Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sunday Worship links and other news


October 18th St Luke

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

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            Breathing Space Holy Communion

Wednesday    9.15 am           Morning Prayer
Friday             10.30 am         Friday Group on Zoom and in person- ask for details
Sunday Oct 26
10 am              Holy Communion, with the Archdeacon of Tonbridge, the Ven. Julie Conalty as guest preacher.
4pm                 Story Church
6.30pm            Evensong

On Zoom this week  email for links

There's no Zoffee after the service as we are holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting by Zoom at 11.15 instead.

Please contact for the link. 

Here are the links to the Annual Reports and Financial Statements and I have also written an update, since the Annual Reports only concern the year to April 2020, and there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then!

 Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
Zoom Children’s Choir  Wednesday 5pm
Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact for the link.

Today, Oct 18, is the feast of St Luke. Luke was called “The beloved doctor” by Paul (Colossians 4.14) with whom he travelled on some of his missionary journeys around the Mediterranean, so it’s no surprise that he is the patron saint of doctors.
But he’s also the patron saint of artists, because of an ancient legend which says that he painted the Virgin Mary, on visits to the home she shared with St John in Ephesus. The picture on the left is a rather fanciful interpretation of this by Maarten van Heemskerck (1532) While he was painting her, she told him the stories of Jesus’ birth which we now find in Luke’s Gospel – the angel Gabriel’s visit, the journey to Bethlehem, the manger and shepherds.

The Hodegetria of SmolenskIt’s highly unlikely to be true that he painted Mary, but that’s never stopped people wanting to believe it, and there are several places which claim to have, or have had, the very picture he painted, an icon known as the Hodegetria, sometimes known as “Our Lady of the Way” because Mary is pointing to the infant Jesus while holding him in her arms. He is the Way which people should follow. According to legend, the icon was housed in a monastery called the Monastery of the Panaghia Hodegetria, in Constantinople, until it was lost in 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire. There are claims it was taken to Russia or Italy, but no evidence to prove it, and as the icon had been much copied, there’s no way of discovering its true location.
Perhaps more to the point, Luke’s Gospel paints vividly with words, not just the life of Mary, but more importantly the life of her Son, and those who first followed him, and today’s sermon unpacks the message this “beloved doctor” was trying to convey, a message of healing love for individuals, communities and the world.

Pic left: St Luke and the Madonna, Herman Rode (1484)
Or, as I would have titled it, Mary points out where Luke has got it wrong...


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…?
  • Today we celebrate the feast of St Luke, the patron saint of artists as well as doctors. Why not paint, draw or model something today? You could make a picture out of some autumn leaves, or do some junk modelling, or whatever you like to do. 
  • St Luke's Gospel includes some of the best known stories Jesus told, like the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep (Luke 15) and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10). You could look them up in a Bible or Google them to listen to them.
  • Luke also tells of a time when Jesus met a tax collector called Zaccheus. Here's my version of the story in a video made for Seal School.
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. 

The first name of the person you ask us to pray for, but no other details, will be included in public prayer lists circulated to other members of the congregation and may be mentioned in the public prayers of the church for about a month, unless you tell us you would rather we didn't pass on their name.
O for a thousand tongues
This hymn is one of over 6000 written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), brother of John Wesley. Together  John and Charles were founder members of what would one day become the Methodist Church, though originally it was just a society within the Church of England. John was known as the great preacher of the movement, often preaching outdoors to vast crowds of ordinary people who often felt unwelcome or marginalised in their parish churches, but Charles supplied the soundtrack to the work, providing hymns, often to stirring popular tunes, for the crowds to sing. This hymn was considered to be so important to Methodists that for a long time it always held pride of place as the first hymn in their hymnals. Charles original version had ten verses, but now only about 5 are commonly sung.
The hymn has been sung to many different tunes. Most commonly in the UK it is sung either to Richmond (the usual tune of “City of God”) or to Lyngham, as in this video, a tune written around 1803 by Thomas Jarman 1776-1861. Jarman was a Northamptonshire tailor by trade, living in the village of Clipston, but music was his great love. Choirmaster of the local Baptist Chapel, he wrote over 600 hymn tunes and other music, and his love of music often seems to have got in the way of his tailoring work, often leaving him short of money. This type of hymn tune, with its division of men and women’s voices in part of each verse was popular in the early 18th century. You may also be familiar with Sagina (And can it be)  and Diadem (All hail the power of Jesus name) which follow a similar pattern. These hymns are great fun to sing if you are in the know, but people can find themselves completely baffled about what they are actually meant to be singing. The answer is ,”it doesn’t really matter so long as you are enjoying it!” Singing along with the recording at home is a great way of practicing!
Prayer of the week
As I utter these prayers
from my mouth, O God,
in my soul may I feel your presence.
The knee that is stiff,
O healer, make pliant.
The heart that is hard,
make warm beneath your wing.
The wound that is giving me pain,
O best of healers, make whole,
and may my hopes and my fears
Find a listening place with you.
This prayer, by J. Philip Newell who is part of the Iona Community, is a prayer that expresses our longing for healing not only of the body but also of the soul. Most of all, it asks for a sense of God’s presence in times of pain, that we might feel that God is listening to us.
  • When you have been ill, or if you are ill now, what has helped and comforted you most?
  • How do you look for God’s presence in times of suffering?


Archdeacon's visit. 
Next week we welcome the Ven. Julie Conalty, Archdeacon of Tonbridge to preach at our 10 am service and on our podcasts.  

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.

Story Church
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.
Meeting Jesus
It’s not too late to join in with our Zoom Bible discussion sessions. Monday mornings at 11 am, or Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Last Monday we looked at the story of Zaccheus. This week we are looking at the story of the calling of the disciples. The complete list of the Bible stories in the course are below, if you would like to read along.
Week 1.     Zaccheus  Luke 19.1-10
Week 2.     The disciples Luke 5.1-11
Week 3.     Legion Mark 5.1-20
Week 4.     A woman bent double Luke 13.10-17
Week 5.     The Penitent thief Luke 23.32-43
Week 6.     Mary Magdalene John 20.1-18

There is also a short video here which outlines the way in which we are approaching the stories
Join me on Zoom on Monday mornings from October 12,  at 11 am on Monday evenings at 7.30pm for a six-session Bible discussion group called Meeting Jesus. We will be looking at people who met Jesus and what that encounter meant to them. These sessions are part of a two-part course I am planning, called Starting Points, which will eventually be available for people to download and use at their own pace, on their own or with friends, with various online and printed resources to help them, but I would like to start by trying it out the material with a group, so if you would like to join me, please email to let me know.
You don’t need any special knowledge to join in -  we all learn from each other, and everyone’s views are important – so it is very suitable for those who feel they are new to Christian faith, but also for “older hands”, those who’ve been part of Lent groups, Home Groups or the Good Book Club, for example. There will be some input from me, some discussion in breakout rooms and some discussion together in a very informal way finishing with an act of prayer.
Please email as soon as possible, letting me know whether you would like to join the morning or evening group (though some swapping around will probably be possible.
And finally...
Seal School farm again - an endless source of entertainment! Click on the link to watch it - I couldn't manage to embed the video.
I'm not sure their shepherding is quite up to One Man and His Dog standards yet...

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