United Benefice of

St Mildred’s, Whippingham

and

St James’, East Cowes

18th July 2021 : Seventh Sunday after Trinity

CURRENT AND FUTURE WORSHIP ARRANGEMENTS

New government Covid rules come into force tomorrow, and we shall be reverting to our previous pattern of services as from August – although we may well decide that Café Church could be a step too far as yet. New C of E guidance will also be available for us, and it is hoped to resume hymn singing from August. But as things stand, please continue to be vigilant and to observe social distancing measures at all times. This particularly applies to the time after services when it is tempting to chat in groups, leaving some folk apprehensive. With the summer season, cases on the island are increasing, and we need to maintain due caution, especially remembering that to have had two vaccinations does not stop people from carrying the virus.

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.

ONLINE WORSHIP

Previous services at Whippingham are now being shown on YouTube via the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2kNADnUL2s

FOR YOUR PRAYERS THIS WEEK:

Give thanks for: fine weather; our Archdeacon Peter; all who keep us safe

Pray for: the people of Germany suffering flash flooding; peace in South Africa; all affected by the government decision to cut foreign aid

PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN NEED:

Please pray for: Reg and Eileen; Irene and Henry; Richard Gray; Bob Hitchens; Beryl; Joy and Dave; Maureen; Margaret Perkins; Paul and family; Deanna and family; William and family; Gemma

Give thanks for: a good diagnosis for Deanna, stating that she does not have cancer as suspected. The condition is still serious, but the necessary referrals have taken place and there is hope for a good outcome.

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.

PRAYERS FOR THE DEPARTED:

All who have died in the hospital fire in Iraq

*************

COLLECT FOR THE SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Generous God,

you give us gifts and make them grow:

though our faith is small as mustard seed,

make it grow to your glory

and the flourishing of your kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

READINGS

NEW TESTAMENT READING Ephesians 2 : 11-end

11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

GOSPEL Mark 6 : 30-34, 53-end

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

ADDRESS

I really ought to feel more kindly disposed towards Paul than I actually do, because here is a man who, throughout his entire ministry, was faced with all the problems of starting up new ventures and trying to persuade people who didn’t actually like each other much to come together and be at peace with each other. He ought to have all my sympathy, because although with the new diocesan plan I am faced with finding a way to help different churches to come together, there is nothing like the degree of hostility and mistrust that Paul had to deal with. We don’t actively dislike any of our neighbourhood churches, and our hesitation in coming together isn’t based on any sort of hostility but rather on bewilderment and scepticism. Paul had it a lot worse, with Jews and Gentiles clashing, the supposed “chosen people” turning away from faith in Jesus, while others who didn’t have the advantage of inheriting any sort of spiritual legacy were surging ahead and joyfully proclaiming the gospel. It must have been a lot harder than simply exploring whether we might usefully work with Wootton and celebrating each others’ faith communities.

Which is where we are currently at. As far as I can see, we are rather better at looking cynically at the possible downside of any joining together than we are at looking for blessings that we might receive. Maybe we need to do both, though. So let’s look for a moment at what the letter to the Ephesians might have read like if Paul had written it either to us, or to Wootton. Here’s how it might come out if Wootton were the recipients:

So, then, remember that at one time you Wootton folk, called the Wightlink lot by those who are called the Red Funnel brigade – a physical distinction made by commercial business – remember that at that time you were outside our church, being aliens from the East Cowes/Whippingham heritage and strangers to the Red Funnel voucher promises, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off on the other side of the roundabout have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the benefice with its laws and PCCs, so that he might create in himself one new parish. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone….

Now that is, of course, outrageous, and it doesn’t come across much better if you write it as if it were addressed to us rather than to Wootton. But it does show us very clearly how artificial the divisions are between our various parishes, and how little they matter once we put them in the context of the cross and of the household of God. With Jesus Christ as our cornerstone, we are all of us a holy temple to the Lord. I’m sure that in our hearts we know that to be the case, and our hesitation isn’t due to any doubt about any other church’s integrity, but rather more to the practical side of potentially working together. What might we gain from linking up?

Well, for one thing we would be increasing our pool of talent. I think we can successfully argue for Wootton to have their own half-time priest, and if so there will be two clergy in the area, and there are also more lay workers and people with skills who might help us learn those same skills. We might have enough people to form a group of folk to minister jointly in the schools, and we might be able to make some sort of joint impact on the two ferry terminals between us. They might learn from our service patterns, and we might learn from theirs. We might between us be better able to do the admin for both benefices. We might be able to pass on to them valuable tips about how to organise big events or how to run a café, and they might help us see better ways of using our halls. We would have more available spaces for other events, whereas currently we have only a smallish hall at East Cowes and a parish centre that is limited by its tourism uptake. And just maybe we need to be joined at the hip, as it were, to give us the impetus to work together, whereas we all know that if we are independent of each other we might as well be on different planets. We just continue to do things the way we always have!

St Paul was no stranger to the problems generated by having multiple churches. It wasn’t all easy work, and yes, he too had to nag them about the money and about supporting each other. As for us, it was one step at a time. But when you look at how the church spread across Europe and then across the rest of the world, those early steps were crucial. Paul had no idea how it would all pan out, and neither do we. But we do know that whatever we are called to undertake, we are strengthened and empowered by the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Maybe God is building an extension to his holy temple, and maybe he is counting on us living stones to enable it to happen. Now there’s a royal commission that eclipses our royal Victorian heritage and catapults us headlong into the Kingdom. Amen.

INTERCESSIONS(supplied by Gillian Jackson)

At this time of great uncertainty over what will happen after emergence from Coronavirus restrictions we pray that everyone will proceed with caution.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

We pray for the world and an end to racist-abuse, hunger, violence, cruelty and injustice. Guide our scientists, Lord, in ways to combat the detrimental effects on our planet of climate-change and plastic packaging.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

We pray for all churches across the world and ask, Lord, that you will bless all clergy and congregations as we seek to thank, petition, and worship you.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen, our politicians, and world leaders. Give wisdom to all in authority and help them to act for the common good.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

We pray Lord that you will sustain those in our NHS, social care, and all key-workers. We commend to you Lord, for your safe-keeping, all those on holiday, all returning to their workplaces, and all athletes representing their countries at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

Compassionate Lord, in a few moments of quiet we pray for those, known to us, who are troubled and sick, as we bring them, through faith, into your healing presence.

Lord, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer

Gracious God, help us as a church to launch out in faith on new ventures which serve you and open our doors to newcomers.

Merciful Father,

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:

Lord God, whose Son is the true vine and the source of life,

ever giving himself that the world may live:

may we so receive within ourselves

the power of his death and passion

that, in his saving cup,

we may share his glory and be made perfect in his love;

for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Amen.

To conclude, either listen to the music links below or simply rest quietly in God’s presence

..\Jane’s recorded music\HON 53 Be still, for the presence of the Lord.MOV

..\Jane’s recorded music\HON 311 Living Lord.MOV

***********************

FOOD BANK MOST NEEDED ITEMS THIS MONTH

URGENTLY NEEDED FOOD ITEMS – JULY 2021

  • SQUASH
  • RAZORS
  • SHAVING FOAM / GEL
  • HAND WASH
  • WASHING UP LIQUID
  • SHOWER GEL
  • SHAMPOO

DUE TO THE GENEROSITY OF THE PUBLIC WE HAVE PLENTY OF

  • SWEETCORN
  • BAKED BEANS
  • TINNED SOUP
  • CEREAL
  • SANITARY ITEMS
  • RICE
  • TEA

RESPITE RESIDENTS

Maureen Moore is currently staying at the Gouldings, Freshwater, Tel: 01983 752135

Margaret Perkins has moved to High field Nursing Home, Queens Road, Ryde. She is in isolation for at least 14 days, so therefore NO Visitors for at least that period. The home number is 811015. When it asks for the extension, put in 3534. This will take you straight through to Margaret.

ST JAMES’ BROWSERS’ LIBRARY

The Browsers’ Library will open NEXT SATURDAY 24th July, from 10.00 – 12.00 in church. Volunteers need to be there from 9.30am, and we expect to be packed up by 12.30. If you can, please sign up to help out at this new community venture, and have a word with either Margaret Prior (07849 191817) or Gillian Jackson (01983 281633). We also hope to offer tea and coffee, and to sell a few jigsaws. Come along and see!

ARCHDEACON’S MEETING WITH PCCs

Wednesday night saw a very productive meeting between the PCCs of Whippingham, East Cowes and Wootton, at which Ven Peter Leonard put forward the vision for a joining of our three parishes and answered some of the questions that have arisen. He offered a very positive view of the possibilities of strengthening each church by pooling talents and described the current Team Ministry that operates in Newport. There are still a number of issues arising, not least the sudden statement that Wootton, under the new scheme, would not get a priest to themselves. This came as rather a surprise, but he has indicated to me that he could lobby for the extra half-post staffing, and I think we must urge him to do so. Otherwise, while in the long term with proper lay training and shared vision we would certainly benefit, the immediate impact would be an initial doubling of my work load with NO extra help available and NO sense of a united identity. These things – discerning of lay vocations, training and growing to know each other better – all take time, which the arrival of a new priest at Wootton would ease considerably, as there could be an overlap period between that person arriving and me retiring next Easter. PCC members please note – we shall need to write a letter asap!

Meanwhile, it was good to welcome our Wootton neighbours to our benefice and take the first step in introducing ourselves to each other. See below for a picture of the two Wootton churches! Rev Susan

St Edmund’s Church, Wootton St Mark’s Church, Wootton

RECTOR’S HOLIDAY

I am officially off duty from Monday 19th July until Saturday 7th August, and during this time our services are being led by Rev Peter Hutchinson. I am extremely grateful!! I am also very grateful to Rev Dion Mabey, Rev James Cook and Rev Jonathan Hall, who are officiating at the various weddings during this period. It is possible that you might see me about intermittently, but if so, please don’t ask me to do things!

The pew bulletin should appear as usual, but it will not include a sermon as such and may be rather thinner than usual. However, you can depend on our four wardens to keep you informed of important events!

Rev Susan