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  • Seniors Minister

Pentecost - May 31st

Greetings to everyone

We come ‘together’ this week to celebrate Pentecost Sunday.

As I have tried only to use the hymns from the CD you have (or could have if you would like one) we only have one Pentecost hymn, ‘Breathe on me breath of God’. There may be other hymns you know that you would usually sing on Pentecost Sunday; perhaps ‘Come Holy Ghost our Souls Inspire’, or ‘Spirit of the Living God’ so I shall leave you to sing them to yourself later in the day.

Our thanks to John Perry and Anne and John Fox from St James the Great Southstoke for this week’s sermon and prayers respectively.

We are so grateful to be in fellowship with you as we use this service together but apart.

If there is any other way that we can support you spiritually, perhaps a time of prayer over the phone, a book to read or a bible study please let us know.

We still have copies of the ‘sing a long’ CD containing the hymns we are using so please ask if you would like one. We can also provide a CD player if needed.

We 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.

(from Ephesians 1 v18-19)

Polly Andrews, Seniors Minister at Holy Trinity (07914 871417)

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

A Service for Pentecost Sunday May 31st

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

All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God and fellow-heirs with Christ.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people.

Renew the face of your creation, Lord, pouring on us the gifts of your Spirit, and kindle in us the fire of your love.

For the creation waits with eager longing for the glorious liberty of the children of God

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

Psalm 104 v31-34

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;

may the Lord rejoice in his works—

he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,

who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord all my life;

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

May my meditation be pleasing to him,

as I rejoice in the Lord.

Creator God, send your Holy Spirit to renew this living world,

that the whole creation, in its groaning and striving,

may know your loving purpose and come to reflect your glory;

In Jesus Christ our Lord.


Hymn - Immortal, Invisible

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,

almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,

nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;

thy justice like mountains high soaring above

thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,

thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;

all praise we would render; O help us to see

'tis only the splendor of light hideth thee!

The Collect for Pentecost Sunday

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirt to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

We confess our sins to God

O Lord have mercy on me according to your unfailing love and great compassion.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Create in me a pure heart O Lord and renew a right spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart of God you will not despise

Psalm 51 v 1-4, 10-12, 17

May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days. Amen.

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

Acts 2 1-22

2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,

your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in the heavens above

and signs on the earth below,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

20 The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

21 And everyone who calls

on the name of the Lord will be saved

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

John Perry writes,

Our reading from Chapter 2 of the ‘The Acts of the Apostles’, graphically describing the events on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, is both exhilarating and challenging. In the Jewish calendar, Pentecost was one of the prominent festivals – 50 days after Passover. It was an agricultural festival when farmers brought the first sheaves from the crop, offering them to God as a sign of gratitude, and praying that the rest of the crop would be safely gathered in. Pentecost was also a reminder of how Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. ‘A written law carved on tablets of stone, but with the dynamic energy of the law, designed to be written on human hearts’ (Tom Wright).

Thousands of pilgrims had gathered in the city for the eagerly-awaited celebrations, but on this occasion they had the ‘surprise of their lives’. Many of them would not be the same again. It all began when about 120 followers of Jesus, who had been meeting in secret for seven weeks because they feared attacks from those who had contrived the arrest and crucifixion of their Master. Before his ascension back to heaven, Jesus had urged them ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you heard me speak about. You will be baptised with the Holy Spirit’(Acts 1:5).

Waiting can sometimes be frustrating and unnerving – like waiting for the present Coved-19 virus restrictions to end – but the disciples also waited in prayer, mutual support and expectation. Suddenly and dramatically the promise of Jesus was fulfilled. ‘A sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, filling the whole house, and tongues of fire rested on each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’. The waiting was over – now for the action!

Wind and fire – two of Nature’s most powerful agents. Not a gentle breeze but a gale! Back in December1981, barely without warning, hurricane winds struck the North Devon coast and many acres of trees on the Lee Abbey estate were uprooted and tossed aside like match sticks. I will never forget the power of the wind and the devastation it caused. The scene resembled a battle field. But out of the destruction and chaos, emerged fresh discoveries of nature’s restoring, re-creative energy and activity, backed by the muscle and skills of the working parties!

On the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit had an immediate impact on the disciples. Released from their fears and inhibitions they began to praise God, boldly declaring His wonders to the amazement of a huge multinational crowd – each one hearing in their own language. The apostle Peter, freed from his fear and fired up by the Spirit, took centre stage, explaining what had happened and gave a stirring challenge to his hearers to repent, turn to Christ in faith, and be baptised. Three thousand people responded and were baptised, becoming founding members of the new-born Church of Jesus Christ.

Flowing from Pentecost, the Good News of the Gospel continued to spread like wild-fire. Despite mounting opposition and persecution, thousands more became followers of Jesus Christ in the Middle East, Europe and beyond.

Centuries later, we follow in their footsteps and their pattern of life together – ‘devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, to prayer and to serving those in need(read Acts 2:42-47). But as then, so now, which of us does not recognise our need of and pray for more of the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit? To blow away the cobwebs of uncertainty, anxiety, prejudice, pride and timidity - and for our hearts to be set on fire with love for God and others.

‘Thy Kingdom Come’, the global prayer movement, invites Christians around the world to unite in prayer especially between Ascension Day and Pentecost. Praying for others to come to know Jesus and the love, power, peace and hope to be found in following and serving Him. This year the coronavirus pandemic has heightened a universal awareness of human vulnerability and mortality. I was struck recently by an article in ‘The Church Times’ by Bishop Graham Tomlin: ‘Much of modern life is built around the notion that we can manage our future and control nature, with technology, science, or politics that will resist the tide, like some modern-day King Canute. This virus reveals the fact that, as Stanley Hauerwas puts it, “Those who think they rule the world are in the grip of a deep delusion”.

There were no ‘sleeping- partners’ among the disciples when the Good News of Jesus was courageously and joyfully proclaimed on that first Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. Amidst this present climate of uncertainty, questioning and spiritual hunger, each of us has a part to play in prayer, support and action, in helping to forward the kingdom of God. Let us join together to pray: ‘Come,Holy Spirit, renew your wonders in this our day by a new Pentecost’.(Pope John XX111)

‘O breath of life, come sweeping through us,

Revive Thy church with life and power;

O breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us,

And fit Thy church to meet this hour’.

We 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.


Hymn- Breathe on me breath of God

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

fill me with life anew,

that I may love the way you love,

and do what you would do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

until my heart is pure,

until my will is one with yours,

to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

so shall I never die,

but live with you the perfect life

for all eternity.

Let us pray, for the church, for the world, for those we know and let us thank God for His goodness.

The Church

Jesus, you said ‘if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink’.

Like the woman at the well, we thirst and drink and thirst again.

And we become frustrated that we have to keep coming.

We forget we are on a pilgrimage through this life, not a cruise.

We forget that you give ‘daily’ bread, not a once in a lifetime banquet.

Thank you for your loving patience.

Thank you for being willing to give us food and drink through the Holy Spirit.

Food and drink that strengthens us for the day.

Food and drink that we can share with those around us, because it is good.

We pray for the worldwide church.

For places where to be known as a Christian is to become an endangered species.

We pray that you will strengthen believers with your tangible presence even, or maybe, especially, in the face of persecution.

We pray for the Archbishops and bishops of this country that they may lead with integrity and courage, be political with a small ‘p’ and help us all to be your church in our community.

We pray for those who lead locally in all four congregations, ordained and lay.

We pray for our daily response to your Word in our minds, hearts and wills.

Holy Spirit, this Pentecost Sunday, come down in power and love to abide with us. We want to clear the debris from our lives so that the waters of your Spirit will flow in and through us to your glory and the healing of this place. Give your young people visions. Give your old ones dreams. Raise up prophets and help many to turn to you, call on your Name and be saved.

The World

Leaders throughout the world face extraordinarily complex decisions as people continue to die from covid-19 infection, but isolation measures in themselves cause much misery, suffering and indirect deaths through reduced access to pre-pandemic healthcare provision. In some countries pre-pandemic healthcare provision was, in itself, poor or almost non-existent. The differential timing of virus transmission in individual countries, coupled with ease of global travel, raises the prospect of future reinfection and long-lasting restriction of international movement. Countries have adopted different strategies to address the spread of infection, and public health messages have been varied and uncoordinated.

We ask Lord that all those in a position of authority, at whatever level, act with honesty and integrity for the benefit of our society as a whole and with the breadth of vision to take account of effects throughout the world.

• We pray for the leaders who may be tempted to trivialize the effects of the Covid pandemic, that their eyes may be opened to the true potential of the infection to cause suffering and economic hardship.

• We pray for the homeless.

• We pray for those who have lost their income.

• We pray for those who are suffering the mental anguish of separation from family and friends.

• We pray for refugees and all victims of conflict and trafficking, in particular the population of the Yemen.

• We pray for the displaced, those that are desperately seeking safety from hunger and violence; in particular we pray for the population of Syria, Myanmar and East Africa.

As new ways of living are being forced on us, we pray that through your Spirit we may find time to:

• Think about our true priorities,

• Experience the connectedness of strangers as well as friends and acquaintances,

• Seek ways to help others and be instruments of your love and care for the world,

• Be catalysts for bringing people together where there has been discord,

• Stand up for those that may be disadvantaged and powerless.

As the world emerges from the shadow of this pandemic, we pray that there is broad political will to see that positive effects on the environment are maintained.

Lord as we begin to look back on these times, as eventually we will,

• let us remember what it was like,

• let us communicate with following generations the lessons of community and love that have sustained people in the face of sickness and despair,

• let us remember those that stepped forward to care for us, and those who allowed some semblance of life to continue, all in the face of potentially life-threatening risk. Let us remember that for the most part they were not the most affluent or influential in our society, and help us to be their voice,

• let us care for those that cared for the desperately ill and dying, as many will go on to develop trauma-related mental anguish,

• let us be your agents for change, locally and nationally.

Those in need

Dear Lord, in this continuing time of crisis, enforced isolation, separation from loved ones, we pray especially for those who are alone, unwell, in care homes or hospital settings.

We name them now…

Thank you that you are never far. Thank you that you are a whisper away.

Thank you for those who care in a professional capacity. Encourage and cheer them in their work.

Send your messengers of cheer and hope. May we be willing to take our place as some of those messengers today.

Lord we pray for all who mourn at the moment. So many whose names are unknown to us across this country and the world. May the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, be at their side and give them courage and hope in your unfailing love.

We pray for those we do know….

We pray for those marking anniversaries of the death of a loved one…

And finally, a blessing for ourselves and those we have named.

Paradox Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships,

so that you will live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,

so that you will work for justice, equity and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war,

so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world,

so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

(from Celtic Daily Prayer, section on blessings and graces, p 1088)

Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom in the words our Saviour taught us.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.


Hymn - How Great Thou Art

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow with humble adoration

And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art


May thy Fatherly hand, O Lord, ever be over us;

may thy Holy Spirit ever be with us;

so lead us into the knowledge and obedience of thy word,

that in the end we may attain everlasting life.



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