Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Seal Scarecrows are back!

 David is taking on Goliath in Seal Churchyard this year. For all his impressive armour and that sharp spear, I know who my money is on...

Join in with our annual scarecrow festival. All scarecrows welcome! If you make a scarecrow, let Marion Gilchrist know (marionjgilchrist@gmail.com) so she can put it on the list for the scarecrow trail.





Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast link and other news: Sept 19

 

Online
Worship podcast        Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building
10 am   Holy Communion
4pm      Outdoor Church (weather permitting) 
6.30pm  Breathing Space Holy Communion


During the week
Wednesday@10 am Zoom Church - please email sealpandp@gmail.com for the link
                         5pm  Children's choir
                         7.15 pm Choir
Friday              9.30 am Morning Prayer in Church 

                             10.30-12 noon   Friday Group in the church hall
Saturday          1 pm Memorial service

Trinity 16

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus realises that an argument has broken out between his disciples as they have walked along the road. When he asks them what it is about, they are silent, but he knows that at the heart of it is a conflict about which one of them is "greatest". 
In the sermon, I explore what this might mean and how we might reflect on our own hunger to win arguments, and come out on top in disputes. 
Jesus' response to his disciples is to take a small child in his arms and tell them that the most important thing they can do is to learn to welcome "such as these" - those who are small, apparently insignificant and often needy. 
Jesus holds a small child by the hand as his disciples look on in disbeliefThe picture on the right is a depiction of this incident by the German artist Fritz von Uhde (1848-1911). He was the son of a Lutheran pastor, and often painted Biblical scenes set in the context of the German villages and landscapes he knew. In this picture, we see the disciples portrayed as local villagers. The man in the centre of the group of disciples looks at the other man with a somewhat sceptical smile, as if to say "What is Jesus going on about now? What does this little child have to teach us?" The child stands bathed in sunlight, as if she has been brought into a spotlight, however, while the disciples stand in the shadows.

  • In response to this story, we might like to ponder who we find it hard to make time and space for in our lives, and why that is.


ALL AGE IDEA
 

  • Talk about how it feels to be made welcome and how it feels when we aren't.
  • How do you think the child in the picture above might have felt when Jesus came to talk to her and hold her hand?
  • Make a "welcome" sign to go by the door in your home so that people coming in can see it.
STORY OF THE WEEK – Mark 4.1-9
The stories of the week which I will be including here each week, will also feature in our Wednesday @10 sessions. These will alternate between Good Book Club (1st Wed in church hall), Zoom Church (2nd, 4th & 5th Weds online), and Lavender Fields Communion (3rd Wed), but you are welcome to follow along whether you can join us in person on Wednesdays or not.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he describes God’s work of salvation not just (or even mainly) in terms of the individual, but as something which affects the whole of creation. In Christ, God restores everything, and creation “groans” as if it is in labour, bringing a new world into being. The signs of this new birth should be able to be seen, says Paul, in the lives of the Christian community, the “first fruits” of this new creation.
  • How has your faith changed you?
  • What are the fruits you can see in your own life?
  • How do you think we can listen to the world “groaning” for change in our own age?

More resources for  reflection during Creationtide can be found here. https://bit.ly/38msy0o
 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS

PCC REPORT At our PCC meeting last Thursday we heard updates on the installation of the new boiler (hopefully to be completed in the next week or two), and the transformation of the north aisle and back of the church. As always we discussed safeguarding, which is a standing item on the agenda, and I reported on some changes to the processes for safer recruitment and safeguarding training. We also discussed how we might handle some of the big services and events in the coming months, like All Souls, Remembrance and the Christmas services. Much remains uncertain and depends on what happens with Covid, but the PCC is committed to trying to find safe and creative ways of marking these important moments in the year.
 
PEW MOVING NEXT WEEK. We need to move some of the church pews, in order to complete the transformation of the north aisle and the area around the new tea station. As some of the pews we are moving are very long and heavy , we plan to do this next Sunday (26th) after the 10 am service, enlisting any able bodied people who can help (please do not attempt this if you have back problems or any other issues which might make it dangerous for you!) If you can help, we would be very grateful.
 
SCARECROWS. It’s that time again! Join in our Scarecrow Festival this year – no competition, just a bit of fun. There is no competition this year - just a bit of fun! Plan, design and display your scarecrow outside your home, or another agreed space in the village. Please contact Marionjgilchrist@gmail.com if you are stuck for ideas of where to display. Then - email her the address of where your scarecrow will be residing and his or her name. Marion will compile a list so that people can walk and hunt the scarecrows!
 
OVER 60S HELP NEEDED   The Over 60s meet every 2nd Sat of each month and several of those wishing to take part depend on volunteer drivers getting them there and back.  Could you spare a couple of hours 3 or 4 Saturday afternoons a year to help transport? Please contact Barbara Martin on 07775861562. 
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas

For more community news from Marion Gilchrist, check out the Know Your Neighbours blog. https://knowyourneighbours.blogspot.com/


 
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. Please tell us if you would like us to contact you.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday worship podcast link and other news: Sept 12

 

Dear friends

Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. Please note that there will be no Outdoor Church today

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast        Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building
10 am   Holy Communion

2pm     Baptism

No Outdoor Church this afternoon 

6.30pm Evensong

During the week
Wednesday@10 am Lavender Fields Holy Communion (sorry, no outside visitors to this service for the time being).
Friday 9.30 am Morning Prayer in Church 


Trinity 15

Isaiah 50.4-9a, Mark 8.27-38

Kevin Bright is preaching today, and is reflecting on  the Gospel reading, which focusses on the relationship between Jesus and Peter - a relationship which wasn't always straightforward. Peter discovered things about himself which were challenging.

Peter meeting Jesus carrying his cross as Peter tries to leave Rome.The picture I've chosen to go with this Sunday's Gospel reading is actually one which was inspired by a later legend about Peter and Jesus. The Gospels don't tell us how Peter died, but tradition says that he eventually went to Rome. According to the legends, Peter could see that he was in danger, and decided to run away from Rome, and his impending death. As he headed out of Rome on the Appian Way, he had a vision of Jesus, heading into the city. "Where are you going?" asked Peter ("Quo vadis?" in Latin, which is the title often given to images of this moment.) "I am going to Rome to be crucified again", said Jesus. Shamed by the knowledge that he was abandoning his mission and ministry - he had lost his courage when Jesus was arrested and denied knowing him, and now he seemed to be doing  so all over again - Peter turned around and went back to Rome, where he was eventually executed by the Emperor Nero. Some legends say he was crucified upside down, not feeling worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus, although in reality it was unlikely he would have had a choice in the matter. 
Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) captures the moment when Peter is challenged by Jesus, who looks straight at him. Peter seems to recoil, and is trying to avoid Jesus' gaze. The artist invites us to consider our own reactions. What do we do when faced with the choice between doing what is right and doing what is convenient or comfortable for us? 


ALL AGE IDEA

  • Draw a picture of a cross, or make one on out of sticks, lego or whatever else you have around. There are some ideas here https://www.pinterest.co.uk/ajlebas/good-friday/  Jesus tells his disciples that they must "take up their crosses". He means that following him and doing the right thing will sometimes feel difficult. 
  • Talk about times when doing the right thing feels difficult for you.
STORY OF THE WEEK – Mark 4.1-9
The stories of the week which I will be including here each week, will also feature in our Wednesday @10 sessions. These will alternate between Good Book Club (1st Wed in church hall), Zoom Church (2nd, 4th & 5th Weds online), and Lavender Fields Communion (3rd Wed), but you are welcome to follow along whether you can join us in person on Wednesdays or not.

Jesus’ story of the sower who sows his seed on various different types of soil is one of his best known. Jesus uses this story drawn from the experience of sowing seeds, which everyone would know, to help his disciples think about the way that God’s word takes root (or doesn’t) in people’s lives.
 
  • Have you experienced times when your faith has felt as if it is struggling, on stony ground, choked by other distractions, withering for lack of care?
  • How does the “ground” of your life feel at the moment?
     
More resources for  reflection during Creationtide can be found here. https://bit.ly/38msy0o
 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS

Many thanks
 to Lise and Andrew Michaelides for organising our "Ride and Stride" efforts this year. Some of us did a short, but good walk, across the valley to Kemsing, and St Edith's well and church, enjoying coffee and pastries at Kemsing Deli! More pictures here. Thank you, too, to those who provided refreshments in Seal Church will were much appreciated by visitors here. 

There will be a PCC meeting this Thursday (16th) on Zoom at 7.30pm.
 
SEAL CHOIR got off to a great start last week, with 17 members, some of whom were new. If you would like to join us, please get in touch. We are moving the time of this forward to 7.15pm (to 8.15pm) from this week onwards. As we rebuild the choir after Covid we are keen to encourage any new members to come and join us. You don’t have to be a brilliant singer, or have any prior knowledge of music to join in – we welcome all comers and will help you learn to read music if that is something you struggle with. We also welcome those who can’t commit themselves regularly, but might be able to help out for special services. Please contact Philip Le Bas philiplebas@gmail.com to find out more.
THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR has also restarted and is meeting on Wednesday afternoons from 5pm in the church hall.
 
SCARECROWS. It’s that time again! Join in our Scarecrow Festival this year – no competition, just a bit of fun. Plan, design and display your scarecrow outside your home, or another agreed space in the village. Please contact Marionjgilchrist@gmail.com if you are stuck for ideas of where to display. Then - email her the address of where your scarecrow will be residing and his or her name. Marion will compile a list so that people can walk and hunt the scarecrows!
 
OVER 60S HELP NEEDED   The Over 60s meet every second Saturday of each month and several of those wishing to take part, are dependent on volunteer drivers getting them there and taking them home at the end of the session.  Could you spare a couple of hours 3 or 4 Saturday afternoons a year to help transport? Please contact Barbara Martin on 07775861562.

For more community news from Marion Gilchrist, check out the Know Your Neighbours blog. https://knowyourneighbours.blogspot.com/


Revd Canon Anne Le Bas
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. Please tell us if you would like us to contact you.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Podcast worship link and other news: Sept 5

Dear friends

Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today.

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas


Online
Worship podcast        Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061


In the church building
10 am   Holy Communion
4pm      Outdoor Church in the churchyard (weather permitting)
6.30pm Evensong


During the week
Wednesday@10 am Zoom Church (email sealpandp@gmail.com for the link)
Friday 9.30 am Morning Prayer in Church 


Trinity 14
Isaiah 35.4-7a, Mark 7.24-37

Today's Gospel reading is a puzzling and a tricky one to interpret. A Gentile Syro-Phonecian woman comes to Jesus to beg for him to heal her daughter. This all takes place in the Phonecian seaport of Tyre, a rackety and multi-cultural place, an unlikely place for a respectable Jewish man to be. Jesus seems taken aback by the woman's request, and at first seems to send her away. But she persists, and he quickly recognises that he should do as she asks. 
This story is paired with another, in which Jesus heals a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. In both stories, themes of hearing and speaking emerge. Who do we listen to and who do we fail to hear? Who do we allow to speak and who do we silence?


ALL AGE IDEA

  • Think about hearing. Be very quiet for a minute. What can you hear around you right now? What sounds do you like? What sounds don't you like?
  • Think of something good to say about those who live with you (or about a friend) and say it to them! 
STORY OF THE WEEK – Psalm 148
The stories of the week which I will be including here each week, will also feature in our Wednesday @10 sessions. These will alternate between Good Book Club (1st Wed in church hall), Zoom Church (2nd, 4th & 5th Weds online), and Lavender Fields Communion (3rd Wed), but you are welcome to follow along whether you can join us in person on Wednesdays or not.

In this Psalm the Psalmist calls all creation to praise God.
  • How do you think a “sea monster” might give praise to God?
  • What might the praise of a “fruit tree” look like?
  • How can we praise God not only in our words, but in the whole of our lives?
More resources for Creationtide can be found here. https://bit.ly/38msy0o
 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS
 
RIDE AND STRIDE The annual “Ride and Stride” in support of Kent’s historic churches (including our own) will be taking place next Saturday- 11 Sept. A group will be doing a short walk to Kemsing Church , led by Andrew and Lise Michaelides, and there may be the possibility that I will lead a longer walk, continuing to Wrotham and Borough Green (about 7 miles), and then returning by public transport (or your own private arrangements for lifts) if there is a demand. If you would like to join us on either the short or the long walk please let me know and I will give you more details.  
Refreshments. If anyone could contribute sandwiches, cakes or biscuits so that we can provide refreshments for anyone visiting Seal Church as part of the Ride and Stride, please contact Lise Michaelides 07570 125115
 
SEAL CHOIR will be starting to rehearse again on Wed Sept 8th at 7.30 pm in church. As we rebuild the choir after Covid we are keen to encourage any new members to come and join us. You don’t have to be a brilliant singer, or have any prior knowledge of music to join in – we welcome all comers and will help you learn to read music if that is something you struggle with. We also welcome those who can’t commit themselves regularly, but might be able to help out for special services. Please contact Philip Le Bas philiplebas@gmail.com to find out more.
THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR will also be restarting its new term on Wed Sept 8th, at 5pm in the church hall.
 
SCARECROWS…We will be holding our scarecrow festival again this year, from mid- September to mid-October. It isn’t a competition, just a bit of community fun, and the more scarecrows we have the better!  If you have nowhere to display your scarecrow in the village, we can find you a space! Please contact Marion Gilchrist or me if you want to know more. If you are going to display a scarecrow, please let Marion know where he or she will be residing for the month (or part of it). She will then circulate a list so that people can do a village walk and spot them all!

For more community news from Marion Gilchrist, check out the Know Your Neighbours blog. https://knowyourneighbours.blogspot.com/


Revd Canon Anne Le Bas
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. Please tell us if you would like us to contact you.