Sunday, June 07, 2020

Sunday Worship links and other news...

SUNDAY WORSHIP June 7 Trinity Sunday
Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet       Morning hymn words
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong Hymn Words

Zoom sessions for this week: email 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.

Zoom Children’s Choir - Wed June 10th  5pm

Any children are welcome for 30 minutes of fun songs.

Zoom Adult Choir – Wed June 10th  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 if you’d like copies of the music and words.

Zoom home groups and Friday Group – email for the links and details.

Trinity Sunday

Today is Trinity Sunday, and I am very grateful to Kevin for preaching

this morning, not just because I have spent most of the week interviewing candidates for ordained ministry by Zoom and writing reports on them, but also because, well, the Trinity is complicated, and most preachers are VERY glad to delegate it to someone else…

As I write this, I don’t know what Kevin is going to say, but I know that, for me, the most important thing about this doctrine is to remember not to put the cart before the horse. The idea that God is three and one at the same time wasn’t an idea people came up so that philosophers would have a job for life trying to explain it. It grew out of the experience of the early Christians. They already had a well embedded belief in God who was Creator and Father, who cared for them and loved them. In Jesus, they felt they had met this God face to face. He embodied God for them. They didn’t have any kind of worked out view of what that meant in terms of his humanity and his divinity, but they knew that this man, living, growing, changing, learning, suffering, dying, raised from death and ascended into heaven, had somehow embodied God for them. After his ascension they experienced the presence of God through the Holy Spirit, with them wherever they went. It felt like having Jesus with them again. Only later did they start to try to puzzle out how this could be. Was Jesus God? If so, did that mean there were two Gods, or three if you counted the Holy Spirit as a separate “person”. Two thousand years later, Christians still haven’t sorted it all out in a way that is simple to explain or understand. But maybe that’s the point. As one early Christian writer, called Evagrius of Pontus, said, “God cannot be grasped by the mind. If he could be grasped, he would not be God”.  
However we understand the idea of the Trinity, the most important thing is that we know that God is close to us, walking beside us. Whatever else the Trinity tells us is that at the heart of God there is a community of love, into which we are welcomed.

If you would like to tie your brain in knots about the Trinity, there is a good edition of the Radio 4 programme “In our Time”, hosted by Melvyn Bragg on the Trinity, with Professor Janet Soskice, Professor of Philosophical Theology, Martin Palmer,Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education, and Culture, and The Reverend Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. Don’t blame me if you end up more confused than when you started though!

Anne Le Bas

All Age Resources

Find some ribbon or strips of fabric and make a three stranded plait. As you weave the three strips together, pray for those you love and know that they are woven into the love of the Trinity. You could write their names on the strips of fabric or attach labels with their names on them as you go along.

Ministry at home ideas from Rochester Diocese.

All Age resources from Reflectionary for Trinity Sunday

Roots on the Web resources for Trinity Sunday

This setting of the hymn “How can I sing that Majesty” is set to a tune by Ken Naylor. Coe Fen is the name of the small fen on the outskirts of Cambridge, and is crossed by The Fen Causeway, one of the major routes into the city.  Ken Naylor was music master and later Director of Music at Leys School from 1953-1980, which is next to this fen.
The words were written many centuries before this modern tune, however, by John Mason (1646?-1694), a Church of England vicar who was said by a friend to be “a light in the pulpit, and an example out of it”. He was known for his poems, some of which seem to have been sung as hymns from an early stage, making him one of the earliest original hymn writers in the Church of England. Before this time, church music was generally limited to Psalms and other portions of scripture.  Another friend, the Puritan minister Richard Baxter to Baxter calls him "the glory of the Church of England," and said "The frame of his spirit was so heavenly, his deportment so humble and obliging, his discourse of spiritual things so weighty, with such apt words and delightful air, that it charmed all that had any spiritual relish.” The words of this hymn, very appropriate for the mysterious feast of Trinity Sunday certainly have that “delightful air” and “spiritual relish” about them. It isn’t in the hymn book we usually use at Seal, so we’re not very familiar with it, but I have included it in the Evensong Podcast for this Sunday if you’d like to sing along with it this week.

How shall I sing that Majesty.
Which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
Sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?

Thy brightness unto them appears,
While I Thy footsteps trace;
A sound of God comes to my ears,
But they behold Thy face.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
With all my fire and light;
Yet when Thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.

Enlighten with faith's light my heart,
Inflame it with love's fire;
Then shall I sing and take my part
With that celestial choir.
They sing because Thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
For where heaven is but once begun
There alleluias be.

How great a being, Lord, is Thine,
Which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
To sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
A sun without a sphere;
Thy time is now and evermore,
Thy place is everywhere.
Come Holy Ghost 
Prayer of the week

The prayer below is by Bishop Thomas Ken (who also wrote “Glory to thee my God this night”). This prayer, really a “Doxology” or expression of praise meant to be used at the end of a prayer, emphasizes that the essence of God, and at the heart of the Trinity, is love. The icon by Rublev, right, is sometimes called “The Hospitality of Abraham” but is also interpreted as an attempt to depict the Trinity. In the story in Genesis 18, Abraham welcomes three strangers, who tell him that he and his wife, Sarah, will finally have the son that God has promised them. Later theologians interpreted these strangers as personifications of the Father, Son and Spirit. The really important thing about this depiction is the way the fourth side of the table they are sitting around is open to us. We are invited to be a part of the love that is shared and the meal that is being offered.

To God the Father , who first loved us and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son , who loved us , and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts; to the one true God be all love and all glory for time and for eternity. Amen.
 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.
1,184 candles in Rochester Cathedral

The Dean, Philip Hesketh, lit 1,184 candles in Rochester Cathedral on June 5, one for each person who had died at that point with Covid19 in the Kent and Medway area.
And finally...
This story either needs no explanation, or more explanation than any of us would probably want to hear. Mercifully the weather has turned a bit too nippy for this to be an appealing way of passing the time, but if the sun returns next week, please, just don’t do it…

Police called to report of dead body on tracks find nude sunbather 
" British Transport Police responded to reports of a lifeless body on train tracks in Essex, discovered a nude sunbather.
Railway workers saw the protruding feet and no obvious signs of life, forcing them to call the emergency services.
Upon arrival the police found a garment-less gentleman in his late 30s sunbathing on the tracks.
Police have warned others to not sunbathe on railway tracks."
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