Sunday, February 07, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news: Feb 7

 

Dear friends

The links to our audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below, as usual. If you, or someone you know is in need of any kind, please let us know and we will do our best to help.  
Stay at home and stay safe!

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas


Feb 7th     Second Sunday before Lent

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

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

 
In Church
No services in church until further notice.

On Zoom this week  email sealpandp@gmail.com for links

Zoffee
Time: Feb 7, 2021 11:15 AM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87033373396?pwd=SlpGaW1yRGhSUjVFK0dUczljVnp2dz09

Meeting ID: 870 3337 3396
Passcode: 002859

If you aren’t able to use the internet, you can also join the meeting by phoning  02039017895, and entering the Meeting ID and Passcode above when prompted to do so.

Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
 
Zoom Children’s Choir  Wed 5-5.30pm  Fun singing with Anne Le Bas
 
Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link.


Second Sunday before Lent
 
In today’s Old Testament reading we meet the figure of Wisdom in the book of Proverbs, chapter 8. Wisdom is personified as a woman working with God in Creation, “delighting in the human race” and “rejoicing before him always”. Wisdom (Hokma in Hebrew) appears in this personified form – always female – in a number of places in the Bible, and in the Apocryphal books which aren’t included in the Bibles of some Christian tradition. Biblical scholars have puzzled over her origins. She may have been the last vestige of a time before the Israelites were monotheistic, one of a whole pantheon of divine beings similar to those other peoples worshipped, but by the time she appears in Biblical works she is clearly a creation of God, not God herself, and they would have been keen to maintain that distinction, because they firmly believed that there was only one God.

A 12th century manuscript illustration of Lady Wisdom, looking up towards Christ, surrounded by prophetsIn this 12th century  manuscript illustration, Wisdom is the central figure, looking upwards to Christ (above), surrounded by various prophets).

 


By the time of Jesus, the idea of the Word, logos in Greek had become common. Logos, borrowed from Platonic philosophy, was the organising principle behind the world, which kept the world in order. John’s Gospel, clearly influenced by this begins with a prologue, often read at Christmas, which identifies Jesus with this “Word”, giving him a status as part of the Godhead.


Hagia Sofia Mosque in IstanbulThe Church continued to personify Lady Wisdom, though, treating her as a sort of honorary saint. The most famous church in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia – Holy Wisdom, which was turned into a mosque when the Muslims took over Turkey retained that dedication. It is  Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi – literally “Holy Wisdom Grand Mosque”. Whatever their differences, every faith sees the need for wisdom! 
 

All Age Ideas

Today's Bible readings are all about God's creation. The Bible tells us God loves what he has made - he thinks it is very good.

  • There is snow promised this week, so maybe there will be an opportunity to go out and enjoy God's creation in a different way! 
  • What can you find in the world around you to give thanks for this week, when you are outside (or looking out of the window from a nice warm house)? 
  • The Bible says that we are made "in God's image" . So we are a bit like God in some way. Maybe one of the ways we are like God is that we are creative too. Can you make something this week, perhaps out of junk that you have lying around the house. How does it feel to make something? Is it sometimes frustrating or puzzling? What do you feel about what you have made?
Would you like us to pray for you?
Email your prayer requests to:

sealchurchprayer@gmail.com
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. 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS
Please pray for Georgina Taylor, who has badly broken her leg, and is in hospital at the moment. 

ASH WEDNESDAY. We will not be able to conduct our usual Ash Wednesday service, which includes the imposition of ash on people’s foreheads. Instead, I will be putting individual cotton buds, swirled in ash, in plastic bags in the porch, stapled to a service sheet for an online service which will be available to watch on the evening of Ash Wednesday from 6pm onwards. The ash will be available from next Sunday morning. You will also be able to join in with the service if you don’t have any ash, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to pick some up.
 
LENT COURSE – “What do you think?” This year, our Lent course is going online, with four sessions on Zoom on Monday mornings at 11 am, and Monday evenings at 7.30pm, lasting about an hour. We will be exploring questions Jesus asked people who came to him, starting with “What are you looking for?” The sessions will include input from me, discussion together and in breakout rooms, and prayer.
I will include the links for the Zoom sessions in these weekly newsletters each Sunday, but it would help me if you could email me on sealpandp@gmail.com to let me know if you plan to join in so that I know roughly how many to expect – I will then also send you an email with the link in it on Mondays.
 
The material in the Zoom sessions will also be available in recorded videos on Tuesday morning each week, so you can follow the course on your own, or with friends. There will also be a printable version, which will be downloadable from the website.
 
ASH WEDNESDAY. We will not be able to conduct our usual Ash Wednesday service, which includes the imposition of ash on people’s foreheads. Instead, I will be putting individual cotton buds, swirled in ash, in plastic bags in the porch, stapled to a service sheet for an online service which will be available to watch on the evening of Ash Wednesday from 6pm onwards. The ash will be available from next Sunday morning. You will also be able to join in with the service if you don’t have any ash, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to pick some up.
 
LENT COURSE – “What do you think?” This year, our Lent course is going online, with four sessions on Zoom on Monday mornings at 11 am, and Monday evenings at 7.30pm, lasting about an hour. We will be exploring questions Jesus asked people who came to him, starting with “What are you looking for?” The sessions will include input from me, discussion together and in breakout rooms, and prayer.
I will include the links for the Zoom sessions in these weekly newsletters each Sunday, but it would help me if you could email me on sealpandp@gmail.com to let me know if you plan to join in so that I know roughly how many to expect – I will then also send you an email with the link in it on Mondays.
 
The material in the Zoom sessions will also be available in recorded videos on Tuesday morning each week, so you can follow the course on your own, or with friends. There will also be a printable version, which will be downloadable from the website.
 
NEWS FROM MARION GILCHRIST (on behalf of the Know Your Neighbours network)
“Yesterday we saw two separate events to report on. At Friday Group, we held our 100 Club Draw, where we were playing with 60 numbers. The winners were:-
No 59 - Mary Sutton £100
No 8- James Spencer £50.
That leaves £150 for the Seal Village Fund.
If you would like to take part in this monthly draw, at a cost of £5 each month, please email marionjgilchrist@gmail.com and I will forward you the joining instructions. Also, if you would like to join our Friday Zoom meetings, please let me know, and I will make sure you are added to the invitation list.
 
Also yesterday, we had our first KYN Fun Zoom Quiz, and it was just that. 17 households took part in this event, which was organised by Frances and Annie Fish. We all had a great evening, and I feel sure, more people will join for our next one on 19th February. Just email frances88@hotmail.co.uk.
Thank you Frances and Annie! It was a great way to pass an otherwise gloomy evening - lots of fun, with good questions and really well organised !
 
Seal Village Hall Management Committee is holding its AGM on Wednesday February 17th at 7pm. Of course, it goes without saying, this will be another Zoom event. Please let us know if you would like to receive a Zoom invitation, and your details will be passed on.
 
Chris and Frances still have Valentine and Easter cards for  sale, with proceeds going to Seal Church. Rosemary and Frances also have some beautiful Easter chicks carrying mini Lindt eggs, and hearts for sale. Please email Rosemary  and Chris for photos and to arrange collection/delivery.
 
Derek Ednie, our IT guru, is still busy preparing donations of used laptops, for the children of Seal School. Thank you Derek, the school is very grateful for your work, and for those who are donating their devices. If you have a laptop or device you no longer use, but think may be of use, please get in touch, via this email address, and we will collect and deliver.
 
Recipes are slowly finding their way to us for that good old Lockdown Recipe book, which we hope to produce this year. Please send your favourite recipes via this email address, with just a sentence as to how your dish or dishes, have helped sustain you, and your family, during this most interesting of times.

 
HYMN OF THE WEEK  Fairest Lord Jesus
(click on the picture to hear the hymn) 
 
Fairest Lord Jesus,Alpine meadow: Fairest Lord Jesus, arranged by Martin How and sung by St Martin's Voices, St Martin in the Fields, London
Lord of all creation
Jesus, of God and Mary the Son;
thee will I cherish,
thee will I honour,
O thou my soul's delight and crown.

Fair are the meadows
fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the verdure and bloom of spring.
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer,
he makes the saddest heart to sing.

Fair are the flowers,
fairer still the sons of men.
in all the freshness of youth arrayed;
yet is their beauty
fading and fleeting;
my Jesus, thine will never fade.

 This lovely little hymn is probably not as well known as it ought to be. It isn’t in our hymn books, which is why we haven’t sung it at Seal, but when we do get back together and are able to sing, it’s definitely on my list of those we should.
 
Its origins are very obscure. It was originally written in German(called Schönster Herr Jesu), and is set to a Silesian folk tune. Silesia is an area which is mostly now in Poland, though it also includes some parts of the Czech Republic and Germany. Its first appearance in print is in a hymnbook called the Münster Gesangbuch of 1677 and was translated into English by Joseph Seiss in 1873, though there are many translations in circulation now, with varying numbers of verses. There is also a Danish version of the hymn, with different lyrics.
 
There are stories that it was sung by German crusaders on their way to the Holy Land in the Middle Ages, which is why the tune is sometimes known as “Crusader’s Hymn”, but this seems very unlikely. This didn’t stop Liszt from including a snatch of it in his Oratorio “The legend of St Elizabeth [of Hungary]” as the Crusaders marched off. Other traditions say that it was composed by the Roman Catholic order of Jesuits, or that it was written by followers of the Protestant Jan Hus, as they escaped Catholic persecution. In other words, many different groups and tradition have tried to claim it as “theirs”, and we shall never know for sure whose hand was really behind it!
 
It is a beautifully simple hymn, full of joy, which compares Jesus to the beauty of the world. If all this that we see around us is beautiful, it says, how much more beautiful is the God who made it. “He makes the saddest heart to sing”!
 
Click on the picture below to hear a recording of the song made by St Martin’s Voices, one of many they have recorded over the last year.  I didn’t include it in this week’s podcasts, but wanted to make sure we could enjoy it somehow! The arrangement is by Martin How.
Münster Gesangbuch (1677), Schoenster Herr Jesu, Herrscher alles Erden  Joseph Augustus Seiss (1823-1904), tr Lilian Sinclair Stevenson (1870-1960)
© Oxford University Press


 
Prayer of the weekHilaire Belloc

Jesus Christ, thou child so wise,
Bless mine hands and fill mine eyes,
And bring my soul to Paradise.

 
Hilaire Belloc 1870-1953
 
This simple prayer, perhaps goes well with the simple hymn above. It was written by Hilaire Belloc who is probably best known for his “Cautionary Tales for children” which would probably now be considered quite unsuitable for children, especially those of a nervous disposition. I remember hearing them often when I was growing up, though, and thoroughly enjoying them. The Chief Defect of Henry King/ Was chewing little bits of String./ At last he swallowed some which tied/Itself in ugly Knots inside.” The poem concludes with Henry’s final words "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,/ That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, and Tea/ Are all the Human Frame requires...''/ With that, the Wretched Child expires.”  Wise words, of course, but Belloc was far more than a writer of comic verse. He was also a very devout Roman Catholic, and his religious views affected the whole of his life. He was outspoken – larger than life in his speech as well as in his imposing frame – and probably not the easiest man to get along with. He was fiercely disparaging about the Church of England, and has been accused of anti-semitism too, but he was also known to defend Jewish people who were suffering discrimination and persecution. A complex character!
He married an American, Elodie Hogan, walking from the Midwest to her home in Northern California in order to court her. She died of influenza in 1914, and Belloc wore mourning for her for the rest of his life. They had two sons and one daughter, but one son died in WW1 and the other in WW2.
 
His little prayer is perhaps typical of the strong and traditional Catholic faith which he upheld. In it there is none of the bluster or sharp words he could be known for in other contexts. He stood for parliament as a Liberal in 1906 and while he was campaigning he was heckled by someone in the crowd who called him a “papist”. Unflustered, he took his rosary out of his pocket and replied "Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament." The crowd cheered and Belloc won the election.
 
 
And Finally...
During the very varied discussion at Friday Group this week, Jess Heeb mentioned that some enterprising people had been capitalising on the wonderful distraction of animals appearing in Zoom meetings. We are all used to seeing people’s cats and dogs photobombing the picture, but it’s even better, apparently, if you have goats. Farmers across the world have discovered a lucrative business opportunity in all this, and are “hiring” out their goats to appear as an extra participant in Zoom meetings.
 
Here’s a report from Farmer Dot McCarthy and her goats at Cronkshaw Fold Farm, Lancashire, England. 
  
https://www.euronews.com/2021/02/02/goats-on-zoom-english-farm-finds-new-income-by-livening-up-video-conferences

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