United Benefice of
St Mildred’s, Whippingham
St James’, East Cowes
13th June 2021 : Second Sunday after Trinity
CURRENT WORSHIP ARRANGEMENTS
As we are now allowed to gather in groups of 6 or less indoors, there will be coffee and tea available in the Parish Centre itself at St Mildred’s after the Sunday service!
Meanwhile the diocesan website www.portsmouth.anglican.org still has a direct link to parishes that are streaming live worship, while for those unable to access such resources this pewsheet continues to contain material for offering a “spiritual communion” at home. You must do whatever feels right and safe for you.
Previous services at Whippingham are now being shown on YouTube via the following link:
Today’s service will appear on YouTube later this week.
FOR YOUR PRAYERS THIS WEEK:
Give thanks for: progress in finding a cure for Alzheimers; carers; our local police
Pray for: the G7 summit in Cornwall; President Joe Biden; the Northern Ireland treaty
PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN NEED:
Please pray for: William and family; Reg and Eileen; Irene and Henry; Richard Gray; Bob Hitchens; Beryl; Maureen & Gordon; Joy and Dave; Oliver; Thabani Maposa and family; Maureen; Catherine; Marie and family; Chloe Paton; James; Margaret Perkins
Give thanks for: Alcoholics Anonymous and all aid agencies
If you wish particular names to be added to the prayer list, please inform Rev Susan. All names are reviewed on a monthly basis. Please keep Rev Susan updated if you would like a name to stay on the list beyond the current month. The deadline is Wednesday 30th June.
PRAYERS FOR THE DEPARTED:
Jenny’s funeral will take place in St Mildred’s at 1.30pm on 22nd June, followed by an interment at Ashey cemetery
Anyone from the congregation who wishes to attend is welcome, up to a limit of 12 people.
COLLECT FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
whose mercy never fails:
deepen our faithfulness to you
and to your living Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
NEW TESTAMENT READING 2 Corinthians 5 : 6-17
6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
GOSPEL Mark 4 : 26-34
26 Jesus also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
An anthropologist had been studying the habits and customs of an African tribe, and when he finished his work, had to wait for transportation that would take him to the airport to return home. He’d always been surrounded by the children of the tribe, so to help pass the time before he left, he proposed a game for the children to play.
He’d bought lots of sweets in the city, so he put everything in a basket with a beautiful ribbon attached. He placed it under a solitary tree, and then he called the children together. He drew a line on the ground and explained that they should wait behind the line for his signal. And that when he said “Go!” they should rush over to the basket, and the first to arrive there would win all the sweets.
When he said “Go!” they all unexpectedly held each other’s hands and ran off towards the tree as a group. Once there, they simply shared the sweets with each other and happily ate them.
The anthropologist was very surprised. He asked them why they had all gone together, especially if the first one to arrive at the tree could have won everything in the basket – all the sweets.
A young girl simply replied: “How can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?”
How can one of us be happy if all the others are sad? That theme came into my mind when I was thinking about the injustice of some countries having Covid vaccines while others can only dream of there being medicine and resources. I believe it is a lesson God wants us to learn and that he has actually shown us very powerfully as we have grasped the nature of the coronavirus: as long as there are pockets of infected people in the world, none of us can be safe and happy. While we might initially want to pull up the drawbridge and say that for us the crisis is over, actually it can never be over until we have made sure everyone has the same freedom from infection. It has taken a global pandemic to show us that basic truth and make us see the inequalities we would rather close our eyes to in the world.
The concept that nobody can be truly happy if others are sad is known in Africa as ubuntu, which means “I am because we are”. Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes it like this: “ It is about the essence of being human, it is part of the gift that Africa will give the world. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of another. We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.”
Ubuntu is also something that the Church should personify through our life together as Christians. I believe it was a huge mistake when the Bishops made us lock our churches at the precise time when we had a calling to be there for the community, when people were desperate, when they wanted to pray, when we could have been the listening ear and when many people really struggled with lockdown. For the first time in decades we actually had something to offer – and we blew it. On the plus side, many churches got involved with food banks, with shopping for isolated people and other community initiatives that showed that the church is not just a matter of a building. But the perception otherwise was that churches were and are irrelevant: and not being invited to take part in any of the local community hub support showed me that nobody thought we had anything to offer. What we did offer – our building of St James’ to host the library while it was closed – was turned down. Wonderful though the council may be in some areas, they don’t seem to know about Ubuntu at all.
But maybe the tide has turned. We do now have an opportunity at St James’ to offer a book lending service on Saturday mornings, which we hope to start on 10th July. I’m hoping that people will volunteer to help us serve drinks, oversee the book returns and social distancing, and generally chat with anyone who drops in. I am encouraged that the book stall at St Mildred’s has a regular turnover of stock and a lot of interest from visitors. And maybe there are other things we can do as the lockdown eases, either at St James’ or at St Mildred’s, or both.
One thing is clear to me, though: ubuntu doesn’t depend on one or two people having an idea and making it work: ubuntu is about communal effort to reach out, in whatever way we can, and the prayer ministry that underpins it should not be ignored. We don’t do this in our own strength, any more than Jesus ministered in his own strength. If we pray and act in good faith, God will bless the outcome and show us more of his plan. We are Christ’s hands and feet in the world, and the tiny seeds we sow can grow into huge trees, like the mustard tree. It’s worth re-reading today’s gospel and reflecting on that image of such humble beginnings becoming a sanctuary for all the birds of the air. If we can allow God to treat us as mustard seeds, we might find not only the fullness of humanity the Africans call ubuntu, but the very kingdom of God. Amen.
Heavenly Father, hear us as we pray for ourselves, for one another, for your Church and for a needy world.
We pray for those who are anxious, isolated, lonely, or grieving because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We pray for all for whom social distance, self-isolation or shielding has caused separation from the ones they love. We pray for those whose mental health has suffered because of the impact of the pandemic on our lives, our jobs and our economy.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
We pray for places around the world where COVID-19 seems to be out of control and for their politicians who are trying to control the epidemic. We pray that this and other countries which have good supplies of vaccines, and the medical equipment needed for those who are suffering most, may be generous in offering help to those most in need.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
We pray for the G7 meeting in Cornwall and for the government’s handling of the various treaties under discussion. May this be an opportunity to build bridges and work together for the common good and for the good of our planet. We pray for a spirit of ubuntu to prevail, remembering that none can be truly happy if others are sad.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
We remember those in our own community who are suffering illness at the moment, and pray especially for those on our pew sheet or who have asked for our prayers during the week. We thank you for all who care for them and provide comfort for them. May they be aware of your love surrounding and enfolding them
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Heavenly Father, we pray that, as Christ’s body here on earth, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we might bring healing and new life to those who suffer in mind, body and soul, both within our churches and in wider society. May we be bringers of forgiveness, kindness, faith, hope and love. Help us to listen well and not be too quick to provide overly easy solutions to problems that are complex. We pray that our churches may be places within which we welcome, nurture, encourage and include one another. May we know your presence with us, may we find you in one another, and may we be Christ for others.
Accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
PREPARING FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
In union, Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, I offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body with the sure hope that I may always be united to you. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you and embrace you with all my being. Let nothing ever separate you from me. May I live and die in your love. Amen.
You might like to sit in silence for a while, then pray:
we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son:
sustain us with your Spirit,
that we may serve you here on earth
until our joy is complete in heaven,
and we share in the eternal banquet
with Jesus Christ our Lord.
To conclude, either listen to the music links below or simply rest quietly in God’s presence
FOOD BANK MOST NEEDED ITEMS THIS MONTH
The Foodbank would be most grateful for any of the following:
Part-baked bread (at least 2 weeks’ shelf life)
Tinned mixed vegetables (NOT sweetcorn or mushy peas)
Cleaning products (kitchen/bathroom)
Female and male deodorant
Thanks to the generosity of the public they have plenty of: cooking sauces, baked beans, tinned soup/meat/fish, biscuits, cereal, pasta, rice, tea).
ST MILDRED’S CAFÉ
The Café is now open on Mondays to Thursdays from 10.00am – 4.00pm. Please contact Sue Richmond (297883) for up to date details! The church is again open for visitors from during café hours.
ST MILDRED’S APCM **NEXT SUNDAY**
St Mildred’s APCM will be on Sunday 20th June after the morning service. To accommodate this, the service will be held at 10.00am instead of the regular 11.15am time. It should be possible by then to hold the APCM in the parish centre with a cup of coffee on hand.
I am grateful to Rev Peter Hutchinson for agreeing to lead the communion service at St James’ to enable me to chair the APCM at St Mildred’s. Rev Susan
ST JAMES’ BOOK OUTREACH
We have a number of books from the library, which we are planning to offer as a “Browsers’ Library” at St James’ on a Saturday morning, possibly offering coffee/tea as well. We are also considering selling a few jigsaws, maybe some pot plants, maybe a children’s storytelling slot as well. All ideas welcome! If you would like to offer to help out at this new community venture, please have a word with either Margaret Prior ( 07849 191817) or Gillian Jackson (01983 281633). We have yet to finalise arrangements and set a start date, but do come on board and let’s see what we can do!
VACCINATION CENTRE VOLUNTEERING
Amanda Collinson (Assistant Area Dean) writes:
With many of the volunteers returning to work, IW Community Action are now looking for new people to help out with the Vaccination Centre at the Riverside in Newport. All you need to commit is 4 hours a week and its great fun working with an awesome group of people! It’s been the best thing I have done all year…..
Please do look at the website below and sign up if you can and support your local community!
Alternatively phone Community Action IW on 01983 524 058 for full information. – Rev Susan