13 September 2020 – Fourteenth Sunday of Trinity

WELCOME
‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’
Ahh those all too familiar words from the Lord’s Prayer, skip over them quickly! Over the last few weeks we’ve been reflecting on..burdens, binding and loosing and liberation and now..forgiveness. The gospel reading today is one of the hardest parables to preach on. Actually, that’s not quite true. The parable itself is quite straightforward; it’s the reality the parable describes that is hard!

All of us at some point in our lives have come face to face with something that feels ‘unforgivable’, the hurt runs very deep, it sits in the pit of your stomach and keeps invading your thoughts. We count the cost because we like numbers, the higher the greater, how many times does someone have to say they are sorry before finally there is peace between you? How much do you make them pay for your forgiveness? Again, Peter asks Jesus a question, he wants a number from him, he needs to know how many times is forgiveness expected of him in this new order?

As always Jesus turns it on its head by telling them this parable, the parable of the unforgiving servant. It’s not that Jesus wants Peter to increase his forgiveness quota, it’s that he wants him to stop counting altogether simply because forgiveness, like love, is inherently and intimately relational and therefore cannot be counted. Had Peter asked Jesus how many times he should love his neighbour? No..because love cannot be quantified or counted.

Forgiveness is at the heart of my Christian faith, for all my life I’ve heard that Jesus died so that I may be forgiven for everything, but when forgiveness comes from the head and not the heart, there is trouble. When forgiveness comes from the head/head theology, then it does not necessarily radiate continually to my neighbour. In the parable, the servant had that kind of head theology- thank God I have had my debts cancelled, it was and remained all about him. But there comes a time when it needs to be about the heart/heart theology, that makes me fall on my knees and be overwhelmed about what Jesus has done for me. And at that point as Christian from Pilgrims Progress discovered, there is a release, a sense of freedom and liberation, then my forgiveness of others takes no effort. Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers was from his heart and their relationship was renewed. But everything in the Christian faith cannot be left to a one off event because heart theology goes back to the head and we can become complacent. When Pilgrim lost his burden his journey was no less difficult but his attitude changed.  Nelson Mandela said,  “as I walked out of the door towards the gate that would lead to freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison”.

For some, another sermon on forgiveness would make them switch off, when what the sermon should do is make us fall on our knees once again before the cross. Taking Communion can become a habit but at its heart is that I am welcomed, loved, received once again even though since I last took it I have disappointed my Saviour so many times, but he wants me to be restored. As the hymn says..just as I am I come. And then I hear his words ‘go and do to others what I have done for you’. We cannot earn forgiveness, forgiveness, like love, cannot be counted, commanded or forced, we cannot make people forgive. We cannot go to classes to learn it we can simply just live with forgiveness and in return, never ever live with a head forgiveness towards others, but always extend a heart forgiveness.

Blessings
Revd Rosie
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.

Amen.

COLLECT

Merciful God,
your Son came to save us
and bore our sins on the cross:
may we trust in your mercy
and know your love,
rejoicing in the righteousness
that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

READINGS

Genesis 50.15-21
 
15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’ 16 So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17 “Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ 19 But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
 
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
 
Romans 14.1-12
 
1 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
 
5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.
 
7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
 
10 Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. 11 For it is written,
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
   and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
12 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
 
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
 
Gospel Reading
 
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
 
Matthew 18.21-35
 
21 Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
 
23 ‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” 29 Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’
 
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

PRAYERS Dennis Evans
 
Let us pray
 
Oh Lord we come to you again with our many fears and concerns and indeed our thanks for all you have done for us.
 
We pray Lord for your church throughout the world, and in particular here in Windsor. We pray that it may share in the full the work of your Son revealing you to all and reconciling all to you.
That Christians may learn to love one another; as you have loved us;
That your church may more and more exhibit the unity which is your gift.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
There is great anxiety and concern for the future as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  The early days of crisis may be past but the threat remains and the changes in how we must live become increasingly burdensome. Lord, give us your great gift of fortitude, knowing  that beyond our cares lies the reassurance of the message of your Son that none are forgotten and that his grace and peace can calm our worries and that all will be well.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
We pray for all schools; their pupils and staff and for parents making anxious decisions. Protect and fortify them O Lord and give the gift of imagination so that new ways can be found to impart learning in a safe way. We remember in particular Clewer Green School.
 
We pray for all those who are ill; not just suffering from the Coronavirus; that illness may not break their spirit; that through the healing skill which you have given that they be made well. And also for those who love them but cannot be near to console. May they know the comfort of your presence and your voice calming their fears. We pray in particular for Blake, Sam, Reuben, Margaret, David, Don, Karl, Hugh, Sarah, Elsie, Lesley, Joanna, Pam, Andy, Jean, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless and those who mourn.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
We pray for all those who are doing their best to care for the ill in our medical and care services whilst themselves being anxious for their own health and that of those they love. Lord in serving others in this selfless way they are doing what You have commanded in the clearest way possible. Fortify and support them O Lord and let us be deeply grateful to them not just now but in the future.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
We pray for all those who are striving to keep to maintain our vital services in particular in the emergency services, teachers  and the food supply service, especially supermarket staff; people who alas we have often taken for granted.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
We pray for all who are deeply affected by enforced self isolation: those who were very lonely before this crisis and those suffering mental illness, especially anxiety and depression.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
We pray for all those who are particularly vulnerable: the homeless; those in precarious and poorly-paid jobs and all those who even before this crisis, were just getting by.
We pray for those other parts of the world without our kind of health service.  For them, your children, life is hard and unpredictable enough without the threat of the Coronavirus.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
Lord you have taught us that all are our brothers and that we are children of the same Heavenly Father. Yet so often we have not recognised this, by our blindness, ignorance and prejudice. Lord upset our complacency and give us the wisdom and determination that all have fair opportunity to achieve their aspirations in our world without regard to colour, religion or sexual orientation.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
We pray for the life of the world; that every nation may seek the way that leads to peace; that human rights and freedom may everywhere be respected and that the world’s resources may be ungrudgingly shared.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
Despite our own pre-occupations we pray that you will give us the divine gift of generosity in our time, our love, and our money – which is needed now more than ever.  We are so often niggardly and grudging in the sharing of our blessings. Let us give with a cheerful and unstinting heart
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
 
Lastly a prayer from the Coptic Liturgy of St Basil
 
Lord our God, great and utterly to be trusted; you give life to us all, you help those who come to you; you give hope to those who appeal to you. Forgive our sins, secret and open and rid us of every habit of thought, which is foreign to your Gospel. Set our hearts and consciences at peace, so that we may bring our prayers to you confidently and without fear.
 
Jesus, Lord of life, in your mercy hear us, accept our prayers, and be with us always. Amen.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Lord God, the source of truth and love,
keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen Blessing

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,
honour everyone,
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.

Amen

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.
 
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SUNDAY COFFEE ZOOM AT 11.30am

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 11.30 for about half an hour.

We will resend the meeting details later. 

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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.

EP Readings
Psalm 119.41-64
Ezekiel 20.1-8,33-44
Acts 20.17-38

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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.

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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.

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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.


PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR NEW MISSION AND OUTREACH PROJECT: OXFORD DIOCESE CHURCH AT HOME

13 September 2020 10am
  The Revd Canon Dr Peter Groves, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene and Assistant Archdeacon of Oxford, presides and the reflection is by The Revd Canon Richard Peers, Sub Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. This service explores the theme of forgiveness; celebrating the boundless mercy and grace of God, who calls us into right-relationship with him, with others, with the world and within ourselves. Forgiveness is perhaps one of the most counter-cultural and revolutionary of all Kingdom values. It cannot be commanded of us by others, nor can it be demanded by us, of them. It can only ever be a gift; freely offered out of love. And it is from the Source of Love itself, that forgiveness is offered to us. The order of service is available to download now. As ever, links to watch, listen and dial into the service will be published on this page on Sunday morning. All are welcome, do join us at 10am. Download the order of service (PDF) 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’)
https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/podcast


PLEASE PRAY FOR

The suffering: Blake, Sam, Reuben, Margaret, David, Don, Karl, Hugh, Sarah, Elsie, Lesley, Joanna, Pam, Andy, Jean, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless and those who mourn.
 
The departed: those recently departed this life, Joyce Doe 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, who returned to school this week. 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 Cleves Court, Carter Close, St Johns Road, Gordon Road, Dawson Close, Convent Road, and Bailey Close.
 
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: pray for the Anglican Church of South America. Please pray also for the Churches in Otukpo (Nigeria), Central Busoga (Uganda), Kisangani (Congo), Owerri (Nigeria), Central Ecuador (The Episcopal Church), Kita Kanto (Japan), Owo (Nigeria), Central Florida (The Episcopal Church), Oxford (England), Central Gulf Coast, Central Melanesia, Oyo (Nigeria), Central New York (The Episcopal Church), Pacong (South Sudan), Central Newfoundland (Canada), and Kitale (Kenya).
 
Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.

NOTICES

SUNDAY MORNING EUCHARIST


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.
 
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 office@clewerparish.org to be added to the list. We currently have 90 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 office@clewerparish.org

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.
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
 
Symbols of hope and happiness
Don’t forget to keep on crafting so that we can make something to reflect our time away from 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:
https://www.facebook.com/windsorfoodshare

Trevor Morgan’s Fundraising for a school in Kenya
Trevor has asked us to remind you that he is still collecting banknotes and coins, from any country, any age. The need for funds in the school in Nakuru, Kenya is even greater as a result of the pandemic and like here, the school has had to close, and children are struggling. Trevor is happy to collect coins and notes from anyone.
Please email the Parish Office – office@clewerparish.org – if you can help.
 
Revd Rosie will 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. Membership Secretary
Windsor Christian Action (WCA), who are the charity responsible for the Windsor Homeless Project, Street Angels, Foodshare and More Than a Shelter, are looking for a volunteer to replace the present Membership Secretary who is retiring at Christmas or thereabouts. The purpose of the role is to keep a record of members and distribute mailings. It is not an arduous task taking no more than about an hour or so each month, but it is an important one to the administration of WCA. If you are interested and would like to be sent a Job Description please contact Mike McEvoy at: secretary@windsorchristianaction.org
 
WEST WINDSOR HUB

A PROVISION FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY – A SUPPORT HELP-LINE CONNECTING YOU TO RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE OR A FRIENDLY CHAT OVER THE PHONE

If you have help from family or friends we encourage you to continue to accept help from them as usual.  If any of your circumstances change and you need help from outside these support groups then please contact us to let us know. If you are having difficulties we advise you to call the HUB number above and we’ll arrange help for you.

More information:
https://allsaintschurchdedworth.com
https://www.facebook.com/groups/WestWindsorHub
 
CONTACTS
 
The Parish Office is now open Monday Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Email:  office@clewerparish.org

Revd Rosie Webb: rector@clewerparish.org Tel: 01753  852334

Parish website: www.standrewsclewer.org

Churchwarden: Stuart Cockman

Pastoral helpline number: 07946 590223

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