This is the weekly noticesheet for the week beginning Sunday 7th June – Trinity Sunday. The noticesheet is attached below. I hope you will find it a useful ‘heads-up’, even while we are locked down.
The Holy Trinity is one of the greatest mysteries of faith, of how God is both one and yet manifested as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. There are some things which we as humans will never be able to fully grasp, simply because God is so far beyoind our human experience. The Trinity is a small hint of trying to comprehend our awesome God, and so we should perhaps not focus too much on separating Father, Son and Holy Spirit but rather remembering their unique, special and interdependant relationship.
Look at the famous ikon on the right: Andrei Rublev’s Trinity from the 13th Century – three persons sat around a table, each gazing at the other in mutuality. The fourth side of the table is open, and you are invited to come and join in the Trinit’s dance of life and love.
Each person of the Trinity fulfils different functions of the Godhead whilst still being the very nature of God:
The Trinity might not appear explicitly in Scripture, but the mystery is so great that there are plenty of echoes of the work of the Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit shot through both Old and New Testaments
I want to thank our young people for providing illustrations of Pentecost last week, but don’t worry – no one is going to be asked to draw a picture to illustrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity!
There is a story of a little girl drawing a picture. The teacher says to her “what are you drawing?” and she replies “it’s a picture of God!”, “but lovely, no-one knows what God looks like…” “They will once I’ve finished this picture” the girl says.
This week we will be broadcasting the Mass for Spiritual Communion from S. Mary the Virgin, Bickleigh. The Bishop and the Government still has not allowed there to be a congergation present, so it will remain broadcast online for the time being.
Although you might be reading about pressure to open the Churches for private prayer, the age and health profile of our congregations and volunteers will make this (and we are by no means ready nation-wise for it to happen) difficult to implement, as it requires regular cleaning and antibac-ing surfaces and I don’t think we are able to do so until all is properly safe.
(this is what it has felt like this week)
When the time comes that the Bishops declare other churches are able to be open for prayer I have been considering making an outdoor prayer installation on and by a tree in each of S. Anne, S. Edward and S. Mary which will be considerably safer and yet prayerful.
Your safety is paramount to me, alongside giving you the spiritual support, teaching and consolation you need during these difficult times.
While public worship has been suspended we are offering worship, prayer and Bible Study online. We are using Twitch. Anyone can access Twitch on their phone, tablet or computer browser and you don’t need an account to watch it, although if you register a free account, you can even “chat” which I would like to use as a source for prayer, and perhaps after the worship is over, fellowship. The more subscribers the better service we can deliver (we need fifty for the next level).
and you will see our services, including past ones. These will also be available once uploaded to the previous Facebook Page and our YouTube channel for you to catch up on.
Yes, there will always be problems and glitches, particularly at the start of worship (my propensity for pushing the wrong button remains an issue) but bear with me and this slightly less than tech-competent priest will get the worship flowing
Mass is offered on Thursday at 10.30am (replacing MP for that morning) and Sunday at 10.30am
If you miss the actual time, you can replay it at your convenience.
Sunday services include hymns specially recorded by Sarah and readings recorded at home by members of our Churches (volunteers always welcome). All Masses have a short sermon, and even though we are not together, we engage in Spiritual Communion with the Lord. All of the words are on screen and the readings as usual are further down this email bulletin. At the bottom of this email are details of a rota for readings and intercessions: all voices are welcome, please contact me if you would like to do one.
Each weekday there will be Morning Prayer at 9am and Evening Prayer at 5.30pm .
You can say the Morning and Evening Prayer with me, and I have begun putting the words on screen for you to follow or say along with me.
For those who don’t have Internet… (can you please pass this on)
We can now enable non-internet users to access our worship:
Anyone can call 0333 011 0616 and enter code 262 6330# to be able to listen to our worship.
Calls are LOCAL RATE which on many phone or mobile tarrifs are effectively free, but I advise you to check with your phone/mobile supplier if you are unsure. The Sunday Mass takes less than an hour.
I am pleased that someone has started to use this facility. Please tell others. Please tell when you are checking up on those you know have no Internet (because if I ask it’ll look a little intimidating),
Bible Study and Prayer will gather us together on a video conference platform called Zoom (www.zoom.us).
It is easy to sign up for a free account and you can download an app for phone, tablet (Apple or Android) or on your PC or Mac to make it happen. Although you can connect over phone data, you get more out of it if you connect your phone/tablet/computer to your home WiFi otherwise you can get choppy audio and video sometimes.
To join these gatherings on Wednesdays at
Noon – click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/714047787
These locations will not change.
7.30pm – click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/138949074
We will also have some Prayer Groups if someone can suggest a good date/time.
If you get lost with all this information, it’s all on the Parish Diary: https://www.roborough.org.uk/diary/
and the Broadcast page https://www.roborough.org.uk/broadcast/
To get good notice of these things, can I encourage you to “Like” and “Follow” the Parish Facebook Page (S. Cecilia and S. Anne also have their own FB pages as well, but the worship links and reminders will be on the main page) to get notifications and please encourage others you know who might not have subscribed to this newsletter to do so as well as connect on Facebook.
Please let me know if you yourself or you become aware of anyone around you who needs a Priest to call them. I may have been forced as a result of my diabetes to be self-isolating, but I am still here to serve. I am slowly working round calling people, but you can always call me first, just to chat and perhaps to pray.
My email is: email@example.com
My number is: 07976 802123
(I also use WhatsApp so if you want to contact me by that, use my phone number)
There may be some members of our community that you know who don’t have access to the Internet. Can I ask you to remind them that I can be called (I’ve tried to get as many people as I can on the phone, but there must be some people I have missed) and if they would like access to worship the Church of England has started Daily Hope.
Please pass all this information on to others: keep our network strong my friends, call those in our church communities and keep me informed of the needs of the community so I can serve them,
Stay safe. Keep praying. And of your charity, please pray for me also.
Yours in Christ
Sunday 7th June 2020 The Holy Trinity
It is common today for commentators to point out that the three major world faiths are very similar in that they all share a belief in one God. While it is true that Christians believe in one God, Christian faith departs radically from Islam and Judaism in its belief that in the one God there are three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, and this is an even more scandalous idea as far as the other two faiths are concerned, we believe that, the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, entered time and space and lived as one of us.
Belief in the Trinity is a central mystery of Christian faith. We are baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matt. 28:19), and we are invited to develop a relationship with each Person of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus’ life, work, ministry, preaching and teaching all testify to this fundamental truth of Christian revelation. In fact, the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity could be described as the central mystery of the Christian faith and life, and it is this mystery that we are celebrating and rejoicing in today, Trinity Sunday.
For many Christians the ‘mystery’ of the Trinity remains just that: a mystery. But the word in this sense is not used to mean a conundrum, puzzle or riddle that is impossible to solve, but a sacred truth which we will only be able to penetrate more deeply if we ask the Holy Spirit to shed his light and truth into our minds and spirits. Instead of saying, ‘I can’t get my head around the Trinity’, we need to say, ‘I need God’s help to get my head into the Trinity.’ In other words, we need to pray, ‘Lord, teach me, show me, guide me, lead me into the beauty, glory and majesty of the mystery of your Blessed Trinity.’
Try praying the following prayer today:
‘O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity.’
(Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity)
Those sick in mind, body or spirit:
Laura; Nicola; Howard; Sue; Ron; Fletcher; Karen; Alice; David; Fox; Jason
Giving thanks to God for the return home of Michael Ellis,Priest and praying for his continued and probably long recovery.
We pray for all those affected by the Coronavirus worldwide and for the staff who are caring for them.
Pray for the Souls of the Recently Departed
Those whose year’s mind occur around this time
Peggy Clenaghan, Maureen Hunt, Gladys LeGrys, Roy Tomlin, Harry Mullard and Ian Crosby
+Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord
and let light perpetual shine upon them
May they rest in peace
and rise in glory
Mass Card for Ordinary Time (Sundays and Thursdays)
Sunday 7 June 2020 The Most Holy Trinity
Blessed be God the Father and his only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit: for he has shown that he loves us.
you sent your Word to bring us truth
and your Spirit to make us holy.
Through them we come to know the mystery of your life.
Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons,
by proclaiming and living our faith in you.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A reading from the book of the Exodus
With the two tablets of stone in his hands, Moses went up the mountain of Sinai in the early morning as the Lord had commanded him. And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with him there.
He called on the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger rich in kindness and faithfulness.’ And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,’ he said ‘let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
A reading from the second letter of Paul to the people of the city of Corinth
Brothers and Sisters, we wish you happiness; try to grow perfect; help one another. Be united; live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with the holy kiss. All the saints send you greetings. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
the God who is, who was, and who is to come.
The Lord be with you
And also with you
Hear the Gospel of our Lord according to John
Glory to you, O Lord
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ
You are the children of God, so God has given you the Spirit of his Son to form your hearts and make you cry out: Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6)
Prayer of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Prayer after Communion
we worship you, a Trinity of Persons, one eternal God.
May our faith and the sacrament we receive
bring us health of mind and body.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I can thoroughly recommend Heresies and how to avoid them by Ben Quash and Michael Ward
It is a very accesible book recounting the many ways we have failed in our understanding of the mystery of God, the nature of the Trinity, the meaning of the Incarnation.
Most tellingly, they suggest that heresy arises not because people have over-thought the nature of God, but that they have thought too little, and have tried to place God in too small a (theological) space. Whatever we say of God, it will never be enough.
However, for your delight and education, I present to you Trinity Sunday Bingo and you can tick off the relevent heresies when I commit them in trying to articulate the wonder and mystery of God:
Yes, I know: guily as charged. However, here is some proper theological teaching:
||Belief that Jesus was born as a mere (non-divine) man, was supremely virtuous and that he was adopted later as “Son of God” by the descent of the Spirit on him.
||Propounded by Theodotus of Byzantium, a leather merchant, in Rome c.190, later revived by Paul of Samosata
||Theodotus was excommunicated by Pope Victor and Paul was condemned by the Synod of Antioch in 268
||Alternative names: Psilanthropism and Dynamic Monarchianism. Later criticized as presupposing Nestorianism (see below)
||Belief that Jesus had a human body and lower soul (the seat of the emotions) but a divine mind. Apollinaris further taught that the souls of men were propagated by other souls, as well as their bodies.
||Proposed by Apollinaris of Laodicea (died 390)
||Declared to be a heresy in 381 by the First Council of Constantinople
||Denial of the true divinity of Jesus Christ taking various specific forms, but all agreed that Jesus Christ was created by the Father, that he had a beginning in time, and that the title “Son of God” was a courtesy one.
||The doctrine is associated with Arius (ca. AD 250–336) who lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt.
||Arius was first pronounced a heretic at the First Council of Nicea, he was later exonerated as a result of imperial pressure and finally declared a heretic after his death. The heresy was finally resolved in 381 by the First Council of Constantinople.
||All forms denied that Jesus Christ is “consubstantial with the Father” but proposed either “similar in substance”, or “similar”, or “dissimilar” as the correct alternative.
||Belief that Jesus’ physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die
||Tendencies existed in the 1st century, but it was most notably embraced by Gnostics in subsequent centuries.
||Docetism was rejected by the ecumenical councils and mainstream Christianity, and largely died out during the first millennium AD.
||Gnostic movements that survived past that time, such as Catharism, incorporated docetism into their beliefs, but such movements were destroyed by the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229).
||An overemphasis on the indivisibility of God (the Father) at the expense of the other “persons” of the Trinity leading to either Sabellianism (Modalism) or to Adoptionism.
||Stressing the “monarchy” of God was in Eastern theology a legitimate way of affirming his oneness, also the Father as the unique source of divinity. It became heretical when pushed to the extremes indicated.
|Monophysitism or Eutychianism
||Belief that Christ’s divinity dominates and overwhelms his humanity, as opposed to the Chalcedonian position which holds that Christ has two natures, one divine and one human or the Miaphysite position which holds that the human nature and pre-incarnate divine nature of Christ were united as one divine human nature from the point of the Incarnation onwards.
||After Nestorianism was rejected at the First Council of Ephesus, Eutyches emerged with diametrically opposite views.
||Eutyches was excommunicated in 448. Monophysitism and Eutyches were rejected at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Monophysitism is also rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Churches
||Belief that Jesus Christ was a separate human united, but not identical, to the divine Son of God.
||Advanced by Nestorius (386–450), Patriarch of Constantinople from 428–431. The doctrine was informed by Nestorius’ studies under Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch.
||Condemned at the First Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451, leading to the Nestorian Schism.
||Nestorius rejected the title Theotokos for the Virgin Mary, and proposed Christotokos as more suitable. Many of Nestorius’ supporters relocated to Sassanid Persia, where they affiliated with the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East. Over the next decades the Church of the East became increasingly Nestorian in doctrine, leading it to be known alternately as the Nestorian Church.
||Belief that the Father and Son are not two distinct persons, and thus God the Father suffered on the cross as Jesus.
||similar to Sabellianism
||Belief that Jesus is “merely human”: either that he never became divine, or that he never existed prior to his incarnation as a man.
||Rejected by the ecumenical councils, especially in the First Council of Nicaea, which was convened to deal directly with the nature of Christ’s divinity.
||Belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three characterizations of one God, rather than three distinct “persons” in one God.
||First formally stated by Noetus of Smyrna c.190, refined by Sabellius c.210 who applied the names merely to different roles of God in the history and economy of salvation.
||Noetus was condemned by the presbyters of Smyrna. Tertullian wrote Adversus Praxeam against this tendency and Sabellius was condemned by Pope Callistus.
||Alternative names: Patripassianism, Modalism, Modalistic Monarchianism
Others have put their names forward and will appear on the rota for subsequent weeks
Take part in this Sunday’s service – sign up to help
I would like as much as possible to involve people in our online Sunday worship.
There are 4 ways to help:
- send in a voice recording
- send in a video
- send me some text (ie. write intercessions as normal and email them to me for me to read out)
- send me a photo or picture that you’ve drawn
Doing a reading:
To take part in the readings, figure out how to record your voice on your phone using the built in voice recorder or using Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger (my WhatsApp phone number is 07976802123 ) or record a video using the camera in your phone of you reading. I’d welcome all kinds of voices recorded as sometimes I mix them all up together. You don’t have to have your face on screen if you don’t want it, as I will probably use just the audio.
When you’ve made the recording click on ‘share’ and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Doing the intercessions:
Write some intercessions for me to read out – email them to me or record yourself reading them and send me the recording.
Help with illustration:
Send me a photograph, a picture of a drawing or painting or send me a piece of artwork on the theme set for that day.
Please send me your contributions by Saturday lunchtime at the very latest for inclusion in Sunday’s service.
Keeping in contact:
Fr Simon can be contacted day or night on 07976 802123
We don’t use a landline for anything. If you see an 01752 number for the parish clergy or office, it won’t work.
Your clergy are here for you. If you are a little lonely or down, need some help, advice, spiritual counsel or prayer. Or even if you just want a cup of tea with someone – If you are in hospital and want a visit call Fr. Simon. Although he has many gifts, being psychic isn’t one of them, so unless you ask for him to visit, he won’t know you would like one.
Other methods of contact:
Carrier Pigeon and smoke signals also gratefully received
33 Leat Walk
Plymouth PL6 7AT