Service sheet for St Aidan's

Welcome to second service sheet which we suggest you use over the four Sundays beginning with Pentecost. The reflections have been written by Michael, Fiona and her husband Bruce. The prayers have been written by Jean Hynes from St Nathanael's

 

Second Sunday after Trinity    21st June 2020

Collect

Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

Hymn MP 25 All to Jesus I surrender

 

 

Bible readings

Jeremiah 20.7–13, Romans 6.1b–11, Matthew 10.24–39

 

Reflection By Revd Michael Freeman

St Augustine, the great early Christian writer, admitted that as a young man sowing his wild oats he had prayed, “O God, grant me chastity – but not yet.”   It is a prayer of which we are all tempted to offer some variation, yet Paul tells us that as baptized Christians we must have died to sin so that we can walk in newness of life.   Jesus himself teaches, “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”

There is much discussion of what the “new normal” after the pandemic has subsided will be like.   This includes how it may help or hinder attempts to tackle the climate change emergency.   The temptation is for me to hope that everything will be better while I can carry on in the way I used to.   “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as long as I can still do what I like!”

Today’s readings challenge us to really think about how each of our lives should change and the hard choices that may involve.   But it should not be change imposed from outside.   It should be willingly embraced, for the Father whose kingdom we seek watches over us and his Son tells us, “Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

 

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

United in your love Father we pray for all who are anxious or who are in physical or mental pain.We ask for your gentle healing presence to enfold them and your Holy Spirit reassure them. As we lift them to you Father we name them in the quietness of our minds ———

We pray for all who are alone in these uncertain times  and for any one who has no one to pray for them. Loving Father help them know you are near Amen 

 

 

 

Hymn MP No. 115 Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you

 

 

 

 

                      

Third Sunday after Trinity    28th June 2020

 

Collect

God our saviour,

look on this wounded world

in pity and in power;

hold us fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

Hymn   MP 62 Great is thy faithfulness,

 

Bible readings 

Jeremiah 28.5–9, Romans 6.12–23, Matthew 10.40–42

 

Reflection Written by Revd Fiona Pennie

I have seen several amusing memes on Facebook, and indeed the TV around folk putting weight on through this time of lockdown. Overeating, my love of food, my weight and consequently my health have long been a source of struggle in my life, so whilst they have made me smile I have also felt the emotion behind them.

Our passage from Romans refers to sin exercising “dominion” or control over our mortal bodies.

In verse 14 we read ‘sin will have no dominion over you , since you are not under the law but under grace’.

It is a difficult passage to get our heads around, but I am reminded of the verses from Matthew 22 verse 36-40 about the greatest commandments or laws, which includes ‘And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Jesus reminds his followers then and now that Love is at the centre our of relationship with Him, each other and ourselves. I have often spoken to folk at the darkest times of their lives where they are struggling in relationships, feeling wronged by another and suffering. This commandment reminds us that we must first love God and ourselves before we can love our neighbour.

This lockdown has meant that I have not been able to run around caring for everyone. I have had the luxury of time to think and pray. I have had time to think carefully about what I eat, to shop carefully and not buy the sugary treats to have to hand when I am bored. The shops are no longer convenient and I was ordered to do one hour’s exercise a day. This and the order to STAY AT HOME has really helped me control my weight. The ‘law’ has changed the way we normally think and has helped me focus on working out strategies to help me be free from the control food has over my life. Paul, writing to the Romans, encourages them with the thought that the old system has gone and people need to adopt a new way of thinking about things. We are now not under law but under grace, therefore the power of sin over us has been broken and we can regain control.

So one thing I am grateful for, in this most difficult of times, is the way the Gospel and Paul’s writing has helped me reframe the view I have of myself. I hope and pray that you too have found yourselves being blessed, drawing closer to God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

Our Fathers Day celebrations so much different than previous years as our Mothers Day celebrations were. Covid 19 has taught us new ways to celebrate with our families from a distance. We give thanks to our heavenly Father for the love, protection and support our earthly Fathers have shown us and we ask for God's blessings for them. Father in heaven be near to all our families ,and although we may be separated from loved ones we are united by love. Thank you Father for all the daily things we usually take for granted, for though we get frustrated with periods of inactivity, it has brought a new appreciation of our world. Thank you for bird song for the trees in glorious blossom and for flowers bringing promise of new life. We give you thanks and praise  Amen,

 

Hymn       MP No. 156 Lord of all Hopefulness 

Fifth Sunday of Easter      10th May 2020

 

Collect  

Risen Christ,

your wounds declare your love for the world

and the wonder of your risen life:

give us compassion and courage

to risk ourselves for those we serve,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Bible readings  Acts 7:55-60 ,1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14

 

 

Reflection written by Revd Fiona Pennie

Two of our passages today refer to stones. The passage from Acts tells the story of Stephen. He testified to seeing Jesus in Heaven at God’s right hand so the crowd covered their ears, dragged him out of the city and threw stones at him until he died. The passage from Peter’s letter likens Jesus and ourselves to stones being build into something beautiful like a temple but also acknowledges that stones can make us stumble. So we have two ways of looking stones. Firstly negatively with stones used as weapons or a trip hazard and then positively to create something wonderful

Peter uses stones as a metaphor for people. He calls us “living stones”. We can, through our behaviour and thoughts, be both good and bad.

Saul, stood by and watched Stephen die, he thought he was doing a good thing as Stephen and his fellow Christians were blaspheming God and upsetting the old Jewish order. Saul had yet to encounter Jesus for himself and learn that He was indeed God’s son and therefore see that his previous actions were not good but bad. But just as Stephen asked, Jesus did not hold this against Saul and forgave him.

None of us are perfect but as Christians we are called to follow Jesus, to acknowledge His love for us and to live in the knowledge that we can be with him forever. The Gospel passage is one I use frequently at funerals as it speaks of this Hope we have, not because we are perfect, but because God loves just as we are. It is from this place of being loved that we are able to change our behaviours and thoughts and become the “living stones” of the church.

 

 

Hymn                

97 Christ is made a sure foundation.

In the reading from the first letter of Peter it states ‘come to him a living stone’.  This is a hymn of praise and confidence something we could do with at the moment

 

 

297 How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

Again this is a hymn of hope especially in the second verse where is says ’it makes the wounded spirit whole’ I think we can relate to the wounded spirit I think we as are all feeling a bit battered at the moment.

Sixth Sunday of Easter 17th May 2020

Collect

Risen Christ,

by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:

help your Church to obey your command

and draw the nations to the fire of your love,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Bible readings Acts 17:22-31,1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21

 

Reflection    Written By Bruce Pennie

Those who have received “shielding letters’ must feel as if they are under house arrest for 12 weeks. Even for those of us who are not shielding, our freedom of movement has been restricted. The younger and fitter you are, the more this has to do with protecting others than yourself. Yet as a consequence, many are facing economic hardship, even redundancy or, in the worst cases, loss of their business or bankruptcy. 

No doubt this is not the scenario Peter had in mind, but certainly many today are suffering for doing what is right. We do not feel it, yet Peter tells us we are blessed. Further he tells us that we are not to fear what others fear. ‘Why not?’ we ask. The threats are very real and most of us now will know someone who has been ill or even died, from Covid19. If not, you will probably know someone suffering economically or under mental stress from the social isolation. 

Where, we ask, is the Father who loves us? If “In him we live and move and have our being”, why is all this happening? Even Jesus, on the cross cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”. But we do not face troubles alone or ‘orphaned’; we have the Holy Spirit with us.

 Whatever happens, God has not, and will not, abandon us. If through this we can cling onto our loving relationship with Christ, then when non-believers challenge us to explain why and how we can still place our hope in a loving God, we will be ready to make our defence.

 

Hymn           

249 Great is thy faithfulness

This hymn is written by Thomas Obadiah Chilsholm 1866 - 1960 and William Marion Runyan 1870 – 1957.  One of the things that struck me was the wonderful names of the writer and composer, Obadiah comes straight out of a Thomas Hardy novel and in 1870 it was not unusual to have a name we now think of as a female name – Marion for a boy.  There might be a family tradition of using this name. This hymn shows that faith is ever with no matter what time of year we just need to remember ‘Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me’.

166 Father we adore you

This is a more modern hymn with simple words and simple verses.  It can be sung quietly or even silently as we go about our daily life.  It can be used as a prayer.

 

                    Ascension Day      21st May 2020

This used to be a day of celebration in Walton.  It was the day when people were confirmed.  On the actual Ascension Day the young girls would wear white with a white linen veil and the boys their uniform.  This could be a school uniform, a scouting uniform or choir robes.  The confirmation would be held in the afternoon followed by afternoon tea on the Rectory lawn.  In the evening there would be fireworks a bonfire and a BBQ.  On the Sunday following the confirmation the newly confirmed people would make their first communion at their home church, this was really special. 

Collect

Risen Christ,

you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven:

help us to seek and serve you,

that we may join you at the Father’s side,

where you reign with the Spirit in glory,

now and for ever.

Readings Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53

Hymn

67 Be still for the presence of the Lord

This is a reflective hymn, asking us to be still in the presence of the Lord.  We do not have to be in church to feel the Lord’s presence, we can feel it anywhere if we let Him in.  Often we are too busy rushing round, doing things to stop, stand or sit and be still, this is our opportunity to do so now.

54 At the name of Jesus

This is a traditional hymn for Ascension Day.  There are two tunes usually associated with it one traditional and one modern.  The modern tune is more lively and bouncy and I usually decided on the day which one I will use.  If you look closely at the words the verses follow Jesus’ life with the last verse saying ‘Truly this Lord Jesus will return again’ all I can say is Amen to that.

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter      25th May 2020

Collect

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Hymn MP9  Alleluia, alleluia

 

Bible readings 

Acts 1:6-14,1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11, John 17:1-11

 

Reflection By Revd Michael Freeman

The Book of Acts begins by telling how “after his suffering Jesus presented himself alive to the disciples by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”    This was a time of instruction and preparation to turn disciples (= followers) into apostles (= people sent out).

Like those we read about in Acts – the men and women, the acknowledged leaders and the rank-and-file – we should devote ourselves to prayer, looking for the gift of the Spirit to empower us for the various tasks to which we have been called and knowing that Jesus himself prays for us (as in the reading from John).

As our society gradually emerges from lockdown with a mixture of relief and apprehension, we need the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit for our individual callings within our families and neighbourhoods.   We need it too for our shared responsibilities to make God’s kingdom a reality for all who live in our parish.

Seeking to be open to the Spirit and ready to see the signs of God’s coming kingdom is the focus of the Church’s prayer this week as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost.

Let us wait eagerly for Christ’s promised gift.

Let us use the gift to fulfil the commission he gives us.

Hymn

212 God forgave my sin

This is not a simple as it seems.  The tune is easy to remember but if you really study the words they place a responsibility on us to be open to the Lord’s words and share them with others which is not always easy for us to do.

449 Mine eyes have seen the glory

Each hymn tune has a name and this one is called the ‘Battle Hymn’ which I think is very appropriate at this time as we are all facing our own battles whether they are ones of health or wealth.  Whilst the words of this hymn might not be the most poetic they are certainly rousing, maybe a good hymn to sing whilst you are doing housework.

 

Pentecost          31st May 2020 

 

Collect

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Bible readings 

Acts 2:1-21, Numbers 11:24-30, 1 Cor 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23 

 

Reflection Written Bruce Pennie

St Peter is one of my favourite characters in the Bible. Clearly his heart was in the right place, but throughout the Gospels, he hardly seems to open his mouth without putting his foot in it; almost every time he picks up a stick, he gets the wrong end. Even at the end of the 3 years he spent learning from Jesus, his boastful claim that he would die for Jesus, was swiftly followed by him denying him 3 times. His is a very ordinary man – full of ordinary faults and failings. Yet he is the ‘rock’ on which Christ was to build the church. On the morning of Pentecost, dramatically invigorated by the Holy Spirit, he is able to address a large crowd and, ‘off-the-cuff ‘ quote at length from the Book of Joel, as he proclaims the Gospel. Were it not for his previous history, he would seem an impossible act to follow. 

Yet that is what we are called to do. Because we too have the Spirit of God within us, we can - and are instructed to - proclaim that “Jesus is Lord”. Like Eldad and Medad, you don’t have to be specially commissioned or ordained. You don’t have to be able to quote chunks of the Bible from memory like Peter. You don’t have to be able to understand complex theology or understand the long words that academic theologians use. You just have to tell people, in your own way and using ordinary words – what Luke calls people’s ‘native language’, that ‘Jesus is Lord’.  

Hymn

72 Bind us together

This may seem a slightly odd choice as the last thing we can do at the moment is hug people.  In a way this slightly contrary message fits in with lock down.  How?  Well this crisis has created a can do attitude with many acts of random kindness happening all over the place.  Neighbours speaking to each other for the first time, wonderful fundraising efforts happening, people doing something for the greater good.  This is what I believe is at the heart of this hymn and the words of the last verse sum things up well.  We are the family of God.

 

163 Father Lord of all creation

This hymn has a wonderful tune and I think the second verse which starts ‘Jesus Christ the man for others’ sums up what we should be doing at this rather unusual and difficult time.  Again in the last verse the words ‘May your love unite our action, nevermore to speak alone’ seems to point to another way of doing things which is something we will all have to do for quite some time.

Blessing

The Spirit of truth lead you into all truth,

give you grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

and strengthen you to proclaim the word and works of God;

and the blessing God be with you and all those you love,

now and always Amen

Trinity Sunday      7th June 2020

Collect  Holy God, faithful and unchanging:

enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

that we may truly worship you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever. Amen

Hymn  MP 237 Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty

Second Sunday after Trinity    21st June 2020

Collect

Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

Hymn MP 25 All to Jesus I surrender

 

 

Bible readings

Jeremiah 20.7–13, Romans 6.1b–11, Matthew 10.24–39

 

Reflection By Revd Michael Freeman

St Augustine, the great early Christian writer, admitted that as a young man sowing his wild oats he had prayed, “O God, grant me chastity – but not yet.”   It is a prayer of which we are all tempted to offer some variation, yet Paul tells us that as baptized Christians we must have died to sin so that we can walk in newness of life.   Jesus himself teaches, “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”

There is much discussion of what the “new normal” after the pandemic has subsided will be like.   This includes how it may help or hinder attempts to tackle the climate change emergency.   The temptation is for me to hope that everything will be better while I can carry on in the way I used to.   “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as long as I can still do what I like!”

Today’s readings challenge us to really think about how each of our lives should change and the hard choices that may involve.   But it should not be change imposed from outside.   It should be willingly embraced, for the Father whose kingdom we seek watches over us and his Son tells us, “Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

 

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

United in your love Father we pray for all who are anxious or who are in physical or mental pain.We ask for your gentle healing presence to enfold them and your Holy Spirit reassure them. As we lift them to you Father we name them in the quietness of our minds ———

We pray for all who are alone in these uncertain times  and for any one who has no one to pray for them. Loving Father help them know you are near Amen 

 

 

 

Hymn MP No. 115 Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you

                       

Walton Team Ministry
 

0151 525 3130

 

waltonparishteam@hotmail.co.uk

Walton Team Ministry

Walton Cornerstone

2 Liston Street,

Liverpool L4 5RJ