Sunday Eucharist Resume at St Michael’s

Wednesday Eucharist

From this week, 1 September 2020, St Michael’s will no longer be open for individual prayers or meditation on a Tuesday morning.

However, the weekly 10:30 Sunday Eucharist resumes.

“We will resume our weekly 10.30 Sunday Eucharist, but it will be rather basic compared to what we are used to at St Michael’s. We’ve a strong choral tradition but unfortunately our choir will not be allowed to sing and indeed, there will be no congregational singing. Communion will be in one kind only (no wine) and we need to follow guidelines in the way we receive the sacrament. These will be noticeable differences but the overwhelmingly positive is that once again we will be able to feed on eucharistic food, something which has been denied most of us since Lent!

We are restricted to 50 people at each service, which is a challenge for a congregation of our size. You will need to reserve your place and if we’re
already over the limit for that Sunday, I’ll put you down for the following week. In 2 weeks, we will be able to offer Communion to 100 people which is still a challenge. Quite often we’ve over 100 communicants between the 8:00am and 10:30am Eucharists.”
Dom Ind, Rector

To book, please contact the Rector by email – rector@stmichaelhelensburg.org.uk.

Service Sheet: Sunday 29th November 2020, First Sunday of Advent

ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS’ CHURCH, HELENSBURGH

Charity Registered in Scotland SC006468 

INTROIT HYMN – 529 Wake, O wake! with tidings thrilling

COLLECT

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility, that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

OLD TESTAMENT READING

Isaiah 64. 1­ – 9
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence – as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil – to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity for ever. Now consider, we are all your people.

PSALM  Psalm 80. 1­ – 2, 4­ – 6, 16­ – 17
R. Show the light of your countenance and we shall be saved.

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim. In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up your strength and come to help us. R

O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angered despite the prayers of your people? R

You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have given them bowls of tears to drink. You have made us the derision of our neighbours, and our enemies laugh us to scorn. R

Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man you have made so strong for yourself. And so will we never turn away from you; give us life, that we may call upon your Name. R

EPISTLE

1 Corinthians 1. 3 – ­9
My brothers and sisters: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind — just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

GRADUAL HYMN – 470 The advent of our King

GOSPEL

Mark 13. 24­ – 37

The Coming of the Son of Man

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The Necessity for Watchfulness

‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’

OFFERTORY HYMN – 307 Lo, he comes with clouds descending

COMMUNION HYMN – 458 Stay with me

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

God for whom we wait, you have fed us with the bread of eternal life. Keep us ever watchful, that we may be ready to stand before the Son of man. We ask this in the name of Christ the Lord.

RECESSIONAL HYMN – 489 The Lord will come and not be slow

BLESSING

Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA amended according to the Revised Common Lectionary in NRSV. Psalm from the Book of Common Worship of the Church of England. Collect, Prayer after Communion and Blessing from Scottish Liturgy 1982 with Propers and Revised Common Lectionary published by the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Edinburgh 2006.

Thought for Evensong – The First Sunday in Advent, 29th November 2020

Psalm 9, Isaiah 3: 1 – 15 and Mark 1: 1 – 15

But the Lord sits enthroned for ever, he has established his throne for judgement. Psalm 9: 7

The Lord rises to argue his case; he stands to judge the people. Isaiah 3: 13

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe the good news’. Mark 1: 14 and 15

A new Church Year begins today, with the Common Worship morning readings focusing on Mark’s Gospel, but with a good smattering of John’s Gospel as well. The Prayer Book evening readings change too, with some weeks of Isaiah passages as the Old Testament reading during Advent and Epiphany, while the New Testament readings range widely. Today’s readings set the scene for the coming weeks as we see the case God makes against His rebellious people in Isaiah 3. It is a sorry tale of depravity (the comparison is made with Sodom), oppression, insolence, theft, and leaders misleading the people. Isaiah warns that the Lord is to rise to argue his case and stand in judgement. 

Psalm 9 speaks of judgement, of rebuking the nations and destroying the wicked. We understand God’s perfect right to exercise judgement, when He has shown mercy through the generations and His patience has been sorely tried – as seen in so many Old Testament prophetic passages. Verse fifteen states that the nations have sunk in a pit of their own making, and in verse seventeen that the wicked shall depart to Sheol. 

This all paints a familiar picture, as we look around at a world caught in the treadmill of sin, endlessly digging a pit of judgement because of the hardness of heart of those who have rejected all God’s loving overtures. We can sometimes feel rather overwhelmed by the sickness of sin that surrounds us, and lose hope.

But thanks be to God, Advent is the season of hope. God has certainly not abandoned the world or His people placed in it as salt and light. We look forward and upwards as God works out His purposes as year succeeds year.

Our gospel reading places us right at the start of Mark’s account, condensing the preparatory ministry of John the Baptist into these first fifteen verses. Mark omits any mention of the birth of Jesus at all, taking us straight to the point thirty years later when Jesus presents himself to John the Baptist to be baptised in the River Jordan. We are given a brief picture of John’s austere lifestyle and his preaching of a message calling for repentance. He is fulfilling the words of Isaiah 40, preparing the way of the Lord and making his paths straight. All his efforts are directed towards the one who was to follow. Jesus described John as the greatest of the prophets because of this role announcing the arrival of the Messiah, yet John in his humility felt he was unworthy even to untie the thongs of Jesus’ sandals. John’s ministry was to proclaim the message of repentance from sin and to baptise with water. Jesus was about to inaugurate his ministry, with the inexorable march towards the cross only three years later. His death and resurrection would bring the offer of universal forgiveness of sins, with the greater promise of baptism by the Holy Spirit.

After the period of temptation in the desert Jesus started to proclaim the ‘good news of God’ (verse 14) with a simple message: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe the good news.’ It is this good news to which we hold fast in uncertain times, looking onward and upward to the return of Jesus in glory. This is the message of hope that calms our fears and helps us look beyond the earthly horizon toward eternity. May this Advent be a time of blessing for us all. Perhaps you may find the Collect for Advent, used today and every day until Christmas Eve, a helpful prayer to make each day as we reflect and prepare:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to life immortal; through him that liveth and reigneth with thee and thee and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen.

Kevin Boak

Lay Reader

Decorating St Michael’s for Christmas

Decorating St Michael's for Christmas 2020

We will be decorating St Michael’s church for Christmas on Saturday 19th December from 9 a.m.

If you are unable to help please will you let me know?

I suggest we all take the same arrangement place we did last Christmas. If you were unable to be there last year do come along anyway. A place will be found for you to decorate.

Andrea Gibson, who has volunteered to take over from me, will be with us, & hopes to meet everyone individually. 

Thank you – from Sue

Diocese Advent 2020 Events and Resources

Please find below the Diocesan Advent Quiet Day notice as well as resources developed for the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway for Advent 2020.

Diocesan Advent Quiet Day

Sat., 12 December 2020 – online

A Diocesan Advent Quiet Day will be held online over Zoom on Saturday, 12th December 2020, 10am–12.30pm. Entitled “Going Out, Coming Home”, it will reflect on the exile of the Holy Family to Egypt and the return to Nazareth in the context of Covid-19.

Details for the Zoom meeting will be circulated nearer the date. If you would like to register or know more, please email the Rev Les Ireland on Les949@btinternet.com. Everyone welcome!

Programme:

  • 10am: Welcome and opening worship with Bishop Kevin.
  • 10.20–11.00am: Going Out—reflections on leaving our home country, the journey to exile and the journey to safety.
  • 11.00–11.30am: Break (includes a video reflection).
  • 11.30–12.10pm: Coming Home—reflections on finding home, returning to peace, and seeking safety.
  • 12.10–12.30pm: Final thoughts and worship with Bishop Kevin

Colouring Sheets

Several stained glass windows from churches in the diocese have been digitally edited, with the colour of the glass panes removed, converting the resulting lineart into colouring sheets.

PDFs with instructions, information, relevant Bible verses and collects can be found here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApeOYRncxKZcgZl71hAS0c-XPtUEXQ?e=4NrhLn.

More sheets are planned for the following weeks and months, if you have a window you’d like to propose, let me know!


Journey through Advent in Music

A collection of Advent hymns and contemporary music to suit the season has been curated over on Spotify: 

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6a5YpncsFXlHWwQCc258mp?si=3gXAUcIuRLqwr9yznaUiDQ Your suggestions are warmly welcome!

Journey Through Advent, a playlist by Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway on Spotify

Journey through Advent with hymn and song. Created with suggestions by the people of the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway in the Scottish Episcopal Church, add yours: digitalmissioner@glasgow.anglican.orgopen.spotify.com


AdventWord 2020

#AdventWord is a global, online Advent calendar. Each day from the first Sunday of Advent through Christmas Day, #AdventWord offers meditations and images to inspire and connect individuals and a worldwide community of believers to the themes of Advent.

You are invited to participate by posting your own images using the hashtag #AdventWord and the word of the day, for example, #journey. Individuals, congregations, organizations, and institutions can all participate.


This year, the Diocese plans to participate in AdventWord again, your contributions are welcome and encouraged, please contact me if interested, some days have already been planned but more entries are welcome!

Petko Marinov – Digital Missioner

digitalmissioner @ anglican.glasgow.org

Watch: Feast of Christ the King Service, 12 November 2020

Feast of Christ the King Service, 22 November 2020, from St Michael and All Angels Church in Helensburgh.

The weekly Service Sheet and Readings can be found by clicking on the link below. Please scroll down to watch the video.

Service Sheet: Sunday 22nd November 2020, Christ the King

ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS’ CHURCH, HELENSBURGH

Charity Registered in Scotland SC006468 

INTROIT HYMN – 17 All people that on earth do dwell

COLLECT

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well­beloved Son, our Lord and King: grant that the peoples of the earth, now divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his gentle and loving rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

OLD TESTAMENT READING

Ezekiel 34. 11­ – 16, 20­ – 24

God the True Shepherd

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

PSALM Psalm 95. 1­ – 7a
R. The Lord is great God, and a great king above all gods.

Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. R

In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have moulded the dry land. R

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. R

EPISTLE

Ephesians 1. 15­ – 23

Paul’s Prayer

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

GRADUAL HYMN – 268 Jesus Christ is waiting

GOSPEL

Matthew 25. 31­ – 46

The Judgement of the Nations

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

OFFERTORY HYMN – 296 Let all the world in every corner sing

COMMUNION HYMN – 276 Jesus, remember me

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Almighty God, you have made us a royal priesthood in the kingdom of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Make known his victory through us, we pray, that all the world may see his light. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

RECESSIONAL HYMN – 30 And can it be

BLESSING

The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, establish, strengthen and settle you in the faith; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA amended according to the Revised Common Lectionary in NRSV. Psalm from the Book of Common Worship of the Church of England. Collect, Prayer after Communion and Blessing from Scottish Liturgy 1982 with Propers and Revised Common Lectionary published by the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Edinburgh 2006.

Thought for Evensong – The Sunday next before Advent, 22nd November 2020

Psalm 149, Ecclesiastes 11 and 12; Matthew 20: 1 – 16

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory. Psalm 149: 4

Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything. Ecclesiastes 11: 5

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew 20: 15 and 16

In this pre-Advent period we look forward eagerly to the fulfilment of all the promises and prophecies contained in scripture. We do so in circumstances where the world seems to have lost its nerve. Political leaders who have prided themselves on the military or economic might of their countries have been humiliated by a virus that is reluctant to be controlled. All the scientific brains are working to find a vaccine, and we feel powerless as we wait, if not in fear, then with misgivings over the future. The verse above quoted from Ecclesiastes 11 reminds us that our very existence is a mystery, and this corporate world loss of confidence comes about because humankind realises it is not in control of events. Creation is the work of God, the earth has been loaned to humankind to be good stewards of its resources, and in due time Jesus Christ will return. We must remember from Psalm 149: 4 that God is not vindictive; God is love and He takes pleasure in creation and the ingenuity and gifts of the human race, but He is also a just Judge who does not turn a blind eye to wickedness. He seeks the good of the humble and wishes to bless all who come to Him.

Our reading from Matthew 20 is a parable Jesus told in response to the false religion of the Pharisees. They were full of pride and fervour for the Law, but this pursuit of perfect adherence to the myriad rules and regulations was dry and lifeless. The story Jesus told was about a landowner who possessed a vineyard and employed workers on a daily basis, numbers varying doubtless according to the season and tasks that needed doing. The first group of workers began work at daybreak for the agreed flat rate for a full day’s labour. At three-hour intervals the owner, seeing idle workers still hanging around in the market place, employed further batches of people. He undertook to ‘pay whatever is right’ (verse 4). Having commissioned new groups of workers at 9, 12 and 3 o’ clock, he even went to the market place at 5 o’ clock – presumably because the weather was fine and the harvest was abundant. At close of work the landowner instructed the steward to pay the wages, beginning with a full day’s pay for the workers who had only done an hour of work. This obviously incensed the workers who had toiled all day in the scorching heat, to see everyone paid the same, so much so that they protested, expecting now a greater wage. But the landowner reasoned with them, saying they had received the just wage for a day’s work; how he treated later arrivals was entirely his choice.

The message to the Pharisees was unpalatable. They thought it wrong that people could be admitted into God’s kingdom at the last minute, particularly the Gentiles who were not recipients of God’s original Covenant. Underlying this hostility was also self-righteousness that they ‘deserved’ a place in the Kingdom by their own efforts, because they had always worked faithfully. Why should latecomers receive the same blessing? They failed totally to understand that every one of us has no merit in our own strength, and it is all by God’s grace that we are saved (Romans 3: 23 and 24). There is a warning to us too, when we can sometimes adopt an attitude like the Pharisees. We lead a good life and attend church regularly, and then sometimes resent God’s grace when someone ‘bad’ makes a last-minute decision to enter God’s Kingdom – rather like Jonah resenting God’s mercy on the city of Nineveh when they repented, while he thought they deserved judgement.

Thankfully, God’s grace is another mystery we cannot fathom. John 3: 16 and 17 remind us that God does not want to condemn anyone (‘the world’), but that all may find forgiveness through trust in Jesus – as we watch for the return of Jesus in glory. As humble recipients of God’s grace, however late in the day, we need to play our part in helping bring in the harvest.

Kevin Boak

Lay Reader

Light in the Darkness – a webinar

The Scottish Interfaith Group on Domestic Abuse invites you to attend a webinar on Wednesday, 25 November at 7:30pm. http://ifgoda.org.uk/

Watch: Feast Day of St Margaret of Scotland Service, 15 November 2020

Feast Day for St Margaret of Scotland Service, 15 November 2020, from St Michael and All Angels Church in Helensburgh.

The weekly Service Sheet and Readings can be found by clicking on the link below. Please scroll down to watch the video.