Notices 2020

The reflections this week are based on some ideas that spoke to me when reading some words of Clare Nonhebel several years ago. Provided by Barbara Holloway

Day 3. Go!
Jeremiah 1:4-10.

Jeremiah received the direction from God to go and give a message to kings and nations. Sometimes we feel a need to do something that is not always comfortable and we either feel we can’t or don’t want to. We may be physically asked by someone or it is just an urge.
Sometimes our curiosity gets the better of us when we have received a note through the letter box to go and collect something from the Post Office. It may not be an urgent matter and we think we’ll go tomorrow but because we aren’t expecting anything we keep thinking about it and our curiosity gets the better of us and we go to find it is a card that someone has forgotten to put a stamp on and this piece of correspondence becomes very costly.
Sometimes the urge is about more important things. I remember getting an urge to go and see a neighbour who I often used to visit. I’d been in the morning but I kept getting this feeling and thought I’ll just pop down on my way to a meeting.
When I got there she was having a heart attack so I was able to get the ambulance and get her to hospital. Just a feeling?
Are we getting urges, nudges or feelings about what the new normal might be for Church when we feel able to meet. If you are, share it. God speaks in so many different ways and sometimes means us to act on impulse. To go and speak out takes a lot of courage in case what you have to say is met with ridicule or just dismissed. Go!
Prayer. You know God how desperate we are for things to settle down so that we can get back to some of the things we knew.
We realise that life will not be the same as it was. Help us to recognise the ways in which You are speaking to us so that we can help to build the new normal Church.

Sunday Worship (19th Sunday in Ordinary Time) 9th August 2020

Opening Song: How lovely on the mountains

How Lovely On The Mountains Are The Feet Of Him
Who Brings Good News, Good News.
Announcing Peace, Proclaiming News And Happiness,
Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns. Chorus: Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns [2]

You Watchmen Lift Your Voices Joyfully As One.
Shout For Your King, Your King!
See Eye To Eye The Lord Restoring Zion,
Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns. Chorus: Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns [2]

Waste Places Of Jerusalem Break Forth With Joy,
We Are Redeemed, Redeemed!
The Lord Has Saved And Comforted His People,
Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns. Chorus: Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns [2]
Ends Of The Earth, See The Salvation Of Your God;
Jesus Is Lord, Is Lord!
Before The Nations He Has Bared His Holy Arm,                                                                         Your God Reigns, Your God Reigns. Chorus: Our God Reigns, Our God Reigns [2]

Call to Worship: Isaiah 52: 9

Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
God has redeemed Jerusalem.

Hymn StF 353 Jesus is Lord!
1 Jesus Is Lord! Creation’s Voice Proclaims It,
For By His Power Each Tree And Flower Was Planned And Made.
Jesus Is Lord! The Universe Declares It,
Sun, Moon And Stars In Heaven Cry: ‘Jesus Is Lord!’
Chorus: Jesus Is Lord! Jesus Is Lord! Praise Him With Alleluias, For Jesus Is Lord!

2 Jesus Is Lord! Yet From His Throne Eternal
In Flesh He Came To Die In Pain On Calvary’s Tree.
Jesus Is Lord! From Him All Life Proceeding –
Yet Gave His Life A Ransom, Thus Setting Us Free. Chorus: Jesus is Lord! …

3 Jesus Is Lord! O’er Sin The Mighty Conqueror,
From Death He Rose; And All His Foes Shall Own His Name.
Jesus Is Lord! God Sends His Holy Spirit
To Show By Works Of Power That Jesus Is Lord. Chorus: Jesus is Lord! …

Opening prayers
Let us pray

Warm and welcoming God, you shape us and hold us and name us and fill us with wonder,
All: And you hold us in love.
Bright and beckoning God, you call us and encourage us and bless us and fill us with longing,
All: And you hold us in love.
Strong and revealing God, you comfort us and question us and challenge us and fill us with courage,
All: And you hold us in love.
Lord, we are lost in the enveloping tenderness of your love for us.
We cry out with longing for the gentleness of your touch.
We are humbled by the knowledge of our need for your redemption and rest in your compassionate arms.
Lord, let us not dwell in the past, nor worry about the future.
We cannot undo what is done, nor foresee that which is to come.
Let us instead dwell in your peace, love and be loved, heal and be healed.
We give the past to you and rest in your forgiveness. We give the future to you and rest in your love and reassurance. We live in your light, open our eyes that we may see. We live in your love, let your love flow through us, to the fulfilment of your kingdom.
May we rest in the promise that our sins are forgiven, in Jesus name.
All: Amen. Thanks be to God.
(Ruth Burgess & Kathy Galloway (eds.), Praying for the Dawn, Wild Goose Publications, 2000.
Adapted. Reproduced with permission)

The Lord’s Prayer
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.

Find and read Matthew 14: 22 – 33

Hymn STF 495 Dear Lord and Father of mankind
1 Dear Lord and Father of mankind,                                                                                              forgive our foolish ways:                                                                                                     reclothe us in our rightful mind;                                                                                                  in purer lives thy service find,                                                                                                      in deeper reverence praise,                                                                                                          in deeper reverence praise.

2 In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee,
rise up and follow thee.

3 O sabbath rest by Galilee!                                                                                                            O calm of hills above,                                                                                                                where Jesus knelt to share with thee                                                                                            the silence of eternity,                                                                                                              interpreted by love!                                                                                                          Interpreted by love!

4 Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still small voice of calm!
O still small voice of calm!

Sermon – including selected verses from Romans 10: 5 – 15 (find and read)

Matthew’s Gospel. Continuing in chapter 14. So, the 5,000 have been fed (or as Nic reminded us last week, probably nearer 13,000) and the left overs have been cleared away. Nothing is wasted in God’s perfect kingdom! It would seem highly likely that this was the next day because the world’s greatest picnic took place in the evening too. Jesus makes sure the crowd has safely dispersed, he sends the disciple off in the boat and he goes up the mountain to once again try and get some down-time with God. Honestly, Jesus is the best role model. We all need down time with God and should never feel guilty about finding it and taking it.
Back on the beach the boat with the disciples in is way out, right in the heart of another flash storm. Not to be put off, Jesus of course, walks out to meet them. And the disciples are terrified. ‘Take heart’ Jesus says, ‘It’s me!’. I don’t think that’s a phrase we use much these days, take heart. ‘Be encouraged’. When I was thinking about today’s lesson I couldn’t help Googling ‘Walking on water’ and of course I got a curios mix of entries, the best one, ‘How to walk on water without being the Son of God’! I shan’t bore you with the science or the magic behind trying it today, suffice it to say that there are over 1,200 species of animal that can do it. It is right and proper that we think of it as a miracle. Only Matthew and Mark record this miracle and Mark does not include Peter trying to give it a go. (An interesting sermon for another occasion).
Matthew records Jesus approaching the boat and the disciples are terrified. ‘Take heart’, he says, be encouraged. Some of these men were professional fishermen but they weren’t able to control the boat in the storm. How so like the disciples we all are. We think we have everything under control, we think we know what we’re doing, and then the next wave comes along, the next crisis, and we are thrown into confusion. Globally, locally, personally. What storm are we at the very heart of at the moment? One of them is obvious, the CoVID-19 pandemic, but we know that this is overshadowing many other storms in people’s lives. If we’re not careful we are overcome by the storm and all we can see is the raging water and the the prospect of drowning.
These disciples are supposed to be men of faith but they are baffled after every extraordinary action of Jesus. How so like the disciples we all are. We have studied his teachings, we have prayed his prayer, we have tried to follow in his footsteps, but when the next unexplained thing happens, or the next frightening thing rears it’s ugly head, we are in pieces again. And that’s ok. How so like the disciples we all are, full of faith and full of doubts. And that’s ok. Jesus says, ‘Take heart’, be encouraged. Christian discipleship turns out to be like this most of the time, faith and doubt. Are we called to do the impossible? Probably not. As far as we know none of the disciples expected that walking on water was ever going to be a part of their
ministry! But we are called to speak and act and behave in ways that might seem impossible. How can we even begin to tackle the things that God asks us to do? It’s kind of basic and obvious really, but so hard to do – keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and our ears open to here his encouraging words! Jesus says, ‘It’s me!
Don’t be so overcome by the storm that we miss Jesus coming toward us and saying, ‘It’s ok, it’s me!’ Make time, every day, to be quiet and be with God. We call that ‘prayer’. Read the bible and be reassured by his teachings. The storm in our story doesn’t stop when the disciples see Jesus and he speaks to them.
Did you ever notice that? When Jesus calls Peter out to come and join him the storm is still raging (I know I didn’t read that part). The storm is still raging. And what a challenge to our faith that can be! God doesn’t say, ‘there, there, everything’s going to be alright’. God say, ‘It’s me, I’ll whether the storm with you’.
Someone else is trying to encourage other Christians in their troubled and fear-filled lives, and that’s Paul. He writes to the new Christians in Rome and he says, take heart. In fact he has a lot to say about the heart and I’m just going to tempt you with a little of his letter-writing. Paul says that, ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’. Just as Jesus was near to the disciples in the heart of the storm. Paul says our hearts will be filled, and that’s pretty miraculous in itself, because no one who recognises who Jesus is, and turns to God in the storm, will be disappointed. Everyone who keeps their eyes focussed on Jesus and his promises, will be rescued. So take heart, be encouraged, it’s not an illusion or a trick of the light. Jesus meets us at the heart of every storm and says, ‘It’s ok, it’s me’. So today, even if you don’t know Jesus, he says, ‘I’m here, it’s me! Tell me about your storm’. Keep your eyes and ears open for the true miracle which is hearing God’s call on our lives and being given the heart to respond. Amen.

Hymn StF 629 (tune 186 ‘Woodlands’, ‘Tell out my soul’) God of my faith (Colin Ferguson, 1937)

1 God of my faith, I offer you my doubt,                                                                                     for life at times seems too dark for me,                                                                                    and my belief becomes more insecure,                                                                                    when worldly cares produce uncertainty.

2 God of my hope, I offer you my fear,
when I am scared by my anxiety,
when all I hear is suffering and woe,
In all my shadows you will walk with me.

3 God of my joy, I offer you my grief,                                                                                       when I sink down in sadness or despair,                                                                                   when in depression I cannot be touched,                                                                                       I pray in all my depths to find you there.

4 God of my love, I offer you my pain,
when I’m alone and feel nobody cares,
in aching age or in rejected youth,
You bear my cross and dry my human tears.

5 God of my life, I offer you my dreams,
light in the darkness where I hide from view,
light of my faith, my hope, my joy and love,
light in my life and all my life in you.

Prayers of intercession (the Revd. Nic Bentley)
Lord, in the storms of life, bid us come to you, that we, who are aware of our weakness, may be made strong; through the power of Christ our Lord. Amen.
When we are in danger of being overwhelmed, increase our faith. When troubles beset us, let us hear you say, “Take heart, it is I: do not be afraid.” Give to your church a new vision of yourself and of your saving power. Go with us as we go out to proclaim your love.
We pray for areas where the church is struggling or being overwhelmed, for all evangelists and pastors who are overworked or in danger. We pray for all who reach out in faith towards you. Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
We pray for areas of the world where there have been floods or other natural disasters, for all who are swamped by poverty or hunger, for all who are battered by wave after wave of oppression or violence, for those who have no freedom, for all who are sinking beneath a load of care and anxiety. Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
We give thanks for all who have supported us in times of trouble or distress. We pray for friends
who are in need at this time. We pray that we will not be a burden to any, but a strength. We remember all who are finding caring for their home overwhelming. Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
We pray for all who are down, the fearful, the weary, the despairing. We pray for all who are unable to help themselves. We remember all who give a helping hand. We pray for carers, home helps, social workers. We remember those who are suffering in their care of another. Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
Though our faith is weak, we reach out to you, for you are almighty.
Grant that we may come to be with you in life eternal.
Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Amen.

Hymn StF 449 Lord of creation, to you be all praise
1 Lord of creation, to you be all praise!                                                                                    Most mighty your working, most wondrous your ways!                                                                Your glory and might are beyond us to tell,                                                                                and yet in the heart of the humble you dwell.

2 Lord of all power, I give you my will,
in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfill.
Your bondage is freedom; your service is song;
and, held in your keeping, my weakness is strong.

3 Lord of all wisdom, I give you my mind,                                                                                  rich truth that surpasses my knowledge to find;                                                                        what eye has not seen and what ear has not heard                                                                        is taught by your Spirit and shines from your word.

4 Lord of all bounty, I give you my heart;
I praise and adore you for all you impart,
your love to inspire me, your counsel to guide,
your presence to cheer me, whatever betide.

5 Lord of all being, I give you my all;
if I should disown you, I stumble and fall;
but, led in your service your word to obey,
I’ll walk in your freedom to the end of the way.

Generous and encouraging God,
help us to live this day and every day to the full.
Jesus, help us to give ourselves away to others,
being kind to everyone we meet.
Spirit, help us to love the lost,
proclaiming Christ in all that we do and say. Amen. (Lectio 365)

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen.

The following hymn was one I learned many years ago when I used to attend a weekly prayer group.
Words and music are by Gerard Markland and it is based on Isaiah 43: 1 – 4. I have always found it a
helpful hymn to be read or sung and I offer it to you now.

Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You.
I Have Called You By Your Name; You Are Mine.

When You Walk Through The Waters I’ll Be With You,
You Will Never Have To Sink Beneath The Waves.

Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You.
I Have Called You By Your Name; You Are Mine.

When The Fire Is Burning All Around You,
You Will Never Be Consumed By The Flames.
Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You.
I Have Called You By Your Name; You Are Mine.

When The Fear Of Loneliness Is Looming,
Then Remember I Am At Your Side.
Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You.
I Have Called You By Your Name; You Are Mine.

When You Dwell In The Exile Of A Stranger,
Remember You Are Precious In My Eyes.
Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You.
I Have Called You By Your Name; You Are Mine.

You Are Mine, Oh My Child; I Am Your Father,
And I Love You With A Perfect Love.
Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You.
I Have Called You By Your Name; You Are Mine.

Next Sunday Morning at 11.30 am (16th August)                                                                         You are invited to ‘A Drive in’ Church Service at St John’s Burlington on the back car park (weather permitting)

  • When you drive in, there will be a box with order of services in …. please take one
  • When you arrive, please find a parking slot and stay in your car
  • Open your car window
  • Join in the worship
  • When you leave, there will be a collection box as you drive out.

Stewards will be on hand to assist 

Hope to see you there 


Val Emmersons Contact details

Church Notices to be in by Tuesday’s to Val Emmerson 01262 678242.                                       email

Further details of Church Activities and events are available on the SJB Website.


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