Welcome to this week’s update and may the Lord be with you wherever you are, physically and spiritually.
On Saturday Christian churches will remember St Benedict, widely seen as the father of western monasticism, and the founder of the Benedictine tradition. If you have time, do explore the resources available to you and find out about him. Here is a prayer attributed to St Benedict:
Gracious and Holy Father,
give us the wisdom to discover You,
the intelligence to understand You,
the diligence to seek after You,
the patience to wait for You,
eyes to behold You,
a heart to meditate upon You,
and a life to proclaim You,
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Our Worship this week:
Thursday Evening Zoom – 7:30pm
Join us on the link below for the regular Thursday evening worship. Tonight we will be reflecting on St Benedict:
Evening Worship – 7:30pm 9 July:
Meeting ID: 717 4519 2963
Sunday Service – Live at 9:30am and video available from 11:15am
Join us for a live Sunday worship at 9:30am on Zoom on the link below. A video of the service will be uploaded as soon as possible afterwards and should be available from 11:15am – links also below. The text version will be on the website from Saturday evening.
Live Sunday Service:
Meeting ID: 724 0790 3543
Video link (from about 11:15am 12 July):
Or on our YouTube channel where you will find a number of videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkgAPth84w8vMfDgFeO6DIA
We are working towards re-integrating worship in our church buildings from 2 August. That work has started and we have already had some useful discussion around what the right pastoral and practical balance will be given the restrictions and regulations, and where we perceive people ‘are’. There are also significant resource issues, and the practicality and safety of those taking services, to be considered.
It is important to stress that this is an integration, and not a replacement. Times have fundamentally changed and it calls for a fresh approach to how we ‘do’ worship together.
There have been valuable discoveries and contacts made in these times. Going forwards therefore will be a balanced approach of using the Church buildings and continuing with a level of online worship, with the aim to have both in ways that are sustainable and nourishing for these times.
Worship in our church buildings is going to feel very different to start with. We will have fewer services, and they will need to be different in style. Initially we will not be able to sing hymns, but we can listen to music. We will not be able to share coffee and biscuits, but we will be able to be together in a carefully distanced space. It will be about being a community together, and praying together, and these are really the bedrock of the Christian faith.
Watch this space for more detailed information of dates and times across the Benefice.
We are into our second week of having churches open for private prayer and it has been really good to see people using those spaces. Here are the times the churches are open for you to use for your private reflections:
Monday – Cricket Malherbie & Winsham; 11am to 12 noon.
Tuesday – Chaffcombe & Tatworth; 11am to 12 noon.
Wednesday – Thorncombe; 11am to 12 noon.
Thursday – Winsham; 3pm to 4pm
Friday – Cricket Malherbie; 11am-12noon, & Tatworth; 3pm to 4pm
Saturday – Thorncombe & Chaffcombe; 11am to 12 noon.
As we celebrate St Benedict this week it is useful to be reminded of the monastic traditions. We might often think of monastic practice as being about people taking certain vows and living together with common purpose in a monastery. But it is about much more than that. It is about living out faith as community. And that does not just mean physical community in one space at one time, but also about knowing that wherever you are – either together or apart – you are in community in your spiritual journey and in community in the love of God. Monasteries very much still exist and play an incredibly important role in humanity’s witness of God’s love. But the monastic tradition is also observed in a great many disparate communities; be it through the ‘new monastic’ tradition of communities of faith that are emerging, or through diverse communities such as is often found in the Celtic Tradition (e.g. Iona Community and Northumbria Community). God is in all of that, and the common denominator is that sense of community and togetherness with common purpose. We have similarly diverse faith relations in our own parishes and it means that the community(s) that form will also be varied, but they all reflect that love of, and from, God.
Community Scrapbooks (posted separately)
Reverend Michelle is launching an initiative this week called ‘Our Big Community Scrapbook’. Attached is all the information in the form of a poster, entry form and booklet, that will also be available on the website at:
This is also being circulated to our schools and more generally and is a lovely idea to try and celebrate the different creative discoveries that have been in these times and bring some of those things together – as inspiration now and hope for the future. Do spread this far and wide!
FOR YOUR PRAYERS:
I invite you to hold the following in your prayers this week. As always, please do let me know of any additions or changes needed:
· The appointment process of the Youth Pioneer in this Deanery. We give thanks for the ministry of all the applicants and pray for the final part of making an appointment to that post.
· The children and families of our Benefice and Deanery. Give them courage in these uncertain times, particularly around social matters and education.
· All those struggling with anxiety and mental health.
· All those who are tired.
· We pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; Paul Glazier; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Val Joslin; Mark Lindsey; Frank Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young ; Hannah (Dennis Hunt’s granddaughter); Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Ian Mcdonald.
· For the Bereaved – The family & friends of: Mary Ferris; Martin Gillmore; Kathy Bostock-Smith
The Collect for St Benedict:
who made Benedict a wise master
in the school of your service
and a guide to many called into community
to follow the rule of Christ:
grant that we may put your love before all else
and seek with joy the way of your commandments;
through 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.
SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:
Thursday 2nd July: Hos 11:1,3-4,8-9; Matt 10:7-15
Friday 3rd July: Hos 14:2-end; Matt 10:16-23
Saturday 4th July: 1 Cor 3:10-11; Luke 18:18-22
Sunday 5th July: Rom 8:1-11; Matt 13:1-9, 18-23
Monday 6th July: Isa 1:11-17; Matt 10:34-11:1
Tuesday 7th July: Lam 3:19-26; Matt 5:1-8
Wednesday 8th July: Isa 10:5-7,13-16; Matt 11:25-27
Blessings to you all,