Homemade Christmas

The biggest Ladies event of the year is coming soon to a living room near you!

 

This is the time of year when preparations are well underway for what has become a StBot’s sellout annual extravaganza. As many ladies as physically possible cram into the Fellowship Room at church house and cut, glue, stick and stich to their hearts content while consuming a little mulled wine, seasonal nibbles and listening to an inspirational Advent message.

 

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without this night and many of us have had the last Friday of November reserved in our diaries since last year. Sadly, the cramming into the Fellowship Room aspect is not available to us this year for obvious reasons. But you can still experience a virtual Homemade Christmas on 27th November. Why not plan to invite some friends (whatever is appropriate for you within the current rules) to share the evening with you in your home. Demonstrations and talk will be on Youtube and will premier at 7.30pm on that night (like the Sunday morning service does).

 

So, get the Mulled wine recipe out, order your craft boxes (see below) and recruit your friends. Look forward to seeing you on the 27th November.

 

 

Ladies, join us for a virtual Homemade Christmas premiering on Friday 27th November at 7.30pm.

Invite a friend, watch demos, Christmas talk. Provide your own drinks, nibbles and scissors!

Craft boxes £5 – available to order now…

from Rachel – rmsamways@yahoo.com
or Lindsay – motherbenn@gmail.com

Review

It has been a real privilege to provide all the online services we have been able to offer during this period of pandemic. Back in March none of us had any idea how to livestream or make videos and DVDs. Now we are old hands! Or maybe it just feels that way. We are constantly amazed, frustrated, and confused, in equal measure as we learn more about what can be done and how to do it. It’s been quite a ride, at times likes white water rafting. So, the time has come to assess what we are able to sustain, to put our maximum effort into that which has the highest potential value. This is especially necessary as we are now running two services in the church buildings each Sunday, and Christmas is just a few weeks away.

For the time being we will continue to make available the following online events:

  • Morning prayer every weekday morning at 8am. This is livestreamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and others, so you should be able to find it. The livestream is then available after broadcast on our YouTube channel just in case you oversleep!
  • Morning Service every Sunday morning at 9.15am. This is broadcast on YouTube, it is not to be missed.
  • ‘Daily Thoughts’ will become ‘Occasional Thoughts’ on our YouTube channel.
  • Special video services will be made for big occasions: Remembrance, Christmas etc.
  • Occasional information and general thoughts will be posted on the blog site. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already. It’s totally free and will enable you to receive a notification every time a new entry is posted.
  • If you use Twitter then follow our Twitter feed, @StBots, for regular updates and notifications.
  • Prayer meetings are happening regularly over Zoom. Do join in.
  • A number of homegroups are meeting virtually, and will continue to do so.

If you struggle to find any of these events, then the place to start is the main church website. Here you will find links to everything you want.

May God continue to bless you all in these difficult times.

 

Mark (and the team)

Is there no end?

I’ve just listened to the Prime Minister explaining his new system. Medium, high, and very-high are the new buzz words. I did hear that the government considered using a traffic light system but rejected it because they thought those living in ‘green’ areas would feel they were safe! Things aren’t looking great are they? The virus transmission rate (the R number) is climbing, and it looks like the predicted ‘second wave’ is underway. Is there no end? How can we get through this when there is no visible light at the end of the tunnel? I guess, like me, you’re feeling fed up with it and long for its end. Perhaps, more importantly, it’s tempting to ask, what is God doing? Has he forgotten us? The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk, God’s man, asked exactly this question. He put it like this:

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?

Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?

                        (Hab 1v2)

It’s a good question to ask. And it is the right thing to do to bring it to God. We may not get an answer, but we will be reassured of his love, his grace, his mercy, his justice, his power, his beauty, his radiance … When we have a God like that, we can face anything.

The puritan writer Richard Sibbes (1577-1636) wrote,

“Why doth he sweeten our pilgrimage, and let us see many comfortable days in the world, but that we should serve him with cheerful and good hearts? As for crosses, he doth but cast us down, to raise us up, and empty us that he may fill us, and melt us that we may be ‘vessels of glory,’ Rom 9v23, loving us as well in the furnace, as when we are out, and standing by us all the while. ‘We are troubled, but not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken,’ 2 Cor 4v8.

Sibbes lived in much more turbulent times than ours. English politics was in turmoil, the Church (then very powerful) was being torn apart by factions, sickness was a daily reality and there was no medicine to help. Infant mortality was extremely high, and Sibbes himself died at the grand old age of 58! Yet he wrote the words above. Let’s pray that God, having broken us, will ‘fill us’ again and having ‘melted us’ will remake us as ‘vessels for his glory.’ Who knows what plans God has for his world? Who know what plan God has for you?

Church Meets

Church Meets is an opportunity to join together in a time of prayer to give thanks to God and to bring before him the needs of our world, our country, our church and ourselves. The meeting will be held by Zoom.

When: Tuesday 6th October 2020

Time: 8pm – 9pm

For joining details please email: helen@stbots.church

or telephone 07973 164020

20th September Evening Service

St Botolph’s – Evening Service – 20th September

Preparation

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

be with you

and also with you.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Confession

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1v8-9)

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

Lord God, we have sinned against you;

we have done evil in your sight.

We are sorry and repent.

Have mercy on us according to your love.

Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.

Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the Father of all mercies cleanse you from your sins, and restore you in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 for ever. Amen.

Scripture

113     I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.

    114     You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.

    115     Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.

    116     Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,

and let me not be put to shame in my hope!

    117     Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!

    118     You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,

for their cunning is in vain.

    119     All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies.

    120     My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.

    121     I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.

    122     Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me.

    123     My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.

    124     Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,

and teach me your statutes.

    125     I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!

    126     It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken.

    127     Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.

    128     Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right;

I hate every false way.

    129     Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.

    130     The unfolding of your words gives light;

it imparts understanding to the simple.

    131     I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.

    132     Turn to me and be gracious to me,

as is your way with those who love your name.

    133     Keep steady my steps according to your promise,

and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

    134     Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts.

    135     Make your face shine upon your servant,

and teach me your statutes.

    136     My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

                        (Psalm 119v113-136 (ESV))

 

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”                    (Matthew 20v1-16 (ESV))

 

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God

The Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.            Amen

 

Sermon

 

The Collects

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; 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.                                    Amen

O God, the author of all holy desires, all good purposes, and all just works: give to us your servants that peace which the world cannot give, so that we, obeying your commands, and being delivered from the fear of our enemies, may live in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen

Lighten our darkness, Lord: and by your great mercy defend us from all peril and danger this night; for the love of your only Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.                     Amen

 

The Intercessions

Lord, in your mercy,     Hear our prayer

 

Merciful father        Accept these prayers for the sake of your son,

our saviour, Jesus Christ.     Amen

 

The Grace

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

be with us all evermore.                 Amen

 

The Peace

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding,

keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.         Amen

 

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.