2021 February 28 - Pew News


Sunday 28 February 2021

At 09:30 we worship virtually in a Service of Morning Prayer.
Regrettably, it has been necessary to cancel the evening’s Service.

Hymn tunes to be played in the 09:30 service are the following. As you are probably familiar by now, those of you ‘present’ at our Zoomed services are invited to sing along with them if you wish but, to do so, taking care to ‘mute’ your device’s microphone so you aren’t heard in every house.

The presiding minister at our 09:30 Service is Martin Brown, with the assistance of John Millard.

The Bible readings in our morning service are Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16 and Mark 8: 31-38.
Our prayers are devised and led by Robina Richter. The preacher is Martin Brown. Our music has been played and recorded by Stewart Taylor (with some choral contributions from our choir).

Worship for the week ahead

Monday to Friday 08:30 Morning Prayer (or Communion on Thursday).
Please contact the Rector or Marjorie Kipling if wanting a Zoom invitation

7 March 2021
09:30   Parish Communion (‘Zoom Service’). Third Sunday in Lent.
18:00   Evening Prayer (BCP) on-line.


A Special Prayer for the Second Sunday in Lent
(for you to pray at home)

Almighty God,
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


For our prayers - contact the Rector or Wardens to add names to the weekly services.

For our continued pursuit of the season of Lent.

For schools faced with a full or partial return of students.

For those who feel especially isolated; and for the presence of mind to keep those we know in touch by various means.

For the combatting of covid-19 in poorer countries: remembering southern and east Africa. Those in special need at present: including Janet Joyner; Alison; Mike and Pip Fordham.
For the families of those who have died recently, including those of Laurence White; Kim Fordham; Ted Bucknall and Caroline Manners.
And for those who like their prayers ‘visual’, here is an invitation to prayer with a local flavour:

This week prayer and give thanks for the Deanery Prayer Gathering, which takes place twice a month, on the first Thursday and third Saturday. A group in the Deanery will pray for each church in rotation around the parishes. This week join in on Thursday 4 March 2021 at 12 noon – via Zoom – when East Dean is the focus of prayers. (Zoom address in the electronic pew sheet emailed to parishioners).

The Rector writes

Prayer: hard to quantify, hard to pin down, hard to limit; hard to constrain its worth

During the course of this past week, I distributed the following sonnet (intended for use during yesterday’s Quiet Day). 27th February is the annual day on which the Church remembers the author of this poem, the Anglican priest George Herbert (1593-1633).

Prayer the Church's banquet, Angels’ age, God's breath in man returning to his birth, The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth;

Engine against th' Almightie, sinner's towre, Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear, The six-daies world transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse, Exalted manna, gladnesse of the best,
Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest, The milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bels beyond the starres heard, the soul's bloud, The land of spices; something understood.

Forgiving the 17th century spelling - which you might equally argue adds a little feel and nuance to the words - but what a widespread and evocative treating of ‘Prayer’. This work is a sonnet of metaphors: a piling together which refrains entirely from defining what prayer is. Instead it illustrates, illumines and invites us to travel from one realm to another; and within the panoply of the experiences of heart here-mentioned.

Favourites among these? Well, pick your own.
‘Churches’ banquet’ perhaps affords links with the Eucharist, and with the wider ‘banquet’ of heaven; ‘Angels’ age’ expresses the eternity of this endeavour, and its heavenly reference; ‘God’s breath in man returning to his birth’ relates prayer to the Creation narratives (beautifully, to my mind); and, perhaps my favourite, ‘the soul in paraphrase’ - wonderful! - but the rich fare does not run out with the first course of the opening stanza.

Some of the metaphors require a little - expert - opening up. Others are simply ticklish, joyful, exploratory: ‘man well drest’ .. for by praying we become the better version of ourselves and prepared for celebration (Mark Oakley). ‘Land of spices’ may draw us to Eden, or perhaps to Galilee.

And the final words ‘something understood’ is, for me, both helpful and humble; a fitting endcap to what is not a summary, so much as a paddling. Those two words: restrained in how much is said, not arrogant, or claiming too much; and yet, with claims to touch reality: the deep reality of God.

I commend this poem, and its composer, to us all in the murmurings and meanderings of Lent.

Andrew Doye

Lent in the Parish

Do be a part of the following, according to appetite.

Group Activities

A. Thursdays, 10:00 by Zoom - Book study

The Rector is leading an 8-week engagement with the recent publication ‘Walk Humbly’, written by Samuel Wells of St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square.

Dates: 18, 25 Feb; 4, 11, 18, 25 March; 1 April (Maundy Thurs); and 8 April 2021 (Easter Week).

The book is billed as ‘Encouragements for Living, Working and Being’, and considers with us our place in the world. Barbara Brown Taylor writes in the credits: ‘whether you are new to Sam Wells or have trusted him for a long time, this small book will give you reason to think differently about your place in the universe. His counsel to walk humbly includes the neighbours next door as well as the galaxies overhead, giving Christians every reason to live large by remembering our true size’.

Still time for new joiners. Please contact the Rector. This coming week, chapter 3 ‘Be your own size’.

B. Online Course

Sadly, it has proved necessary to CANCEL the online course (B) planned for Tuesday mornings.

C. Mondays, 20:00 by Zoom - Lent Course from VCS (Visual Commentary on Scripture)

This is co-ordinated by Karen Doye and Robina Richter, we use visual stimuli from the world of art to encourage and direct our Lenten devotions.

Dates: 22 Feb; 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 March 2021. Six sessions. Week 2 of the course will be this coming week.

D. Wednesdays, 19:00 by Zoom: Talking Heads. Evenings of shared conversation

This week, Wednesday 3 March 2021, you have been invited to register for on-line tickets for the Archbishop of York’s conversation with journalist Adrian Chiles. The discussion presents the Archbishop’s new book, Dear England: Finding Hope, Taking Heart and Changing the World: a letter to his home country, initially he says a response to a question from a barista at Paddington Station, ‘Why did you become a priest’?

There are 650 tickets (which are free) have been available at the following Church of England bookshop. Tickets were still available when this pew sheet was published.

On 10 and 17 March 2021, our advertised discussions are each between the Rector and an invited local guest. Lasting 60 minutes each, with encouragement for attenders to contribute their own thoughts. The personal reflections will touch on Lent and bible passages for the season, but will range more widely too. These do NOT need pre-booking, but it is helpful to know the numbers who may be wanting to attend.
10 March 2021, David Olliff - teacher, poet, writer in spirituality, student of Matthew’s Gospel (from an unusual viewpoint!).
17 March 2021, Steve Williams - deputy headteacher, Bishop Luffa School: an enthusiast, a force for life, with experience of the mindset of younger people and the way a Christian community has responded to the challenges of covid-19 in daring and imaginative ways.

It is not necessary that you should be able to attend the entire sequence of meetings for you to sign-up to any of our Lent events.

Quiet Day

Apologies that this event had to be cancelled at short notice this last week.

Coming in Holy Week

Evening worship, night prayer with reflections, Monday to Wednesday; and Eucharist with music for Maundy Thursday (not joking .. though it is April 1st).

Other Acts of worship within the parish

Other recurring acts of shared worship through Zoom include Morning Prayer at 08:30, Mondays to Fridays - why not give this broadcast service a chance during this special season. Register your interest with the Rector or Marjorie Kipling, and we will gladly include you.

Our tolling of bells during February 2021 comes to an end on the evening of the 28th. The following prayer is printed for a final time but may serve as a continuing resource.

A prayer with the nation

Gracious God,
as we remember before you the thousands who have died, surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.

External opportunities for Lenten devotions

Sign-up for the Church of England’s Daily materials, delivered straight to your in-box? Go to the central Church of England site and look for ‘LiveLent’.

The Chantry Quire are going to be performing a Meditation for Passiontide online on Tuesday 30 March 2021 at 18:00. It’s free to view.

British Pilgrimage Trust challenges us presently to turn our daily lockdown walk into a micro-pilgrimage. Details of the micro-pilgrimage.
Briefly, you are advised to do three things: 1) choose a destination (somewhere holy) - maybe one of our two churches in the parish; or a place that you appreciate and revere out in the open air. 2) choose a purpose or task: something which you’d like to achieve or answer in your heart.
3) do the walk: and in doing it, be ‘present’ to all that you encounter. We would be fascinated to have feedback from any who pursue this and find it of profit.

Online Compline
The Royal School of Church Music is broadcasting services of Compline from 24 February 2021 at 20:00 to enrich our Lent. 
Lenten Complines: Join Us to Sing focuses on the beautiful, ancient office of Compline in a live act of worship. There will be suffiicient information on the screen for you to be able to join in the basic singing with the cantor. Each service through Lent will include a hymn and a choral piece, in a variety of styles.

Church closures

Reminder of Present Closure of churches from 14 January 2021 the Parish Church is closed presently, both to daytime visitors and for gathered services. This situation remains under review, and we will be looking to ease our lockdown when this appears appropriate.

If there are causes or people that you wish to bring to the attention of the Church and its praying community, please contact Rector or Churchwardens, whose details are available on the Church Directory page.

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