Printable services for those unable to attend St C

                                 

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service, whether in your own home or our church building.  This Sunday 26th September, I shall take our Eucharist service in church using our usual service booklets.  If you’re unable to be there I hope you join us with this service of the Word.  May Christ’s love sustain you always. 

With much love and prayers,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

Almighty God, you search us and know us: may we rely on your strength and rest on you in weakness, now and in all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Amen.

 

 

Hymn: The Church’s One Foundation

 

 

Let us pray;

God of constant mercy, who sent your Son to save us: remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us that our thankfulness may grow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

Let us confess our failings to the Lord:

 

When our deeds do not match our words:

Lord, have mercy.

 

When we let evil go unchallenged, and are afraid to speak the truth: Christ, have mercy.

 

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

Lord, have mercy.

 

When we trust in earthly treasures more than in God’s unfailing care:

Christ, have mercy.

 

May our almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon and forgiveness of all our failings, time for amendment of our lives and the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

 

Let us pray our Collect for the 17th Sunday after Trinity

Gracious God, you call us to fullness of Life: deliver us from unbelief and banish our anxieties with the liberating love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

 

Readings:

Numbers 11. 4-6, 10-16, 24-29

James 3. 13-4. 3, 7-8a

 

Hymn; O Worship the King’

 

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Mark 9. 38-50

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.  Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. 

Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 

And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., 

And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

 

(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

 

 

Reflection

Top of Form

One of the things I love about scripture is that the stories we read and hear are our stories.  They are truly about us and tell us so much about our identity as human beings.  And, today’s readings don’t disappoint.  Today’s stories are enlightening because they again tell us something about who we are as people.

In our first reading from Numbers, we find that Moses is truly overwhelmed and weary as he tries to lead this throng of Israelites through the desert.  And, as he complains to God about his heavy workload, we find that God is sympathetic to Moses and responds with a proposal that will take some of the burden off him by having others share the load. 

Well, this is a great idea but when God takes some of the spirit of Moses and places it on seventy chosen elders, some of that spirit spills over onto two other men, Eldad and Medad.  And, when they begin to prophesy – oh my.  Envy, self-ambition and jealousy break out among the seventy because these other two men weren’t part of that chosen inner circle. 

And, what’s so fascinating is that, rather than stop them, Moses says with certainty that he wishes all God’s people would be filled with God’s spirit. 

Then, in today’s Gospel reading, we hear a very similar story.  John comes rushing up to Jesus in a panic, all out of breath.  He proclaims, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him – because he’s not one of us.”   Again, oh my!   Eldad, Medad, John and the other disciples are so much like us….

People are in crisis, the church is in crisis, there’s so much to be done and help is needed.  Yet, when help comes, people complain because the help isn’t “the right help!”  They’re not people we know and trust; they aren’t properly authorised, credentialed people who look and act like us. 

You see, the problem is that the Spirit has broken out, it can’t be controlled, and those in the “inner circle,” the “club” or the “clique,” are put out because someone outside that circle is also able to use God’s gifts, without the “proper” credentials. 

Well, the writer of Mark’s gospel tells us today that the disciples are upset because someone who isn’t one of the twelve, is casting out demons, they can’t control him and he must be stopped.

So, Jesus, never one to be impressed with titles or credentials says in effect, “Look, leave him alone, we need all the help we can get.  I don’t care if he’s part of our little group or not. Look at what he’s doing, not at the colour of his skin, the language he’s speaking, his sexual preference or his politics.  

Is he doing good?  Is he living a kind, helpful life of love?  That’s all I want.  We need more people like that. Whoever is not against me is for me.”  

Jesus then talks about stumbling blocks and, in a manner of speaking, tells the disciples and each one of us to look at the stumbling blocks we place in front of ourselves and others. 

He’s telling us to look at how we exclude people who live, believe, worship, serve, and practice their faith differently than we do.  To look at how insecure and tenuous our own faith must be, if its survival depends on our dismantling someone else’s.

In this present age, Jesus’ response is very helpful because if ever the Church needs more Eldads and Medads and outsiders, it’s now!  We need to get the Word out there, and we have far too often become the stumbling block of which Jesus speaks. 

Far too often, we tend to think that whoever is not for us is against us.  Far too often, we think “I’m not like one of them.” 

We so readily draw circles around ourselves and others so we can better distinguish ourselves versus all others, and thereby justify who we are and who we aren’t.  You know, I’m not one of those Baptists, fundamentalists or Catholics, and we don’t do things that way. 

We do draw our circles, but, we should really understand that wherever we draw that circle, Jesus is going to be standing outside it with a great number of people who we might well think aren’t for Jesus at all.

So, what would it be like if the children of God truly helped each other succeed?  Just imagine what it would be like if Pentecostal Christians began removing the stumbling blocks for the liturgical Christians, and Catholics began removing stumbling blocks for charismatic Christians.

Just imagine what the world would be like if the insiders befriended the outsiders.  Just what would happen if we expanded the circle, lengthened the table, and decided to eat together?  We’d be path clearers and stumbling block removers, we’d be healers and exorcists and no little one would ever lose their way again because of us.

Entering into relationship with all types of people we’d consider “other” was a constant starting point for Jesus.  When the disciples came complaining about this “other” person casting out evil spirits in Jesus’ name, Jesus said, “Don’t stop them!  Whoever is not against us is for us.” 

You see, for Christians, the starting point is never about who we aren’t, it’s all about who we are, and who we are is the baptised, broken, but graciously loved body of Christ.  There’s no need to justify who we are because we have been named and claimed by our God of love.  We’ve been given a place, a status, and a home within that gracious, unending, all-encompassing love of God.  And, the Jesus we know died not only for us but for the entire world. 

We’ve already been raised to new life that’s not only about us, but life for the entire world.  And, in that love there’s no distinction, no “us” and no “them.”  So, I say, “Gracious God, bring it on.  Bring into our lives those we consider ‘other.’  Bring others into our lives and take us into the lives of others.  Help us to let go of our fear and move beyond our self-imposed circles and categories.”  This will take us to places where we’ll feel uncomfortable and unsettled, and to places that will likely make life messier because we’ll have to give up our need to control.  But, it’s truly the place where we’ll find all are embraced and held in God’s love. Amen.

Hymn; Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise’ 

 

Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist. 

We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again. 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

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 Liz Davies

Holy God, your law is perfect and your statutes are trustworthy and so we pray to you knowing that you will hear our prayers and answer them in your way.

We pray for all people who seek to follow your way in their lives. Let your church speak your word of truth with confidence and in unity so that those who are searching and listening will be able to see and hear clearly your message of love and peace.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                  Lord, graciously hear us

 

Creator God, we recognise our part in the tensions and injustices of the world: heal the resentment between people and intervene in the world’s conflicts. Help us to walk humbly with you at our side when we come to the crossroads and have to choose which way to go; lead us to the path of justice and righteousness whilst steering us away from the road that leads to selfishness and sin.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                  Lord, graciously hear us

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the love we share with our families and our friends. We recognise that they may have faults and they love us in spite of ours. Help us to be flexible and adaptable in all of our relationships and also capable of accepting constructive criticism.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                               Lord, graciously hear us

Mighty God, we pray for those who you have called to the study and practice of medicine, healing and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them as they follow Jesus’ example, that through their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified. We bring before you those who we know and love who need healing in their lives – Ken and Di, Rupert and Linda, Brian, Margaret, Ollie and all those who have no one to pray for them.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                               Lord, graciously hear us

 

Loving God, you sent to earth your Son, Jesus Christ so that in your power and love we might also have the gift of eternal life; bless those whom we love that have departed this life with the gifts of your all-encompassing love and eternal life.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                    Lord, graciously hear us

 

Lord, we ask you to lead us into the coming week, help us to believe that you are close by us; keep us from making mistakes and help us to never disappoint you. When we face hard decisions or difficult work, when we enjoy ourselves and have fun with others may we know that you share these times with us.

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 Jesus 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.

 

 

 

Hymn; especially for Barrie; ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’       John Cynan Jones & The Treorchy Male Voice Choir. 

 

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.  In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.  Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and build up our common life.  May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.

 

Blessing

May God the Holy Trinity make us strong in faith and love, defend us on every side and guide us in truth and peace.  And may the presence of God watch over us, the power of God protect us, those whom we love, and may we never forget that wherever we are, God is with us always.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 24th September 2021 4:33 PM