30 August 2020 – Twelfth Sunday of Trinity

WELCOME
The 30th August is the Lesser Festival of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer born in 1628. It is also the week of the anniversary of my father’s death, so it is always a week in the year when I am pulled back to my roots, family and faith roots. John Bunyan featured highly in my childhood as I was born, or at least my birth was registered, in the small town at the bottom of Hill Difficulty, in Bedfordshire near the village of Elstow where Bunyan was born. My roots are in Bunyan country. John Bunyan’s greatest work is Pilgrims Progress and it is the world’s second most printed book after the bible. Bunyan was a protestant non-conformist who didn’t like the Book of Common Prayer. He had his own congregation in Bedford and was imprisoned for 12 years for refusing to stop preaching. Amazingly he managed to survive all those years! The inspiration for Pilgrims Progress came from a dream he had whilst in Bedford gaol. It is an allegory, and the main character is called Christian. Christian sets out on a pilgrimage to find the Celestial City, and on the way he meets all kinds of characters including – Evangelist, Faithful, Hopeful, Help, Worldly Wise Man, as well as Hypocrisy, Formalist, Talkative, Envy, Faint Heart, Giant Despair and his wife Diffidence.

It has not been lost on me that I now live near Slough of Despond, a place where Christian needed help from Faithful to get out of!   For Bunyan life was all about salvation, for him the bible is clear as well as truthful. His life might have been considered sad, often persecuted, often on the run and regularly separated from his wife and children and he made little money. He also suffered from depression for significant periods in his life and he died just before the persecution of he and his friends had had to endure ended. His life was far from sad though, his focus was on spiritual truth and was genuinely concerned about helping people grow closer to Christ. His greatest fear had been God not loving him personally, but once he understood and sure that Jesus was his Saviour, then he could face anything and everything. Bunyan lived for Jesus, his life was rooted in Christ and the bible truth.
 
In our Gospel reading today we see Peter, who had been a hero in recognising who Jesus was last week, this week Jesus tells him off big time! Then we hear those familiar words, ‘if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’ Matt 16.24.

Back to our roots – the root of our faith is the call to take up our cross and follow. Bunyan carried his cross through life and all its challenges and included gaol, so what does that mean for us, individually and as a church community?
During this pandemic I have been reflecting on how ‘church’ might look, as it seems things may never be quite the same again. I have mentioned so many times before being pilgrims on a journey and this year was always going to be a pilgrimage year as a focus for our mission and outreach.
 
So the question is how do we take up our cross and follow Jesus out into our community? We can only seat 24 people or groups for our church services, that excludes many people and opportunities. It’s time to go out into the community and meet people along the way, by taking faith out to walk alongside and help unlock the mystery of faith. Bunyan understood the promise and hope of the Celestial City, but he also understood that we are all pilgrims and we need help along the way, we need people beside us if we are to survive Slough of Despair and Hill of Difficulty, we all carry burdens.
 
Our ministry team will be putting a plan together for the next four months on how we can take ‘church’ into the community, kicking off with a ‘Back to School’ service actually in the school carpark/playground. Our Eucharist resumes next Sunday, it’s so important for us all to be spiritually fed in order to be sent out, and with that we will start having a midweek Holy Communion, on Wednesday mornings, during the time we are open for private prayer. Prayers and Bears will now be held at the Pirate Park every Friday as we can’t meet in church. This pandemic gives us a real opportunity to engage with our community, to take up our cross together and who knows who we’ll meet along the way!
 
My challenge for you this week, pray about your faith roots, your faith journey and what it means to you to take up your cross and follow Jesus.
Pilgrims Progress will be our Advent Focus this year, so find a copy and get reading!

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

Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray
and to give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid
and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask
but through the merits and mediation
of 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

Jeremiah 15.15-21
 
15 O Lord, you know;
   remember me and visit me,
   and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance do not take me away;
   know that on your account I suffer insult.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
   and your words became to me a joy
   and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
   O Lord, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
   nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
   for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing,
   my wound incurable,
   refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
   like waters that fail.
 
19 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
If you turn back, I will take you back,
   and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
   you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you,
   not you who will turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people
   a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
   but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
   to save you and deliver you,
says the Lord.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
   and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.
 
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
 
Psalm 26.1-8
 
1  Give judgement for me, O Lord,
      for I have walked with integrity; •
   I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
2  Test me, O Lord, and try me; •
   examine my heart and my mind.
3  For your love is before my eyes; •
   I have walked in your truth.
4  I have not joined the company of the false, •
   nor consorted with the deceitful.
5  I hate the gathering of evildoers •
   and I will not sit down with the wicked.
6  I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord, •
   that I may go about your altar,
7  To make heard the voice of thanksgiving •
   and tell of all your wonderful deeds.
8  Lord, I love the house of your habitation •
   and the place where your glory abides.
 
Romans 12.9-end
 
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ 20 No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
 
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 16.21-end
 
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ 23 But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

27 ‘For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’
 
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

REFLECTION – REVD ROSIE

My reflection is in the welcome today but I have included here one of my favourite hymns of all time, and the words of which are on my father gravestone, in bold.  
This is the original  words from John Bunyan’s hymn in Pilgrims Progress.
 
1. Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather;
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

2. Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is,
No lion can him fright;
He’ll with a giant fight;
But he will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

3. Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit,

Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say;
He’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

PRAYERS  – MULLE PRICE
 
We pray for your church Lord –  help us to worship you not only with our lips but with our lives.  Draw us together into one great company of disciples, mindful that while there is a time for rest, there is also a time for action .  Teach us to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will, for in your service we shall find our peace.
 
Lord, you have taught us that the mission is urgent and the time is now:  in your mercy, hear our prayer.
 
Lord, you have called all of us in your world to be one, to live in unity and harmony and yet we are divided – east from west, faith from faith, rich from poor, old from young, neighbour from neighbour.  Trusting that through the cross all enmity can be brought to an end help us to break down the walls that separate us, the fences of indifference and hatred. Give us the courage to open ourselves to others, to support those in conflict areas like Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, in political conflict in Belarus, and in the areas that have now been replaced on the front page but are still in turmoil…. By the power of your Spirit, make us one Lord.
 
Lord, you have taught us that the mission is urgent and the time is now:  in your mercy, hear our prayer.
 
Lord, teach us to play our part in the corporate life of our communities here in Clewer and Windsor and further afield.  To ensure we as a congregation look after each other, particularly those who have been bereaved by COVID-19, cancer and so many other diseases.  We ask you to guide us as we try to help the  lonely, tempted and afraid.  And the forgotten ones that you alone know.  And in our own community we pray specially for Sam, Blake and Reuben, Miriam, Margaret, Lesley, Elsie, Don, David, Sarah and Hugh, Karl, and Joanna, and for Pam Hockedy who has recently broken her hip, and we pray also for all newcomers to St. Andrews that they will find a welcome here at this difficult time when masks can separate as well as safeguard. We continue to remember the Homeless, Refugees and Prisoners.
 
Lord we give thanks for all who have died in faith and now rejoice in your presence on another shore, particularly Simon Davies and Betty Smith.  Draw them to yourself and grant them the peace that passes all understanding. And show us how to comfort the bereaved coping with anguish alongside the inevitable practical problems at such a difficult time.
 
We ask you also Lord to be with the schools and colleges.  Please be with those in leadership roles that they may be able to cope with new systems as well as new children and students at all levels and those who have to make difficult decisions after exams. 
 
Lord, you have taught us that the mission is urgent and the time is now:  in your mercy, hear our prayer.
 
May we join our prayers, our praise and our proclamation of the gospel of justice and peace with those of our fellow Christians around the world.  Through 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 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 to YouTube later in the day.
Details of arrangements below

MP Readings
Psalm 28.1-8
Matthew 16.21-end

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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 105.1-15
2 Kings 6.24-25; 7.3-20
Acts 18.1-16

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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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CHURCH OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER

The Church is still open on Wednesdays from 10am-12 for Private Prayer.
 
OXFORD DIOCESE CHURCH AT HOME

30 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, Pam, 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 united Church of South India. Please pray also for the Churches in Kimberley & Kuruman (Southern Africa), Kindu (Congo), Kinkiizi (Uganda), Ondo (Nigeria), Calabar (Nigeria), Kinshasa (Congo), Ontario (Canada), Calcutta (North India), Ogbomoso (Nigeria), Caledonia (Canada), Calgary (Canada), Oregon (The Episcopal Church), California (The Episcopal Church), Orlu (Nigeria), Cameroon (West Africa), and Kirinyaga (Kenya).
 
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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