Newsletter – 26 April 2020

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, with our churches locked and public worship suspended, we thought our congregations might appreciate a emailed letter with the prayers and readings for the Sunday and a short devotional piece, as a way of keeping us together and sharing any thoughts we may have.

Sunday 26th April – Third Sunday of Easter

 Collect of the day

Almighty Father,

who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples

with the sight of the risen Lord:

give us such knowledge of his presence with us,

that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life

and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;

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:

Acts 2: 14a. 36-41

When the good news of Christ is proclaimed in sincerity and truth, the people listen and turn afresh to God.

1 Peter 1: 17-23

Jesus has redeemed us and through the raising of Jesus from the dead God draws us into renewed faith and hope in him.

Luke 24: 13-35

Like the disciples at Emmaus, we do not always recognise the Lord amongst us. But his word speaks to our hearts and the breaking of bread will open our eyes.

Reflection

“Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

When was the last time all the churches in the United Kingdom were closed? In either World War? In the Civil War? In any of the Plague Years? The answer is “Never.” There have been times when some churches were closed; the nearest to a complete shut-down was in 1208, when as a result of a bitter dispute with King John, Pope Innocent III ordered all the churches closed, but that was only in England and even then exceptions were made for baptisms and funerals. So we are in uncharted waters indeed.

But think about today’s Gospel – The walk to Emmaus and the supper after it. That supper was, in effect, the very first Eucharist after the Resurrection, celebrated by the risen Lord himself. And where did it take place? Not in a cathedral or parish church, but in a domestic kitchen, where many of us have had to worship in past weeks.

Last Sunday Jan and I broke bread together in our kitchen as part of a “Zoom” Eucharist, organised by the Rural Dean. It was a moving and humbling experience, and one that reminded us that, in the midst of these anxious times, we have much to be thankful for, not least the modern technology that enables us not only to worship together, although parted by distance, but also to keep in close touch with our families and friends.

But the lesson goes further: the first Christians had no churches; as an illicit religion under Roman law, they could worship only in their houses or in hidden places; for instance, St Paul writes,”Aquila and Prisca send their best wishes in the Lord, together with the church that meets in their house.” (I Cor.16.19) And what heroic examples of Christian witness they gave us!

We all hope and pray that this crisis may soon pass and that we can go back into our churches, which we love, but we can learn from it that the true Church is not dependent on bricks and mortar but on faithful hearts and loving service, and even if our “breaking of bread” has to be “virtual” our Saviour still reveals himself to us as he did to those disciples in Emmaus so many years ago.

Post Communion Prayer

Living God,

your Son made himself known to his disciples

in the breaking of bread:

open the eyes of our faith,

that we may see him in all his redeeming work;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

Workers in health and social care and emergency services, all keyworkers and volunteers.

Our Benefice and all its communities

Schoolchildren and their families

Those in financial difficulty

All who are in isolation alone

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace

             all affected by Coronavirus

For information:

Radio4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

BBC1   10.45am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org   Every Sunday

www.trurodiocese.org.uk  

www.kerdh.co.uk for readings, prayers & reflections.

Facebook pages:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

St Columb Minor & St. Colan Parish Churches

United Benefice of West Kerrier

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us

from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray to the Lord,

who is our refuge and stronghold.

For the health and well-being of our nation,

that all who are fearful and anxious

may be at peace and free from worry …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For our homes and families, our schools and young people, and all in any kind of need or distress …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves,

and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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