St Andrews Church, Taunton

Reaching lives for change and hope

Newsletter



2nd September 2020

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

10.00am Service of the Word


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Collect: Almighty God, you search us and know us: may we rely on you in strength and rest on you in weakness, now and in all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Readings: Exodus 12.1-14, Romans 13.8-14, Matthew 18.15-20 


Post Communion Prayer: God our creator, you feed your children with the true manna, the living bread from heaven: let this holy food sustain us through our earthly pilgrimage until we come to that place where hunger and thirst are no more; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

For your prayers: 

  • All those across the world affected by the Coronavirus; the sick and the frightened
  • For all medical professionals and researchers
  • The residents and staff of care homes, including those in our parish - Cedar Lodge, Aspen Court and Northway House
  • The sick and those who have died
  • Bishop Peter, Bishop Ruth and their families
  • St Andrew's School, Priorswood School. Wellsprings School, The Taunton Academy and other Taunton schools as pupils return 
  • Children who will be baptised at St Andrew's in the coming weeks and their families
  • All those to be ordained this Michaelmas, including Louise and Katy
  • For Rowbarton Methodist Church returning to worship in their building from 6 September and for those from both our churches continuing to worship at home

Information Update:

  • The Church will be open for private prayer on Sundays from 12 noon to 3.30pm and Thursdays from 9.00am to 12.30pm.
  • Meetings and events are suspended until further notice, and the hall and office will remain closed.
  • The Government is making face coverings mandatory in places of worship from the 8th August 2020.


THIS WEEK’S NOTICES

St Andrew's Choir - Good News!

Choir practices will commence weekly from September 4th.

The choir will then be singing at the 10.00 am Eucharist from Sunday September 13th onwards subject to changes in regulations. 

Ordinations

Louise Bale and Katy Gough will be among 30 ordinands to be ordained deacon or priest during 7 ordination services in Bath and Wells this Michaelmas. Louise is to be ordained deacon by Bishop Trevor Willmott at Wells Cathedral on Saturday 26 September at 3pm. Katy is to be ordained priest by Bishop Ruth at St Cuthbert's Church, Wells on Tuesday 29 September at 7pm. Sadly, with the current restrictions, it will not be possible for members of St Andrew's to attend (other than Robin as Katy's training incumbent). Louise and Katy would be glad to have your prayers. The services will not be livestreamed, but recordings will be available afterwards. Louise looks forward to being with us on 13 September and again on 20 September, when she will preach one last time here before she begins her curacy at St Mary Magdalene and St John the Evangelist, Taunton, and Katy looks forward to continuing her ministry among us and to celebrating her First Mass with us at 10am on Sunday 4 October.  

Confirmation

Katy is liaising with the Bishops' Office about a date for a confirmation service. Please talk to Robin or Katy if you are interested in being confirmed. This is an important step in your faith journey, committing your life to following Jesus Christ. It is open to young people old enough to answer for themselves and adults of any age who have not been confirmed before. 

For more information, have a chat with us or have a look here: https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/confirmation 

CLIC Sargent

Our family knows only too well how valuable the work of the charity CLIC Sargent is for families whose children are undergoing treatment for childhood cancer. As you can imagine, CLIC Sargent, like many other charities, are suffering from lack of funding due to the current pandemic. 

In previous years the charity has held a 10k walk on the Grand Western Canal which last year raised £22,637.  This year they are inviting people to complete the walk on any date between September and December, and our family has decided to walk on 20th September.  If you would like to support us in helping

to raise much needed funds for this charity which supported our granddaughter, Sophie, for the 27 months of her treatment for leukaemia, please contact us on 07445116115.  Every penny donated will help CLIC Sargent support many more families at a crucial time in their lives.  Thank you.

Alison and Bill Perry, Nicola Perry and Carolyn and Evie Tudor

Yarn Bombing and Art Projects

Interested in joining our ongoing yarn bombing and art projects? For more information, please contact Esther on 07879 491276 or Sue on 07791 721780 for the yarn bombing and Katy on 01823 330854 for the art project.

 

REFLECTION

Life Poured Out


When we come to look back on 2020, we are unlikely to forget the symbol that has been everywhere – the rainbow. It’s on our church’s South Doors, Ruth’s face mask and a pair of my socks. And it has been on display in windows in every street in our community, sometimes chalked on the pavement by children too. It speaks to people as a symbol of hope, as it did to Noah and his family. The sun will again shine through the rain. For them, as for us, the rainbow was a sign that the time will always come to emerge – from the Ark or from our homes – into new life.


If you were walking past the homes of the Israelites in Egypt, described in Exodus 12, you would have smelled as much as seen the symbol on their homes: lamb’s blood, smeared on the doorposts and lintel of their houses. Not quite as appealing as a rainbow. I think of the rainbow paint hand prints some children have done, and suspect the Israelite children probably weren’t doing lamb’s blood hand prints. It’s a grittier symbol than that. 


It’s a symbol of death – but also the symbol that means the Israelites will be passed over – a symbol of life.  


There would have been a lot of blood. I remember watching a documentary in which the presenter, the late Peaches Geldof, joined a Muslim family overseas who were celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha. This commemorates Abraham’s, or in Arabic Ibrahim’s, willingness to sacrifice his son, and God’s provision of a lamb to sacrifice instead. As part of the festival, each household sacrifices a lamb, sharing the meat with neighbours and people in poverty. The sacrifice was shown. It seemed to me a long way from picking up cellophane wrapped packets of meat from the supermarket. A huge pool of blood formed on the ground, and I thought of God giving Noah not only the sign of a rainbow, but permission to eat animals with these words: ‘Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.’ If, as Muslims and Jews do, you drain all the blood from an animal, there is no way you can miss that this is life poured out.  


And so the Israelites put this sign of life on their doorposts. It might seem an odd basis for them to be passed over. Earlier in the Old Testament story, when Sodom faced destruction, Abraham asked God if he would spare the city if there fifty righteous people there or forty-five or forty and so on down to ten, and God says that for the sake of ten, he will not destroy it. Abraham was on solid ground with his argument. Righteousness seems an excellent basis to ask for God’s mercy and protection. Sadly, in Sodom where strangers could not safely stay the night without being threatened, there were not ten righteous people.  


When death comes, the Israelites will be passed over not because they are righteous, but because they have blood smeared on their doorposts. The blood of a lamb without blemish. Their righteousness was no doubt not without blemish, not a perfect offering, but God makes provision for them to offer the blood of a lamb.  


On our altar on Sunday will be a chalice of wine – the blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish. When, at the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus shared bread and wine with them and said, ‘this is my body; this is my blood,’ he spoke these words over every day foods that his disciples had and would continue to consume at many meals. I wonder how many of us have had toast for breakfast or will have a sandwich later on? The life of Christ in us sustains and nourishes us in that every day kind of way. But bread and wine are also made of wheat and grapes that have been crushed to produce sustenance for us. In Christ’s death, in his life poured out, is our life.  


Given that the bread and wine are the body and the blood of Christ, it is right that we receive the sacrament with order and respect. But the risk is that when we each routinely consume our neat wafers and, in normal times, a sip of wine, it could be argued that our experience of receiving the sacrament today is much like going to the supermarket for cellophane wrapped meat. We can become detached from the reality that life has been poured out. 


In this time, only the president at the Eucharist consumes the wine. When we return to sharing in the wine, I wonder if we might have a new appreciation for its significance?  


The story of God’s relationship with his people, especially in Jesus Christ, is one that is worked out through human history. God does things in the world which change the world, supremely in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. There are moments in that story – and in each of our stories with God – that we look back to. The Christian faith is not just about having spiritual thoughts, or certain ideals and values. It means being able to say ‘Christ died for me.’ Or being able to look back to being baptized, remembered or not, and know that we have been made new in the waters of baptism. Looking back to these decisive moments enables us to look forwards. 


At that first Passover, the Israelites were to eat the lamb that night, dressed and shoes on, ready to go. They have been stuck as slaves in Egypt, but now they have a journey to set out on. Before he gives any other instructions about the Passover, God says to Moses and Aaron ‘This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.’ This is a new start.  


The journey would not be an easy one. They had perhaps not bargained for the long years in the wilderness. But they could remember, and celebrate each year as Jews continue to do today, the night that they had been passed over. And they kept going, all the way to the promised land.  


Physical signs do matter. During the pandemic, some of them have had to be put on hold, but we are now at a point where they can be reintroduced. I have been relicensed as a minister online, but I could not be ordained online. Too much significance is attached to the Bishop and priests laying on hands for that. But it can now go ahead. Baptisms are taking place again, and we hope for a confirmation service. At the right time, we hope once again to share in the common cup at the Eucharist. While there is still a long and uncertain journey ahead with the pandemic, we see the truth of the hope expressed in the rainbow.  


And as we come again to these signs and symbols, may we recognise afresh the powerful way that the life of God is offered to us through them, and with confidence in what God has done for us, be ready to go wherever he leads us. 

Katy Gough



HYMN AND SONG OF THE WEEK

Jesus calls us here to meet him

The words of this hymn are written by two Iona Community writers of the Wild Good Resource Group, John Bell (b 1949) and Graham Maule (1958-2019). The Iona Community is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.
This hymn expresses the commitment to justice, peace and integrity of creation which all of us are called to live and proclaim today wherever we are.

Jesus calls us here to meet him

as through word and song and prayer

we affirm God’s promised presence

where his people live and care.

Praise the God who keeps his promise;

praise the Son who calls us friends;

praise the Spirit who, among us,

to our hopes and fears attends.

 

Jesus calls us to confess him

Word of Life and Lord of All,

sharer of our flesh and frailness

saving all who fail or fall.

Tell his holy human story;

tell his tales that all may hear;

tell the world that Christ in glory

came to earth to meet us here.

Jesus calls us to each other:

found in him are no divides.

Race and class and sex and language-

such are barriers he derides.

Join the hand of friend and stranger;

join the hands of age and youth;

join the faithful and the doubter

in their common search for truth.

 (the following verse is not included in the YouTube recording. It it sung when there is a celebration of the Eucharist. Please pray the words quietly after listening or singing along to the recording.

 

Jesus calls us to his table

rooted firm in time and space,

where the church in earth and heaven

finds a common meeting place.

Share the bread and wine, his body;

share the love of which we sing;

share the feast for saints and sinners

hosted by our Lord and King.

 

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

Be still for the presence of the Lord

This well-known song for our reflections.

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


13th September 2020

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

10.00am Service of the Word


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 Collect: Merciful God, your Son came to save us and bore our sins on the cross: may we trust in your mercy and know your love, rejoicing in the righteousness that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Readings: Genesis 50.15-21, Romans 14.1-12,                                           Matthew 18.21-35

Post Communion Prayer: Lord God, the source of truth and love, keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, united in prayer and the breaking of bread, and one in joy and simplicity of heart, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

For your prayers: 

  • All those across the world affected by the Coronavirus; the sick and the frightened
  • For all medical professionals and researchers
  • The residents and staff of care homes, including those in our parish - Cedar Lodge, Aspen Court and Northway House
  • The sick and those who have died
  • Bishop Peter, Bishop Ruth and their families
  • St Andrew's School, Priorswood School. Wellsprings School, The Taunton Academy and other Taunton schools as pupils return 
  • Children who will be baptised at St Andrew's in the coming weeks and their families
  • All those to be ordained this Michaelmas, including Louise and Katy
  • For Rowbarton Methodist Church returning to worship in their building from 6 September and for those from both our churches continuing to worship at home


20th September 2020

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

10.00am Service of the Word


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Collect: Lord God, defend your Church from all false teaching and give to your people knowledge of your truth, that we may enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Readings:  Jonah 3.10 – end of 4, Philippians 1.21-end,  Matthew 20.1-16        

 

Post Communion Prayer: Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy; and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall, keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

For your prayers: 

  • All those across the world affected by the Coronavirus; the sick and the frightened
  • For all medical professionals and researchers
  • The residents and staff of care homes, including those in our parish - Cedar Lodge, Aspen Court and Northway House
  • The sick and those who have died
  • Bishop Peter, Bishop Ruth and their families
  • St Andrew's School, Priorswood School. Wellsprings School, The Taunton Academy and other Taunton schools as pupils return 
  • Children who will be baptised at St Andrew's in the coming weeks and their families
  • All those to be ordained this Michaelmas, including Louise and Katy
  • For Rowbarton Methodist Church returning to worship in their building from 6 September and for those from both our churches continuing to worship at home

 

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  • St Andrews Church
  • Greenway Avenue
  • Taunton
  • Somerset
  • TA2 6HU

01823 332531
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