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 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 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 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 if you’d like copies of the music and words.

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


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

Live your Faith Sheet with comments on the readings for Adults

Ideas for prayer and activity for Fathers’ Day
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. 
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)
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!
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