Worship for Sunday 17th May

Dear friends,

As you know you have a choice of two main services this week.

Your Sunday morning service can be found here, and you can watch it anytime you like.  Here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrj2nJjRcOA. It is a shorter service, with more reflection and you don’t need printed responses for this one, so just sit back and let it wash over you. You might enjoy seeing some inside views of our Churches this week, and hearing them being prayed in.

The Zoom Pet service is at 4pm on Sunday and you already have the details to join that – again, you don’t need anything printed for this. Please be prompt as this service, of course, is live so we will see one another in real time. I am sure this will be an exciting event for all – you are welcome to join whether or not you have pets!

With love and prayers,

Karen

VE Day Thanksgiving, 8th May

Dear Friends,

I hope you are able to enjoy the VE Day celebrations – the weather looks as though it is going to be great!

We have been encouraging people to go out into their gardens and sing! Here is the song sheet again https://boroughbridgechurches.uk/wp-content/uploads/VE_Day_songsheet.pdf

If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you might want to take tea and cakes outside and wear red white and blue. “Stray Ferret”, the Harrogate online newspaper is going to be exploring Boroughbridge and our local villages, so keep an eye out for their reporter and give them a wave!

We are suggesting people might like to follow the short VE anniversary service at about 10.50am, leading into the two minutes silence. Here is the service sheet:  VE Day 75th Anniversary

The link to the video with prayers is here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFbHZGOfE0

Apologies that it is not livestreamed as originally promised, but it does feature some of your decorated houses!

If you would like to follow a printed copy, it is attached, but this service will work just as well without.

Do let us know how you have marked the day, and feel free to send photos or videos!

With love,

Karen

Worship for Sunday 3rd May

Good evening everyone,

Here is your YouTube link for tomorrow morning’s 10am service, which is based on “The Good Shepherd”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBed5osS6Tk

This is our first attempt at video editing, so for the first time you will be able to see both John and I in the service from our respective homes. Please excuse the “clunkiness” – this is a very steep learning curve!

I hope you will enjoy the pictures at the beginning of the video of the Good Shepherd window at St Andrews, and all Penny Denny’s lovely lambs and sheep at her farm – thank you Penny, for bring the subject to life for us with these wonderful images of new life and hope.

I am including below both John’s script for his talk, and the order of service (complete with sheep photos!) for you to print out and follow along with the service.

order of service for Easter 3 2020 Good shepherd sunday

John Moss, sermon for 4th of Easter 2020

With love to you all,

Karen

Worship for Sunday 26th April

Dear friends,

I am attaching the text for this week’s worship and the reflection to read along side it.

order of service for Easter 2 2020

Easter 2 Reflection The Road to Emmaus 2020

I am afraid we have had technical issues regarding the recording this week, but we will plan to do as much as possible via zoom and YouTube for those who will find that helpful over the coming weeks. Apologies for this – we will just have to imagine one another singing in our homes this time!

Here is a link for something called “Bible Chat Mat” which children and grandchildren may be interested in colouring during or after worship. As you can see it is not just an ordinary colouring activity! It includes all kinds of visual prompts and questions to help young people to reflect meaningfully on the story. This week’s Bible Chat Mat is based on the Easter story.

https://www.bathandwells.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Its-Easter.pdf

Warmest wishes and every blessing,

Karen

Worship for Easter Sunday – 12th April

Dear St Raphael’s friends,

A very happy Easter to you!

I hope you are planning to be in good voice as there will be lots of singing in this week’s service. The link to the YouTube video (taken in our garden!) is below…….you might want to join in the service in your own gardens too? As usual we will aim to worship at 10am altogether where we can, using the video and order of service: order of service for Easter Sunday 2020

Here is the reflection, for those of you who can’t easily access YouTube: Easter reflection 2020

Video:

https://youtu.be/dAAfTJYMvGw

With Easter blessings to you all and love and prayers to you and all those you love,

Karen

Holy Week Reading and prayer: Wednesday

John 12:27-36

Jesus Speaks about His Death

27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[a] to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah[b] remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

“Now my soul is troubled”. 

Rarely in the last century has Holy Week coincided with such a time of trouble and concern around the world. And so we read these words spoken by Jesus in a new light. Our souls are troubled, as his was. Like him we are subject to fear and anxiety. 

In Jesus, God was made incarnate – we often forget what that really means. We are tempted to think that Christ could not really suffer the same doubts, the same distress, the same pain, that we do. We might even imagine that his divinity gives him a “get out clause” when it comes to true human suffering and yet every event of Holy Week demonstrates to us that that isn’t the case.

If the Christian faith counts for anything, it is because of the promise that God is with us – not just looking down on us from afar with a kind of beneficent but ultimately powerless gaze – but actually with us – in the anxiety and the stress and the boredom and the sickness and the grief. He is closer than our breath. He has walked this path before, and he walks it with us now. You may be self isolating but you are not alone – he is with you – he was always with you – he will never leave you.

And he promises not just to be with us in the darkness, but in the light too. Each kindly deed done at this time, each human contact by email or phone, each surprising glimpse of joy gleaned from the beauty of creation or something amusing on television or some unexpected gift or conversation – these are images of resurrection to come – the promise of the light at the end of the tunnel – the certain hope that life and love will triumph.

It seems like a good time to be reminded of those wonderful words written by Minnie Louise Haskins, and famously quoted by King George VI in 1939:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East. 

Lord Jesus,

You stepped into the darkness for our sake, so that you might understand what it is like to be human, with all its troubles and its joys.

Thank you for walking with us through our troubles, for being the guiding hand that we can rely on, when so many certainties seem to have deserted us.

Thank you that beyond the cross, Easter light is on its way,

bringing hope, and healing, and another day.

Amen

 

Holy Week Reading and prayer: Tuesday

Luke 21:1-6

The Widow’s Offering

21 Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

The Destruction of the Temple Foretold

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”

This short reading, which is placed just before Jesus shares the Last Supper with his friends, gives us two important things to think about, as we look towards the events of Easter. One is about the importance of generosity, and the other is about the temporary nature of some of the things we hold to be sacred.

The story of the widow’s mite is one which is a challenge to us all. I have to say, that I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those in our own community who have given to the Foodbank in recent days. It is a tribute to the strength of community here that so many have given when it is not an easy time to get everything we need even for ourselves. But although this short passage is a challenge to generosity, it is also an image of God’s generosity to us. In Jesus, God holds nothing of himself back, sacrificing everything to reconcile us to himself.

God’s generosity is bigger than we can imagine – bigger even than our Church buildings and our Church structures. Jesus is telling his disciples that losing their temple may feel like a catastrophe, but it will not change the unending love and presence of God. This year we are reminded of that in a very powerful way. Our worship is very different, but it is worship nevertheless. God is not confined to our buildings – his generous love is present in each of our hearts – and it is in our hearts that the truest worship takes place.

Let us pray…

Lord our God,

We thank you that in tiny acts of generosity your Kingdom is grown.

We thank you that your Spirit is not confined to a building

but is abroad in all of creation and especially within our hearts.

Bless us and whatever our present circumstances,

help us to worship you in spirit and in truth this Holy Week.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen