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News from and about St Mary’s, Aberfoyle

Sunday Service for 20th September 2020

With Grateful thanks to Revd Canon Alison Peden

Pentecost 16  September 20th   2020

“Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  (Phil. 1:27)

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

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: the first commandment is this:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love
the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this:  “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.       Amen.  Lord, have mercy.

Gloria:   Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s 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 sin 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, you have created the heavens and the earth, and ourselves in your image.  Teach us to discern your hand in all your works and to serve you with reverence and thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Reading:    Philippians 1:21-30
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 
I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Gospel:  Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus said, ‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 
When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.”  He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 
Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 
But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I


not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’

Reflection:  
As the end of the UK furlough scheme approaches, we may wonder how those who have worked ‘as normal’ since March may feel about those paid to stay at home and not work.  It’s tempting to feel envious of others whose lot seems to be better than ours, whether it’s to do with work, health, relationships or just general quality of life.

Jesus described a situation in which some labourers in the vineyard thought that they had been given a raw deal when others who had worked for only a fraction of the day received the same wage as them.
The landowner said, “Are you envious because I am generous?”  The original text reads, “Is your eye evil because I am good?”

Jesus and his contemporaries thought that sight comes from the light within the body, which is sent out when you look at someone or something.  Hence the idea that looking with envy or malice sends out a curse – the ‘evil eye’.  He said (Matt. 6:22-23) that the eye is the lamp of the body, full of moral light or darkness.  Looking with envy at someone would thus be sending out evil, stirring a response of anger or worry in others and damaging relationships. 

In any case, we rarely know what life is really like for others, and the so-called ‘idle’ labourers may have been trying all day to find work somewhere, fearful that their families would starve if they failed. But the landowner was imaginative enough about their situation to have compassion on them, paying them what they needed to live.

For Jesus, that generous landowner was God, who knows us through and through and gives us all the grace and love we need in our particular situation.  The Kingdom of Heaven comes on earth when we are confident enough in God’s love for us that we have no need to be envious or stingy at all.


Prayers
Heavenly Father, we hold before you all who work, often in difficult situations, and at this time with great uncertainty.  We remember those who have lost their jobs or fear that they will, and who worry about their responsibilities. Guide with compassion all who seek to support and direct them, and dispel the prejudices that hinder them.
Lord graciously hear us.

May your healing presence rest on those who have heavy burdens to bear:  the pain of illness and disability; the sadness of loss and bereavement;  the fear of repression and prejudice; the dark valleys of the soul in these troubled times.
Lord graciously hear us.

Send your grace upon your Church as we try to proclaim our faith and hope when so much of our congregational life is constrained.  Help us to notice the beauty of your world and to rejoice in your steadfast love.  Teach us the wisdom that it is only in losing ourselves in service that we truly find ourselves.   Help us to ‘ live our lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ’, loving others as you love us.
Lord graciously hear us.

Bless Bishop Ian, and all the congregations of this diocese, those who worship at home and those who can attend services in person.  We give you thanks for the privilege of our spiritual freedom and remember those who live in fear persecution for their faith.
Lord graciously hear us.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers which we offer in the power of the Spirit and in the name of your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen

The Great Thanksgiving
Let us lift up our hearts and give thanks to the Lord our God,
for it is right to give our thanks and praise.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!

Worship and praise belong to you, Father, in every place and at all times.  All power is yours. You created the heavens and established
the earth; you sustain in being all that is.
In Christ your Son our life and yours are brought together in a wonderful exchange. He made his home among us that we might
for ever dwell in you. Through your Holy Spirit you call us to new birth
in a creation restored by love.
As children of your redeeming purpose we offer you our praise,
with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven,
singing the hymn of your unending glory:
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.

Glory and thanksgiving be to you, most loving Father, for the gift of your Son born in human flesh. He is the Word existing beyond time, both source and final purpose, bringing to wholeness all that is made.
Obedient to your will he died upon the Cross. By your power
you raised him from the dead. He broke the bonds of evil and
set your people free to be his Body in the world.

On the night when he was given up to death, knowing that his hour had come, having loved his own, he loved them to the end. At supper with his disciples he took bread and offered you thanks. He broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying: “Take, eat. This is my Body: it is broken for you.” After supper, he took the cup, he offered you thanks, and gave it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new covenant; it is poured out for you, and for all, that sins may be forgiven. Do this in remembrance of me.” We now obey your Son’s command. We recall his blessed Passion and death, his glorious resurrection and ascension; and we look for the coming of his Kingdom. Made one with him, we offer you ourselves, a single, holy, living sacrifice. Hear us, most merciful Father, and send your Holy Spirit upon us that, overshadowed by his life-giving power, we may be kindled with the fire of your love and renewed for the service of your Kingdom.

Help us, who are baptised into the fellowship of Christ’s Body to live and work to your praise and glory; may we grow together in unity and love until at last, in your new creation, we enter into our heritage in the company of the Virgin Mary, the apostles and prophets, and of all our brothers and sisters living and departed.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be to you, Lord of all ages,
world without end. Amen.

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. 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.

The Communion:   draw close to Christ in spirit and thanksgiving,
and be nourished by his presence with you and within you. 

Closing prayer:    Christ the lowly and meek, Christ the all-powerful,
                                            be in the heart of each to whom I speak,
                                             in the mouth of each who speaks to me,
                                    in all who draw near to me, or see me, or hear me.
                                                                                                

Romanian grape- pickers

Sunday Service for 13th September 2020

Pentecost 15

“No one is undeserving of forgiveness, and this includes you.”   (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

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

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: the first commandment is this:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love
the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this:  “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.       Amen.  Lord, have mercy.

Gloria:   Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s 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 sin 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, you call your Church to witness that in Christ we are reconciled to you.  Help us so to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may turn to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen

Reading:    Genesis 50:15-21
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’ So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, “Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Gospel:  Matthew 18: 21-35
Then Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.  For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 
But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 
Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

Reflection:   There is much helpful material to ponder this Sunday on the website ‘The Edge of the Enclosure’ – http://www.edgeofenclosure.org/proper19a.html

Here is one passage quoted there, from The Book of Forgiving by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, who were deeply involved in the work of reconciliation after apartheid in South Africa:

“When we forgive ourselves, we also free ourselves from a cycle of punishment and retribution directed at ourselves.  This is not to say we are not responsible and accountable for our actions.  If I come into your house and steal your belongings, I cannot then go home and say, “Well, I forgive myself, so all is right in the world.”

Learning from the past is not the same as being held hostage by what we have been done.  At some stage we must let go of the past and begin again.  We have said repeatedly that no one is undeserving of forgiveness, and this includes you.

I know it can be difficult to offer ourselves the forgiveness we can so freely give to others.  Perhaps we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the standard to which we hold other people.  (If we think carefully, we recognise this double standard as a small piece of arrogance:  ‘I am a better person than he or she is, so I should behave better’.)

None of us is perfect, but we can perfect the art of learning from our past mistakes, and we can perfect the art of self-forgiveness.  This is how we grow and change, and, ultimately, begin anew.”

Prayers
Eternal God, we have learned so little from the ancient wisdom of Israel we find in your Word. Help us to turn and follow in your ways.

We pray especially for an end to war and violence, the demonising of enemies and the use of brute force to resolve differences.  May each side in world conflicts recognise their own faults and seek peace.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our own country and the communities around us. 
May we grow in wisdom through the struggles of this present time, changing what needs to be changed and holding fast to what is good and just.  Give us generous hearts that do not measure out limited forgiveness or hold grudges.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who cannot forgive themselves for what they have done.  Heal the hearts of those who have committed crimes, who have hurt others badly, who have not lived the lives they expected of themselves.  May we all learn how to begin anew.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for your Church, Lord, that it may be a place of forgiveness, humility and new life.  Open us to those we regard as outsiders;  help us to live in peace with those who have different views from ours, and bring us all under the gentle rule of your merciful grace.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers which we offer in the power of the Spirit and in the name of your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen

Confession:
God is love and we are God’s children. There is no room for fear
in love. We love because God loved us first.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

                        Silence  

God our Father, we confess to you and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ that we have sinned in thought, word
and deed, and in what we have failed to do.  We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins, and deliver us from the power of evil,
for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

God, who is both power and love, forgive us and free us from our sins, heal and strengthen us by the Holy Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.  Amen

The Thanksgiving Prayer used for the Reserved Sacrament service:

We thank you, Lord our God, for this world which you have given us;
you never cease to make it new, and you call us to work with you; 
you accept the work of our hands.

R. Glory to you for ever

You have made humankind in your image;  each one of us is fashioned in your likeness, and we are able to recognise your face in the faces of our brothers and sisters.

R. Glory to you for ever

You have never desired to live apart from us, and you have taught us
to know you through the Law and the Prophets, the Apostles and Evangelists, who told us the marvellous story of your love.

R. Glory to you for ever

And you have come to us in your Son, Jesus Christ. In him you  
walked along our roads, looked at us with human eyes, did the kind of things that we do, and shared with us the joy that can never be lost.

R. Glory to you for ever

Now you give us his very life, and we give ourselves to you.
Through the death and resurrection of your Son, through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us, we can make you our eternal home.

R. Glory to you for ever

So, with all Christians who are gathered together today everywhere, throughout the world, and with the great procession of your Saints,
as brothers and sisters we pray to you,

as our Saviour has taught us:

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. 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.

The Communion:   draw close to Christ in spirit and thanksgiving,
and be nourished by his presence with you and within you. 

Closing prayer:  May the God of peace make us perfect and holy,
and may we be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God has called us and will not fail us. Amen   (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

_________________

This well-known hymn was sung at Westminster Abbey at the Commonwealth Day Service in 2017 – you can see and hear it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1MN3chW1Hk

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways!
Re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise; in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word,
rise up and follow thee; rise up and follow thee.

Drop thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace; the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm; O still, small voice of calm.

Sunday 30th August – Open Service at St Mary’s at 11.15 am

Opening Up St Mary’s for Sunday Services

Good News !

Our first service at St Mary’s will be at 11.15 am on Sunday 30th August 2020


We are very grateful to Bill Rootes, who has agreed to take this service for us.  He will be at St Andrew’s before taking our service and is travelling down to both Churches from some distance away.  He is taking a lot of trouble to help us.  So a big thank you to him

I attach below some notes which I hope wil let you know what to expect. 

Things will be a bit different and strange until we get use to new routines. 

I do hope that you all feel it safe to come.  We have all the precautions and protocols in place and approved by the Diocese.

After the 30th August, we can review what we need in terms of service frequency.  But Bill is happy to take a service for us at both Churches each Sunday, should we wish that.

Best wishes to all

Mark Seymour
Secretary to st Mary’s Vestry

Tel  01786 870710


 
St Mary’s – Covid19
Notes for the Congregation
 
We have consent to open the Church for Private Prayer and for Sunday Services,  But you will find that things will be significantly different to what you are used to.  We have to keep physically distant from each other; we cannot sing ; so no sung hymns (we might be able to hum to a couple with organ accompaniment); you will need to wear a face covering, and much else.

If you attend St Mary’s for Private prayer or for a Sunday Service, you will be asked To wear a face covering at all times inside the Church To Complete a Contact Tracing form – in which you confirm that you and your household are free from Covid-19 Symptoms, and consent to have your details passed to NHS Scotland if necessary To Maintain a 2 meter Physical Distance from all others both inside and outside the Church To Sanitise your hands on entering and on exit To adhere to the one way system.  Entrance via the Porch.  Exit via the Vestry Not to touch or use any Hymn Book, Bible or any of the other books or leaflets To Use the one time service sheet provided Not to touch the pew ends as you go up or down the aisle, if possible Not to touch the Altar rail during Communion, if possible To inform the Secretary should you or any of your household develop Covid-19 Symptoms  within 5 days after the service To use the passing places, so as to avoid close contact with others You will be asked, by an Usher,  to go up to the Altar (for those wanting to receive the Eucharist) one by one.  You will stand and be offered a wafer by the celebrant, but no wine.
 
 
Notes
 
Please take care to adhere to the correct physical distancing from others as you arrive and leave, including in the access road and car park
There will be no collection during the service.  Please use the Collection plate as you leave.
There will be a disposable one time service sheet each week
The WC in the Vestry will be out of use – except in an emergency. Take precautions before coming if you can please
 
 

Margaret Newman & Dudley Robertson

Margaret Newman & Dudley Robertson

For those who were unable to attend, we thought that you might like to have the Eulogies given by Richard at the funerals of Margaret and Dudley Robertson
Alison thoughtfully suggested that I might write about the funeral services held for Dudley Robertson and Margaret Newman last week. I am grateful for this and to Bishop Ian for allowing me to conduct them.


Dudley’s family and friends are spread far and wide. Because of present restrictions, many were unable to be present. The service at Stirling Crematorium held on the 24th July was therefore streamed.
Words written by John Bunyan sum up Dudley’s life to perfection. Bunyan was an irrepressible seventeenth century itinerate preacher imprisoned for twelve years by order of the King. Whilst in Bedford prison he penned the text of Pilgrims Progress and within it these words later adapted as a hymn. He who would valiant be gains’t all disaster
A good deal of disaster affected Dudley’s life.  His days as an active sportsman ended with the loss of a leg. He became a widower soon after marrying his first wife. Later ill-health reoccurred, necessitating dialysis and even greater loss of mobility.
Bunyan’s hymn continues ‘Hobgoblin nor foul fiend shall daunt his spirit’.  Dudley, like Bunyan exhibited vast reserves of fortitude and never held a grudge against the twists and turns of life’s path. Every problem that arose, and there were many, was solved with a solution.  When, for example immobility affected his golf swing, Dudley simply modified his stroke to enable him still to win a cherished cup.
He was greatly loved everywhere not least by his sisters Fiona and Christine. He made and retained lifelong friends, especially his late brothers in law Derek and Colin. It gave him special pleasure to have brokered their respective marriages to, as he teasingly called them, his ugly sisters.  With no children of his own, he stood as a beloved father figure to his nephews and nieces.
Dudley travelled extensively by sea and so held the role of the RNLI in great respect. He worked as a tireless fundraiser. The Institute expressed its gratitude with the award of a silver medal and by sending a representative to the service.
The hymn ‘Eternal Father’ was played before a reading of Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’ The poem, rich in nautical metaphor, speaks about life’s journey
Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
 
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
 
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
 
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.


Margaret Newman always envisaged her funeral to be at St Andrews and would include her favourite hymn, ‘There is a Green Hill’ far away’ This was penned by Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander, who also wrote ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and ‘Once in Royal David’s city’. Mrs Alexander married a clergyman, who ultimately became Primate of Ireland. They lived in Derry, Margaret’s birthplace. Mrs. Alexander was of humble disposition and disliked praise and flattery. She died greatly beloved by many she had helped by her kindness. A stained glass window in her memory was installed in the north vestibule of St Columb’s Cathedral in Derry which Margaret knew well.
Perhaps Margaret was inspired by Mrs. Alexander because she possessed all her attributes in abundance.  Margaret’s patient devotion to Crossroads, a local charity, was just one example of her many gifts.
Margaret was interred at the Port of Menteith with her beloved husband Colin who died in 2009. Colin was responsible for the renovation of St Andrews in 2005. They are now reunited. Deo gratis.
 
 


 

St Mary’s Service for Sunday 21st June 2020

Trinity 2

Sunday 21st June 2020

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Collect

Faithful Creator,

whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you

and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospel

Matthew 10:34-39

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[b]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The Sermon

The church is in Ordinary Time, when, in the absence of major festivals and celebration, believers are encouraged to ponder fundamental aspects of faith. Perhaps the most crucial is one of precedence. Who or what has first claim upon a believer’s love, talents, and other resources?

The teaching of scripture is quite clear. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; said Jesus (Matthew 6:24) A similarly unequivocal message is conveyed by today’s gospel. “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’

Christ’s teaching may be a surprise, as one of the Ten Commandments decrees that parents should be honoured. Furthermore, children and friends are God’s gifts in creation. Surely these might be accorded equally the love and affection that is given to God?

Should we choose to place love and devotion to anything or anybody on an equal footing to our love for God, then we enter an imaginary love triangle with its attendant difficulties. As in any triangle, it will have three points. The first will be God and the second, ourselves. The third will be the object with which or whom we choose to share our love and devotion.

The pitfalls of any love triangle are illustrated by an extraordinary three-cornered relationship that existed during the last century. It was unwittingly formed by Carrington, an artist. From her time as a student, she was known simply by her surname as she considered her first, Dora, to be “vulgar and sentimental” In 1916, Carrington met the writer, Lytton Strachey at a house party.  Struggling to make a reputation at the time, he would later establish it with the publication of “Eminent Victorians” Carrington was initially repulsed by Strachey’s unfashionably long beard. Early next morning, she crept to his bedroom with scissors, determined to remove the offending object. Instead she fell in love with the slumbering figure. In the following year Carrington and Strachey set up house together at Tidmarsh Mill House, in Berkshire.

Later, Carrington was introduced by her brother to a university friend, Ralph Partridge. Partridge fell in love with Carrington and, in the hope of nourishing courtship, spent weekends at Tidmarsh planting a vegetable garden. Carrington though was too absorbed with painting and keeping house to reciprocate Ralph’s attentions, but not so Lytton.  He cherished Ralph, and his presence at the house became necessary for his comfort and inspiration.  Fearing Lytton’s peace of mind should Ralph ever leave Tidmarsh, Carrington reluctantly agreed to marry Ralph. Strachey paid for their wedding and accompanied them on honeymoon.  

Later, the three moved to Ham Spray House in Wiltshire. Partridge’s frustration, created by his wife’s divided loyalties, slowly drove him to seek the affection of another woman.  Thenceforth, during the week Ralph lived in London but resumed his married life at Ham Spray with Carrington at weekends. Lytton affected by Ralph’s increasing absence found solace by taking rooms near him in London. He too returned to Ham Spray at weekends. Left largely on her own, Carrington’s life became diminished and empty of purpose. Thus she turned to Bernard Penrose a friend of Ralph. The affair initially energized Carrington’s artistic creativity.  Penrose in time demanded Carrington’s affection exclusively: she though demurred for both Strachey and Ralph were still claiming her being. Penrose departed from Carrington’s life opening the void still further.  Shortly after, Lytton became terminally ill and was nursed by Carrington.  For two months after his death, she struggled with a tangle of emotion. With a gun borrowed to ostensibly keep rabbits from the vegetable garden, Carrington died.

What is the most important relationship and who or what is loved the most? After reading today’s gospel the answer should be obvious. Life alas is never that simple.

My late father was inordinately proud of his son’s struggles to qualify as a solicitor. He carried a newspaper cutting in his wallet for anyone who showed an interest. Some years later, I felt a call to ordination. I still recall my father’s bitter disappointment. This was my own love triangle. We are commanded to love Christ more than our own parents. In short, we love each other best when we love God most.

Reflection

  • Whoever loves power, reputation, or wealth more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves country and flag more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves politics, agendas, or ideology more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves church, denomination, beliefs and practices more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves self more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves anyone or anything more than me is not worthy of me.

    The Prayer

    Guide me Lord to know what is worthwhile, that I may acquire strength through the power of truth. As I am going to rest tonight Lord take full control of my life. Wake me with strength and wisdom to continue with the new day. Amen

Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Hymn – Listen on YouTube ?

  1     Take my life, and let it be
            consecrated, Lord, to thee;
        take my moments and my days,
            let them flow in ceaseless praise.

   2       Take my hands, and let them move
            at the impulse of thy love;
        take my feet, and let them be
            swift and beautiful for thee.

   3       Take my voice, and let me sing
            always, only, for my King;
        take my lips, and let them be
            filled with messages from thee.

   4       Take my silver and my gold;
            not a mite would I withhold;
        take my intellect, and use
            every power as thou shalt choose.

   5       Take my will, and make it thine:
            it shall be no longer mine;
        take my heart: it is thine own;
            it shall be thy royal throne.

   6       Take my love; my Lord, I pour
            at thy feet its treasure-store;
        take myself, and I will be
            ever, only, all for thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879)

 Frances Havergal was born into an Anglican family, at Astley in Worcestershire. Her father, William was a clergyman. She led a quiet life, but not enjoying consistent good health.

Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a talented pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, she maintained a simple faith and never wrote a line of poetry without first praying over it.

One of the lines of her hymn asks, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” Frances wrote to a friend, The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

Blessing

Lord God,
we rejoice in your greatness and power,
your gentleness and love,
your mercy and justice.
Enable us by your Spirit
to honour you in our thoughts,
and words and actions,
and to serve you in every aspect of our lives;

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us always
Amen.

Sunday Service 14th June – First after Trinity

The first Sunday after Trinity

Sunday 14th June 2020

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Collect

Lord Jesus Christ,

we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament

you have given us the memorial of your passion:

grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries

of your body and blood

that we may know within ourselves

and show forth in our lives

the fruits of your redemption;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Gospel

John 6:51-58

51 I am the living bread(A) that came down from heaven.(B) Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”(C)

52 Then the Jews(D) began to argue sharply among themselves,(E) “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh(F) of the Son of Man(G) and drink his blood,(H) you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.(I) 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.(J) 57 Just as the living Father sent me(K) and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”(L)

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The Sermon

The second phase of the Church year begins today.  As previously explained, the Sunday Gospels between Advent and Trinity have been akin to jigsaw pieces which, when assembled, depict a picture of Christ on earth. During this time, church colours both on the altar and celebrant change frequently: mauve for Lent, red on Palm Sunday and Pentecost, and white during the seasons of Christmas and Easter.  Now in this second phase, the colour will remain predominantly green, a period known as Ordinary Time. Like animals in a field, believers are at leisure to graze the scriptures meditatively and reflect upon other aspects of faith.  One, for example, is the significance of Corpus Christi, observed by the church upon the Thursday following Trinity.

One of the last letters received from David Miller before his death was concern about the weekly Eucharist. As the sacrament was being celebrated so frequently, he feared that receiving the body and blood of Christ was becoming as routine and perfunctory as brushing teeth after a meal. David was quite justified in his questioning and bears testimony to his thoughtful and deep faith.

Until the 1960’s, the Communion service was an exception rather than the rule. Matins and evensong were the staple Sunday services, with perhaps Holy Communion just once a month. After that point, its frequency grew to become the focal point of Sunday worship.  As David mused, regularity and routine risk indifference.  For that very reason The Church of Scotland celebrates the Sacrament perhaps just four or five times a year.  

David’s thoughts and fears accord with those of Juliana of Liège, a 13th-century Norbertine canoness. Orphaned at the age of five, she was entrusted to the care of Augustinian nuns at a convent, where Juliana, in adult life, developed a special veneration for the act of Holy Communion. She feared too that through familiarity, its deepest meaning would become flawed. In 1208, she saw a vision of Christ in which she was instructed to plead for the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi, a time when believers might be reminded anew of the greatest gift of Christ. Eventually she confided the vision to her confessor, who in turn relayed it to the Bishop of Liège.  In 1246 Bishop Robert ordered a celebration of Corpus Christi.  In time Corpus Christi became included in the calendar of the Anglican Church.

The act of Communion began at the Last Supper when Jesus gave the disciples bread and wine as his body and blood in anticipation of his death the next day. Thus, the Eucharist takes place under the shadow of the cross and so commemorating Jesus’ death and the sacrificial love which Jesus showed both during his life and in his death. Members of Christ’s body commit to a life of self-sacrificing love and the receiving of Communion should nourish that resolve.

 Food from our tables strengthens and sustains. The Eucharist though is not consumption of physical food. Christ chose the form and the imagery of a meal, and the symbolism of eating and drinking, as the way of continuing his active, transforming presence among his followers. It is a reminder that Christ is the source of our life and health, similar to the way that ordinary food gives physical life and health. We can though only appreciate this symbolism if we treat the Eucharist as partaking in the extraordinary, rather than the ordinary.

The closing of churches has of course given new emphasis to Corpus Christi.  Easter and Pentecost in particular have passed without a service of Holy Communion. Am I the only one anguished to view the cup and wafer standing unshared in the course of the Provincial Zoom service?  As I write, there is still no indication when churches might fully open again. What safeguards might be required before Communion can again be celebrated? We can only hope and pray. One of the rare benefits of lockdown might be to cherish anew the sacrament of sharing one with another the body and blood of Christ our Saviour.

Reflection

by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI 2005-13

What does Corpus Christi mean to me? It does not only bring the liturgy to mind:

for me, it is a day on which heaven and earth work together. In my mind’s eye it

is the time when spring is turning into summer; the sun is high in the sky, and

crops are ripening in field and meadow. The Church’s feasts make present the

mystery of Christ, but Jesus Christ was immersed in the faith of the people of

Israel and so, arising from this background in Israel’s life, the Christian feasts are

also involved with the rhythm of the year, the rhythm of seedtime and harvest.

How could it be otherwise in a liturgy which has at its centre the sign of bread,

fruit of earth and heaven? Here this fruit of the earth, bread, is privileged to be

the bearer of him in whom heaven and earth, God and man have become one.

The Prayer

Let us pray for the willingness to make present in our world the love of Christ shown to us in the Eucharist, Lord Jesus Christ,
we worship you living among us
in the sacrament of your body and blood.
May we offer to our Father in heaven
a solemn pledge of undivided love.
May we offer to our brothers and sisters
a life poured out in loving service of that kingdom where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever.

Amen

Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

Todays hymn Listen on YouTube ? Just skip the Ads – sorry

   1    Jesu, thou joy of loving hearts,
            thou fount of life, thou light of men;
        from the best bliss that earth imparts
            we turn unfilled to thee again.

   2       Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
            thou savest those that on thee call;
        to them that seek thee thou art good,
            to them that find thee, all in all.

   3       We taste thee, O thou living bread,
            and long to feast upon thee still;
        we drink of thee, the fountain-head,
            and thirst our souls from thee to fill.

   4       Our restless spirits yearn for thee,
            where’er our changeful lot is cast,
        glad when thy gracious smile we see,
            blest when our faith can hold thee fast.

   5       O Jesu, ever with us stay;
            make all our moments calm and bright;
        chase the dark night of sin away;
            shed o’er the world thy holy light.

Ray Palmer (1808–1887)
based on Jesu, dulcedo cordium, (Latin, 12th century)

The nineteenth century witnessed a renewed interest amongst hymn compilers for those dating from the medieval period. This hymn was written by Bernard of Clairvaux, a twelfth century nobleman and translated by Ray Palmer, an American pastor in 1858.

Blessing

Christ, who has nourished us with himself the living bread,

make us one in praise and love,

and raise us up at the last day;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among us and remain with us always.

Amen


This weeks Resources from the Diocese

Newsletter for St Mary’s – 6th June 2020

News from St Mary’s

6th June 2020

Letter from Bishop Ian  5th June 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

Pentecost is the feast of the ’new normal,’ life in the Spirit poured out on the apostles and on all creation. As we celebrated Pentecost this year people were talking about a different ‘new normal’ – our life after the Pandemic. When we rebuild our lives, will we have a better sense of what is important? Or will we just rush back to the same old life? What will ‘new normal’ mean for the Church? What will our priorities be? How will we welcome those who have been joining us online? How will we support those who are sad about people and things that have been lost? What will we need to do if we are to open our churches but keep people safe? 

A week ago over 40 clergy and lay readers shared in an online CMD Conference about exactly these questions, organised for us by Michael Paterson. Our discussions began from his reflections on the Four Hallmarks of Ministry in Luke 24 (Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus) in the context of the pandemic. I’d like to thank all of you who attended (and those who tried to but couldn’t due to broadband problems), to thank Michael for organising it and for guiding our reflection, and to Carrie Applegath and Elaine Garman for managing the event. The text and a video of Michael’s presentation is available on the Diocesan website. https://standrews.anglican.org/clergy-development-resources/

The Scottish Government’s ‘Route Back’ outlines 4 Phases for opening up public life. As we know, it is measured and cautious, and the timing of each Phase will be announced when the Government decides the time is right. Phase 2 does envisage the possibility of churches being opened for individual prayer and for funerals, but the requirements of physical distancing, provision of handwashing and masks, deep cleaning, and support and training of volunteers, will make this challenging and demanding for churches who decide to offer this. And many of our active members, and some of our active clergy and lay readers are ‘vulnerable’, and may be  ‘shielding’ by staying at home for longer than others. Very shortly the Advisory Group set up by the College of Bishops will send out detailed practical Guidance on what Episcopal churches would be able to do (and not do) once Phase 2 is announced by the Government. I (assisted by the Dean) will be ready to talk to clergy and vestries who decide they want to take any of these steps when the time comes. We all want to see the opening of our churches, but we also know that opening them safely will require care and patience. Globally, the pandemic is still in its early days, as we know from the present situation in Brazil and India from our link bishops in Amazonia and Calcutta (letters sent to you last week, and in the current Diocesan E-News.

Also in the E-News, with Trinity Sunday and a version of Rublev’s icon in mind, I have written about ‘Black Lives Matte’r and the reality of racism. It is in all of our minds, in wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, as are the protests that have sprung up in the USA and in other countries (the article is attached to this email). The fact is that Racism is as real in Scotland as anywhere. Many people have said that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police is a reminder of the equally unacceptable death of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy in 2015.  Mr Bayoh also died from asphyxiation in the process of being detained. Accusations and counter-accusations have circulated ever since, but it is only now, 5 years later, that a public enquiry has been established. Mr Bayoh’s sister said, “If he was a white man that is not the way his life would have ended. … We are black people but we are not bad people. So why do our children have to feel afraid walking in the streets?”

Like you I am horrified by Racism, and by how hard it still is for Black and Asian people to be treated justly even here in Scotland. But as a White male person I also know that I have a lot to learn about my own attitudes formed by growing up in a world that privileges people like me. I chose to write about Racism this month because even in the situation of pandemic and lockdown, the Church has to engage with the other deep evils that continue to oppress and destroy people’s lives, and to witness to the love of God that calls us to overcome them. As clergy and lay readers we need to take opportunities to think and pray together about enabling our churches to engage. I hope that future CMD discussions and study gatherings will help us to do this, even while we are struggling with Covid. 

Racism, the abuse of women and children, homophobia, the exclusion of disabled people, the neglect of older people – these evils are in reality the same evil, the same sin: our refusal to respect and love every human being, regardless of difference, as our equals in humanity, and as the image of God. After Pentecost we have to pray that the Spirit will lead us and all humankind into all the truth, that we may proclaim the word and works of God.

Also attached to this are some further resources for you:
– the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for 2020-21, revised with corrections received after the draft was sent out recently.
– 2 more resources from St Luke’s Trust on the well being of those in ministry.
– the latest edition of the SEI Newsletter.
– information about bursaries offered by Ecclesiastical Insurance for clergy study.

As always, please accept my great admiration and thanks for the love and prayer you are bringing to help our congregations to continue in prayer and service. Thank you for all your faithful work which is making this possible.
 
With my greetings and blessings for Trinity Sunday,

Bishop Ian

Attached to Bishop Ian’s Letter were the following – click on each link to download

SEI Newsletter

Black Lives Matter

Rythms & Wellbeing

Relatedness & Wellbeing

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

Also from the Diocese

Diocesan Resources for week 1st June 2020

————————————————————————————————————————–

St Mary’s Heating project

Christopher Roads has been working incredibly hard to raise the funds for the Heating Project which has been approved by the Vestry and the Diocesan Building Committee.

Christopher writes this week;

“The SEC Building Grants Fund has awarded a grant of £8,000 towards this project. This brings the funds raised to date to £16,800 against a target of £18980.

“This sum includes three anonymous donations totalling £3050 which with Gift Aid can be increased to £3,660.

“Further fund-raising has stalled until the Covid epidemic is over as most funders, e.g. the Heritage Lottery Fund, will not entertain applications before October.”

Church Opening

The Church is still closed because of Covid-19.

But we see in the news that plans are being discussed to at least open Churches for Private Prayer in the first instance.


We will let you know as soon as we have information on this

.

Hopefully we shall be allowed to hold a form of service in  the Church in due course

Richard and Melanie – Covid -19

Poor Richard and Melanie are still unable to move into their lovely new house.  In the meantime, Richard is very kindly continuing to provide the congregation with Pastoral support.  As a part of this, he is  preparing a weekly Sunday Service, which we hope you like and enjoy.


We are VERY grateful to Richard for his continued work on our behalf.

News and Information from Bishop Ian Paton – 5th June 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

Pentecost is the feast of the ’new normal,’ life in the Spirit poured out on the apostles and on all creation. As we celebrated Pentecost this year people were talking about a different ‘new normal’ – our life after the Pandemic. When we rebuild our lives, will we have a better sense of what is important? Or will we just rush back to the same old life? What will ‘new normal’ mean for the Church? What will our priorities be? How will we welcome those who have been joining us online? How will we support those who are sad about people and things that have been lost? What will we need to do if we are to open our churches but keep people safe? 

A week ago over 40 clergy and lay readers shared in an online CMD Conference about exactly these questions, organised for us by Michael Paterson. Our discussions began from his reflections on the Four Hallmarks of Ministry in Luke 24 (Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus) in the context of the pandemic. I’d like to thank all of you who attended (and those who tried to but couldn’t due to broadband problems), to thank Michael for organising it and for guiding our reflection, and to Carrie Applegath and Elaine Garman for managing the event. The text and a video of Michael’s presentation is available on the Diocesan website. https://standrews.anglican.org/clergy-development-resources/

The Scottish Government’s ‘Route Back’ outlines 4 Phases for opening up public life. As we know, it is measured and cautious, and the timing of each Phase will be announced when the Government decides the time is right. Phase 2 does envisage the possibility of churches being opened for individual prayer and for funerals, but the requirements of physical distancing, provision of handwashing and masks, deep cleaning, and support and training of volunteers, will make this challenging and demanding for churches who decide to offer this. And many of our active members, and some of our active clergy and lay readers are ‘vulnerable’, and may be  ‘shielding’ by staying at home for longer than others. Very shortly the Advisory Group set up by the College of Bishops will send out detailed practical Guidance on what Episcopal churches would be able to do (and not do) once Phase 2 is announced by the Government. I (assisted by the Dean) will be ready to talk to clergy and vestries who decide they want to take any of these steps when the time comes. We all want to see the opening of our churches, but we also know that opening them safely will require care and patience. Globally, the pandemic is still in its early days, as we know from the present situation in Brazil and India from our link bishops in Amazonia and Calcutta (letters sent to you last week, and in the current Diocesan E-News.

Also in the E-News, with Trinity Sunday and a version of Rublev’s icon in mind, I have written about ‘Black Lives Matte’r and the reality of racism. It is in all of our minds, in wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, as are the protests that have sprung up in the USA and in other countries (the article is attached to this email). The fact is that Racism is as real in Scotland as anywhere. Many people have said that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police is a reminder of the equally unacceptable death of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy in 2015.  Mr Bayoh also died from asphyxiation in the process of being detained. Accusations and counter-accusations have circulated ever since, but it is only now, 5 years later, that a public enquiry has been established. Mr Bayoh’s sister said, “If he was a white man that is not the way his life would have ended. … We are black people but we are not bad people. So why do our children have to feel afraid walking in the streets?”

Like you I am horrified by Racism, and by how hard it still is for Black and Asian people to be treated justly even here in Scotland. But as a White male person I also know that I have a lot to learn about my own attitudes formed by growing up in a world that privileges people like me. I chose to write about Racism this month because even in the situation of pandemic and lockdown, the Church has to engage with the other deep evils that continue to oppress and destroy people’s lives, and to witness to the love of God that calls us to overcome them. As clergy and lay readers we need to take opportunities to think and pray together about enabling our churches to engage. I hope that future CMD discussions and study gatherings will help us to do this, even while we are struggling with Covid. 

Racism, the abuse of women and children, homophobia, the exclusion of disabled people, the neglect of older people – these evils are in reality the same evil, the same sin: our refusal to respect and love every human being, regardless of difference, as our equals in humanity, and as the image of God. After Pentecost we have to pray that the Spirit will lead us and all humankind into all the truth, that we may proclaim the word and works of God.

Also attached to this are some further resources for you:
– the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for 2020-21, revised with corrections received after the draft was sent out recently.
– 2 more resources from St Luke’s Trust on the welllbeing of those in ministry.
– the latest edition of the SEI Newsletter.
– information about bursaries offered by Ecclesisatiacal Insurance for clergy study.

As always, please accept my great admiration and thanks for the love and prayer you are bringing to help our congregations to continue in prayer and service. Thank you for all your faithful work which is making this possible.
 
With my greetings and blessings for Trinity Sunday,

Bishop Ian

________________________________  

The Right Revd Ian Paton

Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane

Sunday Service and Bulletin for Sunday 3rd May 2020

Easter 4 2020

Richard writes

It is hard to believe that within the course of a few days, St Mary’s has been deprived of two of its most loved and cherished members, David Miller and Kate Joynson. Our sadness is shared with the community at large.

First, their respective funeral arrangements. Under normal circumstances, memorial services in church would have been held for both. The numbers attending might well be imagined. However, such services are, for the time being at least, impossible. David will be cremated on Thursday 7th May. Timings and details are to be confirmed, but it is planned that the cortege will drive a circuitous route through the parish to allow as many who wish to pay their last respects from the side of the road.

Kate’s burial has been provisionally arranged for Wednesday 13th May.

It is hoped that a full appreciation of David can be published in due course. For Kate, I take the liberty of writing a few words now. I apologise in advance for any factual error.

Just as David’s name was always accompanied by Saffrey’s so Kate was to Peter. We remember Peter presently in lockdown at his care home in Stirling. Theresa tells me that the lockdown in Bermuda is a great deal more stringent than we experience. It will be impossible of her to leave the island for the foreseeable future. Michael is struggling with homeworking in London. Our thoughts and prayers with both. For these wishing to be in touch with Theresa by email, her address is theresa.joynson@googlemail.com

Older members of the community have told me that Kate’s mother was a powerhouse of initiative and energy. Kate was very much her mother’s daughter and did much for the good of others. Her involvement with the Abbeyfield in Aberfoyle will forever be appreciated.

Kate was born at Douglas Mains outside Bearsden, now alas under a housing estate. She and Peter married in Edinburgh in the early fifties. With Theresa and Michael, they lived variously at Braendam Thornhill and outside Cambusbarron before eventually settling at Laraich.

Who of us at one point or another have not enjoyed Kate and Peter’s hospitality? Kate always belittled her culinary skills, but evidence proves otherwise.

 Kate took a wonderfully positive outlook on life, even when Peter’s mobility began to tax her strength.  She possessed delightful eccentricities. She drove in a ‘press on’ fashion, sometimes with and sometimes without spectacles as the mood took her. Her previous vehicle was registered with the letters CAV. David Miller, observing her car one day commented that the Latin word caveat means warning, be on your guard.

Kate always reserved for herself the seventh lesson about sheep and shepherds at the annual Carol Service. She always read wonderfully clearly. But then, anything moving on four legs, especially a dog, was dear to Kate’s heart. With Peter elsewhere, life latterly centred around the welfare of Dan, her golden Labrador.

Kate always valued independence and, thanks largely to the devotion of Alison and Angus, that was made possible to the last.

Dear Kate, rest in God’s peace.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

Today’s Service

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Collect

Merciful Father,

you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,

and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:

keep us always under his protection,

and give us grace to follow in his steps;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospels

Gospel 1

John 9

9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbours and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Gospel 2

John 10:1-10

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.


The Sermon

‘Matthew, Mark, Luke and John bless the bed that I lie on’. So runs the ancient rhyme about the gospel writers. Mark is largely acknowledged to have written his account of the Good News before Matthew and Luke. John wrote some years after all of them.

Imagine for a moment the four as artists rather than writers, tasked to depict their respective gospels on a blank canvas. Mark would draw Christ’s life in pencil carefully, but with barest detail. Matthew and Luke would add subtle colour and shading to Mark’s account by way of the nativity narratives.  John’s depiction though would be strikingly different, akin to a post-impressionist painter using rich oil colours and vibrant swirling brush strokes to fill the canvas.

As a Gospel writer, John achieves this depth of meaning by placing one narrative next to another, so that the first might illuminate the meaning of the second.

Today we examine an example of John’s juxtaposition. This will explain why two, rather than a single gospel reading are printed.      

Traditionally, the fourth Sunday after Easter Day is observed as Good Shepherd Sunday. In the second gospel, Jesus describes himself as the gate for the sheep, offering the only way in and out of the sheepfold. However, only by reading the first gospel can the imagery of the second be fully explained.

The first gospel narrates how Jesus gave sight to a young man blind from birth by mixing a paste with his saliva and spreading it over the man’s eyes. Later, when the man as instructed by Jesus washed his eyes in the Pool of Siloam, he could see.  Although a miracle, the act was nothing unusual; all four gospel writers bear testimony to Christ’s extraordinary powers of healing.

Having described the incident, John then records the reaction of the watching Pharisees. The young man’s parents were too frightened of them to acknowledge Christ’s powers. Not so their grateful son: he openly confessed to Jesus as an expression of gratitude ‘I believe’ Seeing was indeed believing. (9:38) Jesus then proclaimed to the Pharisees. ‘I have come into the world that the blind might see’ (9:39). The Pharisees, forever on the defensive sprung upon these words. ‘What, are we blind too?’ (9:40)

At this point, the second gospel begins. Jesus’ words about sheep and shepherds were directed against his critics. Jesus spoke of sheep and shepherds, thieves and strangers to explain how giving sight to a man, who had never seen anything, showed the huge difference between true believers, and false prophets who had sight but nevertheless failed to see. To make his point, Jesus drew on one of the most common images in scripture: sheep following their shepherd.

Sheep are mentioned more than 200 times in the Bible. This is hardly surprising because they were important sources of wool, milk and barter. Throughout the Bible, sheep served as a symbol of God’s people. God is portrayed as the shepherd of his chosen flock most famously in the 23rd Psalm.

Sheep share human characteristics. Sheep are followers, copying other sheep, even to slaughter, or into danger. Lambs are conditioned to follow older sheep. Following is an instinct. Sheep are more inclined to follow other sheep than a shepherd.

Sheep find safety in numbers. Since predators attack the outliers, sheep stick closely together. When grazing, sheep will keep at least 4-5 other sheep in view. They are very social animals, and the instinct to flock is strong.

Sheep rarely walk in a straight line. By tracking one side to another, they see what is behind. They can spot danger from up to 1500 yards away, but they have trouble finding a half-open gate without help.

What then of human nature? We are inclined to follow each other more instinctively than to see the Good Shepherd. Before Covid 19 at least, we tend to associate with those we know best and huddle together when danger is sensed. We spend more time looking behind, than walking ahead. Consequently, we are blind to the shepherd and the open gate of the sheepfold.

By placing the texts side by side, John underlines the importance of believers seeing and recognizing the shepherd. The young man had sight given to him and, as a result, believed. The Pharisees had sight and yet were blinded and consequently failed to recognize the Messiah.

Jesus says he is the Gate, the way to safety and green pasture. Do we see the gate?

The prayer

O Lord, may we find you amid our trials. We pray that You would teach us what it means to see beyond our troubles, knowing that You are with us.  Even so, Lord God, we see the challenges those around us are facing. We ask You to intervene, to be with those who are in need, to prompt us to participate with You as You care for your people, and, most of all, to restore creation and to make all things new. We pray that we would not be anxious, but that You would give us Your peace. Let us live differently during this trial so that the world might see You in us. Amen.

Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Hymn:

For today, there can only be one possible choice. This was written by Sir Henry Williams Baker, Bart., eldest son of Admiral Sir Henry Loraine Baker. He was born in London in May 1821, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Taking Holy Orders in 1844, he became, in 1851, Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire. This benefice he held to his death in February 1877. He succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1851. This hymn is his best known and the last audible words upon his dying lips were those of the third verse. Listen on YOutube

   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.

   2       Where streams of living water flow
            my ransomed soul he leadeth,
        and where the verdant pastures grow
            with food celestial feedeth.

   3       Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
            but yet in love he sought me,
        and on his shoulder gently laid,
            and home rejoicing brought me.

   4       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.

   5       Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
            thy unction grace bestoweth;
        and O what transport of delight
            from thy pure chalice floweth!

   6       And so through all the length of days
            thy goodness faileth never:
        good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
            within thy house for ever.

Conclusion

The God of peace, who brought from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, make us perfect to in every good work to do his will; and the blessing of God Almighty the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore

Amen.

Sunday Service for 26th April

Sunday 26th April
Easter 2


Notices
Vi Boyd’s funeral took place earlier this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with
Katie, Malcolm, and their families,


Congratulations to Susan and Michael Forsyth as they become grandparents again.
The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage
of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube
channel. The web page for the broadcast is located
at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also
contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Collect for the day
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.


The Gospel
Luke 24:13-35

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven
miles [a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that
had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus
himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing
him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are
you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have
happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and
deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him
over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was
the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all
this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb
early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had
seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went
to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets
have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his
glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what
was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if
he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly
evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began
to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he
disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning
within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and
those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and
has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and
how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all
things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father
before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not
made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who
for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the
Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us
under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand

of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the
dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from
the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and
glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic
Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the
Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The sermon
Our Emmaus Road
Old Etonian Eric Blair – “a tall feller with a pair of flannel bags, a fawn jacket and a
mac”, was once walking a road searching for Wigan Pier.
Blair was better known as George Orwell, later the author of ‘Animal Farm’ and
‘1984’. During the 1930s, the north of England held special fascination for him and
other literati. Aldous Huxley was captivated by the Nottinghamshire coalfields. D. H
Lawrence similarly used them as a backdrop to ‘Lady Chatterley’s lover’ Later, many
writers followed the fortunes of the Jarrow marchers walking from Newcastle to
London in protest against chronic unemployment. At about the same time, Orwell
travelled to the North West of England and to Wigan where unemployment too was
high.
In 1855, the residents of Blairmore on the western shore of Loch Long built a pier to
encourage the trade provided by Glasgow day trippers. Visitors later flocked to the
pier in thousands to sample the pure air and eat their lunch.
Orwell knew this and the attraction of other such piers. Having heard that Wigan
also possessed one, he set out to find it. In fact, ” Wigan pier” never existed save as a
music-hall joke. The story went that day-trippers on a train to the seaside resort of
Southport, peered out of a carriage window across the blighted landscape in a thick
fog. A railway gantry leading to a jetty from which coal was tipped into barges on a
canal hove into view. “Are we there yet?” asked a passenger, mistaking the ghostly
outline for a fashionable seaside attraction. “Nay, lad, that’s Wigan pier you can see,”
replies the railway guard. Orwell should of course have known better: Wigan is
landlocked and at least forty miles distant from Southport. He eventually found the
then broken-down jetty stretching into a murky and rubbish filled canal. The visit
later set the depressive undertones tone for his book ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’
The saddest words in our language all by coincidence begin with the letter D:
disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despondency,
depression, despair. Orwell experienced each on the road to Wigan pier as did
Cleopas and his companion as they trudged the road to Emmaus. They had left a
downhearted and confused band of disciples following Good Friday and shared their
disappointment. The Master they loved had suffered a cruel and degrading death on
a cross. Only a week before, their expectations had risen as excited crowds welcomed

their Master waving palm branches. Now hopes were dashed. “We had hoped that he
would be the one who was going to set Israel free!”
Human hope is fragile, and when it withers, it is difficult to revive. The events of the
past weeks are proof enough. Many become afraid to hope for fear of further
disappointment.
The two were joined by a stranger who asked what they were discussing. They shared
their thoughts with someone prepared to listen rather than tell them to “snap out of
it” Could there not be a more appropriate Gospel reading at present?
Disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despondency,
depression presently fill many lives. Jesus the unseen “stranger” walks alongside us
listening, and if we are willing to hear his voice, revealing himself. The two felt
despondency and sorrow changing to understanding and hope. He points us to God’s
Word of promise in the Bible that we are God’s dearly loved children and that he will
stand by us through thick and thin. He turns despair to hope.
On Good Friday, one Hylton Murray-Philipson was interviewed by Nick Robinson on
the ‘Today’ programme. Murray-Philipson, who is 61, had just left Leicester Royal
Infirmary having recovered, after six days from Covid-19. Robinson asked him about
his time in intensive care. Mr Murray-Philipson said: “One of the very powerful
images I had was the image of Jesus Christ coming to me and helping me in my hour
of need.” To which Robinson retorted in response ‘this was because you have to be on
a ventilator machine which plays tricks with your mind, doesn’t it really?’


Prayers
The Prayers
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.


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.

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.

Confession
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men;
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time
to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy
Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do
earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of
them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us,
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s
sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and
please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution
The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins.
Amen.


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to
Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt.
xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that
believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.
Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.
Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and
He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.
Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud
and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory:
Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I
present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to
Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come

spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee and embrace Thee with all the
affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in
Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:


The Hymn
The hymn long associated with today’s gospel is ‘Abide with me’ ‘ But they urged him
strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in
to stay with them’. The author, Henry Francis Lyte, was an Anglican priest latterly at
All Saints’ Church Brixham Devon.
Lyte composed the hymn in 1820 while visiting a dying friend, William Le Hunte.
William kept repeating the phrase “Abide with me”. After leaving William’s bedside
Lyte wrote the hymn. As he felt his own end approaching twenty-seven years later, he
recalled the lines he had written many years before. The hymn was sung for the first
time at Lyte’s funeral.


1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.


2 Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.


3 I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.


4 I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.


5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

The Grace
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the
Holy Ghost, be with me always. Amen.