Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday worship and other news...

SUNDAY WORSHIP May 31 Pentecost
Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet       Morning hymn words
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong Hymn Words

ZOOM sessions this week - please email the vicar for the links if you would like to join in.

ZOFFEE 11 am Sunday May 31 - an "after church" chat

ZOOM CHOIR  7.15 pm Wednesday June 3 - join us to sing a few of our favourite hymns.

NO ZOOM CHILDREN’S CHOIR THIS WEEK – back next week (Wed 10)

ZOOM FRIDAY GROUP –  Informal chat. Contact Jill Myers for the link

Today is the Day of Pentecost, the day when Christians remember the Holy Spirit coming on the disciples after Jesus had ascended into heaven. It’s easy to get the impression, if you take the story from Acts 2 out of context, that this is the first moment when the Holy Spirit has appeared, but actually the Spirit is there from the very beginning of the Bible. The Spirit (sometimes translated as the wind or breath of God) hovers over the waters of chaos at the beginning of the book of Genesis. The Spirit inspires prophets throughout the Old Testament. The Spirit also inspires the craftspeople who make the Tabernacle, the tent in which the Ten Commandments are kept and where Moses meets with God as the people of Israel journey through the desert towards the Promised Land (Exodus 31.3). The Spirit is mentioned throughout the Gospels, coming down on Jesus at his baptism, in the form of a dove, for example. While the Holy Spirit can be the hardest person of the Trinity for us to understand intellectually, it (or he or she – choose whatever pronoun works best for you!) is the God whom we encounter day by day, God present with us, God guiding and strengthening us, God at work, God in action.
The first disciples experience of the Spirit propelled them out onto the streets of Jerusalem, preaching with such conviction that everyone who heard them felt they were hearing God’s word in their own language, God speaking to them directly. I explore this more in today’s sermon.

  • Have you ever had a sense that God was with you or speaking to you, in ways that are hard to explain to others?
All Age Resources 

Blow some bubbles, fly a kite, make boats and sail them in the bath or paddling pool. The wind can move even large ships, even though we can’t see it. God’s Spirit is with us, moving and exciting us.

Create a flame or a dove from this picture produced by Rochester Diocese. If you would like to, take a picture of it and send it to or tag them on Facebook @CofERochester or Twitter @SeeofRochester .

Rochester Diocese Worship at Home sheet for Pentecost, with lots of activities and prayers.

Reflectionary ideas for all ages.

Pentecost Pinterest board with all sorts of activities to explore the Holy Spirit

The story of Pentecost


This prayer, often sung, is a translation of a Latin hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus”  by Rabanus Maurus, a Benedictine Monk who became Bishop of Mainz, in the 9th Century. This English version was written by Bishop Cosin, for the coronation of Charles 1 in 1625. It has been sung at every coronation since, while the sovereign is sitting in the Coronation Chair, before being anointed. It is also often sung at ordinations and confirmations. It’s a recognition that the ministries we are called to, whether they seem great or small, can’t be done in our own strength. We need God’s help to do them. 

1 Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire
and lighten with celestial fire;
thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

2 Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love;
enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our mortal sight.

3 Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but one;
that through the ages all along
this may be our endless song:

4 Praise to thine eternal merit,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Come Holy Ghost 
Veni Creator Spiritus

Prayer of the week

Pentecost, by Malcolm Guite

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today  the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.
What has everyone been up to?

We had a PCC meeting via Zoom this week, which was an interesting challenge! Most members of the PCC made it to the meeting though, and we had some very good discussions on Finance and maintenance – we are trying to make progress on our Tea Station project and some minor repairs now that it is possible for contractors to work in the building, although it is still closed for worship and private prayer.
Our financial situation is tough, in common with most charities, as our income from collections, hall hire, and weddings has vanished, while our outgoings mostly continue (stipend, insurance etc.) We know that many people are struggling financially themselves, but if you can help, please do so!

We also talked about the pattern of worship while we haven’t been able to meet in church. People seem to have appreciated the podcasts, and we intend to keep them going in some form even when we are able to meet together, as we recognise that worship may be quite hemmed about by restrictions, and that some people will be advised, or prefer, not to come. It matters to us that, as far as we can, everyone should be included in worship, whether it is online, the “dial a podcast” phone line, or in the flesh.

We also reviewed the arrangements we have for offering pastoral care. We hope we aren’t missing anyone who has a need we can meet, whether it is practical, emotional or spiritual. If you know someone who needs help, please let me know, and we will do what we can. It has been really great to hear of ways in which people have been keeping in touch, cheering each other up and offering help.

Please consider donating to Seal Church if you are able to.
If you normally give cash in the plate, or through the envelope scheme, it would really help if you could set up a standing order. The closure of the church building and the church hall have meant our income has fallen considerably, while the outgoings have mostly continued, and we face difficult times!

Standing Order forms (and Gift Aid forms) are here.
Donations can also be made directly to our bank account:
Seal Parochial Church Council
Sort code: 30-97-49
A/C 01377463

The Zoom Choir met again on Wednesday. We were joined by a few people who aren’t regular members of the choir, but who enjoyed singing along. (As we are all muted during the songs, it really doesn’t matter whether you have the voice of an angel or a foghorn, so it’s a great time to try out the choir!)

The garden plants by the lychgate are still going as fast as I can put them there. Many thanks to those of you who have contributed your plants too.

Meanwhile in Hilary Curtis’ blue tit nest…I am reliably informed that three of the ten chicks eventually fledged and, we hope have survived to form their own families in future. It’s a precarious thing, being a bird!
And finally...

This period of lockdown has led to all sorts of creativity. One of the things that has become a “thing” is people recreating famous works of art in their own homes with whatever comes to hand. I think my favourite is probably this one. The curators at the National Gallery have evidently taken a very professional attitude to the whole thing, and I am impressed that the cat in the modern version looks as cross about the whole business as his feline ancestor from 1635. 

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