18th October 2020
Weekly notices & Church at Home
(Scroll down for this week's service)
Symbol of Saint Luke the Evangelist in Santa Prassede, Rome; Mosaic, 4th Century
Sunday, 10.30am at St James'
We meet for Holy Communion as the Benwell & Scotswood Team. Let us know you're coming if you can!
Can't get to church? Watch the service live on Facebook! You can also read or print 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.
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Thank you for your Harvest donations!
A massive thank you to everyone who donated food for the Harvest thanksgiving. If you were not able to donate food physically, why not make a donation online to the West End Foodbank? Donate here >
Have your say!
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Sunday Service moving to the Venerable Bede from 25th October
We continue to hold one single team service every Sunday at 10.30am. The service has been held at St James but from Sunday 25th October will move to the Venerable Bede (St James’ heating being somewhat unreliable...)
Venerable Bede, West Road, NE4 8AP
Please keep your mask on as you leave the building on Sunday until you are out of the gates.
Sanitise your hands when you enter and leave.
Wear a mask while in church whether you are sitting or moving around.
Stay 2m apart.
Stay at home if you feel unwell (contact us if you need anything)
Reflection by The Revd Dominic Coad
Service led by The Revd Chris Minchin
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.
Toccatina op 27 by Dmitri Kabalevsky.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We run the race set before us,
surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
Therefore let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which clings so closely,
bringing them to Jesus in penitence and faith.
You were sent to preach the good news of light
in the darkness of the world:
Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)
You were sent to plant in our hearts the seed of eternal life:
Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy.)
You were sent to reconcile us to yourself
by the shedding of your blood:
Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)
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.
you called Luke the physician,
whose praise is in the gospel,
to be an evangelist and physician of the soul:
by the grace of the Spirit
and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel,
give your Church the same love and power to heal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
This is the word of the Lord
(Thanks be to God)
I do not call you servants but friends,
because I have made known to you
everything that I have heard from my Father.
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
(Glory to you O Lord.)
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
This is the gospel of the Lord.
(Praise to you, O Christ)
by The Revd Dominic Coad
Today, 18th October, is the feast of St Luke. Saints days are marked on particular dates which means they only fall on Sundays occasionally. There could hardly be a more appropriate year for St Luke to fall on a Sunday and for us to have the chance to think about him because Luke was, as you may know, a doctor and is the patron saint of physicians.
I don’t know about you but as I watch rates of Covid-19 increase once more, my thoughts turn back to hospitals and the rise in admissions they are now dealing with. Doctors however, and nurses, and porters and all hospital staff, have not had the respite of a summer in which thoughts of Covid-19 could recede to the back of their minds. They have lived with it all along, with their increased risk of catching it, with the patients in their hospital beds, some of whom have been there since the peak of the virus in early April.
I’m sure many of you joined in the clap for carers that took place during the previous height of the pandemic and, whilst that weekly event was only for a season, that spirit of gratitude should remain with us all and will only become more important as we head into a second wave of Covid-19. If you are a healthcare worker hearing this then please know, on behalf of all of us in the Benwell and Scotswood Team, that we deeply appreciate you and your work.
So this Saint Luke’s day let’s give thanks for doctors and all health care workers. We give thanks for their dedication, their hours upon hours of hard work. We give thanks for the kindness and grace with which they undertake their work. We give thanks for the personal sacrifices they have made, risking their own health and wellbeing not just by exposure to the virus but by all the many pressures their work entails. And, of course, we give thanks for the health workers who accompanied patients all the way to the end, giving comfort and pain relief as they died.
There is no doubt that 2020 will leave a lasting mark on doctors and healthcare workers who, accustomed to seeing death though they maybe, have lost many more patients than is usual. Moreover, those patients have passed without their loved ones by their side, kept in quarantine as they were because of the disease. Doctors and nurses will know more acutely than most of us, that for all the thousands of people have died of Covid this year, there have been many thousands more who have waited anxiously for news, perhaps praying that they would pull through.
Most of us have, at one time or another, worried about the health of a loved one and prayed for their recovery. In this morning’s gospel, Jesus sends his disciples out to spread the gospel. On entering each village, he tells them they are to ‘heal the sick who are there’. There seems to be no question that the disciples will be able to perform healing miracles yet I think we all know from experience that our prayers aren’t always answered and people aren’t always miraculously healed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought much pain, suffering and death to the whole world this year. In circumstances such as these it’s really important that we in the church are honest about how difficult this is. Many people at the moment will be asking why God would allow such suffering. The truth is that we just don’t know, all this suffering and death just doesn’t make sense.
When faced with senseless suffering, we can sometimes feel that it threatens to undermine our faith in God; feel that we need to somehow explain it away so that God’s love and power aren’t undermined. But this is not the example set for us in the Bible; it is not the example set by Job who railed against God for afflicting him, or from the Psalmist who asks ‘How long O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?’ (Psalm 13), or from Jesus himself who on the cross calls out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’.
These are the cries of people who know that suffering doesn’t make sense. We know that God is a God of love and, in his world, suffering should not exist, and yet it does. As we wrestle with that reality, we seek respond in faith to the challenge of the world we live in and accept that there is no neat answer to the question of suffering.
But accepting that there is no neat answer does not mean accepting suffering itself. I have said that Jesus tells his disciples to cure the sick. A closer look shows us that he told them to heal the sick and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near to you.’ This is how Jesus characteristically speaks of the Kingdom, as something which is coming, is near but yet is still to come; it is now and not yet.
We live in that difficult now and not yet, the Kingdom of God is here because it has come in Jesus Christ but it is not yet because we still await God’s final victory. In this difficult world, a world that is still waiting, we still live with the reality of suffering. Suffering caused not just by disease but by poverty that leads to disease and prevents its proper treatment; by injustice, inequality and exploitation; by violence and oppression.
For his part, the doctor Saint Luke knew how devastating illness could be, especially when people don’t have the resources to get treatment; especially if their lives are already blighted by poverty. That’s why Luke’s gospel is full of concern for people experiencing poverty and oppression. It is in Luke’s gospel that we get the Magnificat, Mary’s beautiful song of praise, in which she worships God who ‘has bought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.’ In Luke’s gospel we get that great anti-racist parable, the good Samaritan. In Luke’s gospel the resurrection is first witnessed by women, even though women’s testimony was not respected by their culture.
Evidently, Luke knew that we live in the now and not yet. A time of healing and yet also a time of disease. As the whole world continues on its journey through the pandemic, we take this Saint Luke’s day as a chance to give thanks for healthcare workers. But we should also take it as a chance to remind ourselves that sickness and death are not part of God’s plan for the world, however terrible their reality might be.
Luke’s gospel envisions a world in which the coming kingdom of God has driven away all poverty, injustice and inequality. Let’s commit ourselves to that vision also, working together for that day when God’s kingdom truly does come and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth. That day may seem even further away than ever, as we continue to struggle with this terrible virus and it’s awful consequences but we know that God loves us and that in Jesus Christ he came to change things for us; today, tomorrow and in the time to come. So we learn to live in the now and the not yet, knowing that one day all will be well.
Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.
We pray for all who are poor
Those facing uncertain futures and loss of work or income.
Victims of bullying and domestic violence
The NHS and care workers.
For artists and all creatives.
Refugees and asylum seekers.
Reversal of environmental damage caused by humanity.
Archbishops Justin and Stephen, and our Bishop Christine.
All still unable to attend church and feel cut off from the fellowship and sacramental life of the church.
All who have a pastoral ministry.
For our parish as we seek to proclaim good news to all.
The Sick & Suffering
All who have asked for our prayers
The Riches family
Linda, Stuart, and their son David
All affected by Covid19
All victims of Covid 19.
Those we have known and loved and whose examples we cherish.
O Lord our God, accept the fervent prayers of your people;
in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help;
for you are gracious, O lover of souls,
and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:
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 here:
Saint Luke, beloved physician, with honour now recall, who served his Master's mission, who ministered to Paul; whose skill to distant ages bequeathed a gift unpriced, a gospel in whose pages we see the face of Christ. He tells for us the stories of Jesus here on earth, the unsung pains and glories that marked the church's birth; the Spirit's power in preaching, the contrite sinner freed, the grace and mercy reaching our deepest human need. For all who work our healing we lift our hearts in prayer, the love of God revealing in science, skill and care: his gifts be still imparted to those who make us whole, like Luke the tender-hearted, physician of the soul.
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
On the Playground by Nikolai Rakov.