• Seniors Minister

June 21st




Greetings to everyone reading this,


We hope you are all well and managing to enjoy some of the easing of the social restrictions whilst remaining safe.


This week St James the Great in Southstoke were due to welcome Jess Meale from the Children’s Society to talk about her ministry. Children’s Society is one of their mission partner.


Jess has written down some of what she would have said for you to read along with today’s service.


We have also included prayers for the Children’s Society in this week’s service.


Our thanks to David Jewel from Holy Trinity for this week’s prayers and I have to thank myself for writing the ‘sermon’!

We continue to think of you often, miss you always and in the words of Paul,

“...ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe”. Ephesians 1 v15-18

Polly Andrews, Seniors Minister at Holy Trinity (07914 871417) seniorsminister@htcd.church

James Bradby from St Michael’s Monkton Combe (01225 722700)



A Service for Sunday June 21st



We prepare to worship God

We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as the Lord;

all creation worships you, the Father everlasting.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,

the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.


Collect for the Second Sunday after Trinity

Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you

and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord


Hymn - Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

O my soul, praise him, for he is your health and salvation!

Come, all who hear; now to his temple draw near,

join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, above all things so wondrously reigning;

sheltering you under his wings, and so gently sustaining!

Have you not seen all that is needful has been

sent by his gracious ordaining?

Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you;

surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.

Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,

if with his love he befriends you.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!

All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him.

Let the Amen sound from his people again;

gladly forever adore him.



We confess our sins to God

God our Father, we come to you in sorrow for our sins.

For turning away from you, and ignoring your will for our lives;

Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.

For behaving just as we wish, without thinking of you;

Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.

For failing you by what we do, and think and say;

Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you by temptations in the world about us;

Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed to belong to your Son;

Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.

We are assured of God’s forgiveness

May God who loved the world so much that he sent his Son to be our Saviour forgive us our sins and make us holy to serve him in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Psalm 19 v 1-6

The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words;

no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth;

their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,

like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;

nothing is deprived of its warmth.


Hymn - Christ, whose glory fills the skies,

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,

Christ, the true, the only Light,

Sun of Righteousness, arise,

triumph o'er the shades of night;

Dayspring from on high, be near;

Daystar, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn

unaccompanied by thee;

joyless is the day's return

'til thy mercy's beams I see;

'til they inward light impart,

glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit, then, this soul of mine;

pierce the gloom of sin and grief;

fill me, Radiancy divine;

scatter all my unbelief;

more and more thyself display,

shining to the perfect day.


Polly writes,

Did anyone notice in the news a few weeks ago that the private rocket company SpaceX has sent two NASA astronauts into orbit?


Apparently it was quite a big deal as it’s the first time since the retirement of the shuttles nine years ago that an American crew has made the journey from US territory. The astronauts were trialing a new capsule system and they are also initiating a new business model for NASA. The agency will no longer own the vehicles it uses but merely purchase the "taxi" service offered by SpaceX.


You may have missed this news as it got a bit lost among the Coronavirus headlines or you may have seen it and not really paid much attention as space travel is not in your top ten list of interests and concerns (like me).


However, whilst cycling through the very quiet centre of Bath recently, I rode along New Kings Street to number 17, The Herschel Museum of Astronomy, formally the home of William Herschel and his sister Caroline.


William Herschel is known today for the contribution he made to Astronomy, although for at least half his professional life he was a musician and composer. He was born in Hanover Germany in 1738 before coming to England in 1757, working as a musician and becoming organist at the Octagon Chapel in Bath.


At the same time he was developing an interest in astronomy and, finding that he could not afford a really powerful telescope, decided to make one himself. William began his systematic review of the heavens.


On 13th March 1781, from the back garden of 19 New Kings Street in Bath he discovered what became known as the planet Uranus. In doing so, he doubled the size of the known universe. Hershel was also the first to recognise the Milky Way for what it was (see note at the end), and identified and classified many stars.


I have looked further into space than any human being did before me” he said.


We don’t know how big the universe is. We call it the ‘known universe’ but we haven’t built a big enough telescope to see everything that God has created. Every time we build a bigger telescope we are wowed once again, just as William Herschel was.


Our galaxy (again, not the chocolate bar) is thought to have more than 100 billion stars. If we were to count the billions of stars in the Milky Way at a rate of one star per second it would take us 2,500 years. And that’s just in one galaxy!


Scientists say that if our solar system was the size of a ten pence piece, the Milky Way is the size of the entire continent of North America. In other words we are not even that consequential in our own subdivision of the Solar System.


Scientists say that there are hundreds of billions of other subdivisions and galaxies besides the galaxy we are in


And don’t forget, this is only what we know about.


Scientists think that there must be more inhabited planets in the universe. One of the arguments for life on other planets is because they say that if the universe is simply a home for us it is way oversized.

However, what if the primary purpose of the universe is not simply to be a home for us but to show off the splendour, majesty, greatness and glory of the God who created it all?


And does that mean I should take slightly more interest in space travel and astronomy?!


God has revealed himself to the whole world through creation.

In Psalm 19 David says that when we look at the universe it is obvious that there is a God.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge’ (vv.1–2).


The entire universe testifies of the Creator and brilliantly displays ‘the glory of God’ Romans 1 v20

We may look at the fact that the universe is so big and we are so small and conclude that we are insignificant.


Neil Armstrong said “I remember on the way home from Apollo 11 it suddenly struck me that the tiny pea, pretty and blue that I could see was the earth. I put my thumb up and shut one eye and my thumb blotted out planet earth. But I didn’t feel like a giant, I felt very, very small”.


We may be ‘very very small’ but that doesn’t mean we are insignificant.


We may be ‘very very small’ but that makes God’s love for us more incredible.


Psalm 8 v3-5

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honour.


God who created the universe chose us in Christ before he created it. Before the universe was created God planned for us to be adopted as his children. God who knows each star by name, stars that would take us 2,500 years to count, loves us and had us on his mind before he made any of it.


Paul writes to the Ephesians (and us)

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to son ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Ephesians 1 v3-6


We may be ‘very very small’ but God loves the world (and us) and when we turned away from Him he gave his son so that we could be in relationship with him again.


John 3:16 (NIV)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”

So what is our response?


Should I take slightly more interest in space travel and astronomy?!


Well maybe yes; because recognising the Glory and the power of the God of whom it speaks prompts me to praise, trust and pray.


Let me explain.


How can I look at something so beautiful and beyond my knowledge and comprehension and not be inspired to give praise to its Creator?


If I speak with love, joy and enthusiasm about Mozart or Van Gogh because I like what they have created how much more will I respond with love, joy, enthusiasm, never ending praise, wonder and awe at seeing the creation of the Creator God?


If God can create the universe so big, indescribable and perhaps unknowable he can do more than we can ask or image. If God has the power to create all that is beyond our knowledge and comprehension, then we know that he can do the same in our lives. We already trust God for the big things but we need to trust him for the little things.

Mark Batterson writes in his book ‘Draw a Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge’,

When was the last time any of us lost sleep because we were concerned about the Creator keeping the planets in orbit? When was the last time we got down on our knees at night and prayed “Lord, thanks for keeping the planet rotating”? We don’t doubt God’s ability to keep the planets in orbit but we have a difficult time believing He can keep our lives in orbit. The truth is that we already trust God for the big things; now we need to trust him for the ‘little’ things”.

The God who made the universe is our help


Psalm 121 v1-3

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Let me repeat that last verse ‘My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’


I love that verse.


If you need someone to help you who would you like to ask? How about the One who made heaven and earth?!


God has revealed himself to the entire world yet not everyone recognises and acknowledges Him.

God’s revelation in creation is available to everyone but not everyone has responded to God’s love for them


Psalm 19 v3-4

They have no speech, they use no words;

no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

Next time I see something about space travel I will pray that the astronauts, the scientists and everyone watching will ‘………consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place’ Psalm 8v3


So ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea’

Habakkuk 2 v14


Footnote - The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System, with the name describing the galaxy's appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. It’s also a chocolate bar but not in this context.




Let us declare our faith in God

We believe in God the Father who has revealed his loving kindness to us; and in his mercy saved us, not for any good deed of our own, but because he is merciful.

We believe in Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us to be free from our sin, and set us apart for himself, a people eager to do good.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, whom God poured out on us generously through Christ our Saviour; so that justified by grace we might become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Amen.


Hymn - All creatures of our God and King,

All creatures of our God and King,

lift up your voice and with us sing

alleluia, alleluia!

Thou burning sun with golden beam,

thou silver moon with softer gleam,

O praise him, O praise him,

alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,

ye clouds that sail in heav'n along,

O praise him, alleluia!

Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,

ye lights of evening, find a voice,

O praise him, O praise him,

alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,

make music for thy Lord to hear,

alleluia, alleluia!

Thou fire so masterful and bright,

that givest man both warmth and light,

O praise him, O praise him,

alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,

forgiving others, take your part,

O sing ye, alleluia!

Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,

praise God and on him cast your care,

O praise him, O praise him,

alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,

and worship him in humbleness,

O praise him, alleluia!

Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,

and praise the Spirit, three in one,

O praise him, O praise him,

alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


We offer our prayers to God

The heavens declare your glory, O Lord our God, and the sky above proclaims the wonder and beauty of your handiwork. How glorious are your works O mighty God. They speak to us of your beauty, love and power. They are beyond understanding, but we affirm our faith that this amazing universe was created by your word and power. 'Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'

Amen


We ask your forgiveness that we have not looked after your world as we should; we have not fulfilled the role you gave to Adam, the first man, to tend and care for it. Rather, we have exploited it, neglected it and polluted it. Thank you that we have now become aware of the dire consequences of our actions and inactions. Please give us the determination to do what is right to restore and protect this exquisite natural world in which we live, and on which we depend.

Amen


We pray for our Prime Minister, for the cabinet and parliament, that they may so govern our nation 'that we may be enabled to lead peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way'.

We pray that our country will be a place where equal value and opportunity is given to all people, regardless of race, class, religion or culture. Forgive us for our own prejudices, change our hearts, and give us the compassion of Jesus Christ for all people.

Amen


Dear Father, please give your help to businesses and employers who are struggling to survive the economic shock that follows on from the Covid crisis. Help them to find new ways to survive and create employment for others. We pray for those who have lost their jobs and are anxious about their future. Please encourage our government to provide help for all who have been brought into financial hardship.

Amen


We pray for older people who live alone. May they not be lonely or afraid, but receive contact from friends and relatives and practical help so that they have all they need. Please protect the care homes in this area, keeping residents and staff free of Covid. May they still be places of peace and security.

We pray that you will comfort and strengthen those who mourn at this time, especially our brothers and sisters at St. Andrews, adjusting to their life together without your faithful servant Steve. Bless them with the continuing presence of your Holy Spirit and raise up others to continue the work of your gospel in that place.

Amen


We thank you for meeting all our needs at this time of crises, but pray for those in other areas of the world who don't have adequate health care or food supply. Please have mercy on these millions of poor and needy people. Bring the nations of the world together to provide for their needs too.


We thank you for the increased interest in church services from those who don't usually attend, and for the growth in prayer activity and Bible sales. Please draw many people to our Saviour in these times of fear and uncertainty. May they find forgiveness of sin, peace with you and eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


We ask all these prayers in the name of Christ. Amen

Prayers for the Children’s Society

(by the Revd Bryony Taylor, rector of Barlborough and Clowne in the Diocese of Derby)


We bind to ourselves this day, the strong name of the Trinity, the three in one and one in three, wrapping ourselves in God’s presence.

We pray for all who are exhausted, for young people caring for people older than themselves, for those caring for younger siblings.

For children who have had to grow up too quickly.

We remember the words of Isaiah: even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Be with us, Lord, as we wait for you. Amen.


We pray for all households today, for those who live in homes without enough room, for those who live in homes that are difficult to keep safe.

We pray for children who live in fear, mistrust and poverty.

We pray for all child refugees, children displaced from what they knew as home trying to settle in a new environment.

Just as Abraham entertained angels in his home and didn’t know it, may we offer and receive hospitality to all strangers and refugees and while doing so, encounter the living God.

Amen.


Jesus, you call each of us by name, you know the number of hairs on our head, you send us out to work alongside one another.

We pray for all those who come alongside and support those struggling with mental health issues.

We especially pray for those providing and receiving support from The Children’s Society over the phone and online, that all might know God’s presence wherever they are.

Where we can’t be physically present, may you be strongly present spiritually as you come alongside, Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Welcoming God, our true home is with you,


We pray for all who don’t feel included, those who don’t feel they fit in, may they know that there is always a place for them with you.

We pray that those of us who have authority and control over our lives would use that power for good, to always remember the little ones and be a voice for the voiceless.

We pray for those campaigning for the needs of children and young people.

We pray for The Children’s Society and all other charities who are struggling at this time to keep their vital work going.

Let us each welcome the little ones, and in so doing welcome Jesus into our lives.

Amen.


We complete our prayers with 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. 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 - God is working his purpose out

God is working his purpose out, as year succeeds to year,

God is working his purpose out, and the time is drawing near;

nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

From utmost east to utmost west, wherever feet have trod,

by the mouth of many messengers goes forth the voice of God,

'Give ear to me, ye continents, ye isles, give ear to me,

that the earth may be filled with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

What can we do to work God's work, to prosper and increase

the love of God in all mankind, the reign of the Prince of peace?

What can we do to hasten the time, the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea?


March we forth in the strength of God, with the banner of Christ unfurled,

that the light of the glorious gospel of truth may shine throughout the world;

fight we the fight with sorrow and sin, to set their captives free,

that the earth may be filled with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

All we can do is nothing worth unless God blesses the deed;

vainly we hope for the harvest-tide till God gives life to the seed;

yet nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.


A blessing

God the Father, bless us;

God the Son, defend us;

God the Spirit, keep us

Now and evermore

Amen


A message from Jess, the Relationships Manager for The Children’s Society across the Bath & Wells, Exeter and Truro diocese.


Since 1881, The Children’s Society has been supporting vulnerable children. Things were bad before the current pandemic and children need our support now, more than ever, especially to come through the after effects of covid19.


We were a charity created through the church and you continue to remain one of The Children’s Society strategic partners, and a firm supporter. We share in the mission of the church, following the example of Jesus in scripture, where he is concerned with the welfare of those who are amongst the most vulnerable.


The Kingdom of God belongs to those vulnerable and young people who aren’t safe, aren’t loved and can’t cope. We continue to do God’s work by supporting children and young people in new and innovative ways.

God has no hands on earth other than ours and Christians are being called to speak up for the vulnerable, repressed and voiceless. On the screen, you will see a number of ways you can support our work.

· Writing to your MP to support our campaigns

· Join our newly formed Community Awareness Network to spot the signs of abuse or neglect of young people in your community

· Pray for our work

· Support our emergency appeal by donating


Visit childrenssociety.org or contact me on jess.meale@childrenssociety.org.uk or call 07715 510464


Thank you for your time today and we look forward to the day when we can talk about the work of The Children’s Society at a church service when we are permitted to be together once more.


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Holy Trinity Church Combe Down

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