Easter 6 - Church at Home

17th May 2020

Weekly notices and a service for worship at home

Sister Corita Kent, Look, 1965; screenprint on paper.

NOTICES


Do you need some help?

You may have to self-isolate but you don’t have to feel alone! Contact the clergy or our volunteers and we will find the best way to support you and those not currently isolating can bring you supplies. Everyone, please keep social-distancing - stay 2 metres apart, and only go outside to exercise, and go to the shop for essentials.

Contact us

Christian Aid Week 2020

We are coming to the end of Christian Aid Week, but it is never too late to do something to support a charity that does so much work for the poorest communities across the world. Find out about it here!


Sewing for the NHS

Students of our own Brenda McCutcheon (a member of the congregation at St Margaret's and a sewing tutor with Newcastle City Learning) jumped into action to make PPE and scrubs for NHS staff. Brenda even continued to support their incredible work when she ended up in hospital herself! Brenda will be interviewed on Radio Newcastle on Monday at 11.20am. Or read all about it here.


Ascension Day Eucharist online

This coming Thursday is when we remember Jesus' ascension into heaven. St Peter's Cowgate in our local Deanery will be live streaming a sung Eucharist online at 12pm and we are invited to join them on Facebook.


Giving during lockdown

One of the unforeseen pressures of lockdown is that many of our members give money physically on Sundays and this is no longer possible. To keep our work going (and make sure our buildings are still standing when we return to them!) we are asking that, if you can, please give by standing order. Regular donations help us to have a better estimate of our income and ensure we can keep our activities running.

  • You can set this up with your bank online using the details here.

  • Or download and print a standing order form here and send to your bank.

  • If you wish to be posted a form please call us or email church@benwellscotswood.com


Faculty for St James' churchyard

In light of current circumstances, we are ensuring faculties are posted publicly online as well as physically outside the church. This is an application for a rolling faculty for routine maintenance to be carried out in St James' Churchyard. You can read the notice here and objections may be submitted via email to dac@newcastle.anglican.org

Children's resources

We will include resources each week from Roots to help you reflect on Bible readings with children at home. You can download and print the resources here.


WORSHIP

6th Sunday of Easter

Reflection by The Revd David Kirkwood

Service led by Abigail Harris, Pastoral Assistant


We will pray at 10am on Sunday, join us at home at if you can.


Listen here:

This week we are trying out some intro music please use it to clear your mind in preparation for the service, which will start shortly.


Opening prayer

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Confession


Christ our passover lamb has been sacrificed for us.

Let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil

and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.


Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life.

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy).


Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins.

Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy).


Lord Jesus, you feed us with the living bread.

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy).


May the God of love and power

forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,

and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect


Risen Christ, by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples: help your Church to obey your command and draw the nations to the fire of your love, to the glory of God the Father; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Reading


A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

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

(Acts 17.22-31)

This is the word of the Lord.

Gospel


Alleluia, alleluia.

I am the first and the last, says the Lord, and the living one;

I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.

Alleluia!


The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

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

(John 14.1-14)

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection

by Abigail Harris, Pastoral Assistant


Dear Lord, take my lips and speak through them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire with love for you. Amen. So, we have reached the Sixth Sunday of the Easter season and day 56 of lockdown. We are still in the Easter season, living in a time of Resurrection even though all the chocolate eggs seem to have disappeared and at times if it wasn’t for the constant Alleluia’s spread throughout the Liturgy, we might not even feel it! In our Gospel reading today, Jesus is once again preparing his disciples for the time to come when the ‘world will no longer see him.’ It’s another bittersweet moment where Christ offers comfort to quell the disciples fears but there is also that stark reminder that he will be leaving. One Gospel commentary that I read said ‘And so here our Lord gives yet more, in the paradoxes that, absent He will be present, unseen visible, and dying will be for them for ever, living and life-giving.’ What we’re left with is Jesus’ words ‘If you love me, keep my commands.’ But what does it even mean to keep those commands? And does this leave us feeling more burdened? A passage from a book by Lucy Winkett, the Vicar at St James Piccadilly, that I recently read, really struck me, ‘People who listen for this song of Resurrection have also felt the seismic rhythms of grief. They have heard the earthquake of the Gospel rumble beneath their feet and have known that the stone which they have very carefully placed across the path in front of them is no barrier for a Saviour who shouts salvation through the rock. But, we protest, that’s my stone: the stone is there to protect me, to shade me, so that I can sit up against it. I need it to be there. It’s heavy and looks totally immovable and gives us a measure of security.’ How true it is, that we feel we need the weight of that stone to be there, because if it’s there it can keep us standing when everything seems to be falling apart and when we want to give up, we feel it give us something to collapse against. The reality of the Resurrection life should fill us with complete joy , we have the opportunity to rewrite our story and to remove that stone, we have the chance to emerge into the light and live differently, but that stone can still weigh heavily on us, especially at a time like this when we feel trapped inside our homes, forced to face our demons. When that suffocating pressure of having to follow meticulously those ‘rules’ and commandments make that stone grow heavier out of guilt of falling short or of a need to punish ourselves…. when we feel crushed in spirit and all we can feel is those conditions to God’s love. If……Then we can refuse to move that stone out of stubbornness or fear. We place that stone purposefully on our path, we use it as a barrier, as something that gives us a false sense of security where we’re almost untouchable. ‘If you love me, keep my commands.’ And what happens if I’m someone who’s made mistakes? What if I’m someone who’s bad…does that then mean that I’m unlovable? We are reminded in our first reading that the ‘God who made the world and everything in it does not live in temples built by human hands, he is not far from any one of us, he gives everyone life and breath.’ It’s not then so much about God’s testing of our love for Him but more about Him seeing us as we are and loving us all the same. Christ dwells in our hearts and brings us to life. He whispers, yells and pleads for us to emerge into that light of a love beyond any we have ever known. And this is what Jesus promises us ‘I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.’ ‘I too will love them and show myself to them.’ What precedes those conditions is in fact the reality of a Resurrection of a God who loves us so much that He gave his only begotten son for us. He loved us into being and there are no conditions to that love. When we feel out of place, completely rudderless in the world, we can desire nothing more than to hear those words ‘I will not leave you.’ These words speak directly to our fears; they acknowledge our weaknesses; they embrace our vulnerabilities and begin to roll away that stone. The fear of being alone, being lost and lonely, not being good enough…without an identity, the fear of death and our own mortality, being forgotten and cast aside, being afraid or feeling confined by rules. Take comfort in these words. We can take comfort at these words; especially if we have faced bereavement or loss or maybe if we grew up without a parent/parents. Even if we were to lose everything and everyone we love; we will never be alone. God will be to us what we are missing…when we lack strength, he will carry us…if we doubt, the Spirit produces faith…when we feel tested, we are able to endure…when we mourn, we are comforted…when we are full of joy, the world sings! These are more than just words; this is the reality of the Resurrection spoken to each one of us by name. Lucy Winkett after reflecting on the stone goes on to remind us that Resurrection is so much more ’ ‘…It is our name yelled, whispered, implored by a God who with unimaginable compassion and not a little anger searches and pleads for us to emerge into the light of such a love we have never even thought of.’ Be assured, He will not leave us; he is present among us. He cries salvation through the rock so that when we fall short of those commands and begin to hide behind that stone, love will be what brings us home. ‘I will not leave you. I will come to you.’ Amen


Prayers


Response:

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.


The Church

  • Those called to lead and guide us at a difficult time.

  • Bishop Christine; Bishop Mark preparing to move to a new Ministry in Chester.

The World

  • The work of Christian Aid.

  • Medical staff and health professionals, those in government, and those faced by difficult decisions.

  • Places whose health services are most vulnerable and undeveloped.

  • An end to inequality. A more sustainable use and equitable allocation of the world’s resources.

The Sick & Suffering

  • All who have asked for our prayers

  • Lesley Towers

  • Stan Adams

  • The Jarvis family after the unexpected loss of their father

  • All affected by Covid19

The Departed

  • Richard Jarvis

  • Mary Taylor

  • James 'Jim' Sheriff

  • Carol Ann Marshall

  • Elsie Lytton

  • Ruth Smith

  • Joan Bright

  • All victims of Covid19


Lord's Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,

as our Saviour taught us, so we pray


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.

Hymn

Listen to the music here


Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son: endless is the vict'ry thou o’er death hast won; angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay. Refrain: Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son; endless is the vict'ry thou o’er death hast won. Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb; lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom; let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing, for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting. [Refrain] No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life; life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife; make us more than conqu'rors, thro' thy deathless love: bring us safe thro' Jordan to thy home above. [Refrain]


Conclusion


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

And the love of God

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Be with us all, evermore. Amen.


He is not here. He is risen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia.

In the name of Christ. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia.

We are committed to our churches being safe places for everyone. Read our policy below and contact us if you have any concerns about the safety of a vulnerable adult or child:

CONTACT US
FOLLOW US
  • Facebook