Here below we have an outline of our service for you to follow at home if you can’t be with us. Choose a quiet reflective space and to make it more meaningful have a cross, bible and candle to make your sacred space.
Good morning everyone and hope this finds you well, we now seem to have signs of summer coming along and let us hope the sun shines on us for the Team Christian Aid walk on July 10th. Don’t forget tomorrow is the last day we can register so that we have the insurance cover. Of course, you don’t need to register to donate or help with refreshments but we do need you to support your Parish church to make it a great event, who knows we could make it an annual event if it goes well.
Today is Trinity Sunday, I remember trying to teach year 8 about the Trinity and comparing it to a cloverleaf or water, three forms but one thing. Some seemed a bit confused but we then did some lovely artwork to explain it, which was displayed, in my classroom for some time.
The reflection today is by Rev Carol and the Intercessions by Joyce Armstrong my fellow church warden, many thanks to you both.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
We meet in the name of God
God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, God is one
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
St. Paul says “be imitators of God; love as Christ loved; do not grieve the Holy Spirit; put away all anger and bitterness, all slander and malice”. So let us confess our sins to God who forgives us in Christ.
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbour as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father. We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ only son of the Father Lord God Lamb of God , you take away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father : receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One , you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: We beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
THE OLD TESTAMENT READING – ISAIAH 6, 1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”
This is the word of the Lord – Thanks be to God
THE GOSPEL – JOHN 3, 1-17
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John .Glory to you, O Lord
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Lord
Manchester Diocese is at an exciting phase of being Church for a different world. Whatever the outcome we as a team and as individual parishes are going to face some kind of change, change to what we are doing now …of that we can be certain.
Making significant change is usually both exciting and frightening. Depending on who you are and depending on the nature of the change being faced, the balance between excitement and fear can tip one way or the other. Stepping into the unknown is what faith is all about.
The Bible is full of stories about people who had the courage to step out in faith. Jesus, in his discussion with Nicodemus, which we read in the gospel reading, talks about this kind of faith too, and he especially relates it to the idea of making a new start.
The teachings of Jesus can be difficult. The commitments that we make, before God and each other – are often, quite difficult to keep. But are they too difficult? So difficult that we are tempted to say, with some of those who had been following Jesus during his earthly ministry, “No. I cannot do this anymore. I’m not going to follow him anymore.”
Or maybe more likely, do we want to just “halfheartedly follow” that is, when it suits us, when it does not interfere with all the other things I want to do. We are told to watch what our heavenly father is doing and then to do the same however there is always a choice. Jesus always gives us that choice.
It is difficult to follow Jesus. I do not think it is that difficult tostartfollowing him. But I do think it is often difficult to keepfollowing him. Because he has a habit to keep going. He tends to say, “Now that you’ve done that, I’d like to teach you something else.” He tends to say, “Can you keep praying when it seems to get more difficult, you are not sure what to say? Can you keep telling others about me, years from now, when you aren’t quite “on fire” for me in the same way that you were when you first became a Christian?”
When set off on the Christian path we must remember that we are not alone but that the journey with Jesus may take us out of our comfort zones it may rock the boat, Jesus may ask us to step out of the boat.
In our Gospel Jesus uses the metaphor of new birth, being born again. The kind of change that God calls us to is so profound, that it is as though we emerged into life all over again, as new, and helpless as babies. Jesus compares this encounter with the unknown to the wind. “The wind blows where it chooses,” he says, “and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” When the wind of change offers you the chance of a new beginning, a new birth, you can cling to the old familiar and maybe a little control, or you can let go and allow yourself to be carried off into the complete unknown of the new beginning. But you cannot have it both ways. The unknown lies enticingly before us, but it is very unknowingness’ also makes it terrifying.
I must be honest I am a little bit anxious if that is the right word, about what is developing across the Diocese …because it is unknown it is new territory …it is out of my comfort zone. We all face being called out of our comfort zones at some point. God is always calling us each of us by name. That call always contains both a promise, and a challenge – to let go of something and step into a new unknown.
The promise of the gospel is that, when Jesus calls us to follow him in letting go and letting the wind of the Spirit blow us where it will, there is nothing so terrifying that God cannot bring us through it. We might not know where the Spirit will blow, but God does.
Yes, the unknown lies ahead but let us not forget Jesus is with us every step of the way. Just let go and let God!
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe and trust in his Son, Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again ; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme.
Sovereign God, all loving, all gracious, all powerful, you deserve our praise, Mighty God, ever faithful, ever near, ever active, you deserve our worship, Eternal God, all goodness, all mercy, all truth, you deserve our thanks, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, hear our prayer.
Lord, we ask for your blessing on all who teach and minister in your name: for our Bishops David and Mark, and especially for our own clergy in the Turton Moorland Team. We pray for those called to speak God’s values whatever the danger and regardless of popularity.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayers
Lord, we pray for all the areas of our world, which are torn apart by hatred and violence, famine, disease or religious differences; we pray for an end to conflict and a deeper commitment to peace. We pray especially for the countries that are still struggling to gain control of Covid 19.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayers
Lord, we thank you for the joy of family and friends, for all with whom we share our daily life and those we love but seldom see. Fill our homes and neighbourhoods with the generosity and trust that allows space but is always ready to encourage and support. Give us grace to respect one another and ourselves in the way we talk and think, and in the way, we behave.
Lord in yourmercy, Hear our prayers
Lord, we bring to you in prayer all who are suffering. In simple trust, we commit them to your care, bring them healing and wholeness, in the sleepless nights and endless days of pain, give them the grace to persevere with patience, and turn these dark times into places of spiritual growth.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayers.
Lord, we place into your loving keeping those who have died. We remember those whose anniversaries fall at this time: David Crompton Lloynd, Janet Christine Fealy Harrison, Jeffrey Mills, Miriam Foster, Albert (Bert) Wood. We thank you for them and their gifts to the world. And we hold in your presence Lord, all those who mourn. Strengthen and sustain them and grant them the comfort of your presence.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayers
Accept now our worship, for all its weakness, our discipleship, for all its frailty, and our service for all its limitations. Speak to us this day that we may experience more of your love, reflect more of your goodness, and live with more of your power, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And to you, the one God, be glory, praise and honour, today, tomorrow and for evermore. Amen
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; bless us and keep us.
The Holy Trinity in whose name we were baptised, preserve us, members of Christ, children of God, inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, saved by the waters, and filled with the Spirit.
Glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.