Sunday 16 May 2021 (Easter 7)
“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” John 17.11
Collect for Easter 7
O God the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Sunday 16 May 2021 (Easter 7)
8am Prayer Book Communion at Holy Trinity with Revd Mike
10am Holy Communion at St Margaret’s with Revd. Graham
New Testament: Acts 1:15-26 (Matthias chosen)
1 John 5:9-13 (whoever has the Son has life)
Gospel: John 17:6-19 (Jesus prays for the disciples)
The best way to access the live streaming and audio is through our website “Weekly News” where the two services are listed in red (and don’t forget to give David time to get home and put the audio service on his computer). Otherwise this week’s service will be streamed live on the St Margaret’s Tylers Green Facebook page. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/St-Margarets-Tylers-Green-154320624626069 but unfortunately, whilst you can get it this way from your Notice Sheet, the link above does not work on the web page no matter what we try to do. The audio recording of this service will also be available on the church website from shortly after the service.
Sunday 23 May 2021 (Pentecost)
8am Prayer Book Communion at Holy Trinity with Revd. Graham
10am Service of the Word at St. Margaret’s with Revd. Mike
New Testament: Acts 2:1-21 (Pentecost)
Romans 8:22-27 (the Spirit in prayer)
Gospel: John 15:26 – 16.15 (the work of the Spirit)
For Prayer …
Sharon International Ministries in India … For many years St Margaret’s has supported SIM, as school in India, through our contact with Stephen Holyer’s father Tom. Sue Wallace had received a message from Tom hoping that all at St Margaret’s and Holy Trinity were keeping safe and well. A week earlier he had spoken to Sam who told me that the school was open for 2/3 of the pupils, but subsequently he heard that Sam, his father and other members of his family have Covid and are in hospital. His mother has a poor heart condition, so all in all things are not good and they need our prayers. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Maureen Headland, recently diagnosed with cancer, and family
Ian Jones in need of a kidney transplant
Lighthouse – that there will be enough helpers to support this year
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.
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
St Andrews Bookshop (01494 862168)… is open again for people to come and shop in person. They announce that the 3rd National Big Church Read will start on the 24th of May when we will be reading How to Pray with Pete Greig.
There have now been 2 national Big Church Reads and 13 different books in total, including one with the Bishop of Oxford and his new book Comfortable Words. They undertook a survey of participants and there were three key findings:- 1) 2026 places have taken part in a Big Church Read; 2) 100% of people who do not normally manage to read the whole book did; and 3) 25% of people do not normally read a Christian book. The Great Missenden shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm, but the number of customers browsing is still way down. email: email@example.com
Dates for your diary…
Open Gardens Sunday 6 June
Songs of Praise on the Common Please note that the date is now Sunday 4th July at 4pm
Elections for representatives on the Oxford Diocesan Synod are to take place shortly… Anyone interested in representing the Amersham Deanery can find more information on the Diocesan Website at https://www.oxford.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/DOX-145-synod-election-leaflet-A5-v1.pdf “
Wycombe Homeless Connection …
Annual service of thanksgiving and celebration
They would love as many people as possible to join them online to give thanks to God for all the blessings they have received in the last year.
Date: Wednesday 19th May Time: 7pm
Where: Online via www.wyhoc.org.uk/annual-service2021
Like many organisations, they have moved many of their services online. This meant they could quickly expand their homelessness prevention services across the whole of Buckinghamshire
for the first time. Their advocacy team established a new efficient way to run housing legal clinics so that more people facing housing crises, including unfair and illegal evictions, could
receive timely, expert help. Thanks to a new partnership with Aylesbury Homeless Action Group (AHAG), their advocacy team have begun offering free homelessness prevention legal advice and support to people across the whole county.
In the last few months they have finally managed to welcome back more volunteers; who have more opportunities to play their vital role in the work they do. And the community has continued to be incredibly generous financially or with material gifts, and by spreading the word of what we do so that anyone in need knows they are here for them. Together with a group of local GPs, they ran a special COVID vaccination clinic to make sure that everyone they look after was offered the chance to get their jab and 20 patients who, by now should have had their second injections.
They are looking for volunteers who may like to give their time and talents perhaps differently to how they have before. Event volunteers: As restrictions lift, community fundraising events are coming back! They love to go to community events, local fairs, sporting events and school fêtes to spread the word about what they do so that people know they are here to help, and to raise money for their work. Could you staff a stand and chat to visitors; bake cakes or steward an event?
Penn & Tylers Green Residents’ Society AGM…
Litter Picking – come and join the litter picking crew, in conjunction with Penn Parish Council. We will meet on Saturday 5th June 10am outside The Red Lion and work in small groups. We have chosen this day as it is the day before the Open Gardens and we want to ensure that the village is at its best. Please wear sensible shoes, gloves and hi-viz.
BIBLE READINGS FOR THE WEEK
Monday Numbers 27:15-23 1 Corinthians 3
Tuesday 1 Samuel 10:1-10 1 Corinthians 12:1-13
Wednesday 1 Kings 19:1-18 Matthew 3:13-17
Thursday Ezekiel 11:14-20 Matthew 9:35 – 10:20
Friday Ezekiel 36:22-28 Matthew 12:22-32
Saturday Micah 3:1-8 Ephesians 6:10-20
Sunday Acts 2:1-21 Romans 8:22-27 John 15:26 – 16:15
We 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. Click to link
Other Sunday Services and resources from the Diocese
The Diocese will continue to stream a Sunday communion service at 10am available from the Diocesan Website
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.
Reflection … Revd. Graham
So, what would you like people to pray for on your behalf?
What is your most usual – truthful – prayer request?
Does Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that we just heard match your expectations in any way?
At first sight, the Gospel passage we just heard is relatively straightforward.
However, the more I drill down into it the more I find, and the more I’m challenged.
Here, we have come to the end of a long discourse from Jesus as he prepares for his ultimate arrest and execution. Having prayed for himself, we now find
him praying for his disciples. At the heart of this prayer is Jesus’ love for those disciples, but also his certainty that the Father, too, loves these people who have, over the last three years, recognised and cared for the Son. More than that, even, Jesus’ prayer reveals to the disciples that God the Father actually gave them to the Son to be his companions and witnesses. They may have thought that they chose Jesus or, if they were feeling particularly humble, they may have thought that Jesus chose them, but they now discover that, in actual fact, it was God who chose them for Jesus because God loved them.
This prayer feels a bit like Jesus giving an account to God where he explains to God what he has done with the people God had entrusted to him. But, now that that phase of Jesus’ ministry is over, Jesus moves to direct prayer for these very people he has come to love.
What does he pray for? Well, he does pray for protection, which I suppose must be high on most people’s wish list, but perhaps not all of us want to be protected for the reason that we may all be one. Yet, this is the central force of this extraordinary prayer, and it reveals something of the purpose of Jesus’ own ministry. This is about unity. If you accept Jesus, then you are part of the will of God, because, where Jesus is, there you will find God’s purpose is being fulfilled. It is precisely this that Jesus is now thanking his Father for in relation to the disciples. Those disciples have believed that fundamental fact about Jesus – that’s to say, that he was sent by the Father – and so they’ve been able to share in that unity between the Father and the Son. Jesus says that this is to be their joy as, indeed, it has been Jesus’ joy to do the will of the Father, and so be part of the spread of the Kingdom of God.
You are going to have to bear with me for a bit here because we’re now delving into some quite complex theology and, worse than that, Trinitarian theology as well. This protection that Jesus prays for is extended to be protection from what Jesus describes as the evil one. An evil one who presumably is out to destroy Christian unity and, by extension therefore, destroy Christian witness to the unity of the Father and the Son. To balance out the ministrations of the evil one, Jesus also prays that the disciples may have joy. Christian joy, Jesus says, involves being hated and rejected by a world that doesn’t recognise the unity of the Father and the Son. It involves witnessing to the truth of Jesus by holding on to each other under all circumstances, and never allowing the world’s scepticism or hostility to divide us. So, hopefully, we’re all used to the idea that, implicit in the whole of Jesus’ earthly ministry, is the unity of the Father and the Son. Everything Jesus does and is, he does and is in obedience to the Father. However, we may not be so comfortable with the next step. Jesus came to bring the active, redeeming presence of God into our human situation. We are called to bear witness to that. Jesus did this because he is one with the Father. For us though, we can only do our witnessing job if we are one with Jesus. That is only possible if we are one with each other.
Finally, if you find all this talk about Trinitarian unity all a bit too much, let me finish by intruding on the next part of this Gospel passage where Jesus goes on to pray for all believers – that’s you and me. So, you can know that, just as Jesus prayed for his disciples, so he prayed this very prayer for us also.
The principle thrust of the prayer is Jesus’ heartfelt plea that his followers be kept safe. Jesus knows that his time with the disciples, physically speaking, is almost over and the thought of leaving them is almost too much. And so he cries out to his Father to ‘Protect them, look after them, keep them safe!’ Now just imagine for yourselves Jesus praying that prayer over you and your family. How does it feel to think that Jesus is so concerned for your well-being, to think that Jesus is actually interceding on your behalf? If only we could fully grasp the enormity of that thought then our own witness to the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be guaranteed. Amen.
Intercessions … Deborah Yeates
Jesus prayed to the Father that those who believed in Him should be unified as one. Lord, we bring that same prayer to you today. All too often we have lost sight of our common belief, sacrificing support of one another in favour of criticism and judgement. We pray for strength to unite against those who would deny the way of truth. Help us to find ways to demonstrate our oneness in Christ and give us courage to stand up for our faith even if that risks ridicule or alienation.
Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We ask for your blessing on our world and local leaders at this time. In particular, we pray for a peaceful solution to the escalating crisis in Gaza. Comfort those who, through no fault of their own, are caught up in the violence and give those who have influence the determination to find another way forward.
Closer to home we pray for those starting new terms of office following local elections. Give them energy and discernment as they look to fulfil the pledges they have made to their communities.
Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Finally, a prayer for ourselves. The pandemic has magnified many of life’s hardships – illness and loss, fear, loneliness and helplessness. Lord, you know all our hopes and worries. May we meet with you in dark and good times alike and keep us strong so that we in turn can support others in your name.
Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We sum up all our prayers in the words of The Lord’s Prayer:
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. Amen.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen