St. Mary's Church

First Sunday after Trinity

First Sunday after Trinity

14 Jun 2020 • General news

Church Opening

You may well have heard that churches are now permitted to open for private prayer. It has to be emphasised that this does not mean congregational worship can take place; we may open to allow individuals to visit church for personal prayer only. Almost inevitably there are many constraints about how we may do this. Under social distancing guidelines individuals should keep a minimum of two metres apart unless they are from the same household. There can be no sense that individuals are joining in any form of corporate worship. Appropriate measures to ensure safety have to be applied. These include hand sanitising, a single point of entry and where possible a single point of exit different to the entry point, additional cleaning of the building and supervised opening sessions.

The Churchwardens and I would like open St Mary’s for private prayer during the week beginning the 15th June Initially we would like to open on Wednesday 17th June and Sunday 21st June. As we have little way of knowing how many people may avail themselves of the opportunity to come to church this is deliberately at a small scale and helps us avoid the necessity of significant extra cleaning. We would however be very happy to extend these times if there is a clear need. (If we open within 72 hours of a previous opening, the church has to be cleaned between sessions, if there is a period of closure exceeding 72 hours it is deemed safe to reopen without wiping down all surfaces, door handles etc.)

Our plan is to be open for 90 minutes on Wednesday 17th (from 10.30am until 12 noon) and Sunday 21st from 10am to 11.30am. Please feel free to come if you would like to between those times. Do be prepared though for some differences. There will be a one way system which is clearly signed. Before entering the church itself, you will need to sanitise your hands with the provided sanitiser. Part of the church may be roped off to avoid issues of extra cleaning, especially if we open more than twice each week. Chairs will be spaced out to help with social distancing. Access to toilets will be limited; we hope that people will not need to use the toilets except in emergency when of course you will be able to use them. You may find it helpful to bring your own books or resources with you as we cannot provide bibles or service orders but you will need to take them with you when you leave.

Not all churches within the deanery will be opening and what we are proposing is very much in line with those who are hoping to open. On Sundays, Dmitry and I will both be present. On Wednesday it is likely that perhaps only one member of the clergy will be there.

If you would be prepared to help with the supervision of either session (or at other times) please let Malcolm or Barbara know. Sadly we are not able to accept offers of help from those of you over 70!

Malcolm


Readings

Genesis 18:1-15

A Son Promised to Abraham and Sarah

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham[a] by the oaks[b] of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 3 He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures[c] of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” 7 Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

9 They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10 Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”


Romans 5:1-8

Results of Justification

5 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access[b] to this grace in which we stand; and we[c] boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we[d] also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.


Matthew 9:35-10:8

The Harvest Is Great, the Laborers Few

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

The Twelve Apostles

10 Then Jesus[a] summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;[b] 4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

The Mission of the Twelve

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’[c] 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers,[d] cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Thought from Trefor Richards

Mary and I have been locked down since February. Our isolation began early because we were both ill and didn’t want to spread our misfortune to anyone else. It is possible that we had contracted covid 19, but don’t actually know. We have been shielding because we are both in our late seventies and I am an asthmatic We have relied on the good auspices of friends and neighbours to do our shopping. Our gratitude cannot be expressed in words. Like most of the population we have been out applauding the efforts of key workers on Thursday evenings. As a community we owe them an unrepayable debt. In today’s reading we are told of the commission given to the disciples, and the compassion Christ had had.

”Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”

Now they knew nothing about viruses and bacteria and covid 19 was 2000 years away, Social distancing applied only to lepers. Yet they would have hadan awareness that if one person had a disease it could spread to others who attended them but the mechanisms of infection and contagion were only vaguely understood. They would have a rudimentary understanding of the risks they faced. To make matters worse Christ warns them that he is sending them out amongst wolves, A somewhat daunting prospect. So in the face of adversity noff they went to do their Lord’s bidding. The only personal protection equipment they had was the love of God and Jesus Christ.

Since that very first commission, many people, from the early Roman and Celtic missionaries to modern ambassadors for the underprivileged and downtrodden have followed in their footsteps. They have done so with love and compassion for their fellow beings and have taken up that very same challenge issued by Jesus in this passage. Many of them paid with their lives. We as Christians can also find this same love. It is not the prerogative of the some sort of imagined religious elite; it is there for all of us. We are not expected to live and work in the back streets of the developing world’s cities. That is for the few who are called. This love and compassion is evident in the kindness that Mary and I have experienced, also in a thoughtful word to a homeless person, or displaying care for someone who is suffering from mental stress and being patient with an individual who has dementia. Possibly some of these thoughts may offer quite a challenge’ and there are still wolves out there, but one thing is for certain. Jesus Christ has given us the commission and the facility to do these things and if we look we will find them within ourselves..

Amen

Prayers by Sue Morton

Those whom the Lord Jesus calls, he also sends out.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Blessed are you, Lord our God,

for you have called us into life and to love you.

You have called us to proclaim your love and power in the world.

Lord, wherever we are able to go during this pandemic, we pray for the power of your Spirit to be with us every step of the way.

Blessed are you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Lord, we pray for your church and its people throughout the world, that we may

Be one, united with you.

Be holy, belonging to God with you and the Holy Spirit.

Be catholic, that is, for all people, at all times and in all places.

Be apostolic, sent out by you in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Be Church, called by you and answering your call.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

Lord, we pray for all who are called to govern, for people in positions ofgreat responsibility, for those who influence the minds of others.

Lord, help us to care for our world where we can, and to respect each other in all that we do.

We bring to you the many people in our society and throughout the world whose lives are undervalued and diminished by racism and prejudice of all kinds.We pray for a world of tolerance and respect and opportunity, regardless of age, creed, colour, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

Lord, we continue to bring the pandemic to you and pray for your Holy Spirit to be in its midst.

We pray for the NHS in hospitals and local GP surgeries, for community care homes and hospices, for emergency workers.

We pray for people researching a vaccine to overcome the pandemic.

Thank you for farmers, for workers in food production, delivery and our local shops.

Thank you for those working in education, in schools and at home. Keep them safe we pray, as we look forward to the time when school life can return to normal.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

Lord, we ask for your blessing upon our homes and our loved ones.

We pray for homes where there is fear, distress, aggravated by the pandemic, its limitations on our usual routines of life.

We pray for those who are finding life so difficult at this time, uncertainty of employment, fear of debt.

We pray for those known to us who are ill at this time, especially Audrey and Linda.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

Lord, we bring to you people who have died recently. Be with those who mourn, who are unable to arrange funerals in the usual way.We thank you for your faithful servant, The Reverend Canon Owen Vigeon, whose funeral takes place this coming Wednesday, now reunited with Sally. He has heard your call, Lord, and done your will, now home in your eternal kingdom. We thank you for our loved ones now with you.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

As you taught us, Lord, we pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours now and for ever.

Amen.

Monday

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