Online Worship: 30th January 2022, Epiphany 4

This Sunday is the 30th of January 2022,
the fourth Sunday of Epiphany

Photo by Ben White
on Unsplash

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.

Welcome to our Online Worship for this week.

As we move towards the conclusion of the season of Epiphany, Rev David is with us this week with a pre-recorded talk to say ‘au revoir’ as he heads off on Sabbatical. Working from a passage in 1 Timothy, he talks about the importance of rhythms of sabbath rest for us all.

While Government restrictions are easing, the level of infections nationally remains relatively high and we remain in tricky times with the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Please be vigilant in doing the things that will protect yourself and others and if you need some help with anything, please do get in touch so that we can offer assistance.

Notices

There are a number of things to be aware of at the moment. This page will tell you more.

Giving to support St Mary’s and St Michael’s

If you can donate to support the ministry of St Mary’s West Malling and St Michael’s Offham, we very much appreciate your generosity and partnership with us. Follow the links to find out more about how to set-up regular giving or to make an online one-off donation today.

David’s video sermon for this Sunday

00:28 the Bible Reading, 02:43 onwards the Sermon with David

Songs to sing today

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven

From heaven you came

All-Age song: I am a City on a Hill (let your light shine)

Prayers for today

Prayers of Intercession
for Epiphany

Jesus calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Washed clean by the waters of baptism,
let us pray that we may live the life to which he has called us.

Lord Jesus, eternal Word,
proclaimed as the Christ by John the forerunner,
hear us as we pray for all who proclaim your word …
Lord of truth,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, baptizing with the Spirit and with fire,
strengthen us to withstand all the trials of our faith …
Lord of truth,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, bringing forgiveness to all who repent,
teach your Church dependence on your grace …
Lord of truth,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, fulfilment of the promises of old,
give hope to all who suffer or are ignored …
Lord of truth,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, beloved Son of the Father,
anoint us with the gifts of your Holy Spirit …
Lord of truth,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, bringer of hope,
share with all the faithful the riches of eternal life …
Lord of truth,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
in you the Father makes us and all things new.
Transform the poverty of our nature
by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory.
Amen.

A prayer about the COVID-19 pandemic

Almighty God,
healer of the sick and strength of the weak,
look with mercy on all those who suffer at this time.
Bring healing to those who are sick,
bring peace to those who are anxious,
bring strength to those who care for them,
and bring wisdom to our leaders
that our whole society may journey together through this difficult time
with determination and generosity,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Amen.

The Collect for this Sunday

God of heaven,
you send the gospel to the ends of the earth
and your messengers to every nation:
send your Holy Spirit to transform us
by the good news of everlasting life
in 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.

Blessing

May God,
who in Christ gives us a spring of water welling up to eternal life,
perfect in you the image of his glory;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Be at peace. Love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Resources for the week ahead

Prayer pointers

  • Those who have asked for our prayers (Offham): Hilda Bodley, Ann Casburn, Jim & Jean Brown, Brian Heath, Beryl Keeler, Julie Murray, Cynthia & John Noble, Irina Walker.
  • Those in need (West Malling): Keith & Diana Bullard, Ann Douglas-Fairhurst, Robin & Rosemary, Ann Marshall, Julie Murray, Stuart Richards, Barbara Pallett, Rory Patterson, Sheila Sandes, Hayley, Stephanie, Jennifer, Thomas.
  • For the families of Betty Spottiswoode, Pam Levens and Trevor Thomas who have all died recently.
  • For those in our congregation who are retired. For a sense of vocation and purpose, rest and family and life, and their witness to Christ.
  • Giving thanks for our Rural Dean, Archdeacon and Bishops and for God’s blessing on their ministry and family life.
  • Prayers for St John’s Church and the people of Wateringbury.
  • As we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray for the UK and world authorities; political, medical, scientific, civil and religious.
  • For HM the Queen and our nation, for the Prime Minister and Government, for loving and respectful discourse, truth and integrity in political life. For reconciliation in our nation and economic progress.
  • For authorities and emergency services working in areas of war, humanitarian or ecological tragedy, including all nations affected by Coronavirus. Especially we pray for Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, and the Yemen.
  • For David & Robin Stearns, mission link partners in Uganda.

Daily Prayer

You can pray each day via the Church of England website with Morning and Evening Prayer and Prayer during the Day all provided, along with the correct lectionary readings for each day.

There’s also an App you can download to get the same material direct to your smartphone or tablet device.

Since this facility is now available, we won’t be reprinting the lectionary readings each week here on this page.

Find out more here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

Advent and Christmas 2020

The impact of Coronavirus on our world will have a major impact on our plans for Advent and Christmas 2020. Many of the time-honoured traditions of our worship and celebrations at Christmas will have to adapt to the changes in our circumstances.

We remain committed to celebrating Christmas, the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, as fully as possible. However we are also committed to being loving neighbours and responsible members of our local communities and want to ensure everyone is kept safe and healthy.

** update about Tier 4 **

Kent is now in Tier 4 and while Government have said churches can open for communal worship, Rev David has written a letter (and recorded a video) to provide some pastoral guidance and advice as you ponder whether to attend.

Dates for the diary

What’s happening and what’s not happening this year?

A photo of the choir from the Carol Service at Offham, 2012Wed 23 Dec, 8.00 pm
Live-streamed Carol online service from St Michael’s, Offham

St Michael’s, Offham
We live-streamed a special service on our YouTube channel for all those who wished to take part in our Carol Service for 2020. From the beautiful, ancient church of St Michael’s we hosted a candle-lit evening service of Christmas readings and carols with our Director of Music Stewart Biggs, guest Choirmaster Richard King leading a special guest choir.

If you missed the service on the night, you can still watch it on catch-up via YouTube. If you want to sing along, an Order of Service is available to download with all the words of the carols.

Congregation, St Mary's, Christingle 2011Thu 24 Dec, 4.00 pm
Pre-recorded Christingle online service with nativity from St Mary’s, West Malling

St Mary’s, West Malling
Although the highly popular Christmas Eve Christingle cannot take place in church this year, we hosted a special Christingle service on our YouTube channel on Christmas Eve.

Rev David spoke about the Christingle, our Sunday School presented their special Zoom nativity, while Richard Hammond-Hall and St Mary’s Choir recorded the Christmas Carols for us to sing along.

The words of the Carols will appear on screen but, if you want to do so, you can download an Order of Service so you can sing along from home.

Fri 25 Dec, 8.00 am
Holy Communion (BCP) in church

St Mary’s, West Malling
Traditional language, reflective and quiet Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service. This service will be ticketed. 21 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

Small girl, St Mary's, Christingle 2011Fri 25 Dec, 9.15 am
All-Age Communion service in church

St Michael’s, Offham
Child-friendly Eucharist service to celebrate Christmas Day. The children are encouraged to bring one of their presents to ‘show and tell’ as part of the service. This service will be ticketed. 8 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

Fri 25 Dec, 10.00 am
All-Age Communion service in church

St Mary’s, West Malling
Child-friendly Eucharist service to celebrate Christmas Day. The children are encouraged to bring one of their presents to ‘show and tell’ as part of the service. This service will be ticketed. 21 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

Fri 25 Dec, from 7.30 am
Christmas Day Online Worship

For those unable to come to church in person this year, an act of Online Worship will also be available on Christmas Day. You can log on anytime from 7.30 a.m. onwards to take part.

Sun 27 Dec, 10.00 am
Benefice Service for first Sunday after Christmas in church

St Mary’s, West Malling
There is no 8 am at St Mary’s or 9.15 at St Michael’s on this Sunday. Instead, we come together as one congregation for a joint Benefice service. Canon Alan Vousden will be leading and we gather at St Mary’s, West Malling. This service will be ticketed. 21 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

There will also be an act of Online Worship available from 7.30 a.m. for those who are unable to come to church in person.

 

What is not happening this year

For the avoidance of any doubt, here’s the list of things we are sadly unable to host in 2020.

  • The Christmas Tree Festival (St Mary’s, West Malling)
  • The West Malling Community Choir Christmas Concert (St Mary’s, West Malling)
  • The Heart of Kent Hospice Christmas Concert (St Mary’s, West Malling)
  • Carols in the Pub (Kings Arms, Offham with St Michael’s, Offham)
  • Christingle services in both churches (although there will be a service online)
  • Midnight Communion on Christmas Eve (St Mary’s, West Malling)