Sunday, 13th September: 14th Sunday after Trinity

Welcome to today’s online worship offering using the same readings, prayers and reflection that will be shared in church plus some musical offerings related to the theme of the service. It takes about half an hour to fully participate in this offering so we hope you can find some quality time to interact with it. Thank you for sharing this service with us.

The Prayer for Today: The Collect

Almighty God, whose only Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence: give us pure hearts and steadfast wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; 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.

Opening Hymn: Praise my soul, the King of Heaven.

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet your tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore his praises sing.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King!

Praise him for his grace and favor
to his people in distress.
Praise him, still the same as ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glorious in his faithfulness!

Fatherlike he tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame he knows.
In his hand he gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Widely yet his mercy flows!

Angels, help us to adore him;
you behold him face to face.
Sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace! 

First Reading: Romans 14:1-12   Do Not Judge Another

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions.  Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.  Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.  Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another?  It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike.  Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.  Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord.  Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister?  Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister?  For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”  So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

Hymn: At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.

The Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35   Forgiveness

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?  As many as seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him;, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.  So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’  And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 

The Unforgiving Servant

But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’  Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’  But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt.  When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.  Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’  And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt.  So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

Psalm 114

WHEN Israel came out of Egypt: 
and the house of Jacob from among the strange people,
Judah was his sanctuary: 
and Israel his dominion.
The sea saw that, and fled: 
Jordan was driven back.
The mountains skipped like rams: 
and the little hills like young sheep.
What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest: 
and thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams: 
and ye little hills, like young sheep?
Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord: 
at the presence of the God of Jacob;
Who turned the hard rock into a standing water: and the flint-stone into a springing well.
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning
Is now and shall be for evermore.

Reflection: from Rev. Jane Cresswell, our Vicar.

Anthem: Called to Remembrance, O Lord.

“Call to remembrance, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindness, which hath been ever of old. O remember not the sins and offences of my youth: but according to thy mercy think thou on me, O Lord, for thy goodness.” (Psalm 25: 5-6)

Our Prayers for Today: Click the link to hear the prayers and follow the words below.

Our Father, we know that you forgive us our trespasses as we must forgive those who trespass against us, yet we struggle to follow your loving example in our day to day lives. Help us to resist the temptations of revenge and retribution and turn instead to the loving kindness of forgiveness and reconciliation. Help us to forgive others for their shortcomings and to forgive ourselves for our own shortcomings. You are ever-pardoning and ever-forgiving. Help us reflect your love in our treatment of others, and let us work for justice, reconciliation, and forgiveness. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Guiding God, we ask you to help us to seek out opportunities to work for understanding and tolerance between people of different religious, social, racial, and political backgrounds. We pray that these differences do not lead to bitterness and hatred between us. Help us to go beyond our own comfort zones and help those in need regardless of our differences. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, today we pray for victims of fire, flood, famine, earthquake & disease. For those whom disaster has left homeless, injured, or bereaved and today our thoughts and prayers are especially with people in Lesbos, Brazil & the West Coast of America. Give all who suffer the love that bears all things. Be the support of all who give their strength, skill, and stamina providing relief. We ask you to open our hearts in generosity and prayer that we may support their commitment to bring relief to the thousands in need at this time. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving Lord, we pray for people who are worried for their health. Reassure them and help them to have confidence in those with medical knowledge to diagnose illness and care for the sick. Give them courage, hope and peace, and the knowledge that you are present in their weakness, pain, and suffering. We pray especially for those who have no one to help them, that in their loneliness they may know that you are with them. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, we pray for those whose hearts have been saddened by the death of someone close and dear to them, for friends and family who have died and whose anniversary we recall. Help us to experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us, and the fellowship of the church family around us until we are reunited once more in your heavenly kingdom.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Be with us Lord in the week ahead as we go out onto the world. May the lips that have sung your praises always speak the truth and may the ears which have heard your word listen only to what is good and help us all embrace Your gift of forgiveness in our lives. 

Heavenly Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Final Hymn: I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship should set his love upon the sons of men.

This Week’s Notices

Suzanne’s Ordination as Priest: We understand the service will be streamed but we do not yet have the details.  Please refer to this website during the week and remember Suzanne in your prayers especially on Saturday.  Suzanne will preside at the Eucharist for the first time next Sunday.  After the service, there will be a short drinks reception in our churchyard to honour Suzanne’s priesting. This reception will be held under COVID-19 Secure status.  Phil has completed many of the requirements for COVID-19 Secure status and asks that everyone attending please:

• brings their own glass or mug.

• maintains social distancing when leaving the church going into the churchyard viaof the two exit doors (South Door and Lady Chapel Door) which we will make available for next Sunday

• keeps within a single group up to six people during the reception.

Macmillan Coffee Morning: This will take place on Friday, 25 September between 10am and noon.  Donations will be by card and anyone coming must bring their own mug for coffee/tea and there will be cakes to eat/take away.

 To keep the event COVID secure, the event will take place in the churchyard, social distancing will be maintained with a maximum group size will be six.  If you wish to make a donation but cannot come, it can be done using your smartphone and QR code.  For further details see Pam Taylor.

Might you be called to serve on the PCC?: The Annual Parish Church Meeting is now a month away (18th October) and we need new people on the PCC.  Please do consider if you might support our church in this way.  We need a full PCC to steer our Mission Action Plan going forward.  Please do think about this and talk to Jane about it.

Can you help? — New Book: Tales of Taplow: Two years ago, Hilary and Tony put together TASTE OF TAPLOW; a book of recipes contributed by our congregation, friends, clergy, and local restaurants including the Oak & Saw, and Roux @ Skindles.  It also contained some history of the church, with some splendid photos.  It sold out in about four months, raising about £1,500 for the church! 

We are working on a new edition, TALES OF TAPLOW, which is more of a history book but with some recipes.  It will include a comprehensive section on the War Memorial as well as the history of the church and the Taplow area.  We’re aiming for it to be out before Christmas and with a larger print run.  Would you like us to include your favourite ‘tried and tested’ recipe in the new book?  If you had a recipe published last time, we will include it again.  However, you are welcome to send a replacement; there’s space for one recipe per person.  Please email it to Tony before the end of September (email details in pew leaflet). 

Do you know of a local business who may like to sponsor some of the printing cost in exchange for a mention in the book?  The only outlay is the printing, and all proceeds will go to our church.

A Blessing: Beatitudes for a Global Pandemic

Voluntary: from Canterbury Cathedral. Edward Elgar’s Chanson de Nuit was originally composed for violin and piano, along with its companion piece Chanson de Matin. This organ arrangement is by Herbert Brewer, a devoted friend of Elgar and onetime Organist of Gloucester Cathedral.