Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news: June 20

 

Dear friends

The links to our audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below, as usual. 

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas


June 20 Trinity 3

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

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

Don't forget that you can also listen to a shortened version of the podcast by phoning 01732 928061 -  if you know someone who doesn't "do" the internet, please pass on the number to them. It costs the same as any phone call to a Sevenoaks number.


In Church

10 am Holy Communion with a hymn outside the church after the service.

4pm Outdoor Church in the churchyard. 
With two hymns, a Bible story, and prayers. Very relaxed and informal - come along and join us. 

6.30pm Breathing Space Holy Communion
  
Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – there is no singing in church, but we do now have permission to sing outside, so there will be a congregational hymn at the end of the 10 am service outside.

 

During the week, in person and on Zoom - email for Zoom links

ZOFFEE - informal chat on Zoom at 11.15 am

Wednesday Zoom Church 11am - email for the link
 
Wednesday 5-5.30pm Children's Choir  in the church hall garden from 5-5.30pm


Wednesday Zoom Adult choir 7.15pm contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link to join in with some simple hymn singing together.


Friday - 9.30 Morning Prayer. A short, socially distanced service in church. Bible readings, psalms and prayers to start the day Anyone is welcome. You can see the service sheet here.


Friday Group - 10.30-12 noon in the church hall garden


Trinity 3
Rembrandt. Storm on the Sea of GalileeJob 38.1-11, Psalm 107,1-3,23-32, Mark 4,35-end
“Some went down to the sea in ships” says today’s Psalm (107). The Israelites were not a great sea going nation, despite being on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean. They had a healthy fear of water, associating it with the chaos which God had subdued at the creation of the world. As the Old Testament reading from the book of Job says, it was God who “shut in the sea with doors… saying ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped.’”
In the Gospel, though, there are those who have to “go down to the sea”, or rather the inland lake of Galilee, which is a large body of water subject to sudden storms. Some of the disciples, in particular Peter, Andrew, James and John, were experienced fishermen, but even for them, the storm they encounter on this particular night turns out to be more than they can handle.
The story invites us to consider what we do when we feel all at sea, out of our depth and “not waving but drowning” as the poet Stevie Smith put it.
 
We can read this story as an allegory of our own, often storm-tossed, lives, but it is good also to remember those who face the dangers of seafaring today, not just storms but also the political, economic and environmental challenges which can make life at sea a miserable experience. If you would like to find out more, and do something to help them, some of the most vulnerable and easily exploited workers in the world, you might like to find out more about the work of the Mission to Seafarers, and the Fishermen’s Mission, two organisations who are at the forefront of supporting those who work at sea.
If you are a knitter, you might like to know that one very practical thing you can do is to knit hats, scarves and gloves for seafarers who may have embarked in the tropics never having needed to wear more than shorts and t-shirts, but find themselves landing in the cold of a British winter at container ports like Felixstowe or South Shields…The woollies that people knit for them are handed out regularly, and worn with gratitude!
https://www.missiontoseafarers.org/wp-content/uploads/MtS-Knitting-Patterns.pdf



ALL AGE IDEAS
 
Lots of lovely watery ideas from Together at Home in their weekly sheet today, and an invitation to talk together about what frightens you, and what you do about it. 
https://af51dd98-adab-4c43-ba03-c87e019551a5.filesusr.com/ugd/ebdd71_7b6fbfb5ff8243f3b6ccac191396332d.pdf


 

Today's Gospel story retold.
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

We're starting to think about our plans as we come out of lockdown and restrictions are eased.
We want to make sure we maintain some of the best of what we have been doing online and through things like this email newsletter, as we know that there are many who have connected with the church who might not be able to join us in the church building, but we need to balance this with what we want to resume doing face to face when we can, and the inevitable increase in workload that represents. 
I plan to keep a weekly podcast worship going, starting from mid-August. It will be slightly shorter and available both online and via the telephone - and a simplified weekly email, probably just with the podcast link and news of what is going on in church. Those who receive the newsletter by post can continue to do so if they wish if they will not be in church. 
I also plan to keep at least two Zoom Wednesday Church sessions per month in the calendar, alternating with Good Book Club and Lavender Fields Communion in person.
There won't be any changes until  after July 19, and then I will be taking a couple of week's holiday, but I wanted to ask in advance for any thoughts you might have about what you have valued and what you would like to see continue of the things we have done during the pandemic, so that we can make sure we are putting our efforts where they are most needed from mid August onwards. Let me know what you think!

CHURCH CLEANERS WANTED
We could do with a couple more people to come onto the church cleaning rota. This would involve a commitment to cleaning the church with someone else, once a month at a time to suit you. If you think you can help, please contact Marion Gilchrist, marionjgilchrist@gmail.com, 07909 905975
                                                    
EMILY'S YORKSHIRE THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE
Emily DurlingShe made it! Emily Durling understood the Yorkshire three peaks challenge last Saturday, and was still able to move enough to get to Outdoor Church on Sunday afternoon, looking remarkably fit and well rested.
She sent the following message to all who supported her – and there is still time to donate online to the charities she was walking for, Tourettes Action (tourettes-action.org.uk) and Nova Respite care (novachildrensproject.co.uk)
A huge thank you to everyone who supported me with my Yorkshire three peaks challenge. We ascended 5200 ft over 24 miles in less than 12 hours walking time. It was a memorable day and I am so grateful to all the wonderful people who have donated over £1,000 to make a different to the lives of young people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. It has given my NHS colleagues and I a real boost to see this level of care. The sponsorship page will close at the end of June
https://gofund.me/cb59ae91
  
OUTDOOR CHURCH takes place (weather permitting) this afternoon at 4pm in the churchyard by the war memorial. As we are allowed to sing outside, we will include a couple of hymns in this short service (no more than 30 mins), which will be very informal, interactive and based around a Bible story. All ages are welcome.
 
MORNING PRAYER ON FRIDAYS
Jess and I are saying Morning Prayer together on Friday mornings at 9.30 in church. If anyone would like to join us for this small service, you’d be very welcome. You don’t need to bring anything with you – the service sheet will be available when you get there, but if you want to have a look at the service (or pray it yourself at home when it is convenient for you) it is here.
 
DO YOU VALUE SEAL CHURCHYARD?
It is a special place for many, for a variety of reasons. For some it is the last resting place of a loved one, for some it is simply a beautiful space full of wildlife, with lovely views to enjoy. We are hoping to recruit some people who might help us both to take care of the churchyard, litter picking and caring for it as an ecological haven, and to record memorials in some areas of the churchyard, mostly Victorian and Edwardian, for which we have never had a burial map. If you would like to help with either or both of these projects over the summer, please email me to let me know at sealpandp@gmail.com
 
The first CHURCHYARD MAPPING SESSION will be on Saturday July 3 from 10am – 12 noon. Anyone of any age will be welcome to come along and help us record who is buried where, and instructions will be given on the day to do this. Children and families are welcome.

 
FRIDAY GROUP - This group is meeting weekly on Fridays from  10.30 – 12 noon in the Church hall garden, or inside in socially distanced groups of six if necessary. Come along and join them for an informal natter in the sunshine (we hope…)
HYMN OF THE WEEK  Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?

In honour of the Gospel story, set in the midst of a storm on the Sea of Galilee, I thought we should hear the rousing hymn, “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?” today. Written by Priscilla Owens (1829–1907) a day and Sunday school teacher from the port town of Baltimore, Maryland, it has become a favourite in seafaring communities. Owens was of Scottish and Welsh descent and was a member of the Methodist church. She wrote many hymns and songs for her pupils, but this is the only one which is still regularly sung today. It was set to a hymn by William James Kirkpatrick, a publisher and compiler of hymn collections, and a fellow Methodist.  (He also wrote the tune for “Away in a Manger”)
The Boys Brigade logo, an anchor, with the words Sure and SteadfastThe hymn was adopted as the official hymn  of the Boys Brigade, founded in 1883. This was long before the Scouts were formed and was part of the inspiration for Baden-Powell’s movement. The Poole branch of the Boys Brigade were among those who took part in his first experimental camp on Brownsea Island, which gave birth to the Scouting movement. The Boys Brigade has the motto,”Sure and Steadfast" and uses the symbol of an anchor. Both the hymn and the Boys Brigade draw on a verse from the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews (6.19) which says “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…” The passage encourages us to trust in God’s promise of his eternal love and welcome.
 
It’s a hymn which asks to be sung with gusto, and often is! Its words are profound, comforting and expansive in their vision, however. It invites us to think about what or who we place our trust in, and whether we are anchored in something which can hold us strongly enough through the storms which beset us all.

 1 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
Refrain:
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!


2 Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
when the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rage, and the wild winds blow,
shall the angry waves then your bark o'erflow? [Refrain]

3 Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
when the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
while your anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

4 Will your eyes behold through the morning light
the city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
when life's storms are past for evermore? [Refrain]
  • What has helped you to get through this difficult last year or so, or other times in your life?
PRAYER OF THE WEEK   
Prayer of St Richard of Chichester
 
Statue of St Richard of Chichester by Philip Jackson, outside Chichester CathedralThanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits thou hast given me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly. Amen
 
Many people will know some version of this prayer, or often just the last three lines, in the form “Day by day, dear Lord of thee three things I pray. To know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day.” It was set to music as part of the musical Godspell in the 1960s, and had been sung as a hymn from the 1930s when it was included in a Hymn Book called Songs of Praise, which was often used in schools.
The prayer is attributed to St Richard of Chichester (1197 – 1253), Bishop of Chichester, whose feast day was last Wednesday. Richard was born in Droitwich to a gentry family, but he was orphaned as a child. When he was old enough a marriage was arranged for him, but he chose to become a priest instead, and encouraged his older brother to marry his intended wife (whose feelings on the matter don’t seem to have been recorded…) and take his inheritance too.
His career in the Church was  far from straightforward. After a time as a priest in Canterbury Diocese, as vicar of Deal and Charing, he was eventually elected as Bishop of Chichester, but King Henry III wanted another candidate, in defiance of the Pope’s wishes and declared that no one in his new Diocese should house or feed him. He was taken in by the Vicar of Tarring, now part of Worthing, who was an old friend, and eventually King Henry had to give way. He was a great supporter of the clergy in his Diocese, but expected high standards of behaviour from them and challenged corruption and idleness wherever he found it. He never ate meat, wore a hair shirt, and was also renowned for visiting his Diocese on foot, rather than horseback. He also had passion for cultivating figs…
He eventually died in Dover, while on a preaching tour to encourage support for one of the Crusades. His internal organs were buried in the Maison Dieu in Dover, but the rest of his body was taken back to his Cathedral in Chichester, where a shrine was established at his grave site. The shrine was destroyed at the time of the Reformation - Henry VIII did not want to encourage devotion to a saint who had stood up to another king, particularly a namesake of his – but despite this he was, and is, a popular saint, especially in Sussex, whose patron saint he is. His shrine was restored in the twentieth century, and a relic of his body, which had been kept safe elsewhere, was returned to the cathedral in 1990.
 
But back to the prayer, because all is not as it might seem. In fact, the original prayer, written down on his deathbed in Latin, was rather different from the “Day by Day” setting that we know. A literal translation of it runs:
Lord Jesus Christ,
I thank You for all the blessings
You have given me,
and for all the sufferings
and shame You have endured for me,
on which account that pitiable cry of sorrow was Thine:
” Behold and see, if there was any sorrow like unto My sorrow!”
” You know, Lord, how willing I should be to bear insult,

and pain, and death for You; therefore have mercy on me,
for to You, I commend my spirit.” Amen
 
Where is the memorable little triplet of “dearly, clearly, nearly” we expect? Where is the “Day by Day”? Alas, it seems they were additions by an anonymous author at the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Ironically, the most famous part of the prayer wasn’t Richard’s at all, and we will probably never know who added it. Perhaps it’s good to be reminded, though, that every time we pray a traditional prayer, however ancient it is, we should be bringing something new to it, our own experiences, our own thoughts. Prayer is a living thing, not just words on a page!
 
Here’s a version of the prayer, set by L.J White. https://youtu.be/LBBFZIytfiU
And the version from Godspell, sung by Shirley Bassey https://youtu.be/lXSx9NUfmsI

AND FINALLY...

Continuing the maritime theme of this newsletter, the G7 summit in Cornwall was full of serious business, but one reporter discovered that being in a seaside resort brought challenges she hadn’t anticipated. Here's the report from Cornwall Live...
See the moment here: https://twitter.com/i/status/1404151219527073800

...and the report from Cornwall Live here. 

Brilliant moment CNN news anchor is interrupted by Cornish singers

Luckily Hala Gorani took the unexpected performance in good spirit
 
An international news anchor had to think on her feet after her broadcast link to Israel was interrupted - by a group of Cornish singers.
Hala Gorani from CNN was linked to a colleague in Jerusalem, Israel who was reporting the crucial no confidence vote in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
 
Ms Gorani was presenting the bulletin from the G7 Summit at the Royal Yacht Club in Falmouth where, unknown to her, Cornish singers The Oggymen were performing a surprise concert on a floating vessel metres from the media centre.
The Oggymen’s concert was to raise awareness about child poverty in Cornwall.
In the hilarious clips shared by Ms Gorani, you can hear The Oggymen over her as she attempts to speak to the correspondent in Israel.
Luckily, Ms Gorani saw the funny side. She said: “Apologies there’s an a capella group, a wonderfully harmonious group of a capella singers behind me so apologies to our viewers if there’s a few audio issues.”
She later shared the clips on Twitter with the caption: “When you’re anchoring the Israeli Knesset confidence vote and a traditional a capella sea shanty singing barge floats past your location.”

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/brilliant-moment-cnn-news-anchor-5528095

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news: June 13

 

Dear friends

The links to our audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below, as usual. 

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas


June 13 Trinity 2

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

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

Don't forget that you can also listen to a shortened version of the podcast by phoning 01732 928061 -  if you know someone who doesn't "do" the internet, please pass on the number to them. It costs the same as any phone call to a Sevenoaks number.


In Church

10 am Holy Communion with a hymn outside the church after the service.

4pm Outdoor Church in the churchyard. With two hymns, a Bible story, and prayers. Very relaxed and informal - come along and join us. 


6.30pm Breathing Space Holy Communion
  
Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – there is no singing in church, but we do now have permission to sing outside, so there will be a congregational hymn at the end of the 10 am service outside.

 

During the week, in person and on Zoom - email for Zoom links

ZOFFEE - informal chat at 11.15 am

Monday 11am Good Book Club Bible discussion in the Vicarage Garden

Wednesday Zoom Church 11am - email for the link

 
Wednesday 5-5.30pm Children's Choir  in the church hall garden from this Wednesday from 5-5.30pm


Wednesday Zoom Adult choir 7.15pm contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link to join in with some simple hymn singing together.


Friday - 9.30 Morning Prayer. A short, socially distanced service in church. Bible readings, psalms and prayers to start the day Anyone is welcome. You can see the service sheet here.


Friday Group - 10.30-12 noon in the church hall garden


Trinity 2
Ezekiel 17.22-end, Psalm 92. 1-4,11-14, Mark 4.26-34
 
Picture of a mustard seed with slogan "I have a mustard seed and I'm not afraid to use it"Kevin Bright is preaching today, so I don’t want to steal his thunder or anticipate what he might explore with us. I couldn’t resist including this image which I found online though. Today’s Gospel reading includes the famous parable of the mustard seed, in which Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. It may be small, but when it is sown and germinates and grows, it becomes a tree which gives shelter to all the birds of the air. We’re invited to join in with God’s work, even if it is only by doing something tiny. It might make all the difference!

 


ALL AGE IDEAS

Jesus tells a parable in today's Gospel reading, a story that helps us to think about our lives and about God. He talks about a mustard seed which is very small, but grows into a plant that gives shelter to all the birds of the air. Children from Seal School will know this story well. It is a story that gives a "theme" to the Christian character of the school, a school where everyone is welcome and cherished for who they are. 
There's a lovely book by Mary Joslin called "The Tale of the Heaven Tree" which develops the idea that from very small beginnings we can change the world. Highly recommended! 

  • Have you ever grown anything from a seed? Why not have a go? You can sow cress, or dried peas and beans, apple, orange or lemon pips, or even grass seed - as the grass ripens in the coming  weeks you may be able to gather some and sow that. What does it feel like to wait and watch for the seed to start to grow? Can you really believe that a plant could come from a tiny thing that looks so dead?
Today's Gospel story retold.
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

OUTDOOR CHURCH will resume TODAY Sunday June 13 at 4pm in the churchyard by the war memorial. As we are allowed to sing outside, we will include a couple of hymns in this short service (no more than 30 mins), which will be very informal, interactive and based around a Bible story. All ages are welcome.
 
GOOD BOOK CLUB IS BACK
Our monthly Good Book Club, which looks at a story from the Bible, will be back for two outdoor sessions, weather permitting, tomorrow morning (Jun14) in the vicarage garden at 11 am, and then on Monday July 12. We will then take a break in August and, hopefully, resume our normal pattern of meeting on the first Wednesday of the month from September. We will be looking at Ezekiel 36.22-37.14, a passage about restoration and recovery, which seems apt for these times. You don’t need any special knowledge to come along. Everyone’s thoughts are relevant and welcome (and there’s no exam!)  at these very informal sessions.
 
MORNING PRAYER ON FRIDAYS
Jess and I are saying Morning Prayer together on Friday mornings at 9.30 in church. If anyone would like to join us for this small service, you’d be very welcome. You don’t need to bring anything with you – the service sheet will be available when you get there, but if you want to have a look at the service (or pray it yourself at home when it is convenient for you) it is here.
 
DO YOU VALUE SEAL CHURCHYARD?
It is a special place for many, for a variety of reasons. For some it is the last resting place of a loved one, for some it is simply a beautiful space full of wildlife, with lovely views to enjoy. We are hoping to recruit some people who might help us both to take care of the churchyard, litter picking and caring for it as an ecological haven, and to record memorials in some areas of the churchyard, mostly Victorian and Edwardian, for which we have never had a burial map. If you would like to help with either or both of these projects over the summer, please email me to let me know at sealpandp@gmail.com
 
The first churchyard mapping session will be on Saturday July 3 from 10am – 12 noon. Anyone of any age will be welcome to come along and help us record who is buried where, and instructions will be given on the day to do this. Children and families are welcome.

THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR will meet again in person this Wednesday from 5-5.30pm in the church hall garden. It was a great success last week!
 
FRIDAY GROUP - This group is meeting weekly on Fridays from  10.30 – 12 noon in the Church hall garden. Come along and join them for an informal natter in the sunshine (we hope…) 
HYMN OF THE WEEK  Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

A painting of the Neander ValleyThe words and music for this popular hymn are by Joachim Neander 1650-1680, a German Reformed Church minister. The tune is probably based on a German folk tune. It would originally have been sung unaccompanied and in unison, in line with the Calvinist views of the Reformed Church. Neander loved exploring the landscape around him, and  was fond of conducting worship in the open air in a valley which eventually became named after him – the Neander Thal, literally the ‘Neander Valley’. In 1856 ancient human remains were found in a cave in the valley, a species now known as Neanderthal man! I am fairly confident that Neander is the only hymn writer who has a prehistoric species named after him.
 
The hymn was translated by Catherine Winkworth.1827-1878, who was described in her lifetime as "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley”. Catherine WinkworthShe grew up in Manchester, where her father owned a silk mill, and she was taught by William Gaskell, a prominent Unitarian minister (and husband of Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell, whose novels are full of concern for the urban poor.) Subsequently she lived in Clifton, Bristol. As well as translating hymns she was well known for her work to better the education of girls and women.
 
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
now to his temple draw near;
praise him in glad adoration.
 
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
how thy heart’s wishes have been
granted in what he ordaineth?
 
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew
what the Almighty can do,
who with his love doth befriend thee.
 
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the amen
sound from his people again,
gladly for aye we adore him.
 
•           What signs of the goodness of God have you seen this week?
PRAYER OF THE WEEK   
The Collect for the second Sunday after Trinity

Lord, you have taught usThe front page of the 1549 prayer book
that all our doings without love are nothing worth: 
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Today’s Collect – the special prayer for the day which ‘collects’ the themes of the day’s readings – is a slightly modernised version of one which Archbishop Cranmer wrote for the prayer book of 1549, which was eventually revised in 1662, and became the Book of Common Prayer. (It is set for the Sunday before Lent, Quinquagesima, in the BCP). It’s a collect which paints a very black and white picture of things. “All our doings without love are nothing worth”, “without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.”  Cranmer, a Protestant Reformer, believed that the Roman Catholic Church taught that if we tried hard enough, prayed more prayers and heard more masses, people could, in effect, save themselves. This was a very inaccurate caricature of Roman Catholic belief then and is even more so now, but he was reacting to the idea that forgiveness, in the shape of indulgences giving “time off” purgatory, could be purchased or earned. In fact, Protestants are just as good at trying to twist God’s arm, or thinking they can do so; they just do it in different ways – believe the right things, say the right prayers, act in the right ways etc. 
But whatever the dubious prejudices that may have been floating around in Cranmer’s mind, he is right to point us back to our dependence on God’s grace, his unearned, undeserved gift to us. The beginning of the prayer deliberately echoes that famous passage of Scripture, 1 Corinthians 13, which is so often read at weddings. 

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Living in the way God intends for us, the way which brings true peace and blessing, isn’t a matter of fancy words, special knowledge, or grand, miraculous gestures. It is about learning to accept the love which God pours into our hearts, and let that love flow out to others too. 


AND FINALLY...

'Unseaworthy' Noah's Ark replica detained at Ipswich Waterfront
 
I am tempted just to leave the BBC headline there… But perhaps you want to know the rest of the story.
 
If so, it’s here.

 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-57363750
 
The replica of Noah's Ark by the waterfront at Ipswich“A giant replica of Noah's Ark has been deemed unseaworthy and detained where it is docked.
 
The 70m-long (230ft) ship, which has been transformed into a floating museum, arrived in Ipswich in 2019.
 
In response to a Freedom of Information request made by the East Anglian Daily Times, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the vessel was not safe to leave due to "deficiencies".
 
The BBC has approached the ship's owner for comment.
 
The ship was bought for €3m (£2.6m) and its owner, Dutch TV and theatre producer Aad Peters, previously said he wanted to create a "talking point" for people from all backgrounds.
It houses wooden sculptures depicting Bible stories, including Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel as well as the nativity scene.
 
A spokesman for the MCA said: "The vessel, Noah's Ark will remain detained until all the deficiencies have been put right and a Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveyor is invited back by the owners to check that they have been corrected."
 
He said he was unable to disclose specific details of the deficiencies.
 
TV and theatre producer Aad Peters previously said he wanted to create a "talking point"
Mr Peters bought the ark in 2010 and a team of 50 expert craftsmen took five months to create the museum, thought to be about half the size of the ark described in the Bible.”
 

Monday, June 07, 2021

Rochester needs a new Bishop

 

Help us find a new Bishop - survey closes soon.


There is just one week left until our surveys to help identify the qualities needed in the next Bishop of Rochester close at midnight on Sunday 13 June.

Thank you to everyone who has responded so far, and to everyone who has shared and engaged with the materials for children and young people

You can now also register to join an online public meeting on Thursday 15 July at 7.30pm,  which will answer questions on the process, and give further opportunity to comment on what is needed in the new Bishop.

Don't miss your chance to have your say. Get involved here
 

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news

 

June 6  Trinity 1

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

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

Don't forget that you can also listen to a shortened version of the podcast by phoning 01732 928061 -  if you know someone who doesn't "do" the internet, please pass on the number to them. It costs the same as any phone call to a Sevenoaks number.


In Church

10 am Holy Communion with a hymn outside the church after the service.

6.30pm Breathing Space Holy Communion
  
Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – there is no singing in church, but we do now have permission to sing outside, so there will be a congregational hymn at the end of the 10 am service outside.

 

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

ZOFFEE - informal chat at 11.15 am

Wednesday Zoom Church 11am 
 
Children's Choir will meet in person in the church hall garden from this Wednesday from 5-5.30pm


Zoom Adult choir contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link



Trinity 1
Genesis 3.8-15, Mark 3.20-end
 
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is accused by his family of having gone “out of his mind”, and by the religious leaders of being in league with Satan. His madness/crime? To heal  the sick and care for those on the margins. It might not seem like either madness or crime to us, but it threatens their view of the proper place of a dutiful son and brother, an ordinary carpenter from Nazareth.Adam and Eve by Zampieri
The Old Testament reading is a reflection on the way in which we are all born into a world which twists and warps us. We are frail and fallible, and dependent on God for help. 
This detail from a larger picture of Adam and Eve meeting God after they have eaten the forbidden fruit captures that sense of hopeless confusion we can all feel when life goes awry.

 



ALL AGE IDEAS
This week is "Churches Count on Nature" week. Check out the "wildlife safari" packs here

Today's Gospel story retold.
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
Congratulations to Tom and Abbey
Abbey and Tom enjoy a glass of bubbly outside the church after their weddingOur first wedding at Seal since 2019 took place yesterday, and it was for our own Abbey Sanders, a regular member of our choir here, who married fellow teacher Tom Lawrie. Our warmest congratulations to them both.
Although we couldn’t have any live singing in the service, some of Abbey and Tom’s friends recorded the anthem “View me Lord” remotely (and Abbey was able to take part as well, which was an added bonus of being able to do these things digitally). Philip put the recordings together and we enjoyed the finished result as they signed the Marriage Document. Abbey and Tom said we could share it, so here it is for you to enjoy, along with a photo of the happy couple enjoying the warm sunshine and a glass of bubbly in the churchyard after the service.  Abbey looked gorgeous in her trademark 40's/50's style (and Tom looked good too!)
 
NEWS FROM THE APCM
Many thanks to those who attended our APCM on Zoom last Sunday. The draft minutes can be found here. I am pleased to welcome Paul and Sally Thompson as our new churchwardens. They have offered to serve together for the next year, during which time we hope to develop teams to support the work involved and create a more sustainable pattern for the future.
We recorded our thanks to Gesiena van Setten for her service as a churchwarden, and especially our gratitude for her tireless support during all the vicissitudes of this last eighteen months. We wished her well as she takes a long-overdue break from applying for faculties and overseeing building work!
We are looking to recruit people who might be able to share in various areas of the work of the church, including helping organise maintenance and carrying out some of the tasks associated with the finances of the church. Look out for the “situations vacant” board which will go up in church over the coming weeks, where we hope to share specific tasks which we are looking for help with.
 
We also welcomed back onto the PCC for another three year term Mark Turner, Rosemary Pattullo and Jonathan Heeb, and thanked Rosemary Milton-Thompson who came off the PCC.
 
I also explained at the APCM that I will also be asking people who already carry out roles within the church to fill in a volunteer role description, so we have a record of what each role involves to help us with recruitment and make sure we have a proper overview of who needs what DBS checking and safeguarding training. If a team carries out a role (e.g. church cleaning, serving, coffee rota etc) only one member will need to fill in the form. I will gradually be contacting people to ask them to do this, but the forms can be found here, so if you have a volunteer role in the church, please feel free to get ahead and do this yourself.  
 
DO YOU VALUE SEAL CHURCHYARD?
It is a special place for many, for a variety of reasons. For some it is the last resting place of a loved one, for some it is simply a beautiful space full of wildlife, with lovely views to enjoy. We are hoping to recruit some people who might help us both to take care of the churchyard, litter picking and caring for it as an ecological haven, and to record memorials in some areas of the churchyard, mostly Victorian and Edwardian, for which we have never had a burial map. If you would like to help with either or both of these projects over the summer, please email me to let me know at sealpandp@gmail.com
 
The first churchyard mapping session will be on Saturday July 3 from 10am – 12 noon. Anyone of any age will be welcome to come along and help us record who is buried where, and instructions will be given on the day to do this. Children and families are welcome.
If the wildlife of the churchyard is something that interests you, you might like to check out the “wildlife safari” packs here, on the website of Caring for God’s Acre, an organisation which promotes the care of burial grounds. This week is “Churches Count on Nature” week, when people are especially encouraged to find out about the natural resources of their local churchyard
 
OUTDOOR CHURCH will resume on Sunday June 13 at 4pm in the churchyard by the war memorial. As we are allowed to sing outside, we will include a couple of hymns in this short service (no more than 30 mins), which will be very informal, interactive and based around a Bible story. All ages are welcome.
 
THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR will meet in person this Wednesday from 5-5.30pm for the first time since March 2020. We will sing in the church hall garden to provide an added level of covid security. The children have been turning up faithfully to our Zoom sessions for the last year, but it will be very good to be able to hear each other and sing together in person again!
Sadly, there is no news yet on when adult choirs can begin to meet.
 
FRIDAY GROUP - This group is meeting weekly on Fridays at 10.30 am outside the Church hall. Come along and join them for an informal natter in the sunshine (we hope…)
 
HYMN OF THE WEEK  Guide me O thou Great Redeemer
I don’t seem to have featured this very popular hymn yet in our weekly newsletter, though it has appeared in our weekly podcasts, so it is about time I set that right!  It is very popular at sporting fixtures – one of the only places other than churches where people regularly sing together (when we are allowed to!) – so has a wide appeal.
It was written by William Williams. also called Pantycelyn (1717-91). He was one of the leaders of the Welsh evangelical revival movement of the 18th century. Having originally been ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church, he eventually became a minister in the newly founded Welsh Calvinist Methodist church. He wrote around 800 hymns, and travelled more than 100,000 miles on foot and horseback as an itinerant preacher. Williams, often known simply as Pantycelyn was famous not only as a minister and hymn writer but as a champion of Welsh language and culture. Most of his hymns were written in Welsh, including this one. The English version we sing is a fairly free translation by Peter Williams (no relation – 1722-96), but William Williams also made his own translation, and the two were often mashed together, which is why some versions say “Redeemer” while others say “Jehovah”.
 
The hymn’s imagery is taken from the Old Testament story of the Exodus. The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land, led by a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. God fed them with manna – the bread of heaven – and eventually they crossed the river Jordan into Canaan. In the hymn this is an image of our pilgrimage through life, across the “Jordan” of death and into the new life beyond death.
 
The tune, Cwm Rhondda, is far more recent than the words. It was written for a hymn singing festival in 1905 by John Hughes (1873-1932) It was so enthusiastically sung in the trenches during WW1 by Welsh troops that allegedly German troops in the opposing trenches learned it from them.
 
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven
Feed me till I want no more.
 
Open thou the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream shall flow;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer
Be thou still my strength and shield.
 
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever give to thee.
 
  • Why do you think this hymn has become so popular?
  • What does it mean to you?
PRAYER OF THE WEEK   
O Christ of the least and the homeless
O Christ of the lost and betrayed
Come close to me this night
That I may come close to you.
As you watched me with care at my soul’s shaping
Look on me now with grace.
As you blessed me with light at the sun’s rising
Shine on me now with love.
 
J. Philip Newell, from “Each Day, Each Night”.
 
This lovely evening prayer asks for God’s care through the night. It reminds us that we are perfectly known. Christ who “watched at my soul’s shaping” will not abandon us. He is Christ, “of the least and homeless”, of the “lost and betrayed”. He is there because we need him, not because we have done anything to earn his love.
 
AND FINALLY...

I do love an outdoor swimming pool. It’s lovely to be able to see the sky as you swim, but even if London’s new ‘Sky Pool’ was not reserved for the residents of the exclusive apartments next to it, I would give it a miss. Whoever’s idea it was to suspend a transparent (!) swimming pool ten stories up in the air, it obviously wasn’t someone who feels like me about heights…
 






Here’s a video of it, if you have a stronger constitution than mine. I am averting my eyes even from the video…