Easter 7, Sunday after Ascension- Church at Home

24th May 2020

Weekly notices and a service for worship at home

Cross made by Fenwick Lawson, seen here in the Gospels Garden on Holy Island in 2007

NOTICES


Do you need some help?

You may have to self-isolate but you don’t have to feel alone! The council have set up a helpline for those who need help during the next few months. Call CityLife line: 0191 277 8000 You can also contact the clergy or our volunteers and we will find the best way to support you. Everyone, please keep social-distancing - stay 2 metres apart, and only go outside to exercise, and go to the shop for essentials.

The Revd David Kirkwood – 0191 273 5356

The Revd Dominic Coad – 0191 256 7020

The Revd Chris Minchin is on leave

Contact us


Giving during lockdown

One of the unforeseen pressures of lockdown is that many of our members give money physically on Sundays and this is no longer possible. To keep our work going (and make sure our buildings are still standing when we return to them!) we are asking that, if you can, please give by standing order. Regular donations help us to have a better estimate of our income and ensure we can keep our activities running.

  • You can set this up with your bank online using the details here.

  • Or download and print a standing order form here and send to your bank.

  • If you wish to be posted a form please call us or email church@benwellscotswood.com


Faculty for St James' churchyard

In light of current circumstances, we are ensuring faculties are posted publicly online as well as physically outside the church. This is an application for a rolling faculty for routine maintenance to be carried out in St James' Churchyard. You can read the notice here and objections may be submitted via email to dac@newcastle.anglican.org

Children's resources

We will include resources each week from Roots to help you reflect on Bible readings with children at home. You can download and print the resources here.


WORSHIP

7th Sunday of Easter

Reflection by The Revd Anne Marr

Service led by The Revd Dominic Coad


We will pray at 10am on Sunday, join us at home at if you can.


Listen here:

This week we are trying out some intro music please use it to clear your mind in preparation for the service, which will start shortly.


Opening prayer

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Confession


What God has prepared for those who love him, he has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything. Therefore, let us in penitence open our hearts to the Lord, who has prepared good things for those who love him.


You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy).


You bring pardon and peace to the broken in heart: Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy).


You make one by your Spirit the torn and divided: Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy)


May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins, heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect


Risen, ascended Lord, as we rejoice at your triumph, fill your Church on earth with power and compassion, that all who are estranged by sin may find forgiveness and know your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Reading


A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

(Acts 1.6-14)

This is the word of the Lord.

Gospel


Alleluia, alleluia.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Alleluia.


The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.


(John 17.1-11)

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection

by The Revd Anne Marr


Dear God, take my lips and speak through them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire with love for you. Amen.

The disciples were at a key crossroad – one which marked the road ahead for the whole Church of Christ, though at the time they were unaware of that.

Jesus has ascended to the Father and they are left ‘alone’ and wondering what to do next. His last words to them were ‘’It is not for you to know the times or periods that God has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you! And you will be my witnesses…” Jesus had promised the Spirit to accompany them and guide them but right now they didn’t know where they were going.

So there they were – left – bereft – confused – no idea where they were, or where they were going – 3 eventful years of following and learning from Jesus, and now what? Derek used to raise a smile with the old mission story of the ‘Hellawe tribe’, who lived in the middle of a valley of very long grass. They could be heard calling to each other ‘We’re the Hellawe?’ I guess the disciples must have felt like the Hellawe tribe at this point in history.

‘Why are you standing there staring up into the sky? An angel disguised as a passer-by asked them. ‘Stay alert’ was the message. So off they went back to the upper room and socially distanced themselves from the world while they tried to work out what to do. They were confused. They needed clarity. Was it safe to go out or should they stay at home? There was a road map of sorts – left them by Jesus – but no timetable, no clear road markings. They could never go back to how things were -their lives were about to change - though they knew not how.

Perhaps it all feels familiar to us? We too are confused, asking for clarity. We wonder how things will unfold, what we should or should not do. There are a few hopeful road signs but we are not all sure what we ought to be doing or why.

It is a waiting time, just as it was for the disciples. They were at a crossroad. They had witnessed the ascension, but had no concept of Pentecost yet. Jesus had promised them the Spirit, but what would actually happen, or when, and how would it affect their lives? Today’s gospel tells us that Jesus had prayed for them – and he also prays for us – by name too! He prayed that they would see God’s glory in the life and work of the Son and become effective witnesses of the eternal truth and life he had shown them. His prayer was that through his friends, lives would be saved.

We are at a crossroad in our little bit of history – between the peak of Covid-19 and the unfolding future. We have witnessed some of its effects, but what next? We are promised all kinds of support – which is reassuring, but nobody can be sure how things will turn out or how our lives will change. ‘How did we manage to get ourselves into such a mess?’ we may be thinking – (just like the disciples may have been thinking). We may be tempted to find someone to blame – someone to be accountable – maybe the government? Or the scientists? Or God even? But does blame achieve anything or does it simply entrench us in self-pity? And it may also shield us from acknowledging our own small part in the corporate mistakes we make in life.

As we venture forth out of our lock-down period, and face the decisions at our own crossroads, which way will we choose? Jesus commanded: ‘Stay alert…Control that which would destroy you…and Save lives’

We can imagine a crossroad – perhaps when it is quiet with few people and the sounds of birds can be heard and the chatter of a few pedestrians; or maybe at rush hour – with many people, cars, lorries, buses, colours, noise and impatience.

Maybe we can imagine a busy crossroad as the cross of Christ – a crossroad of many people, many times, many places; through which at some time all people pass. Here, at this point in history, is the focal point of God’s ‘Cross-Purpose’. Here at this crossroad is the meeting place of all history with God, the source of all love, forgiveness and peace. Here, through the cross, we are shown a way to life in all its fullness.

We are now standing with the whole world at a crucial crossroad, a place where so many have felt the pain of the cross. Our hope is that as we pass through this crossroad in our Covid-19 times, the Spirit of God will be our guide and strength, our companion on the journey; that the kingdom values Jesus taught – of courage and compassion - will mark the way ahead. Our lives will change – let’s be ready.

After WW2 there was a significant change in social attitudes giving rise to the NHS and much needed welfare reforms. Covid-19 has shone a spotlight onto our poorest communities and places where reforms are needed. Will our NHS and social care systems be adequately staffed, equipped and funded in future? Will we learn to live differently to help safeguard our environment? So many needs, so many opportunities. Now is the time to be alert to possibilities, ready to respond, as witnesses to, and agents of, Christ’s kingdom values.

Like the disciples, we too are commissioned as agents of the gospel in our world – to love and serve the Lord - to ‘Stay alert – Control what is harmful – and Save Lives’

So let us pray for courage to choose the way of love and compassion, to witness these in our own lives – in what we say, what we do and how we pray; to be witnesses to God - the source of all love, forgiveness and peace.


Prayers


Response:

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.


The Church

  • Those called to lead and guide us at a difficult time.

  • Bishop Christine, Bishop Mark preparing to move to a new Ministry in Chester.

  • All who feel cut off for the sacramental life of the church.


The World

• Medical staff and health professionals, those in government, and those faced by difficult decisions

• Places whose health services are most vulnerable and undeveloped.

• An end to inequality. A more sustainable use and equitable allocation of the world’s resources.

The Sick & Suffering

All who have asked for our prayers

• Lesley Towers

• Stan Adams

• The Jarvis family after the unexpected loss of their father

• Alan Robson and his family after the death of his daughter Pauline, following an operation.

• All affected by Covid19


The Departed

• Richard Jarvis

• Pauline Rossen

• David Cooper

• James 'Jim' Sheriff

• Carol Ann Marshall

• Elsie Lytton

• Ruth Smith

• Joan Bright

• All victims of Covid19


Lord's Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,

as our Saviour taught us, so we pray


Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn

Listen to the music here


Alleluia! sing to Jesus!

His the scepter, his the throne.

Alleluia! His the triumph,

his the victory alone.

Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion

thunder like a mighty flood.

Jesus out of every nation

hath redeemed us by his blood.


Alleluia! not as orphans

are we left in sorrow now;

Alleluia! He is near us,

faith believes, nor questions how;

Though the cloud from sight received him

when the forty days were o'er

shall our hearts forget his promise,

'I am with you evermore'?


Alleluia! bread of heaven,

here on earth our food and stay!

Alleluia! here the sinful

flee to thee from day to day.

Intercessor, Friend of sinners,

earth's Redeemer, plead for me.

Where the songs of all the sinless

sweep across the crystal sea.


Alleluia! King eternal,

thee the Lord of lords we own;

Alleluia! born of Mary,

earth thy footstool,

heaven thy throne.

Thou within the veil hast entered,

robed in flesh, our great High Priest.

Thou on earth both Priest and Victim

in the Eucharistic Feast.


Conclusion


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

And the love of God

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Be with us all, evermore. Amen.


He is not here. He is risen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia.

In the name of Christ. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia.