Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday podcast worship links and other news


Dear friends

The links to our worship this week, and other news and resources for reflection are below. The Ven. Julie Conalty, Archdeacon of Tonbridge, will be preaching at our 10am service, and I had hoped to include her sermon on the podcasts, but haven't been able to access it ahead of time, so you have to put up with me instead! We will record Julie's sermon in our video of the first part of the morning service, which will be uploaded to the Church blog later today. 


Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas

October 25th Bible Sunday

Morning Worship podcast   Morning service sheet         Hymn words (both services)
Evensong podcast              Evensong service sheet

We are also producing a video recording of the first part of the morning service in church - providing the technology behaves! This should be available on the church blog and through Facebook and Twitter, at some point on Sunday afternoon or evening.

In Church
Please note – face coverings must be worn in church unless you are medically exempt.
10 am              Holy Communion
4pm                 Story Church - a Bible story and informal prayers for all ages
6.30pm            Evensong

Wednesday    9.15 am           Morning Prayer
Friday             10.30 am         Friday Group on Zoom and in person- ask for details
Sunday Nov 
10 am              Holy Communion.
3-5pm              All Souls' memorial afternoon
There will be no Story Church or Evensong next week.

On Zoom this week  email for links

Zoffee 11.15am Sun Oct 25

 Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.

 NO Children's choir this week

Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact for the link.


Today is Bible Sunday, when we give thanks for the Bible and, as the prayer for today (the Collect) puts it to ask God’s help to “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it”. In the sermon on the podcasts today (the Archdeacon is preaching at the 10 am service and Jess Heeb at the 6.30pm service), I talk about reading the Bible, why we do it and what it matters.
A small group have been enjoying meeting online via Zoom on Mondays for the last couple of weeks to read the Bible together in our “Meeting Jesus” discussion groups – if you’d like to join us email me at for a link. If you can’t join us, I will be releasing this course as a series of videos to work through on your own or with friends in the next couple of months.
We’ve been using a simple approach, which is helping us to get the most out of the Gospel stories we’ve been reading, which are all about people who met Jesus. We’ve been reading each passage with our Heads, Hearts and Hands. It’s a technique that can be used with any Bible passage – you might like to try it. The video here explains a bit more about how to do this, but basically it means first asking the “Head” questions: Who is involved in the story? When does it take place? Where does it take place? What happens in it? Then we move onto the “Heart” questions, imagining ourselves in the story, being aware of how it makes us feel and who we identify with or empathise with. Finally we ask the “Hands” questions: What should I do to respond to this story? What might I need to pray about? How might it change my life?
If you aren’t a regular Bible reader already (or even if you are!) you might like to try this technique. You could start by reading one of the Gospels – Mark or Luke are probably the easiest to start with – choosing some of the stories which attract you to ponder on in with your Head, Heart and Hands. Or you could follow the Church’s Daily lectionary (a lectionary is a pattern of Bible Readings used in worship). You can find these online  at on the C of E’s Daily Prayer app.
There are also Church of England apps like Reflections for Daily Prayer and Reflections on the Psalms, which can help you to get the most out of reading the Bible.
I also highly recommend the Bible Reading Fellowship’s printed daily Bible reading notes which come in a wide variety, so there should be something for everyone. You can order them here, or Bobbie Rayner, our BRF rep can order them for you. Please ask if you need her contact details
I hope you will find within these resources something that will help you “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” the treasure store which is the Bible, and encounter the Living Word within it.

Antonello da Messina’s painting, The Virgin Annunciate, depicts the moment when the Virgin Mary discovers she will be the mother of the Messiah. There is no angel Gabriel in this depiction. She is pictured reading the Scriptures, perhaps the passage from Isaiah which says that “a young woman will conceive and bear a son”, but you can see that the penny has dropped for her. She isn’t just reading words on a page; she has heard God’s word in her own heart and knows she will bear the Living Word who will speak to people of his love.

All Age resources

Come along and join us at our Story Church at 4pm on Sunday in the church for a story and prayers for all ages. Facemasks mandatory except for under 11s and those who are medically exempt. What story will we hear this week…?

Here are some resources from the Bible Society for Bible Sunday
and here are some from the Bible Reading Fellowship

Would you like us to pray for you?
Email your prayer requests to:
Your email will be read by Anne Le Bas and Kevin Bright, the Vicar and Reader of Seal Church who will hold you in their prayers. 

Through all the changing scenes of life,
in trouble and in joy,
the praises of my God shall still
my heart and tongue employ.
O magnify the Lord with me,
with me exalt his name;
when in distress to him I called,
he to my rescue came.
The hosts of God encamp around
the dwellings of the just;
deliverance he affords to all
who on his succour trust.
O make but trial of his love,
experience will decide
how blest are they, and only they,
who in his truth confide!
Fear him, ye saints, and you will then
have nothing else to fear;
make you his service your delight,
your wants shall be his care.
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

There was, for a long time, a resistance to singing anything in church other than passages from the Bible. Early hymns were therefore often based on Psalms, paraphrased so that they fitted popular, singable tunes. This is one of the many fine metrical psalms which appeared in the Psalter produced by Nahum Tate (left, with a splendid wig!)  and Nicholas Brady in 1696. “The Lord’s my shepherd”, and “As pants the hart” are two others. Nahum Tate (1652-1715), who seems to have written this hymn himself, was an aspiring poet, who had come to London from Dublin. To make a living he translated French and Latin texts for publishers, and wrote and adapted plays, including Shakespeare’s – he rewrote King Lear to give it a happy ending. He also wrote the libretto for Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”. He became Poet Laureate in 1692, but later became an alcoholic and died in a debtors’ refuge in the Royal Mint. This hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 34, which is a psalm of praise to God in the face of difficulties. It is easy to praise God when all is going well, but it is when times are hard that our trust in him is really vital.
The lovely, lilting tune, one of my favourites, Wiltshire, was written by Sir George Smart, (1776-1867) when he was just 19 and organist at St James Chapel London. In Scottish tradition it is known as New St Ann and is one of the tunes to which “The Lord’s my Shepherd” is sung. Metrical Psalm tunes were often used interchangeably.  
Prayer of the week
Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’
Luke 23.34
This short prayer from the Bible (for Bible Sunday), uttered by Jesus as he was being nailed to the cross, is one of the most powerful in the Bible. Although it’s only twelve words long, it contains a powerful message. What does it take to pray for forgiveness for those who are hurting you - while they are doing it - to continue to desire their good, rather than hoping they will rot in hell? Most of us would find it hard enough to pray for forgiveness to the person who jumped a queue in front of us at the supermarket checkout. That Jesus could pray this prayer at all shows just how secure he was in himself and in his father’s love, and in his belief in the value of every human being, however damaged and twisted they were. He refused to dehumanise and condemn others, and here on the cross showed what it meant to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5.44
  • Perhaps this week, we could try to pray Jesus’ prayer whenever we start to feel irritated with someone, or feel the urge to condemn others. 

There is something particularly chilling about the matter-of-fact way in which the soldiers in this picture are going about their work, trying to do a good job of crucifying Jesus. This is obviously something they have had practice in doing, and they know how to work together to achieve their goal. They are “just obeying orders”, to quote the defence given by concentration camp guards.

Congratulations and thanks to the new (or re-elected) PCC members elected at last Sunday's APCM. Maggie Fox, Matt Bell, Rosemary Milton-Thompson  and Georgina Taylor, and to all who are continuing in office. Many thanks to our churchwardens, Gesiena van Setten and Jenny Elliott, who have been elected to serve for another year. A full list of the PCC can be found in the porch. Photos will be updated as soon as possible!


Next Saturday – Oct 31 – there will be a churchyard working party to do the small jobs which need doing at this time of year around the churchyard and hall, like unblocking the ground level gutters, removing weeds etc. If you can help, please email to let me know you are coming . We will need to be in set groups of no more than six people to do this, and not mix between groups, and we will not be able to share tools, so please bring with you anything you think you might need (secateurs, trowels etc).
ALL SOULS’ Memorial afternoon 
Sunday Nov 1 from 3 – 5pm
A time to remember those dear to you who have died.
Come to church at any time between 3 and 5pm 
You will be able to light a candle in memory of a loved one and add their names to a memorial board and spend some time in private prayer or reflection in church.
The names on the board will be included in an Online All Souls’ service available to watch from 6pm on Nov 2 on the church website . We are sorry that we can’t hold our usual All Soul’s service in church because of the limitations on numbers in church under Covid restrictions.
If you can’t come to church in person, you can also send names to be included in the online service to me by post or email by Oct 30. I will add them to the board. There will be no 6.30pm Evensong on Nov 1
9am Godden Green Act of Remembrance
10.50 am Short Remembrance service at the War Memorial in the churchyard. There will be no 10 am service in church on Nov 8 because we cannot accommodate the numbers who might want to come. The service by the War Memorial will last about 15 -20 minutes.
Come and join us at 4pm in church for a Bible story and some informal prayers this Sunday afternoon. Facemasks are required unless you are medically exempt or under 11. There will be NO STORY CHURCH on Nov 1.
And finally...
Connecting online is useful if you can do it, but it never tells the whole story…

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