Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice
Message from Revd Sarah du Boulay
Goodness, isn’t it hot? Hot, hot, hot. As I type, UK temperature records are being broken, and it seems the world has gone crazy over this heatwave. I am sitting at my desk with all curtains drawn, fans on and a cold towel on standby. The dogs are stretched out on the cold floor.
Aside from the worrying global warming aspect of this heatwave, and the obvious threat to health, it seems to me that as we have seen so often in the past, there is nothing like a bit of adversity to bring us all together. Whether it’s facing a global pandemic, or moaning about the weather. So do take care of yourselves this week. And do take care of your neighbours as well. Stay cool!
This week I am at Friston in the morning, before leading Evening Prayer at Aldeburgh in the evening, and am looking forward to seeing you there.
With continued prayers,
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
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.
Then the Lord said, ‘How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.’ So the men turned from there, and went towards Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham came near and said, ‘Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?’ And the Lord said, ‘If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.’ Abraham answered, ‘Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?’ And he said, ‘I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.’ Again he spoke to him, ‘Suppose forty are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of forty I will not do it.’ Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.’ He answered, ‘I will not do it, if I find thirty there.’ He said, ‘Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.’ Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.’
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.’ And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’
Sermon preached by The Revd Sheila Murray at
Aldeburgh 17th July 2022
Luke 10:38-end Martha & Mary – Being/Doing?
Imagine if you will, a lovely summer’s day, you have got some friends round for a meal. They are out in the garden sipping a glass of Pimms, and having a great time chatting, laughing, and relaxing. And where are you? You are stuck in the kitchen, stirring a sauce over a hot stove, trying to do various different jobs so that everyone in a short while will have a lovely 3 course meal. You pride yourself on being a good host/hostess, wanting people to have a good time, but you are being left out of the fun. You have no idea what they have been talking about, you can’t drink as much as them or else the vegetables will be burnt, and you say to yourself “Why? Why did I try to show off cooking a complicated 3 course meal? I could just as easily gone to M&S or the Cook Shop and bought a few ready made dishes and pretended I had done the cooking. But no, I tried to emulate Masterchef contestants and now I’m really hacked off. Why couldn’t I be content with a salad, or a BBQ! then I could have spent some time out there with them too.” If only …….
Is this scenario familiar to you? Does it have similarities to the story we have heard from Luke’s gospel?
And in our story, we hear about Martha, trying to be a good hostess but becoming resentful of her sister who should in Martha’s mind really be helping her behind the scenes – but is actually sitting at Jesus’ feet. Did Mary ever consider that actually Martha might have preferred to be there, but as the older sister, she is yet again losing out. And so dear Martha turns to their friend Jesus and asks for his help – get Mary to come and help me, then you can have your meal sooner and we can all be together round the table.
A lot of people think of Mary as the righteous one, and Martha is the sister in the wrong. Hospitality isn’t wrong, it is important- but what is more important is the attitude that you have in fulfilling your service. If it is done with resentment, if it is done for self-glorification and for your ego, then perhaps you need to think again about what you are doing and why you are doing it.
We all have different ways to serve God. He has given us different gifts to use for his glory. But we need to keep in check the reason why we are doing things – are we so busy doing things because if they go well, we will get lots of praise and thanks – our ego will be boosted? Or is it because we want to serve our loving God.
What Jesus is saying in this story is that there is a time to be busy but there is also a time to be still, to focus on God, to sit as Jesus’ feet and to listen to what he might be trying to tell us. It’s not that Mary’s character was the right one and Martha’s character or personality was wrong. He was pointing out that at that particular time, in that particular place, Mary was happy just to be and Martha needed to learn to come and just “be” too. Her focus on life had perhaps become out of kilter.
It is also very easy to be so busy doing things for God that we forget to spend time with him. I remember being on a conference where someone said we are human beings not human doings, we are human beings not human doings. and we need to get the balance in our lives right between the doing and the being. And to do that We need to have time and space to focus on God.
So, Jesus has called Martha to take time out and to join Mary and the others, to come and sit and Jesus’ feet.
In church today we can be too busy to know or to recognise when we are being called to sit at Jesus’ feet. Are we sometimes too busy “doing” church rather than to “be” church? Perhaps a question we should be asking ourselves and corporately is “what does it mean to be church” before we rush to do church. If that were an exam question it would then say “discuss”.
Jesus, led a very busy life. He was travelling around, talking to the crowds in towns and villages, performing miracles, speaking in the synagogues, teaching his disciples and other followers who travelled with him and so on. But he also set aside time to be quiet, to be still, to be with God. Everyday we should be setting aside a time to be quiet with God – it doesn’t have to be long, but it shouldn’t feel like a duty or a chore we have to do though; we should want to do it. It’s not an optional extra though, it’s a necessity, allowing us to be refreshed, rejuvenated, and reconnected with our Creator and Saviour. Reconnected so that we can hear what he is wanting to say to us.
Now I expect most of you are thinking about this as individuals. But what about us as a corporate body? When do we spend time quietly as a corporate body listening to God. I want you to picture the scene. We are in a fairly large building with a stage at one end, and people sat on seats waiting. There was a character who stood at the far right hand side of the stage on his own. At the centre of the stage was a group of important looking people including someone in a dog collar. We were told They were about to hold a service. At the start of the service some music was played while a group of people who were on the Left side of the stage chatted, then the vicar announced the opening hymn immediately after that the congregation sat for prayers. Then as soon as that ended, the children’s worker gave a brilliant entertaining children’s talk, and they disappeared off for their groups. Then there was another hymn followed immediately by a Bible Reading. Then a worship song sung four times followed by gospel reading. The vicar then preached a brilliant sermon lasting 22 minutes – it had some good stories in it, and even a funny joke or two. Straight after this the congregation started singing a lovely worship song a few times which led into prayers that had been well crafted which everyone said afterwards were very meaningful. Then there was a final hymn with a collection, then the blessing and now the best bit – time for coffee together. While all this was going on, the person on the far right side of the stage was standing there. Each time there was a moment’s quiet he started to step forward and was about to say something when someone else got up and spoke. This service had lasted 75 minutes, everyone said that it had been a great service, everything went so well, everything flowed seamlessly together, and they all left the stage with a lovely smile on their faces, except for that one person on the right. He had been trying to speak to them all, trying to tell them something they needed to hear, but he wasn’t given the opportunity – there was no space for him to say anything. And he left not with a smile on his face, but resigned, sad, feeling unwanted, unheard. Why had the people come – to have a good time, to feel good, to have a good sing, to spend time together? But the one person they had come to meet had been left out, wasn’t welcomed by them, wasn’t given the opportunity to say anything or to be part of the meeting.
A Huge exaggeration of a church service – I don’t think so. And I wonder if this story is true for many churches. And although the pattern of
worship given might not be the same as ours, I wonder if sometimes this story is true here for us in Aldeburgh? Think about it? Do we allow our guest of honour, our God, space and time to speak to us? What could he be trying to say to us if given the opportunity?
Are we both as a corporate body and as individuals more like Martha than Mary? Have we got the balance of being and doing right? Are we as the body of Christ spending time just quietly sitting at his feet listening, allowing him the time and space to connect with us?
We shall have a few minutes of stillness for you to ask God what he might be wanting to say to you either as an individual or as part of the corporate body of Christ. but first some words which I have adapted from a hymn:
Here we are Lord, we have come to do your will
Here we are Lord, in your presence we are still.
Speak to us Lord
Thank you, Lord, for this time of quiet. Amen
God of our pilgrimage,
you have led us to the living water:
refresh and sustain us
as we go forward on our journey,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Return of the Ever Popular
Friston Classics on the Green – 14th July 2022
After a break of two years owing to Covid-19 restrictions, the classic cars returned in force and so did the visitors.
We think the picture captures not just the scale, but also the spirit of the occasion. Certainly, the pigeon seemed impressed!
This was a major logistical exercise for our community, and we are grateful to some 40 volunteers, some from far afield who all helped with the village green parking and collecting: public parking in Grove Road (courtesy of Margaret and William Reeve) and the army of ladies serving teas in the village hall. It was a great success and thank you to everyone, not least to all those who came and supported.
Sunday 31st July
Seventh Sunday after Trinity
✟ Morning Prayer across the Benefice with Revd Sarah ✟
Revd Sarah will be bringing the benefice together in prayer each morning from 9 -9.30am. People are very welcome to join Sarah, no regular commitment required, just pop along when you wish.
Monday – Friston
Tuesday – Knodishall
Wednesday – Aldringham
Thursday – Aldeburgh
Dates for your Diary
31st July10.30am – Benefice Holy Communion at
7th August 3pm – Pet Service at Aldringham Churchyard
14th August 6pm – Carnival Songs of Praise next to Moot Hall
✟ Church of England and Diocese Online Worship ✟
There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.
Church of England website
Church of England Facebook page
Church of England YouTube channel
St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.
A welcome return for this very popular ensemble with a summer programme of light classics and popular music.
Lunchtime Classical Concert Series Return
Aldeburgh Parish Church
Monday 22nd August at 12 noon
Save the Children are collaborating with Nadia Lasserson to continue the series of hour-long concerts in 2022.
Nicholas Marshall (Baritone)
Nadia Lasserson (Piano)
To include Romantic works by Schubert and Tosti
Looking forward to welcoming you all. Admission is free- with a retiring collection for Save the Children
Youth Club – We need your help!
Weekly Benefice Newsletter
Food Banks at the East of England Co-op
✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays on Zoom ✞
Pilgrims @ The Meare Thorpeness
Come just for breakfast and a catch-up with folk, come for just the ramble or come and enjoy both. (You don’t need to book in advance, you can decide on the morning.)
To help with timing, if coming only to ramble then we generally head from The Parrot around 10.30am. Please do invite friends along.
Alde Sandlings Benefice Friday Markets in August
This August we will have two Friday markets on the
BBQ, Vegetables, Plants, Fruit and Flowers, Cakes and Savouries, Jams etc, Craft Stalls, General Bric a Brac. Tombola and Games.
Toys, prizes for the tombola, jewellery, scarves, small items of furniture, curtains, kitchenware, and good quality bric a brac needed. Cakes and produce too (please bring on the day)
Bring and share lunch – 31st July at Aldeburgh
As you all know we are having a Benefice service on the 31st July, 10.30am at Aldeburgh to say farewell to Revd Sheila Hart as she retires from active ministry. This will be followed by and bring and share lunch in the church hall straight afterwards. You will find a notice on each of your noticeboards in church asking if you would like to contribute with a dish etc, i.e. meat/fish, salads of all variations, savoury (quiches etc) and desserts. If you could please add your name and exactly what dish you are bringing that would be most appreciated, or of course email firstname.lastname@example.org