Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday Worship and other news

Dear friends

The links to our worship this week are below. Apologies for those who looked for Morning Worship last week and only found Evensong... I am hoping that this week's links are right - but I will probably have made some other mistakes elsewhere!
Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas

September 13

Morning Worship       Morning service sheet         Hymn words (both services)
Evensong                  Evensong service sheet
In Church
Please note – face coverings must be worn in church unless you are medically exempt.
10 am              Holy Communion
4pm                 Outdoor Church in the churchyard
6.30pm            Evensong

Wednesday    9.15 am           Morning Prayer
Friday             10.30 am         Friday Group on Seal Recreation Ground in groups of six, socially distanced.
Sunday Sept 20
10 am              Holy Communion
4pm                 Outdoor Church in the churchyard
6.30pm            Breathing Space Holy Communion

On Zoom this week  email for links

Zoffee – Zoom chat at 11.15 am every Sunday
Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
Zoom Children’s Choir  Wednesday 5pm & Thursday 4pm

Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact for the link.

Trinity 13
The unforgiving servant is confronted by the King.Today’s gospel reading includes Jesus' story of the Unforgiving Servant. A king’s servant owed a large amount to his master. When he couldn’t pay, the king ordered him to be thrown into prison, but the servant pleaded for mercy and the king forgave him. As he left, the servant met a fellow worker, who owed him a small amount, which he demanded back. When the man couldn’t repay the debt, the servant had him thrown into prison. This came to the ears of the king, he confronted the servant and withdrew his forgiveness. This picture, by the Flemish Renaissance painter, Jan van Hemmessen, (1500-1566) shows the moment when the king challenges his unforgiving servant, (holding the pen by the window). He and his fellow servants have obviously been in the process of counting money. They have moved on with their work, as if nothing has happened. The figure in the middle is focussed entirely on the cash in his hands. But through the window we can see the man who owed the small debt being dragged away into prison.
Jan van Hemmessen seems to be reminding us that the things we do have consequences which we can easily turn away from and miss, deciding not to see. The king’s pointing finger could be pointing to the record book, in which, perhaps, he had struck out the servant’s debt, or it could be pointing out of the window at the desperate scene which is taking place on the margins, as if to say “Look at what you have done!”


  • Has anyone ever showed you generous forgiveness? Have you ever struggled to forgive a small offence? What does this picture make you think and feel?
All Age resources
Come along and join us at our Outdoor Church at 4pm on Sunday in the churchyard for a story and prayers for all ages. No facemasks required! What story will we hear this week…?

  • Fill a jar with pebbles, buttons, pasta or something else small. Ask those who share your house with you to guess how many there are in the jar. Then tip them out and count them. Whose guess was nearest? In the Gospel reading Peter asks how many times he should forgive someone - as many as seven times? Jesus gives him a very big number - 77. It's a way of saying that we shouldn't keep a count of the times we forgive people. It would be very hard to keep track of so many times. Instead we should be generous to each other and forgive them.
This well known hymn, based on Psalm 103, the set psalm for today, was written by Henry Francis Lyte, (1793-1847)who also wrote Abide with Me. Lyte wrote the hymn for his congregation at Lower Brixham in Devon. One branch of my family lived in Brixham at this time – they were trawlermen – and I like to think they may have sung some of Lyte’s hymns when they were first written! Whether that is so or not, it is a fine and rightly popular hymn. Lyte’s hymn encourages us to reflect on our lives, and find God within them, the one by whom we are “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven” who cares for us “in distress” and tends our “feeble frames”. We can join with all creation in our praises, even the sun and moon and “dwellers all in time and space”. The tune was written by Sir John Goss (1800- 1880) specially for this hymn.
  • Does this hymn bring back memories for you – it is popular at weddings and at funerals, and many people will recall singing it at school too?
Prayer of the week
A prayer for a forgiving spirit, by Christina Rosetti (1830-94)

O Lord, because being compassed with infirmities we oftentimes sin and ask for pardon:
Help us to forgive as we would be forgiven;
neither mentioning old offences committed against us,
nor dwelling upon them in thought,
nor being influenced by them in heart;
but loving our brother freely, as thou freely lovest us;
for Christ’s sake. Amen
Christina Rosetti is most often remembered as a poet (one of whose poems, In the Bleak Midwinter is an essential part of Christmas!), but she was also a considerable devotional writer. She was brought up by a devout and loving mother, of whom she said “Mother’s love patient, forgiving, all -outlasting cannot but be the copy and pledge of Love all-transcending.” Inspired by her example, she wrote many books which mixed poems and theological reflection, which were much admired in her time.
This prayer reflects the reality of the experience of forgiveness for many of us. It is a struggle to forgive; we are often tempted to rake over the coals of resentment, which neither helps us, nor the one who we are trying to forgive. It is not always appropriate to forget an offence – there are situations where we need to remember in order to learn from what has happened, and we may need also to put a distance between us and the person we forgive for our own safety. But I am sure we also all know times when we have nursed grudges and allowed ourselves to be “influenced by them in heart”, poisoning any chance of healing in the future.

The Rule of Six – new government guidance
You will have seen the new government guidance on gathering announced this week – the “rule of six” – prohibiting gatherings of more than six people from different households indoors or outdoors. We have been assured that this does not apply to services of worship. We can have as many people in church (or at our Outdoor Church) as we can safely accommodate, although people shouldn’t congregate after church in groups larger than six to chat or socialise. What isn’t so clear is how this law will apply to other church activities like Friday Group, Home Groups, or any choir practices we may have in the future etc. The Church of England is asking for clarification urgently from the government. As soon as we have an update (hopefully by the beginning of next week) I will pass it on to those who need to know it, and we will work out ways of doing what we need to do.
APCM and Electoral Roll
Parishes were given an extension on the deadline to hold their Annual Parochial Church Meetings earlier in the year. This deadline – October 31 – is approaching, so we will need to have an APCM before then. We have fixed this date for Sunday October 18th at 11.15 am. The meeting will probably have to be by Zoom, since we will not be able to accommodate all who may want to come, and the APCM is supposed to be open to any on the Electoral Roll. It is possible to phone into Zoom meetings, so this is a legal alternative to meeting face to face. More details to follow.
If you are not on the Church Electoral Roll and would like to be, you can download an application form here . The privacy notice is here. You can return the completed forms to me at “The vicarage, Church Street, Seal, TN15 0AR. The deadline for applications is Friday October 2
And finally...
Here's a wonderful story from the New York Post...
You couldn't make it up...

Recovering addict saved from drowning by boat full of partying priests

"It was a miracle on the lake.
A drug counselor and recovering addict kayaking in Lake George, near Albany, had his prayers answered this week when he capsized in deep choppy water and was saved by a gaggle of priests partying on a Tiki boat.
Jimmy MacDonald got separated from his wife and step kids while on the water after taking pictures on his new cellphone.
As he tried to make his way back, MacDonald hit choppy water and capsized. Wearing an ill-fitting life jacket, he tried desperately to right his kayak and keep his $1,400 phone from getting wet.
“That’s when I said, ‘Alright, I think I might die today. I think this might be it’,” MacDonald told local NBC affiliate WNYT. “I prayed to my lord and savior Jesus Christ for help.”
Nearby, Greg Barrett, a captain for Tiki Tours, heard his call.
“I turned the boat toward him, I realized his life preserver had been in the upper portion of his head and he was, he was hanging on for dear life,” Barret said.
MacDonald was pulled out of the water by Barrett and his passengers — a boatload of priests and seminarians from the Paulist Fathers, a Catholic retreat on the lake.
“How funny is it that I’ve been sober for seven years and I get saved by a tiki bar?” MacDonald laughed. As for being saved by a bunch of priests, Macdonald said: “I just take that as a sign from God that he’s got me here for a real reason.”


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