Church of England Diocese of Sheffield Stannington

Connect, March 2021 Living in Love and Faith

22 Mar 2021, 10 p.m.

Connect service 210321

Aim: to grow in our understanding of what the Bible says regarding sexuality

Some updates regarding opening the church building following our church council meeting last week bearing in mind that some public buildings will begin to open from 12/4. Still need to be very cautious as the latest variant of coronavirus is 50% more contagious that the 1<sup>st</sup>. So subject to risk assessments we hope to have a 9am HC from 18/4 as before (hands/face/space & using a booking system). Also as some outdoor activities are being allowed we propose to have a small outdoor Dawn service in the church yard at 6am on Easter Day with other events online for Holy Week and Easter Day. We will aim to get details on our website and noticeboard once confirmed.

Diocesan Prayer

Living God, Jesus calls his followers to seek first your Kingdom. Renew us as we make your love known; Release us to share freely together in mission; and Rejuvenate us to be fruitful in your service. Give us courage, wisdom and compassion, that strengthened with the grace of the Holy Spirit, we may, as the Diocese of Sheffield, both flourish and grow through Christ our Lord. Amen

The Lord be with you

Confession

Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness

and cleanse me from my sin:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Make me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Cast me not away from your presence

and take not your holy spirit from me:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Absolution

May the Father forgive us

by the death of his Son

and strengthen us

to live in the power of the Spirit

all our days.

Amen.

Collect

Gracious Father,

you gave up your Son

out of love for the world:

lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,

that we may know eternal peace

through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Responsive creed:

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,

source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist?

All We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,

who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again?

All We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,

who gives life to the people of God

and makes Christ known in the world?

All We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

All This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Bible readings

1Corinthians 13

It’s worth saying that we will be talking about a controversial subject this morning – let’s seek to do that in love.

Matthew 7:24-29

We watched a video on interpreting the Bible (following up on this Bible passage) noting that the Bible is made up of Poetry, Letters, Law & History, recognising we need to take time to listen carefully, bearing in mind context & culture (this video is available on the Church of England website under the resources section: ‘Living in Love and faith’ – in part one of the course of that name).

We had a look at some of the different ways Christians interpret the Bible:

- Leviticus 11:9-10 food laws in ancient times & their original purpose & their relevance today e.g. law forbidding eating certain sea food like shell fish

- 1Corinthians 14:34 content from a letter to a church in Corinth regarding women speaking in church & its relevance today with our culture

- Leviticus 20:9 a shocking law about children cursing parents in Hebrew culture but recognising the important underlying principle behind this

- Genesis 19:1-7 following discussion in breakout groups we had a plenary which noted that the passage appears to be more about male rape than a comment on homosexuality in general

- 1Corinthians 6:9 recognising the different Bible translations available with the Greek word malakoi translated as ‘male prostitute’ or ‘effeminate’ or ‘passive homosexual partners’ or not at all (noting that translation itself involves interpretation from the original Greek). We considered if this was a passage directed towards male prostitution of minors in the Graeco-Roman world rather than homosexuality in general but also noted the general reference of Romans 1:26f.

- We considered how science, tradition, prejudice & changing social attitudes can impact on our understanding & interpretation of the Bible. It was noted that as Christians we are to look to the teaching of Christ who said not to judge, encouraged care for the poor & outcast, and highlighted the priority of love.

Prayers

Pray for God’s wisdom & grace in the issues raised today<div>

Pray for God’s wisdom in decisions national & local leaders face re coronvirus

Pray for those who are sick or in particular need

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

The issues relating to identity, sexuality, relationships & marriage involve a story of hurt in both church & society today, and difficulty in finding resolution to conflict surrounding such matters. Reflecting on God’s word reminds us of God’s grace and the importance of ongoing learning in this subject.

Grace :

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) (including the Psalter as published with the common worship) material from which is included in this service, is/are copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000. 

</div>