Sunday 25th October – Bible Sunday

Welcome to our family service for Bible Sunday.

If you are watching this service during the week, welcome and we hope you enjoy it.

If you are watching on Sunday we invite you to Zoom Coffee at 11.30. Contact Revd Liz for details of how to join.

You can either scroll down the page and play each video in turn or you can just hit play on the playlist immediately underneath this paragraph.

Click here for Bible Sunday worksheets.

YouTube Playlist

Service written out

During the last corona virus lockdown, like many of you I’m sure, I arranged my bookcases. I had an awful lot of Bibles, different sizes, colours and versions. it made me think about adults and children who don’t have a Bible in their homes. It is in the Bible that we have readings like the New Testament reading we have today, that teaches us how much God loves us and shows us how we should teach each other. Like our song, which is sung by people all over the world, the Bible unites us all as christians.

So let us begin our worship.

Welcome in the name of Christ
Gods grace, mercy and peace be with us all. Amen.

Hymn – Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning

Opening Prayer

Loving God, we have come to worship you.
Help us to pray to you in faith,
to sing your praise with gratitude,
and to listen to your word with eagerness;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Day (Collect) for 20th Sunday after Trinity

God, the giver of life,
whose Holy Spirit wells up within your Church:
by the Spirit’s gifts equip us to live the gospel of Christ
and make us eager to do your will,
that we may share with the whole creation
the joys of eternal life;
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.

Confession

We confess to you our selfishness and lack
of love:
fill us with your spirit
Lord have mercy & fit us for your Kingdom.

We confess to you our fear and failure in
sharing our faith:
fill us with your spirit
Lord have mercy & fit us for your Kingdom.

We confess to you our stubbornness and
lack of trust:
fill us with your spirit
Lord have mercy & fit us for your Kingdom.

Assurance of forgiveness

May the God of love
bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn – Jesus put this song into our hearts

Reading based on Psalm 100

The whole world is singing a song, have you heard it?
The wind is whispering it in the trees.
The rain is dancing it on the rooftops.
The whole of creation is singing it out together:
“God loves us. He made us. He’s very pleased with us!”
It’s the song that’s been sung since the beginning;
the song God created everything in the world to sing.
It’s the song without words.
It’s the song you were created to sing too.
We forgot our song long ago when we turned and ran away from God, but Jesus has come to bring us home to God – and give us back our song.
So go on – sing your song!

Reading from Colossians 3 12-17 (The Message Bible)

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.

Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Talk

I loved the Colossians from “The Message Bible”, but I did get a little “nudge” when the word Wardrobe was mentioned! My lockdown clearing out and sorting has not included my wardrobe, or, should I say wardrobes.

My Mum was the same and I think it was her reaction to her childhood life,where money was scarce, and clothes few. My Grandma, her mother, wouldn’t go to Church as she had no smart clothes to wear. My Grandfather played the organ in Church and my Mum went Church with him, three or four times on a Sunday. Mum had to change her clothes from smart clothes to play clothes each time she came home! Thank goodness we are more relaxed about clothes these days.

One thing my Grandma was insistent upon was that all her grandchildren should wear a vest!(no matter what time of year)

Here is one of my old teddies, Clementine, who is wearing her vest. Lets see what she has in her wardrobe.

A Jacket, that will keep her warm, lets call it the jacket of COMPASSION, reminding all to help others less fortunate than ourselves.

A hat, ah! the hat of KINDNESS, actually being friendly and considerate to people.

A pair of gloves, the gloves of HUMILITY , not always thinking that we should be first, or best, but listening to others.

Clementines socks- QUIET STRENGTH? I think that means being firm in our Christian Faith and being strong in the knowledge God is with us, helping us to be the best that we can be.

DISCIPLINE is the next item in the wardrobe. I think Clementine can have a cape of DISCIPLINE, learning to follow Gods rules as best as we can, not doing just what we like.

The passage also talks about FORGIVENESS and being EVEN TEMPERED. FORGIVENESS is at the heart of our Christian Faith. As God has forgiven us when we say sorry to him, we must forgive others, too.

The short reading, five verses long, is teaching us how to be Christian people. And, the best thing we can wear from the wardrobe, is LOVE

(And a vest of course Grandma )

Our Affirmation of faith, this is what we believe

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
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 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.
Amen.

Hymn – How deep the Father’s love for us

Offertory Prayer

Gracious God, accept our gifts
and with them our lives
to be used in your service
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer time – Five finger prayers

Let us pray:

Our thumb prayer:
Dear God, we give thanks and pray for those we love the most, for our families and friends on whom we rely so much.

Help us to be better at showing them that we love them and may they be confident in your love, knowing that you will always be by their side.

God of love
Hear our prayer

Our Pointer finger prayer:
Dear God, we pray for our teachers and all who work in our schools. We give thanks for the extra care and effort they are putting in at the moment. May their wisdom and their support for their pupils be grounded in love.

We give thanks for doctors, nurses, carers and all key workers. Be with them Lord; support, strengthen and uphold them in your boundless love.

We pray for Revd Liz and her family as they prepare to move to their new parishes. On this Bible Sunday, we give thanks for all Liz has done to share your Word and your love with us.

God of love
Hear our prayer

Our index finger prayer:
Dear God, give wisdom we pray to leaders in government around the world. As they strive to find a path for us through the pandemic, may their thoughts, words and actions be based on good common sense and be done in the name and with the grace of Jesus.

May your peace Lord, keep us all in step and in tune with one each other.

God of love
Hear our prayer

Our ring finger prayer:
Dear God, we lift to you anyone we are worried about; those who are ill, afraid, alone or bereaved. And we remember those who have died.

We pray for those who have turned and run away from you or who do not yet know you. Meet them, we pray, and bring them home to your comforting love.

God of love
Hear our prayer

Our little finger prayer:
Dear God, we pray for ourselves, that we will never forget that you love us. Encourage us to keep singing your song and to wear the garment of love always.

We pray that your kindness, compassion, humility and love will shine brightly through us.

God of love
Hear our prayer

We say together:
Your Word is the light we see,
a guide for our footsteps
to where you are found.

Your Word is the strength we find
when darkness threatens
to overwhelm.

Your Word is the power we need
to become servants
of a Heavenly King.

Your Word is the reason we live
in the sure knowledge
you are everything. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

Sending Out

God give us your love
Give us your joy
Give us your peace
That we may live life to the full
And in awareness of you and your love for us

God give us your guidance
Give us your protection
Give us your power
That we may travel in hope
And in awareness of you and your love for us

God give us your aid
Give us your strength
Give us your presence

That we may grow in faith
And in awareness of you and your love for us. Amen

Our last song is sung by people from all over the world and in different languages.
United by faith on Bible Sunday we sing Amazing Grace.

Hymn – Amazing Grace

Dismissal

Let us go in the light & peace of Christ
And shine with the light of his love.
Amen.

Click here for Bible Sunday worksheets.

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.

Sunday 18th October 2020 – 19th Sunday after Trinity

Welcome

Welcome to our worship. If it is still Sunday morning where you are, I hope you will join us at Zoom coffee, which will be at 11.30am. Details, as usual, are on the emailed notice sheet. If you don’t receive this, please click up above on the Contact page and send an email to Carol, who will make sure you are added to the list.

The form of the service today is the first part of the communion service, finishing with the peace and the prayer of spiritual communion. I hope this gives you the opportunity to meditate and ponder as you pray.

You can either scroll down the page and play each video in turn or you can just hit play on the playlist immediately underneath this paragraph.

YouTube Playlist

Service written out in full

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Hymn – O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

Prayer of preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

Introduction to Confession
God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ
to save us from our sins,
to be our advocate in heaven,
and to bring us to eternal life.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith,
firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments
and to live in love and peace with all.

Silence

Confession

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
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 grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
Amen.

Absolution

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Collect – Prayer for the week

O God, forasmuch as without you
we are not able to please you;
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
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

New Testament Reading

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, read by Susannah from Brandsby

Psalm 96:1-9

Sing to the Lord a new song; ♦
sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord and bless his name; ♦
tell out his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations ♦
and his wonders among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; ♦
he is more to be feared than all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are but idols; ♦
it is the Lord who made the heavens.

Honour and majesty are before him; ♦
power and splendour are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; ♦
ascribe to the Lord honour and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name; ♦
bring offerings and come into his courts.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; ♦
let the whole earth tremble before him.

Hymn – Take my life

For the words to this hymn, click on the Closed Captions option.

Gospel:

Matthew 22:15-22 read by Michael from Brandsby
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
Glory to you, O Lord.

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

Sermon

Within any group you quite often find a pressure to conform and, if you don’t fit in, it can be uncomfortable. Think about how you would feel if you were wearing the wrong football shirt to the match, or on boat race day when half your family are pale blue and half light blue and you don’t want to upset either.

Do you ever feel a conflict between being in wider society and being in church? Perhaps when your friends are planning exciting things on a Sunday morning and you know you want to be in church. Or having the strength to do the right thing even though it will cost you more money.

Sometimes, of course, people seem to want to catch us out. How often does the media interview Christians who have made mistakes and been found out and wave their faith against them as some kind of accusation?

It was no different for Jesus. The Pharisees (the strictest and most devout religious leaders of his day) had got rather fed up of being the target of Jesus’ stories (for examples of this go and listen again to the last few weeks of services) and they thought they had found a way of entrapping him with a political question.

Israel at the time was an occupied nation. The Romans were in charge and they tolerated the Jewish religion and customs to a certain extent, but there were limits. Anyone who spoke out against them was likely to be severely punished. There had been tax revolts previously that had ended with the Romans crucifying the revolutionaries. The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus into saying something that could then be used against him.

The Pharisees asked Jesus: Is it lawful to pay taxes to the Emperor?

What were they hoping for? If he said ‘yes’, they could say he wasn’t being a faithful Jew by supporting the pagan overlords. If he said ‘no’, they could report him to the secular authorities as a troublemaker. Either answer would be problematic.

Jesus replies, not with yes or no, but with a question of his own, after asking to see the coin: “Whose head is this and whose title”? The coin was, of course a Roman coin with the head of Caesar on it. The Roman denarius wasn’t the only currency around at the time. The temple tax had to be paid in Jewish money which wouldn’t have any image on it, let alone Caesar, and certainly not an inscription round the edge proclaiming Caesar high priest and son of God.

Jesus rather neatly then solves the problem with that famous phrase – in the King James translation “Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Or more prosaicly “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”.

Why were the Pharisees so impressed by that answer? You can read this answer at different levels. At face value, he could be saying just to pay your taxes. Or is it a dig at Caesar having brought occupation and oppression – is that what to give back?

Have we forgotten the other half of the reply though? Give to God what is God’s?

What belongs to God? What should be given to God? If you have a concordance at home, look up the word ‘belong’ – or go to the website Bible Gateway. In the Old testament, the heavens belong to God, the Israelites too. Wisdom, power, strength and victory belong to God. In the new Testament it is St Paul who talks most about belonging. Believers belong to God, we belong to Christ.

I have a vivid memory of the night I first really understood the depths of God’s love for me, for all of us. I remember walking home, well skipping almost because I was so happy. And I remember placing my whole life before God as a thankoffering and saying “here it is, everything I have and am is yours, God”. I have never regretted that, although it has taken me in some unexpected directions.

We give ourselves to God when we give him our time – in prayer, in worship, in loving our neighbours. We give ourselves to God when we commit to leadership roles in the Church – through being churchwardens or PCC members or home group leaders. We give ourselves to God when we have to compromise in other areas of life – not going off shopping on a Sunday morning, avoiding gossip and malicious talk, not stealing or lying or being cruel. All of this is our offering of ourselves.

But I am going to tread on dangerous ground for a little here because giving yourself to God also affects the money that you have in your wallet or bank account. When was the last time you looked at a bank statement? Were you happy with what was there? When was the last time you looked at your bank statement and prayed about it? Do you think God is happy with how you are using your money?

What about the money you give to the Church. Are you happy with what you have chosen to give? Consider all that God has given you – does your financial commitment to God through the Church match the thankfulness you feel inside? Do you think God is happy with what you offer him? Is your giving a reflection of wanting to give your whole self to God?

If you are a current giver to our churches, you will be getting a letter soon, explaining a little about our current financial situation and asking you to consider whether it is possible to give a little more.

People quite often talk about giving being the right thing to do, but giving can also be a joyful thing to do. It can make you feel better, it can be an act of praise and worship. It is a sign of belonging and being part of something bigger. Don’t give more to the Church than you can afford and if you aren’t sure how the Church uses the money on God’s behalf then ask me or your PCC members.

Jesus said “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”. We belong to God, so we should give ourselves to God, our whole selves. There are many ways to do this. How will you give yourself to God this week?

Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge
the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is
worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Intercessions

Almighty God, ruler of the ends of the earth, we pray for those to whom you have entrusted power and responsibility.
We think first of our own country and those elected to office as Members of Parliament— those who serve in government, whether in cabinet office, junior posts or on backbench committees; those in opposition with their mandate to challenge and debate government policies and decisions; and especially we pray for our Prime Minister and the leaders of all other parties.

Almighty God, grant them wisdom, insight, patience, dedication, integrity, open-mindedness, and humility, that each may be equipped to honour the trust placed in them and lead us through this pandemic.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those in local government, entrusted with representing the interests of local people in their communities, taking decisions which will directly influence their lives, wrestling with limited resources and numerous demands.

Give to them the qualities they need to serve faithfully, staying true to their convictions yet putting people before party.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those in authority in other lands, leaders of nations large and small, super-powers and tiny states, shaping the lives of millions or relatively few.

Grant them also the guidance and the gifts they need to govern wisely, that they may work for the good of all their people, and strive to promote justice, freedom of speech and opportunity, inner harmony and international peace.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those nations affected by an abuse of power, divided by rival factions,   oppressed by military dictatorships, exploited by corrupt regimes, suppressed by totalitarian authorities.

Support those who suffer under such government, and strengthen those who struggle to bring justice to those places, so that the time may come when truth and justice prevail.  

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all people living in our parishes
those struggling with financial worries
those being crushed by the weight of loneliness and worry
those who want to help but don’t know how
those who are overworked
those who are tired and worn out
those living with terminal or chronic illness
those who are bereaved

Help them see a way forward, help them to know your peace and lead them into your love and help all of us to support each other in our turn.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember those who have gone before us in the peace of Christ, and we give you praise for all your faithful ones, with whom we rejoice in the communion of saints, remembering especially Sue, Jean and Mavis.

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

Amen.

These intercessions were written by Nick Fawcett, adapted by Rev. I. Scott McCarthy, and were found on the Starters for Sunday website from the Church of Scotland via Re:worship, then adapted again by the Revd Liz Hassall.

Offertory

Our giving is a response to God’s generosity to us, and enables us to fulfil God’s mission in our church. I and all the PCCs would like to encourage you to give by Standing Order or Direct Debit, which is the most reliable and sustainable form of regular giving, and is the most efficient and cost-effective method for us. Although for many of us, money is not abundant this year, if you are able to increase your giving at this time, we will have more resource to serve our community and channel into mission.

Thank you for all you are able to give.

God of abundance,
the author and giver
of all good things,
grant us a gracious
and humble heart,
that we may give you glory
through offering the
first fruits of our lives,
and grow more into the likeness
of our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace
and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

Hymn

Today I will read the institution narrative from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, then offer a time of silence, finishing with the prayer for spiritual communion and the Lord’s prayer.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIVUK)

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer,
friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Today, I am using the traditional language Lord’s prayer. Please pray in whichever language or version you prefer.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour 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.

Hymn – We have a gospel to proclaim

Blessing and Dismissal

The peace of God, which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ, Amen.

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.

Sunday 11th October 2020 – Harvest Thanksgiving

Welcome to our online harvest festival, particularly if this is your first time here. Do get in touch or leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you.

As usual, you can watch all the service automatically by clicking on the first embedded video, below. Or you can work your way down the page watching each one and reading the text with it.

YouTube playlist – click play and enjoy the whole service

Service written out in full

Welcome and Introduction

Hymn – Come Ye Thankful People Come

Prayers of praise

Loving God, for food so delicious, for taste and for flavour, for feeling hungry and the joy of eating,
We thank and praise you.

Loving God, for all in the food chain, from field to factory, seller to buyer, each one depending on the others,
We thank and praise you.

Loving God, for our beautiful countryside, for crops and animals, fruit and fish, for sunshine and rain,
We thank and praise you. Amen.

Setting the scene

I wonder what harvest means to you – maybe you automatically think of churches decorated with produce of all kinds. Maybe, for you, harvest is something that happens to other people.
But if you are a farmer, you probably think about harvest as a time of long days and hard work, of anxiety about the weather, about the responsibility to provide for your family.
Of course, this year our harvest celebrations have to include an acknowledgement that we are living through a pandemic, that the reasons for not gathering in church include the danger to others of gathering in large numbers. Life as we know it has been very different for the last six months. We are particularly aware of the essential contribution made by people we now know as keyworkers, including farmers and all who work in the food chain.

I’d like to invite you to think more deeply about harvest – both in the traditional sense and more widely. What is the harvest that you are celebrating?
In our garden, we grow things – a few potatoes, some onions, lettuces until they inevitably bolt away, and some fruit. I’m always very pleased when things do grow but, for me, it isn’t a disaster if they don’t – I can rely on the more successful harvests that others have grown.
When I get to the end of the year and think about what my harvest is, it is more likely to be about the people I have spent time with. In my work, the harvest looks like babies baptised, couples married and those who have died laid to rest. I might include things I have made or created and time spent learning new skills.
What is your harvest? How have you grown this year? Who are the people you have had an impact on this year?

Confession

We confess our sin, and the sins of our society, in the misuse of God’s creation.

God our Father, we are sorry for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly,
and acted ungratefully.
Hear our prayer, and in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

We enjoy the fruits of the harvest,
but sometimes forget that you have given them to us.
Father, in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

We belong to a people who are full and satisfied, but ignore the cry of the hungry.
Father, in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

We are thoughtless, and do not care enough for the world you have made.
Father, in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

We store up goods for ourselves alone,
as if there were no God and no heaven.
Father, in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

Silence

May almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever. Amen.

Reading:

2 Corinthians 9:6-end – read by Fiona from Crayke

Hymn – God is working his purpose out

Reading:

Luke 12:16-30 – read by Florence

Sermon – The Revd Liz Hassall

Harvest is a twofold activity – it is a celebration, and act of thanksgiving and worship, recognising the hard work that has gone into bringing home the harvest, and producing it in the first place, and thanking God for the blessings of sun, rain, fertility and safety. It is also a time of sharing, an act of joining together as a community, of thinking of those with less than ourselves.

There is a phrase – we are all in the same boat. It has been used this year to imply that everyone is being affected by worldwide events. However, it is more accurate to say that, while we are all facing the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. We have all experienced 2020 differently – whether our jobs are secure, whether our families are affected by illness, whether we have been furloughed or working extra hours, whether we are medically vulnerable, whether we are lonely or surrounded by people, whether we or our children have been home-schooled or at school.

I hope that, whatever your circumstances, you are able to give thanks for something today. I also hope that you do not have to be anxious about the future, but I know that some of you will be.

In our gospel reading, Jesus tells the story of someone who seemed to be succeeding in life. Someone who had grown so many crops that they had nowhere to store them. This person’s answer to the solution was to build bigger barns, which turns out to be the wrong thing to do. What did Jesus think they should have done instead? Well, the implication is that they should have given the surplus to God, presumably so it could then be passed on to those whose harvest was not so abundant.

When you have worked hard, whether in the fields, gardens and allotments, or in the office, factory or laboratory, the temptation to keep our ‘harvests’ for ourselves and those closest to us is strong. The ‘harvest’ this year may be good, but what about the lean years? We all need to have a little stored up in our barns for the times when the crops have failed, or a nest egg to cover the roof falling in, the children’s education, our retirement. However, Jesus warns us against this fear of failure to provide for our own.

Jesus encouraged us only to pray for our daily bread; when the Israelites wandered the wilderness, God provided Manna enough for each day. When we store up so much food we cut ourselves off from the rest of our community. If we have enough food in our barns to last a lifetime, we no longer need to work in the fields with the rest of our communities. We will not stand shoulder to shoulder as we bring in the harvest, we will not celebrate together at the end of the gathering in. There is no togetherness in the lean years or the fat years, because we have bunkered ourselves down with our abundant harvest isolated from the rest of our community. We become recluses of wealth.

We also become isolated from God: as we withdraw from a need for God’s provision, we find ourselves removed from a place in which we can receive God’s love too. This is not what God wishes for us, indeed this goes against God’s plan for humanity, for the whole of God’s creation.

Jesus says do not worry. You might want to say to him, “Not worry? All very well for you back in the day. Have you seen what we are going through this year?” Well yes, Jesus does indeed know what we are going through and, whatever you are going through this year, he would still say “do not worry”. Nothing has changed – there are people in the world whose lives are precarious, but the love of God surrounds them, surrounds us and that love which God has for us is stronger and more powerful and enduring than anything else we know.

God knows what we need and he knows our capacity to work for it. He knows when we need help from someone else, when the community needs to pull together to help those in need. He knows where the surplus needs to go of those with abundant harvests.

So harvest, which has been celebrated from the very beginning of creation, re-connects us with God in thanksgiving, even in the lean years, the years when the weather has been unfair, the work back breaking and the yield low, because we are still here, and God still loves us.; and harvest re-connects us with our neighbours, the communities we live in and those far away, as we look at whatever the harvests yielded this year, and choose to share it. Each of us has a choice to make – to hoard our ‘harvest’ or to celebrate and share it. For those of us who choose to share it though, we will discover that in the sharing we are enfolded in God’s love.

Declaration of faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
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 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. Amen.

Music – All things bright and beautiful

Prayers

The response to the prayers is:
Lord of all …
hear our prayer

Let us offer our prayers to God for the life of the world
and for all God’s people in their daily life and work.
God, the beginning and end of all things,
in your providence and care
you watch unceasingly over all creation;
we offer our prayers
that in us and in all your people your will may be done,
according to your wise and loving purpose in Christ our Lord.
Lord of all life:
hear our prayer.

We pray for all through whom we receive sustenance and life;
for farmers and agricultural workers,
for packers, distributors and company boards;
as you have so ordered our life that we depend upon each other,
enable us by your grace to seek the well-being of others before
our own.
Lord of all creation:
hear our prayer

We pray for all engaged in research to safeguard crops against disease,
and to produce abundant life among those who hunger
and whose lives are at risk.
Prosper the work of their hands
and the searching of their minds,
that their labour may be for the welfare of all.
Lord of all wisdom:
hear our prayer.

We pray for governments and aid agencies,
and those areas of the world where there is disaster, drought
and starvation and for all working to combat the threat of Covid-19.
By the grace of your Spirit,
touch our hearts
and the hearts of all who live in comfortable plenty,
and make us wise stewards of your gifts.
Lord of all justice:
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are ill,
remembering those in hospital and nursing homes
and all who are known to us.
We pray for all who care for them.
Give skill and understanding
to all who work for their well-being.
Lord of all compassion:
hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died,
whom we entrust to your eternal love
in the hope of resurrection to new life.
We remember this week Sue, Mavis and Jean.
Lord of all peace:
hear our prayer.

We offer ourselves to your service,
asking that by the Spirit at work in us
others may receive a rich harvest of love and joy and peace.
Lord of all faithfulness:
hear our prayer.

God of grace,
as you are ever at work in your creation,
so fulfil your wise and loving purpose in us
and in all for whom we pray,
that with them and in all that you have made,
your glory may be revealed
and the whole earth give praise to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Eternal God,
you crown the year with your goodness
and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season:
grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being;
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.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.
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.

Hymn – We plough the fields

Sending out prayer

God of life and love,
we offer you our thanks and praise in this season of Harvest.
We thank you that you are Creator and Provider,
the source of all goodness.
We thank you for the sunshine and the rain,
for the land and the soil.
We thank you for the miracle of fertility and growth,
for the rhythm of nature and life.
We thank you for crops and livestock, farmers and growers.
We thank you for our calling to be co-creators with you
and we pray especially for all who share with you
in the task of growing and supplying the food we eat.
God of life and love,
we offer you our thanks and praise. Amen.

Blessing

God our creator, who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds of the air, bestow on you his care and increase the harvest of your righteousness and the blessing of God Almighty; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you now and always.
Amen

Freely you have received, freely give.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
in the name of Christ. Amen.

Hymn – Now thank we all our God

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.

Welcome – Autumn 2020

We are now having regular services in our church buildings. See the link above for details or else look on the notice sheet. If you do not receive the notice sheet, please contact Revd Liz using the details on the Contact page to find out more.

Not everyone is able to join us in church at the moment so I continue to welcome you here to this site, where we can hear the Word of God and worship in our own homes.

Some of our buildings are open for private prayer at the following times:
Coxwold – Church open daily
Crayke – Sunday 1pm to 4pm; Thursday 9am to 1pm
Husthwaite – Sunday 9am to 1pm; Wednesday 2pm to 6pm
Wass – currently closed for redecoration

Revd Liz

Sunday 4th October – 17th Sunday after Trinity

Welcome

Welcome to our online service this Sunday. As usual, you will find a playlist which you can set going and the whole service will play. Otherwise, it is written out in full below.

Next week will be our online Harvest service here.

At ‘After Church’ time, 11.30 there will be our usual Zoom Coffee meeting. Log in details are in the weekly notice sheet. If you have problems, please phone Liz at the rectory, and she will guide you through accessing it.

YouTube Playlist

Service written out in full

Opening Hymn – O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you
and also with you.

This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We have come together in the name of Christ
to offer our praise and thanksgiving,
to hear and receive God’s holy word,
to pray for the needs of the world,
and to seek the forgiveness of our sins,
that by the power of the Holy Spirit
we may give ourselves to the service of God.

Confession

Let us take a moment to keep silence and reflect on the past week

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’
So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ,
confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

May the God of love bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins
and assure us of his eternal love.
In Jesus Christ our Lord
Amen.

Blessed is the Lord,
for he has heard the voice of our prayer;
therefore shall our hearts dance for joy
and in our song will we praise our God.

Psalm 80: 9-17

   You brought a vine out of Egypt;  
you drove out the nations and planted it.

10  You made room around it,  
and when it had taken root, it filled the land.

11  The hills were covered with its shadow  
and the cedars of God by its boughs.

12  It stretched out its branches to the Sea  
and its tendrils to the River.

13  Why then have you broken down its wall,  
so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?

14  The wild boar out of the wood tears it off,  
and all the insects of the field devour it.

15  Turn again, O God of hosts,  
look down from heaven and behold;

16  Cherish this vine which your right hand has planted,  
and the branch that you made so strong for yourself.

 17 Let those who burnt it with fire, who cut it down,  
perish at the rebuke of your countenance.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever.
Amen

Hymn – The Lord’s my Shepherd

Readings

Isaiah 5: 1-7

Matthew 21: 33-46

Sermon – Revd Stephen Pope

When I was in my mid teens, my father, a local lay preacher, would sometimes take me to one of the services he was taking. He might ask me to read the Bible passage that he had chosen. I still remember vividly the time he asked me to read from John chapter 15. You may remember it’s the chapter that starts “I am the vine and my father is the husbandman”. That first word,”I” I started in the treble clef and finished it in the bass clef. My voice had broken in a somewhat dramatic fashion.

So when I looked at today’s readings and I saw there were three readings about vineyards, I looked at them closely.

The story in our old Testament reading from Isaiah is a parable from God for the people of Israel.They were being likened to a vine producing bad grapes – wild grapes in some translations. The Hebrew word for “bad” here can also mean ‘stinking’. At the end of the reading we heard what stank. It was their justice system. It was leading to bloodshed, maybe literally, maybe in the form of corruption. Also, their sense of “righteousness” was awful, taking them off the pathway of good-neighbourly living as directed by God’s law.

The parable about a vineyard in our gospel reading is the second of two parables directed at the Chief Priests and Elders of the people who had been having a go at Jesus. Jesus was giving them a picture of how God saw their attitudes and behaviour.

But the parable in the Psalm we read together is a parable much more related to our situation today. Today’s reading was the middle section of the Psalm. If you have time later to read the whole Psalm through, you will find it starts with an appeal to “the Shepherd of Israel” to restore His people, symbolised here as a vine. They were unhappy in their present circumstances.They had been praying, but felt God was not responding to them. They felt cut off from Him

And immediately that resonated with our Covid situation.

We certainly feel cut off from most of our churches. We feel cut off by masks and social distancing requirements from each other when we can meet in church, though, thankfully we are not cut off from God – His Presence can still be found in them. And to varying degrees we are at least a bit cut off from our neighbours

And although it is not as bad as it was at the beginning of lockdown, visiting relatives, friends and neighbours is often more difficult than it was. We have a longing, a yearning, an on-going sort of restlessness inside that makes us feel we are not back to the ‘normal’ we knew where we were with. We can talk about it to ourselves, we can talk about with others, we talk about it with God, but it persists – the Covid rules persist, and so does the internal sense that all is not right. Moreover, although the doctors and scientists are working on treatments and vaccines, we don’t know how effective they will be, and many are getting a sense of ‘Where is God in all this?’

In the turmoil and wondering about where God is, it is easy to lose sight of where He is at work, easy to have difficulty hearing Him speaking, easy to lose that sense of His presence we were used to.

If you have looked ahead to today’s collect, you might have noticed that that prayer addresses this very problem. It describes our hearts as “restless” – restless until our hearts find their rest in God once more. Then the collect continues with a request from us to God – “pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself”.

Pour.

I wonder how we recognise it when God is pouring love into our hearts. I’ve never heard a sermon about it. I can’t remember reading a book about it or discussing it with friends or at a house group or a Bible study. So let’s explore this a bit together.

Love being poured into our hearts

“Poured.” Not a few drops, but a tea pot full – well, that’s the picture it gives me. What picture or sense does it give you?

“Into our hearts.” That suggests it will be going deeper than a nice idea, rather something that will also connect to our peace of mind, our inner feelings, even how relaxed our bodies are.

To appreciate that, we need to give ourselves time and open our sense of awareness.

It is worth taking time to remind ourselves and time to become aware of the blessings we have had in the past, of the blessings we still have despite our restrictions and uncertainties. God has helped us in the past. He is still the same God, and He is doing something new, and new things, especially unexpected ones can be unsettling but as we have trusted Him in the past, it is still OK to trust Him now.

Awareness. This takes time too. I was in London recently, and noticed how packed the shopping streets were. Most people so busy with their mobiles or whatever else was occupying their minds, there was very little sense of social distancing, very little noticing or acknowledging the few courtesies there were.

This had me wondering how many of God’s ‘little’ things He does for us there are that we are not aware of, or we don’t always think of as coming from Him. What prompted someone to say that cheery word we needed just then? Or phoned us up just when we needed someone to talk to?

I’ve started looking out for those moments when God is at work in this way. I sometimes refer to them as ‘Answers to an unspoken prayer’ – in other words, if I had stopped to think to pray about something, that is just what I would have asked for.

And I see these little events as another sign of God expressing His love for me by letting someone else in on it. If someone else is involved, I will sometimes tell them they have been an answer to an unspoken prayer, so they can join in my joy and delight about what has happened.

God at work. Filling my life with His love.

There’s always other gifts like – well, these will differ from person to me. I love to stop and absorb the wonder of a rainbow arcing across a blue sky, a cherry tree or a magnolia in full blossom, the roar and acceleration of a plane doing a really fast take off, hearing a moving story or piece of music They are some of the things that feed something inside me. What feeds inside you?

God is at work. Filling our lives with His love

Despite all the not knowing and difficulties, yes and tragedies happening round the world just now, I will continue to look for those little signs, as well as the more obvious ones, that God is at work still loving, caring, and wanting us to have our inner peace. Can we look a bit more, look a bit deeper? Discover!

God is still at work. Pouring His love into all of our lives.

Affirmation of faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

Hymn – Put peace into each other’s hands

Intercessions

Living Lord, we come to you.

Still our hearts as we place into your hands those for whom we want to pray.

We pray for all who seek to bring the light of Christ to others, for Liz and Stephen, and all who speak to us of you. We long for a time when you are known and worshipped by all, and we name in our hearts those we know who do not know you, and all who feel separated from you and your love.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

We pray for your world; where there is so much suffering and pain. We lift to you
Those whose lives have collapsed around them,
those struggling for survival,
those who have lost their work and their homes,
those sleeping on the streets of our cities,
all who have lost hope.

We pray for the people whose decisions and actions affect the lives of so many people. Give wisdom and compassion we pray to all in positions of leadership.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Thank you for our home; for all the gifts you give us and the love you pour into our hearts.
Thank you for the glorious autumn sunshine, for ripening fruits, and hedgerows filled with sloes.
We pray for all those whose lives are empty, all those who are sad, worried, lonely and fearful, those cut off from the outside world, and the isolation they experience. Father be with all those who seek to help them in acts of neighbourliness and kindness.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who care for others, for doctors and nurses and care workers. For those we know who are struggling with their increasing frailty, for those who are restless, not knowing which way to turn and facing the future with fear. We name now those who are in need of your healing.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

We pray for ourselves on our journey through life, and bring to you all that is concerning us. Give us a faith we pray that will transform our attitudes and empower the lives we live, so that others will see you working in us. Help us to see our utter dependence on you and to understand that your love is the thread that draws us to you and brings us your peace.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, may we live as those who believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection to life everlasting. Bring us we pray at the last to your heavenly kingdom where we will see you face to face. We pray for all those who have died in faith, remembering Elizabeth, Sheila and Andrew and all those we have loved, and we pray for all those whose hearts are filled with sadness as they grieve. O Comforter draw near to all those who mourn.

We lift these prayers in the name of your precious Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Collect

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
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.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour 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.

Offertory Prayer

Generous God, we thank you for all you have given us.
We thank you for all the ways that we can give to you in return.
We ask that through our gifts we will see your kingdom grow
in our hearts and our homes,
our neighbourhoods and our nation,
to the glory of your name.
Amen

Hymn – Great is thy Faithfulness

Blessing and Sending Out

You are called and loved by God the Father
and kept safe by Jesus Christ.
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance,
from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ, Amen.

A Sung Blessing: The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.