We believe in a generous God, a God who gave us everything. Giving and generosity are inextricably linked with the living out of our Christian faith.
As a church we need to encourage generosity, and there are certain times of the year which especially lend themselves to generous giving. Giving of our time and talents, sharing what we have, to help others. The effects of the pandemic are just beginning to reveal its true identity amongst our community. There are always people in need through difficult circumstances that have affected their lives, more so now. A very important source of help is our local Food Share, part of Windsor Christian Action, and it is a place where I try to help out as much as I can. Harvest for me is a time for real community action, we need this yearly reminder to give thanks for what we have and to share what we can. The photos this week are ones I took at the Food Share on Thursday, giving thanks for our daily bread, kindly donated by local bakers and food co operatives.
Generosity and giving what we have also includes our money so over the next two Sundays, we will be celebrating Generosity and Gratitude, using resources from the National Giving Team to encourage us to live generously.
Since St Ignatius’ time, people have used the Examen in lots of ways. It starts with gratitude and ends with thinking of how to serve others, perhaps you could use this over the next couple of weeks?
1. GIVE THANKS – what can you be grateful for today? It might be something very small – it might be that you had enough to eat today.
2. ASK FOR HELP with your attitude toward those who are in need – for whatever reason.
3. REFLECT on your day and think about the times you felt generous and loving towards others, and also on the times you felt resentful and unwilling to share what you have.
4. SAY SORRY for the times you may have been selfish and hoarded things only for yourself.
5. DECIDE how you will be more generous, sharing what you have, tomorrow.
|Welcome in the name of Christ. God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you.|
and also with you.
Faithful one, whose word is life.
Come with saving power
to free our praise,
inspire our prayer
and shape our lives
for the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of grace, ever creating and restoring,
you breathe life into all things
and embrace us with an everlasting love;
help us to grow in wonder and awe,
to embody a spirit of gratitude,
and to dream generous dreams;
that, in gathering what we have,
we may graciously offer ourselves
to accomplish what you will,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The First Reading – 1 Timothy 6.11-19
But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Gospel Reading – Matthew 6.19-33
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said,] ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
‘No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON (from CofE National Giving Team)
The relationship between faith and wealth is commonplace in the teachings of Jesus. Our earthly possession are not disconnected from our beliefs and much like our character or our speech, the way we handle our assets are a signifier of what lies beneath the surface.
In both these passages we find teaching that encourages us to hold money, assets, and wealth lightly. Not because such things are inherently unhealthy, but because they get in the way of our relationship with God. When worry or anxiety over food, clothes, and shelter become the priority, then we become distracted from the relationship that truly brings life. Such is the impact of these possessions on daily life, not only can they come between us and God but they can also distort our perspectives on the community around us and the Truth of life in its fullness. When money is our priority, God becomes small. Whilst we know God has provided all that we might need, we also know that there are many in this world for whom worry and anxiety for food, clothes, and shelter are justified concerns. Walk through any town or city centre and the extent of this is clear, and that’s not to mention the millions in our country who go hungry, let alone the hundreds of millions across the world who live in poverty.
But if the lilies in the field are so finely clothed, why has God let so many die for want of a decent jacket to keep them warm?
To draw on another parable might help us see the context a little clearer. The parable of the sower may highlight how we have not played our part. The seeds have the potential to deliver all that they have been promised and yet the land may not offer them the conditions to flourish. How can we ensure every land is cultivated to make the most of the resources so generously given to us by God?
The passage in first Timothy makes it clear; those who are rich should share and be generous. This is not only for the good of the community but also for personal wellbeing. Generosity enables money to no longer be a distraction but to be a signifier of God’s love in the world. If there are people who are hungry, cold, and in need of a roof over their heads, then it’s our calling to provide that. There’s enough of everything in this world to go around. If someone is lacking, it’s because someone else has already got enough and has spare to share with others.
It’s often said that we should give sacrificially. That our generosity should be so great that we notice it.
This is true, but also the more often you give generously it stops being so ‘sacrificial’ because it starts becoming who we are, what our culture is. Something is sacrificial when it hurts or impacts us. But by the tenth time of giving, the impact is dissipated. It may still be as generous as the first time, it may still in “real-terms” affect our life or bank balance the same, however now it is commonplace and is the signifier of our faith in the love and provision of God. It is evidence of our holding it lightly.
We are called to be generous. So how do we become more generous? By being more generous. You can’t shortcut your way to generosity, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Here are some ways you can pray at this time:
Give thanks for the extraordinary generosity, dedication and partnership we
have seen at this difficult time, from food bank staff and volunteers, from local
churches, from businesses and from the public. This support has made it possible
for food banks to continue to provide for people in crisis in very challenging
Lament the suffering we are seeing in our society at this time. People losing
loved ones, health, jobs, and businesses. Families struggling to make ends meet.
Mourn the injustices and inequalities made evident by the pandemic, which
communities and individuals have been burdened by for many years.
• People experiencing acute poverty: that they would receive the support they
need and be able to find positive pathways forwards.
• Food banks: that they would receive sufficient food donations, and that they
would be able to respond to every person who needs their support with
sensitivity and kindness.
• Our society: for justice and compassion to prevail in political and economic
decision-making, so that everyone is protected from poverty and has the
chance to flourish.
Move our hearts
With the calm, smooth flow of your grace.
Let the river of your love run through our souls.
May our souls be carried by the current of your love,
Towards the wide, infinite ocean of heaven. Amen
Gilbert of Hoyland
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Loving and righteous God.
here at your table we have tasted your goodness and generosity
which exceeds all that we can desire or deserve;
liberate us from all jealousy and greed,
that we may respond cheerfully by offering ourselves,
and love and serve others to witness to your glory,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Go forth into the world in peace,
be of good courage,
hold fast that which is good,
render to no one evil for evil,
strengthen the fainthearted,
support the weak, help the afflicted,
love and serve the Lord,
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit,
and the blessing of God almighty, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you always.
SUNDAY EUCHARIST AT 10.30am
This Sunday’s service in Church is a Eucharist. The order of service may be downloaded from here. The service will be recorded, and should be uploaded to YouTube later. The readings are the same as the readings above.
SUNDAY COFFEE ZOOM AT 11.45am
After you have attended Church, or watched or listened to this Sunday’s online service of your choice, we invite you to join us for a chat over coffee via Zoom at 11.45 for about half an hour. We have moved it to slightly later due to finishing up at church, getting home and putting the kettle on!
We will resend the meeting details later.
CHURCH OUTSIDE: HARVEST
At 2pm today, Church Outside will be at Clewer Fuel allotments, St Andrews Crescent for a special Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving. The allotment holders are welcoming us in and joining our service together in the community. Please come along and there will be an opportunity to buy some of the Holders’ veggies. You may need your wellies and brolly!
SUNDAY EVENING PRAYER AT 5.00pm
BCP evening prayer will continue this Sunday at 5pm via a Zoom link. We will send out the order of service, and the readings, later.
1 John 2.1-17
EVENING PRAYER DURING THE WEEK
We are continuing to hold Evening Prayer meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 1700 (5.00pm).
The liturgy is Common Worship in contemporary language.
The best way to follow along is using the Church of England’s Daily Prayer App.
It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
We will resend the meeting details later.
WEDNESDAY HOLY COMMUNION AT 10.00am
The Church is still open on Wednesdays from 10am-12 for private prayer. Revd Rosie will conduct a short Eucharist service at 10am for those who wish to take communion. This gives us an additional or alternative opportunity to receive the Sacrament and also to help with limited amount of seating.
PRAYERS AND BEARS
Prayers and Bears will now be held at the Pirate Park every Friday at 10.00am as we can’t meet in church. This is an act of worship, therefore is exempt from the six person rule.
OXFORD DIOCESE CHURCH AT HOME
+Colin lays down his ministry as Bishop of Dorchester Bishop Colin will retire in November having served with g
reat distinction as Bishop of Dorchester for the last twenty years. This Sunday we have two very special services available online. At 10am Bishop Colin will preside at our regular Church at Home online service. At 3pm, we join the live stream from Dorchester Abbey as we say farewell to Bishop Colin and Sarah, giving thanks for all they have shared with us over the last twenty years. All are welcome. Do join us online for both services. Church at Home – 9:30 & 10am Links to view this service will be posted on this page shortly Watch at 10am on church.online Download the order of service (PDF) Farewell service – 3pm Set a reminder to watch on YouTube at 3pm Sunday 4 October Alternatively, watch and participate in the service on our church.online channel Download the order of service (PDF) You’ll find links to each at the top of this page. Live-streamed and ‘as live’ worship is available for everyone across the Diocese of Oxford, these services complement the prayers, meditations and worship offered by local churches. Our principal Diocesan services take place at 10 am each Sunday. https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream
Reflections for a Church in Lockdown
Episodes are available to listen to now, or download it wherever you get your podcasts (search ‘My extraordinary family’)
PLEASE PRAY FOR
The suffering: Blake, Sam, Reuben, Margaret, David, Don, Karl, Hugh, Sarah, Elsie, Lesley, Joanna, Pam, Andy, Jean, Victoria, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless and those who mourn.
The departed: those recently departed this life, and those whose anniversaries fall at this time.
Community prayers: Clewer Green School, the head teacher Martin Tinsley and all the pupils, staff and governors. For all our Care Homes, for the safety of residents and staff.
Parish Cycle of Prayer: Please pray for all who live or work in Nelson Road, Bridgeman Drive, St Johns Drive, Clewer Green School, St Edwards First School, St Edwards Middle School, and Windsor Girls School.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Pray for the Anglican Church of Tanzania. Please pray also for the Churches in Peterborough (England), Christ the King (Southern Africa), Phulbani (North India), Christchurch (Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia), Kolhapur (North India), Pittsburgh (The Episcopal Church), Chubu (Japan), Polynesia (Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia), Clogher (Ireland), Cochin (South India), Popondota (Papua New Guinea), Coimbatore (South India), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Colombia (The Episcopal Church), and Kollam – Kottarakkara (South India).
Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.
Harvest Festival October
4th October we will have our morning Eucharist celebrating the harvest theme of Generosity
And at 2pm Church Outside will be at Clewer Fuel allotments, St Andrews Crescent for a special Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving. The allotment holders are welcoming us in and joining our service together in the community. Please come along and there will be an opportunity to buy some of the Holders’ veggies.
11th October continues with Harvest, celebrating the theme of Gratitude
Another opportunity to give thanks and reflect on our giving.
Each week we will be collecting produce for the Food Share.
This year they have requested:
Tinned fruit, desserts, custard.
Tea, coffee, sugar.
Toiletries – shampoo etc.
There will be labelled crates at the back of the church for you to place your items in directly. This means just the crates will need to be transferred to the Food Share for safe storage for 72 hours. Please put items in the right crate. Thank you.
CHURCH OUTSIDE: 11 October 2pm- 3pm, Clewer Green CE school, front playground. Come along to Church Outside, celebrating Harvest Festival.
We will be collecting for our local Food Share. Tinned fruit, desserts, custard, tea, coffee, sugar, toiletries. Thank you – St Andrews Clewer in the community
Sunday Morning Eucharist directions
Please be patient as we implement the recommendations to ensure everyone’s safety. Please note that in the event that all available pews are taken, we may not allow any more people into Church, as we must not exceed our maximum capacity, for everyone’s’ safety.
At all times, please keep at least two metres away from people not in your own household, this includes when entering and leaving the church, receiving communion, and when taking your pew.
The advice from the Church of England and Oxford Diocese is that we must all wear face coverings in Church unless we have an exemption. However, this does not apply to worship leaders, who do not have to wear face coverings when leading worship.
On entering the Church, please use the available hand sanitiser.
We need to record who is attending Church for test and trace purposes, so will be keeping a log. A data protection (GDPR) statement is available.
It is also now mandatory for all places of worship to display the NHS Test and Trace QR codes, and there will be one on the door as you enter the Church, and another with the paper Test and Trace log. If you can check in with the NHS COVID-19 App on your phone, you do not need to be recorded in the paper log. The QR code is on an NHS poster, and looks a bit like this (this is actually the one for the St Andrews website):
Please find a pew marked with the green Available Pew sign. One person, or one household/bubble per pew.
If you would like to light a candle, please do so one by one. Take an unlit candle from the top of the candle stand, light it and then put it back.
After the Eucharistic Prayer and Agnus Dei, we will go up to receive communion at the high altar. Please ensure you keep well spaced out (two metres or more). Please wear your face covering. Hand sanitiser is available in the Chancel, and near the main door of the Church. Revd Rosie will drop the consecrated wafer into your outstretched hands. Please either take the wafer back to your pew to consume it, or lift your mask to eat it immediately after receiving it. Please return to your pew through the Brocas Chapel and the South aisle, not back down the centre aisle.
We will not be taking a collection during the service; your envelopes may be left in the brass collection plate as you leave. We also have a credit card reader available.
After the service, please leave the building promptly, keeping social distancing at all times.
On leaving the Church, please use the hand sanitiser again.
Parish Mailing List – If you know of anyone who would like to receive the Pews News by email, please ask them to email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. We currently have 91 subscribers.
If you know anyone without internet access who would like to receive a printed copy of the Pews News, please send their name and address to email@example.com
Welcome back to Sharon as she returns to the parish office, which will be open 3 mornings a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Its good to have her back and have some ‘normality’!
Christmas Market – advance notice. This year’s market is hopefully going to continue to be held, but outside in the churchyard. We’ll keep you posted.
Church Finances – message from Andrew
Now Sunday services have resumed, you can put your envelopes in the collection plate in Church on the table outside the bell tower, or if you come to private prayer, on Wednesday. Note that we have a card reader in Church that accepts payments from debit and credit cards, and phones.
Or you might like to consider continuing your regular giving by paying directly to our bank account, the details of which are:
HSBC Bank, High Street, Windsor
Sort Code: 40-47-37
Account number: 11373366 Account name: PCC St Andrews Church
Windsor Foodshare – are now putting boxes in various locations in the area for donations. They welcome all non-perishable foods. At the moment they are short of tinned fruit. Details on their Facebook page:
Revd Rosie will, hopefully still be trekking 13 miles for Alzheimer’s Society on 17th October, if you haven’t yet sponsored her and still want to, then please do so. See Andrew or Revd Rosie. With thanks.
The Parish Office is now open Monday Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Revd Rosie Webb: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01753 852334
Parish website: www.standrewsclewer.org
Churchwarden: Stuart Cockman
Pastoral helpline number: 07946 590223