Services at St. Anne’s Church 

Worship is the heart of our church life together,   our 9.30am Holy Communion is with hymns and our choir. We use Common Worship at most of our Communion services.  Once a month we hold alternative style Communion services Liturgies including Celtic, Iona, Taize, South Indian, Jewish, Scottish Episcopal and Kenyan flavours to our worship.   On occasional Family Services welcome the Guides, Brownies and Rainbows meeting in Calmore.  At significant times of the year, eg Christmas and Easter, we hold additional services during the week.

Services at St. Anne’s SUSPENDED AT THIS TIME   BUT

THE CHURCH IS OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER ON 

SUNDAY 9am-11am

WEDNESDAY 10am-11.30am

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Welcome! To the home service for the 3rd Sunday in Trinity 28th June 2020

This service can be done at 11.00 a.m. on Sunday or at a time of your choosing. It can be done in your home or in your garden, with family members or alone. Speaking it out loud is preferred but silent reading is fine, too.

We are now firmly in Ordinary Time. Mystery is not a wall to run up against, but an ocean in which to swim. But now is the time to live with and live out that mystery in ordinary things of life with God-awareness at the centre.

We, the Christian people of St Mary’s and St Anne’s gather together in our own homes, for, as you have taught us, where we gather in your name, there you are with us.

We sing

Confession for the Third Sunday in Trinity

The word of God is living and active. (Hebrews 4v16)

It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

All is open and laid bare before the eyes of himto whom we give account.

We confess our sins in penitence and faith.

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought, in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love, and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed, and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us,

forgive us all that is past;

and lead us out from darkness to walk as children of light. Amen

Words of Assurance and absolution

     May the God of love and power

     forgive you and free you from your sins,

     heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,

     and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen

 Collect for the Third Sunday in Trinity

   Almighty God,

   you have broken the tyranny of sin

   and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts

   whereby we call you Father:

   give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,

   that we and all creation may be brought

   to the glorious liberty of the children of God;

   through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

   who is alive and reigns with you,

   in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

   one God, now and for ever.

A reading from Romans 6v11-21 (transformed people)

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel reading from Matthew 10v40-42

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

 

Sermon – see BELOW

 

Prayers of thanksgiving and intercession

 

Almighty and merciful Father, who shows your love to all your creation, we come before you asking for a full and lasting control of the Coronavirus currently ravaging our world. We pray for the relevant governments and health authorities that they take appropriate steps for the good of the people.

Lord in your mercy.

We remember those who are in need of our help: refugees, migrants, the sick, those who are suffering from addictions of any sort. We ask you Lord to give them strength and to reveal to them your love.

Lord in your mercy.

Hear today the cry for justice in our world. The Protest on the streets is a sign of something very wrong in society, not just in America. Give us eyes to see the ingrained racism that places people on a second class level or worst and fails to see them as full human beings. We ask you Lord to open the minds and hearts of those who show prejudice against them and we pray that we will not show prejudice against others.

Lord in your mercy.

We pray for all of those who have been victims of violence. We pray especially for families who have had to deal with the heart break of losing loved ones because of anger and hate.

Lord in your mercy.

God our Father, we ask you to transform us in your image and help us to become the people you have called us to be. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We remember our own families and loved ones and commit them to your care.

We remember all those known to us at St Mary’s and St Anne’s by name and wish each other peace.

We say the Lord’s Prayer as we are used to. Our Father….

We sing

O Jesus, I have promised To serve thee to the end; Be thou forever near me, My Master and my Friend; I shall not fear the battle If thou art by my side, Nor wander from the pathway If thou wilt be my Guide.

O let me feel thee near me: The world is ever near; I see the sights that dazzle, The tempting sounds I hear; My foes are ever near me, Around me and within; But, Jesus, draw thou nearer, And shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear thee speaking In accents clear and still, Above the storms of passion, The murmurs of self-will; O speak to reassure me, To hasten, or control; O speak, and make me listen, Thou Guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, thou hast promised To all who follow thee, That where thou art in glory There shall thy servant be; And, Jesus, I have promised To serve thee to the end; O give me grace to follow My Master and my Friend.

O let me see thy footmarks, And in them plant mine own; My hope to follow duly Is in thy strength alone; O guide me, call me, draw me, Uphold me to the end; And then in heaven receive me, My Saviour and my Friend

A Blessing

The problems of the world are not ours to solve, but to navigate faithfully. God is with us in the midst of our troubles. He is not constrained by our troubles. His limits are never challenged. There is never a moment when there is nothing more He can do. God works beyond the possibilities we can imagine. So give Your people Your peace that we may shine brightly in a dark world. Grant us the courage to live faithfully even in the midst of hard times. Let our fear of You be the beginning of wisdom rather than allowing the fear to drive our actions. Help us to embrace our heavenly citizenship and live strangely in the midst of a world that needs to know You.

So may God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace; guard you, save you. Amen.

Sermon - My chains fell off.....!

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

The reading this week from Romans reminds me of the best known hymn in the world.

I am not alone in wondering where, amidst the fervour and anger of this moment about racism, why John Newton is not being spoken of. Before he became a Christian and wrote that amazing hymn about amazing grace, he was a slave trader. John lost his mother at an early age. When he was 11, he joined his father at sea. His father was a shipmaster and John went to work on sugar plantations in the West Indies. Those sugar plantations developed to feed the European sweet tooth. Crucially, they relied on black people being sold into slavery (by African tribes be it noted operating on the coast of West Africa who were determined to capitalise on British appetite for sugar and commerce in black people to work them). John was press-ganged by the Royal Navy, managed to escape and went to work on various slave ships. By his own confession, he became a sort of slave to a West African woman who mistreated him.

It was a near miss of a shipwreck that made him turn to prayer and then experienced God taking hold of him by sovereign grace. John Newton became a Christian and eventually a Church of England minister in Olney, Buckinghamshire. His evangelical preaching of the gospel created quite a stir.

Incidentally, with his experience of being Captain of a slave ship, God used John to be a focal point for transforming society through abolition of the noxious commerce in human beings. Newton helped mentor the young William Wilberforce – and the rest is history.

This story is really important as a window on the way individual repentance and conversion can (and should) lead us to social transformation (which is something we should be passionate about). It is also a window on our reading.

I have often been disturbed at the way generations of Church people have been conditioned to think that we can pay polite attention to the Epistle reading but it is the Gospel for the day that we should focus on and preach from. A Vicar in a team I led before used to say ‘ah that’s St Paul going off on one’! She never preached from Romans and had hardly stopped to uncover its riches and power. Despite my urging, we short-changed her congregation regularly. What folly! Maybe you’ve been short changed in this way.

But speaking of change, John Newton changed. Genuine conversion is possible. What we find in Romans again and again is the powerful insistence that we can be transformed inside and in the way we live our lives. To be sure, that takes time to work its way through. Racism is like many of our other sins. It rests on ingrained assumptions as well as the things we do. That needs radical change.

But our own versions of slavery are also deep-dyed and like ingrained dirt, need a lot of washing through. Newton’s servitude to a domineering woman revealed his own vulnerabilities. In the same way, addiction to drugs or alcohol can be patterns of behaviour that chain up human beings.

What a power in the Good News! You do not need to be imprisoned by your past, you do not need to be imprisoned by your upbringing, you do not need to be imprisoned by your prejudices, you do not need to be imprisoned by your abuse, addictions or vulnerabilities. Romans tells us that no one is inherently righteous. Chapter Six shows us that sin imprisons the sinner as well as the sinned against. The despised and disvalued can recover their dignity. Bullies can be turned round and learn not to heap their own fears upon others.

This is not just about individual repentance, which is where many Christians like to leave it. Families can mend and nations can change. All can be forgiven and all can change. The teaching about Christ claims your total allegiance. Do you begin to understand what we mean when we use words like ‘redemption?’

If not, open your inner self to Christ, be his dedicated slave and follower (which breaks all other slavery). And while you are about it, start reading Romans!




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HOME COMMUNION

These take place at residential homes for the elderly and in the homes of those unable to get to Church. 


WEDDINGS AND BAPTISMS These may be arranged by contacting the  Parish Team Office  02380 865103