25th July – 8th Sunday after Trinity

Collect

Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and the works of your commandments; that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 Readings

Old Testament                        2 Samuel 11. 1-15,

New Testament                      Ephesians 3. 14-end

Gospel                                      John 6. 1-21.

I am prompted by recent events to reflect on the problem of suffering alongside a belief in an all-loving and all-powerful God.  The floods in Germany and elsewhere in Europe have resulted from extreme freak weather, causing hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and countless numbers made homeless and cast into misery for a very long time.  This cannot be equated with deserving.  There is of course the fact that human activity in general does contribute to these events in terms of the pollution we generate, upsetting the carbon balance in the atmosphere, but the victims themselves are not more or less culpable than the rest of us.  So the challenge to mend our ways in this regard is presented to us afresh.  Blaming God is cheap and easy and serves no purpose.  Also it ignores the balance, that the world causes also so much goodness, is the theatre in which we originated and developed and is full of rich variety, beauty and blessing.  Also we reap a harvest of skill and compassion in the realms of research and care, to which we can and do all contribute.  For Christians there is the teaching that God became human in Jesus to show his awareness of our suffering.  As for us there is nowhere along the path of pain that we cannot reach out and find Jesus because he has been there.  He ran the whole course of human pain and death and then rose above it.  It is open for those who associate themselves with him to find in that rising a new hope and newness of life with him.  We should be aware of and pray for the victims of these events, and for those in the caring professions who are responding to their needs and facing unimaginable difficulties in the clearing up.

Next time I will try to think about suffering which does not result from any human activity or weakness and in which all the victims are manifestly innocent.

Robin Noble

Services Next Sunday – 01st August9th Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard Mattins 11.15 a.m.
The Lea Said Communion 9.30 a.m.
Hope Mansel Said Communion 9.00 a.m.
Aston Ingham Evensong & Communion 6.30 p.m.
Linton Parish Communion 11.00 a.m.
Upton Bishop Family Communion 10.30 a.m.

Forthcoming Services & Events

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died, Eira Aitken (WuP)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


11th July – 6th Sunday after Trinity

Collect

Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; 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.

Readings

Old Testament                        2 Samuel 6. 1-5, 12b-19.

New Testament                      Ephesians 1. 3-14.

Gospel                                      Mark 6. 14-29.

An introduction to Living in Love and Faith

In the past few months, the Church of England has produced a major resource called Living in Love and Faith. It consists of a book, videos, podcasts and a 5-part course. All of these are speaking into the current debate, with in the Church and the world, about gender, identity, sexuality and who we are as people made in God’s image.

As you can imagine, Living in Love and Faith (LLF) covers a wide range of topics and challenges the silence in the church on gender, identity, sexuality and being God’s people. LFF is designed to help us gain a language that will help us explore these issues. It recognises that we come from very different positions and that the response of the church is not homogeneous. It brings personal testimony and stories alongside reflection and Bible study to equip us to explore this challenging area.

As a Deanery we would like to run some courses in the early autumn. These will be on-line via Zoom and in person and I, Revd Mark Johnson, have been asked to help any group that would like to use the study course find a way that suits them.

What the course aims to do is to help us be more articulate and clearer about where we stand and why we support the things we do. It is aiming to give us both the language and the confidence to speak about these things and so to be better able to engage with the world as they wrestle with similar issues but from a secular viewpoint.

What it is not is a course to make the Church of England a “woke” church! There is no right answer but if we don’t have the language, how can we even ask the questions or explore the topic?

If you are interested in being part of a group, either at a parish or benefice or Deanery level, then please contact your vicar or Revd Mark (via email revmark100@yahoo.co.uk or 01981 540390 or 07882410759). I can then help people find a group that suits, a time that is convenient and the resources so we can explore this topic together.

Services Next Sunday – 18th July7th Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard Family Communion 11.00 a.m.
The Lea Said Communion 9.00 a.m.
Hope Mansel Said Communion 11.00 a.m.
Aston Ingham Village Praise 10.00 a.m.
Linton All Ages Service 11.00 a.m.
Upton Bishop Said Communion 10.30 a.m.
ALL CHURCHES BENEFICE ZOOM 12.00 P.M.

 

Forthcoming Services & Events

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE 12 NOON ZOOM SERVICE WILL END ON 18TH JULY. A NEW ZOOM SERVICE WILL START IN SEPTEMBER.

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

There will be NO Pew Sheet next week as I am away on holiday until 19th July.

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died,

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


04th July – 5th Sunday after Trinity

Collect

Almighty God, send down upon your Church the riches of your Spirit,

and kindle in all who minister the gospel your countless gifts of grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Readings

Old Testament                        2 Samuel 5. 1-5, 9-10

New Testament                      2 Corinthians 12. 2-10.

Gospel                                      Mark 6. 1-13.

Jesus is admired and then rejected by his own people. Then he sends out the disciples, telling them what to do when they too are rejected. Even with all the rejection, miracles still occur.

Until now, people have been amazed and delighted by Jesus. He has been teaching, healing, casting out demons and even raising a girl from death. Mark makes it sound exhausting and we sense Jesus’ relief at arriving in his home town after so much activity. That relief is short-lived. When he teaches in the synagogue, his words ring true and people are amazed. Then, as if something changes in the air, their amazement becomes suspicion. How does Jesus know the things he is telling them? They cannot equate who they think they know him to be – Mary’s son, the carpenter – with who they see him to be as he speaks with such authority. They take offence – literally the words say they “stumbled” over him. It is all too much for them, and what could have led to worship, leads instead to rejection. The passage began with the people’s amazement at what they see, but ends with Jesus’ amazement at what he sees – their unbelief. And we see how their unbelief begins to colour everything, and to limit the effect of Jesus’ work among them. One may wonder how the “few sick people” who were healed, told their story of what happened.

And what does Jesus do? He doesn’t argue with them. He recognises that this is just how it is – prophets are not without honour – except in their home town, except among their own kin, except in their own house. If only we could hear his tone of voice – did he smile grimly? Did he laugh? Was he upset? It is hard to tell. But we might assume that Jesus, being human, certainly felt the pain of this early rejection. And yet it didn’t stop him from continuing to bring love and healing wherever he went. He did not take his sense of identity and purpose from the people, but from his Father. He knew who he was and what he had to do.

We too can reflect on the impact of unbelief and suspicion within a community. Nothing can stop God working – but unbelief does have a dampening effect, on us and on those around us. Our expectations can be so low. We cannot make ourselves believe, and of course our life experience can sometimes make belief seem impossible. Like the lovelorn student we can just give up trying. But whether we believe or not, God goes on being God. The rose that was thrown in the gutter was in fact a symbol of a greater love than that student could ever have imagined. The relatives who turned away from Jesus missed seeing miracle after miracle. If God is in our midst – and God is – then the unstoppable power of love is here. Let us lift up our faces from our personal disappointments and our lack of faith, and turn again to the hope to which God calls us.       David

Services Next Sunday – 11th July6th Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard
The Lea Holy Communion 8.00 a.m.
Hope Mansel ARICONIUM BENEFICE ZOOM SERVICE 10.30 am
Aston Ingham
Linton
Upton Bishop
ALL CHURCHES

 

Forthcoming Services & Events

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died,

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


27th June – 4th Sunday after Trinity

Collect

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is Holy: increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father; for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 Readings

Old Testament                        2 Samuel 1. 1, 17-end.

New Testament                      2 Corinthians 8. 7-end.

Gospel                                      Mark 5. 21-end.

PRAYER

Every now and then events lead one to reappraise his or her prayer life.  There are two aspects to a Christian’s prayer life.  First there is corporate prayer, this is prayer we share with others.  This is an important aspect of the life of the church, but it can be difficult.  It can mean coming to terms with someone else’s wording, either from a book or individual, and someone else’s priorities likewise.  Despite these drawbacks it matters and is worth the perseverance.  Then there is private prayer.  No-one can prescribe the format for private prayer, it is by its nature intensely individual.  Some like to make use of a format, some not.  In any case there are some points worth emphasising.  One is what prayer is not. It is not a shopping list, it is not a way of manipulating God to our agenda, however worthy.  Of course, we can share with God our concerns.  What prayer is, is a relationship.  It is spending time with God as friend, parent, listening ear.  It is for come and go between us.  A sense of God’s presence is important, and some find it useful to employ suitable background music, quietude, a lighted candle, a time that can be free of interruption.  If concentration is difficult, use can be made of a book of prayers or readings from scripture, the psalms being often particularly helpful.  In any case, it is a good idea to be open, listening, not bombarding God continually with our own stuff.  The best guidance I can offer is to think of time spent in prayer as being alone with a valued friend.  If you are not satisfied you can come back to it later and try again.  All religions emphasise the value of private prayer and strongly advise it.  If you are a bit rusty then polish it up and give it a go.  You will be glad you did.                              Robin

 Services Next Sunday – 4th July5th Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard Mattins 11.15 a.m.
The Lea Said Communion 9.30 a.m.
Hope Mansel Said Communion 9.00 a.m.
Aston Ingham Evensong with Communion 6.30 p.m.
Linton Parish Communion 11.00 a.m.
Upton Bishop Family Communion 10.30 a.m.
ALL CHURCHES Zoom Benefice Service 12.00 p.m.

 Forthcoming Services & Events

LEA. Saturday 26th June, Children’s Church Summer Social please contact Alice Basey for details 07753 771214 or alicebasey@btinternet.com

UPTON BISHOP. Saturday June 26th from 2pm A Festival of Johns at Upton Bishop Church. Fun and games for all ages. Outdoor Drama, Big John Quiz, Flower Festival, Raffle and Refreshments. Everyone Welcome. There’s no charge but donations are welcome. Covid compliant. Please bring a mask.

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

 Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

 Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died, Joan Issac (WuP), Tony Washington (HM)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


20th June – 3rd Sunday after Trinity

Collect

Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; 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.

Readings

Old Testament                        1 Samuel 17. 57- 18. 5, 10-16.

New Testament                      2 Corinthians 6. 1-13.

Gospel                                      Mark 4. 35-41.

Paul’s letters require more thought from us because we have to try to understand why the letter was written, to whom it went and how its contents reflect Paul’s own journey in the Faith as he shows his urgent desire to reach out to all people. His letters are often complex and I wonder what those who received them made of them.  Though we have two letters addressed to the Corinthians, our reading from what has been called the Second letter, seems to have been written with a scarcely-concealed anger while 1 Corinthians, by its tone is as to a friend with whom we have fallen out, but now things have been put right. For example,1 Corinthians Chapter 15 has that unrivalled description of Love, so often read at weddings. No such happy note is in 2 Corinthians. The Corinthians are spreading malicious rumours about him and his ministry. Has he made Faith impossible for the congregation? Is he an imposter? Has he not suffered physical abuse in his ministry? It is a moving catalogue of events in his life to challenge anyone who doubts his sincerity. But it seems as if there are other people of some authority who have persuaded members of the little church there that Paul has placed obstacles in the way they believe Christian life should be lived. Perhaps it concerns that on-going matter of circumcision for Gentile converts, or the practice of continuing to offer sacrifices to the gods they once worshipped, as well as meeting together to share in the Eucharistic meal. Whatever it was, Paul is both deeply hurt and yet also resolved to put things right by whatever means he can. He has scolded them for their childish behaviour, but as a wise father, he keeps open the channel for reconciliation. They are working together for Christ and God’s love is the eternal bond between him and even his enemies. The Isaiah quotation he uses dates from the captivity in Babylon. Israel of old was destroyed and liberation from Babylonian captivity was yet to come. Like the Isaiah writer, Paul thought he too lived between times, because Death had been overthrown and God’s Kingdom was yet to appear. Interestingly, the text he uses comes from the widely available Greek translation of the Scriptures. He doesn’t want to be accused of hiding behind Hebrew, a language they would not understand!               Brian

 

Services Next Sunday – 27th June4th Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard Parish Communion 9.30 a.m.
The Lea See below
Hope Mansel Mattins 9.30 a.m.
Aston Ingham Said Communion 10.30 a.m.
Linton Morning Worship 11.00 a.m.
Upton Bishop Patronal Festival Evensong 3.00 p.m.
ALL CHURCHES Zoom Benefice Service 12.00 p.m.

Forthcoming Services & Events

LEA. Saturday 26th June, Children’s Church Summer Social please contact Alice Basey for details 07753 771214 or alicebasey@btinternet.com

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died, Joan Issac (WuP), Tony Washington (HM)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


13th June – 2nd Sunday after Trinity

Collect

Lord, you have taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtues, without which, whoever lives is counted dead before you. Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Old Testament                        1 Samuel 15. 34- 16. 13

New Testament                      2 Corinthians 5. 6-10, 14-17.

Gospel                                      Mark 4. 26-34.

“With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.”  Mark 4:33-34

In today’s Gospel, the supreme teacher, Jesus, could be comparing two disciplines – agriculture and astronomy. The first is obvious: he talks about the way seeds grow. But Jesus says he’s using those examples to illustrate the kingdom of God. If ever we needed proof that the kingdom of God is not a place, not some distant planet or mysterious location above the clouds, here it is. Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God is not a place, but a process. It grows. He describes a hugely complex subject in simple terms: the kingdom of God is “as if” someone scatters seed and it grows; it is “like” a small seed that grows into a huge tree. But what Jesus is doing here is sowing seeds himself. Just as watching a television science programme might encourage someone to study the subject further, Jesus is sowing seeds of interest and curiosity among those who listen to him. And just as university professors go into much more depth with their students, so Jesus later explains everything to his disciples. Earlier in this chapter, he did just that – unpicking for them the parable of the Sower.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus illustrates the complexities of the kingdom with parables. Simple illustrations we can begin to get our heads around, they pique our interest. We ask ourselves, “What does that mean?” and we try to find out more. That’s what parables do. They provoke us to ask questions. It’s just as well, because we’re never going to get answers unless we ask questions.

So, if Jesus is suggesting that the kingdom of God is a process, what kind of process is that? Amazingly, it is one that involves us. As he says elsewhere, “the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21). Often translated as “within you”, the implication is the same. God is trusting us to help the kingdom grow, here on earth. Today’s second parable tells us that our gifts, however insignificant we might think them, can – just like that tiny mustard seed – grow into something great: God’s kingdom of peace, love and justice, here on earth.

But the first parable underlines the fact that we need God’s help. We can’t do it on our own. Just as God makes the seed grow in due course, and the farmer “does not know how”, God can help us to do amazing things in the service of his kingdom if we fail to act in the way Jesus taught us to, then we’re failing him.

To ensure there’s no black hole in our universe of faith, let’s keep studying the Bible’s accounts of the ministry, teaching and sacrifice of Jesus. That way God will equip us with the best possible seed. In regular prayer, let’s listen for further explanation, as dis, students, of Jesus. Then, by serving Jesus in practical help to our fellow human beings, we can sow God’s seed here on earth.                                                                                         David

Services Next Sunday – 20th June3rd Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard Said Communion 11.00 a.m.
The Lea Said Communion 9.00 a.m.
Hope Mansel Said Communion 11.00 a.m.
Aston Ingham Village Praise 10.00 a.m.
Linton All Ages Service 11.00 a.m.
Upton Bishop Said Communion 10.30 a.m.
ALL CHURCHES Zoom Benefice Service 12.00 p.m.

Forthcoming Services & Events

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died, Joan Issac (WuP), Tony Washington (HM)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


06th June – 1st Sunday after Trinity

Collect

O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; 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.

 Readings

Old Testament                        1 Samuel 8. 4-11, 16-20.

New Testament                      2 Corinthians 4. 13, 5. 1

Gospel                                      Mark 3. 20-end.

This is the first time I’ve written one of these articles since I moved to south Shropshire and was collated as Archdeacon of Ludlow at the end of April, so I’d like to begin by thanking you for the very warm welcome my family and I have received among you here in the archdeaconry and the wider diocese. Moving house during a pandemic was a challenge, but we were well supported all the way, not least by the prayers of those in both dioceses: St Albans and Hereford.

Like you, I’m hopeful that we may now be entering a time where the necessary restrictions under which we’ve lived for the past year will ease, and I can get out and about more to visit parishes, beginning to get to know the clergy and people in our schools, churches, and wider communities.

You may be wondering what my hopes and prayers for the coming years are. In many ways they’re summed up in the reading from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians which was read at my collation:

I pray that out of his glorious riches God may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

– Ephesians 3:16-21

I long that each of us in the churches across the diocese may know the fullness of the love of God in Christ ourselves, and may be equipped and inspired to share that love with those around us in our homes, families, schools, workplaces, and places of leisure. I pray that this faith and love will fill you, and our churches, villages, and towns.

A tall order? Maybe. But at the end of the passage, we’re reminded that God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. That’s the grounds for my confidence as, together, we move on and out in faith, filled with hope, to share the love of Christ with our lips and our lives.                                            AD Fiona

 

Services Next Sunday – 13th June2nd Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard
The Lea Mattins 8.00 a.m.
Hope Mansel Ariconium Benefice Zoom 10.30 a.m.
Aston Ingham
Linton
Upton Bishop
ALL CHURCHES

 

Forthcoming Services & Events

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

 

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died, Joan Issac (WuP), Tony Washington (HM)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com

 

 


30th May – Trinity Sunday

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity: keep us steadfast in faith, that we may evermore be defended from all adversities; 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.

 

Readings

Old Testament                        Isaiah 6. 1-8.

New Testament                      Romans 8. 12-17.

Gospel                                      John 3. 1-17.

Today is Trinity Sunday, which bears witness to a picture of God communal in nature, God who is One but also Three.  That is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – the Holy Trinity. And this is why the passage from John’s Gospel chapter 3 has been chosen as today’s Gospel reading: it refers to all three persons of the Trinity. The Father is referred to as simply God, Jesus is the Son and believers need to be “born of the Spirit”- the Holy Spirit of God.

Perhaps some Christians have been taught and absorbed this doctrine of the Trinity as something we should believe, implicit in scripture, developed by the Fathers of the early Church, affirmed by successive creeds and accepted by all sides at the Reformation. We may further have gained some idea that the three persons are connected functionally: God the Father is revealed to the human race by Jesus the Son, through the Holy Spirit. But for all that, over the course of Christian history, traditional theology of the Trinity has tended to stop at declaring “this is the way God is!” without developing much in the way of theological ideas that have their roots in this doctrine.

One theologian however, Richard of St Victor, in the twelfth century, did think a bit further.  He suggested there was a true social relationship between the persons of the Trinity, a relationship of perfect love which offers a model for human society on earth. His ideas were not taken very seriously at the time but have been reconsidered and quite widely accepted in the twentieth century and beyond.

Living in Britain today, many of us live close to people of other faiths who have very different understandings of the nature of God. Muslims, for example, declare the absolute oneness of God, explicitly rejecting the Trinity, while Hinduism accepts a much freer concept of God or indeed gods. So it may be an important point of witness to be able to speak thoughtfully about our Christian understanding of the nature of God and what that means for us. If we build on the ideas of Richard of St Victor, we might first and foremost say that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity says to us that the best way to live life is as part of a community bound together in love. Such is the basis of the communities of family, and of the Church. So, the Trinity powerfully illustrates that ultimate glory, the glory of God, is not to be found in splendid isolation but in splendid cooperation, interdependence and love.                                                                  David

 Services Next Sunday – 06th June1st Sunday after Trinity

Weston-under-Penyard Mattins 11.15 a.m.
The Lea Said Communion 9.30 a.m.
Hope Mansel Said Communion 9.00 a.m.
Aston Ingham Evensong with Communion 6.30 p.m.
Linton Parish Communion 11.00 a.m.
Upton Bishop Family Communion 10.30 a.m.
ALL CHURCHES Benefice Zoom 12.00 p.m.

 

Forthcoming Services & Events

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick, Gerry Lowth (WuP)

Please pray for all who have died,  Tony Washington (HM)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com

 



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