St. Leonard, Clent
© Clent PCC 2021
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Saint Leonard’s Service for Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity 5 th September Welcome to our OpenCast church service - on-line. There are prayers, readings, hymns and music; just as you would have in church. As you read through this service you may care to say aloud the bold text. To hear the music and the readings, click on each title (red, underlined text) (and remember to adjust the volume on your speakers). Let us pray: God says, ‘You are never too young, never too old, to be part of my work.’ God says, ‘I will speak with you; I will strengthen you; I will send you. Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Come away…and rest a while.’ We come into God’s presence now, away from the burdens and stresses of life. We come with open arms, to wait upon God, and to be renewed and equipped for whatever comes next. Amen Heavenly Father, some of Jesus’ disciples found his teaching difficult. In worship and prayer, help us to unravel the puzzles of Jesus' words, to accept the challenge of discipleship, and to discover the fulfilment of following your Son, Jesus our Saviour and our friend. Amen Hymn: “The Old Rugged Cross” (with lyrics) We praise the Lord You are preparing a place for me so that one day I will live with you forever. Maybe then, and perhaps only then, will I be able to praise you adequately in a way not possible here on earth; the way you truly deserve. All my love, all my praise to you. Lord, oh, Lord. How excellent is your name in all the world. Amen. Bible Readings: Old Testament: Psalm: New Testament: Gospel: Proverbs 22.1-2,8-9 125 James 2 1-10, 14-17 Mark 7 24-37 A udio Audio Audio Audio Click these links to hear the readings Text Text Text Text Click these links to read the text A Reflection for this week The sheer ferocity of Tropical Storm ‘Ida’, high winds, buckets of rain, flash flooding in New York City on Wednesday night, rivers and waterfalls in the subway, made millions of New Yorkers think about the advantages of settling in rural Minnesota, especially as more hurricanes, even more brutal than Ida, are forming over the climate-warmed water of the Atlantic. There is a limit to how much punishment people are willing to accept before they look around and consider greener pastures and meanwhile, in St. Paul, people thronged to the State Fair, devouring cheese curds and bratwursts, admiring the livestock and enjoying powerful centrifugal experiences. Facts are facts. If what it means to live in New York is to ride the subway into a waterfall, maybe it’s best to be less stressed in the Upper Midwest and instead of flooded tunnels and tornado funnels, take sanctuary on the prairie. We have some snow here but it is not catastrophic. I speak from experience. Snow falls gently and does not harm anyone. When the Weather Service says, “Minnesota was hit by a blizzard,” the verb “hit” is fanciful, like being “struck” by a bluebird feather or being “attacked” by ants. When snow falls, we don’t hide under the bed, we don’t need powerful pumps, there are no dikes to prevent snowdrifts. We enjoy a blizzard, standing in the kitchen, drinking coffee, and we feel grateful for having teenagers in the family who will shovel the sidewalks. Bob Dylan shoveled snow, like Amy Klobuchar, Jessica Lange, Prince, Jesse Ventura did. It is a life-shaping experience. When a city is flooded by tourists over a long period of time, as New York has been, they turn the place into a cartoon, and the last time I walked down to Little Italy, it was no more Italian than Domino’s Pizza or Venetian blinds or your aunt Florence. Nobody in Brooklyn speaks Brooklynese, it’s all gentrified. The press came down hard on Mets fans booing their team, one more sign that New York is turning into Seattle. Americans enjoy having some foreignness around for variety and colour and that’s what makes Texas appealing to so many people. You can freely enjoy peculiarities there that would make you an outcast elsewhere. For some reason, our Southern states tend to encourage the outlandish, which is why ‘Mr. T’ moved to Palm Beach: he fits right in. New Orleans puts on Mardi Gras for guys who like to wear wigs and feathers and high heels. A country needs to maintain places where standards of normality are fairly loose. Sturgis, S.D., for example. Cambridge, Mass. Minnesota never had a French Quarter and the French persons I know who’ve come to visit didn’t seem interested in starting one, but we’re in need of diversity and when the State Fair ends in a few days, I propose turning the Fair’s grounds into a ‘Persian Quarter’ and resettling some of our Afghan allies there who are floating around, looking for a home. The grounds are unused except for ten days a year, a neighbourhood with streets, barns, arenas, shops, parking lots, all it needs are houses. In the ‘Persian Quarter’, the refugees could re-create what they love of their culture, and Americans weary of the Walmarts and work cubicles could travel abroad in St. Paul and find exotic style and fabulous cooking. Resettlement could be redemptive, showing that the bearded bullies with ammo belts don’t represent the best of a people. Art and learning do, and folk tradition, and the bonds of language, the food, the music and poetry. Leave religion to personal preference and enjoy the rest. New Yorkers saw horrendous scenes of subway tunnels turned into raging rivers, trains pulling into the 28th Street station under a Niagara of water, passengers dashing to safety. We don’t have that in Minnesota. Summers are quite pleasant here except for an occasional tornado. The culture is predominantly northern European, white, judgemental, and we’re eager to escape that and New Yorkers would be welcomed here. We tend to be soft-spoken, self-deprecating, compulsively passive, and I know of numerous New Yorkers who’ve found happiness here. Their honk and brassiness are admired here. Back home they were “no-good-niks” and here they’re heroes. It’s a big country. Check it out. Amen. Garrison’ Keillor’s “Post To The Host” letter from America (3 rd September 2021) Worship Song “I could sing of You, For Ever” ‘Delirious ?’ - Martin Smith Lyrics / chord sheet Intercessions (by Nikki Firth ~ St. Andrew’s Church - The Fremnells, Basildon, Essex) Your church is a body of many peoples and parts, upholding and praising you in different ways. That difference can become a judgement causing division and disrespect to everyone who raise their hands to you Lord Jesus, and praise you as their Saviour. Help us to live together in the one faith; to pray for and with those who see you in their different ways. May all who profess your name be a universal church upholding the name of Jesus Christ. Lord in your Mercy; Hear our prayer. We pray for your church here in this parish. We give thanks that we are a church with a mission and with a welcome for those in need around us. Help us to serve people without judgement and meet their needs. We honour you with food ministry and children’s work. We pray for our church congregation. Strengthen the ministry that is in us all and today give special thanks for Karen as she is ordained in the Cathedral on Saturday. May we all recognise and acknowledge the gifts you give and step out in faith as you call. Lord in your Mercy; Hear our prayer. We pray for your troubled world. We are concerned for the tragedy of war, pandemic and climate change; for the terrorism in Afghanistan and for those left behind. We give thanks that it is not us in that place. We pray for those affected by Covid and give thanks it is not us who are suffering; for the changes to our climate and give thanks we are not too badly affected here. Instead, we give thanks that we are chosen to pray for these matters and not to experience them. Lord, we ae earnest in prayer, make us earnest in action to help the world recover. Bring your Peace to all who are suffering today. Lord in your Mercy; Hear our prayer. Closing Prayers May the strength of God sustain me; may the power of God preserve me; may the hands of God protect me; may the way of God direct me; may the love of God go with me this day (night) and forever. The Lord bless me and keep me, and all I love; the Lord make His face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. Through everything I experience this coming week, with all its ups and downs and emotions, … help me to hold fast to the joy and hope your resurrection brings. Amen. ____________________________________________ Postlude “Don’t shut me down !” (with lyrics) ABBA One of two ‘singles’ tracks released from their new album (due out Nov. 5th) prior to their UK tour in 2022
St. Leonard
© Clent PCC
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