6th September Sunday Service

09 Sep 20

Dear fellow travellers upon life's highway, 

I hope all is as well as possible and you are keeping up an 'attitude of gratitude'!

Phil's sponsored bike ride for Historical Chuches' Trust is on Saturday.  Half of the sponsorship will go to St Laurence.

Margaret & Ian A. are walking and not cycling if you wanted to sponsor them.

Latest response to the Flower Festival - 500 hits on Utube and £473 in gifts.   

NEXT SUNDAY - joint benefice service at St Laurence 10.30am 

Here is last Sunday's service which I hope you will be of encouragement.  The attachments are as follows:

New Liturgy and Order of service

Order of Service for September to November 

From the 13th Sunday after Trinity to Advent 

Opening Hymn:

The Power of Your Love (Mission Praise 880)

1 Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace
That I've found in You
Lord I've come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love

Refrain: Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side
And as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love

2 Lord unveil my eyes
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love
As You live in me
Lord renew my mind
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day
By the power of Your love

Refrain: Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side
And as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love

Repeat Refrain: Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side
And as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love

And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love                (by Geoff Bullock) 

 In our journeying with you,

may we never lose our sense of direction,
never lose sight of the landmark
towards which we travel.
And should cloud or rain obscure our vision,
may we draw closer to you,
so that our feet may tread
in your footsteps,
your words be our encouragement,
and your love our protection
against the storms that assail us.

Words of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, sovereign God, gentle and merciful, creator of heaven and earth.

Your word brought light out of darkness.

In Jesus Christ you proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to captives, sight to the

Blind and freedom for the oppressed.

Daily your Spirit renews the face of the earth, bringing life, wholeness and peace.

In the renewal of our lives you make known your heavenly glory.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

All   Blessed be God for ever.

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips

All   and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Give us the joy of your saving help

All   and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit. 

The minister says

We have come together in the name of Christ

to offer our praise and thanksgiving,

to hear and receive God’s holy word,

to pray for the needs of the world,

and to seek the forgiveness of our sins,

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may give ourselves to the service of God.

Hymn:

 I Watch the Sun Rise 

1. I watch the sunrise
Shine through the clouds
Warming the earth below
And at the midday –life seems to say
I feel your brightness near me
 
2. I watch the sunset fading away,
lighting the clouds with sleep. 
And as the evening closes its eyes, 
I feel your presence near me.
 
3. I watch the sunset fading away,
lighting the clouds with sleep. 
And as the evening closes its eyes, 
I feel your presence near me.
 
4. I watch the moonlight guarding the night, 
waiting till morning comes. 
The air is silent earth is at rest - 
only your peace is near me. yes, you are always near me.
 
5. For you are always close to me 
following all my ways. 
May I be always close to you,
following all your ways Lord.                                                                                              (by John Glynn, 1976) 

Confession and Absolution

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ So, let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this:

‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind,

and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All   Amen. Lord, have mercy.

When we cry out to the Lord in our trouble,

All   he will deliver us from our distress.

God will bring us out of darkness

All   and out of the shadow of death.

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

All   Lord our God,

in our sin we have avoided your call.

Our love for you is like a morning cloud,

like the dew that goes away early.

Have mercy on us;

deliver us from judgement;

bind up our wounds and revive us;

in Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen                              cf Hosea 6 

May the Father of all mercies

cleanse us from our sins,

and restore us in his image

to the praise and glory of his name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Canticle

1    Blessed are you, Our Lord Jesus Christ, for ever and ever: 

     The wilderness and the dry land shall rejoice, 

the desert shall blossom and burst into song.

    They shall see the glory of the Lord, 

the majesty of our God.

    Strengthen the weary hands, 

and make firm the feeble knees.

    Say to the anxious, ‘Be strong, fear not,

    your God is coming with judgement, 

coming with judgement to save you.’

    Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, 

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

    Then shall the lame leap like a hart, 

and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

    For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, 

and streams in the desert;

    The ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing, 

with everlasting joy upon their heads.

    Joy and gladness shall be theirs,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  Isaiah 35.1,2b–4a,4c–6,10

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen. 

Special Collect

Lord God of time and eternity, we thank you that our times are in your hands.

In our journeying with you, may we never lose our sense of direction, never lose sight of the landmark towards which we travel.  Should cloud or rain obscure our vision, may we draw closer to you, so that our feet may tread in your footsteps, your words be our encouragement, and your love our protection against the storms that assail us. Pour upon us those gifts we need to work with you that, filled with your Spirit, your church may serve you here with strength and joy. Through Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns with you. Amen 

:Our First reading is Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither –
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

This is the word of the Lord.       All   Thanks be to God.

 May the mind of Christ my Saviour (Mission Praise 463) 

May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say. 

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power. 

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing. 

May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory. 

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go. 

May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.                                                                                                    (by K Barclay Wilkinson / M Peterson)

Our second reading is Ephesians chapter 3 verses 14 to 21

 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

      This is the word of the Lord           Response: Thanks be to God

 SERMON for Sunday Joint Benefice at St Wilfrid’s (06/9/20)

PSALM 1 - PURPOSE

Since our churches in the benefice opened at the beginning of August, we have been considering aspects of the Psalms with headings beginning with the letter ‘P’ to help us remember them better.  So far, we have covered the following themes which I hope has been relevant to you in the light of the the Covid 19 Pandemic that the world has been facing:

Place – Psalm 84     Peace – Psalm 46   Providence – Psalm 139    

Provision – Psalm 78   Praise & Thanksgiving - Psalm107 (last week at the virtual Flower Festival).

This week we are considering Purpose, living a purposeful life from Psalm 1

This Psalm is anonymous and is regarded as important because it is an introduction in itself to the whole book of Psalms, which total 150. It is known as a wisdom Psalm.  Its theme is as big as the whole Bible, because it tells of people, paths and ultimate destinations.  It is like a gateway or a shop window into all the other psalms that follow. It presents us with a simple picture of what to expect when we turn to the book of Psalms. 

It places people into their separate spiritual categories.  It speaks of the blessings of a righteous life by those who trust and obey God, in contrast to the downfall of those who reject God and ignore Him.  Its opening sentence could be regarded as another ‘beatitude’:

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked, stand in the way that sinners take, or sit in the company of mockers 

A truly purposeful life is one that is blessed by God. This word ‘blessing’ which is apparently in the plural at the beginning of this psalm can be translated from the original Hebrew as, ‘Oh the blessings of the person’ ‘Oh how very, very happy is the person’ ‘Oh how very fulfilled is the person’

The Hebrew word translated “bless” is barak, which can mean to praise, congratulate, or salute. Genesis 1:22 is the first occurrence, when God blessed the sea creatures and birds, telling them to be fruitful and multiply in the earth. Likewise, in verse 28, God gave the similar blessing to Adam and Eve, adding that they were to exercise dominion over creation. 

They had a purposeful life that was blessed by God and brought them happiness and fulfilment and honoured God.  When God called Abram to go to the Promised Land (Genesis 12:1-3), He promised to bless him, make his name great, and through him, to bless all the families of the earth. The blessings here are associated with happiness and welfare, fulfilment and contentment. 

At this time of lockdown and restrictions, finding purpose and meaning can be difficult if all we listen to is the news, the voices of experts and opinions of others.  It is very important to be informed, but we need to turn to other means to understand that purpose for our lives is not limited to human wisdom and ‘doing our own thing’.  In verse 1, we have the gradual regression from God’s ways.  It warns us of how we are prone to turn aside from the things of God, little by little.  When this pandemic gradually subsides, who will be coming to church?

To find a life of purpose and to be blessed, we need to follow the way of blessedness.  This emanates from the description we have in our reading from Ephesians, in the form of a prayer reflecting the geometry of God’s love. (read again). 

Psalm 1 v1 describes what we need, to enjoy a purposeful and blessed life: 

Discernment. We need discernment to avoid the steps that lead away from God and into sin.  Some people put themselves in places and with people who lead them to the paths of destruction – and they wonder why God doesn’t seem to bless them and everything is wrong and against them.  Discernment is having the wisdom and knowledge to make decisions based on truth and righteousness. There are many verses in the book of Proverbs which mention discernment.  For example:

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him. Proverbs 28v11:

Anyone with a wise heart is called discerning, and pleasant speech increases learning.

Proverbs 16:21 

Even in such a less read book as Hosea there are verses about having discernment:

People without discernment are doomed. Hosea 4:14 

Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths, sinners stumble and fall. Hosea 14:9 

The greatest verse in the New Testament about discernment must be Romans 12v2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

The famous paraphrase by J B Phillips of this verse says, ’Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould’

So, we all need discernment. Also, to find that purposeful living, fulfilment and God’s blessing, there are 2 positive things to embrace from Psalm 1: 

a.     To DELIGHT in God (v2)

For some people the idea of God is someone like a policeman who beats people with a stick.  This view is totally unbiblical. To delight in God is to discover what the disciples found in the Person of Jesus and how John describes God in his letter of 1 John 4 when he says, ‘God is love, in Him there is no darkness’. The greatest delight that can be found above all else has to be ‘love’.  Imagine what the world and people’s lives are like without love?  When we delight in God, because God is love, we find purpose and blessing in life.  We express our delight in God through our worship.

b.    To DEPEND on God (v3)

Our spiritual roots have to go deep into the resources of God’s grace. From there, we can bear fruit as described by the psalmist when he talks about being like a tree. The fruit of the Spirit is outlined in Galatians 5 v 22,23:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

Finally Proverbs 3:5–6 tells us to:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 “With all your heart” indicates a trust that goes beyond intellectual assent to a deep dependence on the Lord, a settled confidence in His care and His faithfulness to his word.  To find that purposeful life, we need to have discernment, delight and dependence on God. 

The Creed

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Holy God, in whom we live and move and have our being,

we make our prayer to you, saying,

Lord, hear us.     All   Lord, graciously hear us.

For the peace and stability of all peoples

and for the leaders of nations and the church worldwide

grant the assurance of your presence, your wisdom and your peace.

Lord, hear us.    All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant your healing grace to all who are sick, anxious or fearful

that they may be made whole in body, mind and spirit.

We pray especially for …….

Lord, hear us.     All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to all who work wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience;

Grant to the unemployed good health, provision and perseverance

Lord, hear us.    All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Sustain and support the elderly and the bereaved

and lift up all who are brought low.

Lord, hear us.   All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Hear us, Lord of life.   All   Heal us, and make us whole. 

All   The Lord’s Prayer

 Walk in the Light (Mission Praise 664)

The Spirit lives to set us free,
Walk, walk in the light.
He binds us all in unity,
Walk, walk in the light.
Refrain: Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light of the Lord. 

Jesus promised life to all,
Walk, walk in the light.
The dead were wakened by his call,
Walk, walk in the light.
Refrain 

He died in pain on Calvary,
Walk, walk in the light.
To save the lost like you and me,
Walk, walk in the light.
Refrain 

We know his death was not the end,
Walk, walk in the light.
He gave his Spirit to be our friend,
Walk, walk in the light.
Refrain 

The Spirit lives in you and me,
Walk, walk in the light;
His light will shine for all to see,
Walk, walk in the light.
Refrain                                                                                                                                  (by Damien Lundy) 

Closing Blessing

 In our journeying with you,

may we never lose our sense of direction,
never lose sight of the landmark
towards which we travel.
And should cloud or rain obscure our vision,
may we draw closer to you,
so that our feet may tread
in your footsteps,
your words be our encouragement,
and your love our protection
against the storms that assail us.

The Grace together

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  In the name of Christ, Amen

A special Poster - can be emailed if requested.

PLANS FOR CHURCH SERVICES IN THE BENEFICE

Sunday services will continue as joint benefice services held in different churches at 10.30am to celebrate, offer thanksgiving and encourage one another. 

The September services are as follows:

6th September at St Wilfrid’s 10.30am

13th September at St Laurence 10.30am

16th September (Wednesday) St John’s for Songs of Praise 10.00am (note: time)

20th September at St Wilfrid’s 10.30am

27th September at St Laurence 10.30am 

             October services are as follows:

                  4th October at St Wilfrid’s 10.30am HARVEST

                 11th October at St Laurence 10.30am HARVEST

                 18th October at St Wilfrid’s 10.30am (Rev John on holiday)

                 25th October at St Laurence 10.30am 

              November services are as follows:

                 1st November at St Laurence 10.30am

                 8th November at St Wilfrid’s – Remembrance Sunday am (time to be confirmed)

                15th November at St Laurence 10.30am (Rev John on holiday)

                22nd November at St John’s 10.30am

                29th November at St Wilfrid’s 10.30am 

A.    No services at St Michael’s at this stage due to the health - related issues of the building, especially damp and mould, and the sharing of premises with the community centre.  A plan to be discussed with the Community centre: church members needed

B.    Hygiene: hand sanitisers, wearing of masks, social distancing, cleaning and other issues are organised, as well as stewards to officiate.

C.     Organists: Frances is able to play the organ at the churches, if the usual organists do not wish to attend due to age and health restrictions.

D.    Service books and hymn books: Printed sheets will be placed on the pews at correct social distancing for attendees.  These can be kept or left after each service.

E.     Communion: Not permitted at the moment.  This may not happen for a while.

F.     Offertory: Separate plates will be made available for Ansley and Arley.

G.    Baptisms, weddings and funerals are strictly regulated in line with the latest guidelines.

 If anyone feels uncomfortable about the arrangements during the service please feel free to leave, everyone will understand.

Much of what is planned is subject to change, depending on the latest government updates. 

 

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Flower Festival 2020

Ansley Church’s 56th Flower Festival is going virtual this year, with the theme “Thank You”. This is for all key workers and volunteers. Click the more button from 28th August to 30th September 2020 to view the video that has been put...

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Personal Profile
Rev. John Langlands

 Rev. John Langanlds 

It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!

Rev John's September Jottings

Firstly, the Virtual Flower Festival at St Laurence can now be accessed from a link on the church website.  I would like to thank all of you who contributed in any way – and those who have ‘visited’ via the internet and given a donation.  Do have a look if you can during the month of September.  The link can be found on the church websi...

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