Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

                                MC900155368[1]

                                   

               St Clement Church Community Easter Season Service

 

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

Friday was the festival of St Julian of Norwich, someone who I much admire (as well as being a spiritual writer, she also loved cats!)

The words of her famous reflection; “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” resonate the hope of our faith.

St Julian spent much of her life in a self-imposed solitary ‘lockdown’ with her beloved cat for companionship, and I know that those of you who have much loved animal companions sharing your home, find them a comfort during these troubling times.

During the week accessed St Clement Church building to write an entry burial register.  As I unlocked the porch door I was first struck by our usual vase of welcoming flowers, once bright blooms, but now withered and brown.  ‘How sad’ I thought, until I noticed ladybirds sheltering in the withered petals.

When I opened the main door into church the stillness, the silence, was overwhelming.  As I walked around I saw a spider has carefully made a web on the cross behind the altar, our bats are obviously enjoying having the building to themselves, and in my mind’s eye I imagined the church mice having a sing song around the piano of an evening…..I felt like an intruder and left as quietly as I could. 

As much as I look forward to the time when we can once again join together in worship in our beautiful building, I take comfort that life continues within it, highlighting the fact that we only share our world, and perhaps Nature survives better without us.   

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.

 

The Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. (14.1-14)

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said; ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 

And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 

Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 

Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 

If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

 

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

 

Reflection

I’ve vocalised different translations of the first seven verses from this chapter of John’s gospel at a many a funeral service. 

Along with the 23rd Psalm, it’s one of the most requested readings of scripture in the Bible at such a service.

 I say that not only to point out its popularity, but to recognize a danger:

The more familiar the words, the greater the tendency to miss the meaning.  Take the Apostles’ Creed, for example, the words can just roll off our tongue, as if we’re on autopilot.  We can say it without thinking, so as we read these familiar words of scripture once more, I want us to hear them as if we’ve never heard them before. 

The passage begins;

"Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God. Believe also in me.

In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.

If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take you to myself; so that where I am, there you may be also."

Further on, the chapters 13-17 of John’s gospel are a farewell message.  For Jesus, the clock was ticking, he didn’t have much time left and there was so much to tell the disciples before he was taken away: Love one another.  Stay connected.  God will be with you. 

And, in this chapter, don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.  It may have been the most important words the disciples needed to hear, because there was plenty to be afraid of: The Roman soldiers, the temple guards, the fickle nature of the crowd. 

Remember, less than a week before, the people had waved palm branches to welcome Jesus into the holy city.  In another day or so, they would demand that he be crucified.

Do not be afraid.  Maybe the most important words we need to hear as well, especially during these pandemic times.

A story; there was a little boy who was afraid of the dark…….one evening, his mother asked him to go out to the shed and bring in the mop and bucket.  He protested; “Mum, its pitch black out there.”  She said; “Don’t be afraid.  Jesus is with you.  He’ll help you, if you ask.” 

So reluctantly, the little boy ventured outside.  When he got to the shed door, he opened it just a fraction and whispered, “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me the mop and bucket?”

But seriously, our fears are real and troubling, so, I’d like us to take a few moments, in the privacy of our own heart, to name our fears, what are we afraid of?

Of course, the most common of all fears is simply fear of the unknown. 

Not knowing what the future holds can be scary, who knows what tomorrow has in store for us? But the point of naming these fears is that, in the face of it all, Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me."

And he doesn't just say the words, he shows us the way. 

We need not be afraid. 

We’re often guilty of not putting enough emphasis on the power and work of the Holy Spirit, who gives the presence of God within us, among us, and gives us the confidence and strength to deal with life. 

Enabling us to find peace in the midst of chaos; power, when our own strength fails; and purpose, when the world around us seems to be going in every unconceivable direction. 

Knowing the strength of God's presence, we need never be afraid again. 

This is what Jesus promised his disciples so long ago.  It's what he promises us today.

So take comfort from the words we hear later in John’s gospel;

‘’The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,

 will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you;

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.’’

Amen.

 

We close this reflection with our words of hope:

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

Because I 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 Helen Dunbar

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, through whom we can come into the presence of God forever.

As living stones, let us pray for the building up of God’s Church, and for the world God loves.

Living God, especially at this time with all the many changes that have taken place in the way we live our lives, help us to stay strong and reach out to one another as we struggle to come to terms with this pandemic, which continues its seemingly unstoppable course. May your love strengthen us and open our eyes to what is important in your sight. Sharpen our consciences to sense your direction and protect us from all that draws us away from you. Guide our leaders in the way of truth and realign us all to the values, which are built on you.

Pause:  Lord, you are my strong rock: My strong rock and my shelter.

On this Sunday we celebrate the life of Julian of Norwich and parallels can be drawn with her story and what we are going through at the moment. Julian, who lived in the fourteenth century, was an anchorite and lived most of her life in seclusion and prayer away from secular society with her cat, but when she was a young girl a pandemic known as the Black Death struck the world and Julian succumbed to it thinking she may die, but managed to survive.

We pray for our Church here and across the world. For our Archbishop Justin. At home we pray for our own Diocese here in Truro, for Bishop Phillip and our Suffragan Bishop Hugh and for our own, much loved Revd Di who continues her work in the community ministering to the sick and bereaved and taking funeral services.

Pause:  Lord, you are my strong rock: My strong rock and my shelter.

 

We give our thanks and prayers to all the doctors and nurses who bravely carry on the fight to save very sick people who have contracted Coronavirus and by doing so, risking their own lives. Lord, bring comfort to all those grieving for loved ones and bring peace to those who are struggling to cope both mentally and physically. We pray for all governments who are trying to steer a path between keeping everyone safe and in lockdown and coping with the economic downturn.

Pause:  Lord, you are my strong rock: My strong rock and my shelter.

 

Living God, you can use and transform all our experiences. We lay before you now those who are travelling through a time of pain or anguish, tragedy or conflict which is hard to bear. We stand alongside them in their suffering, and offer it to your transforming, healing love.

We pray for all those known to us who are sick, for Father Harold and for his family, who are traumatised by being unable to visit his bedside and comfort him in his final days.

Pause:  Lord, you are my strong rock: My strong rock and my shelter.

 

Living God, we remember those who have died and pray for them now. Lead them out of their pain into the light of eternity, and keep us all in the Way that leads us to share that everlasting life with you. We remember Mike Grose who passed away so suddenly on Friday, 1st May and our thoughts and prayers go to his wife and daughters, trying to come to terms with their unexpected loss.

We remember all whose anniversary of their passing occurs at this time and the families who miss their loved ones so much.  We especially hold Carol in a prayers this Sunday.

Living God, we thank you for showing us the Way, in human terms that we find easier to understand.  And ask you, our merciful Father, to 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: 8th May 2020 12:09 PM