Weekly News

The flame of Pentecost bringing the Holy Spirit

Sunday 31 May 2020 (Pentecost)

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”  Acts 2.1-4

Sunday 31 May audio service

Collect for Pentecost

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 Spirit to have a right judgement on 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.  Amen

Bible readings: 

Sunday 31 May (Pentecost) – New Testament: Acts 2:1-21 (Pentecost); Gospel: John 20:19-23 (Jesus appears to the disciples)

Sunday 7th June (Trinity Sunday) – Old Testament: Isaiah 40:12-31 (to what can we compare God?); New Testament: 2 Corinthians 13:11-14 (encourage one another); Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20 (the great Commission)  


Resources and services

Spoiler Alert!!!!! ….

Further down this webpage we’ve included the sermon and intercessions for our service on Sunday morning.  You may wish to stop reading here and wait to listen on Sunday.  Up to you. 

Rev Mike together with Mary Lee, Jean & Paul Rickets, Hilary Forbes and David Carter have combined to record this Sunday’s service. So join all of us in worship this Sunday morning (at a time to suit you). 

Click to link to service  

We also have a daily Morning Prayer service sheet for those in isolation who might like a time of structured prayer. Click to link

For additional prayers for a wide variety of situations Prayers for use at home may be what you are looking for

If you are in lockdown with children then ‘diddy disciples’ has lots of material for babies, toddlers and young children. Click to link https://www.diddydisciples.org/

Other Sunday Services  and resources from the Diocese

The Diocese will continue to stream a communion service from his home at 10am available from the Diocesan Website https://www.oxford.anglican.org/

Reflections for a church in lockdown

The fourth episode in a new series of reflective podcasts by Bishop Steven is published from Thursday. The series aims to resource the Church during the crisis and today Bishop Steven explores Psalm 2. Listen online in your web browser, or search ‘My Extraordinary Family’ wherever you get your podcasts.


A note from our Treasurer’s about Giving

Although the church is locked down and we have reduced expenditure as much as we can, most of our bills still have to be paid and we are missing out on a chunk of our income through Sunday collections, hall rental, weddings and funerals.  If you are not giving by Standing Order and are in a position to do so, then please do get in contact with Sue Wallace for St. Margaret’s (812879) or John Scurrell for Holy Trinity (813181) and they will get a form to you.  Alternatively, they can tell you how to give a single donation. Your support would be much appreciated.

 


Reflection for Sunday by Rev Mike Bisset

Last year at Pentecost I was waiving a can of Dove Antiperspirant around as an illustration of the Holy Spirit.   The can advertises that it cares for men, is clean and comforting, and that it provides 24hr protection.   That is about as far as one can push that visual aid …. almost!

So the Dove could represent the Holy Spirit, and of course it has a lovely fragrance of itself and when applied to us it makes us smell lovely too.  Part of the gentle work of the Holy Spirit in us. 

Those in the front row will remember ducking as I sprayed the deodorant over the Paschal candle and the fragrance ignited into a roaring flame.  A dramatic image of the work of the Spirit, yes gentle but also containing all the Holiness of God.  The effect was slightly marred by the smell of burnt deodorant that hung in the air for the rest of the service.

I have been reading a book this week about Moses’ wife.  We know that her name was Zipporah and she was the daughter of Jethro the priest of Midian.  It fitted with the Old Testament Lectionary readings which are going through Exodus.  The book was a fictionalised account of her life but it did reflect on the dramatic life of Moses growing up in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt presumably worshipping Egyptian gods, escaping to Midian, then meeting God, Yahweh, the ‘I am who I am’ at the burning bush, taking off his sandals because the ground was holy.  Then he spends 40 days on Mount Horeb in the glory and presence of the Lord so his face glows when he comes down.  So in the life of Moses we see played out both the mundane as he deals with the day to day of marriage and of dealing with disputes amongst the people of Israel interspersed with these stunning moments of encounter with God.  If there were a single theme to those encounters it is the holiness of God.   This apparent contradiction between the closeness – the imminence – of God and his holiness – the transcendence – of God.

And our experience is of this also.  He sends his Holy Spirit at Pentecost to dwell within us.  The most intimate and loving relationship possible.   The creator lives in his creation.  That was started by Jesus as he comes to this earth to be one of us and to live among us and that same work is continued by the Holy Spirit that he sends as we read in our Gospel. 

It is that Spirit that we sense when we walk into church and feel the peace and the presence there.  It is awesome but what you sense at that moment is the grace, gentleness and love.

This indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what we were created for.  It was at the fall that we decided to take our own path and walk away from God.  And we continue to do that as we understand in our heads how we are supposed to live – in communion and submission to Him as Lord – but in our lives we find ourselves failing to live up to that. 

Jesus breathing on the disciples deliberately takes us back to the account of creation in Genesis.  God breathes life into Adam’s nostrils and he comes alive.  This is Jesus breathing on the disciples.  But this is the risen Lord.  Same but different.  Appears with them through locked doors.  Had died on the cross and was now alive.  This is the Jesus that blows on the disciples and says ‘receive the Holy Spirit’.   Wow – one assumes they rocked back as he blew.  Not with the breath but the force of the Holy Spirit.  Wow

There is hope.  If there had not been then the Lord Jesus would not have come to earth and he would not have promised us the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is the guarantee of God’s favour and his belief and trust in us – even as we strive to believe and trust in him. 

So may God grant you the grace to be empowered to open your hearts as fully as you know to the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as he pours out upon you the riches of his love in the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Amen and amen.


Intercessions for Sunday … Hilary Forbes

We join together in our intercessions and pray for the Holy Spirit to come and renew our lives, on this the Church’s birthday.  Close your eyes and imagine all your church family and friends praying in their homes.  We may be physically apart but we are together in our prayers.   I like to think of a little trail of vapour from each house forming into a huge cloud of prayer.  This thought may help you too.

Each prayer is only a sentence or two and then I shall say

Lord hear us.

And then we will all say

Father send us your Spirit

So let’s start:

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

Your Holy Spirit gave the Apostles the gift of communicating your message.  Grant that we too may proclaim your message according to the Gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

In this time of difficulty and real hardship for many, grant that we may all find a way of reaching out to those who need us.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

For many there is great anxiety especially as children return to school.  Grant that we may provide comfort and encouragement to those who are anxious and afraid at this time.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

Send your Spirit to those who are sick and especially those in hospitals where loved ones cannot visit.  Comfort both those in hospital and those worrying at home.  In a moment of silence, we remember especially those in our Newsletter and others known to us.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

We thank you for all those who are courageously putting themselves at risk to help keep our community running as well as those tending for the sick.  Show us how we can help them.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

Help us to spread hope and love amongst everyone we talk with, write to or meet.  In these times of enforced isolation, help us to remember that you are always with each and every one of us.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

We spend a few moments in silence remembering those we know who have left this world and ask that you send your comfort to all who loved and who knew them.

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

Finally, we remember our family and ourselves.  May we all be guided by your Spirit. 

And as we Rejoice in the Good News proclaimed by the Apostles

Lord Hear Us.  Father Send us your Spirit

Merciful Father, accept these Prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen

And now let us join together in our Lord’s Prayer.  The Prayer that our Lord gave to the Apostles when they asked Him how they should pray.

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

Forever and ever, Amen.          


Give Thanks …

Mental Health Awareness … The Mental Health Foundation has specific advice on how to look after your mental health during the pandemic:  https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus.  You can also create a personalised plan of activities on Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters site: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/.  Help is available across Buckinghamshire: Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline: 01865 904997 (24/7).  Can provide support and advice for anxiety, low mood, stress, feeling helpless and difficulty with relationships.  Buckinghamshire Mind: https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/

Of course the Ministry team at Holy Trinity and St. Margaret’s are always available, as are those on the Pastoral Care teams, so please remember that too.

For more information on accessing support services in your area, you can call Mind’s infoline on 0300 123 3393 between 9am and 6pm Monday-Friday.  If you are struggling to cope, you can call the Samaritans 24/7 helpline on 116123.  Support is always out there if you need it.

Virtual Communion …

Our services are audio and there are some advantages to this. It looks like we will continue for a while. Because they are audio Communion is not feasible. Those who are particularly missing Communion can watch the Diocese of Oxford Service on the Web each week. If you Google/Safari ‘Diocese of Oxford online service’ it should take you to the web page where you can participate each week in Communion led by one of the Oxford Bishops.  It starts at 10am. 

OneCan Trust

The Byrne family have a table outside their house (11 Kings Ride) to collect cans for the ‘One Can Trust’.  They have collected 244 cans to date.    

We have been storing all of the village collections of cans in the hall at Holy Trinity and last Tuesday did our second run of three car loads down to the One Can warehouse in Wycombe.


If you have not looked at this already, this time of enforced isolation might be a good time to view the Archbishop of Canterbury’s series of videos on prayer.  They can be found at https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/exploring-prayer

For our prayers

  • For Ted Rees.  His surgery went well on Wednesday and he is recovering
  • Our churches and local communities particularly any who are affected by the present situation
  • Pray for our Government The Prime Minister and all those who are working to get the best outcome for the people of our country
  • The NHS and all those who work in it. Protect them and give them strength and perseverance as they work in difficult situations
  • Alde House and Bury Lodge, for all the staff in our care homes as they manage the challenge of protecting the residents from the virus.

Fellowship

If you sense yourself becoming isolated or are feeling particularly lonely, do make sure you do not suffer alone but contact friends or family.  They may not be able to visit, but you will feel better for having spoken.  Equally, if you know of others who may be in this position, please do make contact to see if you can help.  Ask people how they are and wait for an answer. 

Funerals…

At present funerals can only be held at Crematoria or at the graveside and with very limited numbers and strict distancing


BIBLE READINGS FOR THE WEEK  AHEAD

Monday           1 Samuel 2:1-10                                  Mark 3:31-35

Tuesday           Joshua 2                                              Luke 9:28-36

Wednesday     Joshua 3                                              Luke 9:37-50

Thursday         Joshua 4:1 – 5:1                                  Luke 9:51-62

Friday              Joshua 5:2-15                                      Luke 10:1-16

Saturday          Joshua 6:1-20                                      Luke 10:17-24

Sunday             Isaiah 40:12-31                        2 Corinthians 13:11-14           Matthew 28:16-20     


Our prayer for growth

God of Mission, who alone brings growth to your Church, send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions and power to our witness.  Help Holy Trinity and St. Margaret’s to grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you and in service to our local community, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


We now have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HolyTrinityandStMargarets (Click on the Facebook logo) where events will be published and possibly the odd “emergency” statement such as that issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the Sri Lankan atrocity.  Please visit and ‘Like’ us.”