8th November 2020
Weekly notices & Church at Home
(Scroll down for this week's service)
Natalia Goncharova, Angels and Airplanes (from Mystical Images of War: Fourteen Lithographs), 1914
Lithograph on paper, MoMA, New York
During times of lockdown we cannot meet together in person. But you can watch the service live on Facebook!
And follow the service booklet here >
در هنگام خطبه روز یکشنبه هدفون های خود را بگذارید و به این ترجمه گوش دهید.
یا در خانه گوش دهید.
You can now submit prayer requests online. This can be done anonymously or by name and the clergy and congregation will pray for you each week.
New videos for worship with children are uploaded every week by the Diocese of Newcastle.
Your donations ensure our work keeps going and our buildings stay open.
A message to Benwell and Scotswood
The second lockdown has begun. This is really hard, but we are immensely proud of everyone who lives, works, studies and visits here. We know how much you are already doing to help others and stay connected.
To everyone in Benwell and Scotswood, we don't want a single one of you to feel forgotten. We are praying for you and we know we will get through this if we help each other.
St James' is open for private prayer every Wednesday 10am - 1pm.
Join us for worship online with a new service uploaded every Sunday.
Keep checking here and social media for prayer resources.
We will also livestream a service every Sunday morning along with our pre-recorded podcast.
Church of England prayer for the nation - 6pm every day
Find all the info here >
The Church of England has called on us all to unite as a nation in prayer every day at 6pm using the following prayer topics:
Sunday - family, friends, and loved ones.
Monday - Schools, colleges, kids and young people.
Tuesday - The elderly, the isolated, and vulnerable.
Wednesday - Businesses, workplaces, and the economic well being of all
Thursday - NHS and other key workers.
Friday - national and local government.
Saturday - the grieving, suffering and unwell.
Cornerstone - takeaway cafe and hot food deliveries
Our friends at Cornerstone Benwell on Wednesdays and Thursdays are offering:
Take-away service for beverages and sandwiches.
Hot meal home delivery service from 11.30am. Main course £3.00 and/or dessert £1.00.
Phone Cornerstone before 10am on those days and Amy will take your order.
Armstrong road, NE4 7TU
Reflection by The Revd Chris Minchin
Service led by The Revd David Kirkwood
or listen and read along here:
The service starts with some quiet music; please use this to clear your mind and acknowledge the presence of God.
Chanson Triste by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let us confess to God the sins and shortcomings of the world: its pride, its selfishness, its greed; its evil divisions and hatreds. Let us confess our share in what is wrong,
and our failure to seek and to establish that peace which God wills for all his children.
after a Short silence,
Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned, in thought in word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart; We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. Lord have mercy, forgive what we have been, Help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.
God, our refuge and strength, bring near the day when wars shall cease and poverty and pain shall end, that earth may know the peace of heaven
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4.13–18)
This is the word of the Lord
(Thanks be to God).
I am the light of the world, says the Lord.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.
Hear the Gospel of our lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
(Glory to you O Lord)
‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
This is the gospel of the Lord.
(Praise to you, O Christ)
by The Revd Chris Minchin
Today is a hard day to preach. There are at least two major topics that I have to address –Remembrance Sunday, and of course, the first Sunday of lockdown, version 2.0. That is even before discussing elections and the devastating terror attacks in France and Vienna. And in amongst this overwhelming maelstrom of big events, come 10 bridesmaids wandering into our midst with their lamps lit, waiting for a groom who is running late. 5 wise bridesmaids and 5 foolish. Our Gospel passage is a strange one. We are obviously meant to try and follow the example of the wise ones, but I am not so sure. They are prepared and organised, they are well supplied with oil to keep their lamps burning through the night. But presumably they also rushed down to Asda on Wednesday night and stocked up on loo roll and hand sanitiser. Neither am I so sure I like their attitude – so unprepared to help out others and share what they have.
Obviously, this story is an allegory, and it is not a perfect one – where even is the bride? Can you imagine 10 bridesmaids being happy about being left waiting until midnight without even so much as a glass of prosecco? So what could Jesus possibly be trying to say to us here with this story?
Well, Jesus is on the mount of olives, having almost reached the time of the Passover and his crucifixion. He is in private with his disciples, he’s not addressing the crowds, and he seems to be in a dark mood, he describes the end of the world, wars and rumours of wars, the earth shaking and stars falling from the sky, he describes times of great suffering and persecution to come. This is not the nice fluffy Jesus we like- the Jesus of the beatitudes and ‘love your neighbour’- but the one who recognises the depth and extent of suffering that humanity will have to endure.
It is dark, but I actually feel much more akin to this Jesus at the moment. Ordinarily I am a natural optimist, but it’s pretty hard to ignore the enormity and relentlessness of world events at the moment. I don’t want to pretend everything is ok when it isn’t. But I suppose that’s the point Jesus wants to make – things are not ok, but what are you going to do about it? His challenge is: will you keep the light of Christ burning even in times of darkness? Will you work hard to make sure that light keeps burning even if you do not know when Jesus will return?
Please do not take this story as license to be selfish, to hoard and preserve your resources, the message is not suggesting you look after yourself first. All the bridesmaids hold the light of Christ burning bright as a symbol of Christ in the times of darkness. They represent us Christians, Jesus is talking to the disciples, to all of us who are prepared to declare the hope that Jesus will return, that we are not abandoned, God will come and welcome us to the party.
The light is a symbol of God’s coming kingdom and our job is to not let it go out. We have already learnt from Jesus what the kingdom will look like - it is to be a topsy-turvy, upside down kingdom, the greatest leaders are the greatest servants, the last will be first and the first shall be last, death will lead to resurrection, we declare our love for God by acting with the utmost love for the weakest and poorest. To ignore stop sharing the love of Christ, to stop caring for the weak and vulnerable, is to let your light go out. Love, love at all costs is both the fuel and the flame of our faith.
That is the challenge, will you work hard to hold your light high? Will you keep the light burning? Will you keep that light shining in the darkness no matter how hard it gets? Will you connect to your local groups during this lockdown? Will you do shopping for others? Will you help asylum seekers stay connected and cared for? Will you follow social distancing to show the love of God to society? Will you call someone? Will you pray for them?
On this Remembrance Sunday, let us think of the light and life that has been granted to us by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us. The ‘Kohima epitaph’, which we sometimes use on Remembrance Sunday, says “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today”. It is the generosity of their sacrifice that we remember today, not victory or defeat, they died because they believed humanity was worth dying for. Had we been on the losing side in the world wars, should we not still remember those who died? We should honour them and strive for peace in this world so no more may needlessly die. We should honour them and hold high the light of love as a symbol of our enduring hope that Jesus will return.
“For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever.” (1 Thessalonians 4.16-17).
Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.
As we begin a new period of lockdown we pray for
Those facing uncertain futures and loss of work or income.
Victims of bullying and domestic violence
The health service.
Refugees and asylum seekers.
Reversal of environmental damage caused by humanity.
We pray for The Sick & Suffering
All who have asked for our prayers
The Riches family
Linda, Stuart, and their son David
All affected by Covid19
We pray for the dying and those who have died and those who love them we remember especially
All victims of Covid 19.
Those we have known and loved and whose examples we cherish.
On this Remembrance Sunday
Let us pray especially for the peace of the world:
for statesmen and rulers, that they may have wisdom to know what is right, and courage to do it.
for the United States of America and for all concerned in the Presidential election.
For the work of the United Nations and all who work to improve international relationships, that they may find the ways to reconcile differences and heal divisions,
for men and women the world over, that they may have justice and freedom, and may live in security and peace..
Let us pray for all that suffer as a result of war:
for the injured and the disabled, for the mentally ill,
for those whose faith in God and man has been weakened or destroyed...
for the homeless and refugees, those who are hungry, and all who have lost their livelihood and security...
for those who have been bereaved;
all who have lost a husband or wife, children or parents...
Act of Commitment
Let us pledge ourselves afresh to the service of God, and of our fellow men and women....- that we may help, encourage, and comfort others, and support those working for the relief of those in need and for peace and justice.
Lord God our Father, we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind in the cause of peace; for the relief of want and suffering, and for the praise of your holy name. Guide us by your Spirit; Give us wisdom, give us courage, give us hope and give us peace; and keep-us faithful, now and always. Amen.
Act of Remembrance
Let us remember before God, and commend to his sure keeping,
those who have died in war especially those from this parish including all those named on our memorials .
those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure.
and all who have lived and died in the service of mankind.
The Last Post is sounded
Two minutes silence is kept.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
Almighty and eternal God, from whose Christ we cannot be parted, either by death or life: hear our prayers and thanksgivings for those whom we remember this day. Fulfil in them the good purposes of your love, bring us, with them, to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Listen to the music:
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me 'til I want no more
Feed me 'til I want no more
Open Thou the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my strength and shield,
Be Thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee, I will ever give to Thee
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
And the love of God
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Be with us all, evermore. Amen
Little Prelude by J.S. Bach.