Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? Send me…
It was a great joy – and an occasion for profound humility – to share in the Covid restricted Service of Ordination for Revd Anthony on Wednesday.
Bp Ruth had preached on the calling of Isaiah and emphasised how all Christians start their call with a vision of the vision of God – His great love and graciousness revealed in Jesus Christ and that, whilst an ordination is a celebration, no-one must ever feel that they have ‘what it takes’ to live out God’s call. She said, even of herself, ‘We all fall short’ yet still God calls us and so: ‘We must constantly return to the vision of the vision of God and His grace’. We have come to expect form Bp Ruth the very best example of preaching from the Bible. But then something happened which showed the depth of integrity and spiritual authenticity out of which she preached.
Not long after her sermon, a most extraordinary and very beautiful thing took place – something I have never experienced before, the Bishop cried. Now, Incumbents can often be brought to tears by their Curates, but this was something very different. As Bp Ruth stood in front of the kneeling candidates for ordination, she spoke these words and as she did, she began to cry:
In the name of our Lord we bid you remember the greatness of
the trust that is now to be committed to your charge. Remember
always with thanksgiving that the treasure now to be entrusted to
you is Christ’s own flock, bought by the shedding of his blood on
the cross. It is to him that you will render account for your
stewardship of his people.
You cannot bear the weight of this calling in your own strength,
but only by the grace and power of God. Pray therefore that your
heart may daily be enlarged and your understanding of the
Pray earnestly for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In that moment the words were for the candidates, but as Bp Ruth said in her sermon, we are all called to share in Christ’s ministry. Re-read those words – how do they make you feel as you reflect on what it means to share in His ministry….?
May our hearts be daily enlarged, and our understanding of the Scriptures enlightened.
This Sunday 4th July we meet for worship outdoors at St James, Birdham @ 10am.
It will be a particularly special occasion as we mark the lives of two great saints, Peter and Paul, their association with Harbour Churches at West Wittering AND Revd Anthony’s recent ordination. We will also share in Holy Communion.
Looking at the weather forecast it might be wise to ‘trust in God but bring a brolly’! But surely a summer shower can’t prevent our praise….?!?
Jonathan will lead or worship and preside at Holy Communion and Eric will be preaching. Our bible focus this Sunday will be Joshua c 4 v 1-9 and Peter 2. 4-5. The theme of the sermon will be the priest hood both those called and ordained and the priesthood of all believers.
We continue to offer a Covid secure 8am Holy Communion (BCP) each Sunday @ St Peter and St Paul, West Wittering and alternate weeks at St James, Birdham and St Nicholas. Itchenor – this Sunday at Birdham. Please remember to book for these services also.
Birdham: Roy & Beryl Dyton on 01243 514639
Itchenor: Jane Oundjian on 01243 512757
West wittering: Stella Pendleton 01243 673470
There will not be a ‘Sofa Service’ this week. Morning and Night prayer is available for anyone who wishes to join daily or just every so often.
We continue to name in our prayers:
Carrie Goddard, Charlie Gray, Anne Yeomans, Joanna Morris, Eloise and baby Elijah,
We pray for in thanksgiving for Revd Anthony Goddard, newly ordained priest.
The Collect for this Sunday:
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.
Let My People Go
Breaking chains, transforming lives
At Harbour Churches we are called to be Jesus Christ to the world. Our Mission Plan comprises the 5 Ts which identify ways in which we aim to make this call a reality: Tell, Teach, Tend, Treasure and Transform. This item is one of the regular, ongoing Transform slots in the newsletter.
When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, God’s message to Pharaoh was “Let my people go”. Today, throughout the world, people are still trapped in chains, such as slavery, poverty, preventable disease and exploitation. We aim to help break chains partly by raising awareness of and praying for specific issues, and by speaking out or political lobbying; and partly by offering practical support with specific projects.
Today’s Chain: No Voice, No Power
Many people in poorer countries will wait a long time for Covid-19 vaccines. They don’t have a voice and are powerless. But we at Harbour Churches do have a voice. There’s a Parliamentary petition, currently signed by five people in the Chichester constituency: Donate surplus Covid-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/565462
The closing date is 5th July so time is against us. But we can still stand up and be counted for the poor and marginalised. So let’s rally round and push up the number of signatories as high as we can (click on map link to check progress on petition webpage). When we’ve signed the petition we can speak out again by emailing our MP to tell her we’ve signed – email@example.com