Today is Bible Sunday, it comes at the end of the long season of Ordinary Time, ‘after Trinity’ or ‘green season’ in the Church’s liturgical calendar. The long Ordinary Time is when we read and reflect on the words of Jesus and who Jesus is, it’s our time for growing and renewing and refreshing our knowledge and understanding of the person Jesus.
So what have you learnt about Jesus this year?
Was it through reading the bible, listening, or talking to someone?
Of course, we learn about Jesus throughout our lives and all year, not just in Ordinary Time. And there are seasons in the church’s year where we set aside specific study time, like Lent and Advent.
How often do you set aside time to read the bible?
I expect you know it is the best-selling book of the year, every year, of all time, based on the number of copies sold. But how many actually read it? And, actually, how should we set about reading it? Perhaps you read it in the pews news then look the text up and continue to read further, or perhaps you use daily bible reading notes that give you a text, thought and prayer every day? Perhaps you like to revisit specific bible stories that you learnt in your childhood? Or you may be a ‘beginning to end’ person?
Last Advent we held our Advent Art Café. We met every Saturday and read the ‘Songs’ together (from Luke’s gospel), the Magnificat, Nunc dimittis, Benedictus and Gloria and explored associated music and artwork before we set to with paint brushes and pens. Those who attended really enjoyed the chance to ‘look deeper’ into those familiar words as preparation for the Incarnation.
At the moment members of Prayers and Bears are studying the women in the bible. We have our ‘GIN’ nights -God In Nurture, on Thursdays, no need for babysitters as we zoom in with a cup or glass of something and read and discuss the female character of the week. The text is sent out earlier and we get together and reflect on some questions. Those who attend are really enjoying it. One said “it made me realise that all the popular bible stories I had learnt, where all ‘men’ stories, Jonah, Daniel, Moses etc. These’ women’ stories are great, I love finding out about them”.
So far we have covered Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Jochebed, Miriam and Rahab. What would have happened if the two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah (Exodus 1.5-22) had done as Pharaoh had demanded and killed all the Hebrew baby boys? We’ve been learning God’s story and his relationship with His people, the Israelites, through these women; and how the story would be very different without them. Our GIN nights will continue until we reach Mary and Elizabeth by Christmas. In the New Year we will continue with the women in the NT.
Trying to encourage people to read the bible is not an easy task! But I guess if asked, most people would say the bible is a source of knowledge, good for general knowledge quiz and more seriously as teaching, instruction, for living.
The Old Testament foretells us about the promise of the one to come, Jesus. All the Prophets point to Jesus, the Word become flesh and lived among us, Jesus the living Word, without him ‘you can do nothing’. In the NT, the four Gospels are four portraits of Jesus, they reveal way more than any painting or photo (if they had had cameras then!). They record everything that Jesus said or did and the impression he had on people’s lives.
The bible then, is a signpost to Jesus. It draws us to Jesus and as we seek him we discover that he has already set out to meet us. Meeting Jesus through the bible enables us to see the world and ourselves differently, it challenges us, it critiques and contradicts our world view, and it offers us an alternative view of the world and our future. A view that is dependant on God’s grace, called to love and serve others. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the bible fuels our imagination to see a kingdom of God that is for everyone. It gives us a clear focus from learning about Jewish Christian history to our present and future relationship with God, through Jesus.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians says ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’.
The bible is the greatest literature of all time, it is our past, present and our future, it is not something to sit on the shelf for years and years collecting dust. It is living and breathing and signposting us towards Jesus – it demands to be read!
This week’s challenge:
Who is your favourite bible character and why?
Try to discover a new one and tell someone about them.
Reflect on what reading the bible means to you and how much time do you give to reading it?
|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.
who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them,
to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Nehemiah 8.1-4a [5-6] 8-12
1 all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand.[ 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen’, lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.] 8 So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, ‘Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.’ 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven” with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 ‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
|PRAYERS – BY MULLE PRICE|
Almighty God, you have taught us that your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Help us and all who prayerfully read your word to deepen our fellowship with you and with each other through your love. And in so doing may we come to know you more fully, love you more truly and follow you more faithfully, in the steps of your son, Jesus Christ.
From the very beginning was your Word, which spoke this world into being, which thunders from the skies, flows like mountain streams, whispers in morning breeze, your Word revealed through kings and prophets, revealed in humble service, through a tiny child, alive from the beginning of all things, from eternity.
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer
God of second chances, we recognise the damage we have done to your earth, and the injustice we see in society every day, all of it fuelled by worship of profit and possessions. We pray for the coming of a better world with justice, kindness and humility at its heart. We ask that you guide us to be co-creators of this new world. Give us confidence to follow the prophetic voices, to stand against injustice to people and planet so that together, in your strength, we start to make changes.
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer
Restoring and healing God, we thank you for medical workers everywhere, embodying sacrificial love in these challenging times, putting the welfare of others before their own, comforting the concerned and bereaved, working to heal and restore people who are ill. We thank you also for all those working hard to find treatments and vaccines for coronavirus. We thank you for their skill and dedication. Be their guide, strength, wisdom and hope.
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer
We pray for our own community here in Clewer and ask you to guide us as we work to keep things going in the face of new rules and regulations.
Specially today we ask for the support of all the congregation as we consider the past year at our annual meeting, as we volunteer to help to keep the show on the road in such different circumstances in the next year.
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer
God of the impossible, we pray for peace and reconciliation. And, when the challenges seem too many, remind us of your resurrection power and the miracles of your love that happen whenever injustice is dismantled and rebuilt with peace. Help us to hope that the seemingly impossible can happen and live as if it might happen today.
Merciful Father, we ask you to accept our prayers
for the sake of your Son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.
|PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION|
God of all grace,
your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry
with the bread of his life
and the word of his kingdom:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your true and living bread;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
May the Father from whom every family
in earth and heaven receives its name
strengthen you with his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
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
Note this may be later than usual depending on how long the APCM lasts
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.
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 119.89-104
Ecclesiastes 11, 12 2 Timothy 2.1-7
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
None next week (30th) as we are on our half term break
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|
25 September 2020 10am A very warm welcome to Church at Home for Bible Sunday. The Revd Katie Tupling, Disability Advisor to the Diocese, presides for us today from the chapel in Church House, and Bishop Steven preaches from his home. The original Bible Sunday was initiated by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and took place on the Second Sunday of Advent. That is why the beloved Collect for Advent 2 has its focus for the prayer that we should “hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” the Scriptures. Now, however, we celebrate Bible Sunday on the last Sunday of Trinity Season. Before the service begins, there is a video from the Pilgrim course on the Bible, featuring our very own +Steven back when he was Bishop of Sheffield! As ever, links to watch, listen or dial in to the service will appear on this page soon. Participate in the service, live at 10am Download the order of service (PDF) Other ways to participate in the service (links to follow) Watch on YouTube at 10am Listen to the service online via your web browser Dial in to the service by telephone
dial 01865 920930 and, once connected, dial 0 for the full version of the service, or dial 1 a short version of the service. Standard call rates apply. There will be a few seconds of silence before the service starts. Live-streamed and ‘as live’ worship is available for everyone across the Diocese of Oxford, these services complement the prayers, meditations and worship offered bylocal 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, Andrew Wood, June Radnor, Christine Hearne, 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 Church in Wales. Please pray also for the Churches in Remo (Nigeria), Cyprus and the Gulf (Jerusalem & Middle East), Kumasi (West Africa), Renk (South Sudan), Daejeon (Korea), Kumi (Uganda), Rhode Island (The Episcopal Church), Dallas (The Episcopal Church), Rift Valley (Tanzania), Damaturu (Nigeria), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Davao (Philippines), Rio Grande (The Episcopal Church), Delaware (The Episcopal Church), and Kurunegala (Ceylon).
Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.
|NOTICES WhatsApp group – Revd Rosie is starting a WhatsApp group for St Andrews. The idea is to post a daily prayer, thought for the day, picture or music. Its not about everyday chitchat and discussion, its aimed at our prayer life and living as disciples in the world in the current climate, a climate where we all need encouragement and a sense of hope. We all need to be closer to God and this is one way we can help to deepen our faith together. It may be that you have read something from the bible that has given you encouragement and you’d like to share it. Or verse from the psalms? A photo of the changing of the seasons that makes you reflect on God creation. You can reply to it if you want to or send a symbol/emoji.|
Revd Rosie has most of your mobile phone numbers, if you’d like to be involved then send her a text or accept the invitation, or not, when it arrives on your phone. It will come as an invitation to join St Andrews Pray As You Go
All Saints and All Souls – Remember November
November is our month of Remembering starting with All Saints (1st), then All Souls (2nd), Remembrance Sunday and Day (8th and 11th) and finally Christ the King (22nd), bringing us to the end of the Liturgical Year. This year we will combine our 10.30am Eucharist to include both All Saints and All Souls, so if you would like the names of departed loved ones to be included please sign up at the back or church or email the office. There will be no evening service on the 1st as we will be using that time to ‘Light up the churchyard’. All who have lost loved ones and would like to use this time to remember them are invited to come to the churchyard between 5.00 and 6pm to light a candle in memory. Tea lights and battery lights are available to place around the churchyard. A little light goes a long way –“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me, Your rod and staff they comfort me”, Psalm 23. Please join us for a time of remembering those we love but see no longer.
Remembrance Sunday 8th Nov, our annual Act of Remembrance will be combined with our Eucharist service, followed by placing of crosses on the war graves. And on the 11th Nov at 11am, there will be an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial in the Pirate Park, with wreath laying and prayers. Please remember to keep the rule of six and wear your mask.
Advance notice – there will be no Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve this year.
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 in the porch 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.
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 and, try to go straight home as the rule of 6 applies outside the church. It is lovely to see you all but we need to move off quickly. Thank you
|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
Thank you to everyone for all you have been able to give in this difficult time.
Sunday and Wednesday services and private prayer – you can put your envelopes in the collection plate in Church on the table outside the bell tower.
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
|The Trustees of Windsor Christian Action (WCA) welcome you to attend its Seventh Annual General Meeting which will be held at 6.30pm on Wednesday 4th November 2020. WCA is the Charity which is responsible for four Windsor based projects, namely the Homeless, the Street Angels, Foodshare and More Than a Shelter (MTaS).|
The meeting will include short presentations on each of the above topics as well as on some of the challenges it has faced in the current year, and will continue to face in the years ahead. It will provide an opportunity for you to understand a little more about the work involved, and the dedicated volunteers and staff who make it all possible. It will last approximately one hour, or thereabouts.
The meeting will be a Zoom meeting due to the restrictions caused by Covid 19 and will commence at 6.30pm but the Zoom portal will be available from 6.15pm.
If you wish to attend, I’d be most grateful if you could let me know in advance by replying to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 30th October.
(Secretary to Trustees)
The Parish Office is now open Monday Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Revd Rosie Webb: email@example.com Tel: 01753 852334
Parish website: www.standrewsclewer.org
Churchwarden: Stuart Cockman
Pastoral helpline number: 07946 590223