23 August 2020 – Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

WELCOME
The weather has moderated somewhat this week, but did we need so much rain? Probably, as it is good for the garden.
 
In his reflection on the Gospel reading this week, which you can read below, the Bishop of Buckingham, Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, goes into the interesting history of Caesarea Philippi, now known as Banias, before going into the detail of the Gospel reading. Interesting, and well worth a read.
 
Today is the fourth time we will have had Sunday morning Prayer in Church since mid March, thank you all for coming, and for adhering to the safety guidelines.
 
Next week we will have Revd Rosie leading our Sunday worship, after a well-earned rest.
 
Hoping you have a good week. May God bless you all.
 
Stuart
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

O God, you declare your almighty power
most chiefly in showing mercy and pity:
mercifully grant to us such a measure of your grace,
that we, running the way of your commandments,
may receive your gracious promises,
and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure;
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.

READINGS

Isaiah 51.1-6
 
1 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
   you that seek the Lord.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
   and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father
   and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
   but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion;
   he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
   her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
   thanksgiving and the voice of song.
 
4 Listen to me, my people,
   and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
   and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
   my salvation has gone out
   and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
   and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
   and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
   the earth will wear out like a garment,
   and those who live on it will die like gnats;
but my salvation will be for ever,
   and my deliverance will never be ended.
 
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
 
Psalm 138
 
1  I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; •
   before the gods will I sing praise to you.
2  I will bow down towards your holy temple and praise your name,
      because of your love and faithfulness; •
   for you have glorified your name
      and your word above all things.
3  In the day that I called to you, you answered me; •
   you put new strength in my soul.
4  All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, •
   for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5  They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, •
   that great is the glory of the Lord.
6  Though the Lord be high, he watches over the lowly; •
   as for the proud, he regards them from afar.
7  Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
      you will preserve me; •
   you will stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies;
      your right hand will save me.
8  The Lord shall make good his purpose for me; •
   your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever;
      forsake not the work of your hands.
 
Romans 12.1-8
 
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
 
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
 
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 16.13-20
 
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14 And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15 He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ 17 And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
 
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

REFLECTION – +Alan Wilson
 
Church at Home
Matthew 16:13ff
 
Matthew 16. Jesus and his disciples are almost off the grid at Caesarea Philippi. Today it’s known as Banias. People say the territory of ancient Israel, along The lines “Lands End to John o’Groats” was “Beer Sheba to Tel Dan”. Jesus and his band of friends are way up North of Armageddon, about 5 kilometres beyond Tel Dan deep in the foothills of Mount Hermon.
 
At the time Caesarea Philippi was a considerable visitor site with a grotto, gift shops and associated . But its principal attraction, in a hot dry land, was water. At Banias Seismic movements have cracked open the hillside, and one of the sources of the Jordan, clean fresh and iced, bursts out of the rock at 20 cubic metres a second.
 
Banias has always been a key strategic place. In 200BC the Seleucids Fought a Battle here and gained control of Palestine. In 1967 Israel militarised the Golan Heights with the same result.
 
In the twelfth century Banias was the hideaway of a fanatical terrorist sect called the Assassins — the real original assassins. The locals called it Banias after Pan, with his cave above the spring. It controlled the route from Damascus to the sea.
 
In 1218 the Ayyubid Sultan Sharaf ad-Din al-Mu’azzam Isa, nephew of Saladin, took over from his recently deceased father the governorship of Damascus. Next year he reduced Banias to a village, moving its military centre to a new and mighty fortress nearby [7] Qalat Nimrud, finished after his death in 1228.
 
This key strategic location gave its occupier control of all the land. It still does. When the Israeli army captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, Banias had just over 200 inhabitants. Its constant attraction, though continues to be fresh water.
 
So Jesus and his disciples come apart up here, we can guess for a cool drink and some rest, after hot and frantic months on the road hemmed in by masses of people. Everyone’s talking about Jesus. Far from the madding crowd, as it were, in a key strategic location, he asks them some key strategic questions:
 
Who do people say that I am?
 
“Oh, say the disciples, turning to the more polite options, some are saying Elijah, some John the Baptist, or perhaps even, er… Jeremiah, you know.”
 
Nobody, incidentally, thinks Jesus is just a very nice man. People who have actually met him take much more polarised attitudes.
 
Some are downright rude. His family thinks he’s mad. The Scribes and Pharisees say he’s evil, driving out devils by the prince of devils. They are already actively out to get him.
 
The local ruler, Herod, says John the Baptist — come back from the dead after he thought he’d taken him out. The common people say he’s a prophet, a healer, a teacher.
 
All right, says Jesus. He turns to the people who are supposed to know him best, his companions on the road. “How about you? Who do you say that I am?”
Embarrassed silence follows, broken by the man with the big mouth. “You are the Christ, the Son of the Blessed!” blurts out Peter. Powerful words. Blessed are you Simon bar-Jonas. Let this moment stand, [9] as the keys to the kingdom of heaven, the way in, the only way to open the door to what’s really going on here. A few years later St Paul says “nobody can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit…” Peter’s confession of faith is the root of the creeds we say in Church today.
 
So, in that spirit, who do we say Jesus is? [10] More, perhaps, than an idea, or a mere figure of history, or a mascot, or a hobby. This line of questioning takes us way beyond patronising, anaemic and weedy answers like a generally nice man or an interesting museum piece. They just don’t stand up to the reality of this man as people experienced him.
 
So here is today’s key question. Who do we really believe he is?
 
How far can we open our hearts and minds to who he might be, Fully divine and fully human, not one or the other, more but at the same time less than a superhero, not a hybrid, not centaur nor bat-man, but the human face of God?
 
What people find is that the more Jesus becomes real, the more the door opens and he becomes our hope and peace, inspiration and wisdom, the key who opens up everything.
 
Who do we really believe he is? And what are we doing about it?
 
Over to you.

PRAYERS  – Trevor Morgan
 
Heavenly Father, today we pray especially for our church of St Andrews., for Rosie as she leads us, for our churchwardens and PCC members that they may be given guidance and wisdom in their deliberations and decision making and for those whose task is to oversee the work of our church . We pray that all that is done may be to bring honour to your name and glory to you, our heavenly Father.
Lord, in your mercy    Hear our prayer

A prayer of Miles Coverdale
Lord Jesus Christ, draw our hearts to yours with a love that is irresistible; unite our hearts to yours with a love that is inseparable; and bind our hearts to yours with a love that is immeasurable, through Jesus Christ our Lord   Amen.
 
God of us all, we thank you that you place us in community to enable and encourage each other, to share and to grow together. Help those of us who are usually silent or silenced to speak and be heard. Help those of us who are always heard to learn to make space for others to have voice. Help us all to be people who listen with their hearts, value each other’s differences and work together as we listen to your word and wisdom. Please broaden our minds and hearts to be in tune with yours that we may see as you see and love as you love. Help us to recognise that in enabling and encouraging each other with your goodness, our communities and each of us in them may grow and flourish.
Lord, in your mercy     Hear our prayer
 
Gracious God, we pray for peace, justice and reconciliation in all those places in the world where there is strife and conflict.  And we especially uphold before you all those places in the world suffering as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, thinking today particularly of those places lacking the facilities and resources which we take for granted. Heavenly Father, we despair at the unspeakable suffering which continues even as we lift up our voices in prayer. Lord God, inspire all who have any influence whatever to use it mightily to bring an end to the suffering of your children in those places and help us to remember that they are our brothers and sisters in Christ
Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer
 
Heavenly Father, we remember in our prayers the young people of our country and especially those from our town or otherwise known to us, whose future plans have been thrown into confusion by the uncertainty surrounding their examination results. We pray for a swift and just solution to their difficulties and a clear indication of their pathway for the future.
Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer
 
Father, we thank you for all those who bear illness and suffering with courage and patience. We thank you for the way their lives enlighten and inspire our own. Give them a sense of their high calling. May they find strength in knowing that they are sharing in the sufferings of their Master and following his perfect example. Be close to them and grant them your strength and your peace.
Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer
 
O God who brought us to birth and in whose arms we die, we pray for all who have been bereaved. In their grief and pain we pray for comfort and the embrace of your love. Give them hope in their confusion and sorrow and grant them the grace to move forward into a fuller understanding of your love for all. We commend to God’s mercy the souls of Betty Smith and Simon Davies.
Rest eternal grant unto them , O Lord    and let light perpetual shine upon them

Merciful Father     accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ   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 MORNING PRAYER AT 10.30am
 
This Sunday’s service in Church is Morning Prayer for all the Church Family.
The order of service will be available in Church, or may be downloaded here
The service will be recorded, and should be uploaded later in the day.
Details of arrangements below

MP Readings
Psalm 138
Matthew 16.13-20

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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 (St Bartholomew, transferred from Monday)
Psalm 119.1-32
Ecclesiasticus 39.1-10
Matthew 10.1-22

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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.

OXFORD DIOCESE CHURCH AT HOME

23 August 2020 10am – watch online
 
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, except during August.
 
Church at home during August
 
Follow the link below for churches which will be welcoming our regular Church at Home congregation for worship during August. A range of family, all-age, modern and traditional services are available. For those unable to access a church service online, dial 0800 804 8044 for daily hymns, reflections and prayers.
 
Wherever you are, however you join in, you are most welcome.
 
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, Miriam, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless and those who mourn.
 
The departed: those recently departed this life, Betty Smith, Simon Davies, 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 now taking a well earned summer break. 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 Shirley Avenue, Rutherford Close, West Crescent, East Crescent, Hatch Lane, and Firs Avenue.
 
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Pray for the Church of the Province of South East Asia. Please pray also for the Churches in Kibondo (Tanzania), Kigali (Rwanda), Kigeme (Rwanda), Olo (South Sudan), Busan (Korea), Kigezi (Uganda), Olympia (The Episcopal Church), Busoga (Uganda), Omu-Aran (Nigeria), Butare (Rwanda), Butere (Kenya), On the Lake (Nigeria), Buye (Burundi), On the Niger (Nigeria), Byumba (Rwanda), and Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh (Ireland).
 
Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.
NOTICES

Sunday Morning Prayer
: 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, 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, 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.
 
We will not be taking a collection during the service, your envelopes may be left in the brass collection plate as you leave.
 
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 89 subscribers.
We are still waiting to hear from you and share your stories. Please email them to rector@clewerparish.org or office@clewerparish.org

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 – I would like to set you all a creative challenge. How about knitting or crocheting symbols of hope and happiness, flowers, hearts, crosses, doves etc. Any colours and shape. Then when we are able to gather, we can join them all together to make an altar frontal or a banner, in celebration of faith, hope and love. Let me know if you’d like to join in. Revd Rosie
Pictures can be posted to the St Andrews Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/standrewsclewer

Piano Appeal – St Andrews has been gifted a baby grand piano. Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the cost of moving it, it is now in the chancel.
Windsor Foodshare – are now putting boxes in various locations in the area for donations. They welcome all non-perishable foods. 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.
 
Psalm Resource
Robert, our organist, has sent us a link to a YouTube video of Psalms being sung by Guildford Cathedral Choir, directed by Barry Rose, during services at Guildford Cathedral and elsewhere, 1961-1974. It is many hours in length, and there is a key to which psalms are where in the recording in the first comment on the video. Click ‘Read more’ to expand the comment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9uHfqSnU94
You might find that it helps to reflect and relax in these times. Thanks to Robert.

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 closed.
Sharon (our administrator) is currently on furlough.
 
Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Email:  office@clewerparish.org   –  Stuart will pick up any emails

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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