender and class after WW2.

Storytime and Baby Rhythm is back on Friday 6th January 10:30am with a different theme each week hosted by a lovely group of volunteers. There is also free crafts and chat time afterwards to enjoy!

There is no Tea-set this month but on Friday 17th February we will be celebrating 50 years of the current library building in Seal.
 In the morning we will have a coffee and cake morning and Frances has put together one of her brilliant quizzes focusing on the 1970’s to help everyone reminisce!! 

There will be a small exhibition on the library history including photos of events held throughout the 50 years, together with themed book displays from 1973 and beyond! Any more photos, memories etc gratefully received.

In the afternoon Sevenoaks Wildlife Trust will be holding a craft event for children on British birds from 12:30- 2:30pm - this will be a free event but bookable via the Trust. It is half term week so we hope all ages will be able to come into the library and celebrate with us. 

The Tea-set meets on its usual fourth Tuesday of the month at 2:30pm. In February we have local thriller author Robin Nye. If anyone would like to read a copy of either of his books beforehand do let me know so I can reserve some extra copies.

Thank you and I hope to see everyone soon
Jillian 

A REQUEST FOR UNWANTED GIFTS PLEASE

To help fund Seal Tea Set at the library, a monthly raffle is held. Frances Fish would be very happy to accept any unused/unwanted gifts to raffle please, and she will happily accept at 2 Zambra Way Seal. Many thanks.

KENT WILDLIFE TRUST Winter Walk Challenge

Kent Wildlife Trust’s Sevenoaks Greensand Commons Project is running a Winter Walk Challenge! Can you please help us to raise awareness for challenge?
Did you know that spending time in nature can alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder? The project manages eight commons across Sevenoaks, Westerham and Seal, and we want to raise awareness of their value so that residents can take advantage of the sites for leisure, exercise and more this winter.

The Winter Walk Challenge pack is free and includes information on species identification, the heritage of the Commons and parking and public transport information. The pack includes maps of the sites and information on how the plant and animal species of West Kent use the Commons during winter.
The pack has been designed to help families to continue exploring natural spaces despite the cold weather! Spending time in nature is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. If your organisation can help us to spread the word about these free resources, our staff and volunteers would be incredibly grateful. If possible, please share the Winter Walk Challenge via your website, social media and mailing list.

 The Winter Walk Challenge can be accessed here. Participants can download their packs digitally and physical copies are also available for collection from our Visitor’s Centre at Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3DH.

2023 - JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE!!!
Just a thought, we know there will be a very big day to celebrate in May next year - King Charles' Coronation. 
As a village, we will clearly want to celebrate this in a big way, but, once again, we will need people to take on the organisation of this community event. Those of us that have taken on these events over the past years/decades, are feeling somewhat jaded, and really need new blood to take over. We would like to suggest that plans are started early, maybe put your good selves forward (maybe individuals or several groups of friends). I am happy to compile a list of names and introduce you to each other. We know there are loads of skilled young people out there - we need you!! 

Again, we will have some funds thanks to our 100 Club revenue, but, undoubtedly, more will be needed. We can help in this way, but we really need you to come forward and take over please!

If you are planning, or already running some activity in Seal you would like to share with us, please contact marionjgilchrist@gmail.com, and we will do our best to spread the word. Also, please remember to tell any new neighbours about Know Your Neighbours, so that we can add them to our circulation list, or they can use the FaceBook page - search for Know Your Neighbours in Seal.
 

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Sunday worship podcast and other news from Seal Church: Jan 8 Epiphany

 

Dear friends

Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast    Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building today

10 am   All Age Worship for Epiphany Sunday
6.30pm  Breathing Space Holy Communion

Next Sunday 
10 am  Holy Communion
3-4.30pm Messy Church in the Church hall
6.30pm Evensong

This week:
Monday - 2-3.30 Talking Village at Deniz Cafe in the High Street
Wed - 10 am Zoom Church
Fri - 9.30am Morning Prayer in church
        10.30-12.30 Friday Group in church hall

Epiphany Sunday
One wise man kneels before Mary and the Christ Child, in a ruined building. The other wise men look on, with their attendants behind them. Today we celebrate the Epiphany, the revelation of Jesus to the Gentile Magi who came so far to seek him. 
In church we will be blessing chalk, which we will use for the Epiphany tradition of "chalking the doors". This custom is widespread across Northern Europe. The number of the year and the letters C, M and B are chalked above the doors of churches and homes in this format  20+C+M+B+23.  The letters either stand for Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, the names of the Magi in Western European tradition, or for the Latin phrase "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" - Christ bless this house. Either way it is a prayer that God will be found in our homes and in our church, and that  any wandering wise (or foolish!) men or women seeking Christ will find him in us.  
There will be blessed chalk in the church porch if you can't be with us this morning, but you could use ordinary chalk too - God will bless it anyway! - or you can write the formula on a piece of card or paper and put it in a window. 

Here is a prayer you might like to use to ask God to bless your home:
Welcoming God, who led the Magi to their true home in the heart of Christ by the light of a star, bless these signs of our faith today, that the welcome they proclaim may be matched by the welcome we give in our hearts to the wandering and confused, to the lonely and the lost, to those who seek for you, and those who do not know what they seek. May they find you in us and may we find you in them. In the name of Christ. Amen
 
All Age Ideas

Today we will be thinking about the story of the Magi (Wise men/kings) coming to find Jesus. The Feast of the Epiphany, as it is called, was actually on Jan 6, but we celebrate it on the nearest Sunday. If you have a Christmas crib and the Magi have been travelling towards it, they should have arrived by now!
  • The Magi didn't really know where they were going. They had to search for him. The star led the Magi to an unlikely place - an ordinary house in Bethlehem. We sometimes think we have to be in church to be close to God, but he is close to us wherever we are. Make a star out of cardboard and play "hide and seek" with it. When you find it, say "God is here!"
  • The Magi came from far away (probably from Iran or Iraq) to find Jesus, and were made to feel welcome by Mary and Joseph.  Look at a map of the world and talk about the places you have been, and the places you would like to go. Do you have friends or family living far away? Say a prayer for them.
  • People come to our country from other countries. Do you know anyone who has done that? How might it feel to be a foreigner, as the Magi were, in a strange country? Say a prayer for all who come here that they might feel welcome. 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS 

MESSY CHURCH 
Messy Church takes place next Sunday afternoon from 3-4.30pm. Crafts, activities, Bible story ,a bit of worship, and cake! In Seal Church hall. Free. 

CHOIRS RESTART THIS WEEK 
Our children's and adult choirs restart on Wednesday of this week in the church hall. Children's choir meets from 4.30 -5pm for fun songs and singing games with Anne and Rosemary. Adult choir meets from 7.15-8.15 (no singing games, but we have a lot of fun anyway!). We always welcome newcomers to either choir, so do come along and join us - there's nothing like singing to beat off the winter blues!

SEAL COMMUNITY LUNCH 
The first Community Lunch of 2023 will be on Wednesday 18th January in Seal Church hall.  It's completely free, and everyone is welcome for hot soup and home made pudding (as well as good company). Turn up from 12.30 - lunch is served at 1pm. It's a great way to get to know others, as well as enjoying a good meal!

SEAL ECO CHURCH
 St P& P’s Church, Seal, is now a registered Eco Church, working towards a bronze award at this time of accelerating climate change  and species loss.  We warmly welcome anyone along with an interest in protecting nature and caring for God’s Earth (A Rocha Uk) Hope to meet you soon! Babs Bartholomew (07973 478968)  & Lise Michaelides (07570 125115). 

CHURCH CLOCK 
Alas, our 150 year old church clock is currently out of action, and will need quite a lot of (expensive!) work to get it going again. We have a quote of around £6750 to do the work, which will mean the clock being dismantled and taken away to be mended. We will be launching a fund-raising drive to pay for this, so watch this space. 

SEAL VILLAGE FUND: CALLING ALL ORGANISATIONS/CLUBS AND SOCIETIES THAT OPERATE IN SEAL VILLAGE

Do you need some extra funding for a specific project or need? Then the Seal Village Fund may be able to help you!
Successful fund raising events have resulted in excess funds being available to distribute to the groups that provide such wonderful opportunities and support in our friendly village.
The Seal Village Fund will consider bids from any village organisation/club/society that benefits those that live, work or play in the village.

The Rules of Engagement:-
1 - Only bids up to £250 please
2 - Submit a written proposal providing details of the project/initiative, how it will benefit the village, and the amount of funding being requested. Proposals need to be received by Friday February 24th 2023.
3 - You must be prepared to come and present your case at the Seal Village Fund AGM which will take place at the Know Your Neighbours Meet and Greet session on Saturday March 11th 2023 in Seal Village Hall at 11,30.
4 - All successful bids will be notified shortly after the AGM.

Any questions and written proposals to be sent to Becky Watson (Seal Village Fund Secretary) at beckywatson@btinternet.com

SAVE THE DATE - SAT MARCH 11TH 11.30-1.00 SEAL VILLAGE HALL  KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS MEET AND GREET PLUS SEAL VILLAGE FUND AGM.

Come along, have a coffee, cake and a chat with members of local village organisations and find out what happens in our village. Also, let's have your ideas for what you would like to see in the future.

SEAL LIBRARY NEWS
Happy New Year from the library- we are already up and running with the first Reading Group session taking place already on Tuesday. I do have a couple of copies left of this month's books if anyone fancies a copy:
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, a cold case thriller and 
The Offing by Benjamin Myers, a story of friendship across age, gender and class after WW2.

Storytime and Baby Rhythm is back on Friday 6th January 10:30am with a different theme each week hosted by a lovely group of volunteers. There is also free crafts and chat time afterwards to enjoy!

There is no Tea-set this month but on Friday 17th February we will be celebrating 50 years of the current library building in Seal.
 In the morning we will have a coffee and cake morning and Frances has put together one of her brilliant quizzes focusing on the 1970’s to help everyone reminisce!! 

There will be a small exhibition on the library history including photos of events held throughout the 50 years, together with themed book displays from 1973 and beyond! Any more photos, memories etc gratefully received.

In the afternoon Sevenoaks Wildlife Trust will be holding a craft event for children on British birds from 12:30- 2:30pm - this will be a free event but bookable via the Trust. It is half term week so we hope all ages will be able to come into the library and celebrate with us. 

The Tea-set meets on its usual fourth Tuesday of the month at 2:30pm. In February we have local thriller author Robin Nye. If anyone would like to read a copy of either of his books beforehand do let me know so I can reserve some extra copies.

Thank you and I hope to see everyone soon
Jillian 

A REQUEST FOR UNWANTED GIFTS PLEASE

To help fund Seal Tea Set at the library, a monthly raffle is held. Frances Fish would be very happy to accept any unused/unwanted gifts to raffle please, and she will happily accept at 2 Zambra Way Seal. Many thanks.

KENT WILDLIFE TRUST Winter Walk Challenge

Kent Wildlife Trust’s Sevenoaks Greensand Commons Project is running a Winter Walk Challenge! Can you please help us to raise awareness for challenge?
Did you know that spending time in nature can alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder? The project manages eight commons across Sevenoaks, Westerham and Seal, and we want to raise awareness of their value so that residents can take advantage of the sites for leisure, exercise and more this winter.

The Winter Walk Challenge pack is free and includes information on species identification, the heritage of the Commons and parking and public transport information. The pack includes maps of the sites and information on how the plant and animal species of West Kent use the Commons during winter.
The pack has been designed to help families to continue exploring natural spaces despite the cold weather! Spending time in nature is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. If your organisation can help us to spread the word about these free resources, our staff and volunteers would be incredibly grateful. If possible, please share the Winter Walk Challenge via your website, social media and mailing list.

 The Winter Walk Challenge can be accessed here. Participants can download their packs digitally and physical copies are also available for collection from our Visitor’s Centre at Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3DH.

2023 - JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE!!!
Just a thought, we know there will be a very big day to celebrate in May next year - King Charles' Coronation. 
As a village, we will clearly want to celebrate this in a big way, but, once again, we will need people to take on the organisation of this community event. Those of us that have taken on these events over the past years/decades, are feeling somewhat jaded, and really need new blood to take over. We would like to suggest that plans are started early, maybe put your good selves forward (maybe individuals or several groups of friends). I am happy to compile a list of names and introduce you to each other. We know there are loads of skilled young people out there - we need you!! 

Again, we will have some funds thanks to our 100 Club revenue, but, undoubtedly, more will be needed. We can help in this way, but we really need you to come forward and take over please!

If you are planning, or already running some activity in Seal you would like to share with us, please contact marionjgilchrist@gmail.com, and we will do our best to spread the word. Also, please remember to tell any new neighbours about Know Your Neighbours, so that we can add them to our circulation list, or they can use the FaceBook page - search for Know Your Neighbours in Seal.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Sunday Worship podcast link and other news: Jan 1 2023

 

Dear friends

Happy Christmas from all at Seal Church. 
Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast    Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building today

10 am   Holy Communion
6.30pm  Evensong

Next Sunday - Epiphany Sunday
10 am  All Age Worship
6.30pm Breathing Space Holy Communion

This week:
Monday - no Talking Village - Deniz cafe is closed.
Wed - 10 am Good Book Club in the vicarage
Fri - 9.30am Morning Prayer in church
       10.30-12.30 Friday Group in church hall

The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus
New Year's Day is also, in the Church's pattern of festivals, the feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus. Today's sermon explores the significance of the name he was given.

Names matter to us. Whether we like our names or not, they are important to us, a way in which we are known. 
  • How do you feel about your name? Do you know why you are called by your name?
  • Have you ever changed your name, or part of it (a surname, for example)? How did that change your sense of who you are?
  • What does the name "Jesus" mean to you? How do you feel when you say it? 
All Age Ideas

Today we are thinking about what Jesus' name means. It comes from Hebrew "Yehoshua" (Joshua is another version of the same name).
  • Draw the word "Jesus" on a piece of paper and decorate it. You could draw pictures or write words you associate with it.
  • Do the same with your own name. Why did your parents call you by that name? Do you know what it means? You could turn your drawing into a notice for your bedroom, or a label for something that belongs to you.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

The Song of the Angel: A Christmas Story from Seal Church.

 The Christmas Story I told as part of our Christmas morning service - The Song of the Angel. 

Merry Christmas from all at Seal Church! May you find your song, and sing it! 

Happy Christmas from all at Seal Church: Christmas worship podcasts

 

Dear friends

Happy Christmas from all at Seal Church. 
Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast  for Christmas Day   Order of service
Worship podcast for Christmas Eve
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061

An extra podcast, including some prayers, readings, and the sermon preached on Christmas Eve as we welcomed the birth of Jesus. 


In the church building today - Christmas Day

10 am   Holy Communion with a story instead of a sermon
No evening service today

Next Sunday - Jan 1
10 am  Holy Communion
6.30pm Evensong

Merry Christmas from all at Seal Church

Saturday, December 24, 2022

One Word: Love

Love

God’s love was revealed among us in this way; God sent his only son in to the world so that we might live through him. 1 John 4.9
  • God gave us Jesus because he loved us, pure and simple; no strings, no conditions, no hidden agendas. Who has shown you love in your life? What has your response been to that love?
  • How did people at the time see God’s love revealed in Jesus?
  • The writer of the first letter of John says that God’s love enabled us to “live through him”. What effect does it have on us when we know we are loved?
  • God’s love is perfect; ours isn’t Are there any relationships you need to mend this Christmas?


Friday, December 23, 2022

One Word: Gift

Gift
A child has been born for us, a son given to us. Isaiah 9.6
God so loved the world that he gave his only son. John 3.16

  • How do you feel about the “gift-giving” element of Christmas? Do you enjoy choosing gifts for people, or is it stressful or fraught with complications for you?
  • Are there people you feel you have to give gifts to, even if you don’t like them, or they you?
  • Do you find it easy to receive gifts, or do you tend to say “you shouldn’t have”?
  • Jesus is described as God’s gift to us – unearned and undeserved. What do you think of this and what is your response to it?



Thursday, December 22, 2022

One Word: Light

Light

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1.5
The true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world. John 1.9
  • Why do you think John described Jesus as being like a light? How did he light up people’s lives? Do you feel he is a light to you?
  • How do you feel about darkness? Have you ever been frightened of it? If so, why?
  • What is the deepest darkness (physical or emotional) you have known?
  • What or who has lit up your darkness? 


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

One Word: Favoured

Favoured

The angel said to Mary, “Greetings favoured one, the Lord is with you.” Luke 1.28

  • “Favoured” can also be translated as “graced”. (“Hail Mary, full of grace,”is the traditional translation of this verse.) Grace is the unearned gift of love, approval and goodwill given by someone with power to someone without it. What do you think Mary might have felt when she heard the angel’s words?
  • If Mary remembered these words when she watched Jesus die on the cross, what do you think she might have made of them then? Do you think she still felt “favoured”?
  • Have you ever felt favoured (or favourite) Was it a good feeling, or did it bring problems with it?
  • Do you feel favoured/graced by God? If so, how?


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

One Word: Disgrace

Disgrace

Mary’s husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. Matthew 1.19

  • When Mary was found to be pregnant before she and Joseph started living together, she was at great risk, especially as Joseph knew this child wasn't his. He could have had her stoned to death.  At the very least she would bring lasting shame on herself and her family. How might it have felt to be Joseph, in this position? How might it have felt to be Mary?
  • Have you ever felt in disgrace, justly or unjustly? What was it like and how did you deal with it?
  • Are there people you regard as a disgrace or of whom you feel ashamed? What can you do about this? Can “grace” be restored to them and to your relationship with them?


Monday, December 19, 2022

One Word: Glory

Glory

We have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son. John 1.14
An angel of the Lord stood before [the shepherds] and the glory of the Lord shone around them. 
Luke 2.9 
  • In Hebrew thought the glory of the Lord – kabod – was visualised as a shining, weighty thing like gold. What is the most glorious thing you have ever seen?
  • How do you think people saw God’s glory in Jesus?
  • Have you ever felt glorious or been treated by others as if you were? What did it feel like?




Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Worship podcast link: Dec 18

Dear friends

Apologies for any trouble you may have had accessing the podcast last Sunday. I had scheduled it for the wrong date! Thank you to those who alerted me to the problem - please always feel free to email if you find there is a problem. 
Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast     Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building today - Dec 18 Advent 4

10 am   Holy Communion
6.30pm  Carol Service

During the week
Monday              2-3.30pm Talking Village drop in at Deniz' Cafe in the High Street.

Wednesday       7.15-8.15 pm Adult Choir in the church hall
                        
Friday                 10.30-12.30 Friday Group in the church hall

CHRISTMAS EVE - Dec 24

4pm Crib service
9pm First Communion of Christmas (Midnight Mass, but not at Midnight!)

CHRISTMAS DAY - Sunday Dec 25

10 am   All Age Communion, with a story in place of a sermon.
No Evening Service


Advent 4

Saint Joseph holding the infant Jesus, looking tenderly at him.Today's Gospel reading focuses on Joseph, who discovers that Mary is pregnant, but not by him! This throws him into complete confusion and distress. He knows the child isn't his, and the only conclusion he can draw is that Mary has been unfaithful. He resolves to "dismiss her quietly", send her away with as little fuss as possible, to protect her, and to protect his own reputation. He will be ridiculed if it gets out that he is bringing up another man's child. 

The message of an angel makes him think again, however, and today's sermon explores what this might mean to him, and to us. 

Guido Reni's portrayal of Joseph with the infant Jesus captures his tender love and protectiveness for this child, who he treats as his own, an action which takes courage and commitment. 
 

ALL AGE IDEAS 

Today's Gospel reading tells the story of Joseph, who brings up Jesus, even though he is not his father. 

There are often people who love us and care for us like a mum or dad, even though they aren't related to us. 
  • Who loves and cares for you that isn't part of your family?
  • If you  have a Christmas Tree, perhaps you could draw the people who care for you, and hang their pictures on the tree, saying a thank you prayer for each of them.

WHAT'S ON IN SEAL...

COMMUNITY LUNCH  All are very welcome at our free Christmas themed community lunch (including veggie options) on Wednesday 21st December at 1pm in the church hall. Soup, cheese, pate, and a hot pud! Good company and a warm welcome. Everyone is welcome. We would love to see you there! More information: Hilary Curtis 07834 413891  Lise Michaelides 07570 125115, or you can just turn up on the day.


KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS FAMILY PARTY IN EARLY JANUARY

We will also need help to organise this please, so  please let Marion know if you can offer your assistance in any way. marionjgilchrist@gmail.com






PLEASE PRAY...

For our finances - we are currently running at a loss and having to eat into our reserves. Just like everyone else, our costs are rising, and income is falling!
You can donate online by clicking here

 

One Word: Flesh

Flesh

The Word became flesh and lived among us.
John 1.14

  • It was really important for the early church to proclaim theat God had come to them in real flesh and blood, in a completely human person, who ate and drank, suffered and died. Why do you think this matters so much? What difference does it make to Christian faith?
  • How do you feel about your own flesh, your body? Have you ever not liked your body?
  • What difference should it make to us that God has blessed flesh with his presence?




Saturday, December 17, 2022

One Word: Bethlehem

Bethlehem

And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.
Matthew 2.6, quoting Micah 5.2

  • Bethlehem at the time of Jesus was a small, insignificant village about 5 miles from Jerusalem, the kind of place no one expected anything significant to happen yet it had been the birthplace of King David, which was why prophecies said that the Messiah would be born there. What do you think it would feel like to be a long-term resident of Bethlehem?
  • We are often surprised when something newsworthy happens in our own backyard. Why do you think that feel like that?
  • It’s good to feel proud of and love the place we live in , but that pride and love can easily become destructive, exclusive nationalism. How do we get the balance right?


Friday, December 16, 2022

One Word: Emmanuel

Emmanuel

Look the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel.
Matthew 1.23, quoting Isaiah 7.14

  • Emmanuel means "God is with us". Jesus’ first followers believed that in him, God was with them in a new and special way. Why do you think they thought that? What did they see of God in him?
  • How do you think God is with you now (if you do)?
  • Where have you seen God’s presence in your life, if you have?
  • How might you look for God’s presence in your daily life today?


Thursday, December 15, 2022

One Word: Message

Message

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth.
Luke 1.26

  • The nativity story is full of messengers, the literal meaning of the word translated as “angel” in the Bible (angellos). What would it feel like to be entrusted with the messages the angels bring?
  • Have you ever had to be a “messenger” taking news, good or bad, on someone else’s behalf? What happened and what did it feel like?
  • What is the message of Christmas for you? Is there more than one message? Has that message changed for you over time?


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

One Word: Joy

Joy

The angel said to the shepherds, “I am bringing you good news of great joy.” Luke 2.10

  • The angels announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds as “good news of great joy”. Why do you think the shepherds might have found joy in this news?
  • When have you had joyful news in your life?
  • Jesus’ birth, in the midst of fear and danger, led to a life of hardship and eventual crucifixion. How could this be called “joy”? Is there a difference between joy and happiness?
  • How joyful do you feel today? How might you find joy in your life today, and bring joy to someone else?

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

One Word: King

King

The wise men asked Herod, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?”
Matthew 2.2

  • The wise men’s question to King Herod sent him into a panic, which turned to murderous rage. Have you ever felt threatened by someone you thought had their eye on “your” job or position? What did you do? 
  • What images does the word “king” create in your mind?
  • Who has authority over you in your daily life? How do you feel about their “rule” over you?
  • What does it mean to you to call Jesus “king”? How is his rule seen in your life?


Monday, December 12, 2022

One Word: Chosen

Chosen

Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.” Luke 1.46-48
  • Mary was astonished to have been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. Have you ever been surprised to be chosen for a special role?
  • Have you ever wanted to be chosen, but not been?
  • Have you ever had to do the choosing – making a job appointment, choosing a life partner etc.? How did you make the choice and how did it feel? What were you looking for, and how did you know you’d found it?
  • Mary says that God has “looked with favour on her lowliness”. Are the qualifications we look for always the right ones? Do we overlook people who don’t push themselves forward?


Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday Worship podcast link and other news: Dec 11

 

Dear friends

Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast     Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building today - Dec 1 Advent 3

10 am   Christingle All Age Worship, followed by cake and gift sale.
6.30pm  Breathing Space Holy Communion

During the week
Monday              2-3.30pm Talking Village drop in at Deniz' Cafe in the High Street.

Wednesday       7.15-8.15 pm Adult Choir in the church hall
                        
Friday                 10.30-12.30 Friday Group in the church hall

Saturday            3.45 Christmas light switch on in Seal High Street, with some carol singing

Next Sunday 

10 am   Holy Communion
6.30pm Carol Service

Advent 3

John the Baptist in a prison cell, looking at what seems to be a cross. Today's morning service in the church building is an All Age Christingle service, but on the podcast you can hear a service and a sermon based on today's lectionary readings, Isaiah 35.1-10 and Matthew 11. 2-11. 
In the Gospel reading, messengers come to Jesus, sent by John the Baptist, who has been arrested by King Herod for challenging his marriage to Herodias (who had been married to Herod's half-brother, who was also her half-uncle... the Herod family tree was extremely complicated, and often unsavoury!)
Sitting in prison, facing the possibility of death, John wonders whether his ministry, pointing to Jesus, had been worth it. The sermon explores what this story might mean to us. 

Juan Fernande de Navarrettes picture of John the Baptist in prison captures that sense of doubt in John. He gazes at some broken sticks, which are formed into the shape of the cross. Around them a banner is twined. We can only see a few letters on it, but in pictures of John with Jesus he is often carrying a banner which says "Ecce Agnus Dei" - Behold the Lamb of God.  It is as if he is remembering his acclamation of Jesus as the Messiah, but now has begun to see the cost of this, not just to Jesus, but also to him. 

ALL AGE IDEAS 
In church this morning we have our Christingle service, but on our podcast we are thinking about John the Baptist, who prepared people for the ministry of Jesus and pointed towards him. 
John was later arrested by King Herod (the son of the King Herod who is in the story of Jesus' birth), because he had criticized his injustice and corruption. John was probably feeling scared, but also wondering whether standing up for what was right was worth it. 
  • Have you ever had to say that something wasn't right? What did it feel like to do that?
  • Has anyone ever criticized you - said that you had done something wrong? How did that feel?
  • There are brave people still today who say things that might make them unpopular, or even bring them suffering. Say a prayer for those who stand up for justice today and for their families.
If you aren't able to come to our Christingle service, perhaps you could make a Christingle, or another Christmas light, with a real candle or a battery powered light. You could put it in your window to shine out into the darkness. 
 

WHAT'S ON IN SEAL...

CHRISTINGLE. Our Christingle service takes place today at 10 am. Come along and join us! The collection will be in aid of the Children's Society, who work with vulnerable children and families across the UK. You can find out more about their work here - https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do, and donate online, if that is easier for you.
We will be holding a cake and gift sale, in aid of Seal Church funds, after the service (see below)

COMMUNITY LUNCH  All are very welcome at our free Christmas themed community lunch (including veggie options)!=  on Wednesday 21st December at 1pm in the church hall. Soup, cheese, pate, and a hot pud! Good company and a warm welcome. Everyone is welcome. We would love to see you there! More information: Hilary Curtis 07834 413891  Lise Michaelides 07570 125115, or you can just turn up on the day.


KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS FAMILY PARTY IN EARLY JANUARY

We will also need help to organise this please, so  please let Marion know if you can offer your assistance in any way. marionjgilchrist@gmail.com






PLEASE PRAY...

For our finances - we are currently running at a loss and having to eat into our reserves. Just like everyone else, our costs are rising, and income is falling!
You can donate online by clicking here