Updated: Dec 24, 2020
We are still family even while we are apart, so while we are unable to gather because of the ongoing health crisis, I will be sharing material on the blog each Sunday morning, and posting notes to those unable to access the internet. Of course you are free to use this material at any time, but my hope is that as many of us as possible will be reading these words during our usual service time - Sunday at 10:30 if you're new or need a reminder! - gathering in time if not in space.
Today is our minister's last service before maternity leave. If we had been gathering in person, we would have marked the occasion with a cafe church style service, so settling down with a second breakfast is positively encouraged!
Call to worship
Our first prayers this morning are led by Eddie and Fiona. Eddie has (with some assistance!) created an ABC of thanks, and Fiona offers the Caim (or Circling) Prayer which comes from the Celtic tradition.
And now I invite you to pray the Lord's Prayer, along with members of SBC. Thanks again to Liz, Steve, Mark, Elisabeth and Clare for lending their voices.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory
forever and ever.
Song: Now the Green Blade Riseth
This one was chosen by Sue, who described it as very optimistic and comforting. This version was recorded by Steve Winwood just last month, and shared on his Facebook page.
Creativity in lockdown
As part of this morning's service, I wanted to share some things that have been bringing comfort and hope in this season. A number of us have been keeping busy and finding joy by exercising our creative muscles, so here for your enjoyment is a little gallery of some of our projects.
Song: Amazing Grace
A song which offers great comfort, beautifully recorded for us by Clare.
This was chosen and recorded by Marion M, who said that of all the poems she has read since childhood, this is the one she keeps returning to. It was written around 1895 by Rudyard Kipling, and while it takes the form of advice given from a father to his son, it still resonates for many.
If we are going to keep our heads in this time of pandemic, we may need a little help. Elisabeth offers this prayer, known as St Patrick's Breastplate or the Christ Canticle.
Reading and reflection
You can also find a written copy of the reading and reflection here.
Song: One Day
This was originally written for the Greenbelt Festival communion in 2016, and is recorded here by the National Methodist Choir of Great Britain, with additional verses for Easter 2020. It's a slightly serious and slightly tongue in cheek vision of the future - or a picture of resurrection life, to return to our theme of past weeks - with a chorus heavily featuring kazoos. I was lucky enough to be there the first time it was performed, holding my own little child, and I thought it was rather wonderful. I hope you enjoy it too.
And that brings us to the end of our service. Thank you to everyone for your contributions. This has been a very enjoyable final service to curate.
Now close this time of worship by again holding in your mind those you love and would be worshipping alongside, and use the words of the grace: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit remain with us all evermore. Amen.
And as I prepare to say a farewell of sorts, we will be played out with Beethhoven's The Adieu, recorded by Fiona Hossack.