TRINITY SUNDAY 30TH MAY 2021

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OPENING SENTENCE

In God’s temple all cry “Glory.”

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung by Dougie Byers

COLLECT

Almighty and Everlasting God,

you have given us grace in the profession of true faith

to recognise the glory of the eternal Trinity:

keep us steadfast in this faith

and bring us to see you in your perfect and eternal unity;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end.

Amen

FIRST READING
Isaiah 6:1-8
read by Annabelle Guthrie

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Sunday School Lesson "Holy, Holy, Holy" Isaiah 6:1-8 | Isaiah 6, Sunday  school lessons, Isaiah

The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

SECOND READING
Romans 8:12-17
read by Kate Lidwell

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Reflection on Romans 8:12-17 | New Life Narrabri

HYMN

GOSPEL READING
JOHN 3:1-17
read by Rev James Clark Maxwell

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John chapter 3 beginning at verse 1

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 

John 3:16 For God so Loved the World - Bible Verses To Go

Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

SERMON

Stress & Anxiety Free - playlist by Calming Music Academy | Spotify

Personal stress worldwide is now at record levels. The highest it has been seen World War Two. As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, new fast-spreading variants have caused a surge in infections in many countries, and renewed lockdowns. The devastation of the pandemic — millions of deaths, economic strife and unprecedented curbs on social interaction — has already had a marked effect on people’s mental health. Researchers worldwide are investigating the causes and impacts of this stress, and some fear that the deterioration in mental health could linger long after the pandemic has subsided.

The Mental Health Foundation announced that 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. A sad fact that is hardly surprising considering the massive upheaval to the daily routine of all our lives, the incredible level of loss the world has faced and the intense isolation we all are still experiencing. Whilst we all need a level of stress in our lives; too much stress damages our physical and mental health. So how do we keep from stressing out?

When we are stressed, and feel things are spiralling out of control, what we need to know more than anything else is to know that there is someone who is in control that we can trust them. We want someone who can see the bigger picture. We want someone who can help us see more clearly what we are meant to be doing and someone who knows why we are here on earth, what our purpose here is and how best we can fulfil that.

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Who better to turn to than the one who has created us; the one who knows us better than we know ourselves; the one who is in control and sees the larger picture-we need to turn to our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father is beyond us. God the Father is sovereign. He is in control. He understands and knows things we cannot. In Scripture we are reminded God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. This is good news for our minds are finite, our understanding is limited to what we can comprehend. We need someone who knows more, understands more, and importantly can do something about it.

In Psalm 115 it says God is in control of all things in heaven and on earth, and He makes sure to do what is best for us. In Scripture we are reminded that God is still in control of nature. In Job it says God controls the clouds. Nature is in balance. Even when natural things seem to get out of hand, and now we realise that some of that is our fault, God is in control. When floods rise or the volcano explodes, God is still in control. His order is not necessarily our order. You can see that in a natural forest as opposed to a man- made forest. God cares for the world he has made. He declared the world he made was good. He is in the business of sustaining, restoring and renewing creation.

Does God control everything? | Wisdomforlife

It may feel to you like God has given up on the world, but He has no intention of doing so. God is in control and he is in control of those in authority. God can turn any situation around. Nationally, worldwide, or in your office or in your home. Nothing is out of control to God. Nothing is too hard for God. With God all things are impossible. Things may well get a little wild, but they are not beyond God’s reach. God is always at work, making all things new, and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. So, if God is in control of the natural elements, why would he not be control of the situations we might find ourselves in.

We can trust God, for he knows what he is doing. He is not out to manipulate or control us, bamboozle us with lies and scams. No, he speaks the truth. His promises, several thousands of them in scripture hold true and have been proven to be so. So, when we are out in control, greatly stressed and upset by many things, we need to turn our focus, our energies to God the Father, who is the one in the Trinity who is beyond us. We need to turn our attention to God and his promises. We cannot fully comprehend God the Father, for he is beyond our understanding, which is a good thing for we need help beyond ourselves. We need God the Father who is in control, who knows what, when and how to do what is right for us.

So, we can take heart when we are stressed that God is there beyond us, working in ways we do not know or understand, but working for our good and the good of the world.

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You may be thinking that is all very well but I need someone beside me. Maybe you are thinking a little like this small girl. The little girl was four years old when she awoke one night frightened, convinced that in the darkness around her there were all kinds of spooks and monsters. Alone, she ran to her parents’ bedroom. Her mother calmed her down and, taking her by the hand, led her back to her own room, where she put on a light and reassured the child with these words: ‘You needn’t be afraid, you are not alone here. God is in the room with you.’ The child replied: “I know that God is here, but I need someone in this room who has some skin.’”

God the Father knew that we needed someone beside us who has skin and so as it says in John’s gospel – God sent his one and only Son to us, Jesus. God sent his Son to be with us, to be beside us. His presence on earth captured the attention of many and the imagination of some. Nicodemus was a high- ranking member of the Sanhedrin, which is the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews. Nicodemus was intrigued and attracted to Jesus. Nicodemus realised that God was working in and through him. He even said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Nicodemus wrestled with the question of identity, was Jesus God’s Son or not. The symbol of night in John’s gospel suggests that Nicodemus has not yet accepted Jesus as the light of the world. Indeed, it was not until the end of Jesus’ earthly life that Nicodemus knew beyond doubt that Jesus was the Son of God and took Jesus’ body down from the cross for burial. He discovered for himself that Jesus was the second person of the Trinity who is beside us.

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Today we are blessed for unlike Nicodemus we have the New Testament that tells of Jesus, the second person of the trinity who is sent to earth by God the Father to be with us; to be beside us. We have our own personal experiences of Jesus and we can listen to the testimonies of other people who have encountered Jesus. In Scripture and in present day we read of stories where people have been touched by the incredible love and compassion of Jesus.

Jesus’ heart went out to all people, people on the margins like the leper who asked: “Lord if you will make me clean.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Jesus touched a man with a deadly disease. It is astonishing that a leper would come to Jesus at all – they would never have approached an ordinary rabbi-the leper would have known that he would be treated with disgust. Clearly the leper saw in Jesus something he had not seen in any religious teacher before- such love and compassion. Jesus touched the untouchables.

For the woman bleeding for twelve years, he reached out to her and listened to her story. He was vexed for her and stood beside her and brought healing. He spent his ministry blessing the blind, the lame, the deaf, the marginalised, the poor but he had time too for the Nicodemus’ of this world, for the Pharisees and Sadducees. He had the gift of going to the heart of the problem. Some people Jesus had to challenge with his words in the hope of shaking and stirring them out of their hard heartedness into faith and true love. Other hearts were softened and they needed more than anything to know they mattered, they were loved and cared for.

Jesus was there beside everyone- but not all received him. Today Jesus is beside us as the second person of the Trinity. He wants us to know and experience his love, be touched by his compassion and kindness. He offers us his friendship and opens his arms to us. There is nothing in our lives that does not matter to Jesus. Nothing too small or too large for Jesus’ attention. He intercedes for you and me today. He rejoices when we are happy and weeps with us when we weep. He never leaves us nor abandons us – He is always beside us. There are times for sure when we doubt his presence, when we are so stressed that we are not aware of his presence. Be rest assured he is with you.

Footprints in the Sand Poem | Beautiful Poem from Only the Bible.com

You will know I am sure the footprint story, but it is worth repeating. One night I dreamed a dream. As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.” He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” God carries you and me. We need to remember God the Son is with us; he is beside us. In my house I have this plaque which says: I believe in the sun even if it does not shine, I believe in love, even if I do not feel it, I believe in God even if he is absent.

So in our moments of stress, we can hold on to the truth that God our Father is beyond us, keeping all in control, and Jesus the Son is beside us and finally the third person of the Trinity is built in us– the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. God the Spirit is the one who dwells within us and guides us.

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Many of us have a GPS in our car. If you have a smartphone, you may have a GPS application on it. When you want to go somewhere, you put the address of the place where you would like to go into your GPS, and it will give you turn-by- turn directions and put a picture on the screen showing you how to get there. In trying to find our way through life’s journeys, God has given us a spiritual GPS to guide us. That guide is the Holy Spirit. When we don’t know what to do or which way to turn, the Holy Spirit always points us in the right direction. The Spirit brings truth from scripture to our attention and guides us accordingly to make the right decisions. The Spirit fills us with God’s love and peace. This peace that we receive from God passes all understanding. We could be in an awful storm in life and yet we can have peace. There is no logic, nor reasoning to this peace. It is a gift that the Holy Spirit gives us. Peace is a precious gift that the Holy Spirit fills us with. He also gives us when we are stressed, strength, love, kindness and self- control. There is no end to the gifts the Holy spirit wants to give us- all he asks is that we take these gifts and open them. They are no use if they are left unwrapped.

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So, when we feel overwhelmed, stressed and things are spiralling out of control- stop and remember that in God we are secure and sage. He has our back. He is on our side. The Father, the first person of the Trinity is beyond us, doing things we do not necessarily comprehend but we know that he is in control, working all things out for our good. We have Jesus God’s Son who is the second person of the Trinity and is beside us, showing us in life’s joys and sorrows his care. We have God’s Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the Trinity who is built in us. He dwells within and imparts to us peace, love and wisdom. So, in the Triune God, we do not need to be stressed out- He is there for us every step of our life’s journey. Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

PRAYERS

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

with awe and reverence we come to you.

We rejoice in your unity

and in your relationship of mutual love.

Unite your church together as one,

fill her with your Spirit,

that we might serve and work in harmony and love.

We lift to you the nations of the world,

asking that your rule of justice and peace might reign.

Guide all those in authority to act justly, with compassion for all.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

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God the Father,

we praise you for your sovereignty

and for the knowledge that you are in control.

We thank you that you are in the business

of restoring, renewing

and working all things for good

for those who love you.

We thank you that you are beyond us,

that you are transcendent

and that your ways are not our ways

and your thoughts not our thoughts.

We lift to you those who are stressed just now,

feeling that everything is spiralling out of control,

and ask that you will draw near to them

and give them your peace and calm.

Bring into their lives the right people

who can offer the support and help they need.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

God the Father

you love us with an extravagant love,

caring enough to call us your children,

providing each day our every need,

and protecting us throughout our lives.

We pray for those in poverty,

those who lack life’s basic necessities,

the homeless and the unloved.

May we share your compassion for all your children

and reach out to them with love.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

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God the Son,

you graciously shared our humanity,

and experienced both our joys and sorrows.

In gentleness you reached out to all in need,

and brought your wholeness and love.

We pray for all your disciples,

that we may be faithful in service,

bold in proclaiming the Gospel

and gentle in helping others.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

God the Son,

thank you that you walk

through our lives beside us.

We are grateful that we are never alone.

You are ever present to us

in times of need and trouble

and also in times of joy and delight.

Reach out to those today

who feel hurt, lonely and depressed.

Shed your light into their darkness

and fill them hope and strength in these days.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

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God the Spirit,

you are with us each and every day,

constantly by our side, working in us and through us,

teaching, guiding, encouraging, and leading us.

We marvel but do not comprehend

how you are within us,

in a sense built into us.

We draw courage, hope and strength

from the knowledge

that you are dwelling within us,

touching us with God’s love, joy and peace.

We pray for all who are facing important decisions,

those who are seeking employment,

those who are grappling with family problems

and those who are living with uncertainty.

Help them to know your guiding hand

and lead them in the right path.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

God the Spirit of new life,

we thank you for the precious gift of children.

We praise you for their individuality and uniqueness,

for their sense of wonder and discovery,

and for their vitality and energy.

We pray for all children in primary schools

that they will receive a good education

and be open to learning.

We lift to you all pupils in secondary schools

and pray for them in the exams they sit

and in the awards that they receive.

May all pupils know

that whatever they receive in their results

you have a plan and purpose for them.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

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God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

we hold before you in prayer

those who are sick at this time at home or in hospital.

We remember to you

those awaiting results of tests,

and those recovering from surgery.

We think of those caring for loved ones at home or in hospital

and pray for their wisdom, patience and gentleness.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

God who is “beyond us, beside us and built into us”

we lift to you with thanksgiving our loved ones

who are now in your nearer presence.

Grant that we may share with them

in worshipping you for all eternity.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God Almighty

Hear us and help us.

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God the Trinity,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

work in and through us

that we might reflect,

your love, unity and harmony.

Merciful Father accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord

who taught us to say together,

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.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

BLESSING

God the Holy Trinity

make you strong in faith and love,

defend you on every side,

and guide you in truth and peace;

and the blessing of God almighty,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you

and remain with you always. Amen

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

Donations

You can donate to St John’s by credit or debit card by following these links.

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Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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