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

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 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!



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:
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. 

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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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. 


'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.
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.”

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