United Benefice of

St Mildred’s, Whippingham

and

St James’, East Cowes

27th June 2021 : Fourth Sunday after Trinity

CURRENT WORSHIP ARRANGEMENTS

A general feeling seems to have crept in that we can now relax and put Covid behind us. If only! 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 as the government has not deemed it safe to abandon restrictions just yet.

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: measures to reduce the virus impact; the NHS; those married in St Mildred’s this week.

Pray for: the mentally ill; anti-mask, anti-vaccine advocates; all in denial; countries desperate for a vaccine

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; Jane Brand; Bishop Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells; Rajiv Sidhu and family; Paul and family

Jane Brand is recovering after surgery for a new knee, and we wish her a speedy return to full mobility!

Give thanks for: all ordinations taking place at this time, and especially for Rajiv Sidhu and his new parish of St Cuthbert, Copnor (Incumbent: Rev Allie Kerr)

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, so you need to do this THIS WEEK!

PRAYERS FOR THE DEPARTED:

All whose anniversaries occur at this time

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COLLECT FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Gracious Father,

by the obedience of Jesus

you brought salvation to our wayward world:

draw us into harmony with your will,

that we may find all things restored in him,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

READINGS

NEW TESTAMENT READING 2 Corinthians 8 : 7-end

7Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

8 I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. 9For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— 11now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15As it is written,

‘The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.’

16 But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. 17For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. 18With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming of the good news; 19and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill. 20We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, 21for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. 22And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24Therefore, openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

GOSPEL Mark 5 : 21-end

21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ 24So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ 29Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ 31And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ 32He looked all round to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

ADDRESS

Last week at St Mildred’s I preached about the grace of God, and today I want to say a bit more on that theme. It doesn’t matter that you have either missed or forgotten last week – the thinking today comes directly from the readings we have just heard.

Have you ever sat down and looked at all the contrasts in the gospel account of the healing of the woman with the haemorrhage and the healing of the centurion’s daughter? The woman has had twelve years of appalling health: the daughter has only lived for twelve years, but her condition is urgent and life-threatening. She approaches Jesus secretly, hoping nobody will notice: the centurion, an important man in the community, is upfront in his request and very public. The woman’s secrecy becomes a very public event: the centurion’s daughter is healed in private, away from the public eye. So transparency and secrecy are reversed in the two cases. I was wondering why Mark does that, when it occurred to me that the point is that the grace of God does not depend on worthiness, or on the ability to demand favours, or on whether the healing is for something socially acceptable. In those very contrasting scenes, the grace of God is simply poured out on those who need it and have the faith to ask.

Now this opens up a minefield for us, because all too often people who are not healed in the way we hope by prayer can start feeling guilty that somehow they didn’t have enough faith, somehow they weren’t worthy after all, somehow God rejected them. At morning prayer we are currently ploughing through the entire book of Job, which deals with exactly that same question: why do innocent people suffer? What is God up to?

Now I don’t have the answers to those deep questions, except to say that, like Job, we have no concept of the vastness of God or the wherewithal to understand his workings. We continue to pray for healing: but we need more to offer people to God than to try and dictate exactly how or when they are healed. The grace of God is like that: uncontrollable by mere mortals. Sometimes suffering that is physical produces an endurance that God knows we need. Sometimes it is an inner healing that we need rather than the more obvious physical healing. And sometimes God says, “Yes, but not yet, or not in the way you expect.” There is nothing about God that we can force to happen. We can only ask, humbly and repeatedly, and live in faith with the answer to our prayers. The generosity of God doesn’t consist in him giving us everything we demand, but in him forgiving us and giving us those things he knows we need.

And I think we would be less demanding as his children if we stopped more often to reflect on what we have already received and to be grateful for it. When we train ourselves to be grateful by nature, we are more likely to notice when others are in need and to respond to them generously. The key words in St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians are eagerness, generosity, abundance. So when we respond to calls for our help as a church, we are more likely to act generously if we are ourselves feeling blessed. The great thing about that is that the more we give, the more we receive, so we actually have a choice, because the converse also applies: the more resentful we are feeling, the less we will want to give and the less we will receive. We can choose the spiral downwards into self-pity and selfish behaviour, or the spiral upwards into increased blessedness and openness. I think we can all tell where the grace of God is more likely to be obvious and which is more in harmony with God’s will.

Which brings us back to the collect for today, which I suggest we could all pray on a regular basis. Here it is again:

Gracious Father,

by the obedience of Jesus

you brought salvation to our wayward world:

draw us into harmony with your will,

that we may find all things restored in him,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

INTERCESSIONS(Supplied by Robin Mainstone)

O holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, intercede for us. Protect, O Lord, your people who trust in the patronage of your Apostles, Peter and Paul, and by their constant protection protect your people around the world at this time.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Loving God, as we see the brokenness of our world we pray for healing among the nations; for fair distribution of the coronavirus vaccines; for food where there is hunger; for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain; that your love may bring peace to all your children. We pray that the leaders of all nations will work together to meet the challenges facing our world. We pray that the people in this country will continue to do what is right to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading more widely and having an adverse effect on the NHS.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Holy God, we pray for Christians working in places of power and influence who make decisions which affect the lives of so many people. We ask you to bless those who work in politics, in the media, in advertising and in the financial markets. May they all know what to say and how to act for the benefit of all people and at all times to be true and faithful to you.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Father God we pray for those whom we love, family and friends who are the special people in our lives wherever they may be. We pray for their hopes, their fears, their problems and their needs but most of all we thank you for each one of them and for what they give and mean to us.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for those saddened by the death of someone close and dear to them, either recently or at this time of year, and for members of our families who have died and whose anniversary we recall. Help us to experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us, and the fellowship of the church family around us, until we are reunited once more in your heavenly kingdom.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Gracious God, help us to know that the one who calmed the waves on the Sea of Galilee, your Son Jesus Christ, is present with us day by day and that he cares for us and can calm the waves of our lives. Help us to trust more fully and more deeply in you in all that we are involved with in the week ahead.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

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:

Eternal God,

comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,

you have fed us at the table of life and hope:

teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,

that all the world may acknowledge

the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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

..\Jane’s recorded music\HON 506 This is my body.MOV

..\Jane’s recorded music\Christ be our light (1).MOV

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FOOD BANK MOST NEEDED ITEMS THIS MONTH

URGENTLY NEEDED FOOD ITEMS – JUNE 2021

  • SPONGE PUDDINGS
  • COOKING OIL
  • SHAVING FOAM / GEL
  • MEN’S SHOWER GEL
  • BUBBLEBATH
  • GRAVY
  • PART-BAKED BREAD (WITH AT LEAST 2 WEEKS SHELF LIFE)
  • CLEANING PRODUCTS (KITCHEN & BATHROOM)
  • TOOTHBRUSHES (SINGLE)
  • TINNED VEG (NOT SWEETCORN OR MUSHY PEAS)
  • FEMALE & MALE DEODORANT
  • WASHING CAPSULES / POWDER
  • LONG LIFE MILK

DUE TO THE GENEROSITY OF THE PUBLIC WE HAVE PLENTY OF

  • COOKING SAUCES
  • BAKED BEANS
  • TINNED SOUP
  • TINNED MEAT
  • TINNED 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.

RESPITE RESIDENTS

Maureen Moore is currently staying at the Gouldings, Freshwater, Tel: 01983 753125

Margaret Perkins is currently staying at Little Hayes Rest Home, Totland Bay, Tel: 01983 752378

In both cases, visits are welcomed, but only if pre-booked by phoning the numbers above. Limited information is available from the homes, but patient confidentiality prevents detailed information being given. Please continue to pray for them both.

ST JAMES’ BOOK OUTREACH

The Browsers’ Library will open on 10th 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 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 also hope to offer tea and coffee, and to sell a few jigsaws. Come along and see!

STOP PRESS The start date may need to be revised due to the continuation of restrictions by the government. Watch this space for updates! This stop press add-on appeared last week in the wrong section – Sorry! Rev Susan

COFFEE AT ST JAMES’ CHURCH

One reason why we have to be slow about reintroducing coffee after our morning service at St James’ is that we have VERY FEW VOLUNTEERS! Just think for a moment – what does it say about us if we are unwilling, even once every six weeks, to pour out a cup of coffee into a disposable cup for our fellow Christians? Please pray about whether you can help with this ministry of hospitality. Your church needs YOU!

DIOCESAN UPDATE **IMPORTANT NEWS**

There are plans across the diocese to reorganise the ministry of all churches so that groups of churches can function more as a cohesive entity than as small individual parishes. The scale of the proposed reorganisation, and the very tight time schedule that has been imposed, have made this restructuring somewhat problematic, but the current thinking is to reduce the number of parishes across the island to just 7, with churches working in much larger groups than ever before. On the island, we would lose (at the latest count!) 2 clergy posts, and the vision is for clergy and laity to work as teams together, assisted by paid staff who would enable the administration to become more centralised and streamlined. As yet nothing is set in stone, but please pray for all those most closely involved in this major programme.

From our perspective, we are likely to be asked to partner with Wootton (St Edmund’s and St Mark’s), who have previously been in a plurality with Havenstreet and Binstead. These latter two would become part of a much larger grouping also encompassing Ryde, Seaview, Brading, Yaverland, St Helen’s and Bembridge. Other proposed teams are also much larger than our proposed group would be. If the move goes ahead, Wootton would look to appoint a half-time priest in addition to the post here.

In view of this, a meeting has been set up for the PCCs of East Cowes, Whippingham, Wootton and the Archdeacon to begin to explore what might be possible. PCC Members – please put in your diaries Wednesday 14th July at 7.00pm. NOTE CHANGE OF DATE. The meeting is to be at St James’, in the church rather than the hall as it is more spacious. If you are a PCC member, please make this a priority, as we need to make sure as many people as possible are involved in discussions and planning. It is also an excellent opportunity to begin to get to know each other better.

Thank you! Rev Susan

PERSONAL ANNOUNCEMENT

It is after a long while of discerning and heart-searching that I have reached the decision to retire next year in order to be closer to our family on the mainland. Believe me, it has not been an easy decision! My last Sunday here will be on Easter Sunday, 17th April 2022, with a view to finishing my stipendiary ministry on my 65th birthday shortly afterwards. By then we might even be able to have a party!!

However, until then (which seems a long way off!) it is very much business as usual, and I very much hope we will continue to work for the building up of our churches so that a new incumbent finds thriving and growing congregations.