The third sunday 

after trinity 

28 June 2020

                                                       St Peter

                      Welcome to our service of Spiritual Communion 

for the Third Sunday after Trinity

Led by the Rev'd Juliet Horwood


Thank you to all those who are continuing their regular donations to the church. We appreciate all donations to support the maintenance of our building and the continuation of our ministry. Click here to find out how you can make your offering

If you prefer to go through the whole service without having to click for the sound or pick up your Bible for the words, please click on the arrow below. If you prefer to control how you go through the service, skip this one and go on to the text below...

The readings, intercessions, prayers and sermon which follow may be read (using your own Bible for the readings) or listened to, whichever you prefer. 

Click on the arrow below to prepare for the service by listening to the bells of Evercreech church in Somerset

Click  below to hear Canon David Scrace read the Introduction

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

The Lord be with you: and also with you. 

Prayers of Penitence

Click  below to join in the Prayers of Penitence with Canon David Scrace

God the Father forgives us in Christ and heals us by the Holy Spirit. Let us therefore put away all anger and bitterness, all slander and malice, and confess our sins to God our redeemer.   (cf. Ephesians 4:30,32)

Silence is kept.

Father, you come to meet us when we return to you: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, you died on the cross for our sins: Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 
Spirit, you give us life and peace: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy
May the Father forgive you by the death of his Son and strengthen you to live in the power of the Spirit all your days. Amen

The Gloria
Click the arrow to join in the Gloria, with Canon David Scrace.

Seeing we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us offer him the praise worthy of his name.

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 for the Third Sunday after Trinity 
Click the arrow to hear the Collect read by the Rev'd Annita Denny

Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; 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 first lesson: Jeremiah, 28, 5-9
Click the arrow to hear the first lesson read by Martyn Daldorph 

Comment:  The situation described is remote from us, but the underlying point is clear enough.
How do you tell whether a spokesperson for God is genuine or false? The answer given is: are the words borne out by events? Or, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! But is there more to be said?

Psalm 125
Click the arrow to hear the psalm chanted by Bob Millington

The second lesson: Romans 6, 12-23
Click the arrow to hear the second lesson read by Alison Budgell

Comment: Paul presents stark choices. We can serve ‘sin’ or ’righteousness’, twin powers seeking our loyalty. Each has an inevitable end, ‘death’ or ‘life’. But the former is for us to earn; the latter comes as God’s free gift. Can we bear to receive such bounty – and by such a means?

The Gospel reading: Matthew 10, 40-42
Click the arrow to hear the Gospel read by the Rev'd Juliet Horwood 

Comment: These words end Jesus’ instruction to missionaries of the gospel. They will radiate the reward of Jesus to those who receive them and help them on their way.

The Sermon by the Rev'd Juliet Horwood
Click the arrow to hear the sermon

Thank you for inviting me to contribute to your worship this morning.  It is good to be able to share some thoughts with you based on my experience of working as a Chaplain for the RD&E hospital during these extraordinary times.

The first thing I must do is to be honest and say to you that I have not actually been in the hospital for most of the period of lockdown.  As one of the older members of the team, I have been working from home doing on-call support for staff and for the younger chaplains who have continued working throughout.  For me the experience has been about being on the edge and having to let go of my usual role whilst others were at the forefront.  This is of course what many have experienced during the pandemic, in many walks of life, people have had to face the loss of as all the things which helped give them a sense of self, of who they are. We have all experienced losses whether around our working or volunteering roles, our ways of relaxing and finding recreation or our relationships with friends and family – and there are those who have experienced even more acute loss as they have faced the death of a loved one - so much has changed.

I have now started back at the hospital and am facing more change as I am beginning to adjust to the new ways of working – wearing clinical scrubs all the time, with mask of course, and getting used to the hospital itself which is different with one-way systems and closed off areas.  The message for all, by the way, is that the hospital is safe – we are encouraged to help the public feel that the hospital is a safe place and if you need to attend for any reason then do not be afraid.

So what are we learning through this experience – what have my colleagues on the front line found? – Well I cannot deny that it has been hard and hugely challenging for staff and patients alike and for family at home not able to visit loved ones. You may well know of friends in any of those groups who are still struggling with really difficult situations, but I have been hearing the stories from within the trust of the huge commitment from all the staff from cleaners and kitchen staff to the consultants and chief executive. – And what shines through is that it is the little things that have made a difference.  There has been a greater care shown to each other in staff teams and an increased learning of what individuals face as they have had to come to work each day – some staff have got to know each other in ways that they have not before.  Patients have not had their loved ones there but so many have really felt that the staff have been going the extra mile in spending time with them or even just appreciated what the eyes of the person beyond the mask are telling them.  And of course the huge public support for nhs workers, whether it be clapping on a Thursday or the delivery of free meals or homemade PPE has made a difference for the staff.

I suspect that as time goes on some of the spirit which galvanised people to work together and go the extra mile may diminish but I also have a feeling that what will become more obvious is what the underlying motivations are - the ways in which peoples values and instincts are formed will shine through.  Now I wonder if, for us as Christians, who we are as people, the extent to which we are shaped by our relationship with God will be revealed through how we have been during this time in ways perhaps not seen before. 

In each of the readings today, we are reminded that what we say and do will ultimately reveal the extent to which we are truly listening to God and living with him at the centre of our lives.  The prophet Hananiah has been described as being like a Californian guru or tele-evangelist – he was more interested in telling the people what he thought they wanted to hear rather than facing the difficult truth in the way which Jeremiah did as he tried to reveal how God viewed their actions.  St Paul was always urging the early church to live out their faith in word and deed living as those who knew and understood what Christ had gained for them on the cross.  And Matthew in talking of the welcome which people give points to our smallest of actions as being crucial as we live our Christian life.  I love the picture he paints of the simple act of the giving of a cup of water which immediately reminded me of those who sit at the bedside of the most poorly of patients who can do nothing but offer a little pink sponge dipped in water to moisten their lips – such a little thing but often at a critical time the most important thing. And at this most difficult of times it has perhaps been the smallest of gestures in our phone calls, our messages, our smiles through the window or whilst out walking that have made a difference.

There are many questions still to be addressed arising from our current situation – huge challenges for the nhs as well as so many other areas of our common life together and sadly I suspect huge amounts of hardship and loss still to come.  We can be overwhelmed by the enormity of it all but maybe we can only think about our own responses and question ourselves - what is it that I do – how do I react – who am I in Christ – what shapes my thinking my doing and my being and what is revealed in this.  How have we offered of ourselves and have we seen the face of Christ in those we serve whether on the phone, over zoom or in the street – socially distanced of course.

The Creed

Click the arrow to join in the creed with the Rev'd Annita Denny

The Intercessions by Peter Byrd

Click the arrow to hear the intercessions

Tomorrow the church celebrates Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Two disciples and apostles of Jesus who were, in temperament, occupation, and domestic situation very different from each other, but each dedicated to you. Help us, differing from each other as we do, each of us unique and each loved by you, to be disciples and apostles. Help us to follow you and to lead others to you.

We pray for your church throughout the world, especially where the church is persecuted, operating in situations of poverty, struggling in areas where coronavirus is spreading rapidly. We thank you that our own churches in the Sid Valley are now able to open and to prepare for public worship again. We thank you for the dedicated work of our church wardens and retired clergy and all those who have worked so hard to sustain worship during the lockdown. We pray for Matt and Laura as they prepare to move here and we ask that you will bless them in their ministry. Lord hear us. Lord graciously hear us.

We pray for your world and we ask that you will help us to move on from coronavirus to build a better world – more caring of each other and more caring of your creation.           Lord hear us. Lord graciously hear us.

We pray for our community and we thank you that the Food Bank has been able, due to the generosity of our neighbours in time and money, to expand its activity when more people are facing loss of income. As the Lockdown is loosened help us to remain vigilant and caring so that there is no second spike of the disease. Help businesses which are reopening and those which are struggling to re-establish themselves as they prepare for the summer season. Lord hear us. Lord graciously hear us.

We pray for those in need and we recall that Jesus urges us to be hospitable – to offer a cup of water to the thirsty. In a moment of silence we commend to you those known to us who need your healing touch at this time...... and we ask for your blessing on those in need who have no friends and are known only to you. We thank you for all those who have died during this period when funerals have been highly restricted – may they rest in peace and rise in glory.

Lastly Dear Father we pray for ourselves. Saint Paul reminds us that we live under your grace and that therefore we should entrust to you all that we do – at home, at work, worrying about a loved one, frustrated by the lock-down. Keep us safe this week and enable us to live fully as your children knowing that you are always with us and that you never leave us.

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

Hymn : We love the place, O God
Click the arrow to listen to the hymn

Making our Spiritual Communion

Click the arrow to hear the Rev'd Jon Rose read the spiritual communion prayers

While we continue to experience physical separation from each other we can even so take delight as one in a spiritual communion.   This has been traditionally a means by which we can unite ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ and enter into communion with him even though we are unable presently to receive the sacrament itself. The prayers which follow are adapted from a Form of Spiritual Communion written by Bishop Cecil John Wood, who was the Bishop of Melanesia in 1916.  In particular, a short prayer is included which draws on the story of the woman who came to Jesus but was only able to touch the hem of his garment.  Yet she still received his healing and blessing.  You need to read: Mark 5. 25-34. Our own spiritual communion is not dissimilar.  For although we are not able to receive sacramentally the bread and wine, we can still come to Jesus and he always welcomes and receives us. 

So let us now pray as we make our spiritual communion in a time of separation:

O loving God, in union with Christian people throughout the world and across the centuries, while we would normally gather as one to make Eucharist, hear your holy Word and receive the Precious Body and Blood of your dear Son, we know that at present this is simply not possible.  But nevertheless despite our apartness from each other, we do still continue to offer you whole-hearted praise and thanksgiving.  And although we cannot taste the Bread of Heaven and drink the Cup of Life, we pray earnestly that you will unite us with all the baptized and with your Son who gave his life for us.  By sharing in your life given up in death for us all, we pray that we may grow together in love and flourish in your great love for us.   

Grant, O Lord Jesus Christ, that as the hem of your garment, touched in faith, healed the woman who could not touch your body, so we too may be healed by like faith in you, whom we cannot now receive sacramentally; we ask this through your tender mercy, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit ever one God. Amen.

Come Lord Jesus, dwell in us and send your Holy Spirit that we may be filled with your presence.

And let us say together:

O Lord of all life, help us to work together for that day when your kingdom comes and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.  Look with favour on your people, gather us in your loving arms and bring us with (St Giles and St Nicholas and) all the saints to feast at your table in heaven.  Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. All honour and glory are yours, O loving Father, for ever and ever.  Amen.  (Taken from CW Eucharistic Prayer E)

End with the Lord’s Prayer.

     Our Father...

Anthem: Te es Petrus

Click the arrow to hear the anthem sung by members of our choir

Post Communion Prayer

Click the arrow to hear the post communion prayer read by the Rev'd Annita Denny

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 until we may look upon you without fear; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

Blessing and Dismissal

Click the arrow to hear the blessing and dismissal from the Rev'd Juliet Horwood

Voluntary: Tu es Petra
Click the arrow to hear the organ voluntary played by Bob Millington