Sandown Isle of Wight St. John the Evangelist

| ©2018 St. John the Evangelist, Sandown

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Sunday 27th September 2020 Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Harvest Thanksgiving
Hymn: We plough the fields…
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are 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. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being; 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.
Bible Readings Deuteronomy 8.7-18 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. 10 You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. 11 Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. 12 When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous * snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, 16 and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. 17 Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.
For the beauty of the earth (by John Rutter)
2 Corinthians 9.6-end 6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written,‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness * endures for ever.’ 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. * 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Hymn: Come ye thankful people come
Luke 12.16-30 16 Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” 18 Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20 But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’ 22 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? * 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; * yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
Reflections By Karen Crowhurst Harvest Sunday is one of those special Sundays in church, isn’t it? Although it’s perhaps not quite what we would wish this year. We look forward to singing the old Harvest hymns that we can only enjoy once a year, ‘We plough the fields and scatter, ‘Come Ye Faithful People Come’, ‘Fair Waves the Golden Corn’; we bring up our harvest offerings to share with others in need; we decorate the church to reflect the glories of the autumn season and the crops that have been harvested; we share a Harvest meal. Christians have long celebrated Harvest as a special occasion. Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the Harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning 'loaf Mass'. Farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to their local church. They were then used as the Communion bread during a special mass thanking God for the harvest. In this country, the harvest may be wheat, barley or other cereal crops, or our familiar fruit and vegetables, potatoes, sweetcorn, apples, pears or perhaps courgettes – my husband Steve and I have grown some real whoppers in our small veg patch this year. Of course, harvest celebrations take many different forms around the world. In Argentina, on the final Sunday in February, the Archbishop of Mendoza sprinkles the season’s first grapes with holy water and offers the new vintage to God, setting off a month of celebrations. In Ghana and Nigeria the Festival of Yams is held at the beginning of August to mark the end of the rainy season. It is sometimes called the ‘Homowo’ or ‘Hoot at Hunger’. Yams are offered to the gods and eaten amidst celebrations. There are parades, drumming, dancing and singing, and of course, eating of yams in a traditional dish called Fufu. In Southern India people enjoy a harvest festival called ‘Pongal’. It spans four days and celebrates family, rain gods, sun gods and cattle. On the third day a feast is held featuring rice, jaggery (palm sugar) and dal (lentils) as a celebration of the year’s prosperity. In the United States, of course, there is Thanksgiving on 4th November. This festival originated in the autumn of 1621, when Pilgrims celebrated their successful wheat crop and overflowing store cupboards with a three-day feast. The hosts shared their meal of partridge, wild turkey, and fish with local Native American tribes. Sukkot celebrates Israel’s bountiful harvests and recalls the time when the Israelites wandered the desert living in temporary shelters. Families build makeshift huts, or sukkah, with roofs open to the sky. Here they eat, and sometimes sleep, for the next seven days. Wands of willow, myrtle, and palm, together with a citron (a kind of lemon), are shaken every day in all directions to honour the gifts from the land. Although not all of these festivals are Christian, they reflect the fact that communities don’t take the fact of a successful harvest for granted. Festivals such as these reflect human gratitude for the security and prosperity that a good harvest brings. As Christians we believe that we owe thanks to God for all the food that is produced from the land or the sea, but we also remember those who work to provide us with food, particularly our farmers. Farming is not an easy profession. During the harvest season agricultural workers have to work long hours to get the crops safely in, and the weather can often put a spoke in the works. Earlier this year farmers were expecting the worst wheat harvest since the 1980s. During the wettest February ever recorded, storms Dennis, Ciara and Jorge battered much of the country. The spring was so dry that seeds struggled to germinate. The summer was mixed, with good weather followed by an extreme heatwave and then severe thunderstorms, which affected the wheat that had not yet been harvested. However, 2020 has been a bumper year for strawberries, so it’s not all bad news. Although we are fortunate to live in a country where our climate generally allows agriculture to flourish, we can’t take our food supply for granted, and as the earth’s climate changes, more and more parts of the world are suffering from crop failures due to drought, flooding or other problems. This year, conditions in the Arabian Gulf have been ideal for locusts to breed and so locusts have swarmed in unbelievable numbers in dozens of countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. A swarm of 80 million locusts can consume as much food as 35,000 people would eat in a day. Harvest is an opportunity for us to think again about whether we are responsible stewards of God’s world, as we all fight against climate change. In biblical times there were no official safety nets for those who fell into poverty and they had to rely upon the generosity of family and the local community to help them. In Isaiah 58, for instance, the prophet says: If you give some of your own food to those who are hungry and to satisfy [the needs of] those who are humble, then your light will rise in the dark, and your darkness will become as bright as the noonday sun. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. And think of these words from the book of James: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (itself if-17). As we celebrate harvest we also are invited to think about those around us who may be struggling to feed themselves and their families, not just on our Harvest Sunday, but on an ongoing basis. The coronavirus pandemic has led to more and more people falling into financial troubles and seeking help from food banks. The Trussell Trust expects to be handing out six food parcels a minute this winter, a 61% increase on last year. Let’s all try to be a little bit more generous, if we can. Above all, though, harvest is an opportunity for us to thank God for his generosity to us. I particularly like this extract from Psalm 65, which is a thanksgiving for the rich and bountiful provision of God: You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Amen.
Anthem: Thou visitest the earth
Prayers Prepared by Reverand Jonathan Hall Loving heavenly Father, we pray for your church throughout the world. In our Harvest celebration, we offer you our thanks and praise for all your blessings in creation and for all that sustains life. We pray that like seeds, your church may grow, and bear much fruit. We pray that you will help us and Christians everywhere to be more effective channels of your love and peace, so that your love may truly enrich the life of our community. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Loving heavenly Father, ruler of all, we pray for the world in which we live. At this Harvest time, we give thanks for all who work on land or sea, to bring the peoples of the earth the food that we need. We ask your blessing upon their work. In particular, we pray for those parts of the world where communities struggle to produce enough food. We ask you to send the rain, and give farmers there the conditions that they need to bring forward a good harvest. Bless the work of Christian Aid and other charities in many parts of the world, that they may continue to help poor communities to build a better future. W pray for the leaders of the nations, and all those who are responsible for making policies. We pray for peace in all areas of war and conflict. We pray for fairer trading practices, so that all peoples may enjoy the fruits of your creation. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Loving heavenly Father, we bring before you all those in special need of your love and care this day. Amongst those who are sick we pray especially for… May your healing love surround them. We pray too, for those who mourn the loss of loved ones. We join with them in remembering and giving thanks for the lives of those who have recently died… Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. In a moment of quiet, we bring before God, our own special thoughts and prayers at this time – people or situations we place into your care and protection, or things for which we want to give you thanks and praise.
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: Living Great is thy faithfulness
God’s Blessing God the Father, who created the world, give us grace to be wise stewards of your creation. God the Son, who redeemed the world, inspire us to go out as your labourers into the harvest. God the Holy Spirit, whose breath fills the whole of creation, help us to grow the fruits of love, joy and peace for all to share. And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and evermore. Amen.
Look at the world By John Rutter

| ©2018 St. John the Evangelist, Sandown

Sandown Isle of Wight St. John the Evangelist SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Sunday 27th September 2020 Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Harvest Thanksgiving
Hymn: We plough the fields…
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are 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. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being; 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.
Bible Readings Deuteronomy 8.7-18 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. 10 You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. 11 Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. 12 When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous * snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, 16 and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. 17 Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.
2 Corinthians 9.6-end 6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written,‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness * endures for ever.’ 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. * 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Luke 12.16-30 16 Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” 18 Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20 But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’ 22 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? * 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; * yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
Reflections By Karen Crowhurst Harvest Sunday is one of those special Sundays in church, isn’t it? Although it’s perhaps not quite what we would wish this year. We look forward to singing the old Harvest hymns that we can only enjoy once a year, ‘We plough the fields and scatter, ‘Come Ye Faithful People Come’, ‘Fair Waves the Golden Corn’; we bring up our harvest offerings to share with others in need; we decorate the church to reflect the glories of the autumn season and the crops that have been harvested; we share a Harvest meal. Christians have long celebrated Harvest as a special occasion. Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the Harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning 'loaf Mass'. Farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to their local church. They were then used as the Communion bread during a special mass thanking God for the harvest. In this country, the harvest may be wheat, barley or other cereal crops, or our familiar fruit and vegetables, potatoes, sweetcorn, apples, pears or perhaps courgettes – my husband Steve and I have grown some real whoppers in our small veg patch this year. Of course, harvest celebrations take many different forms around the world. In Argentina, on the final Sunday in February, the Archbishop of Mendoza sprinkles the season’s first grapes with holy water and offers the new vintage to God, setting off a month of celebrations. In Ghana and Nigeria the Festival of Yams is held at the beginning of August to mark the end of the rainy season. It is sometimes called the ‘Homowo’ or ‘Hoot at Hunger’. Yams are offered to the gods and eaten amidst celebrations. There are parades, drumming, dancing and singing, and of course, eating of yams in a traditional dish called Fufu. In Southern India people enjoy a harvest festival called ‘Pongal’. It spans four days and celebrates family, rain gods, sun gods and cattle. On the third day a feast is held featuring rice, jaggery (palm sugar) and dal (lentils) as a celebration of the year’s prosperity. In the United States, of course, there is Thanksgiving on 4th November. This festival originated in the autumn of 1621, when Pilgrims celebrated their successful wheat crop and overflowing store cupboards with a three-day feast. The hosts shared their meal of partridge, wild turkey, and fish with local Native American tribes. Sukkot celebrates Israel’s bountiful harvests and recalls the time when the Israelites wandered the desert living in temporary shelters. Families build makeshift huts, or sukkah, with roofs open to the sky. Here they eat, and sometimes sleep, for the next seven days. Wands of willow, myrtle, and palm, together with a citron (a kind of lemon), are shaken every day in all directions to honour the gifts from the land. Although not all of these festivals are Christian, they reflect the fact that communities don’t take the fact of a successful harvest for granted. Festivals such as these reflect human gratitude for the security and prosperity that a good harvest brings. As Christians we believe that we owe thanks to God for all the food that is produced from the land or the sea, but we also remember those who work to provide us with food, particularly our farmers. Farming is not an easy profession. During the harvest season agricultural workers have to work long hours to get the crops safely in, and the weather can often put a spoke in the works. Earlier this year farmers were expecting the worst wheat harvest since the 1980s. During the wettest February ever recorded, storms Dennis, Ciara and Jorge battered much of the country. The spring was so dry that seeds struggled to germinate. The summer was mixed, with good weather followed by an extreme heatwave and then severe thunderstorms, which affected the wheat that had not yet been harvested. However, 2020 has been a bumper year for strawberries, so it’s not all bad news. Although we are fortunate to live in a country where our climate generally allows agriculture to flourish, we can’t take our food supply for granted, and as the earth’s climate changes, more and more parts of the world are suffering from crop failures due to drought, flooding or other problems. This year, conditions in the Arabian Gulf have been ideal for locusts to breed and so locusts have swarmed in unbelievable numbers in dozens of countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. A swarm of 80 million locusts can consume as much food as 35,000 people would eat in a day. Harvest is an opportunity for us to think again about whether we are responsible stewards of God’s world, as we all fight against climate change. In biblical times there were no official safety nets for those who fell into poverty and they had to rely upon the generosity of family and the local community to help them. In Isaiah 58, for instance, the prophet says: If you give some of your own food to those who are hungry and to satisfy [the needs of] those who are humble, then your light will rise in the dark, and your darkness will become as bright as the noonday sun. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. And think of these words from the book of James: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (itself if- 17). As we celebrate harvest we also are invited to think about those around us who may be struggling to feed themselves and their families, not just on our Harvest Sunday, but on an ongoing basis. The coronavirus pandemic has led to more and more people falling into financial troubles and seeking help from food banks. The Trussell Trust expects to be handing out six food parcels a minute this winter, a 61% increase on last year. Let’s all try to be a little bit more generous, if we can. Above all, though, harvest is an opportunity for us to thank God for his generosity to us. I particularly like this extract from Psalm 65, which is a thanksgiving for the rich and bountiful provision of God: You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Amen.
For the beauty of the earth (by John Rutter)
Hymn: Come ye thankful people come
Anthem: Thou visitest the earth
Prayers Prepared by Reverand Jonathan Hall Loving heavenly Father, we pray for your church throughout the world. In our Harvest celebration, we offer you our thanks and praise for all your blessings in creation and for all that sustains life. We pray that like seeds, your church may grow, and bear much fruit. We pray that you will help us and Christians everywhere to be more effective channels of your love and peace, so that your love may truly enrich the life of our community. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Loving heavenly Father, ruler of all, we pray for the world in which we live. At this Harvest time, we give thanks for all who work on land or sea, to bring the peoples of the earth the food that we need. We ask your blessing upon their work. In particular, we pray for those parts of the world where communities struggle to produce enough food. We ask you to send the rain, and give farmers there the conditions that they need to bring forward a good harvest. Bless the work of Christian Aid and other charities in many parts of the world, that they may continue to help poor communities to build a better future. W pray for the leaders of the nations, and all those who are responsible for making policies. We pray for peace in all areas of war and conflict. We pray for fairer trading practices, so that all peoples may enjoy the fruits of your creation. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Loving heavenly Father, we bring before you all those in special need of your love and care this day. Amongst those who are sick we pray especially for… May your healing love surround them. We pray too, for those who mourn the loss of loved ones. We join with them in remembering and giving thanks for the lives of those who have recently died… Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. In a moment of quiet, we bring before God, our own special thoughts and prayers at this time – people or situations we place into your care and protection, or things for which we want to give you thanks and praise.
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: Living Great is thy faithfulness
God’s Blessing God the Father, who created the world, give us grace to be wise stewards of your creation. God the Son, who redeemed the world, inspire us to go out as your labourers into the harvest. God the Holy Spirit, whose breath fills the whole of creation, help us to grow the fruits of love, joy and peace for all to share. And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and evermore. Amen.
Look at the world By John Rutter
Sandown Isle of Wight St. John the Evangelist

| ©2018 St. John the Evangelist, Sandown

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Sunday 27th September 2020 Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Harvest Thanksgiving
Hymn: We plough the fields…
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are 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. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being; 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.
Bible Readings Deuteronomy 8.7-18 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. 10 You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. 11 Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. 12 When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous * snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, 16 and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. 17 Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.
For the beauty of the earth (by John Rutter)
2 Corinthians 9.6-end 6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written,‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness * endures for ever.’ 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. * 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Hymn: Come ye thankful people come
Luke 12.16-30 16 Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” 18 Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20 But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’ 22 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? * 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; * yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
Reflections By Karen Crowhurst Harvest Sunday is one of those special Sundays in church, isn’t it? Although it’s perhaps not quite what we would wish this year. We look forward to singing the old Harvest hymns that we can only enjoy once a year, ‘We plough the fields and scatter, ‘Come Ye Faithful People Come’, ‘Fair Waves the Golden Corn’; we bring up our harvest offerings to share with others in need; we decorate the church to reflect the glories of the autumn season and the crops that have been harvested; we share a Harvest meal. Christians have long celebrated Harvest as a special occasion. Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the Harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning 'loaf Mass'. Farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to their local church. They were then used as the Communion bread during a special mass thanking God for the harvest. In this country, the harvest may be wheat, barley or other cereal crops, or our familiar fruit and vegetables, potatoes, sweetcorn, apples, pears or perhaps courgettes – my husband Steve and I have grown some real whoppers in our small veg patch this year. Of course, harvest celebrations take many different forms around the world. In Argentina, on the final Sunday in February, the Archbishop of Mendoza sprinkles the season’s first grapes with holy water and offers the new vintage to God, setting off a month of celebrations. In Ghana and Nigeria the Festival of Yams is held at the beginning of August to mark the end of the rainy season. It is sometimes called the ‘Homowo’ or ‘Hoot at Hunger’. Yams are offered to the gods and eaten amidst celebrations. There are parades, drumming, dancing and singing, and of course, eating of yams in a traditional dish called Fufu. In Southern India people enjoy a harvest festival called ‘Pongal’. It spans four days and celebrates family, rain gods, sun gods and cattle. On the third day a feast is held featuring rice, jaggery (palm sugar) and dal (lentils) as a celebration of the year’s prosperity. In the United States, of course, there is Thanksgiving on 4th November. This festival originated in the autumn of 1621, when Pilgrims celebrated their successful wheat crop and overflowing store cupboards with a three-day feast. The hosts shared their meal of partridge, wild turkey, and fish with local Native American tribes. Sukkot celebrates Israel’s bountiful harvests and recalls the time when the Israelites wandered the desert living in temporary shelters. Families build makeshift huts, or sukkah, with roofs open to the sky. Here they eat, and sometimes sleep, for the next seven days. Wands of willow, myrtle, and palm, together with a citron (a kind of lemon), are shaken every day in all directions to honour the gifts from the land. Although not all of these festivals are Christian, they reflect the fact that communities don’t take the fact of a successful harvest for granted. Festivals such as these reflect human gratitude for the security and prosperity that a good harvest brings. As Christians we believe that we owe thanks to God for all the food that is produced from the land or the sea, but we also remember those who work to provide us with food, particularly our farmers. Farming is not an easy profession. During the harvest season agricultural workers have to work long hours to get the crops safely in, and the weather can often put a spoke in the works. Earlier this year farmers were expecting the worst wheat harvest since the 1980s. During the wettest February ever recorded, storms Dennis, Ciara and Jorge battered much of the country. The spring was so dry that seeds struggled to germinate. The summer was mixed, with good weather followed by an extreme heatwave and then severe thunderstorms, which affected the wheat that had not yet been harvested. However, 2020 has been a bumper year for strawberries, so it’s not all bad news. Although we are fortunate to live in a country where our climate generally allows agriculture to flourish, we can’t take our food supply for granted, and as the earth’s climate changes, more and more parts of the world are suffering from crop failures due to drought, flooding or other problems. This year, conditions in the Arabian Gulf have been ideal for locusts to breed and so locusts have swarmed in unbelievable numbers in dozens of countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. A swarm of 80 million locusts can consume as much food as 35,000 people would eat in a day. Harvest is an opportunity for us to think again about whether we are responsible stewards of God’s world, as we all fight against climate change. In biblical times there were no official safety nets for those who fell into poverty and they had to rely upon the generosity of family and the local community to help them. In Isaiah 58, for instance, the prophet says: If you give some of your own food to those who are hungry and to satisfy [the needs of] those who are humble, then your light will rise in the dark, and your darkness will become as bright as the noonday sun. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. And think of these words from the book of James: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (itself if-17). As we celebrate harvest we also are invited to think about those around us who may be struggling to feed themselves and their families, not just on our Harvest Sunday, but on an ongoing basis. The coronavirus pandemic has led to more and more people falling into financial troubles and seeking help from food banks. The Trussell Trust expects to be handing out six food parcels a minute this winter, a 61% increase on last year. Let’s all try to be a little bit more generous, if we can. Above all, though, harvest is an opportunity for us to thank God for his generosity to us. I particularly like this extract from Psalm 65, which is a thanksgiving for the rich and bountiful provision of God: You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Amen.
Anthem: Thou visitest the earth
Prayers Prepared by Reverand Jonathan Hall Loving heavenly Father, we pray for your church throughout the world. In our Harvest celebration, we offer you our thanks and praise for all your blessings in creation and for all that sustains life. We pray that like seeds, your church may grow, and bear much fruit. We pray that you will help us and Christians everywhere to be more effective channels of your love and peace, so that your love may truly enrich the life of our community. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Loving heavenly Father, ruler of all, we pray for the world in which we live. At this Harvest time, we give thanks for all who work on land or sea, to bring the peoples of the earth the food that we need. We ask your blessing upon their work. In particular, we pray for those parts of the world where communities struggle to produce enough food. We ask you to send the rain, and give farmers there the conditions that they need to bring forward a good harvest. Bless the work of Christian Aid and other charities in many parts of the world, that they may continue to help poor communities to build a better future. W pray for the leaders of the nations, and all those who are responsible for making policies. We pray for peace in all areas of war and conflict. We pray for fairer trading practices, so that all peoples may enjoy the fruits of your creation. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Loving heavenly Father, we bring before you all those in special need of your love and care this day. Amongst those who are sick we pray especially for… May your healing love surround them. We pray too, for those who mourn the loss of loved ones. We join with them in remembering and giving thanks for the lives of those who have recently died… Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. In a moment of quiet, we bring before God, our own special thoughts and prayers at this time – people or situations we place into your care and protection, or things for which we want to give you thanks and praise.
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: Living Great is thy faithfulness
God’s Blessing God the Father, who created the world, give us grace to be wise stewards of your creation. God the Son, who redeemed the world, inspire us to go out as your labourers into the harvest. God the Holy Spirit, whose breath fills the whole of creation, help us to grow the fruits of love, joy and peace for all to share. And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and evermore. Amen.
Look at the world By John Rutter
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