Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service, yet again in ‘lockdown.’ Today is the Second Sunday before Advent which means that the Church’s New Year is only two weeks away. While the Church’s New Year and the beginning of 2021 are a month apart, I’m sure most of us will be glad to see the back of 2020 which has been an incredibly challenging year for us all. How often we have said, or heard others say, ‘I just want life to get back to normal.’ BUT, what is normal? Much has changed over the last eight months – many folk have lost their jobs; many folk have experienced mental health issues, some for the first time; many folk have had to apply to Food Banks – for the very first time; the incidence of domestic abuse has increased dramatically; many children are experiencing an ever increasing sense of insecurity … the list is endless.

There IS hope. A vaccine will soon be available and it looks as though the majority of us will be in the early cohorts of receiving it. We hope it will work and that life will get back to normal as soon as possible. But, I                                                                                                                                                               think we all know that ‘normal’ will never be as it was. There will be a new normal. As we prepare for the Church’s New Year, Advent, perhaps we can prepare ourselves for a Christmas that will be different and a 2021 that is still full of uncertainty. BUT, if we put our faith in the Good Lord, we can all face the future knowing that we are not alone and nothing is insurmountable.                                                                                                            Thank you for joining us this Sunday.                                                                                                                                 God Bless                                                                                                                                                                          With love   Liz xx   

 

Let us pray;

God, our Judge and Saviour, teach us to be open to your truth and to trust in your love, that we may live each day with confidence in the salvation which is given through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

As we join in worship today, let us seek the renewal of our lives in the light of God’s love for us, revealed by Jesus Christ:

 

Jesus, Saviour of all, who revealed the breadth of God’s love, forgive us when we fail to show care to those who are different….

Lord, have mercy.

 

Jesus, Son of God, who revealed the depth of God’s love, forgive us when we are too busy to pray, or to seek God’s will….

Christ, have mercy.

 

Jesus, Son of Man, who revealed the cost of God’s love, forgive us when we have made light of our failings….

Lord, have mercy.

 

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

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for today

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil and to make us the children of God and heirs to eternal life: grant that we, having this hope, may purify ourselves even as he is pure; that when he shall appear in power and great glory we may be like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

                                                                                           

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Matthew (25. 14 - 30)

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

 

Jesus said to his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.                              The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.                                                                                                                                   In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.                                             But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.                                                                                                                                        After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.                            Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.”              His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave, you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”              And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.”                                                                                     His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”              Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so, I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”                                                                                                                                        But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and I gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return, I would have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.                                                                      As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

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

 

Reflection

A talent is not a type of coin, but it is a weight, a unit of measurement. A talent weighs 93 pounds 12 ounces so, let’s call it about 100 pounds. This makes it very difficult to know how much money the man is giving to each of his slaves. The amount would vary depending on whether the slaves are given silver or gold. The most widely used currency of the day was silver so perhaps we should use that to help us calculate the value of what each slave receives.

The average wage for one day’s work is one silver denarius. A talent consists of 6000 denarii. In other words, one talent is equal to over sixteen years of work.                                                  We could try to work out roughly how much that would equate to in 2020, but suffice to say, it would be a huge amount of money – more than half a million pounds for each talent! This is a huge amount of money and an enormous responsibility.

I’m sure that most of us would say, ‘God will never give me that much, so I don’t need to worry about it!’ That may be true, BUT, many of us have a hundred pounds, or a thousand pounds or, if we own our own homes, considerably more than that.                                                          While today’s story is about physical possessions and riches, it is a parable. Jesus employs the picture of a huge amount of money but I think He is referring to much more than just physical possessions.

In this day and age, we understand the word ‘talent’ as being some kind of skill that each of us possesses – it might be being a ‘wizard with numbers,’ being an artist or a musician. Sadly, many people believe that they don’t have any talents, but I believe talents cover a much greater area than specific skills. I think being a good listener, being kind, being gentle, being a good neighbour …. the list is endless … are the very best of talents IF we use them as we should.

If we think about it, these things don’t really belong to us, but were given to us by God for us to manage responsibly. We are His stewards. So, how are we using our talents, the money and the skills, that He has given us? What are we doing with them?

I read of a church that did a ‘reverse offering.’ Rather than collect money, stacks of £10 notes were put on the offering plates and the members of the congregation were told that, as the plate passed, they were each to take out one £10 note. They weren’t told what to do with it or why the church was doing this.                                                                                                         Several weeks later, the priest stood up to preach his sermon – on the parable of the talents – and he began by reminding the people of the £10 note that they had each received. To introduce his sermon, he invited people to stand up and tell everyone else what they had done with their £10. Some still had it in their wallet; some had used it to buy groceries; some had given it away to someone else in need. One man had bought shares in a particular company and in just a few weeks the shares had quadrupled, and he had given the £40 back to the church.

After several minutes of such sharing, the priest went on to preach his sermon. BUT, his point had already been made.

Each of the slaves, in the story, is given a different number of talents. As we look around, we can see that physically and materially, we are not equal. We do not all have the same opportunities and responsibilities. We ALL have a different number of talents BUT, whether we have been given one, two, five or more talents, we need to remember that these talents need to be used. We need to invest our talents, whatever they are, in our Master’s business, because the day is coming when He WILL return.                                                                       We are greatly blessed. God has given us some HUGE gifts. Why? Because He wants to see what we will do with them. Being Christians, we have also been given vast spiritual riches, but because of this, much more will be demanded of us for the given talent or responsibility.

Life is very difficult at the moment for everyone but this is a golden opportunity for each and every one of us to use one of our God given talents to help someone else during this difficult time … be it, giving a financial donation to a food bank; doing the shopping for someone who cannot go out; making a phone call, writing a card or an email to someone on their own; or anything else that is using our talents to reach out to others and grow God’s kingdom. We can all do something that will not only help someone else, but also help ourselves to get through these strange and trying times.                                                                                                                         Remember, Jesus said, ‘Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.’

May we too, when the Master returns, hear the words, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant.’

Amen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

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 Alison Hill

 

Let us offer our prayers before the throne of grace, confident that the Lord hears the cries of his people.

 

Lord, Father of us all, we thank you for the new optimism given to us this week, counted as the forty-fourth week of the Covid pandemic. As we celebrate the news of the imminent availability of a vaccine against Covid we give thanks for the skills and dedication of those who have worked to develop this and other vaccines soon to be available. We remember all those for whom it comes too late, and pray for those whose lives have been changed forever by the many tragedies of death, bereavement, trauma or long-term health issues. And we thank you for renewed hope, praying that we will remember always those things we have learnt about ourselves, others, and the environment during the periods of lockdown and limitations.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

In this week during which we have remembered the sacrifices of so many in the past, and been aware of the sacrifices of others in the Covid crisis, let us give thanks for all those who give up so much, who risk so much, for the benefit of others. And as we move into winter in Covid lockdown grant us all strength and patience to withstand depression and irritability in these strange times.

Help us to keep always in our minds how blessed we are to live in an area of low infection, with beauty within reach for most of us, with warmth, heating, food, clean water and the luxury of a hot shower or bath, praying for those less fortunate suffering Covid in conditions of life that are already tough.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

We pray for all those in authority throughout the world, that they may pursue justice in the light of your commandment that we love one another. Especially we think of the presidential elections in the United States, praying for acceptance, healing and unity there and throughout the world.

 

We ask your blessing on your Church and those who minister to us all, praying especially for Archbishop Justin, Bishop Philip of Truro and the Suffragan Bishop Hugh, and we thank you for the love and work of our own vicar Diane, praying for both her and family in these challenging times.

 

We pray for the Queen and all the royal family, especially thinking of Prince Philip as the limitations of old age confine him increasingly. Grant to our Queen continuing strength and courage as she continues her public duties without the support that has upheld her during her public life, and endures in her very public life the private sadness of seeing her loved partner in her long reign decline in strength and health.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Dear Lord, we ask you to fill our homes, our places of work and our country with love and goodwill, that tensions and troubles may melt away, conflicts be resolved and troubles lightened by being lovingly shared. May all who are in misery and despair turn to find you close beside them in their heartache, loving them in their pain. We pray especially for Nicky, Sue and Kate and all others known to us who are in need or distress.                                           We commend to your mercy, Lord of the living and the dead, all who have died. And we thank you for that eternal healing which frees us from all pain and suffering.

 

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

Amen

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

The Peace

To crown all things there must be love, to bind all together and complete the whole.  May the peace of Christ always rule in our hearts.  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 blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 13th November 2020 3:33 PM