Sunday Eucharist Resume at St Michael’s

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.

Flower arranging at St Michael’s

Evanda Yeomans has volunteered to take over the Church Flower Arranging group for St.Michael’s. Details of how to contact Evanda, regarding the flower rota, will be published in the next issue of the Messenger.

Service Sheet: Sunday 13th September 2020 – Fifteenth after Pentecost

ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS’ CHURCH, HELENSBURGH  

Charity Registered in Scotland SC006468 

Please click on link below for the liturgy book for Communion from the Reserved Sacrament.

https://www.scotland.anglican.org/who-we-are/publications/liturgies/communion-from-the-reserved-sacrament-1997/

INTROIT HYMN – 99 All creatures of our God and King

COLLECT

Almighty God, you call your Church to witness that in Christ we are reconciled to you. Help us so to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may turn to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

OLD TESTAMENT READING

Genesis 50. 15­ – 21

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’ So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, “Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

PSALM Psalm 103. 8­ – 13
R. The Lord has compassion on his children.

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness. He will not always accuse us, neither will he keep his anger for ever. R

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our wickedness. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy upon those who fear him. R

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he set our sins from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so is the Lord merciful towards those who fear him. R

EPISTLE

Romans 14. 1­ – 12

Do Not Judge Another

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

GRADUAL HYMN – 55 Be thou my guardian and my guide

GOSPEL

Matthew 18. 21 – ­35

Forgiveness

Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy­seven times.
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow­-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow­-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow­-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

OFFERTORY HYMN – 226 I cannot tell
COMMUNION HYMN – 328 Make me a channel of your peace

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

God of peace, in this eucharist we have been reconciled to you and to our neighbours. May we who have been nourished by holy things always have the courage to forgive. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

RECESSIONAL HYMN – 293 Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

BLESSING

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: 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 – Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, 13th September 2020

Psalm 77, 1 Kings 18: 1 – 46 and Philemon

Your way, O God, is holy. What God is so great as our God? Psalm 77: 13

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt-offering …. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord indeed is God’. 1 Kings 18: 38 – 39.

. So that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother …. both in the flesh and in the Lord. Philemon 16

Today we are confronted with one of the most dramatic incidents in the Old Testament. We have moved on already from Solomon’s reign, degenerating quickly from the stability and glory of his kingdom, to the quarrelling and rivalry that followed, along with the return of pagan worship. Judah had split away from Israel and parallel monarchies ruled. Our passage from 1 Kings 18 takes up the narrative of the reign of Ahab who, we are told in 1 Kings 16: 30 did more evil in the sight of the Lord than any previous king. He erected a sacred pole to Baal and an altar to Baal in the house of Baal, built in Samaria. God commanded Elijah to tell Ahab there would be a drought in the land. By the time of our reading this drought had already lasted three years. Ahab’s wife Jezebel had killed most of the prophets of the Lord, although we read of Obadiah remaining faithful, even while employed by the king. It is little wonder Elijah the prophet feels slightly beleaguered and in fear of his life (v 22) when confronted with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. Elijah had been dubbed the Troubler of Israel because his very existence, quite apart from his words, were a contrast reproach to the evil of King Ahab. The contest on Mount Carmel was bound to bring a long-brewing pagan rebellion to a climax. It is a mark of Elijah’s faith that he outlined the competing sacrifices, knowing that God would respond in some way, but not knowing precisely the drama that would unfold. 

We are familiar with the narrative of the pagan prophets crying out repeatedly, and with ever greater desperation to Baal, of Elijah’s taunts that perhaps Baal was asleep or had gone on a journey. Mutilating themselves and still crying out long after midday, verse 29 states there was no voice, no answer and no response. When solitary Elijah’s turn comes, he makes things harder by dousing the meat laid on the stone altar with water (remembering this precious commodity was in short supply and would have had to be carried up the mountain) and filling a surrounding trench. Elijah offers a simple heartfelt prayer and fire descended from heaven, consuming the meat and stones, and evaporating all the water. This visual demonstration of the power of God resulted in everybody bowing down and acknowledging that the Lord is indeed God – just as one day every knee will finally bend (however unwillingly) in recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2: 10 and 11). 

In total contrast, our New Testament reading is the brief letter of Paul to Philemon, a Christian whose slave Onesimus had absconded. Onesimus had subsequently become a Christian and was now a close and valued friend to Paul. It was realised that Onesimus needed to correct his mistake of running away and return to his master. He would clearly have been somewhat apprehensive about how he would be received, so Paul writes to Philemon to take back Onesimus as a brother in Christ, and someone Paul was sorry to lose. 

We have moved from national politics and the grave descent into idolatry, followed by the drama of fire from heaven consuming Elijah’s offering, proving God’s unrivalled superiority over manmade idols, to a very personal situation of a slave running away, but finding faith through Paul’s ministry. If we are looking for a connection, it could be restoration. In 1 Kings 18 it is restoration of God’s rightful pre-eminence (and the judgement on the prophets of Baal), with the positive ending that the drought was lifted. It is also the vindication of Elijah’s faithfulness as God’s obedient prophet against seemingly insuperable odds. In the letter to Philemon there is also a twofold restoration. In practical terms Onesimus is to return to his master’s household, but returning not as a disobedient servant deserving punishment, instead being welcomed as a fellow Christian, equal in God’s eyes. Within this there is Onesimus’ spiritual restoration, having been ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven, to quote the well-known hymn, Praise my soul, the king of heaven, written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1834 (based on Psalm 103).

Our lives may be more like Onesimus than Elijah, with our small worries and relationships that need repairing, rather than dealing with an evil king and hundreds of pagan prophets. But we can draw encouragement that God is equally interested in restoring the small and insignificant, as well as the complexities of politics and challenges from pagan prophets. Praise God! 

Kevin Boak

Lay Reader

Video: Sea Sunday, 6 September 2020

Sea Sunday Service on Sunday, 6 September 2020 from St Michael and All Angels church, in Helensburgh, Scotland, with the Reverend Timothy Tunley, Chaplain of The Mission to Seafarers Scotland.

The Service Sheet for this service can be found here: https://www.stmichaelhelensburgh.org.uk/2020/09/04/service-sheet-sunday-6th-september-2020-sea-sunday/

To view the video, please click on the image below.

Service Sheet: Sunday 6th September 2020 – Sea Sunday

ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS’ CHURCH, HELENSBURGH

Charity Registered in Scotland SC006468 

INTROIT HYMN – 49 Awake, awake: fling off the night

COLLECT

Almighty Father, creator of the Oceans and Land whose Son sailed the seas and calmed the storms. Anoint all seafarers with your Holy Spirit, that as it breathed over the waters of creation, so may you bring newness of life to them and us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

OLD TESTAMENT READING

Jonah 1. 1­ – 17

Jonah Tries to Run Away from God

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, ‘Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. The captain came and said to him, ‘What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.’
The sailors said to one another, ‘Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, ‘Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?’ ‘I am a Hebrew,’ he replied. ‘I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.’ Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, ‘What is this that you have done!’ For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.
Then they said to him, ‘What shall we do to you, that the sea may quieten down for us?’ For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. He said to them, ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quieten down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you.’ Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them.
Then they cried out to the Lord, ‘Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.’ So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

PSALM Psalm 107. 23 – ­32
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious.

Those who go down to the sea in ships and ply their trade in great waters, These have seen the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep. For at his word the stormy wind arose and lifted up the waves of the sea. R

They were carried up to the heavens and down again to the deep; their soul melted away in their peril. They reeled and staggered like a drunkard and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were calmed. R

Then were they glad because they were at rest, and he brought them to the haven they desired. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and the wonders he does for his children. Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people and praise him in the council of the elders. R

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Acts 27. 23­ – 32
For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.” So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we will have to run aground on some island.’ When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms. Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. But when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, on the pretext of putting out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, ‘Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.’ Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat and set it adrift.

GRADUAL HYMN – 474 The day of resurrection

GOSPEL

Mark 4. 35­ – 41

Jesus Stills a Storm

When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’

OFFERTORY HYMN – 309 Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour

COMMUNION HYMN – 566 Ye servants of the Lord

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Lord Jesus Christ who sailed the Syrian sea, you have fed us with your body and your blood; strengthen our hearts and minds, that we may pass safely through the seas of life as ambassadors of your eternal kingdom.

RECESSIONAL HYMN – 449 Soldiers of Christ, arise

BLESSING

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.page3image5232

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 – Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 6th September 2020

Psalm 74, 1 Chronicles 29: 9 – 30 and Colossians 3: 18 – 4: 6

Yet God is my king from of old, working salvation in the earth. Psalm 74: 12

Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 1 Chronicles 29: 11

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3: 23

We come to the end of King David’s life. Our reading from 1 Chronicles 29 describes the national act of worship and thanksgiving marking the presentation of gifts to be used in the building of the Temple. You may recall that David was told by God he was not the one to do the actual construction, as his reign had been about nation-building and quelling enemies (and much blood had been shed). The task would lie with the young King Solomon, while peace and prosperity prevailed. 

Looking at the texts I have quoted, we can see a recognition of God’s sovereignty. Psalm 74 seems to be set against a backdrop of despair and questioning, beginning with the question of why it seemed God had cast them off and why he was angry with them. We have seen and learned enough of the Old Testament to realise that the fault lay with the people and not God. He never casts us off, but it is our neglect and rebellion that separates us from Him and gives the perception that God is at a distance. The psalm lists the sacrilegious acts of the enemy, desecrating the holy place of God on Mount Zion. Thankfully glimmers of hope emerge, as in verse 12, where the writer understands the long view of history; things may be bad now, but better times will come. Our reading from 1 Chronicles marks a turning point, as David leads the act of worship to dedicate the construction materials, precious metals and jewels. David’s opening prayer is familiar, as we have inherited it in our contemporary Eucharistic liturgy as the offertory prayer. With the reign of Solomon, the Temple will be rebuilt in splendid form, following God’s instruction for its construction and adornment. 

The next day was devoted to further worship and sacrifice, and then the coronation of Solomon. The period of David’s reign was forty years, and it is apparent looking back over the preceding chapters that David’s thoughts had been focused on the Temple rebuilding project for some considerable time. While he knew he was not the one to oversee the construction, and was no doubt disappointed not to be able to offer this practical act of worship, he wanted to make sure Solomon had everything he needed.

Our reading from the end of Paul’s letter to the Colossian Christians begins with domestic matters, thinking of respectful and loving family relationships as being the bedrock of Christian society. He moves on to consider the position of Christian slaves and the respect due to their masters, along with the need to work conscientiously. Paul then expands this thought into the verse I quoted (3: 23), where the principle can be applied to all our activity. In our working lives the daily mundane duties should all be done to give honour to God, as part of our Christian witness. When we are able to return to worship in church and we re-engage in the many support activities we will be doing it for God’s glory. In our lives at home, all our activities can be directed to God as acts of worship, as we lay our lives before God, echoing David’s offertory prayer. 

Through all of life’s experiences – and many are only now emerging from a prolonged period of apprehension, and many have suffered ill health or loss because of the Covid-19 virus – we need to remain focused on the certainty of Psalm 74: 12: Yet God is my king from of old, working salvation in the earth. While we may struggle in the present circumstances and question what has gone before, we need to trust that God is indeed working salvation in the earth. We should be ready to play whatever part in this spiritual enterprise God intends for us, as we await the glories of heaven. 

God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year:

God is working his purpose out, and the time is drawing near;

nearer and nearer draws the time the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

Arthur Campbell Ainger, 1894

Kevin Boak

Lay Reader

Kiltwalk for Christian Aid

Virtual Kiltwalk 11 -13 September 2020

Please show your support for Helensburgh Christian Aid Committee’s cause by giving through their supporter page

Click here to: Help Helensburgh Christian Aid Commitee to make a difference

I’ve just ‘joined the team’ in the hope our individual churches can promote the event. (John and I are St M Christian Aid reps on the Helensburgh CA committee). The planned fund-raising events have not been possible this year, so it would be wonderful if the church would be supportive again.

The very popular Christian Aid Tea sadly had to be cancelled this month. However Ruth looked out a daughter’s nursery-school kilt and led John – lame but ‘still game!’ – on a 10 mile goose chase around Cumbrae Island for the Virtual Kilt-Walk for Christian Aid. A big thanks to those who have sponsored already. More are welcome please, via the link. (Every donation is topped up to 150%.) They even offer a slice of Broonie and scone with your donation! Just request it in ‘chat’.

John had hopes of going up Ben Lomond, but – albeit much fitter than I – he has a bad knee. This was flat walking, but quite ambitious enough for him to feel it!

All donations, as explained get 50% added by the Hunter Foundation and the system is not only generous but transparent and secure – well tried and tested.

If some others in the congregation, children or grandchildren would like to kiltwalk themselves – there are 11 suggestions on the site for all ages.

We should like to report to the church and say a big thank you and congratulations to everyone who so kindly helped Christian Aid via our e-Envelope previously to raise well over £215 for them. Several church members also said they had donated via the Christian Aid website as they found the e-Envelope (a new Christian Aid initiative, but with some teething problems) didn’t work.

I’ve also offered free seeds and plants throughout lock-down to the families at the primary school where I work. Many of whom also contributed either through the e-Envelope or websites to Christian Aid or Oxfam variously. I also raised over £100 for Oxfam through making hanging baskets and offering them to my neighbours who kindly gave donations. The last two were sold in the Oxfam shop.

Thank you again,

Ruth