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               St Clement Church Community Easter Season Service

 

Good morning to you all as we commemorate the 5th Sunday of Easter.

We will be holding a Eucharist in our church building, this service is if you are unable to attend with us and will be worshipping at home.

Much love and prayers and may Christ’s love sustain you always. 

Rev Di and family xx

 

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

 

Let us pray: Eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life: grant us to walk in his way, to rejoice in his truth, and to share his risen life; who is alive and reigns, now and forever. Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

On this 5th Sunday of Easter, in God’s holy presence, let us reflect where we have failed to live up to the Christian values we profess…..

 

When we are quick to criticise others, but slow to praise them.

Lord, have mercy. 

 

When we bear grudges, and find it hard to forgive.

Christ, have mercy.

 

When we are preoccupied with ourselves, and give little attention to others.

Lord, have mercy. 

 

When we let evil go unchallenged, and are afraid to speak the truth.

Christ, have mercy. 

 

When we lack courage in these troubled times.

Lord, have mercy. 

 

May Almighty God have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Let us pray our Collect for the fifth Sunday of Easter

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord.  

Amen.

 

Readings:

Acts 8. 26-end

1 John 4. 7-end

 

Gospel: John 15. 1-8

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 

He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 

You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you.

Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.

Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 

Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

 

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

Reflection

As most of you know, as well as a parish priest, I’m also an OCM (officiating chaplain to the military) based at Culdrose, a role I’m honoured to undertake.

When on station it’s always good to go ‘flight side’ and chat to the mechanics working on the helicopters and admire their expertise and discipline, recognising the crews lives are literally in their hands.

Well, last year, during one such chat, I was able to pass on some of my knowledge of helicopter maintenance too…..

Dad was an aviation engineer, and in his earlier days served in the Fleet Air Arm. He always said that the lives of helicopter crews depends on one bolt – the bolt that holds the huge whirling rotor in place, and that aviation mechanics call this the ‘Jesus’ bolt.

Maybe they use this description because the crew would just about have enough time to exclaim in no uncertain terms; ‘Jesus Christ!’ as they plummet to the ground, or maybe not…..   

Anyway, I’m pleased to say that this tale was well received by the mechanics and Dad’s description of the rotor bolt will now live on at Culdrose.

You can see though, that if the ‘Jesus’ bolt failed, the crew would be doomed, so in the way my mind strangely works, I think that could be a modern analogy of our Gospel reading today.

To use the imagery of the ‘Jesus’ bolt holding the rotor arms in place and keeping them secure, I imagine the trunk of the vine as the ‘Jesus’ trunk, holding the flailing branches securely, and if such branches were disconnected from the trunk they’d die.

Get it?  If not I’ll draw you a diagram later!  I said my mind works strangely!

Well, the people of Israel knew all about vines and vineyards. They knew the secrets of proper planting, grafting and pruning.

They also knew the responsibilities of keeping a vineyard, that when plants failed to produce fruit, the keeper of the vineyard needed to remove them.

After all, they're not there just for show, and if the branches of the vines aren’t productive, they need to make room for those that will.

Therefore the keeper of the vineyard would do everything possible to plant the best vines, cultivate and nurture them, so that in time, he could enjoy the fruits of his labour.

 

Well, it didn't take much for the Hebrews to draw the analogy that the vineyard was the people of Israel, and God was the vineyard keeper, who plants the vines according to his will, prunes them to make them healthy and strong, and tends to them carefully, so that they grow. 

The story would tell them that, as God’s people, they could enjoy the protection and providence of the vineyard keeper, but at the same time as receiving such blessings, God expected them to bear fruits of righteousness to the glory of his name.

So, a fundamental view of this story is that firstly; it's God who does the planting. Just as a vineyard doesn't magically appear, we're here on this earth by God's design.  And, as those whom God has planted in this time and beautiful place, we shouldn’t take God's blessings for granted.

And just as God plants, God prunes, and often, the pruning is painful.

We don't always get what we want, things and people are cut out of our lives that we wished to keep, and stuff doesn’t always work out the way we'd planned.

Yet, through it all, we become stronger and more resilient.

And, ironically, we often find that our strength is as much a product of our failures as our successes.  That it's not the pleasures of life, but the pain, that proves to be the mettle of strong character and lasting faith.

So God plants, God prunes, and thankfully, God also provides.

In the New Testament, the parting words of Jesus to his disciples were:

"Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

God will be with us, now and always.  That's the promise.

All God asks in return is that we do our best to live our lives for him, and that we live and work together in the unity of his Spirit.

Because when we work together in accordance with God's will, we will attain all the hopes and dreams we seek to do, and by bearing such fruit, we’ll lead others to become part of the vine of Christ.

But we do need to work together, and I mean work, whatever our job is in our church community. Each one of us needed to play an active role, we can’t afford to sit back and leave it to others, becoming like those branches that don’t bear fruit, and draining the ones who do.

We can only move forward and bear to fruition our plans for the future of our church if each of us plays a part, and more helpers are needed, in all sorts of roles.  Give some thought as to what you could do, and come and have a chat with me. 

Our APCM is after our service on May 23rd, and may that meeting reflect that our strength is in our Jesus bolt – and through him our relationship to each other, our church, which is the body of Christ in the world today.

Jesus said,

"I am the vine. You are the branches.
Those who abide in me, and I in them, bear much fruit."

Thanks be to God. Amen.

 

We close this reflection with our words of hope:

Because he lives we can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone.

Because we know he holds the future, and life is worth the living,

just because he lives.  Amen.

 

 

Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;

he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day and afterwards he appeared to his followers and to all the apostles:

this we have received, and this we believe.         

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

 

Our intercessions this week are written by Daphne Hawkins

 

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

Merciful Father, we thank you for being among us as we gather in the peace at home or in the beauty of our little church. We thank you for so many blessings that surround us even when life is not always easy.                                                                        We thank you for all the good things around us, green fields, hedgerows, wild flowers, animal life, bird song and the freedom to wander and enjoy at will.

Lord, in your mercy                                                                                                                                   Hear our prayer

 

We pray for the church, Archbishop Justin, Bishops Philip and Hugh, our much- loved Reverend Diane and all priests in our diocese. May they find strength and compassion to carry out their many challenges at this time.

Lord, in your mercy                                                                                                                                Hear our prayer

We continue to pray for our dear Queen as she and her family mourn for her husband Prince Philip her strength and stay. May she feel the depth of love and respect of the nation as she continues to reign over us.

Lord, in your mercy                                                                                                                                   Hear our prayer

 

Lord, we pray for all the world leaders especially our own government at this most difficult time. May they concentrate on the challenges and problems this pandemic has brought. We pray you will guide and strengthen them in all decisions necessary to wipe out this pandemic and restore our economy. May they be mindful of the sick, the homeless, the vulnerable and those in need, treating them with care and compassion.

Lord, in your mercy                                                                                                                                  Hear our prayer

 

Lord, we bring to you all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. We remember Susan, dear Ken and Diane, Sue, Kate, dear Martin and Liz, Linda and Rupert, Lyn, and those in pain wherever they are, lonely, oppressed and anxious. Comfort them all with your gentle healing hands and give them comfort and hope in the days ahead.

Lord, welcome into your eternal kingdom all who have departed this earthly life. We remember especially today Justine, who was married to her husband Richard by Rev Di at their home on January 30th and passed peacefully away at home on Wednesday. Be with Richard in his grief Lord, and may he know the comfort that Justine is now out of pain and safe in your care.

Grant all who now share in your glory light, rest and peace.

Lord, in your mercy                                                                                                                                   Hear our prayer

 

Dear Lord,                                                                                                                            please make the doors of this house wide enough to receive all who ask for human love and fellowship.                                                                                                          Narrow enough to shut out envy, pride and strife.                                                                                Make the entrance smooth enough to be no stumbling block to little children but rugged and strong enough to turn away evil.                                                                                 Lord God, may the door of this church be the gateway to your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.  

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

Amen  

                                                                                                                                                                               

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,

let us pray with confidence as our risen Lord taught us;

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then they were glad when they saw the risen Lord.

Alleluia!  May the peace of the risen Lord be always with us.

 

Blessing

May the light of Christ surround us, may the Love of God enfold us,

may the presence of God watch over us, may the power of God protect us and those whom we love,  and may we never forget that wherever we are, God is also.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 30th April 2021 2:15 PM