Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service 28.6.20

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service.

As you know, Church buildings are allowed to be open from July 4th for public worship.  At the moment this won’t be a communion service, nor will it include singing hymns, but if you would like to meet in church 10.15 July 5th and we observe the one metre social distancing rules, we could have our ‘community service’ together.

We could go a step further by bringing our own refreshments and have coffee and biscuits afterwards…. I’ve ordered the signage from Church Support Hub and am seeking a ‘bulk buy’ of hand sanitiser.

I have purchased a bottle for the 5th, but suggest you might like to bring your own too.)

I will still email round our Sunday community service to everyone.  If you would like to attend church please bring your copy with you, if you would prefer to remain at home at the moment that is perfectly understandable, at least we now have the option!

My plan is to clear and clean the church Friday 3rd at 10.30, if there are any willing volunteers to help with this you will be most welcome.

After the 5th the church building can remain open during the day as our previous custom, but we need to confirm that our key holders would be able to do this.

The covid restrictions are lifting but we still need to remain cautious, I suggest we clean and wipe down surfaces before Sunday worship if the building has been open during the week, perhaps on the Saturday afternoon?   I’m hoping we can form a rota for this…….

Our county is opening to visitors, restaurants and shops are opening, but please don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, be careful as you go out and about and keep yourselves safe.

There is a photo at the bottom of this service that shows what a difference a week makes when specialist care is given by the skilled dedicated staff of the RCH maternity unit.  (No, don’t scroll down yet!)

Much love and prayers and may Christ’s love sustain you always. 

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining and whose power we cannot comprehend: show us your glory as far as we can grasp it, and shield us from knowing more than we can bear, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

God calls us to account for the stewardship of our lives….

 

Lord, we confess we have not always used our time and gifts wisely, creatively and unselfishly: forgive us for misusing or wasting them.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Lord, we have not always lived in your light, or reflected it into the world’s darkness: forgive us for being set in our ways or complacent.

Christ, have mercy.

 

Lord, we have sometimes ended the day in anger or hurt: forgive us for being unrepentant or unforgiving.

Lord, have mercy.

 

May our almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon and forgiveness of all our failings, and the time to amend our lives, to seek to do good and serve his world by the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

 

Let us pray our Collect for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity

Heavenly Father, look upon this wounded world in pity and in power; hold us fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

 

Our Reading today is taken from the Gospel of Matthew (10.40-42) Jesus said: ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 

Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous.

And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’

 

 

Reflection   

Can you recall a time in your life when you witnessed the greatest act of hospitality? Perhaps a welcome you received from strangers when on a trip away from home, what they did to make you feel special, and why did they do it; because the answers to those questions are the reasons you can still remember it even today.

I have such a memory. It was in 1989, when I drove members of Camborne Twinning Association to Ste Anne d’Auray in Brittany. 

Before the trip it had been arranged for my passengers to stay with host families in the village, and the nuns at the local convent had offered to put the coach driver up in the gite in their grounds.

It was past midnight when we reached the village and the host families were waiting in the square.   As I emptied the coach lockers of luggage, my passengers were quickly claimed by their hosts and I was soon on my own. 

‘Oh well’ I thought, and began to prepare to sleep in the crew bunk.

Then I heard excited voices approaching, and saw two nuns coming along the road, holding torches to light their way. 

They were quite puzzled to see me, and kept asking where the ‘chauffeur de bus’ was to be found.  It was quite a while before I could persuade them that I was actually the driver, and I only finally managed to convince them that by driving them twice around the village square….

They chattered like an excited pair of starlings whilst directing me to the convent, and as we drove into the grounds and parked up I noticed that the building was in total darkness.

However, holding onto their elaborate wimples, my two new friends, still chattering, hurried across to the convent and let themselves in.

 Then all of a sudden, just about every window in the place lit up and the convent bell began to peal out across the roof tops. 

I hoped that most of the villagers were still up welcoming guests into their homes as the noise was terrific.

The two nuns reappeared and after an enthusiastic argument between themselves as to who was going to carry my bag, (I could have done with them when I was emptying the lockers….)

I was escorted into the convent to find that not only had most of the nuns got up from their beds to greet me, but they had also prepared me a hasty, but delicious supper too.

And it was over this impromptu meal that I discovered the reason for their hilarity….

Part of the convent was a ‘closed order’ the nuns who lived there didn’t venture into the outside world, part was a nursing home for elderly nuns, whilst the rest of the nuns worked in the local school or tended to their sister’s needs in the convent and gardens. 

They did all the work themselves, occasionally a workman might be called in to make a necessary repair but he would have to be escorted by the local parish priest.

Hence the offer of hospitality to the coach driver who they assumed would be a man, was taken very seriously.  And after much debate and prayer it was decided that their gite would be suitable as ‘he’ could have meals brought out to him there.

I was lauded as the answer to their prayers, of course God sorted it, (aided by the Virgin Mary of course) he sent them a woman driver!

Needless to say, I had a fantastic week, I didn’t stay in the allotted gite but in the main building with the nuns and was privileged to witness their life of servitude, poverty and prayer.

I could only repay their fantastic, humbling, hospitality by taking them on a trip to the seaside on my last afternoon there, and to this day I’m not sure what a coach load of nuns should be called…..

It’s been thirty years and as you can tell, I’ve not forgotten that wonderful week.

The reading this morning from Matthew’s gospel is a lesson in hospitality.  In fact Jesus is so focused on welcoming the stranger that he uses the word “welcome” six times in two sentences.

In his words is the promise that, if you show hospitality, you’ll get a prize; in fact, you’ll get the same prize as the person receiving your hospitality.

For instance; if you offer a meal to a great prophet like Isaiah, then you’ll get whatever reward Isaiah gets, which would probably be a pretty good reward indeed.  

And if you offer hospitality to a righteous person, like, say, an Archbishop, you’ll get the same reward that he’s going to get. (not so sure about that one…..)

At this point in the lesson it could seem that Jesus is saying to figure out who the important people are – those who’re going to have big rewards coming in heaven and show hospitality to them. 

That is, until the last verse where Jesus throws us a curve ball; “Whoever gives even a cup of water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple - truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

The point Jesus is making is this:

If there is something to be gained by us showing hospitality, it’s not hospitality.  If we are only kind to those of wealth and power, it’s not hospitality, it’s bribery. If we only show hospitality to our relatives and friends, it’s just paying them back.

“But” Jesus said, “if you so much as give a glass of water to a ‘little one’, you will never lose your reward.”

‘Little ones’ in Jesus’ day were those of no value; the children, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the infirm. They were classed as nobodies in that culture, there was nothing to be gained by being nice to them, and yet Jesus says that doing so was the ultimate act of kindness. This, says Jesus, is hospitality; when you care for the little ones.

Look at scripture; in almost every instance, when Jesus is speaking about kindness, generosity, hospitality, or welcome, he isn’t describing what ought to be done for the rich, the famous, or the powerful; he’s saying this is what ought to be done for the powerless ones: the little ones, the grieving, the discouraged, the desperate. If you show hospitality to these, your reward will never be lost.

You probably already know that the word hospitality comes from the Latin word “hospital.” Throughout most of history, a hospital wasn’t a place where someone went to be healed, nor was it a place where you went for life-saving surgery, this only developed in our lifetime. 

(And as Liz recovers from the operation she underwent on Wednesday, we truly give thanks for our surgeons and nursing teams)  

A hospital not so long ago didn’t offer anything other than comfort…it was a place to be fed, loved, and cared for, and as medicine and surgery skills progressed, the hospice movement developed to continue that comfort.

The purpose of hospice workers isn’t to cure their patients, but to make them as comfortable as humanly possible.

Hospice workers are, in fact, angels in disguise, and their reward, as Jesus promised, will be great.

And it seems to me that God calls his church to be a hospice to the hurting people of this world, rather than spending time and energy pointing out people’s sins and criticising them for their flawed lives.

God calls us to be on the lookout for the weakest, the oldest, the youngest, the poorest, the loneliest, and offer them a cup of water.

But often that call makes folk uncomfortable, so they ignore it, and I think that breaks God’s heart.

If somehow we could see what God sees, we’d be moved to action. We’d be handing out water by the buckets full, not to fix people’s problems, but simply to show kindness, and grace, and hospitality.

I close with this; in our lives, when it comes to hospitality, we take turns being the host and the guest.

Sometimes we are the ones who are grateful for a meal of hot food after a long journey.  Other times, we are the ones providing that food, or the treat of a ride out, a listening ear, or a hug.

Remember those lovely words from Hebrews; ‘Be not forgetful to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ 

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 Liz Davies      

Let us pray;

Loving God, we pray for Your guidance and wisdom as Your Church finds new ways of reaching out into the world with the good news of Your generous love and forgiveness.

Give leaders innovation and inspiration that comes from Your Holy Spirit so that Your Church may be more effective witnesses of Your saving grace.

Lord Jesus, as the world continues to suffer the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray for compassion and fairness in sharing practical resources and medical expertise so that there may be healing and wholeness for all.

We pray that all those who have influence over the lives of others, may make decisions based on kindness and for the common good.

We pray that the Holy Spirit will infuse with love the hearts of those who use war as a weapon of power.  

Hear our prayers for an end to all conflict, and for recognition and support to be given to all refugees and displaced people around the world.

Compassionate Christ, we pray for comfort and strength for those who are still isolated, for parents and children, for the elderly and those suffering long term illness.

Lord, lift anxiety from those who are worried about the future, their jobs, businesses and their financial situation. May they know that they are not alone and that You are always with them.

Dear Lord, we especially remember at this time, Sandra who is now at peace and pain free and is re-united with her beloved Tony - welcome her into Your eternal kingdom.

Please give comfort to those she leaves behind and may they know that You, and she, will be with them always.  Lord, we remember all those we know and love who have gone before, and we also remember all who have no one to pray for them, either in this world or in your eternal kingdom.

We give thanks to You for the continued improvement in the health of Willow and her mother, and for the safe arrival of Arlo Cedric, my and Martin’s new baby grandson.  We also give thanks for the expertise of all the medical staff who ensured Arlo’s safe delivery and the after care and well-being of his mother.

Holy Spirit, we pray for ourselves, for our plans that have been changed, for the people we have lost and miss still, for our hopes and dreams for the future. Strengthen our faith, deepen our commitment to Your ways and help us to better serve God and to see Jesus in everyone we meet.

Thank You Lord that Your love never fails.            

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.

 

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, to the end of the age.  

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Willow…..what a difference a week makes:

 

 

 

I’m hoping next week we might have a picture of Martin and Liz’s new grandson; Arlo Cedric……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 26th June 2020 3:18 PM