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                       St Clement Church Community Easter 7 Service



Good morning

As we begin our worship, may we think of all those youngsters who are taking their first major exams at this time – those taking GCSEs and those taking ‘A Levels’ who did not take external GCSEs two years ago. Be with them and give them a calmness to approach each exam with confidence.                                                   Their today is our hope for the future.

With love                                                                                                                                                          Liz

Let us pray

Lord, today we recall your faithfulness.                                                                                      Thank you that you walk with us every day, that you are with us always.                                      We proclaim that your promises are true and your goodness and love never fail.                                                                                                                                                        


May we honour, worship, and adore you with every fibre of our being.                                   Father, we proclaim that you are the Holy One, the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. Your beauty and majesty are beyond compare.                                     On this day we join with all those who worship and confess you as Lord, from generations past and present, and with all the angels that sing in heaven of your greatness and splendour.                                              


Hymn: 134 The head that once was crowned with thorns

A prayer of Penitence

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,                                                                                        we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,                                                               in what we have thought,                                                                                                                 in what we have said and done,                                                                                                        through ignorance, through weakness,                                                                                            through our own deliberate fault.                                                                                                   We have wounded your love                                                                                                              and marred your image in us.                                                                                                          We are sorry and ashamed                                                                                                                    and repent of all our sins.                                                                                                                       For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,                                                                                         who died for us,                                                                                                                                forgive us all that is past;                                                                                                                      and lead us out from darkness                                                                                                           to walk as children of light.


The Collect

O God the king of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.




Acts 1. 6 - 14                                                                                                                      1 Peter 4. 12 – 14; 5. 6 - 11

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Hymn: 341 Blest are the pure in heart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gospel Reading: John 17. 1 - 11                                                                                                  (Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John                                                 Response: Glory to you, O Lord)

Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.                                                                And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.                                                                                                                I glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.                                              So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world.                                      They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.              Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.                 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.                                                     All mine, are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.                             And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.                                                                                                                                       Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.                                                                                                        Response: Praise to you, O Christ



Reflection                                                                                                                                       There’s a story about a Rabbi who was having trouble with his congregation; they couldn’t agree on anything. The president of the congregation said, ‘Rabbi, this can’t go on. We must have a meeting and settle all the areas of dispute once and for all.’ The Rabbi agreed.

At the appointed time the Rabbi, the president and ten elders met around a magnificent mahogany table in the meeting room of the synagogue. One by one the issues were dealt with and on each issue, it became very obvious that the Rabbi was a ‘lone voice in the wilderness.’ Finally, the president said, ‘Come, Rabbi, let’s vote and allow the majority to rule.’ He passed out the slips and each man made his mark. The votes were collected and the Rabbi was allowed to examine them. It was an eleven to one majority against the Rabbi.

The Rabbi was offended. He rose to his feet and said, ‘So now you think because of the vote that you’re right and I’m wrong. Well, that’s not so. I stand here,’ and he raised his arms impressively while looking heavenward, ‘and call upon the Holy One of Israel to give us a sign that I’m right and you’re wrong.’

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when there was a deafening clap of thunder and a brilliant flash of lightning that struck the mahogany table and cracked it in two. The room was filled with smoke and fumes, and the president and elders were thrown to the floor. Surrounded by the rubble the Rabbi stood erect and untouched, his eyes and smile flashing with triumph. Slowly, the president lifted himself out of the rubble. His hair singed, his glasses hanging off one ear, his clothing in disarray. Finally, he said, ‘All right, eleven to two. But we still have a majority.’

Unfortunately, we all know that not everything that is done in the Church or in the name of the Church is always done for the glory of God. We know that at times in history, the Church has ignored the Will of God in order to have its own way. The result - there has been discord and disunity in God’s Church.                                If you think about it, this disunity is apparent in the number of denominations we have.

At first it was just a family squabble – one group put Scripture above Church structure and called for change, but they were rejected, so they protested. So, the one family became two: Protestants and Roman Catholics. But, once it started, it snowballed. It wasn’t long before the Protestants began disagreeing and so there was disunity in the body of Christ.

This doesn’t sound anything like this prayer which Jesus offers for His disciples, does it? This prayer recorded in John’s Gospel is a prayer for unity.                                       It has been called the real Lord’s Prayer because it’s one that Jesus prays for his disciples. It’s the Lord’s prayer for His companions and His Church. It’s the first prayer for Christian unity. Jesus prays that His disciples may be ‘one.’

John’s Gospel assumes that people were created by God to have a relationship with God. That’s why the prayer can say that eternal life means knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ, whom God has sent.                                                                      According to John’s Gospel, eternal life comes from a relationship with the eternal God. It begins now in faith, as people come to know the love of God who made them. Such life has a future through the promise of resurrection. The Gospel also recognises that ‘No one has ever seen God.’ God’s presence is hidden until God chooses to reveal it.                                                                                 

Jesus glorified God on earth by finishing the work God gave Him to do. He honoured God through His obedience to God’s commands. During His public ministry Jesus taught what God wanted Him to teach, and performed the healings and other works that God wanted Him to perform. Such faithfulness honours God. Jesus glorified God by revealing God’s power.

Jesus’ prayer also concerns the glory that He will resume in heaven once His ministry on earth is over. The heavenly glory is something that the Son of God enjoyed before the world existed. To share in such glory is to share in divine honour, divine majesty, and divine power. It was out of love that the Father gave the Son such glory before the foundation of the world, so that sharing in God’s glory means sharing in God’s love.

By means of His passion, Jesus will return to the Father and enter a heavenly glory that His followers on earth cannot fully perceive, but can hope to see in the future. Therefore, Jesus concludes His prayer by asking that those whom God has given Him may one day be with Him in God’s presence, to see the fulness of the glory that God has given to Him in love.

The crucifixion completes Jesus’ work of glorifying God on earth, for by laying down His life He gives Himself completely so that the world may know of Jesus’ love for God and God’s love for the world.                                                                                  

By his resurrection and ascension Jesus returns to the heavenly glory that God prepared for Him in love, and Jesus prays that His followers will one day join Him in the Father’s presence to share in this glory and love.                                                   

If our Lord’s prayer is for unity between His disciples and unity within His Church, how do we accomplish that? How do we bring about and work towards unity.

Well, it starts with us. We can’t wait for anyone else to start. We have to be proactive; we have to take the first steps; we have to stop doing and saying those things that lead to, cause and perpetuate the disunity amongst us; we have to be the first to act. Unity has to begin with us, and it has to begin with our personal relationship with Christ. We have to be one with Christ, first. Our lives have to be knit together with His life through faith, and it has to begin in our Church. As a congregation, our lives have to be knit together in love, through Christ. We have to pull together as a team.

A small boy, little Billy, was praying. He prayed, ‘Make me good. And if you don’t get through to me the first time, please keep tryin’ ‘til I answer.’                                That should be our prayer – ‘Make us one, Lord. And if you don’t get through the first time, please keep try’in’ ‘til we answer and begin to pull together.’

A cartoon has a picture of two people with walking sticks in hand, climbing a mountain in knee-deep snow. The caption reads: ‘Keep Climbing Upwards! You may never reach the top, but it’s definitely in that direction,’

Unity isn’t easy. We have to continue to work toward unity and understanding – between each other, between races, between cultures and between denominations. We may never reach it, but by working toward it, at least we’ll be going in the right direction.

We’re all called to demonstrate our unity in Christ through love. It has to start with us. We have to pull together, and we have to keep on climbing. No matter what the vote: Christ’s prayer and Christ’s command is still that we be one as He is one with God and that we love one another as He has loved us.


Affirmation of Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being, the one for whom we exist?                                                                                                                              We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us, and rose again?                                                                                                                             We believe and trust in him.

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

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


Hymn: 357 Father, hear the prayer we offer

Intercessions by Daphne Hawkins

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

Merciful and loving Father, we ask that you will be with us as we gather here at our beloved St Clement and are joined in unity and spirit with all who share this service wherever they may be. We worship together and ask that you will hear our prayers.

We pray for not just our church but for your Church worldwide. We pray for Archbishop Justin, bishops Philip and Hugh, church leaders in our own diocese and our own Reverend Diane. We pray for Ken and all Di’s family who support her in all the work she undertakes in our church and the very wide community. We pray that our church and churches world-wide will grow in number and strength to face the challenges life in the 21st century seems to bring.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Dear Lord, we pray for an end to the devastation that war, persecution, cruelty, and violence, that is so prevalent all over the world, has on so many people.                                                                                                                                       So many people suffering homelessness, hunger, deprivation, the need to flee home and country, with little or no hope for the future.                                                                Lord, please be with all who are in need and may world leaders and governments work together to restore peace and mend our broken world.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

We pray for our King and all our royal family – may the new reign bring joy and hope to our country.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Dear Lord, we thank you for all the blessing you bestow on us. Even in these times of hardship we are still blessed, unlike so many in need, at this time.                      Please give us strength and may we be generous to those around us who need help.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Merciful Father, we bring to you all who are sick in body, mind, or spirit. Our prayers are with those unknown to us, so many unloved souls locked in a dark existence with no one to turn to, no one to extend the hand of friendship or to say a prayer.                                                                                                                                        Lord, in our church we pray for Diane and Ken, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Brian, Barrie and Sandra, Terry and Annie, Jan, Sylvia, Stephen, Lyn and Maureen, and Stella.                                                                                                                                                   Father, please be with all who are in trouble, doubt, or despair. May they know the comfort of your presence and peace from your healing hands that bring light and hope to them in the coming days.

We pray for all whose earthly journey has come to an end. Welcome them, Lord, to your eternal kingdom, to rest in peace, reunited with all who have gone before.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Lord, you have guided us through three years of unprecedented pain and sorrow, challenges, and difficulties, which have resulted in social, economic, financial, and personal worrying circumstances touching us all in one way or another very deeply.

Merciful Father, help us to look around us and go forward on life’s journey again. The beauty of your world surrounds us; our countryside filled with animals, bird song, flowers, trees, fruits, hedgerows filled with life and colour, the hills, the moors, the oceans, sunrise, and sunset.                                                Lord, thank you for all the good things around us and the priceless gifts you provide freely for us all.                                                                                                                    We are blessed beyond measure. May we be grateful for your wonderful world.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Father, we remember this week, the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven, the end of the Easter season when our Lord died to save us from our sins.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

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 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.

There is strength in Unity by Qiniso Mogale

Sometimes, there is strength in numbers                                                                            Sometimes, the numbers are given strength                                                                            Tiny grains of sand make up an entire beach                                                                     A small handful of grains is easily moved                                                                             It is impossible, however, to move the entire beach                                                                  So, there is strength in unity!                                                                                             Yes, there is strength in unity!

Christ and His Father are united

Christ prayed that His Church must be united                                                                      Divisions make failure a certainty                                                                                          Alienations ensure fallouts in any family                                                                         Divisions widens cracks                                                                                                        Unity mends those cracks                                                                                                  Sometimes, there is strength in numbers                                                                             Sometimes, the numbers are given strength                                                                               There is strength in unity!                                                                                                  There is strength in unity!


 The Peace                                                                                                                 

We are all one in Christ Jesus.                                                                                                We belong to Him through faith                                                                                             heirs of the promise of the Spirit of peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

Hymn: 235 Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go


May the strength of God sustain us;                                                                                     may the power of God preserve us;                                                                                   may the hands of God protect us;                                                                                         may the way of God direct us;                                                                                           may the love of God go with us this day and forever.



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