08 September 2023
Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (103) 8 September 2023
We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and this week began with the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity XIII, 3 September 2023). The calendar of the Church of England today (8 September 2023) celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Before today begins, I am taking some time this morning for prayer and reflection.
This week, I have been reflecting each morning in these ways:
1, Looking at a church on the route of the annual Ride + Stride, organised by Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust and taking place tomorrow, 9 September 2023;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
Saint Mary’s Church, Shenley Church End:
The annual Ride + Stride organised by Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust takes place tomorrow, 9 September 2023. Participants may be cyclists, walkers, horse-riders or drivers of mobility scooters. They can be of any age, but under-13s must be accompanied by an adult. All denominations are welcome.
Participants may visit as many churches as they like, planning their own route, and are asked to seek sponsorship from friends, relations and colleagues: so much per church visited or a lump sum. https://ridestride.org/
Ride + Stride offers opportunities find out what lies behind the churchyard gates of Buckinghamshire’s many churches and chapels.
Ride + Stride is open to walkers as well as horse-riders and cyclists. It always takes place on the second Saturday of September, between 10 am and 6 pm, and aims to raise money for the repair and restoration of churches and chapels of any Christian denomination in Buckinghamshire.
Half the money raised goes to the church or chapel of the participant’s choice, and the other half is added to a general fund administered by the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust.
Churches are encouraged to make applications to the trust for grants to help with church repairs and restoration. Last year’s Ride + Stride event raised more than £26,610. Last year, the trust awarded grants totalling £28,000 to 11 churches that applied for funding to assist with both major and minor works.
My photographs this week are from some of the churches taking part in this year’s Ride + Stride tomorrow. Today is the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and my photographs this morning of a participating church are of Saint Mary’s Church, Shenley Church End.
The parish belongs to the Watling Valley Ecumenical Partnership, including Shenley Church End, Loughton, Tattenhoe, Two Mile Ash and Furzton. The church is Grade I listed.
The Revd Sharon Grenham-Thompson was the Lead Minister at Saint Mary’s until recently. The Revd Ruth Harley is the curate. Sunday Services are: 10 am Holy Communion, first and third Sundays; Morning Worship, second Sundays; All-Age service, fourth Sundays.
Matthew 1: 1-16, 18-23 (NRSVA):
1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4 and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ 22 All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’
The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Harvest.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday. To find out more, visit www.uspg.org.uk
The USPG Prayer Diary today (8 September 2023) invites us to pray in these words:
We pray for the work, ministry and people of the Diocese of Kurunagala in Sri Lanka.
Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child–bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Post Communion Prayer:
God most high,
whose handmaid bore the Word made flesh:
we thank you that in this sacrament of our redemption
you visit us with your Holy Spirit
and overshadow us by your power;
strengthen us to walk with Mary the joyful path of obedience
and so to bring forth the fruits of holiness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org