Advent 3 (17/12/2017)

Pewsheet 17 December 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

CHRISTIANS are called to be saints and not heroes. As Stanley Hauerwas observes, today’s culture has a particular need of heroic figures. It is repeatedly let down by those it raises to this status. After each disappointment it finds another hero in whom to invest its hope. Heroes are always the central figure in the story of their deeds. The saint, on the other hand, “is just a small character in a story that is always fundamentally about God” (Samuel Wells in Rupert Shortt’s God’s Advocates, DLT, 2005).

PRAYER

God of the gospels,
Now we see you, now we don’t.
Sometimes even our own conflicts confound us
and our lives and stories
are difficult to read.
When understanding evades us,
may we find those things
that will keep us steady:
love, joy, faithfulness, generosity,
hospitality, rest, solidarity, belief and truth.
Because even though you’re sometimes
hard to follow, hard to find,
we know that these things
keep us steady.
Amen.

Advent 2 (10/12/2017)

Pewsheet 10 December 2017

Sermon Mark 1 1-8 NvF

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Who are the people whose powerful and wild words make you pay attention today?

You may wish to reflect on the resistances to such voices. Are these voices discredited because of their origin, their tone, their language, their syntax, their grammar?

Resistances can sometimes – not always, but sometimes – be an indication of a refusal to engage. How can we put down our arms and listen?

After examining your resistances, listen again: What are those wild and powerful voices saying? What do they know? What are they calling us to?

Prayer

In the name of the Bee
and of the Butterfly
and of the Breeze.

In the name of locusts
and wild words
and wild honey.

In the name of bombs
and breathing
and brilliance.

In the name of escape,
and engagement
and armour.

In the name of everything
and nothing
and whatever will save us.

In the name of this small moment.
Yes, this small moment.
This very small moment.

Amen.

Advent 1 (3/12/2017)

Today we start the new church year during which we will focus on the Gospel of St Mark. Download the list of Sunday readings (Year B) Common Worship Lectionary 2018

Pewsheet 3 December 2017

download an info sheet about  Advent and Christmas 2017 at St Paul 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Jesus of the dramatic word,
from you we sometimes hear dystopia,
of suns and moons and clouds and skies all falling.
And we miss the small words of love
that can sustain us through the winter.
In the dramas of our news cycles,
helps us all — parishioners, preachers and politicians —
to enact love in the corners, queues and questions
of our day,
and in so doing discover you,
hiding in the corner,
reaching out, like you always did,
creating community. Amen.

 

2 before Advent (19/11/2017)

Pewsheet 19 November 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In the eternal scheme of things, we discover that all God wants from you is you.

It’s just so humbling, because it always feels like not enough, doesn’t it?

“All I want is to be like Saint Francis,” I said to my spiritual director, over and over…

Finally, one day he said, “Hey Richard, you’re not, and you’re never going to be, Francis of Assisi. You’re not even close, all right? You’re ‘unfortunately’ Richard Rohr from Kansas.” I said to myself, This doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic or exciting.

Except when I realised: all God wants is Richard from Kansas.

But that’s what I don’t know how to give you, God!

It feels so insignificant, and yet this is the liberating secret: I am precisely the gift God wants—in full and humble surrender. There is unity between the path taken and the destination where we finally arrive. Saints are not uniform but are each unique creations of grace according to the journey God has led them through.                      Richard Rohr

Remembrance Sunday (12/11/2017)

Robert Vonnoh (1890), Poppies in Flanders Field

 

WAR

Why must I live in this grim age
When, to a far horizon, God
Has ebbed away, and man, with rage
Now wields the sceptre and the rod?

Man raised his sword, once God had gone,
To slay his brother, and the roar
Of battlefields now casts upon
Our homes the shadow of the war.

The harps to which we sang are hung
On willow boughs, and their refrain
Drowned by the anguish of the young
Whose blood is mingled with the rain.

Hedd Wyn (1887-1917)

Hedd Wyn (born Ellis Humphrey Evans, 13 January 1887 – 31 July 1917) was a Welsh-language poet who was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I. He was posthumously awarded the bard’s chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod. Evans, who had been awarded several chairs for his poetry, was inspired to take the bardic name Hedd Wyn (Welsh: blessed peace) from the way sunlight penetrated the mist in the Meirionnydd valleys.

Pewsheet 12 November 2017

All Saints’ Sunday (5/11/2017)

Pewsheet 05 November 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Merciful teacher on the mountain,
You’ve offered us a challenge that is converse to the world we exist in.
You’ve boldly declared what it means to not be transformed by this world but to be renewed by the Spirit.

We confess that we have failed to live up to the call of—peacemaking, meekness, mercy, justice—and filled our lives with the ways of the world—selfishness, greed, degradation of your creation, injustice.

Open our hearts, O God, to understand your will.
May your passion on the mountain for a new world order illumine our work for the kin–dom that you proclaim.

We pray in the name of the One who first loved us and calls us to love,
Amen.

Reformation Sunday (29/10/2017)

Clocks are going back an hour today – don’t arrive an hour early!

Pewsheet 29 October 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Oh God, you search me and you know me –
you know me in my deepest longings
and in my most fierce passions;
you know me in my loneliness
and in my saddest times.

I confess the times of silences between us –
when I am distracted
when I don’t listen
when I am afraid
when I turn from you.

I celebrate the times of silence between us –
when I wait expectantly
when we are content with each other’s presence
when I ponder a prompt that puzzles me.

In the silences and the questions that we share, dear lover God,
I give thanks for your desire not to trap,
but to free each soul in order
to make this world a peaceful place for all.

Amen.

Trinity 18 (15/10/2017)

Pewsheet 15 October 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Beyond our understanding you alone are God; you speak to a world of brutal rule and shallow indifference, of arms fairs and reality shows: may the one who came to sit at table with the victimized and excluded disturb our barren peace and call us to another feast where only love may rule; through Jesus Christ, the bridegroom. Amen.