Newsletter: 12th -18th June 2022

Greetings from St Mary’s and St Andrew’s

Dear friends,

Thank you to many who worked so hard and well to bring together many parishioners in both parishes to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s extraordinary 70 years’ service as our Sovereign on Thursday 2nd June at St Andrew’s, Winston and on Pentecost Sunday in Gainford.

And in between we celebrated the wedding of farmers Thomas and Catherine at St Andrew’s, and attended Her Majesty’s Service at Durham Cathedral with Voluntary Service representatives such as Mountain Rescue Leaders (our Tom Deakin among them).

Sunflowers

Not shown in these photographs was Brian Clarke’s incredible exhibition, and the picnics in both parishes were not only mouth-watering but truly heart-warming too.

The Spirit of the Lord moved among us and across the whole country – new life was breathed into us and our communities. We were joyful, loud, and glad. New and old neighbours and friends greeted and welcomed one another knowing that we joined countless others in a time of unrestrained celebration and thankfulness.

Here are YouTube links to the service at Durham Cathedral and the outdoor Blessing and Service in Gainford 
But here’s my personal favourite: Her Majesty and tea with Paddington

This Sunday our Easter season culminates in the celebration of The Trinity.

The events of last weekend help us to gain understanding of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – 3 in one, and One in 3. I shall explain my meaning in my preaching on Sunday!

Join me for Holy Communion at 9.30am in St Andrew’s, Winston and 10.45am in St Mary’s, Gainford.

At 6pm, come along to Choral Evensong at St Mary’s, Gainford

God, the most holy and glorious Trinity is with us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Rev’d Canon Eileen Harrop

The Notice Board

  • Congratulations to Thomas and Catherine Smith who were married at St Andrew’s, Winston on Saturday 4th June 2022.
  • We welcome Florence Elizabeth Greysmith, her parents, family, and Godparents, to St Andrew’s, Winston for her Baptism this Sunday.
  • Please pray for Matthew Dawson and Mary Ann Spensley, who will be married at St Mary’s, Gainford at 3pm on Friday 17th June 2022.
  • Our next SERVICE OF MESSY CHURCH FOR ALL THE FAMILY is on Sunday 19th June 3.30-5.30pm at St Mary’s, Gainford
    Our theme is going to be Jesus and Zacchaeus. We end our time by sharing a meal together. Everyone is welcome!
  • Ukraine Refugee Accommodation Sponsors: A small number of sponsors in Gainford and Winston are preparing to accommodate Ukrainians seeking temporary accommodation. We have formed a Support Group, who will have and share the latest information. If you would like to know more, please email Jill Starr: jillstarr@googlemail.com
  • Gainford FUN DAY Saturday 25th June 2022: We are pleased to be putting up our tea tent serving tea and cake for this annual event. We hope many from both St Andrew’s and St Mary’s would offer to help. This is both our community offering and a helpful fundraiser for St Mary’s, Gainford. Please contact Geoff or Sue if you can make cakes, help to serve in the tent, or help set up and clear up: Geoffandsue379@gmail.com Tel: 01325 73037

The Collect for Trinity

 

Holy God,
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Post Communion Prayer

 

Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever. Amen

The First Reading

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

The Gospel

John 15:12-17

 

12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Readings at Choral Evensong
The first lesson: Exodus 3:1-15

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

The second lesson: John 3:1-17

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Sermon

Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen 3 June 2022 Sermon, St Paul’s Cathedral,
Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

‘Bring your supplications and thanksgivings to God’ says St Paul. ‘Then the peace of God will guard your heart and mind… and keep on doing the things that you see in me.’  (Philippians 4.6,7 & 9)

Of course, the ‘me’ in that sentence is Paul himself. But Paul is only worth following because he is following Jesus. And Jesus is worth following because Jesus shows us who God is, and what our humanity could be. And there are many occasions in the Gospels where we see Jesus himself, faithful to his vocation, seeking out places of replenishing so that he can learn God’s way.

‘I only do what I see the Father doing’, says Jesus (John 5. 19) ‘He is close to God’s heart’, says St John (John 1.18)

Sometimes I wonder whether the whole Christian faith is best understood as an invitation to dwell there ourselves. And the purpose of the Christian faith is to know and to do God’s will.
Sisters and brothers, dear friends, we gather today in great rejoicing to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, but we do it against a backdrop of such suffering and uncertainty in our world.

For me, the best leaders – like Paul, like Jesus – are those who know how to be led. People who lead for others, not themselves. People whose heart’s desire is to serve the common good and build up the common life; who don’t try to do it all themselves, or act in their own strength alone; people who take a longer view; and who seek out places of replenishing, even places where they might learn the mind of Christ.

And I say this today, knowing that in Her Majesty the Queen we see an example of this kind of service; a staunch constancy and a steadfast consistency; a faithfulness to God, an obedience to a vocation that is the bedrock of her life.  No, bedrock isn’t quite the right image. 

Faith in Jesus Christ is a fountain, and it is a well.  It is the well from which we draw deeply and replenish ourselves through all the challenges, joys, and vicissitudes of life.  And it is a fountain, overflowing with immense joy. Joy, that we can live in the assurance that we are loved; joy, that God has a purpose for our lives; and, joy, that through Christ’s dying and rising we have the promise of life eternal.

Now we all know that Her Majesty likes horse racing and I imagine Your Majesty will be watching this on the television. I don’t have any great tips for the Derby tomorrow, but since the scriptures describe life as a race set before us, let me observe that your long reign reflects the distance of Aintree more than the sprints of Epsom. Certainly, less dressage than most people imagine. But with endurance, through times of change and challenge, joy and sorrow, you continue to offer yourself in the service of our country and the Commonwealth.  Your Majesty, we’re sorry you’re not with us this morning in person, but we are so glad you are still in the saddle. And we are all glad that there is still more to come. 

So, thank you for staying the course. Thank you, for continuing to be faithful to the pledges you made 70 years ago. Thank you for showing us how service and faithfulness matter. People of all faiths and no faiths and people of goodwill can learn from this.

Sometimes people say to me that the Christian faith is just a prop. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not ashamed to say I lean on Jesus Christ, that I’m trying to live close to his heart.  That I need his wisdom and his hope. And if you will forgive such presumption, this is what I also see in Her Majesty the Queen.

And to the people of our great nation, on this great and historic day, I say this: we are indeed living in a time of uncertainty and challenge, and we would do well to consider where we will find the replenishing we need. 

What I see in Her Majesty the Queen is someone who has been able to serve our nation faithfully because of her faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps there is no better way of celebrating her Platinum Jubilee than by doing the same ourselves. Amen

Written by Rev'd Canon Eileen Harrop

Reverend Canon Eileen is the incumbent for St Mary's, Gainford and St Andrew's, Winston.

June 12, 2022

Join Us at services in our churches every sunday

10:45am at St Mary’s Church, Gainford

9:30am at St Andrew’s church, winston

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