Epiphany 3 (21/1/2018)

Pewsheet 21 January 2018

Food for Thought

Epiphany at Cana by Malcolm Guite

Here’s an epiphany to have and hold,
A truth that you can taste upon the tongue,
No distant shrines and canopies of gold
Or ladders to be clambered rung by rung,
But here and now, amidst your daily living,
Where you can taste and touch and feel and see,
The spring of love, the fount of all forgiving,
Flows when you need it, rich, abundant, free.

Better than waters of some outer weeping,
That leave you still with all your hidden sin,
Here is a vintage richer for the keeping
That works its transformation from within.
‘What price?’ you ask me, as we raise the glass,
‘It cost our Saviour everything he has.’

Dr Malcolm Guite is a priest-poet, singer-songwriter
and Chaplain and Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge

Find his blog here

Epiphany 2 (14/1/2018)

Pewsheet 14 January 2018

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Jesus, seeker of friends,
even when others expected little of you
you found the joy to bring much from them.

Nurture our imaginations, so that when we are given little,
we can expect much,
and in so doing,
see a harvest where others were planning for poverty.

We ask this because we flourish in kindness,
and we know that you made kindness flourish.

Amen.

It’s me that God wants, not a hypothetical, polished version of me. And as I look more intently at his face, I’m sure I will find myself changed. But that’s God’s work to do, not mine. I’ve only got one job: draw near.”  Claire Jones

Epiphany (7/1/2018)

Pewsheet 7 January 2018

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Holy God, Prince of Peace;
Emmanuel, God with us;
Wonderful Counsellor –

Loving God of many names
we bring our whole selves to you:
the whole of us, known by you before birth,
the whole of us, known before naming.

You know and love us beyond
label, pedigree, lineage or genetics.

In, and through your holy name
we pray for all scarred or killed
because of their name,
and ask your blessing on all
new–borns named before you today.

Amen.

Christmas 1 (31/12/2017)

Pewsheet 31 December 2017

Prayer

Dear Lord of all,
at the turn of year
we pray for courage
to trust our inner eye
as we turn ourselves
towards you,
and a new year.

Grant us the wisdom of Simeon
that we might be guided by your spirit
in the decisions we make.

Grant us the discipline and commitment
of Anna to trust that you will speak
when we need to her,
that we will listen
when we need to be led.

We pray for all leaders,
the likely, and the unlikely,
that they will find an inner
truth to guide them and us
through this new year, and always.

This we pray in the name of Jesus,
our likely, unlikely leader.
Amen.

Advent 4 (24/12/2017)

Pewsheet 24 December 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

God of love,
Before the ocean was
before the skies
before even breath was breathed
there was love.

And because of this, we know we can ask
to be held in love
even in the tempests of today.
So hold us in love,
because in this love
words can be created
to hold and heal a world.
We ask this in the name
of someone who was born
in a time of trouble
to be a person of peace.

Amen.

Advent 3 (17/12/2017)

Pewsheet 17 December 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

CHRISTIANS are called to be saints and not heroes. As Stanley Hauerwas observes, today’s culture has a particular need of heroic figures. It is repeatedly let down by those it raises to this status. After each disappointment it finds another hero in whom to invest its hope. Heroes are always the central figure in the story of their deeds. The saint, on the other hand, “is just a small character in a story that is always fundamentally about God” (Samuel Wells in Rupert Shortt’s God’s Advocates, DLT, 2005).

PRAYER

God of the gospels,
Now we see you, now we don’t.
Sometimes even our own conflicts confound us
and our lives and stories
are difficult to read.
When understanding evades us,
may we find those things
that will keep us steady:
love, joy, faithfulness, generosity,
hospitality, rest, solidarity, belief and truth.
Because even though you’re sometimes
hard to follow, hard to find,
we know that these things
keep us steady.
Amen.

Advent 2 (10/12/2017)

Pewsheet 10 December 2017

Sermon Mark 1 1-8 NvF

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Who are the people whose powerful and wild words make you pay attention today?

You may wish to reflect on the resistances to such voices. Are these voices discredited because of their origin, their tone, their language, their syntax, their grammar?

Resistances can sometimes – not always, but sometimes – be an indication of a refusal to engage. How can we put down our arms and listen?

After examining your resistances, listen again: What are those wild and powerful voices saying? What do they know? What are they calling us to?

Prayer

In the name of the Bee
and of the Butterfly
and of the Breeze.

In the name of locusts
and wild words
and wild honey.

In the name of bombs
and breathing
and brilliance.

In the name of escape,
and engagement
and armour.

In the name of everything
and nothing
and whatever will save us.

In the name of this small moment.
Yes, this small moment.
This very small moment.

Amen.

Advent 1 (3/12/2017)

Today we start the new church year during which we will focus on the Gospel of St Mark. Download the list of Sunday readings (Year B) Common Worship Lectionary 2018

Pewsheet 3 December 2017

download an info sheet about  Advent and Christmas 2017 at St Paul 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Jesus of the dramatic word,
from you we sometimes hear dystopia,
of suns and moons and clouds and skies all falling.
And we miss the small words of love
that can sustain us through the winter.
In the dramas of our news cycles,
helps us all — parishioners, preachers and politicians —
to enact love in the corners, queues and questions
of our day,
and in so doing discover you,
hiding in the corner,
reaching out, like you always did,
creating community. Amen.

 

2 before Advent (19/11/2017)

Pewsheet 19 November 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In the eternal scheme of things, we discover that all God wants from you is you.

It’s just so humbling, because it always feels like not enough, doesn’t it?

“All I want is to be like Saint Francis,” I said to my spiritual director, over and over…

Finally, one day he said, “Hey Richard, you’re not, and you’re never going to be, Francis of Assisi. You’re not even close, all right? You’re ‘unfortunately’ Richard Rohr from Kansas.” I said to myself, This doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic or exciting.

Except when I realised: all God wants is Richard from Kansas.

But that’s what I don’t know how to give you, God!

It feels so insignificant, and yet this is the liberating secret: I am precisely the gift God wants—in full and humble surrender. There is unity between the path taken and the destination where we finally arrive. Saints are not uniform but are each unique creations of grace according to the journey God has led them through.                      Richard Rohr