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St Clement Church Sixth Sunday of Easter Community Service


Good morning

There are times, having looked at the weekly Gospel reading, when I wonder why it has been chosen for that particular week.

This week is one of those. At least it was initially.  I wonder whether you agree!

With love to you all



Let us pray


Father God, we gather today under your care and protection.

Thank you for your loving kindness that never fails us.

We thank you for those with us and those sharing this worship at home, that you will guide our thoughts and actions to bring you glory.

Strengthen us and fill us with your peace.



We say together


Dear Lord, as we rise to meet each day, please let us be filled with Your spirit.

Wherever we go, let us spread love, joy, peace, goodness, and faithfulness.

Let us desire to become more like you and to worship you in all we do.

Help us desire these things so much more than the sin that entices us.

Thank you for always going before us.

In Jesus’ name. Amen


Hymn: 137 Come down, O love divine


Prayer of Penitence


Gracious Lord, give us courage to seek forgiveness. Remind us that confession is never a mistake; it frees us from the chains of the enemy.

We know that we cannot hide our hearts from you. Help us to let go of our bitterness and fear, and purify us with the knowledge that you have taken away every sin, in your name.


Have mercy on me O God, according to your merciful love; turn your face from my sins and blot out my guilt; create a pure heart in me, O God, renew an upright spirit deep within me.

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.



Collect for Sixth Sunday of Easter


God our Redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to new life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; 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. Amen



Acts 10. 44 - 48

1 John 5. 1 - 6


Hymn: 484 The Church’s one foundation


Gospel: John 15. 9 - 17

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord’)


Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.


This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command you.

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.

You did not choose me but I chose you.

And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.

I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.


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




We have gone through the six weeks of Lent; experienced the excitement and then the agony of Holy Week and for five weeks we have been celebrating the Resurrection – ‘Christ is Risen, Alleluia.’                                                                                                                So, Easter Six, just before Ascension Day, what would you expect the Gospel to be today? Not what it is, I’m sure.                                                              We go back to the Upper Room on Maundy Thursday evening.                                                                                                                         Is it just me that finds this rather bizarre? Or is it?

                                                                                                                            “You did not choose me,” says Jesus to His disciples, “but I chose you.”

It’s true, isn’t it, Jesus chose His disciples, and when He did, He is continuing a long tradition that we see throughout scripture, and throughout the history of the church, of God choosing the unlikeliest of people to accomplish surprising tasks.

If we look back through the Old Testament, we see Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Joseph and his coat of many colours, Moses; David, the youngest son of Jesse, who killed Goliath and was chosen by God to be king - all such unlikely people.

Don’t let’s forget Mary, the young virgin from the small town of Nazareth, of all places, that no one would expect to become the mother of God’s Son. Such an unlikely, unexpected choice, but Mary has a remarkable faith, an open heart, and a willingness to do whatever God asks of her. She turns out to be the perfect choice, but only God could know that.

So, Jesus is continuing a long tradition started by His heavenly Father, to make unlikely choices to do God’s work. Fishermen, a tax collector – there isn’t a religious leader to be seen; no experts in God’s teachings, no scholar.  

Let’s be honest, if anyone was asked to choose a team to start the Church, the disciples wouldn’t even have made the reserve squad. They only have one thing going for them: Jesus chose them.

There in that upper room, right before He is arrested, Jesus reminds the disciples that He chose them. They are scared, anxious, confused and He’s just told them that one of their own is going to betray Him. They’ve also heard Jesus say that Peter, their leader will soon deny even knowing Him.

Jesus commands them to love one another and reminds them ‘to abide in Him.’ He tells them that He will be leaving soon, to prepare a place for them. They really don’t know what all this means. They need to be reassured and reminded that Jesus has chosen them.

I’m sure they don’t feel at all qualified or confident in what Jesus is asking them to do.

I wonder how often in the future they will be drawn back to those words; ‘I chose you.’

When they are ignored or laughed at; when they are hated and persecuted; when they are imprisoned and some are even killed; how many times do they remind themselves that God’s own Son chose them, and He chose them for a reason. Jesus chose them and entrusts them with His mission – to go and bear the fruit of the kingdom.


But, what about us?


Yes, the disciples were chosen by God’s Son, but they’re not the only ones. Each and everyone of us has also been chosen by God for a particular purpose in this world.

When we are baptised and the water is poured over us, that is when Jesus chooses us to bear the particular fruit that only we can bear; to do the particular task that only we can do. We do not choose this, but Jesus chooses us and appoints us for this holy task.


We all have our moments of doubt, of course. Moments when we wonder what in the world we are doing with our lives; what on earth we are really here for. At least I do. Don’t you?

If we think about it hard enough; if we ask the questions long enough; we’ll eventually get back to the words we heard in today’s Gospel reading, the words, ‘You did not choose me but I chose you.’

We have been chosen to bear the fruit of God’s love in this world, and to bear it in a way that no one else can.

What a time to bear this fruit. What an important time for us, as God’s chosen, to bear the fruit of God’s love in this world.                                                  It’s been a tough few years hasn’t it? None of us has escaped unscathed: the covid pandemic, economic challenges, a rise in mental health issues and a lessening of hope in the future as we see war in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine – all rather too close for comfort.

Our world needs hope. Our world needs healing. Our world needs to be reminded of God’s love for us all.

Who knows, perhaps we have been chosen for just such a time as this.


If ever there is a time for the Church to be the Church, it is certainly now.    We are the Church. We are the ones that, for whatever reason God has chosen for this task. We are God’s surprising choices to accomplish this unexpected task, of bringing healing and hope to this troubled world.


‘You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit.’


Perhaps, as we come to the end of the Easter season, with Ascension Day, when our Lord finally leaves this earth, so close, it’s not so strange to return to the Upper Room and be reminded, and indeed reassured, that we are chosen, just like the disciples, to bring the light of Jesus into our world and bear the fruit of His love.



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 in accordance with the Scriptures; afterwards he appeared to his followers, and top all the apostles: this we have received, and this we believe.



Hymn: 431 O Thou who camest from above






Almighty God, on this Rogation Sunday, we give thanks for the bounty of this world that you created. We give thanks for the sun and the rain that create the environment needed for plants to grow; we give thanks for the farmers, the horticulturists, the gardeners, and all those who work so hard to ensure that we have enough to eat.                                                                                                                                      As we give thanks, we bring before you all those in this country and around the world who do not have enough to eat. May the wealthy countries help those countries who cannot grow sufficient food because of drought and natural disasters. May we all, be aware of those around us, in need, and may we all do what we can, to help them.


Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us                                                                                                                                        


Faithful God, your Son Jesus Christ chose us as He did His disciples. He gave us a new commandment to love one another. So, we ask you to teach us to love you in our neighbours so that by serving them we may also serve you.


Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us                                                                                                                                             


Mighty God, we pray for your Church which day by day gathers to praise you and to hear your Holy Word. We pray for all Christians worshipping around the world in small rural churches, great city cathedrals, on television and on the internet. Give us, at home or here in St Clement Church, a sense of expectation as we come and inspiration as we go. Bless our vicar, Reverend Di, whose service to us all inspires us with the message of your salvation.


Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us                                                                                                                                              

Creator God, the world so often seems to be a violent and fearful place. Give us the strength to love our enemies and to pray for those who by violence and acts of terrorism distort and demonise your wonderful creation.


Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Loving God, help us all to be part of the healing ministry of your Church. We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit; for the lonely, the despairing, the frightened and the unloved.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Deepen our love for our neighbours - especially those who are weak and vulnerable.                                                                                                                                                             We especially remember at this time:

We pray for: Ken and Reverend Diane, May, Susan, Lauren, Lynda, Barrie and Sandra, Pam and David, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Maureen, Alison and Rob, Jan, Anita and Stephen, Michael and Patricia, Jeremy, Stella, Alison, Linda, William, Callum and Elaine, Jay, Andy, those known to each of us and those who have no one to pray for them.


Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Merciful God, your love reaches beyond the grave. We remember all those who have lost their lives in mindless acts of violence; those dying in wars, those dying from the lack of basic nutrition; those dying because nobody seems to care.                                                                                                                             At the end of our days on earth be with us and with those we love and with those whom we love and who have gone before us. We pray for all those who have recently died; give to the departed the perfect joy of your eternal love and to those bereaved by their passing the comfort of your perfect love.                              


Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us                                                                                                                                                 


Holy God, send us out into the world today mindful that as your chosen ones we should make you known in every place we visit and bear witness to the Gospel with acts of faith, hope and love.


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

Gathering our prayers and praise into one, let us pray with confidence as our risen Lord has 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


Love One Another by Connie Campbell Bratcher


Have we ever shed the tears of another –

Really gotten under the load?

Suffered pain and agony of a brother

Who walks a dark and lonely road?

Do we love our brother?


Do we readily give to those folk who ask,

 And joyfully help when we can?

Are we ready and willing for any task,

Though it may interrupt our plan?

Do we love one another?


Friend, are we willing to go that second mile,

Helping any way that we can?

When faced with a frown, do we lift with a smile,

And encourage ore fellowman?

Do we really, truly love?


Or are we too preoccupied with our own

To stop by the side of the road,

And offer a helping hand to one unknown

Who struggles with a heavy load?

Do we only love our own?


Our Lord teaches us to love one another,

And always go the extra mile,

Giving and forgiving, for He gave His life …

For every man, woman, and child.

Let us love one another.


The Peace


God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.


The Peace of the Lord be always with you.


Hymn: 413 Now thank we all our God




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;                                                  through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen



















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