In our gospel reading today we hear the story of Jesus walking on the water. On one level, this is a miracle that shows the supernatural power of Jesus, that he has power over water. But on another level, especially if we shift our focus to the boat containing the disciples, we can see something else.
We are all disciples of Christ and in that sense we are all in the boat that is being tossed about on the waters. So, what does it mean for us that Jesus calls Peter (upon whom the Church is founded) out of the boat? At first Peter is able to walk on the water by sheer force of his faith but as this inevitably falters, it is Jesus who reaches out and saves him.
I'm sure we can all think of ways in which the Church is being tossed about (and we might even agree on some of them!) As individual disciples and as members of the Church we are also called to do as Peter did: through our faith to draw closer to Jesus. It is inevitable that our faith will falter but we can be assured that the grace of God is there for each and everyone one of us even when we feel we are sinking.
With love and prayers
Sermon by Rev Raymond Baudon for this Sunday.
Services in church this Sunday
There will be simple, said Masses in church at 8am and 10am this Sunday.
We will still observe social distancing, and ask people to sanitise their hands on arrival, and wear a mask (this is now mandatory unless you fall within one of the legally defined exemptions, please see below). Given the high temperature this weekend, please bring your own bottled water as we cannot provide access to the kitchen at the moment.
Please stay at home if you are unwell, and do let us know and we can keep you in our prayers.
If you would like to download or print the service sheet, you will find them here:
The 8am service is quieter, and you may prefer to come to that if you are concerned about being in a larger group.
You are welcome to join us, and we look forward to seeing you, but if you would prefer please attend our online service instead at 11am.
Flowers in church. The flowers in the Sanctuary have been given by Siân Conlon to the glory of God and in loving memory of her mother Marjorie Edwards.
Online worship this week
11am today: Mass for the 9th Sunday after Trinity. Today we will again be holding Mass on Zoom at 11am. Zoom allows for people to participate in the service. To access the service you can click on the link for Sunday Mass in this document (please ignore the date at the top). You no longer need to send an email to be given access.
It would be lovely to see you. However, if Zoom seems a bit too much for you, there is a guide to using it here. There is even an option for you to dial in on your phone, the details are here. We look forward to gathering together online, but please don't feel under any pressure, Zoom isn't for everyone!
You can find a copy of Sunday’s liturgy here, and the pew sheet with today's readings is here.
If you are not joining us online, you may like to use the ‘prayer at home’ sheet we have produced here.
Morning Prayer: We will be saying morning prayer at 9am on Monday and Thursday. Please see Zoom access details here. This is a lovely way to start your day with a simple service of readings and prayers.
Masks in Church
Members of the public must now wear a mask in churches and other indoor spaces. There are some exemptions on the basis of age, health and disability and you can find out more about the exemptions here. If you fall into one of the exempt categories, you might want to download a badge that you can put on your phone or a card that you can show to people.
Because of these new regulations, if you come into St John's either when we are open for private prayer or to one of the services on Sunday you will be required to wear a mask (unless you fall into one of the exempt categories). Most people already do wear a mask in church but please don't forget to bring your own!
The church continues to be open for private prayer every Thursday from 12 noon to 2pm. If you would like to pop in during that time for prayer, reflection or meditation or just to enjoy the peace and quiet you will be very welcome!
Music this week
You can find the words to two of this week’s hymns in the pew sheet and listen to them using the links below:
If you would like to support your young people with prayer and worship, the Diddy Disciples website has lots of free resources, including stories, songs and prayers, as well as more general information.
Fundraising – Help us raise £5K
St John’s needs to raise £5,000 to help us cover the costs of reopening church. Do get your thinking caps on to consider how you may be able to raise funds in your own way for this appeal, whether by doing a sponsored walk, run etc., having a Covid-safe bake sale or your own inspired idea. We have produced a sponsorship form which you can use here.
Following the devastating explosion in Beirut the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) have issued a statement that “it does not meet the criteria for launching one of our national fundraising appeals” and advised people to contact individual member charities. They include: British Red Cross, Action Aid, Save the Children and Christian Aid. We will be keeping the people of Beirut in our prayers as they seek to recover from this disaster.
Goose Green Coffee Morning
Coffee Morning continues to meet via Zoom every Wednesday at 11am. It is a lovely way to keep in touch with everyone, to have a chat and a laugh.
Everyone is welcome, please email Sue O’Neill for the joining instructions.
Will the real High Priest please stand up?
Andrew Black writes: A number of people on Zoom calls have noticed the picture behind me (left). Someone even asked if I painted it! We know it is a tapestry that comes from a 19th century branch of our family from Canterbury. It shows the young Samuel talking to the old Eli.
After one Zoom call I decided to mug up on the story and was amazed to find a very similar picture on Wikipedia (centre). The colours are different but most of the details are the same. I have been seeing this picture every day for years, and my cousin Susan remembers it in Granny and Grandpa’s house from before I was born. The presumed original was painted by John Singleton Copley (1730-1815) and is in a museum in Hartford Connecticut. Singleton was of Irish extraction, born in Boston (now MA). He moved to London in 1774 and never returned to America.
I have since found a third copy (right) - a “Berlin Woolwork” version on eBay. It looks rather like cross stitch. My current thinking is that that there was a company hand-painting needlepoint canvases with famous pictures. Victorian ladies might have whiled away their evenings stitching on this pattern using different choices of thread.
More investigation is called for, but I don't think it quite justifies a trip to Connecticut!