Coronavirus

Weekly Meditations

Ruth is leading weekly meditations on Thursday evenings at 6.00 pm.  You can join her by going to Facebook. (If you go to the bottom of the St John's Community Team page in this website, there is a link to the appropriate Facebook page.  Then click on "videos" on the left hand side of the page)

Beverly's funeral

The order of service is here.  If it does not open immediately, click on the save button and the document will be downloaded for you to open.

Due to the situation we find ourselves in, we are unable to attend and, following Beverly’s views of ‘no fuss’, there will be no memorial service but you may like to visit the ‘forever missed’ memorial website https://www.forevermissed.com/beverly-richardson .

 

Additionally,  a ‘Just Giving ‘ page has been opened for any donations you might like to give to East Anglian Air Ambulance, for which Beverly had such high regard and supported vigorously following her accident. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/beverlyrichardson

 Worship Sheet for Sunday May 10th 


Bury St Edmunds Circuit.

 

Worship Sheet for

The Fifth Sunday of Easter 2020

 

Today we celebrate with Glemsford as they mark their Church Anniversary and with Northumberland Avenue as they celebrate their Women’s Fellowship Anniversary.

This Sunday also marks the start of Christian Aid Week and so much of the service today will reflect on the work of Christian Aid.

 

 

GATHERING

 

Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed, alleluia!

 

 

God of all the Earth,

be present with us now,

in each of our homes,

as we connect together.

Build us into a spiritual house,

a holy priesthood,

offering spiritual sacrifices

acceptable to you

through Jesus Christ,

our risen redeemer and healer.

Amen.

 

It may seem a little strange to use this hymn when we are not together in the church, as we usually think of our buildings as God’s ‘house’.  However in Christian Aid Week we are reminded that the whole earth is the LORD’s and we are called to welcome and receive all in his name.  Even in lockdown we can pray and seek to make the world a fairer and kinder place where all are truly welcome.

 

HYMN: StF 409 Let us build a house where love can dwell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKJgcv8SdnQ

 

Let us build a house where love can dwell
and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell
how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions.
All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where prophets speak,
and words are strong and true,
where all God’s children dare to seek
to dream God’s reign anew.
Here the cross shall stand as witness
and as symbol of God’s grace;
here as one we claim the faith of Jesus.
All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.

 

Let us build a house where all are named,
their songs and visions heard
and loved and treasured, taught and claimed
as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter,
prayers of faith and songs of grace,
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter.
All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.

 

Marty Haugen, b. 1950

 

PRAYERS

 

Today in our worship we are thinking about hands.  As we come to God in prayer we lift up our hands as we say:

Lord our God we praise you that you are our Father and that you hold us in your hands.  We praise you for the gift of your Son, Jesus and for his healing hands.  We praise you for the gift of your Spirit, empowering us to reach out in your name.  Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we give you praise today.

 

As we come to our prayer of confession, we think about washing our hands.  Hand washing in scripture is often a symbol for cleansing and forgiveness and you may wish to wash your hands as you say this prayer:

 

As we turn on the tap we turn our hearts towards you, O God.

 

As we wet our hands renew our thoughts, so we might be transformed.

 

As we lather soap between fingers and over all our hands, purge from us all that brings us harm and might harm others.

 

Remove the invisible guilt and shame that so often keeps us from you.

 

As we rinse our hands, we trust in your overflowing grace, making all things new.  Amen.

 

We hold out our hands, palms up as we say thank you to God for the good things in our lives:

 

Lord God, we thank you for the beauty of this day, for the wonder of your created world, for the peace and joy of your presence and for the wonder of your love.  Amen.

 

PSALM 31: 1-5

 

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
 Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

 

HYMN: StF 20 Be Still for the presence of the Lord

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5S_-zhHfDA

 

Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the holy One, is here
Come bow before him now with reverence and fear
In him no sin is found we stand on holy ground
Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the holy One, is here
 
Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around
He burns with holy fire, with splendour he is crowned
How awesome is the sight our radiant king of light
Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around
 
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace 
No work too hard for Him, in faith receive from him
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.
 
David J Evans

 

 

GOSPEL: John 14: 1-14

 

 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

REFLECTION

“Do not let your hearts be troubled” – In this passage Jesus is seeking to comfort and calm his disciples as they gather on the evening before his crucifixion.  They are confused, frightened and uncertain, they sense the coming crisis and yet don’t fully understand Jesus mission, they want to know what is going on.  Jesus seeks to reassure them in words that have been used so many times to comfort the bereaved. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” says Jesus, or in other words ‘trust me, I’ve got this.’

However, as we as humans so often do, the disciples want to know more.  They cannot simply let things be.  Jesus tells them a place is prepared for them and Thomas responds “but how can we know the way?”.  Jesus tells them that through him they can know God and Philip demands “Show us the Father”.  The disciples are anxious, they need proof, they need to understand what is about to happen and their need for detail is challenging their faith.

Jesus seeks to lift them above their anxiety by reminding them of the bigger picture.  They are loved by God, they are held by God, just as the psalmist reminds us.  God has a place prepared for them and they will be led to it through their Lord and teacher.  Jesus reminds them of the things that they have seen and heard as they have travelled with him as evidence of the Father’s love and he reminds them that His love is constant.  Yes, the situation is about to become very dark, but even as Jesus is crucified, God is there and Jesus uses the words from Psalm 31 as he completes the work given to him.  God’s hands hold us at all times and Jesus is seeking to share this certainty with his friends.

We can probably identify with the disciples more than usual at this time.  The corona virus pandemic has brought anxiety and uncertainty to us all in many ways and so Jesus’ words are for us too: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”  God holds us as he held the disciples, he has a place for us and we too know Jesus the way.

And just as Jesus asks his disciples to see the bigger picture, so in this Christian Aid week we are asked to look beyond our own fears too, in order to see the needs of others who are more vulnerable than us.  COVID 19 has affected the whole world, rich and poor, but those in poorer communities lack the privileges of clean water and soap for hand washing and those who are homeless and displaced lack a safe space to isolate.  We may feel that there is little we can do to help as we are unable to do the events and collections that we might normally do, but we can share information, we can still give and above all we can pray.  Jesus reminds us that God listens and that he will act.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”  May we know the peace of Christ with us in our homes this week and as we find that peace may we look at the bigger picture and reach out with our prayers and actions to share God’s love.  Amen.

 

HYMN: StF 519 Father I place into your hands

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBfRNrvvUfc

 

Father, I place into Your hands,
The things I cannot do.
Father, I place into Your hands
The things that I've been through.
Father, I place into Your hands
The way that I should go,
For I know I always can trust You.

Father, I place into Your hands
My friends and family.
Father, I place into Your hands
The things that trouble me.
Father, I place into Your hands
The person I would be,
For I know I always can trust You.

Father, we love to see Your face,
We love to hear Your voice.
Father, we love to sing Your praise
And in Your name rejoice.
Father, we love to walk with You
And in Your presence rest,
For we know we always can trust You.

Father, I want to be with You
And do the things You do.
Father, I want to speak the words
That You are speaking too.
Father, I want to love the ones
That You will draw to You,
For I know that I am one with You.

 

Jenny Hewer (b.1945)

 

PRAYERS

 

God our refuge, we come to you with open hands,

some of us with hearts full of questions, some of us bruised by bereavement, some of us fearful of what the future holds, all of us stunned by the events of this year.

Draw close to us now in each of our homes as we place our honest questions and hopes into your open, resurrected, yet scarred hands.

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

With the honesty of the psalmist, the wrestling questions of Job, and the lament of the prophets, we bring to you our questions or our silence.

(Hold your index finger and, in silence, ask the question that most burdens your heart or simply sit in silence before God.)

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

Hear the cry of our hearts, Lord, silent and aloud,

for bereaved neighbours, near and far. Comfort those pained by being absent and hold close those who are hurting alone.  (Hold your ring finger and pray for comfort for those you know who are bereaved or simply sit in silence before God.)

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

In this season of Easter, renew us with resurrection hope that while weeping lingers in this night, joy will come with the morning.  (Hold your middle finger and in the silence tell God what you are most looking forward to in the future or simply sit in silence before God.)

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

On this Christian Aid Week Sunday, we pray for and with communities across the world who are most vulnerable to coronavirus.  We pray for people living in refugee camps and city slums, with limited sanitation facilities, who are unable to wash their hands regularly, and have little opportunity to isolate from others.

We pray for Christian Aid partners working to provide soap and buckets, communicating clear, accurate information, raising the voices of the most vulnerable

and ensuring they are kept as safe as possible.

(Hold your thumb as you pray for the most vulnerable,

those closest to God’s heart, or simply sit in silence before God.)

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

For those of us who are self-isolating, which can sometimes feel like we aren’t doing anything, remind us that we are all doing our part, and saving lives by staying at home.

(Hold your little finger and ask God for what you need,

or simply sit in silence before God.)

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

We pray for much wisdom and resources for those in local and national authority, for all frontline and key workers here in Britain, Ireland and across the world.

(Put your hands together and pray for the many

frontline workers and volunteers and for Christian

Aid partners working to help others across the world,

or simply sit in silence before God.)

God in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

 

As we have clapped to honour them, we clap our hands now in praise of your glorious creation,

and with the hope that the first shoots of another possible world are coming into view.

(Clap your hands in praise of God’s glorious creation

and with the hope of new possibilities for the world.)

God in your mercy,

hear all our prayers.

Amen.

 

We say the Lord’s Prayer…

 

 

Blessing of our Gifts

Lord, you are the giver of every good thing, we thank you for the many blessings that you give to us.  Bless these gifts of money as we offer them to you now and bless our words, prayers and actions, that we may show love in your name.  In this Christian Aid week, bless those who work for Christian Aid around the world and encourage them in all they do.   Amen.

 

HYMN: StF 545 Be thou my vision

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdBkEJurR4

1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art--
thou my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father, I thy true son;
thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

3 Be thou my battle shield, sword for my fight;
be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tow'r:
raise thou me heav'n-ward, O Pow'r of my pow'r.

4 High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'n's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Trad, translated by Mary Byrne.

 

DISMISSAL AND GRACE

 

May the presence of the Creator refresh you, may the comfort of the Son renew you, may the inspiration of the Spirit restore you to be love in action, even from a distance ,in our neighbourhoods, near and far, this day and for evermore. Amen.

 

May 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.

If you wish to make a donation to Christian Aid, you can do so online at caweek.org/payin

Prayers taken from resources for Christian Aid week 2020.



The Methodist Church Coronavirus Guidance and Resources

17th March 2020

Dear friends

 

Coronavirus Guidance

The latest news from the Methodist Church and

the Bury St Edmunds Methodist Circuit

 Services and Activities on Church Premises

It is with sadness that we have received the directive from the Methodist Connexion that all services and all activities on our premises are suspended with immediate effect because of the coronavirus guidance received from the government.  It is so important that you keep yourself safe. So there will be no services from this Sunday 22nd March until further notice and no church activities on our premises with immediate effect.

Pastoral Care

In the first instance please contact you pastoral team/visitor by telephone. For emergencies please contact your minister

Weekly Worship

Each week the circuit ministers will prepare a worship sheet for everyone.  This will be available on a Tuesday (commencing 24th March. It will be sent by email to those for whom we have an email address and by post to all others.  If you receive it by post and have an email address then please let the circuit office know on 01284 731082.

We hope that you will all use it on a Sunday morning at 10.30 a.m. in order that as a circuit we are worshipping together and we can draw on the strength of that knowledge, we need to hold this situation in prayer.  In time we will look to recording or live streaming.

Those of you who have access to the internet will also find services on the Methodist Website - https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Weekly newsletter

Along with the worship sheet we will be producing a weekly newsletter.  If you have any information you would like to share then please forward it to Debbie to be included in the newsletter, it is so important that although we cannot meet together to chat and share face to face that we are still able to do that in a different way.  We need the support of one another.

Dear Friends, you are not alone, we are here to support one another in the love of God through his son and be assure that the ministerial team are praying for you all in these difficult and challenging times.

God bless

Debbie, Rita and Ruth

 

Debbie’s details are

deborahborda27@gmail.com

01284 754574

 

Head of Mission, Jude Levermore said:

“Our Calling is to respond in love and service to the needs of our communities. The aim of this advice is to help us do this even while the extent of the issue is still unclear. We are grateful to our sisters and brothers around the world who hold us in prayer as we hold them. We should not be afraid “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7.

 

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people who are worried about attending worship.
For those needing to make decisions in order to care for other
For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend.
Grant us your wisdom.

Holy God, we remember that you have promised that
Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.
Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.

Amen

 

You can download this service sheet to use at home.

Alternatively you can watch a live streamed worship service from Wesley's Chapel here (starts 11.00am every Sunday)


 For further information please follow this link