Our Mid Trent Team Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit:
fill the hearts of your faithful people
and kindle in us the fire of your love.
Strengthen your church here in Mid Trent:
increase our numbers,
deepen our faith
and pour out your love, through us, on our communities.
We ask these things in Jesus' name.
God we praise your name and ask for your blessing and help to
Raise awareness of our Churches in the Mid Trent Team. We offer
Ourselves to be your disciples within our community; to bear
Witness by our daily lives, so that all whom we meet will see the
Truth of your living word and believe in the
Hope you have promised us through your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And an acrostic prayer for growth by Joan Makinson
Please click on Church Services to view larger image.
We try to make our church services as friendly as possible. Please don't worry about getting things 'wrong'. Even if they notice, people won't mind. At Communion services, everyone is equally welcome, whether you feel able to share the bread and wine or prefer just to stay seated for a time of quiet. Finally, we are interested in you, not what you are wearing - but note that in the winter you will need to wrap up warm in some of our churches!
and for Lichfield Diocese daily prayer please click this link
On Trinity Sunday Derek preached on:
The Gospel of John, chapter 16. verses 12-15
The Gospel of John is one of the most important biblical resources for Christian belief in God as 'Holy Trinity'. It reminds us that Christian doctrine is rooted in the story that flows into and out of Jesus and should never be regarded as abstract or theoretical. Doctrine only has value if it gives life to our hands and feet, and the body we call 'church'. These few verses articulate the Christian experience of the Trinitarian God.
In many ways this begins with the Holy Spirit - here 'the Spirit of truth comes' - because of the Spirit's link with Jesus who is truth. As Advocate, the Spirit speaks on behalf of the Father who sends him in Jesus' name. At the same time, the Spirit speaks the words of Jesus into new situations faced by later generations of believers and guides them into all truth.
In this very apt 'farewell discourses' (John 13-16), John's Jesus repeatedly insists on a strong ethical dimension to the unfolding presence and work of God in the community of his friends. Jesus says in a little while you will not see me anymore. This understanding of God is less about theoretical analysis and more a way of life, rooted in the experience of the Spirit, who opens up our vision of Jesus, who embodies the sacrificial love of the Father for his world.
Perhaps we do not realise how important it is, that we think of God in three ways. Quite simply, if we were to think of only two, or one, of these, our understanding of God would be distorted and made poorer. Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian puts it very simply: that when we think of God our minds are drawn upwards, to the 'highest' possible existence. This is God who is 'above' us, holy, worthy of praise; the one Jesus taught us to call Father. But God is also to be found 'alongside' us: as well as praising his heavenly Father, Jesus taught us to look for the divine face in our neighbour, in the hungry, the naked stranger, the prisoner, the alien and the invalid. The face of the poor person is as much the face of God as images of holiness and transcendence, such as stars or mountains.
And there is a third dimension: God makes his home in those who welcome him into their lives. The New Testament speaks of the Holy Spirit, dwelling deep 'within' each of us - as if we were a sacred temple. The Spirit encourages us in our prayer, even when we feel too weak, or anxious, or tired, to pray. It is the Spirit who prays in us, through the Son, to the Father. As Paul declares in the second reading: 'The love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.'
Above us, alongside us, within us ... holiness, solidarity, indwelling. Each of these three ways of recognising God's presence is important, and is given a name: Father, Son, and Spirit. And if God is to be truly a part of our lives, then we need to pay attention to each of them.
St Ignatius writes of the Trinity as God who is so helplessly in love with humanity that he is like a lover, who constantly labours for us, he shares everything he has with us, he makes his home in us. God works, God shares, God dwells.
Ignatius draws a picture of God who is alive and active, who joyfully soaks his creation with his presence, like the rays of the sun, or the waters of an overflowing fountain.
In Proverbs the person of Wisdom (whom we can think of as a symbol of the Holy Spirit) is a 'master craftsman,' helping to fashion the universe, 'delighted to be with the children of humanity.' It is common to think of the persons of the Trinity as intimately united with one another, in the form of a beautiful dance.
You will see how different this appears from the way most people speak about God. Many see no need for God in their lives because 'God' is pictured as something utterly remote and irrelevant: an old man with a white beard, sitting on a freezing cloud, all alone. But this is an incomplete picture of God, and we are right to reject it. It sees God as 'above us' - God as holy - but it does not mention God alongside us or God within us. It is not, at all, the Christian picture of God.
There is something lovely about the timing of this feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It comes after our long Easter celebration, when we have been getting used to the Good News, that God is the God of life not death; a God who loves us helplessly, and who does not allow even the execution of his Son to get in the way of this love. It is as if during these weeks we are on a 'crash course' about God, led by the Holy Spirit who reveals to us new depths of God's love. (And in our eucharist today, where God's loving presence is to be found: in the form of bread and wine, his body and blood, broken and poured; and in the heart which was pierced for us, out of that same love.)
The teaching of God as Trinity is an important way in which we are reminded of where and how we find God. We are reminded that God is immensely holy, and worthy of our praise and respect, and at the same time is to be found very close to us: he identifies with our brothers and sisters in need, and he makes his home in the deepest part of my being. If we do not pay attention to the three dimensions of God, and to the love which expresses itself in labouring, sharing, indwelling, God can seem very distant, and our love for God will quickly grow cold.
The theologians in the early church tried to describe this wonderful reality that we call Trinity. If any of you have ever been to a Greek wedding, you may have seen their distinctive way of dancing . . . It's called perichoresis. There are not two dancers, but at least three. They start to go in circles, weaving in and out in this very beautiful pattern of motion. They start to go faster and faster and faster, all the while staying in perfect rhythm and in sync with each other. Eventually, they are dancing so quickly (yet so effortlessly) that as you look at them, it just becomes a blur. Their individual identities are part of a larger dance. The early church fathers and mothers looked at that dance and said, "That's what the Trinity is like." It's a harmonious set of relationship in which there is mutual giving and receiving. This relationship is called love, and it's what the Trinity is all about. The perichoresis is the dance of love.
God's love for us will never grow cold, because God takes delight in his people and being with them. Father, Son, and Spirit are united in a dance of life and love, in which each of us is invited to take part.