A Service Alone with Others
Followed by the week's newsheet.

Palm Sunday, 5th April 2020

Introduction

At the present time we cannot meet together for worship, but we can still pray together in our separate places using the same form of prayer, with a shared focus for our thoughts and concerns, possibly at the same time (10am).

The form of prayer which follows is short. It could all be read in five minutes, but it is best taken slowly. There is no rush.Give it tiime. Give yourself time to think and reflect. Give God time.
And when your mind wanders, as it will, just bring it back gently to where you were in the order of prayer.
The Bible readings are not printed in full. The texts are given; you can look them up and read them if you wish. A short section of one is printed for further thought.

Stop
God is now,
today,
at this moment,
and in this place.

 

Focus
Close your eyes for a few moments and listen.
It might be you hear nothing other than a gentle shush in your ears. Or perhaps there is a clock ticking, or birdsong, or traffic.
Just listen for a short while and be still and quiet. 

Then open your eyes and see what is around you,
It will probably be very familiar, but notice the different colours, and shapes, and textures.
Then attend to what you can smell.
Then what you can feel. Warm air or cold air. The pressure as you sit.Perhaps an ache or a twinge.
And then notice your breath.
Air coming into your body, and out.
Slowly, and probably gently.

And be still: hearing, seeing, scenting, feeling.
A part of the world.
Aware of the world.

Scripture Reading                         (Zechariah 9.9)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
   Shout aloud. O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
   triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and rising on a donkey,
   on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 

     

Psalm 72
Hail to the Lord's anointed;
Great David's reater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun! 
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free,
To take away transgressions,
And rule in equity. 

He comes with succour speedy,
To those who suffer wrong:
To help the poor and needy,
And bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turned to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying
Were precious in his sight.

He shall come dwn like showers
Upon the fruitful earth.
And love, joy, hope;like flowers,
Spring in His path to birth:
Before Him, on the mountains,
Shall peace the herald go;
And righteousness in fountains,
From hill to valley flow.                      (Paraphrase of Psalm 72 by James Montgomery)

 

Thanksgiving.

Father we give thanks for the good things
of this day and other days
through which we are blessed;
beauty,
colour,
good news,
helpful words,
music,
people,
laughter,
life itself:
those who share our purpose and concerns,
and for Jesus
with us today
and tomorrow and for ever.

 

Confession and Concern
Father God, while we give thanks for your goodness
we are also aware of our failings
and our self-concern,
of the ways we are involved in the injustices of the world
and our lack of desire for change,
aware of the duffering if so many people
and the fear that there is in this time of pandemic.
We thank you for your acceptance of us, despite our failures and sins,
your valuing of us, despite our failures and sins,
your presence with us in whatever is happening,
and your love from which we cannot be separated, in time or eternity.



Collect for Palm Sunday
True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah: grant us the faith to knoiw and love you, that we may be found beside you in the way of the cross, which is the path of glory. Amen.

Matthew 21. 1-11
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, "The Lord needs them." And he will send them immediately.' This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
'Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
   humble, and mounted on a donkey,
   and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donley and the colt, and put their cloaks on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
'Hosanna to the Son of David!
   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!'
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking. 'Who is this?' The crowds were saying. 'This is the prophet Jesus fromNazareth in Galilee.'

 

Reflection
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
When my grandfather went with the army to France in August 1914 many people were quite cheery about it. and everyone said it would be over by Christmas.actually 
We know what actually happened, so when we think of those men marching off to war we have in our minds the trenches, the mud, the gas, and the millions who died.
But they didn't know that was to come.
We never know what is to come.
There are some things that we can predict.
Let go of an egg we know it will fall.
But we don't know if it will break when it hits the floor. That depends on how hard the floor is, and how thick the shell is, and how it lands.
The more factors there are, the harder it is to predict.
And when we have to take human behaviour into account, it becomes almost impssible.
So it is for us now. What wilk happen in this epodemic?
A lot depends on how we behave.If we behave sensibly and thoughtfully we can. together, reduce the rate of infection, and save lives.
But we don't know the details of how it will work out. Or how many will die.Or who.
And when jesus rode into Jerusalem, did he know what was going to happen?
Some people have the idea that Jesus knew ahead of time what was going to happen. The gospels were writtn with hindsight, so they can sometimes suggest that.
But the church has always held that Jesus as a man.
Yes, with a unique relationship with God.
As John put it, he was 'the Word if God made flesh'.
And Paul, 'he was the image f the invisible God'
But he was a man.
They had furious arguments about this in the first centuries of the church, and the agreed conclusion was that somehow Jesus was God and man.
A human.
And we humans don't know the future.
So when Jesus came into Jerusalem he didn't know how it was going to turn out.
He could guess, but he didn't know.
Just like we don't know how this epdemic is going to turn out.
Or what things will be like after it.

 

Hymn
My song is love unknown,
my saviour's love to me,
love to the loveless shown 
that they might lovely be.
O who am I
that for my sake
my Lord should take 
frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow,
but men made strange, and none
the longed-for Christ would know.
But O my friend,
my friend indeed,
who at my need
his life did spend.

Sometimes they strew his way,
and his sweet praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to their king.
Then "Crucify!"
is all their breath,
and for his death
they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to rum,
he gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
themselves displease,
and 'gainst him rise.

Matthew 21. 12-16
Jesus then entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money'changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, 'It is written,
"My house shall be called a house of prayer";
  but you are making it a den of robbers.'
the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them. But when the chief priestd and the scribes saw the amazing thingd that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple,'Hosanna to the Son of David', they became angry and said to him, 'Do you hear what these are saying?' Jesus said to them, 'Yes; have you never read,
"Out of the mouths of infants and nursong babies
  you have prepared praise for yourself"?'

Reflection

It's such a lovely contrast.

The people selling doves and changing money weren't just traders,, They were doing an official exchange.

To make an offering in the tmple you had to u the right kind of coind, otherewise you might havr given one which had the idolatrous image of the emperor on it,

And you couldn'e sacrifice any animal or bird, It had to be approved by the Temple authorities. Like the ones on sale.

It was a monopoly run by the religious authorities; the priests. And the ordinary people were being cheated.

Jesus got rid of the traders, and, for that day at least, the temple was turned into a place of healing, spontaneous celebration, laughter, song, and children shouting.

And the temple was open to anyone, including the blind and the lame, who according to the book of Samuel, were forbidden to enter it by King David.

The chief priests and scribes didn't like it. This was their place. It was supposed to be run their way.

But Jesus was quite clear that God liked it.

 

On Thursday, lots of people in our street were at their front doors clapping and banging things.If I was an NHS worker I think I'd appreciate some kind and polite words of thanks from a government minister. But I think I'd appreciate more knowing that people up and down the country were at their doors applauding what I and my colleagues were doing.

 

Hymn

In life no house, no home

my lord on earth might have;

in death no friendly tomb

but what what a stranger gave.

What may I say?

Heaven was his home:

but mine the tomb

wherein he lay.

 

Here might I stay and sin.

no story so divine:

never was love, dear King

never was grief like thine.

This is my friend,

in whose sweet praise

I all my days

could gladly spend.         (Samuel Crossman)

 

Intercessions           (Sarah Stringer)

Heavenly Father we pray for all in authority throughout the world, that they may act with wisdom, compassion and co-operation in these unprecendented times.

 

We thank you for the sharing of resource and knowledge that we have already seen, We pray especially for the most impoverished people of the worls, that despite their vulnerability they may be protected from the worst.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

We thank you for all those who are able to work on - to maintain th infrastructure of our country in immeasurable ways and for all those who are caring directly for others.

We pray for courage, for resilience, for good health and for sufficient resources for all our frontline workers and for the families that wait anxiously for them.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for all whose financial situation is perilous. May they be efficiently, adequately and appropriately suported through these current times and until they are once again able to supprt themselves.

We ask for the humility to accept that it might be time to reoeive help from our neighbours with shopping etc as we have gladly helped others in our turn.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We thank you Heavenly Father for the simple pleasures we can enjoy, the warmth of the spring sunshine, the freshness and colour of the spring flowers, the sound of birdsong.

We thank you for the joy of escapism through literature, film, music, art and hobbies. Inspire us when time hangs heavy or we are anxious,

We thank you for our ability to reach out to friends and family through phone, computer and letter writing.

Heavenly father help us to truly appreciate that we are not stuck at home, we are safe at home.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for all for whom the disruption to routine and curtailes freedom is distressing and confusing. Be with them Lord and those who love and care for them, that they may all be soothed and comforted.

 

HeavenlyFather, omnipresent Lord, we ask that you hold fast to all who are struggling and calling upon you a never before. Lift them, uphold them and grant them your peace.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your dear Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.

A Blessing
May the blessing of God be upon us:
the blessing of the Father, Creator;
the blessing of Jesus our Saviour, Redeemer;
the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the life-giver,
today and always. Amen.

Affirmation
Alone and together
God is with us.
Giving and receiving
God is with us.
In strength and in weakness
God is with us.
Thanks be to God.

This service was prepared by Revd. David Osborne.

 

Newsletter for April 5th 2020

Dear All,

Welcome to the Anglican news sheet for this parish for Palm Sunday. Thank you for the positive feedback we have received, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Holy Week with Matthew During this most Holy week of the Christian calendar we will be sending you simple worship and reflections for the days leading up to and including Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Each day this week there will be a service for praying alone.  We will be following Matthew’s account of the week from when Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey to his resurrection on Easter Day. The service will be e-mailed to you the day before it is designed to be used.  They will be prepared by David Osborne.

Cary Cares – Cary Cares is a team of volunteers. It was set up by Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford in response to the coronavirus emergency and involves people from across the community. There are over 100 volunteers involved in three schemes, all of which are for any people in Castle Cary and Ansford who find they need to use them.

The Medicines and Shopping Help Scheme helps people to stay at home who are vulnerable to a serious illness if they catch the virus, whether it's because of their age or health. If that's you, phone 01963 351362, preferably between 9.30 and noon, and the co-ordinator who answers the phone will arrange for a volunteer to take your order and get your shopping or your medication for you. There is a system to enable people who have run out of cash to be able to get the food they need without owing money to the volunteer. This scheme is co-ordinated overall by Ainsley Creedy.

There is also a follow-up scheme. Some people don't just want help with their shopping but clearly want to have a chat as well. Sue Kellagher is co-ordinating a group of people who will phone back people who seem to be in this situation to see how they are getting on. Since we started three weeks ago lots of people have volunteered to help with Cary Cares, which is excellent. Since then we have all gone into lockdown, which is frustrating for us all and means that the shopping help must be done by fit people under 70. There are nevertheless over a hundred volunteers giving their time and, many of them, risking infection while they are helping other people.

Running Cary Cares also needs money. Increasing numbers of people can’t pay for their shopping immediately because they’ve run out of cash and can’t get to a bank or Post Office. They need short term credit and this is provided by the Town Charity.

We also have people in the community who don't have enough money to buy the food they need. An increasing number of people are in this situation as they are laid off work and the Benefits Agency is overwhelmed by the demand and the changes. Previously people in that situation here were sent to a food bank in another town but the pressure on foodbanks has increased considerably. Now they can be given a food box here in Castle Cary. Food boxes can be authorised by the health visitors and health coaches, churchwardens, clergy and other ministers, the school heads, and the co-ordinators of the shopping scheme. The Food Box scheme is co-ordinated by Marilyn Simcox with help from Dan Patrick at The George. Cary Cares is organised by Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford, with the support of Castle Cary Town Council. Most of the funding comes from the Town Charity, operating through the parish church accounts, and the town charity has limited funds.

You might be able to help by making a donation. If you can, please make cheques payable to Castle Cary and Ansford PCC and send them to David Baldwin, PCCTreasurer, The Linen House, Bailey Hill, BA7 7ED, with ‘Town Charity’ written on the back, or an accompanying note. Or, you can transfer money directly to Castle Cary and Ansford PCC, 60-04-33, 68682514, with the reference Town Charity. We are hugely grateful for the generous response already given If you would like to know more about Cary Cares speak to David Osborne on 01963 351275, or e-mail carycares@btinternet.com.

Why I am isolating. It's tedious keeping away from people and not going round to the shops. I enjoy walking up Fore Street and meeting people. So why am I isolating when I'm not yet 70? Firstly, it's not just because I'm being told to by the government. When I was a vicar I didn't always do what the bishop said! I'm certainly not going to unthinkingly do what Boris Johnson tells me. Secondly, I'm not afraid of getting ill. I've had flu, hepatitis, malaria, and lesser illnesses in the past.

They were unpleasant but I survived. It's because:

(a) if I got covid-19 I could pass it on to other people before I even knew, so by keeping out of the way I'm reducing the risk of it spreading;

(b) I had severe bronchitis earlier in the year and my lungs are still a bit fragile, so if I got covid-19 I might take up the time of overworked NHS staff;

(c) if I was on a respirator a doctor might have to decide between keeping me on it or giving it to another ill person (say, an asthmatic 40 year old mother of three) and I don't want to put a doctor in that position; and

(d) there are younger, lower risk people in the town who are offering to do essential shopping for me. I just have to phone 351362. So, while this lasts, if I possibly can I'll put up with keeping away from the shops and other places where people gather. And if I want to prove to myself that I'm not yet decrepit I'll go for a walk on my own up Lodge Hill. If I see you there, I'll keep a safe distance, for everyone's sake!     David Osborne

In our vacancy The churchwardens have been rather overwhelmed by events in the last few weeks. With instructions and warnings about the covid19 virus coming thick and fast we have been focussing on how to care for the spiritual and practical needs of the parish, and the work of writing a parish profile for a prospective new incumbent went on to the back burner for a few days. However, we are working on new ways of holding meetings and working together online, and hope to make progress on this very important task in the near future. We ask you to continue to pray for us at this time.

A prayer for us during our vacancy
God our Father, help us to put our trust in you
to send your chosen person
to lead us on to where you would have us to be. Amen