Sunday Service 9th August 2020

The Benefice of St. Osyth and Great Bentley

Spiritual Communion Service

Sunday 9th August 2020

 

The entire service is available to watch on YouTube. It will premiere on Sunday 9th August at 10am and will remain available to watch any time after that. https://youtu.be/beZ-LdYNIaQ

 

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord be with you                          and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be;
that we may act justly, live mercifully, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect –  Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.

Readings  – New Testament: Romans 10: 5-15

This is the Word of the Lord   thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 14: 22-33

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew Glory to you, O Lord.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon

May I speak in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit                      amen.

Today’s reading follows on directly from last week’s feeding of the 5000.

Jesus unsurprisingly tired from all those people he had cured and then fed decides he needs time to himself. What surprises me is that he directed the disciples to go on ahead of him and then Jesus dismissed the crowds and once they had all gone Jesus again went up the mountain by himself to pray. He needed a break from humanity and strength from the Father. When realising that evening darkness had come Jesus was concerned for the disciples because he could see the boat was not yet ashore and was being battered by the waves.

I do sometimes wonder why Jesus didn’t perform miracles from a distance and simply calm the storm from where he was on the hillside – instead he walks down to the lake and walks towards them and this absolutely terrifies them – they thought he was a ghost, folklore at the time had a story about ghosts coming to boats on the water when someone was going to die – so it is no wonder they were so afraid and shouted It’s a ghost wondering which of them might not make it ashore.

Jesus’ response to their fear was instant ‘take heart’ or don’t worry.

The disciples are so worried that they don’t really believe him, and it is Peter who tests Jesus – well if it is you command me to come to you on the water! Just one word spoken by Jesus encouraged Peters action. Come.

Peter got out of the boat stood on the water, and filled with amazement that he was on the water, started to walk towards Jesus when his humanity overtook him and when he saw a huge wave coming his way, he lost concentration and fear filled him and at the moment he called out to Jesus for help. Jesus instantly reached out his hand, and saved Peter saying ‘oh you of little faith! Why did you doubt?’ From that moment on their was absolutely no question about who Jesus was because the rest of the disciples were declaring ‘Truly you are the Son of God!’

I wonder if you have ever been in a moment that has allowed to recognise that Jesus truly is the Son of God. A moment or event that allows complete clarity about the presence of God in your life. It could be a moment that turned your life around or when your faith became stronger or more secure because of something you have lived through and reinforced your sense of faith.

These moments don’t have to huge by that I mean big and glitzy, they simply need to be reassuring.

I started Theological College in September 2000, having worked for 16 years for a Company that made Flavours and Fragrances called BBA in Walthamstow, East London. They were as different as chalk and cheese, I was going back to studying, I was making my home in 2 small rooms in the College for 2 full years because I had sold my flat and suddenly wondered what I was doing! I needed some fresh air and walked down to the courtyard sat on a bench and just prayed and while I was praying I noticed the most amazing thing it had been a warm summer and as I was gazing around I saw a butterfly come out of a cocoon. I know that butterflies normally come in spring but I saw one that day – I knew I was supposed to see that butterfly and realised  at that moment that I would because of my training at theological college come out ready for a new way of being.

I did mention it to the Dean and he said it’s because the courtyard was enclosed and would maintain heat throughout the summer that it was a regular occasion – well regular or not I knew I was supposed to be there, at that moment and witness the butterfly break free. They were amazing times and I still wonderful memories. When you need reassurance about decisions or actions then make sure you spend time just being yourself with God. He will let you know in a way that works for you.

Amen.

The Creed

We declare our faith, saying together:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We come now to our Intercessions

Prayers of Intersession – by Wendy

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

The Peace                  

The peace of the Lord be always with you     and also with you.

The Offering  – Thank you to those who give regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme and Envelope Scheme. If you are able to visit the church buildings you can make a donation in the wall safe.

 

 Hymn – Immortal, invisible, God only wise. By Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908) based on 1 Timothy 1:17

  1. Immortal, invisible

God only wise,

in light inaccessible hid

from our eyes,

most blessed, most glorious,

the Ancient of Days

almighty, victorious,

thy great name we praise.

  1. Unresting, unhasting,

and silent as light,

nor wanting, nor wasting,

thou rulest in might;

thy justice like mountains

high soaring above

thy clouds which are fountains

of goodness and love.

  1. To all live thou givest,

To both great and small;

in all life thou livest,

the true life of all;

we blossom and flourish

as leaves on the tree,

and wither and perish;

but naught changeth thee.

  1. Great Father of glory,

pure Father of light,

thine angels adore thee,

all veiling their sight;

all laud we would render,

O help us to see

‘tis only the splendour

of light hideth thee.

St. Osyth CCLI #961478

Great Bentley CCLI #1199328

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here                                                          His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts                                                      We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and forms us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same that he was betrayed took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrections and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when

we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we

and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you now and remain with you always.

Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Sunday Service 2nd August 2020

The Benefice of St. Osyth and Great Bentley

Spiritual Communion Service

Sunday 26th July 2020

The entire service is available to watch on YouTube. It will premiere on Sunday 2nd August at 10am and will remain available to watch any time after that.

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord be with you                          and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be;
that we may act justly, live mercifully, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect –  Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and the works of your commandments. That through your most mighty protection both here and forever we may be preserved in body and soul through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.

Readings  – New Testament: Romans 9: 1-5

This is the Word of the Lord   thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 13: 14-end

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew Glory to you, O Lord.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon

May I speak in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit                      amen.

Although you have all probably recognised today’s reading, I think it is good to start by putting it into context with the opening sentence – When Jesus heard this? What was it Jesus had heard? – he had just been told that John the Baptist had been killed, he was obviously very effected by the news and needed time to adjust, to grieve and to give thanks for all the people John had baptised.

We are told that as Jesus came ashore there were thousands of people waiting for him – Jesus instantly had compassion and cured the sick amongst them. This task on its own must have taken hours and so it is not a surprise that we hear that it was evening when the disciples came to find him.

It’s interesting that they had already worked out what food was available before they came and asked Jesus to send the crowd away so that they can find food and shelter for the night.

In their mind there was no way they could feed thousands with their 5 loaves and 2 fish – that was intended to have been enough for Jesus and the disciples, they could share a good meal and maybe have some left over for breakfast.

The crowd had got what they came for – their family members had been cured and they had witnessed the miracles, it had taken a while and as Jesus seemed to complete the work that had been presented to him – the disciples wanted the crowds to be sent away so that they could eat and have Jesus to themselves. It could be that they they wanted to look after him after the shock of John’s death or it could be they were trying to

remind Jesus that he was their teacher and should give them time.

Jesus though had different ideas, with the food from the disciples in front of him and the crowds now seated – Jesus lifted the loaves and the fish, he looked up to heaven and then Jesus blessed the food and broke the bread. He gave it to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowd. Everyone there had eaten and were full, when the leftovers were collected – there were 12 baskets full!

5 loaves, 2 fishes, Jesus, the disciples and over 5000 people with leftovers that filled 12 baskets.

Truly amazing things happen when God (and here I mean our trinitarian God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is involved.

This for me marks a turning point in how Jesus was when he was with the disciples.

Jesus had spent time teaching the disciples and now he needs them to get to work. Jesus gave the food to the disciples (those whom he called to teach and know him) and the disciples gave it to the crowd – and amazing things happened.

The disciples were involved in the work of God, they may have just been carrying and sharing food, but God was in the very heart of it.

Today’s reading is a reminder of the work we have all been called to do, as the disciples of today, to live our lives generously making sure that others are aware that we belong to God through faith in Jesus and that we are guided by the Holy

Spirit to be in the right places, at the right time in order to help in God’s work.

That work can be different for each of us, according to our skills but there are many things we are all asked to do – which include sharing our faith, praying for others, showing and sharing God’s love in a way that is right and comfortable, that allows others to see and know it is real.

It sounds like too small a thing when we compare it, to what Jesus did for us.

In order to achieve this, we simply have to let go and let God.

By that I mean let go of our fears and inhibitions and let God be in control, today and always.

Amen.

The Creed

We declare our faith, saying together:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We come now to our Intercessions

Prayers of Intersession – by Ian

On this the eighth Sunday after Trinity let us pray together:

“Where love is met with hatred, and dreams have been snuffed out,

Where days are full of suffering and faith has turned to doubt,

Where evil conquers goodness and life is full of care,

Grant through it all the knowledge that you, O Lord, are there.

Where joy has turned to sorrow and hope gives way to fear,

Where peace is cruelly shattered as sudden storms appear,

Where life belies convictions on which we once relied,

Grant through it all the knowledge you’re always by our side.

Where darkness like a shadow extinguishes the light,

Where plans are brought to ruin and nothing quite goes right,

Where health begins to falter and life begins to fade,

Grant through it all the knowledge we need not be afraid.

To those enduring trouble with which they cannot cope,

To those for whom disaster has put an end to hope,

To those who carry burdens too difficult to bear,

Grant through all the knowledge that you, O Lord, are there.”

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

“Lord, in this terrible time of trial caused by the coronavirus, we pray for those who weep,

Mourning those they’ve loved and lost;

Happiness that ran so deep, followed now by such a cost.

Each day brings now added pain, memories of times they knew,

Never to be shared again – life a case of getting through.

When their hearts are fit to break – hurt too bitter to express,

Grant them solace, dull the ache,

Comfort them in their distress.

In their anger, loss and shock,

Help them find in you a friend;

In their turmoil be their rock, one on whom they can depend.

Though they feel they cannot cope,

Gracious God, reach out to save;

Bring to each new life, new hope,

In your love, beyond the grave.”

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

“An urgent voice is calling Lord, a voice from far away;

It’s crying out for justice, and yearning for that day,

When no one need go hungry, despair will be no more,

A day at last that heralds, a new start for the poor.

An urgent voice is calling Lord, a voice from somewhere near;

It’s crying out with longing, yet no one seems to hear;

Despite the long years of witness, a multitude still search,

Forgive us, Lord, and grant now,

A new start for the Church.

An urgent voice is calling Lord, a voice from all around;

It’s crying out in anguish, the grim and tragic sound,

Of God’s creation groaning, stripped bare, denied her worth,

Lord, curb our greed, and bring now,

A new start for the Earth.

An urgent voice is calling Lord, a voice from close at hand;

It’s crying out in anger, campaigning for a land,

Where all will be respected, and hate will find no place,

A world of respect and friendship,

A new start for the Human Race.

An urgent voice is calling Lord, the voice of You above;

It’s crying out in sorrow, and urging us to love,

For still a world lies bleeding, the weak go to the wall,

Lord, help us build with others,

A new start for us all.”

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

The Peace                  

The peace of the Lord be always with you     and also with you.

The Offering  – Thank you to those who give regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme and Envelope Scheme. If you are able to visit the church buildings you can make a donation in the wall safe

Hymn – The King of Love My Shepherd Is. Henry William Baker (1821-1877), based on Psalm 23.

  1. The King of love my shepherd is,

whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am his

and he is mine for ever.

  1. Where streams of living water flow

my ransomed soul he leadeth,

and where the verdant pastures grow

with food celestial feedeth.

  1. Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,

but yet in love he sought me,

and on his shoulder gently laid,

and home, rejoicing, brought me.

  1. In death’s dark vale I fear no ill

with thee, dear Lord, beside me;

thy rod and staff my comfort still,

thy cross before to guide me.

  1. Thou spread’st a table in my sight,

thy unction grace bestoweth:

and O what transport of delight

from thy pure chalice floweth!

  1. And so through all the length of days

thy goodness faileth never;

good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise

within thy house for ever.

St. Osyth CCLI #961478

Great Bentley CCLI #1199328

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here                                                          His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts                                                      We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and forms us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same that he was betrayed took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrections and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when

we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we

and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you now and remain with you always.

Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Sunday Service 26th July 2020

The Benefice of St. Osyth and Great Bentley

Spiritual Communion Service

Sunday 26th July 2020

The entire service is available to watch using this YouTube link  https://youtu.be/JDw0ZlBxBOU It will premiere on Sunday 26th July at 10am and will remain available to watch any time after that.

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord be with you                          and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be;
that we may act justly, live mercifully, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect –  Creator God, you made us all in your image. May we discern you in all that we see and see you in all that we do. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Readings  – New Testament: Romans 8: 26-end

This is the Word of the Lord   thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 13: 24-43

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew Glory to you, O Lord.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon

May I speak in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit                      amen.

Today in our Gospel reading there are a number of parables all used together.

We hear in verses 31-33 about things that sustain & things that grow. The mustard seed was the first to mentioned and I must admit here they are talking about a different type of mustard than the one that might first pop into our minds. I instantly thought about mustard and cress as it grows so quickly. The mustard seed spoken about today grows so substantially that birds can live in it. Then of course the yeast that when worked into 3 measures of flour can cause a huge growth.

A reminder that we only need a tiny little seed of faith that when held onto and worked with change our lives out of all proportion.

Then as we move to verses 44-52, we hear other responses within the parable.

The treasure in the field that someone finds and wants to own, so buys the field in order to own the treasure, I suppose my inquisitive mind asks what was he doing on someone else’s land in order to find the treasure in the first place. At least he almost did the right things in purchasing the land and not just running off with the treasure. The next parable about the pearl also has someone buying it having sold everything they had to do so. With the fish in the net – we are told that the catch was huge but it was not all of use – we are reminded that at the end of time there will be a sorting out of the good and the bad.

Faith starts as a tiny seed and can happen at any time during our lives.

That seed can start to grow and have an effect on our lives instantly or it can lay dormant until something else prompts its growth. Whenever it grows it produces amazing treasure – the beginning of a life with God, when we suddenly recognise that days are so much easier when God is with us. It promotes in us a willingness to learn about Jesus and how he interacted with others through reading the bible and attending church – that in itself is a huge thing and thankfully we have 2  amazing churches with congregations that are ready to welcome and it wont be too much longer before we can be back in church again – it will feel different in order to keep us safe but we will be back as welcoming congregations.

Faith then should and does feed into our everyday lives, in our actions, decision making, generosity, support of others and growth in God.

These are all positive. All things we aspire to.

In the next parables we are reminded that faith is shared and not owned. Faith is not something we brag about to others. It is not something we can buy and show off.

It is part of our being once we begin to walk with God – it doesn’t make us perfect and infallible – it helps us to be aware of those things we do have done wrong and enables us to repair things when we have recognised the errors or the hurt we have caused, which in turn enables us to walk more closely with God.

We, all of us know, we are not perfect, and God does not expect us to be – he created humanity and knows exactly what it is like. He knows that we will have bad days, but he also knows just how kind, thoughtful, caring, loving and forgiving we can be – and encourages us to be the version of ourselves not matter what life throws at us.

All we need to achieve it is faith the size of a mustard seed – that will allow us to grow and thrive in God whilst being the best we can be to share Gods love and encourage faith in others.

Amen.

 

The Creed

We declare our faith, saying together:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We come now to our Intercessions

Prayers of Intersession – by Annabel

Let us pray

We pray for the whole church of Christ, throughout the world, that persecution of people for their religion can be eliminated from all countries. We hope that people can find solace in a belief that helps to counteract all the difficulties in their lives.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for our nation and country, that those in government continue to be guided by you, to do the best for all people, and to keep the country safe and prosperous.

We pray for Elizabeth our Queen, as she carries on as our monarch, through many decades of loyal duty, and who shows her love for her subjects in so many different ways.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for our local community, in the joint Benefice, as the summer holidays for children approach, the harvest begins to come in, and people start back at work, in many new ways. May they find confidence from you, to do whatever is necessary without fear or danger. As we start to go about in a more normal life, let us not forget those who are still shielding, and may be lonely and fearful, and in need of support.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for the vulnerable and the ill, and all those who suffer, that they may know your comfort and peace.

In Great Bentley, we pray especially for Mick Moore; and in St Osyth, for those on the pew sheet. We also pray for those known only to us, that they will find the strength that comes from prayer.

“Keep us good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy. Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. “

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for our saints: Mary, Peter and Paul, and all the Saints. For our vicar Rev’d Sharon, and all those ministering in the diocese, that with your guidance and support, we may move forward with hope in this uncertain time.

A prayer of St Benedict

“O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, and a life to proclaim you, through the power of the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

The Peace                  

The peace of the Lord be always with you     and also with you.

The Offering  – Thank you to those who give regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme and Envelope Scheme. If you are able to visit the church buildings you can make a donation in the wall safe.

Hymn – Alleluia, sing to Jesus by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898) alt. the editors

  1. Praise, my soul, the King of heaven!
    To his feet thy tribute bring;
    Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
    Who like me his praise should sing?
    Praise him! Praise him!

Praise him! Praise him!
Praise the everlasting King!

  1. Praise him for his grace and favour
    To our fathers in distress;
    Praise him still the same as ever,
    Slow to chide, and swift to bless:
    Praise him! Praise him!

Praise him! Praise him!

Glorious in his faithfulness.

  1. Father-like, he tends and spares us,
    Well our feeble frame he knows;
    In his hands he gently bears us,
    Rescues us from all our foes:
    Praise him, Praise him!
    Praise him, Praise him!

Widely as his mercy flows.

  1. Angels, help us to adore him;
    Ye behold him face to face;
    Sun and moon, bow down before him,
    Dwellers all in time and space:
    Praise him! Praise him!

Praise him! Praise him!
Praise with us the God of grace!

St. Osyth CCLI #961478

Great Bentley CCLI #1199328

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here                                                          His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts                                                      We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and forms us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same that he was betrayed took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrections and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when

we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we

and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you now and remain with you always.

Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Sunday Service 19.7.20.

The Benefice of St. Osyth and Great Bentley

Spiritual Communion Service

Sunday 19th July 2020

The entire service is available to watch using this YouTube link  https://youtu.be/wPNxlWcDPsA It will premiere on Sunday 5th July at 10am and will remain available to watch any time after that.

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord be with you                          and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be;
that we may act justly, live mercifully, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect –  Creator God, you made us all in your image. May we discern you in all that we see and see you in all that we do. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Readings  – New Testament: Romans 8: 12-25 read by Hilary

This is the Word of the Lord   thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 13: 24-43

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew Glory to you, O Lord.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon

May I speak in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit                      amen.

In today’s reading we hear about the parable of the weeds and the wheat.

The weeds whilst growing amongst the wheat have stopped it from growing to its full potential.

Or if we apply the parable there are things in life that slow down or even stop the seeds of God’s love and the knowledge of the presence of God from growing and being shared.

I don’t do this very often and should probably do it more, but it is sometimes good to apply those parables to our own lives. I have done that this week and it made me realise that there are some things that I can certainly identify as weeds in my life. You know the things that stop us from being the best version of ourselves most of the time – I’m not sure we can our best all the time but if we aim for most of the time there is hopefully a good chance that we can achieve it.

Some of the weeds that I have identified might also resonate with you and you might also want to think about solutions to the problems they present.

One of the main things that act like a weed and slows me down is the telephone, especially scam calls – I am sure they think that clergy will fall for anything and also scam emails are certainly weed that I have received too many of.

Another weed or should I say weeds are my dogs, I do love them but when I am indoors, they continually want to be with me which is not always easy as obviously I work from home and they can certainly slow down my productivity.

Sometimes I pretend that I am going out, I shut them in the utility where they sleep give them a biscuit, shut the door and even open and close the front door before creeping back into the study and giving my full concentration to a particular task. I know it sounds a little extreme, but it works for me.

Weeds do of course come in all shapes and sizes and I don’t think we can be prepared for every single type but having a plan does help and of course there is always prayer!

There are of course many things that slow us down in our daily lives as we play our part in the sharing of God’s love and I think that if we take the time to identify just some of them, we can be prepared for them when they arise.

Like how we handle rejection especially when it is concerning something that is integral to our being, like our faith. Or how do we cope when someone opens us about an event that suddenly brings to mind personal feelings and emotions. It is ok to allow our emotions to be seen – it helps others see we are human.

Please don’t let these things stop you from being willing to carry out God’s work because the great thing about the work that God gives us to do is that He doesn’t leave us to work alone. God works with us, making sure we have the skills needed to fulfil the task.

It is alright to admit that there are things we haven’t experienced and there are things we don’t know – we don’t have all the answers, but we know that when we trust in God, he enables all sorts of amazing things to happen.

Amen.

The Creed

We declare our faith, saying together:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We come now to our Intercessions

Prayers of Intersession – by Nicky

Dear God, 

Three months ago in the second Week of Easter, I offered written prayers to be shared with our church family.  We give thanks  that although we are still unable to meet in person as a church community, I am now able to  lead these prayers from  St. Osyth Church,  and through the wonders of modern technology, our Benefice Church Family,  and the wider world will be able to hear and see these wherever they are.  

We praise you, God our Father. 

We give thanks that in today’s reading we are reminded in Paul’s letters to the Romans that sin must not be our master but we must to continue to give ourselves to God, in doing so  we will have Your Grace.   

During the time of COVID-19 LockDown we have a heightened awareness of the fields around our Parishes and the crops being grown in the fields.  

Now, many of the crops are nearly ready for harvest… we are  also aware it is a long time since we have gathered in our churches. …As we see these fields, preparing to be  harvested, let us remember Matthew’s Gospel and today’s reading on the Parable of the Weeds. 

Dear Lord, help us to remain strong in your faith so we can shine like the sun in your Kingdom and not become tempted to do thoughts or actions that will make us weeds in your eyes. 

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

We give thanks and praise that the worldwide Lockdown measures have now helped to control the spread of the pandemic.  We ask you to give guidance to the leaders of each nation and country that they are listening, receiving and acting on the correct advice as we enter the next stage – the easing of Lockdown.  

Please pour your grace and wisdom on us all so that we, as individuals,  can play our part in creating our new world where we will be able to meet again.   

We pray for peace in the world. 

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

Let us give thanks to our Queen as head of our church and to our vicar Revd Sharon.  

We give thanks for our church, our benefice and our community. We look forward to the time when we can sing your praises in our churches.  Let us gain strength from the hymns that might be sung at this time to keep us strong in faith until we can join together and sing.

Great is thy faithfulness

Be still and know that I am God

Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord

Praise my soul the King of Heaven. 

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

Thank you for being part of a community where individuals work together.  We pray for our local businesses that they are able to work safely and enjoy the ability to work more normally. Let us pray for our community and visitors during this summer that they stay safe and well.  

We pray especially for the young, who have missed being at school or university and are unsure of their future.  Give them faith to know that there will be a path for them. 

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

We ask for your grace for those who are sick or suffer so that they know your healing touch and can go forth in hope, we especially name those listed on our pew sheets who are in poor health. We also pray for those individuals who have had to go to hospital for Covid and non-Covid reasons and that they receive your healing touch.  We continue to pray for those affected by the coronavirus, and also for key workers who are so important to the welfare of our country and its citizens.    

We pray for the vulnerable, especially those who have been identified as very vulnerable and not been able to enjoy the freedoms offered to others as Lockdown eases.  

We pray for all who have found this time unsettling and have been left poor in spirit. Give them strength to know that they are loved and cared for. 

 We pray for all those who have died recently and their families who mourn their loss.  

 We  ask that you pour out your love on them to give them the strength to continue to do so .

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

The Peace                  

The peace of the Lord be always with you     and also with you.

The Offering  – Thank you to those who give regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme and Envelope Scheme. If you are able to visit the church buildings you can make a donation in the wall safe.

Hymn – Alleluia, sing to Jesus by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898) alt. the editors

  1. Alleluia, sing to Jesus,

his the sceptre, his the throne;

alleluia, his the triumph,

his the victory alone:

hark, the songs of peaceful Sion

thunder like a mighty flood:

Jesus, out of ev’ry nation,

Hath redeemed us by his blood.

  1. Alleluia, not as orphans

are we left in sorrow now;

alleluia, he is near us,

faith believes, nor questions how;

though the cloud from sight received him

when the forty days were o’er,

shall our hearts forget his promise,

‘I am with you evermore’?

  1. Alleluia, bread of angels,

here on earth our food, our stay;

alleluia, here the sinful

come to you from day to day.

Intercessor, friend of sinners,

Earth’s redeemer, plead for me,

Where the songs of all the sinless

Sweep across the crystal sea.

  1. Alleluia, King eternal,

he the Lord of lords we own;

alleluia, born of Mary,

earth his footstool, heav’n his throne;

he within the veil has entered

robed in flesh, our great High Priest;

he on earth both priest and victim

in the Eucharistic Feast.

St. Osyth CCLI #961478

Great Bentley CCLI #1199328

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here                                                          His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts                                                      We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and forms us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same that he was betrayed took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrections and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when

we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we

and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you now and remain with you always.

Amen.

 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Sunday Service 12.7.20.

The Benefice of St. Osyth and Great Bentley

Spiritual Communion Service

Sunday 12th July 2020

 

The Gospel reading and sermon is available to watch using this link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kD0RP1WlKDU1bN1ruIBXgSBdr_yOKUQ_/view?usp=sharing

 

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord be with you                          and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be;
that we may act justly, live mercifully, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect –  Almighty and Everlasting God, by whose spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified. Hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in the vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth. To the glory of your name, through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings  – New Testament: Romans 7: 15-25

This is the Word of the Lord   thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 11: 16-30

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew Glory to you, O Lord.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon

May I speak in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit                      amen.

We have today, two readings that most of us will have recognised as they were being read out. It could be – that having identified the readings as an ‘oh I remember this one!’ – that the next thing you do is sit back and let your brain wander. Please try not to do that today because there are real challenges in these readings – challenges that might ask
Do we feed the seed of the Spirit of God that dwells within us?

Are we actively drawing ourselves closer to him through reading and prayer and allowing others to identify us as belonging to God?

Do we regularly ask God to make us more aware of when and where we might use our faith to grow his kingdom?
Do we recognise the potential for growth – are we working on ways that might allow that growth to happen?

You may well be thinking to yourself – hang on a minute isn’t that why we have a vicar? The answer to that is yes and no!

I will quickly remind you that everyone who believes in God and is a member of a worshipping community has tasks to do. Those tasks include living out our faith in our everyday life and ensuring that we sow the seeds of God’s love wherever we are. Every word we say and every action we make should let others know that we are disciples of Christ here in this part of Essex.

The questions I have had – but how? How do we do it? What do we do?

How many times do we need to try?, because I have tried before and it didn’t work.

My question is – have you tried to change your approach?

An example

I know many of you love to be out in the garden and I have seen some local gardens that are absolutely thriving at this time but the truth is that I am not green fingered, I have tried and tried and again more recently I have tried with a little patch in my back garden – I say garden the only things that grow are the grass and the weeds and the trees.

But just recently I have tried again and I am sure that at this point you are thinking that I will have a success story to tell you, when actually I don’t really have a success story because there were elements working against me – 2 of them actually a Cocker Spaniel and a Labradoodle who think it’s great to dig, however while they been away in kennels this week – please don’t think I put them in kennels just to replant the flower bed, but during that time I have replanted and taken time to be sure that my pooches won’t be able to dig them up on their return. Well that’s the plan but I will see what happens in due course.

 I am not someone who gives up lightly, I do try to approach things in different ways until I eventually find a way that fits.

The task we have been given is sowing the seed of God’s love, using both words and actions. Sometimes a direct approach works and sometimes it really doesn’t.

Trying again is not about weakness or focussing on previous failure but exploring new ways to succeed – trying to develop a new way of doing things with God through the power of the Holy Spirit that might work. A way that allows us to be ourselves because when we are truly ourselves – our faith and identity in Christ shine through.

Amen.

The Creed

We declare our faith, saying together:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We come now to our Intercessions

Prayers of Intersession –

Gathered together as the people of God, and attentive to his will let us pray.

May the Seed of God’s word, be sown in our good soil, be watered by his rain and warmed by his sunlight. Blessed Lord please help us to produce a good crop of Spiritual fruit. Heavenly Father, may your words of truth take root in our hearts and grow to rich maturity. May we hear your will for us and act upon it. May we take seriously our responsibility to encourage and nurture one another in faith at every age and every stage of life.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, may every act of selfless giving and every search for truth be richly blessed and rewarded. Disturb assumptions and lead many to ponder more deeply the spiritual dimension of their lives. May the word of God reach all who are ready to receive it, and let us set no boundaries here as to who they might be. With all the new housing developments around us, help us to be open and welcoming to all new faces we see in our villages and welcome them into our Church families.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, make our homes places of love and growth, welcoming to all who visit them, and accepting and forgiving to all who are nurtured there. Help us through the quarrels and heartaches and remind us to honour one another as your cherished ones.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, may all whose bodies, souls or minds are aching know the comforting and strengthening power of your companionship, and the healing work of your love. Be near all those in our parishes whom we know to be in any form of need. Be especially close to all those who are frightened today. Frightened of the pain they know will come, frightened of being alone, in fear of what the future might bring for them. Especially the Elderly and the very young who are powerless to help themselves. As we continue on with the uncertainty of a deadly virus in our world may we be more ready to support and befriend one another through the difficult times, in the name and love of the God we worship.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Heavenly Father we pray for all who are making the journey through physical death, as they put down earthly things and wake to your presence. Bring us all to share with them your life in all its fullness.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, the rain and sunshine, the growing and harvesting, sing to us of your faithful love, and we offer you our thankful praise for all your gifts to us.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

The Peace                  

The peace of the Lord be always with you     and also with you.

The Offering  – Thank you to those who give regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme and Envelope Scheme. If you are able to visit the church buildings you can make a donation in the wall safe.

Hymn – Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken by John Newton (1725-1807).

  1. Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion, city of our God;

he whose word cannot be broken

formed thee for his own abode.

On the Rock of Ages founded,

What can shake they sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded,

Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

  1. See, the streams of living waters,

Springing from eternal love,

well supply thy sons and daughters,

and all fear of want remove.

Who can faint while such a river

Ever flows their thirst to assuage?

Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,

never fails from age to age.

  1. Round each habitation hov’ring,

see the cloud and fire appear

for a glory and a cov’ring,

showing that the Lord is near.

Thus they march, the pillar leading,

Light by night and shade by day;

daily on the manna feeding

which he gives them when they pray.

  1. Saviour, if of Zion’s city

I through grace a member am,

let the world deride or pity,

I will glory in thy name.

Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,

boasted pomp and empty show;

solid joys and lasting treasure

none but Zion’s children know.

St. Osyth CCLI #961478

Great Bentley CCLI #1199328

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here                                                          His Spirit is with us.

Lift us your hearts                                                       We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and forms us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same that he was betrayed took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrections and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hollowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when

we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we

and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you now and remain with you always.

Amen.

 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Sunday Service 5.7.20.

The Benefice of St. Osyth and Great Bentley Spiritual Communion Service

Sunday 5th July 2020

The entire service is available to watch using this YouTube link https://youtu.be/1QKk00-gVsg It will premier on Sunday 5th July at 10am and will remain available to watch any time after that. Do join us at 10am and join in with the live chat if you are able.

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord be with you                          and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be;
that we may act justly, live mercifully, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect –  Almighty and Everlasting God, by whose spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified. Hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in the vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth. To the glory of your name, through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings  – New Testament: Romans 7: 15-25

This is the Word of the Lord   thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 11: 16-30

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to  Matthew Glory to you, O Lord.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon

May I speak in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit                      amen.

It is not often we hear Jesus truly fed up with the people that he has come to save.  Today however in this reading from Matthew 11 Jesus is incredibly frustrated and its not often I imagine him with a raised voice but at this point I do! –  these of course are my words, I imagine him saying  – “What is wrong with you?
We have come and told you amazing things about God and your lives and yet you do not respond. You are never happy! What is it you want? Do you even know what you want?”

Let’s be honest it is easy to understand Jesus’ frustration because John came not eating or drinking but teaching about God and trying to prepare them for Jesus’ arrival and all they say is that’s not normal he must have a demon and then when Jesus comes they call him a glutton and a drunkard because he sits and eats with sinners and tax collectors.

But rather than getting to caught up in frustration Jesus prays and thanks God that the right people have heard his teaching and responded.

Matthew 11.27 is a favourite of mine

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

And anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Jesus chose those who were hungry to learn about the love of God, those who were eager to follow him and pass that love and knowledge of God onto others from generation to generation.                         There would have been someone instrumental in delivering the love of God to you, we do sincerely thank God for them.

I have my mum to thank who sent me and my brothers to Sunday School, now whether that was because she wanted some peace and quiet on a Sunday morning or not I don’t know but I was truly glad that she did otherwise I am not sure that I would be here now.

What I do know is that we have also been given the task of revealing or introducing God to others.

It is not an onerous task we simply just have to be ourselves with God, ready to answer any questions that others may ask about what we believe, why we pray, and anything else to do with our faith.

A note of caution though and for this I have to ask you a question – have you ever played Chinese whispers?

That game when you are told something – it is normally whispered in your ear then you turn to the next person and whisper it into their ear and so on and so on. I have played it in teams and the winning team is the one that is closest to the original statement.

Usually what comes to the last person is vastly different from what was told at the beginning of the game.

When we are rushed we don’t listen carefully but pass the statement on before we have even checked that it makes sense.

When we are asked a question about our faith it is important that we don’t rush the answer because we are a little embarrassed to talk about it or worry about how much we should say because sometimes it difficult talking about things that are that important to us but do make sure there is time to talk so that your response can be fully understood.

Sharing your faith should not be a burden but a joy – just as Jesus said Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Amen.

The Creed

We declare our faith, saying together:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We come now to our Intercessions

Prayers of Intersession – Danny Wright

At the end of each intercession I will say ‘Heal us, Lord’ and your response will be ‘And use us to your glory’.

Heal us, Lord

And use us to your glory.

Lord we will later, individually and collectively, say The Lord’s Prayer but during the intercessions that follow please let us be aware, and experience, that in these prayers we are bringing to, and seeking from you, intercessions that are in accordance with the prayer Our Lord Jesus gave us.

Father we give thanks for our faith and the Church you established in order that your Word could be known to us and that we can see how you would have us live our lives in order that we may reflect your glory and will.

We give thanks for all those who have and are serving you in our daily and religious life and ask that you continue to sustain and enlighten them in the tasks that they perform so that thy will, will be done and that we may live as you would will us to live.

At this time we would remember the recruitment of the new Bishop of Chelmsford and ask that all those involved in the recruitment process are guided by you and that from their deliberations the candidate that is right for the role is finally appointed.

Heal us, Lord

And use us to your glory.

Lord, the past few months have been stressful in many ways. We are aware of the global impact of climate change on our world and its impacts on the daily lives of many people throughout this world.

Additionally, we have had to face the dreadful impact of Covid 19 and its wide ranging effects on our lives and the consequences to those who have succumbed to the disease or experienced the devastating consequences resulting from actions taken to contain it.

If this was not enough, we have seen racism exposed in a dreadful way compelling mainly peaceful mass demonstrations throughout the world calling on governments, companies’, and individuals to recognise and rectify the causes of racism. All lives matter but unfortunately systems within our societies fail to acknowledge or deliver this.

All these are enough I am sure to test the wisdom of Solomon and yet we know that you God are able to provide us with the will, ability, the means and actions by which we can deal with these issues to ensure that we can move on from them and achieve the peace, justice, equality and harmony that will restore our lives, meet our needs and bring about your will.

Heal us, Lord

And use us to your glory.

We pray for our local communities and benefice, plus all those individuals and organisations that sustain them. May they, as lockdown reduces and further changes come into effect, be able to respond and continue to meet local need.

We also pray that as individuals, communities and organisations serving others we remain vigilant with regards to the risk of Covid – 19 so that in our actions we take due care not only to protect ourselves but also others so as not to promote the spread of this dreadful disease which is still a significant threat to our life, our liberty and our community.

Heal us, Lord

And use us to your glory.

We pray for the healing of all Lord as we acknowledge our own frailties, but we especially pray for those whose names are contained on our Pew Sheets whose needs we request you meet.

There are those who are unknown to us but whose needs you are aware of Lord. Please be with them and provide them with the support that they too need.

Heal us, Lord

And use us to your glory.

Finally, we pray for all those who have sadly died recently. May they rest in Peace.

Please be with their families, friends and colleagues and provide comfort and support as these times make it difficult for loved ones to comfort one another in the normal manner.

We also remember those whose anniversaries of death occur around this time and our thoughts are similarly with their families, friends and colleagues.

Heal us, Lord

And use us to your glory.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of Saints Peter and Paul, St. Osyth and St. Mary, and all your saints, we commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

 The Peace                  

The peace of the Lord be always with you     and also with you.

The Offering  – Thank you to those who give regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme and Envelope Scheme. If you are able to visit the church buildings you can make a donation in the wall safe.

Hymn – Love Divine by Charles Wesley.

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast,
Let us all in thee inherit,
Let us find that second rest.
Take away the love of sinning,
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Sets our hearts at liberty.

Come almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love and Praise.

St. Osyth CCLI #961478

Great Bentley CCLI #1199328

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here                                                          His Spirit is with us.

Lift us your hearts                                                       We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and forms us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same that he was betrayed took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrections and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hollowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when

we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we

and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you now and remain with you always.

Amen.

 Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Sunday Service 28.6.20.

Introduction

It’s been so nice to have had such joyous, uplifting introductions to our lay led services over the past few years, I fondly remember themes on music, education, our community etc etc; but this week I looked at our readings with some consternation as neither Paul nor Matthew pull any punches in this weeks’ readings! They both remind us in quite strong terms that just believing in our amazing Trinity is not enough, we must live out our faith, every day, front and centre, putting it before everything else. And then I berated myself for having had a moments doubt…..surely this is the most joyous and uplifting theme of all? That by living our lives as Christians, actively, openly, in service to our God, putting it before everything else, however big or small a part he asks us to play, we are assured of eternal life with him. Eternal…forever. Now if that’s not uplifting & joyous enough for you I don’t know what is!! And guess what……..by joining us in this ‘lockdown’ style online service rather than thinking “there’s no ‘proper’ church to attend at the moment so I’ll have a lay in, do the gardening, watch TV, read a book, play Xbox…”, you’re already doing it, putting God and your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ first, front & centre, living your faith. Now all we have to do is just ask ourselves each day “how did I live out my faith today?”. Jane Eade (Authorised Local Preacher)

 Thoughts from the organ loft

I hope you have all been able to enjoy the sunshine. It is lovely to be able to sit in the garden with friends and family and chat properly without having to use social media. Zoom and the like has been very useful during the pandemic but it is not a substitute for a face to face chat. In my previous thoughts over the weeks I have been able to congratulate the great British public on the way that they have handled this very peculiar situation so I am saddened to hear of the terrible events in Brixton last night. 21 police, doing their job, were injured and this is straight after weeks of clapping on Thursdays for our key workers. These are truly strange times. I hope that the hymn I have chosen reflects this sentiment.

 Let us all join together in the reading of the Collect

Collect

Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 First Reading David Branch

https://youtu.be/rNeAC7VDguc

Reading – Romans 6. 12-end

Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.  What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 The Gospel      Rosemary Branch

https://youtu.be/uBC3IwHH9_Y

Glory to Christ our Saviour

Gospel – Matthew 10. 40-end:

Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly

I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’

This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord

Sermon

https://youtu.be/x8v4t34S23U

At the beginning of Matthew chapter 10 – Jesus has gathered his disciples together and explains to them what their mission is all about, how they should act if they are welcomed or if they are not. How they should not be afraid of what they face, Jesus didn’t tell them it would be easy – in fact he tells them that in some places they will not be welcome and in todays reading Jesus shows them the importance of their tasks.

Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’ A reminder that once they are identified as belonging to God through following Jesus, others will treat them in a way that will either welcome them with open arms or turn them away sometimes violently. The reading from Romans urges us to keep God focussed, as being focussed we will be less likely to give way to temptation and keep ourselves closer to God. Of course in order to allow others to be able to welcome the one who sent  Jesus, means that we need to be ready to speak out about our faith whenever the opportunity comes – I wonder how you do it?

What prompts you into saying that you believe in God or that you go to Church?

How easy do you find it? How often do you do it?

Do you feel more comfortable being able to speak to strangers or to mention faith or prayer to people who know you? What is it that makes it easier to say that you are a Christian?

I do remember that as a teenager I used to worry about speaking about going to church and preparing to be confirmed – it wasn’t because I didn’t believe – it was because it was important to me and I didn’t want them to make fun out of what was important to me. I did tell my friends after the event.

Faith is important to all those who believe; it shapes us, it defines us, it makes us accessible to others and for some who are on the brink of declaring a faith it makes us a safe person to talk to.

Many people are aware of our faith – my collar is a bit of a giveaway and our neighbours in the village are aware of our church attendance and recognise our faith by our words and action.

At the end of todays reading Jesus speaks about the reward for those who give even a cup of water to a child because they have read or been told about the work of Jesus’ disciples, will receive the reward.

Let the love of Christ in you continue to shine out to all those around you because we, like the disciples are given this task and all who share the love of Christ are welcomed into the Kingdom!

Amen

Intersessions Andy Brown

https://youtu.be/kAvJG7O5-FE

Heavenly father, we give you thanks and praise this day, we worship you for your glory, grace and goodness. We thank you father for your love, your steadfast unending love for all of us and we thank you that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus. We praise you for who you are and worship you for all the good things that you do in our lives.

Father, we pray for Your church here in St. Osyth and Great Bentley.

We pray for every member of the congregations, that you will bless them and take care of them. For those who feel isolated or alone at this time we pray that you will draw near to them giving them comfort and peace. Lord, that we as a church will take care of those who need it and look after one another. Lord, we thank you that as the restriction due to Covid-19 starts to lift Lord that we may soon come together again to worship you as a family.

We pray for the Archbishop and all those in church leadership. We pray for all those who help make these services possible, every person who writes, records and brings all of these things together.

We pray for Rev’d Sharon and for all these people, that you would bless them, that you would give them strength, peace and wisdom as they lead your church. Father may we all be effective in our witness for you, may we share your love with those around us. As we bind together as a church, standing firm together, may our love be a beacon, as we love others and as we love you father, may that love be a beacon to those outside who wish to come and see and know of you. May you bless these churches Lord, may you add to their number and we pray Lord with thanksgiving for every person in the churches.

We thank you for all of our family and friends and we pray Lord, with thanksgiving that you are the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We pray all these prayers in the mighty name of Jesus.

Amen

Lord God our heavenly Father the giver of all good gifts, we come before you today to offer our praise and to give thanks for your blessings to us.

Help us not to take for granted your gift of the beauty and vastness of your amazing creation.

Lord, be a balm for those hurting and suffering, calm protesters and be courage for those who are enforcing the law and trying to protect communities. May voices be heard, and changes made to eradicate racism in our societies.

Heavenly Father may our leaders seek your wisdom and understanding as they govern the country. We lift before you all those who support our government, particularly scientists and civil servants at this time.

We thank you for the Queen and the hope and stability she offers to so many, keep her in good health.

Lord, give wisdom and courage to all who are in authority.

Amen

Heavenly Father, we come before you now to pray for our local community. We pray for our villages of St. Osyth and Great Bentley, lifting these places before you, asking you to bless them and to keep them safe. Lord we thank you for our communities, we thank you for those who take care of them. Lord, particularly at the moment, we

thank you for the volunteers and all the voluntary services that have worked so tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to meet the needs of those who couldn’t help themselves, perhaps those who were housebound or unwell at this time. Lord we thank you so much that there have been so many willing volunteers and we pray now that as those restrictions ease that we as a community will not forget those who were in need, just because the restrictions are easing does not mean that these needs have suddenly disappeared. We continue to pray for our community, that their needs will be met.

Lord we pray for all those who live here whether young or old, we pray that they would love their community that they’d love being a part of it, that it would be a safe and happy place to live. Father we pray that those who work in our community, be it those who work in shops, emergency services, be it our local councillors whichever group we think of Lord, we pray for them all, we pray for everyone who makes our community what it is, who makes our community possible. We thank you father for each and every one of them asking you to give them wisdom, and strength and peace as they work for the good of others.

Lord we ask you to place a special blessing on the places where we live, Lord that we might take care of each other and our neighbours.

Lord we thank you for our place and our part in these towns and villages. We pray that your gospel may be preached here, your truths may be told and that your churches will be a place of hope within those communities.

Lord we thank you and we give you praise in the name of Jesus.

Amen

Heavenly Father, you are the God who heals, the Lord, giver of life.

Be with all who are sick, lonely, scared or depressed. May your healing touch be upon them in their body, mind and soul. May they find comfort and strength in your presence. Lord, we are your hands and feet in your world, may we be good listeners and neighbours and bring your peace to those who suffer. We especially pray for Hilary Harris, Barbara Fookes, Lynn Gordon, Jane and Nick.

Eternal Lord, be with all key workers and all their families. With all those who are returning to work who may be fearful about their safety. As we adjust to a new normal may we show one another kindness and share your compassion.

Lord, hear this prayer for all who suffer at this time.

Amen

Lord, in your presence we remember all who have died. We remember those who have died in the faith, trusting you Lord Jesus as their Lord and saviour. Father we give you thanks for their lives, we thank you for their acts and their deeds, their good works in this life, we thank you for all they have done in the name of Christ. We remember them and we rejoice with them as they rejoice in eternity with you. Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world and we give you thanks and praise and we worship you this day remembering those who go before us and giving thanks for their lives.

We pray this week for Jeff Wright.

In the name of Jesus.

Amen

Reflection

Edward Elgar was born in Worcester in 1857. He was the son of a violinist and

music seller and he played and taught the violin. However he gradually came to the

fore as a composer and at 42 he was recognised for his Enigma variations. The

following year he wrote the Dream of Gerontius and he has written many

orchestral works which we all know. His pomp and circumstance marches feature

in the proms and he received many honorary degrees and other accolades including

a knighthood for his work. This is one of a pair of organ pieces which he wrote and

I hope to be able to play it for you someday soon.

Sunday Service 21.6.20.

Introduction

In the Epistle today we will hear Paul talk about the purpose of Baptism as the way into a new life, a life which is available to everyone and which has the potential to change people. A life which is about having a close relationship or fellowship with God, by becoming a new person in Christ. A life which, as Jesus says in the reading from Matthew, requires them to take up their cross and follow him. This is why candidates at their Baptism are signed with the Cross, why the sign is made by the priest during the final blessing at the end of a service and people often make the sign over themselves – all as a reminder that we follow Christ in his way.

In Matthew Jesus also tells us about God’s love for us; how He values us and knows each and every one of us intimately. If we always trust in Him he will always take care of us. Building our trust and fellowship with God is something we can do every day not just at church services; through our prayers at home or our actions in the community. Of course as Christians we also like time to fellowship with each other, especially on Sundays after the main service, something which I’m sure we all miss. While we wait patiently for full services to be resumed, it’s great that at least our churches are now open for private prayer time. Have you popped in yet?

Chris Pile

 Thoughts from the organ loft

I hope you are enjoying a little extra freedom and have been able to form a “bubble” with friends or family. I am sure many of you have been delighted to see children and grandchildren and this is particularly special today as it is Father’s Day. I have been getting out and about again, having picnics in friends gardens and generally being able to enjoy the social contact with friends and relatives. I am so thankful that the lockdown happened in the summer and not in the depths of winter, I think the situation  would have been much more difficult to cope with.

I am pleased to report that both the organs are working well, if not a little out of tune and I am looking forward to playing again.

Please join us in singing the hymn for today, “Immortal love, forever full”

Let us say the Collect together

COLLECT

Lord you have taught us 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.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

 

Reading – Romans 6 1-11: Wendy King

https://youtu.be/jkXI2_a9G4A

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Glory to Christ our Saviour

 GOSPEL – Matthew 10. 24-39 Reverend Sharon Miles

https://youtu.be/cEy0D240nzo

A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! ‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord

 SERMON (Please accept apologies for some technical issues during this recording)

Wendy King

May I speak in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Today, in case anyone has missed it, is Father’s Day. This day can be quite an emotive day as it brings up different memories for different people. I have to be truthful and say I did have misgivings, but here goes.

To be honest my Father was a very laid back chap for most of the time it is only if we crossed the line that he would send us to our mother, to this day I don’t know why but there you go. Through our lives, (I have three sisters) our Father was not one to offer too much in the way of advice, he would always say just be careful who you might hurt or if you are going to hurt yourself. It stood us in good stead and for the most part he was the shoulder we cried on.

So how does this tale relate to our Gospel for today. Well I feel that Jesus is guiding his disciples and trying to impart on them his wisdom that all are equal in the sight of God. Jesus was guiding them making them to accept that they would be the teachers of the future and that when he had gone people would look to them for guidance and they should be mindful of this fact.

But it was not going to be an easy time for them, as he would be persecuted, so would they. If you like it was Jesus saying “look lads we are all in the same boat at the moment and that just as I am being looked on as a trouble maker so will you.”

But he reassures them to say he would always be with them in spirit.

For me these words are a reassurance that through the days we have been through and the days to come, it is going to be hard. What can we expect once we are able to worship together in church once more? Life for us could well be very different and how can / will we cope? We do have the reassurance that nothing will be asked of us that we cannot handle and even though there will be great expectations we can rise up to the challenge, be it due to finances, our time, our privacy and our energy. How will we carry on? Will it be in the same way or will there be major changes? We have the promise that Jesus is our reassurance and our guide, through our scriptures’ and through our prayers. We have had the blessing of those that have sought out and shared services with us throughout this crisis and we must continue to do so through our readings and our prayers.

Just as the disciples would take a new way of praying and worshipping, we have had to take a new look at the way forward. It is not going to be an easy time, during this lockdown. We, as the disciples and as laity, are being encouraged to step forward. As churches in our Benefice we have Rev Sharon as our leader and teacher and over the years together we have grown and will continue to do so. It may take some getting used to and some may struggle in the process but we are always assured of the presence of God.

We are known to him as he knows the sparrow; “And even the hairs of your head are counted”. May we all meet the challenges of the future as the disciples did, with the assurance that we are surrounded by Jesus’ love and as we step forward we do so with confidence.

Amen.

INTERSESSIONS David Harrington

Let us pray for our sinful selves, at the same time knowing that we are blessed with salvation not because of anything we have done, but because of God’s incredible love for us in Jesus. “Fed with the manna we did not know “, pray that we are thankful for being so carefully selected, adopted by our loving Father such that we should be free and enlightened in His care, intimate love, tenderness and affection. Inspire us, dear Lord, to take us to others who don’t know God yet. Pray that we can all be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Lord, in Your mercy …

Hear our prayer

Dear Lord, as we approach the tapering of this lock-down period, let us pray with grateful thanks for the protection You have provided, as well as for those who work in the health service, affording consistent and selfless care. Let us pray that those whose lives the illness has taken away, are looked after in heaven, and that those left behind mourning are shrouded in God’s love. We pray too for those suffering the indirect consequences of these last three months, for patients enduring enforced delays to critical treatments, those whose mental health challenges are amplified, those exposed to increased domestic violence, the newly unemployed or facing the prospect of reduced job security, as well as for those who are missing out on formative moments of their education.

Lord, in Your mercy …

Hear our prayer

Let us pray for our World, for an end of bigotry, as we observe that there are no divisions in the Body of Christ, that everyone is included, whatever their ethnicity, background or belief. Inspire all to see the world as Jesus saw it, with everyone equally loved and respected, and blessed with the same opportunities. Pray also that we are not too quick to judge, that we think before we accuse, that we do not merely copy whatever is the prevailing view, that we are not blinded by dogma, but enlightened by God’s wisdom, through our faith. Let us appreciate that our history should not be revised or redacted, but that it can serve as a reminder not only of how far our civilisation has progressed, but also of how much more improved it can still be.

Lord, in Your mercy …

Hear our prayer

Let us pray for our Church, for its leaders and ministers, and for Sharon, our vicar. Protect it at this time of forced eucharistic fasting, and bring it back emboldened, enthusiastic and innovative after this long period of reflective worship from a distance. Let us be thankful that our churches can now be open for private prayer, and be hopeful that we will all soon be back together in collective praise.

Lord, in Your mercy …

Hear our prayer

Let us pray for our local communities, both civic and church. Let us be thankful for the spirit of friendship, empathy and mutual support that has characterised this inhabitual period. Pray that we can take pride in how we have responded to the challenge, and that this enhanced behaviour becomes the norm, with a sustainably greater concern for our neighbours, and a recognition of what is really important in life. We pray that our community and the fellowship of our church continue to provide a beacon of hope.

Lord, in Your mercy …

Hear our prayer

Let us pray for all those who are sick in body, mind or spirit, and especially for all of those who appear on our pew sheet. Pray that they have the confidence to navigate through their treatments and to achieve successful rehabilitation, where possible. We pray also for all those on whom they depend for their care, and for their families and friends that they can continue to provide love and encouragement. Finally, we pray for those who have died, that united with Him in a death like His, they will also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.

Lord, in Your mercy …

Hear our prayer

Amen.

Let us join together in the Lord’s Prayer

REFLECTION

As today is Father’s Day I am being a little indulgent. I don’t think I was a particularly troublesome young person though I certainly had my moments! I am sure there were times when my parents lost sleep and worried about my future. My father died on Father’s Day in 1989. I had recently married and was working ridiculous hours as a junior doctor. He had been unwell for some time but it was still very sudden. Over the years, especially when times were tough with my own children, I have often wondered what my father would have thought, what would he have said and what advice would he have given me. I don’t suppose I am unique in this, we have all had our moments as youngsters and our trials with our own children. I realise that this song will not be to everyone’s taste, but perhaps, if you cannot tolerate the music, you could just read the words.

So, to Dad’s everywhere,……thanks x

w&start_radio=1

SUNDAY SERVICE 14/6/20

Introduction

Certainly the collect and readings seem appropriate for the times we are living in.

In the Collect we are reminded of our mortal weakness. Many years ago I was attending a presentation dinner where the after dinner speaker was the Rev. Philip Wright of Roxwell. He gave a thoroughly entertaining talk and had the whole audience highly amused, only at the end did he briefly become serious, to express his view that if all people could try to follow the ten commandments what a better place the world would be.

In the reading from Romans we can reflect on the transition from suffering to hope which will not disappoint.

Let us, who do hope, remember desperate refugees. Through no fault of their own they find themselves in desperate situations. Pray that they can hope and not be disappointed.

Matthew curses every disease! We are harassed and helpless during this pandemic. We should not be like sheep without a shepherd.

Even the labourers were few when the harvest was plentiful in Jesus’ time. In our part of the world we are fortunate to receive from  nurses and doctors, from a government trying to assist people who have lost their business. Let us pray that all people who are in horrendously tragic parts of the world will have the hope and that they will receive, without payment, and find a better life. Linda Hayes

 Thoughts from the organ loft

I am thankful that we have finally had some rain. The grass was looking particularly sad and I am sure we have all had to water our delicate plants. Today’s Gospel reading talks about nurture and I hope we can all nurture our friends, family and the wider society.  There have been some wonderful examples of caring and volunteering in the area, Scarlett and her team in the village, the  anti-loo roll brigade in Colchester and the NHS volunteers around  the country. As we begin to think about the new normal, I hope that some of these ideas will continue. Places of worship are beginning to open for private prayers and I am sure this is the first step to us all joining together once more as a congregation, it just isn’t very clear when!

Please join together in singing the hymn, “Glorious things of Thee are spoken”. I thought a bit of royalty would be interesting.

COLLECT

https://youtu.be/KSvU_4yDN3E Penny Evans-Jones

O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your  Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever .

 Reading – Romans 5. 1-8:

https://youtu.be/8tH0UN2xods Penny Evans-Jones

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us .

 This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Glory to Christ our saviour

 Gospel – Matthew 9.35-10.8:

https://youtu.be/_npNwtc4mkQ Penny Evans-Jones

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector;

James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

 This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord

 SERMON

https://youtu.be/JAgOu4ADirk

May I speak in the name of the father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In today’s reading we find out so much about Jesus, about his ministry of teaching, proclaiming the Good News and healing the sick – and when he saw the sick his heart went out to them. Jesus did whatever he could to bring them back to full of health at that point. But then He realised there were sick people everywhere and what he needed to do was make sure that the harvest of healing would be plentiful. He went back and found his disciples and said to them the harvest will be plentiful but the labourers are few therefore lets ask the Lord of the Harvest the send the labourers out and you will be the labourers and you will make it plentiful. He said to them ‘I give you authority over unclean spirits and you will cast them out and you will cure every disease and every sickness. Then called them by name every one of them, they had been given their task and were ready to go and Jesus said to them ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, focus your work on the lost sheep of the House Israel’. Jesus told them go and find our sheep, find our people and make them well and strong physically but stronger more in their relationship with God bring them to full health both physically and spiritually.

Off they went proclaiming the Good News that the Kingdom of Heaven has come near. You know that this time of lockdown has been very difficult, but the Kingdom of Heaven has come near. We have had so many people living up to the work of the disciples in both villages across the whole benefice. Standing up and doing extra work to enable others who have been confined to their homes, and I include myself in that for a part of it, it has been so nice to have phone calls asking how you are or asking if there was anything I needed and I know that a good number of you have also had contact from others willing to pick up prescriptions and shopping. As well as that amazing group to started these services all those weeks ago so that together in our own homes we can be spiritually together and worship God. We do have a lot of thanks to give.

So today I want to say thank you. Thank you to every single person who doesn’t just do the physical jobs but does the spiritual jobs too. I do know that every single one of us has been praying for our loved ones and for our parishes, held others in mind throughout the day because when we care about people they pop into our minds and we as think about them we offer them to God.

The disciples were sent out to proclaim the Good News and to heal the sick. The disciples today were sent out to deliver the shopping and medicines and share the love of God in every action they did – they lifted the spirits of all those that they saw because they knew that someone cared. I knew that this was a great benefice to be part of and both villages have lived up to my expectations and all I can say to you is – please don’t ever change. Keep loving, keep caring and keep being those disciples that Jesus calls us to be.

It will be a while until we can worship in Church again but do remember that you are never on your own because God is always there with you in all that are facing.

Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION Tony Page

From the rising of the sun to its setting, let us pray to the Lord. Lord God forgive us our sins, fill us with your love, give us wisdom and make known your purpose for us, so that we may know the fullness and richness of your kingdom and be able to impart and share it with others.

Spirit of God, without you, we can do nothing. Only as we are all filled with yourlove, can we reach out to others. We pray that you will move, live and grow in us until your ways are our ways, so that our small hearts no longer limit the greatness of your resources and others begin to see you living and working in our world. Use us, Lord, as channels of your peace.

Lord in Your Mercy – Hear our Prayer.

Lord, we pray for the church throughout the world. For those that

are thriving and those who have lost a sense of direction.

We give thanks for the churches in this benefice and its people, and gladly acknowledge all the gifts you have given us through its life, we ask you to open wide our hearts that we may welcome the stranger and share our faith with others.

Open wide our minds, that we may receive new truth and understand your will.

Open wide our lives that through discipline and prayer we may experience your power in daily living.

Today we pray for Jesus’ sensitivity, for Jesus’ willingness to spend time with people different from us. For Jesus’ “multitude compassion” and for Jesus’ gentle wisdom.

Lord in Your Mercy – Hear our Prayer

Lord we pray for peace in the world, create in us a love for peace, not the order that is absent from struggle, nor friendship that is blind to injustice but the peace that makes broken things whole. We are mindful of the concerns raised by the Black Lives Matter campaign and help those in positions of authority to open up channels for dialogue to bring about lasting and constructive change.

We remember those who struggle against injustice, for men and women who must establish love and supremacy in violent and oppressive societies. For those whom war and famine have robbed of homes, jobs, families, and friends. May they be filled with your strength and wisdom and grant that where the love of man has failed your divine compassion may heal.

We give heartfelt gratitude to family members and friends who have supported us and kept us going over the past three months.

We pray for all those families affected by domestic violence and child protection issues that have occurred because of the lockdown situation and that they may all see and feel Gods love, care, and compassion at this time.

Lord in Your Mercy – Hear Our Prayer.

Great Physician stretch out your hand to bring comfort, wholeness, and peace to all those listed on our pew sheet, all who are known to us and all who suffer in mind, body, or spirit. Fill us with compassion, that we may be channels of your healing love. In particular we pray for Nick, Jane, Hilary Harris, Mick Moore, Myrtle

Clayton, Lynn Gordon, Joye Watson and Barbara Fookes.

We pray for the recently departed, especially for all those who lives ended because of the Covid 19 pandemic and those whose years end falls at this time. In particular we pray for Dalma Woodward, Enid Humphries and George Floyd.

Jesus, conqueror of death, remember for good those whom we love but see no longer. Please help us to live this day in the sure and certain hope of your eternal victory.

Faithful God as we begin the cautious steps of going out into the world once more, we pray that we may reflect your love in our families, our church and our community; so that the world can witness that we are followers of Christ and draw others into his loving care.

So, rejoicing in the fellowship of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Osyth, St. Mary and of all your Saints and Martyrs, we commend all Christian people and ourselves to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your son Jesus Christ. Amen

Let us join together in the Lord’s Prayer

REFLECTION

I am sure we all remember the explosion of boy bands in the 1990’s. It seemed every week there was a new one which had the girls screaming and debating which member was the most handsome. This particular piece of music was made famous by West Life but I have chosen this version sung by Josh Groban. He is an American singer who was born on 27th February 1981 in Los Angeles. I think his voice and interpretation of this song is actually better than West Life. I have no idea whether this was written as a spiritual song, but that is how it speaks to me.

Trinity Sunday 7.6.20.

Prayer for the New Bishop of Chelmsford

We have been requested to consider six questions re attributes, skills, and abilities of any future appointment to the above post. However, it is also vitally important that we pray that the candidates applying for the role genuinely feel that God is calling them to the post and that they have the vision and qualities to fulfil the requirements of this position. Equally we need to pray for all those with the responsibility of selecting, interviewing, and recommending the appropriate candidate selected for appointment after this process. May they too be given God’s grace in this task and, after due diligence, select the right individual for this important role. Our prayers are a vital part of this process and our way of being involved in the selection of the right candidate to lead us on the next stage of the Diocese of Essex and East London journey.

Danny Wright

Thoughts from the organ loft

I hope this finds you all well. It has been good this week to see friends and family, even with the social distancing. I am usually a technophobe and had been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century! I have valued zoom, whatsapp etc during the lockdown but it is not a good substitute for face to face socialising and I am certainly valuing seeing the real thing. I am sure that children who have gone back to school this week are enjoying seeing their friends again and it will be good for them to have some routine.I am sure we are all very concerned about the dreadful happenings in America which seem to be spilling over into this country. I will add George Floyd to our prayers but this does seem to have given us an insight into the depths to which some humans will sink and I am saddened that the great sense of community created by the lockdown is being tainted by an even bigger horror. This Sunday is Trinity Sunday which celebrates the three persons of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I hope you will all join in to sing this lovely hymn for TrinitySunday,

Holy,Holy,Holy.

 The Collect Dianne Pile

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity: keep us steadfast in this faith, that we may evermore be defended from all adversities; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

READING Chris Pile

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of  love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

https://youtu.be/tf04g630cOU

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

GOSPEL Dianne Pile

Glory to Christ our Saviour

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

https://youtu.be/4AgPOztquS0

This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON Revd Sharon Miles (Scroll down for a link to see and hear Rev’d Sharon – a treat after so long!!)

These weeks in lockdown have been a demanding time, following rules given by the Government to help us to live safely during this difficult time of Corona virus. I have no doubt that the rules were needed and they have helped to lessen the spread of infection, but they have also left a number of people feeling isolated and going a little stir crazy, that has applied to me too. Rules and regulations are sometimes difficult to cope with, but they are there for a good reason – those reasons are usually about safety and well being.

In the Gospel today we hear about the rules that Jesus gives to the disciples – he reminds them first that he has the power to give the rules as he says – ‘all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’ – the Father sent him for a reason so that everyone will have the opportunity to know God and be known and loved by him. Jesus spent his whole ministry allowing people to know the love of God in all he said and taught and did. Jesus also said, ‘go and baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’

These rules or directions are also for a good reason – Our Trinitarian God wants to be part of our lives, wants us to know his strength, his love, and that we are His!

The directions given to the disciples were about spiritual well-being – Jesus commissioned the disciples to baptise in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Through baptism we are filled with our trinitarian God. Our God in three parts, – the Father who created the earth and all that dwells in it, the Son who lived and walked on the earth just as we do, who prayed to God the Father, just as we do. Who shared love and understanding and guided humanity towards God just as we are called to do. And of course, the Holy Spirit who helps to guide us and keeps us travelling the right way and shows so many opportunities for us to welcome others into God’s Kingdom.

Jesus also reminds his disciples that they do not work on their own because he promises to be with them and with us always, to the end of the age.

It has been great to hear about the many ways, that so many of us have ‘been there’ for others during lockdown. People shopping for neighbours, and those delivering shopping, the delivering of prescriptions, the phone calls just to say hello and how are you? The phone box – food bank in St Osyth to name just a few – please do continue to do what you can for those who need help, but also remember to pray for them too.

Our response to our Gospel reading is simple, we roll up our sleeves and get on with the work that God has called us to – we share his love, in words or actions in our presence and in our prayers.

In other words we carry on inviting God in at the beginning of the day and journey with Him throughout the day responding to the opportunities that he shows us to reach out and share the knowledge of his love with everyone.

I was once told that words are good, but actions are better.

See what you can do to make sure the God we know is shown in all our words and actions.

Amen.

PRAYERS

“Holy, holy, holy, merciful, eternal and mighty, by your grace you have shown us who you are. One in Three and Three in One. We glorify you as Trinity, even as we worship you in your Unity.

Open our hearts to receive your word to us, that not only in our worship but in our lives we may serve and reflect your Triune Love all our days.” Amen

(Adapted from John Wesley)

On this day in the world wide Church of Christ, we pray for La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, and the Presiding Bishop, The Most Revd Francisco Moreno.

We pray for Elizabeth, our Queen, all her family; and all those in authority, that they may work for the betterment of all, and help to make our nation a more just society.

Today, we pray particularly for the next bishop of Chelmsford, as the search for that person continues. We pray that candidates applying for the role feel that God is calling them to the post, and that they have the vision and qualities to fulfil the requirements of the position. We also pray for those with the responsibility of  selecting, interviewing and recommending the appropriate candidate selected for appointment after this process. May they be given God’s grace in this task, and select the right individual for this important role.

A prayer for discernment:

“God of provision and care, discernment and knowledge: lead us in your love, empower us by your Spirit, and equip us with your gifts; give us hearts full of love for all people, minds open to the signs of the times, and wisdom to know how to respond to the voice of your calling. We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose days draw near, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen.

At this time of heightened tension in the USA, let us pray that by working together, injustices can be resolved, and a more peaceful life can be enjoyed by all in that nation.

Locally, we pray for the continued safety of all the vulnerable people, who have been given a little more freedom this week; and for all the school children and teachers for whom the return to school might be a daunting prospect.

 We continue to pray for all those who serve us in our community,

in shops, through the community support group, the postal workers, refuse collectors and not least, all working in the NHS and associated fields.

“God of compassion, be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light; through him who suffered alone on the cross, but reigns with you in glory, Jesus Christ our Lord”. Amen

We pray for our Saints: Mary, Peter and Paul; for Revd Sharon, and the church congregation, and that we will be able to meet again, before too long. Amen

Let us remember those who have died recently: Dalma Woodward, Enid Humphries and George Floyd. Please also pray for Rev Sharon, Nick and Jane as they recover from their illness, also Hilary Harris, Mick Moore, Myrtle Clayton, Lynn Gordon, Joye Watson, and any who are known to us personally.

“Lord, heal the sick and comfort those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.” Amen

Annabel Stearn

 Please join together in the Lord’s Prayer.

REFLECTION

Herbert Howells was born in Gloucestershire in 1892. He won a

scholarship to the Royal College of Music and was later on the staff. He succeeded Gustav Holst at St Paul’s Girls School in 1934. He has written music for organ and choirs and was awarded a CBE in1954. His famous work, Hymnus Paradisi (1950) is certainly worth a listen on youtube.

However, and continuing the rose theme from last week, this is a lovely piece, A Spotless Rose.

Easter 8 Pentecost

31/5/20

INTRODUCTION

Easter season ends this Sunday as we celebrate Pentecost. It commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and Jesus’ followers. The disciples have been in lock down, awaiting the arrival of something special, the Holy Spirit. For most of us our experiences of self isolation is different. When we end our time of self isolation will we, I wonder, be dancing in the streets as the disciples did? I may not dance but I know I will be giving thanks and praise that I am able to share in worship again with you all. Jesus’ promise to his disciples was fulfilled and that same promise can be fulfilled in us too. Peace be with you all.

Amen. 

Wendy King

THOUGHTS FROM THE ORGAN LOFT Fiona Bodmer

I am thankful that the sun is shining! The last 10 weeks would have been much more difficult in the depths of winter with the long nights and the cold days. There are some days when I struggle to find anything positive but the sunshine certainly cheers me up. I hope you are all keeping well and managing to fill your time. This

Sunday is Pentecost and so I have chosen a rousing hymn fitting for this day in the church calendar, Lord enthroned in Heavenly Splendour.

 COLLECT

https://youtu.be/H-o33ws7lBE Roger Carey-Smith

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 READING – Acts 2.1-21

https://youtu.be/2YY4eTPQTnc  Lynn Carey-Smith

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs -in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’ But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”‘

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 Gospel – John 7. 37-39

Glory to Christ our Saviour

 https://youtu.be/PKennYkx-iI Roger Carey-Smith

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”  Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 This is the Gospel of Christ

Thanks be to God

 SERMON Andy Brown

It is Pentecost Sunday, and the day we remember what is essentially the birth of the church. The word “Pentecost” means 50 days, and it occurs 50 days after the Jewish Passover. We may associate Pentecost with the church, but if you look at Acts 2:1, you will see that the Apostles met together on Pentecost, and then the Holy Spirit came.

Jesus, prior to His Ascension and after His death and resurrection, had instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had been “clothed with power from on high.” (see Luke 24:49). The Ascension, usually celebrated on the sixth Thursday after Easter, reminds us of how Christ ascended into Heaven. For ten days, the disciples have waited for this event, not really knowing what would happen.

The Holy Spirit descends on them with great power. As Jesus ascends into Heaven, He does not leave the disciples to fend for  themselves, but sends His Spirit to dwell in and with them. We see this power displayed in an amazing way in Acts 2, with a great rushing wind and tongues of fire. The Apostles then begin to speak out in the languages of the people around them, sharing the Gospel  of Jesus with them. This is perhaps a reversal of the events at the Tower of Babel, centuries earlier when God confused the language of mankind and scattered them about the Earth. Now all people are united in hearing the news about Christ and what He has done.

For us, living in this part of the world in the 21st Century, these first

Pentecost events may seem like something out of a movie. Very few of us, I imagine, can claim to have seen such works of power. I do not think such miracles are restricted to the Early Church, but such things are not the subject of our message right now.

For today, I want us to focus on the Apostle Peter. As the people see the strange actions of the Apostles, they begin to imagine they might be drunk. Peter leaps to their defence and begins a very eloquent sermon. With authority, he speaks of Old Testament prophecies from Joel and how God would pour out His Spirit. Until that point, the Spirit was reserved for only a select few of the Old Testament believers.

Look at Peter, and listen to his words. How he has changed in such a short time! Less than two months prior to this, he denied that he even knew Christ let alone was one of his closest friends. Now he stands tall and proud, proclaiming the good news about Jesus to a huge crowd. Later in Acts 2 we read that 3,000  people believed in Peter’s words, so the crowd was at least as large as that and of course probably more.

What has driven this change in Peter? What has made him so bold?

I suggest two things. Firstly, no one who encounters the Risen Christ can remain unchanged. Shortly after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and the others travelled north to Galilee. There he met the Risen Lord by the sea, and told Jesus that he loved Him three times (see John 21). Jesus restores Peter, and although the road ahead would not always be smooth and would in fact lead to martyrdom, Peter knew he had been accepted and forgiven by Jesus.

Secondly, Peter has indeed now been clothed with power. Peter no longer acts alone and impetuously, instead he is guided by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit shapes his words and gives him the confidence to face the crowds and Jewish authorities.

Peter does not do it in his own strength, but in the Lord’s.

For us here in St Osyth, or Great Bentley, or wherever you come from, we can likewise encounter the Risen Christ this Pentecost. We may not see Him with our own eyes, but that makes Him no less real or accessible. In the same way as Peter, we too can draw on the power of the Holy Spirit for our everyday lives. While we may not be called to speak to crowds like Peter was, the Spirit is as equally willing to aid us in raising our children, doing a good job at work or witnessing to those in our community.

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Luke 11:13 (WEB)

Amen!

 As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit is poured out on the apostles and the Church is born

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE CHURCH WORLDWIDE!

God’s Holy Spirit, residing in our whole being opens up the possibility of living as God intended – in harmony with our Creator.  Our hope is that this new relationship will also carry over into our relationships with one another. Just as the apostles experienced the force of the Spirit,  so we desire these waves of God’s energising love and power.  The apostles had taken Jesus’ prophecy to heart and had waited watchfully and prayerfully for the last nine days since the Ascension.  Can we watch, wait and pray to hear God’s voice?  

 As the Spirit enables us, let us pray.

Father God,

May all church leaders, ordained ministers and the laity

Be filled to overflowing, with love for your people,

Bursting with excitement and expectation

for spreading the good news of the Gospel

Spirit of the living God:

Fall afresh on us

May all those negotiating for peace

 in the delicate areas of national conflict,

 disputes and entrenched bitterness,

 be blessed with the peace of God,

 calm and patient beneath the pressures

 Spirit of the living God;

Fall afresh on us.

In our homes and places of work,

Our schools and hospitals,

May there always be time

for the warmth of loving concern

And the comfort of being valued.

 Spirit of the living God

Fall afresh on us.

For those who have died

And all who mourn their passing;

Calm the fears of the dying

And have mercy on us all.

Spirit of the living God

Fall afresh on us.

We thank you, heavenly Father,

For the gift of the Holy Spirit among us;

And we look forward to the future

With you at the centre of all we do.

Amen

SPECIAL PRAYERS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Dear Lord,

As this pandemic continues, we ask you to keep us under the shadow of your mercy during this time of uncertainty and distress.  Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all those who have been brought low during the lockdown, so that they can rejoice in your comfort.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us,

You taught us to love our neighbour and to care for those in need, as if we were caring for you.  Give us strength in this time of anxiety.  Help us to comfort the fearful, the sick, the isolated, the lonely and to assure them of our love and your love. 

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us,

We pray for doctors, nurses and and others who are caring for those suffering from Covid – 19, in hospitals and care homes. We pray for   your wisdom to medical researchers who are working so hard to find a vaccine.  Strengthen them with your Spirit, that through their skill and insights, many will be restored to health.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us

We pray for all those returning to work in early June.  Give them a sense of peace and expectation for the coming months.  We pray for all children who will be returning to school in early June.  Please protect the children, teachers and other staff, from the disease and give wisdom to those making decisions about easing the lockdown.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us

 We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God;

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

 Amen

Let us join together in the Lord’s Prayer

 REFLECTION Fiona Bodmer

I have chosen a piece of music which is somewhat different to those that have gone before. I enjoy all forms of church music and generally shy away from popular noise. Every now and again, a lovely song comes to the fore and this one is such.

This song was made popular by the 1979 film of the same name and was sung by Bette Midler. However, this beautiful arrangement by the King’s Singers is calm and peaceful. It reminds us in the final verse that, even in the darkest times, hope is just around the corner. As we all continue to cope with this difficult situation, I pray that you can find some hope.

https://www.youtube.com/wat

Service - 7th Sunday after Easter

THOUGHTS FROM THE ORGAN LOFT

On Thursday the Church of England celebrated Ascension Day.

Traditionally in Great Bentley a party climbs the church tower at 7am to sing “Hail the day that sees him rise” followed by a breakfast in the church room. We seem to have missed the most important part of the church year this year, missing the whole of Easter week and now his Ascension into Heaven. We are truly living in strange times and this has been a truly Global Pandemic. We have all seen pictures from around the world and some countries, particularly those with poverty and very high populations have had a terrifying time. We have been fortunate.

As the lockdown eases I think we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have all endured 8 weeks of difficulties and this will have taken its toll on us as individuals along with the country as a whole. I do think that there will be positives from it all, kindness, compassion and understanding of our communities, admiration for all key workers and a deep gratitude to those who have kept the country going.

I hope that you have had the opportunity to give your lives a spring clean and to understand what is important in your lives, I know I have!

This week I have chosen a rousing hymn for us to sing together at 3pm.

Crown Him with many crowns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7OCs0d_4vM

 COLLECT

https://youtu.be/gqRvza1Z18A    Carol Kerridge

O God the king of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 Readings

https://youtu.be/aku3WsuuGrg Carol Kerridge

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

 READING– Acts 1.6-14

When the apostles had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

 GOSPEL – John 17.1-11

Glory to Christ our Saviour

https://youtu.be/bePFxoiL3KU Carol Kerridge

Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’

 This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord.

SERMON from Rev’d Sharon

At that last meeting with Jesus after he had told them he was returning to the Father, and explained that they would be given a helper, the disciples had so many questions and Jesus’ answer was that he could not tell when or where but God has it in hand and it will be in his timing.

I am sure you would agree that there are so many questions that we have and are asking about all that we are facing at this present time, that it made me smile when I read the opening question from the disciples to Jesus in today’s reading from Acts – Lord, is this the time…?

If I’m honest it made me think of lockdown and when we might be able to ease out in a safe way but then I thought about my childhood when me and my brothers were on a long car journey, I am sure you must know what I am going say – ‘are we nearly there yet?’  The answer for us was nearly always ‘not yet but we are getter closer’.

This is also what I think Jesus’ answer to the disciples was when they asked, ‘is this the time?’ – not yet but we are getting closer!

Jesus tells them that it’s not quite that easy, and tries to explain that there is a lot of work to be done and promises to give them some extra help – the power of the Holy Spirit who gives strength, timing and the right words and actions; the tools needed by all followers so that they can continue with his work.’

After Jesus ascended into heaven and the disciples were left on their own, they would have been inquisitive about where and when the helper would arrive but I am sure they also would be missing Jesus, they return home and wait.

I wonder how impatient they were on a day to day basis during the waiting time. How did they cope knowing that something was coming but they had no idea when?  Does this remind you of anything?

The disciples did exactly the right thing, they returned home and looked after each other while they waited.

How good are you at waiting? How patient can you be?

I only ask because I believe that things happen in our lives at the right time – at God’s timing. This interim time for the disciples between saying Goodbye to Jesus and waiting for the Holy Spirit to arrive was a challenge and might be described as ‘waiting with eager longing’ partly wanting the old way of being to come back but knowing they need to move forward with God and embrace a new way of being.

I believe we are called to do the same. So in all the uncertainty we are facing – let’s move forward with God and in stillness and calm embrace a new way of being.                       Amen.

PRAYERS

https://youtu.be/aJ-enygLAcU Helen and Andy Brown

Indigo The colour of bruises, we pray for all those suffering domestic abuse.

James 1 v 27

‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’

Heavenly Father, during this period of lockdown domestic abuse killings have doubled and a national abuse helpline received 49% more calls. At a time when people are feeling trapped in with abusive partners we pray that they will receive the help they very much need. Father, keep them safe. We pray for children who are abused, bullied or neglected by those who are supposed to love and protect them. For many children school provided a safe place from a tumultuous home environment, we pray for those who are missing that security and sanctuary.

Father, keep them safe. Lord, enable us in the community to be aware of the more vulnerable among us and give us the courage we need to speak out or offer help where it is needed.

Violet The colour of Bishops, we pray for Church leadership.

Hebrews 13 v 17

‘Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Giving them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.’

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the church leaders who are providing guidance as well as worship and prayer resources on-line at a time when we cannot meet in our church buildings. Thank you for all the staff who are keeping people connected to their local churches, for the vicars, church wardens and admin staff. For those putting material on-line, making phone calls and praying for their church family. Lord, we lift before you Rev’d Sharon. We pray for her recovery and a speedy return to perfect health. We pray for her ministry in St. Osyth and Great Bentley and the hope and encouragement she brings to people in those communities. We pay she will soon be able to return to that work and using the gifts you have given her to serve you.

Lord, the rainbow was a symbol of your promise to Moses and you never break your promises. May we stand firm on those promises and be a witness to your love and power, your hope and promise. In Jesus’ name we pray.

We also pray for those known to us who are sick at this time, we think especially of: the Rev’d Sharon on her road to recovery. Pray for those in need of healing and long term prayerful support:

Nick, Sue, Helen, Pamela, Chisato Takaya, Peggy, Nina Hatchett, Dominie and Graham, Sienna, Peter, Pamela and Jane Eade.

Mick Moore who recovers after his radiotherapy

Myrtle Clayton who is still in residential care

Lynn Gordon as she recovers at home

Oliver and Lisa Ingwall King, as they recover at home from Coronavirus.

We remember Dr Mirza, Derek Watts, Jack Whittle, Sylvia Colmer, Dalma Woodward and Gordon Hesketh who have died recently.

May they rest in peace and rise in Glory.

 Let us join together in the Lord’s Prayer.

 REFLECTION

We have previously listened to the famous “For the beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter. He wrote so many beautiful anthems and carols and we all associate his music with the church year. There has been so much music during the lockdown and from all around the world, people have been very inventive. I have watched music from kitchens, gardens and the piece I have chosen for today is a compilation choir. They must have very good editors! I particularly like this arrangement of John Rutter’s “The Lord bless you and keep you” as it is so relevant to the last 8 weeks. May the Lord bless and keep each one of you.

Service - 6th Sunday after Easter

17th May

This week we are delighted to work even more closely with our sister church in our united benefice in St Osyth. Thank you all so much for the Readings, (Isabella and David Harrington) Rainbow Intercessions, (Helen and Andy Brown) and Sermon (Jane Eade).

In the Collect we are reminded that God has delivered us from the power of darkness. So many people have been facing those dark moments; of fear, loneliness, worry that they may catch the virus, loss of income or jobs. I watched a two part documentary from the Royal Free Hospital dealing with patients with Covid 19. It was not easy to sit through this but I felt I owed it to  those putting their own lives on the line to save others and also to truly understand what a devastating illness this is. There were dark moments for both patients, their close families and staff but for me the resilience of those involved, the determination to pull through against all odds, the empathy of all staff members was the light that shone through and was truly amazing.

I fervently believe that good comes of all things even if this is not evident immediately. We see this now in both of our villages with help given in so many ways and care and consideration for others around us. This time of national crisis has I am sure brought our churches closer together and we will  probably have to continue for some while with our online services.

Thank you  to everyone who has helped to bring this service together.

Mary Maskell

THOUGHTS FROM THE ORGAN LOFT from Fiona Bodmer

This week we have been promised an easing of the lockdown. It seems to be very confusing and this is a worry for us all as we try to do the right thing to protect ourselves and those we love. We can meet in a park as long as we are 2 meters away but cannot go and sit in the garden with a friend. There does not seem to be an end in sight and it is worrying to hear that the virus is having a  resurgence in Wuhan and Germany. I wonder what our “new normal” life will look like and I am not sure we will ever go back to where we were. This is causing me some grief and I expect you too are finding it difficult to cope with. I think we have to trust that we will get through this, with the help of our faith, friendships and family. I hope you have all embraced the new technology, zoom, whatsapp, facetime etc as they certainly help. Along with this service, there are many other churches and cathedrals live-streaming their services and I hope you have been able to find something that makes you feel close to God.

As the gospel reading today is focussed on the God in our hearts, I have chosen a hymn to help us individually to reflect on our faith. Please join us at 3pm to sing O Jesus I have promised . I have chosen the traditional tune as it seems more fitting for the current situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU_cev2ri90

 COLLECT

https://youtu.be/q_TlYgPdaKA Isabella Harrington

God our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 READING – Acts 17.22-31

https://youtu.be/qFeNRnMLICo David Harrington

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription. ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him – though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring. Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

 GOSPEL – John 14. 15-21:

Ihttps://youtu.be/mYmM05IqEFQ lsabella Harrington

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. II will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’

 SERMON Jane Eade

As I write this I am hearing on the news about the new & purportedly reliable antibody test that has been developed for Covid-19 which means we should now be able to tell who has had the virus whether they show symptoms or not. I know this seems a strange way to begin a sermon but I hope you will see where this fits in soon.

Today’s reading from John 14 verses 15-21 tell us how Jesus promised his disciples, and us, that although he was to die, rise again & ultimately ascend to heaven, he was not really leaving us, we would never be alone as he would ask God to send us the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to be with us always. What an amazing & life changing promise!

I think most of us know someone, maybe a few, who have received a real audible or visual ‘call’, an undoubtable affirmation that the Holy Spirit is with them & in them and is directing their lives, watching over them & guiding them in everything they do. It isn’t really possible to doubt or deny the existence and indeed the current relativity of the Trinity (God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit) when in the more difficult times one can think back to that physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit, of God, in one’s own life and know that whatever happens one is never alone, never facing difficulties or challenges alone and that although we can’t see it, or even comprehend it, ‘God is working his purpose out’, as we have all so often sung.

The disciples and the first few other early Christians could physically see the Holy Spirit entering them as tongues of fire  hovered above their heads and they began to speak in all sorts of languages that fishermen from the Galilee, thought of by others as rough and poorly educated, could never have known or been taught. Even in the case of the first non Jewish Christians, the Roman Officer Cornelius and his household in Caesarea, there could be no doubt that the Holy Spirit had entered them too as Simon Peter and a few of his fellow christian followers witnessed them suddenly also speaking different languages as they praised God. Many other members of the fledging Christian movement in Jerusalem were very critical, perhaps even horrified, and doubted that such a thing could have happened to a group of Gentiles of all people! Such a thing was unthinkable and flew in the face of all their Jewish laws and beliefs. But Peter, backed up by those who had accompanied him, told them “As I began to speak the Holy  Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit’ And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11 v15-17)

But today there are many of us who have never had that personal audible or visual affirmation that the Holy Spirit is with us, we rely purely upon faith, and perhaps, if we’re lucky, a strong and solid Christian upbringing. At difficult times like we are going through at the moment those little seeds of doubt can start to creep in and the questions of non Christians like ‘how can you believe in God when so many people are dying?’ start to play with our minds trying to undermine that faith. Or even perhaps if your own friends and family have died or are dying; I don’t think there is anyone now who remains untouched by the appalling death toll even if it is someone you knew who has been lost though not as close to you as a friend or family member, still those little seeds of doubt can grow and flourish and spread with the same efficiency and speed as the virus if we let them go unchecked. And so, back to this morning’s announcement about the far more reliable antibody test that has been developed, now we can tell exactly who has definitely had the virus whether there were obvious symptoms or they were asymptomatic meaning the person showed no obvious signs of the virus but had it anyway. Just as not showing symptoms of Covid-19 doesn’t mean we haven’t had it, so, not having had an obvious audible or visual sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit certainly doesn’t mean we don’t have it as deeply ensconced within us as those who have. The only prerequisite, Jesus said, was that we believe in him, love him and obey his commandments. The very things we have always done before we need only keep doing now! How amazing is that?!

The last of those commandments, given literally just before Jesus ascended into heaven, was “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And then you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1 v8) and so that we do not need to worry that we won’t know what to say when we are called to do so he also said “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” (Luke 12 v11-12). How much easier then should it be to defend our faith before our friends and neighbours?

At the moment we hear endlessly about the ‘R’ number and how this affects the rate at which the virus spreads exponentially. If one person infects more than one person then the virus begins to get ‘out of control’, if that same person infects less than one person then the virus is halted.

So now let’s consider the ‘R’ number of our faith, we have shown that we can all be confident that the Holy spirit is with us whether it has been shown overtly to us or not, that that same Holy Spirit will help us to defend and proclaim our faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit when we are called to do so. Most of us are going to live a long and healthy life and the only thing we have really been tasked with is to defend and/or proclaim that faith to one or more people for the ‘R’ number of the word of God to spread exponentially, to become ‘out of control’ and unstoppable.

What an incredible dream to aspire to and what a perfect time to stand up for what we believe in when so many people are asking those ‘difficult’ questions or, as was reported a couple of weeks  ago, there are more people searching online for prayers than ever  before.

Amen

 INTERCESSIONS

https://youtu.be/PeDxHjob2zg Helen Brown

Praying through the Rainbow

 Yellow we pray for all those who are afraid.

Psalm 46 v 1-2

God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths;

 Heavenly Father, we lift before you all those who are feeling afraid for themselves and their loved ones at this time. For all those who have underlining health conditions, or who are of an age where any illness would have serious consequences. Lord, give them your peace and may they know you as their comfort and provider. May you be for them a rock and stronghold.

 Green ‘Green around the gills’, we pray for all those who are sick and those who care for them.

Psalm 69 v 29

But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

 Heavenly Father, we pray for all those who are currently ill. For those with coronavirus, and for those with all manner of illness. May your healing hand be upon them. We pray for those who have hospital appointments and are scared of going into that environment.

We pray for those who’s hospital appointments have been delayed of cancelled and for the extra anxiety or pain this may cause. Lord, we lift to you all those who are pregnant at this time and are anxious about appointments, those who have to go into hospital to give birth and fear contracting illness while there. We pray for those going into labour who may not be able to have the people they love around them at such a special time. Give them peace Lord and keep them safe. Lord we thank you for the NHS and all those who work to keep it running from consultants to cleaners. We pray for doctors, surgeons, HCA’s nurses, theatre staff, porters, admin and reception staff, laboratory and pharmaceutical staff. May you give them wisdom in their work and peace in their hearts.

 Blue Feeling blue, we pray for all those who are sad or depressed.

Matthew 11 v 28

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Heavenly Father, it is very hard for everyone at this time, we are all feeling isolated and lonely, missing our loved ones, their companionship and all our usual activities. We lift to you those who are finding it especially hard and are feeling particularly down. Those who already suffered from anxiety or depression which has been made worse by the current situation. We pray for those with mental health conditions or neurological disorders who find it hard to cope with being stuck inside. Lord, we pray you will be their rest and restoration at this time and always.

***

We also pray for those known to us who are sick at this time, we think especially of: the Rev’d Sharon on her road to recovery, Nick as his chemotherapy had to be cancelled on Tuesday and he awaits the results of a scan. We pray also for Sue as she struggles in hospital with coronavirus, having just lost her husband a few weeks ago. Sue is an old friend of Mel and Tina’s, who are self isolating and can do little to practically support their friend. Pray for those in need of healing and long term prayerful support: Nick, Helen, Pamela, Chisato Takaya, Peggy, Nina Hatchett, Dominie and Graham, Sienna, Peter, Pamela and Jane Eade.

Hilary Harris and the carers who look after her in her home.

Mick Moore who recovers after his radiotherapy

Myrtle Clayton who is still in residential care and who has just celebrated her 90th birthday

Lynn Gordon as she recovers at home

Oliver and Lisa Ingwall King as they rcover at home from Coronavirus.

We remember Dr Mirza, Derek Watts, Jack Whittle and Sylvia Colmer, Ben Harris, Keith Morris, Kevin Ladley who have died recently.

 REFLECTION

I came upon this by accident whilst looking for something else! Peter Nardone BA FRCO (born 1965) is primarily a free-lance conductor, singer and composer. He has sung with the Monteverdi Choir, The King’s Consort and the Tallis Scholars . He has been Director of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral and was subsequently Organist and Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral. He has been the artistic director of the three choirs festival and this is a

piece that he wrote which was performed in Chelmsford Cathedral. I hope you enjoy both the piece of music and the inside of the Cathedral. It is somewhere I visit regularly and I hope to be back there soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

SERVICE - 5th Sunday of Easter - VE Day Service

 VE DAY CELEBRATION 10th MAY

https://youtu.be/v2efGDEvqj0 Highland Cathedral 

Heaviness may endure for a night: but joy comes in the morning.

God has been our refuge and our strength: a present help in time of trouble.

Dear friends, as we join in heart and worship to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, when the sounds of war fell silent on this continent.

We worship conscious of our need for God’s forgiveness for the sin and the desire to dominate others that leads to conflict between people and war between nations.

As we remember many soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives restraining evil and opposing tyranny, so we also come in thanksgiving for the years of peace that the nations of Europe have enjoyed since the second world war. We represent those who gathered on that first Victory day.

Let us pray that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever, Amen

THOUGHTS FROM THE ORGAN LOFT

Over the years I have often discussed the two world wars with my family. We together have wondered at the pointless loss of life and have congratulated ourselves that we have not had to live through something so dreadful and life changing…until now. This pandemic has been similar to a global war, our lives have been radically altered and we will be left picking up the pieces of the social, economic and personal cost we have all endured for many years. Many lives have been lost throughout the world. As we celebrate the end of the second world war 75 years ago I hope we can learn from our shared experiences, to reflect on the sacrifices made by

the brave soldiers, their families left at home and give thanks for our wonderful NHS which was a positive development from the horror.

Please join us to sing the hymn together at 3pm,

Guide me O Thou great Redeemer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3NmfmVGblw

 COLLECT

O Lord our God, as we remember, teach us the ways of peace.

As we treasure memories, teach us to hope.

As we give thanks for the sacrifices of the past,

help us to make your future in this world,

until your kingdom come. Amen.

 FIRST READING – Micah 4 1-4:

https://youtu.be/1Bts4MhjuIk

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

 The Gospel of the Lord

Glory to Christ Our Saviour.

GOSPEL – Luke 15: 18-24

https://youtu.be/cX2TQ0hTa3I Nicky Justice

I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.’ ”So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe – the best one – and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”

And they began to celebrate.

This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

The readings today had obviously been well chosen for this weekend. The Gospel reading from Luke speaks of a time when family members are reunited, communities restored and celebrations bringing people back together. It is a time when the whole community celebrates and work towards a new way of being. Our Old testament reading from Micah reminds us that we need to work together as a community, to “not learn war any more” but focus on truly becoming people of peace, people of God,

that work together and allow His work to be done and His love to be shared. It is no surprise at all that they were chosen for our service over this VE Day 75th Celebration weekend, when we give thanks for those who enlisted and fought for us and our freedom & safety, and for those who worked so hard at home to keep the home fires burning, and making sure that all that needed to be done was done through the creation of the Home Guard and the Women’s Land Army – again fighting/working for our freedom and safety. They did an amazing job and when Victory in Europe

was declared there was a great celebration, huge gatherings in London and King George and his family greeting the crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace and sharing in the country’s joy. Princess Elizabeth (as she was then) and her sister, Princess Margaret, were given permission by their parents to join in the celebrations with the crowds – although they had to do so secretly.

As Christians, we are called to step up and do what is needed when we are in difficult times – at this time when we are battling  with the enemy we cannot see, it is great to hear how our   communities are at work within the villages we represent, making sure our skills and gifts are used any way they can be because with  every action we undertake for others, Gods love, peace and joy is shown and shared.

As a person of this generation I give thanks for all that was achieved 75 years ago by people I will never be able to thank. In return I work daily to be a presence of peace and a presence of God wherever I am, and I know that together we can continue to bring God’s peace to this place.

Amen

THE PRAYERS

Trusting the promises of God, and with faith in his mercy, let us pray to the Lord.

Let us give thanks for the selfless and courageous service and sacrifice of those who brought peace to Europe, and for the good example they have given us;

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

We pray for nations still devastated by war, for their people and their leaders, and for those who suffer the effects or memories of past wars; for veterans, for those who mourn, and for all innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by the cruelty of others; Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us give thanks for those who work for peace and liberty throughout the world, for the Armed Forces of the Crown, and for all who strive to bring an end to injustice and oppression;

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

We pray for those in our own day who have grown weary or lost hope as a result of violence or terror; for all refugees and displaced people, and for those who seek to address the causes of discord and distrust;

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us give thanks for the reconciliation of former enemies, for the

flourishing of goodwill between them, and for the many blessings we enjoy as a result of the sacrifices which have made for peace;

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

We pray for the young people of our own day and for all who will shape the future of this nation, that they may be inspired by those who have gone before them to serve as they have been served;

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

For the reconciliation of former enemies and for the flourishing of goodwill between them, and for the many freedoms and benefits we enjoy as a result of the sacrifices which have made for peace;

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

We pray for those in our time who are fighting to keep safe those who have Corona Virus – the enemy we can not see; that has taken so many lives in the past weeks and months across the world.

Lord hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Help us to work with the NHS workers, carers and all medical staff who have given of themselves as they care for those who have the disease.

Also to give thanks for those who have been and continue to be there for others in so many different ways during this Pandemic. Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

We remember those who have died

Kevin Ladley, Ben Harris, Keith Morris, Derek Watts, Jack Whittle, Sylvia Colmer, and for all who mourn their loved ones.

We also remember in our prayers

Hilary Harris, Mick Moore, Myrtle Clayton, Reverend Sharon, Nick Lee,  Sue and family and Lynn Gordon, and in silent prayer we remember all of those known to us who need your love and our support.

Let us now join together in singing the second hymn,

Praise my soul the King of Heaven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDe0ABw5IHs

Concluding with the Collect for Peace.

Almighty God,

from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed:

kindle in the hearts of all people the true love of peace;

and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom

those who take counsel for the nations of the earth;

that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward,

til the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 The National Anthem

Blessing

God grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest;

to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth,

and all people, peace and concord;

and to us and all his servants, life everlasting;

and the blessing of God almighty,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

come down upon us and remain with us always, Amen

REFLECTION

Samuel Barber was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on 9th March 1910 and died in 1981. His father was a doctor and he lived a comfortable life and was well educated. His family were keen on sport but Samuel had made the decision early in his life that he wanted to compose music. He was composing by the age of 10. He met his life-long partner, Guan Carlo Menotti whilst they were both studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1938, when he was 28 years old his famous Adagio for strings was first

performed by the NBC Symphony Orchestra for a radio broadcast. The conductor was Arturo Toscannini. In 1967 he set the words of the Agnus Dei from the liturgical mass to the tune. Many of you will have heard the tune before, often used to accompany the horrors of the trenches. I thought it appropriate for VE day.

Here’s the translation of the latin:

Lamb of God,

Who takes away the sins of the world

Have mercy on us

Lamb of God

Who takes away the sins of the world

Grant us peace.

SERVICE - Third Sunday of Easter - Good Shepherd Sunday

Having read today’s Gospel, we need to take a moment and picture a flock of sheep. They are safe in their pen, which they know well, and keeping a close eye on the only way in and out – the gate. The point of this parable is not the shepherd, but the gate. Several people are coming to the gate and this makes the sheep a little wary. The sheep  like it best when the shepherd comes – they know him and he knows each one of his sheep. The shepherd takes his sheep to where he knows they will be safe and where they can feed safely. A closed gate functions to keep the sheep safely in, but it is the open gate that allows the shepherd to come in and it is the open gate that leads to the life-giving pastures. Strangers who come to the gate, possibly

thieves who come to rob or kill, put the sheep at risk and they have to learn to value something more than safety. That something is what Jesus is offering them. Not security, but an abundant life.

This brief summary of the Gospel story highlights the similarities with the lockdown situation we are facing. Whilst we are safe in our homes, just like the sheep in their pen, we feel much more secure – even though the lockdown certainly does have it’s negative points. If we leave the gate open, we run the risk of having unwanted visitors who may unintentionally cause us harm, in this case, at this time, it could be the virus. Being locked in, like the sheep, we are safe, which is why we must observe this dictat from our Government. Looking at the positives of the lockdown – let’s not forget the enhanced sense of localism, less noise and air pollution; re-imagining of Church Services, to name but a few.

Shirley Wells

THOUGHTS FROM THE ORGAN LOFT – Fiona Bodmer

This has been a difficult week. I think the talk of lifting the restrictions, but with no definite plan, has made the current situation less tolerable. We all want to get back to our previous lives, to go out when we want, meet up with friends and family, plan things to look forward to and resume our routines. It is looking like it will be some time until we can do this and we will have to try  and find a new normal in all the chaos. However, we can use this time wisely to think about what we want to go back to and maybe

things we did out of duty rather than joy. I am sure many of you have given the house a good spring clean. Perhaps we can use this time to give our lives a spring clean, sort out the clutter and  generally tidy things up. I am sure we will all feel better.

As today is Good Shepherd day, please join us in singing The Lord is my Shepherd at 3pm.

 COLLECT

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever.

 READINGS

 FIRST READING – Acts 2.42 – end

Many were baptized and were added to the community. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and

distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

 This is the word of the of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 David Branch

 GOSPEL – John 10.1-10

 Glory to Christ our Saviour

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate.

Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 This is the Gospel of Christ

Praise to Christ our Lord

Rosemary Branch

SERMON from Rev’d Sharon

The Gospel reading from John 10.1-10 is about ‘Jesus the Good Shepherd’ and reminds us about the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.

The good shepherd knew the needs of the sheep and would invest all his energy in providing for them – the shepherd knew where the safest places for them to graze were, where to find the cleanest running water and the safest places for them to sleep, providing them all that they needed to grow well.

The good shepherd had to be calm and brave, being out on the hills at night with the flock and only the moon and stars to lighten the sky was a solitary and often dangerous place to be but they knew the cost of the sheep, the importance of the flock and put their all into keeping them safe.

From the other side, the sheep knew the shepherds voice and would respond to him instantly. Wherever he went they would happily follow him because they knew that with him, they would be well cared for.

This relationship we hear about Jesus and the Sheep is about us with God – do we recognise his voice? Are we happy to simply be with him? Do we look forward to responding to his invitation to journey with him? Do we have the courage to do it?
are we excited about sharing the story of our relationship with God with other people?

I believe there is something very special about recognising God’s words, whoever says them, and they could be people we know or absolute strangers but we recognise that we have heard something that helps us move closer to God’s plans for us.

But seriously, what about us? Do we take time to simply be with God?
Are we good at listening, so that we might hear when God is calling us to a particular task or role or place?
Do we have good Christian support around us, that allows us to test out/discuss with them what we think God might be calling us to?
Are we brave enough to carry it out when we have gone through this stage of discernment?

God very often calls us more than once – so we must keep connected, keep listening, keep responding and be the people God calls us all to be.

Amen.

 Prayers

Lord, We thank you that our Prime Minister is fully recovered from COVID-19 and is now back at work. We are mindful of the many people who have tested positive in the UK, some of whom are in hospital – possibly in ICU. Lord, we pray that they will recover from this virus. We pray for those who have lost loved ones and are grieving. comfort them, Lord, at this difficult time. We pray for those in isolation that they may know your presence at this time and your peace to help them face their fears and

loneliness. We pray for patience, in our waiting.

Amen

Shirley Wells

This is Vocations Sunday, when we can explore where God is calling each of us. We pray for the whole church of Christ, and we pray for followers of other faiths, that there may be discussion and understanding between all of God’s people.

Today we pray especially for the Anglican Communion in Japan, and its Primate, The Most Reverend Nathanial Makoto Uematsu.

We pray for Elizabeth, our Queen, as she shows us her resilience and continuity in these difficult times. We also remember our Prime Minister, giving thanks that he is recovered, and ask that our Government remains steadfast in their commitment to helping the whole population.

As the Diocese starts its search for a new Bishop, please use this prayer of discernment, from the Dean of Chelmsford, The Very Reverend Nicholas Henshall, to help those making the decision:

“God of provision and care, discernment and knowledge: lead us in your love, empower us by your Spirit, and equip us with your gifts; give us hearts full of love for all people, minds open to the signs of the times, and wisdom to know how to respond to the voice of your calling; We ask this through him whose  coming is certain, whose day draws near, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”

In our village, we thank everyone involved in the community support group, looking after the vulnerable and isolated; all at the surgery, and those staffing the local shops to enable us to shop safely. Also our post-men, refuse collectors and other front line workers. At this time we are particularly remembering all in the NHS and other care workers:

“Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and your wisdom to those searching for a cure. Strengthen them with your Spirit, that through their work many will be restored to health;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

“God of all wholeness and healing, we thank you with all our hearts for those who are working with selfless skill and dedication to sustain our National Health Service. Grant that they may receive the resources they require to meet the demands that each day brings. Keep them safe and healthy while at work, and bless their families and loved ones at home. Amen.”

A prayer from Salisbury Cathedral that seems appropriate for these times:

“Lighting a candle is a prayer: When we have gone it stays alight, kindling in the hearts and minds of others the prayers we have already offered for them and for others, for the sad, the sick, and the suffering, and prayers for thankfulness too.

Lighting a candle is a parable: burning itself out, it gives light to others. Christ gave himself to others. He calls us to give ourselves.

Lighting a candle is a symbol: of love and hope, of light and warmth. Our world needs them all. Amen.”

Finally, we remember our saints, Mary, Peter and Paul, in Great Bentley and St Osyth, and our vicar Rev’d Sharon.

Annabel Wylie

 For our prayers at home this week

  • We pray for the Rev’d Sharon on her road to recovery.
  • Please hold Nick fast in your prayers as his chemotherapy had to be cancelled on Tuesday and he awaits the results of a scan. He has a real need of our prayers.
  • As does Sue, please pray for her as she struggles in hospital with coronavirus, having just lost her husband a few weeks ago. Sue is an old friend of Mel and Tina’s, who are self isolating and can do little to practically support their friend.
  • We remember Jack Whittle and Sylvia Colmer who have died recently.
  • Pray for those in need of healing and long term prayerful support: Nick, Helen, Pamela, Chisato Takaya, Peggy, Nina Hatchett, Dominie and Graham, Sienna, Peter, Pamela and Jane Eade.
  • Pray for our village, the residents, visitors and staff of Five Stacks and Vyntoner House; the pupils, staff and administrators of our school, for those working at school and children of key workers, and those working at home; all those living and working in Meadow View, Mersea View, Mill Street, Nassau Road, New Way, Newton Gardens, Newton Way, & Norman Close
  • Pray for those affected by the coronavirus.
  • Pray for those who are key workers at this time, NHS staff, scientists and the government.

Let us join together in the prayer our Saviour taught us

The Lord’s Prayer

 REFLECTION

Gabrielle Urbain Faure was born in Palmiers in 1845 and died in Paris in 1924. He was an organist in Paris and professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire. He was also its director from 1905-1920. He was a prolific composer and was very highly revered by his countrymen. He taught many other composers, amongst them Ravel, Florent and Ducasse. This piece is from his very famous work, his requiem. If you have time, and that is

something we all seem to have a lot of at the moment, it is worth listening to the whole piece. It is very beautiful.

SERVICE - Third Sunday of Easter

Fiona ended our service last week with the very beautiful John Rutter setting of ‘For the Beautyof the Earth’.

 This year’s Church of England Live Lent Course drew attention to God’s wonderful and precious gift of the world in which we live and encouraged us each day to include an activity, however small, which honoured that gift by helping to preserve and value rather than destroy it. Sadly with so much delivery and click and collect with the consequent increase in plastic packaging at present I fear that some of our measures may have been put on hold.

The follow up Easter Pilgrim Course is exploring the meaningful words of The Lord’s Prayer – a prayer we often use with a familiarity which precludes really listening to what we are praying. With the first four most meaningful words we are accepting God as our father in heaven and that ‘despite the chaos and suffering around us and the pain within us we are deeply loved children of our maker’ echoed in the hymn by ‘For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies’,

During this time when so many of us are confined to our homes and gardens and many are lonely or ill, as Christians we take comfort in God’s beautiful creation around us and the love with which he holds us.

Penny Evans-Jones

THOUGHTS FROM THE ORGAN LOFT  by Fiona Bodmer

We are now coming to the end of 5 weeks of lockdown. I spent a wonderful day out with friends on 14th March and could not have believed that life would change so rapidly in such a short time. I have days which are good but I also have days when I feel down but I always try to pick myself up with some positive thinking. I try to keep a routine so I know what day it is, Monday is shopping, Tuesday is zoom book club etc. I am also trying to use some time  every day to learn something new.

However, this time has made me realise that it is not the things I used to enjoy but the people I did those things with. Humans are social beings and this is very hard on all of us. When this episode of our lives ends, and it will, I will treasure those interactions so much more and I hope the world will be a kinder place.

Please join us to sing this lovely hymn at 3pm.

 Brother, Sister, let me serve you

COLLECT

Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one

God, now and for ever.

READINGS

FIRST READING – Acts 2. 14a, 36-41:

Peter standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles. “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your

children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Glory to Christ our saviour

 GOSPEL – Luke 24. 13-35:

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them,  whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied,” The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these  things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him,” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them, took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

With thanks to Annabel Stern

SERMON

I do love these Easter readings – they are so comfortably familiar and yet however many times you hear them there  always seems to be new and relevant to say to us today.

Our reading tells us about 2 followers of Jesus, who were walking to Emmaus, they were deep in discussion as Jesus joined them in their journey, so intense was there conversation that they didn’t really look at Jesus as they walked and he had to ask the question – what are you talking about, why are you  getting so heated about it? OK my words but the same intention! They must have looked at him but in their grief and frustration at all that had happened, they did not recognise Jesus.

They begin with their disbelief that this person has not heard about the man of God who had been put to death.

They are quick to fill him in with the amazing story of women going to the tomb and finding that his body had gone!

Jesus then starts to explain to them all that needed to happen. I imagine that their journey must have flown by as they listened and started to understand God’s plan as Jesus reminded them of God’s work and his relationship with his people.

As they reached Emmaus and the 2 followers started to slow down – it looked like Jesus was going to continue his journey until they invite him to stay and share a meal with them. As Jesus took the bread, blessed it and broke it – they suddenly recognised him, and instantly Jesus vanished from their sight.

They could not believe it – such was their excitement that they had been travelling with Jesus, they decided to gather themselves and return to Jerusalem retracing every step of those 9 miles in order to find the other believers and share their news that Jesus made himself known to them in the breaking of the bread!

I know that it will be a while before we can come and worship together as the body of Christ and share in the breaking of bread and I am certain that you miss communion as much as I do but we must be reminded that this is just a moment in time,  God is always in a relationship with us, whether we are in Church or not.

It doesn’t matter where we pray, God hears and loves us more than we will ever know. God knows the strength we have because He gives it to us through his presence in our lives. All that is required in return is that we share it with others and make his name known.

Amen.

I am very much looking forward to us gathering and worshipping God together when it is safe for us to do so.

Until that time take care, keep safe and look after yourself.

The blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you now and remain with you always.

Reverend S Miles.

PRAYERS

Intercessions (26th April 2020) Prayers for our Time 

Loving and compassionate God, in this the third Week of Easter, we beseech you that you hear our prayers today for those whose lives are overshadowed by COVID-19, its spectre haunting their existence. We pray for those struck down by this disease and struggling to come to terms with its implications. Reach out into their turmoil and despair, and bring strength and hope. We pray for those who carry the virus but are not yet under its sentence, perhaps never becoming so, yet facing prejudice and fear, coupled with the knowledge that their closest relationships are clouded by the fear, or reality, of passing the disease on, reach out into their anxiety and isolation, and bring comfort and support.

Lord in your mercy

Lord, hear our prayer

Loving and compassionate God, we thank you for the work of our truly remarkable National Health Service – its consultants, clinicians, nurses, GPs, 999 dispatchers, paramedics, ambulance drivers, chaplains, cleaners, caterers, porters, technicians and support staff all those whose dedications and skills are providing a service that we often take so much for granted but need now like never before. Grant your blessing and equip and enable them in all they do, providing them with all the resources they need – physical, emotional and spiritual – to continue their work of healing support and comfort and especially in this time of peril. Work through them to express your loving care, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and reach out to them in the contrasting circumstances they will face – the joy of childbirth and heartbreak of bereavement, the delight of recovery and shock of bleak and terminal diagnoses, the exhilaration of an all-clear and trauma of surgery – so much hope and despair, faith and fear, so many joys and sorrows, beginnings and endings. In the midst of life they also walk in the shadow of death. Reach out to hold them Lord in your loving hand and reach out to heal.

Lord in your mercy

Lord, hear our prayer

Loving and compassionate God, hear our prayer for those who serve as carers for loved ones or for residents in care homes and hospices. Support them in their demanding ministry, often at great personal cost and through your blessing may they in turn be a blessing to those they care for and protect. When exhaustion overwhelms them, renew their vigour. When patience is tested, grant fortitude. When all seems bleak and fear takes hold, shed light and bring hope and the reserves to continue. When tears flow bring comfort. In all they do, may they be sustained by the knowledge that they too are loved, they too are cared for – above all by you.

Lord in your mercy

Lord, hear our prayer

Loving and compassionate God, we pray for those under the shadow of death from COVID-19, for those who weep, mourning those they’ve loved and lost; happiness that ran so deep followed now by such a cost. Each day brings now added pain, memories of times they knew, never to be shared again – life a case of getting through. When their hearts are fit to break – hurt too bitter to express – grant them solace, dull the ache, comfort them in their distress. In their anger, loss and shock, help them find in you a friend; in their turmoil be their rock, one on whom we can depend. Though they feel they cannot cope, gracious God, reach out to save; bring to each new life, new hope in your love, beyond the grave.

Lord in your mercy

Lord, hear our prayer

Loving and compassionate God, we pray for those on our pew sheet who are in poor health, especially those known to us, and those from St Mary’s Church Great Bentley in are unwell at this time. We remember all who have recently died including Sylvia Colmer and ask that you be with their friends and families especially at this time, when it may not be possible for them to say good-bye in person or attend funerals. 

Lord in your mercy

Lord, hear our prayer

Rejoicing in the fellowship of Saints Peter and Paul, St. Osyth and of all your saints, we commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Amen.

Let us join together in the prayer our saviour taught us

The Lord’s Prayer

 REFLECTION

Anton Bruckner was born in Austria in 1824 and died in Vienna in 1896. He was a popular church musician and concert organist and gave recitals in Paris and London as well as in Vienna. In his forties he settled in Vienna and devoted himself increasingly to composition producing many large scale works. This sacred motet  was written in 1869 and was used for the annual celebration of a Churches dedication. It is sung in Latin, but don’t panic!

The words translate as:

This place was made by God

A priceless sacrament:

It is without reproach.

Tenebrae are one of my favourite choral groups .Lead by Nigel Short, they bring life and musicality to church choral music.

SERVICE - Second Sunday of Easter

This second Sunday of Easter we find the disciples in lockdown. Unlike us they are not following instructions from the authorities but hiding from the authorities (for fear of the Jews). They fear that followers of Jesus will be arrested so they stay out of sight.

Then Jesus appears to them, they see him, see his wounds and hear his words and so believe he is risen. But Thomas is not with them when it happens (maybe he is out exercising or shopping or helping vulnerable people) and even though the other disciples tell him about everything they have seen he does not believe that Jesus has risen from the dead on just their words, he wants to see for himself. He has to wait a week before he has his chance and also sees the risen Christ and then of course he believes.

If we ask God to show us something we also have to sometimes wait for the answer.

Thoughts from the organ loft – Fiona Bodmer

As I write this I am looking out of the window at the sunshine and the beautiful cherry blossom. The spring flowers are in full bloom, the bird song is a delight to hear now there are less other noises to distract us. My cat has just come into the house with a mouse for me, how kind!

A friend sent me an email with an interesting observation. All of nature is carrying on as normal, only the humans are in cages. I understand from the clever scientists that the ozone layer is mending, air quality has improved and it seems that the planet is taking a big sigh and healing itself. I hope we can take this time of enforced isolation to join with the planet, take a big sigh and try to heal ourselves.

George Job Elvey was born in Canterbury in 1816. He was organist of St George’s Chapel, Windsor and wrote the music for this lovely hymn. The words were written by Matthew Bridges  (1800-1894). Please join us at 3pm to sing together.

 READING

https://youtu.be/mhb-lD9GIy0

COLLECT

Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen

SERMON FROM REV’D SHARON MILES

I do love this reading, it follows on directly from last week where Mary went to the tomb, and through the words of an angel and hearing Jesus say her name – came to believe that Jesus had risen. She then ran and told the disciples.

Today’s reading tells how Jesus shows himself to the disciples who were gathered together behind locked doors because they were fearful of what the Jews might do to them.

Jesus instantly identifies himself by showing the scars that caused his death, he shows his hands and his side. Once they had truly identified Jesus, they rejoiced that he was with them and they received the Holy Spirit and were commissioned by Jesus to forgive sins.

Thomas was the only disciple not present when Jesus appeared and although the disciples had told him, they had seen the Lord – it seemed too farfetched – for Thomas seeing was essential to his believing. I have to admit that I am a bit like that, I find it hard to get my head around things that simply don’t add up – and Jesus being nailed to a cross, having a spear thrust in his side and being seen taking his last breath, then being announced as living, breathing and visiting the other disciples would have me in a complete head spin.

That week must have had Thomas completely bewildered, the other disciples were acting as if Jesus was alive and yet how could he be? Then Thomas saw him, Jesus was present with them, without any door being opened to welcome him in. There was no need for introductions, no need for proof but still Jesus gave it. Thomas was invited to see the scars and to place his own fingers on them to check their validity. When Jesus invited Thomas with the following words ‘do not doubt but believe’ he made that great affirmation of faith – ‘My Lord and my God!’

I have no idea how you first came to know the presence of Jesus Christ in your life but I am sure that you will remember the first time that God became real to you. I am sure there will be special times in your journey that you have felt God’s warmth or strength or knowing that you are not facing something challenging or scary on your own. Sometimes the realisation of God or Jesus’ presence dawns after the event when you look back and wonder how on earth did I manage that?

The answer is that we didn’t manage on our own and we don’t have to manage on our own because wherever we are, there God is! He promises to never leave us and invites us to walk with him daily and to learn about and share his love with others around us.

It brings us all to that place where we can respond to the declaration ‘Alleluia, Christ is risen!’ with the words – He has risen indeed! Alleluia! because of our own personal relationship with our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

 INTERSESSIONS from Nicky Underwood

Dear God, in this the second Week of Easter we praise you God our Father who sent your son Jesus Christ and have given us great mercy as you raised him from death. We give thanks for The Word.  Let us rejoice that we are God’s chosen people and have been made holy by his spirit. Give us strength to live according to your word with hope in our hearts so that we can endure and accept suffering as a test of how real our faith is.  Let us be glad as we are filled with your blessings especially as we may be sad, especially at the present time, as we may face many  kinds of trials and sufferings. 

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

Let us give thanks to our Queen and ask you to  bless her especially at this time during the pandemic,  when she provides a living example to the nation self-isolating at Windsor Castle and for her special public address to the nation as head of state and head of the church, may your blessings be poured  on her as she encourages us to maintain self discipline and resolve so that we will succeed in our battle against Coronavirus (Covid-19) 

We also give thanks that Prime Minister Boris  Johnson is recovering from Covid 19, leaving hospital during the Easter weekend and is now convalescing; we pray for rapid restoration to good health to enable him to return to active duty as prime minister. We ask that you guide Mr Raab as he is deputising  for the prime minister. 

We give thanks for our church, our benefice and our community.  We give thanks to Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, for his work in transforming communities of Essex and East London through Christ’s presence during his time as Bishop of Chelmsford. We also give thanks for modern technology to enable his farewell  address to be delivered via social media on Easter Sunday; we ask you to bless him as he prepares for his new role as Archbishop of York.  At this time we ask you to pour out your healing power on our vicar Revd. Sharon and restore her to health. We also ask  you to continue to fill all church members and people of the world with your living hope that we can keep strong in faith as we are being faced with the trials and sufferings of Covid 19.  

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

We are blessed that we are part of a community where the individuals with diverse talents and skills are working together to enable care and kindness to be spread among us.  Let us rejoice that there are people actively working to help the vulnerable and that they know there are people out there who are  willing to help and care about them.  

We give thanks to you, for the gift of love, great Lord in love and wisdom….. Here are some extracts that come from the Month of April in Celia Haddon’s Year Book of Love and Wisdom. We pray that they will help us understand that at times we and others will suffer, but let these words help us know we are  not alone and ask you for your mercy as we endure difficult times. 

“Life is not easy for any of us. What does that matter? We must persevere and have confidence in ourselves. We must believe that our gifts were given to us for a purpose, and we must attain to that purpose, whatever the price we have to pay for it.”  (MARIE CURIE)

“He who will not suffer pain, will not achieve ease”(GAELIC PROVERB)

 “It is a good old rule to hope for the best. Always believe things to be right til’ you find them to the contrary; and then endeavour to put up with them the best you can if you cannot alter them. Never anticipate evils.” (adapted from W Hazlitt)  

Lord in your mercy

Lord, Hear our prayer

We pray for those on our pew sheet who are in  poor health, especially those known to us, those from St Mary’s Church Great Bentley and those listed on our pew sheet. We remember all who have recently died including Yrina Morgan-Kendall and Graham Rouse and please God be with their friends and families and also with those who lost loved ones, especially at this time, with Covid 19, when it may not be possible to say good-bye in person or attend funerals.  We give thanks and praise to those who are doing it on their behalf (e.g. carers and NHS staff) and  ask that you pour out your love on them to give them the strength to continue to do so . We pray that in their dying they may find the greatest healing of all as they come into your presence.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Amen

We bring all our prayers together in the prayer our saviour taught us. The Lord’s Prayer.

 REFLECTION

John Rutter is an English composer and conductor who was born in 1945.He read music at Clare College, Cambridge and had his first compositions published as an undergraduate.He founded the Cambridge Singers in 1981 and has recorded many choral works including his own compositions with this choir. He worked closely with Sir David Wilcox on the very successful series of books Carols for Choirs, which we use regularly in church at Christmas. This is a particularly beautiful composition which I hope you enjoy. It reminds me of happier times. Do sing along if you know it!

 THE PEACE

The peace of God which passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and the love of God.

And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit  keep us and all we love, this day and for eternity. AMEN

Easter Sunday 2020

Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

I am sure we are all wondering what is happening in these difficult times!  Our Prime Minister is currently in intensive care and this virus takes no account of age, race, wealth or religion. I remember some wonderful Easter Sunday mornings in our church, excited children full of chocolate, the scent of lillies filling the church and singing rousing, joyful hymns. I am sure we will be able to experience those times again once we can get through the weeks ahead.

There are so many lovely hymns to sing on Easter day, but I have chosen a rousing version of “Thine be the glory”. Please join us at  3pm so we can sing this together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoV5w2Qfag

Some words from Bishop Stephen from the Diocese website:

“We are living through extraordinary days and we are all adjusting to how to do church differently in response to the coronavirus. It’s important that the  Church continues to offer hope and comfort to its communities in this difficult time for our world.”

“We are still called to serve those inside and outside the church, and to have care for the most vulnerable.”

“May God bless you this Easter with a new knowledge of his love for you and his purpose for your life. And may God lead us through this time of isolation and waiting to new adventures and to resurrection life.”

On Easter Sunday at 3.30 pm, after we have all sung, Bishop Stephen’s last service from Chelmsford Cathedral will be available:

Face Book Premiere www.facebook.com/chelmsdio

You Tube premiere www.youtube.com/user/chelmsforddiocese

There are also 173 churches in Chelmsford diocese that are live-streaming services, log on to www.achurchnearyou.com to find out more.

Please join us in the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father, who art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,

on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

 And forgive us our trespasses

 as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, the Power and the Glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen

A prayer from the C of E website:

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour, and to care for those in need, as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love,  and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen.

Finally, a favourite from Annabel, A prayer for peace of mind:

Lord, thou knowest my cares and my fears. Help me to turn them all over to thee, who hast promised to give rest to our souls. Grant to me now a restful spirit and a peaceful mind, and in quietness and confidence and faith, to find new strength. Amen.

The prayer of St Ignatius Loyola:

Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest, To give and not to count the cost, To fight and not to heed the wounds, To toil and not to seek for rest, To labour and to ask for no reward, Save that of knowing that we do thy  will. Amen

FIRST READING – Acts 10.34-43:

Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but

God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

COLLECT

Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame to old order of sin and death
to make all thing new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.
Amen

GOSPEL – Matthew 28. 1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’

So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

SERMON from Rev’d Sharon

 Our season of Lent this year has truly been like no other!

Lent is usually a time where, as a worshipping community we focus on preparing ourselves for the events of Holy Week, the foot washing of the disciples on Maundy Thursday, Jesus’ trial and death on Good Friday, and of course the good news of the empty tomb on Easter Day.

All as we expected but this year has been nothing like what we have ever experienced before. I had never expected to live in a time when Church doors would lock people out. That there would not be a place of silence and calm where we can remember others before God.

It is, however, incredibly uplifting when you hear about so many people being there for others in so many different ways, since the outbreak of Coronavirus here in the UK and particularly in this village and Parish. Those who make phone calls to check others are well and coping with being confined to barracks and to remind them that they are not forgotten. The many different people who have and who still are delivering shopping or medication to those who have had to isolate. The village people looking after and serving the Village! Many thanks to all those who have enabled all of this to happen!

This difficult time that we find ourselves in is allowing us to explore what it truly means to be a Christian, allowing the way we live out our faith to make a real difference in the lives of others around us and drawing us closer to where God wants us to be. We also need to share what we believe, the truth of Jesus Christ, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the work that God has called us to be involved in.

Today’s reading about Mary at the tomb and finding the stone rolled away, we have all heard many times before, but it feels like I am hearing it for the first time, maybe because of the times we find ourselves in now with too many lives being lost each day to Corona Virus, maybe that feeling of how do we get through this? Just remember we get through things, not on our own by our own strength, but through the love and power of our Triune God – Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

EASTER DAY INTERCESSIONS – from Danny Wright

We have witnessed the suffering, the desolation and the sacrifice of Our Lord and his time resting in his tomb. Today we celebrate with great joy Christ our King has risen.

We give great thanks that we have been given the opportunity to be made aware of, and believe in, this wonderful event and what it truly means to us in our life as Christians.

Today our celebrations are somewhat muted as we experience lockdown and isolation due to coronavirus, which is sadly impinging on our normal fellowship, but in some ways we are witnessing great acts of selflessness, loving care and consideration from people in the frontline dealing with this nasty, life threatening disease. That valour exemplifies the love and sacrifice that Jesus not only spoke of but also displayed in his life and death.

We thankfully pray for those individuals, some of whom have unfortunately given their lives in service, and ask Lord that we do all that we can to support and comfort them during this time and remember this service in times to come.

Lord in Your Mercy

Hear Our Prayer

Being denied access to our Church and the fellowship of attending Sunday Service is hard for us but it is also opportune to reflect that there are Christians in our world that experience lockdown and isolation as a normal way of life. We therefore pray for them and entrust that with the current circumstances enabling worship to be conducted in different ways that their needs are being met and that they will feel part of a wider fellowship.

We also pray for those who have been unable to attend normal church services but who are finding solace and comfort in the on-line services being made available. May their needs be met, and their faith grow.

Lord in Your Mercy

Hear Our Prayer

We pray for our country, our government and for all those undertaking varied roles that are sustaining us in this time of unprecedented crisis.

We pray for our communities and the way they are coming together at this time.

We pray for all those who are sick in our community. Many of whom are known to us personally and are included on our prayer sheet, but we would especially remember Nick Lee and Jane Eade.

We give thanks that Rev Sharon has been discharged from hospital and that she is now recuperating at home.

Finally, we remember all those that have, sadly, died recently including Yrina Morgan-Kendall and Graham Rouse. May they rest in peace. Please be with their families, friends and colleagues and provide comfort and support as these times mean it is difficult for loved ones to comfort one another in the normal manner.

Lord in Your Mercy

Hear Our Prayer

 Rejoicing in the fellowship of Saints Peter and Paul, St. Osyth and St.Mary’s Great Bentley, and of all your saints, we commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

 THE PEACE

The peace of God which passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and the love of God. And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit keep us and all we love this day and for eternity.

Some of you will know that we were planning a scratch choir for Easter day. We were to practice an anthem on Good Friday afternoon and join together on Easter Sunday morning to sing the anthem at Great Bentley during the 9.30 service and again at St Osyth during the 11 am service.

George Frederic Handel wrote the tune for our hymn today and the anthem is from his famous work, The Messiah. Handel was originally a violinist in Hamburg. At the age of 21 he went to Italy and acquired a reputation as a keyboard performer. He moved to London and was occupied in opera composition, influenced by his Italian roots. However, it is his oratorios which retain popularity to this day. His famous Messiah was written in 1741, and the anthem is taken from this wonderful piece of music. 

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