Tuesday 29th September 2020

7.30pm – St Paul’s






St. Paul’s Church, Forebridge, STAFFORD, ST17 4Lj.

As we re-enter our Churches


As we approach our Annual Meetings


‘Sowing in tears’

Welcome and Introduction

We meet in the presence of God

who knows our needs,

hears our cries,

feels our pain,

and heals our wounds.


The weight of grief and worry bears heavily upon us

but it is a load we need not bear alone.

Let us offer our burden to Jesus,

Lord of life and of death, of the present and of the future.

We bring before you, Lord,

our confusion as our lives are disrupted,

our uncertainty as we contemplate the future,

our losses and our loneliness during the past months.

Lift from us our burden,

and in your power, renew us.


We bring before you, Lord,

the tears of sorrow,

the cries for help,

the vulnerability of pain.

Lift from us our burden,

and in your power, renew us.



We bring before you, Lord,

our sense of frustration,

our feeling of powerlessness,

our fears for the future.

Lift from us our burden,

and in your power, renew us.


God of the desolate and despairing,

your Son Jesus Christ was forced to carry the instrument

of his own death —

the cross that became for us the source of life and healing.

Transform us in our suffering

that you might be for us a fount of life

and a spring of hope;

though him who died for us,

yet is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.



Hymn: Be Still My Soul




Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end


Be still my soul when dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears
Then shalt thou better know His love His heart
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
Be still my soul, the waves and winds shall know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below


Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored
Be still my soul, when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last




Psalm 22 v1-11


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
    and by night, but find no rest.


Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.

In you our ancestors trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.

To you they cried, and were saved;
    in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.


But I am a worm, and not human;
    scorned by others, and despised by the people.

All who see me mock at me;
    they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

‘Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
    let him rescue the one in whom he delights!’


Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
    you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

10 On you I was cast from my birth,
    and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.





How lonely sits the city that once was full of people!

How like a widow she has become,

she that was great among the nations!

She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.


The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals;

all her gates are desolate, her priests groan;

her young girls grieve, and her lot is bitter.

Her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.


From on high he sent fire; it went deep into my bones;

he spread a net for my feet; he turned me back;

he has left me stunned, faint all day long.

For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears;

for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage;

my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.


All who pass along the way clap their hands at you;

they hiss and wag their heads at daughter Jerusalem;

‘Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?’

The thought of my affliction and homelessness is wormwood and gall.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,

‘therefore I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.


It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth,

to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it,

to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope),

to give one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.



Our Invitation to the Holy Spirit to fill us and heal us

All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit.

Come, Holy Spirit. Restore the lives which without you are dead.

Come, Holy Spirit

Kindle the hearts which without you are dull and cold.

Come, Holy Spirit.

Enlighten the minds which without you are dark and blind.

Come, Holy Spirit.

Fill the church which without you is an empty shrine.

Come, Holy Spirit.

And teach us how to listen and pray.

Come, Holy Spirit.


Hymn: Spirit of God

 Spirit of God, as strong as the wind,
 gentle as is the dove,
           teach us the truth and help us believe
           show us the Saviour’s love.

              You spoke to us, long, long ago,
gave us the written Word;
we read it still, needing its truth:
through it God’s voice is heard.
            Spirit of God....


              Without your help, we fail our Lord,
we cannot live His way,
we need your power, we need your strength,
following Christ each day.

                                    Spirit of God....


A time of reflection

You are invited to reflect (using the sheet provided, if you find it helpful) & everyone is encouraged to write (or draw) a prayer.

[At the end of the session you are invited to hand the sheet in or to email your comments to mstrang12@btinternet.com.]





Words of Comfort

Hear these words of comfort which the Lord our God offers to all in trouble and distress:


The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.

Exodus 2.23b-25


Jesus said ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Matthew 11.29,30


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

Isaiah 43.2-3a


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8.38-39


A candle is lit

We light this candle to remind us that when God the Father raised Jesus from the dead he defeated the power of death, and his light shines in the midst of the darkness of this world.


May the light of Christ, rising in glory,

banish all darkness from our hearts and lives.


The Lord is my light and my salvation;

The Lord is the strength of my life.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

The Lord is the strength of my life.


The light shines in the darkness

And the darkness has not overcome it.

 The Lord is the strength of my life.


Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

The Lord is the strength of my life.




Hymn: We shall go out with hope of resurrection

We shall go out with hope of resurrection;
we shall go out, from strength to strength go on;
we shall go out and tell our stories boldly;
tales of a love that will not let us go.
We'll sing our songs of wrongs that can be righted;
we'll dream our dream of hurts that can be healed;
we'll weave a cloth of all the world united
within the vision of new life who sets us free.

We'll give a voice to those who have not spoken;
we'll find the words for those whose lips are sealed;
we'll make the tunes for those who sing no longer,
expressive love alive in every heart.
We'll share our joy with those who are still weeping,
raise hymns of strength for hearts that break in grief,
we'll leap and dance the resurrection story
including all in circles of our love.

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.

Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God.

Amen. Thanks be to God.


God the Father,

by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,

strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

be among you and remain with you always.



“There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too … And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves.”

Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), Westerbork transit camp