Trinity 15

TRINITY 15 Hymns 353, 351, 306, 384

FIRST READING Exodus 14. 19-31 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The [Lord]{.smallcaps} drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the [Lord]{.smallcaps} in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the [Lord]{.smallcaps} is fighting for them against Egypt.’Then the [Lord]{.smallcaps} said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the [Lord]{.smallcaps} tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the [Lord]{.smallcaps} saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the [Lord]{.smallcaps} did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the [Lord]{.smallcaps} and believed in the [Lord]{.smallcaps} and in his servant Moses.

Responsorial Psalm 114 Response: Alleluia!

1 When Israel came forth from Egypt, Jacob’s sons from an alien people

2 Judah became the Lord’s temple, Israel became his kingdom. R

 3 The sea fled at the sight: the Jordan turned back on its course,

4 the mountains leapt like rams and the hills like yearling sheep. R

 Why was it, sea, that you fled, that you turned back, Jordan, on your course?

6 Mountains, that you leapt like rams; hills, like yearling sheep? R

 7 Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, in the presence of the God of Jacob,

8 who turns the rock into a pool; and flint into a spring of water. R

SECOND READING Romans 14.1-12 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,

‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’

So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

GOSPEL Matthew 18.21-35 Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul Matthias, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am – St Matthew's Day. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall today after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

MICHAELMAS is the feast on which the Church celebrates the ministry of God's holy Angels, and, as our church is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, it's a very special time for us. To give everyone the best possible chance of joining in our celebration, we are keeping Michaelmas on Sunday October 1st rather than on the actual day (September 29th), and 10.30 Mass will be followed by a buffet lunch in the Vestry Hall. Everyone is most welcome - do invite your friends and family! - and there is no charge. This of course will only work if generous church members are ready to be angels too! There is a list at the back of church – please indicate what you can bring, and whether you can help with setting-up and clearing-away.

NB Our sister parish of St Michael's, Harbledown (near Canterbury), is keeping Michaelmas on September 29th itself, and welcomes all visitors. Mass will be at 7pm, followed by a buffet reception. Fr Peter and his congregation will be delighted to see supporters from Maidstone!

Our Garden Working Party meets on Saturday 23^rd^ September from 9.30 am, the plan being to trim our hedge. All helpers will be really welcome – please see Martyn for further information. There is further scope here for anyone who can be an angel on a Saturday morning – it really does something for our witness as a church if our grounds look inviting and well cared for.

Great news for families with primary age boys: after a long break, there will once more be Cubs and Beavers in our Vestry Hall. In addition, there will now be Squirrels – for boys not yet old enough for the Beaver colony. To learn more, come along to the opening night – Monday, 18th September, at 6pm. Further information from Ralph.

Renewed thanks to Catherine, who cycled round 20 churches in blistering heat for Ride and Stride and achieved over £400 in sponsorship. Thanks also to her sponsors - if you have still to catch up with Catherine and give her your money, please try to catch her today!

Praying for sick people is something Christians have done from the very earliest days of the Church, and we continue to do it as a church every time Mass is celebrated. Sometimes we need to check, in case our Sunday prayer list may be out of date, particularly as we avoid using surnames because of Data Protection. Please let Eleanor know of any updates or additions; we may need to attempt a complete revision of the list sometime soon.

It's not too early to start having ideas about our pre-Christmas Fair on December 2nd. This is a marvellous time to make jam or chutney (remember to stick a list of ingredients on the jar!), to look out for possible Tombola prizes, or to produce a hand-made decoration or craft item. Or why not try a pot-plant or some bulbs? There must be people out there with all sorts of ideas; contact Sara in person or on 07837 919761, and let's make this a piece of real St Michael's teamwork.

A chance to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution: there's a box in the narthex for used stamps! Please don't try to detach them from the envelopes – about an inch of envelope all round the stamp is good if you can manage it.

Lay Pastoral Ministry sounds rather abstract – but in fact we are all engaged in it, whether or not we've noticed. When we try to be a Christian presence at work, or come alongside someone in trouble, or explain to a neighbour what happens at a christening, that's what we're doing. And sometimes we feel that a bit of training and practical advice would help. A diocesan course is being offered in October-November, and the closing date for enrolment is tomorrow, September 18th. For information, visit Could God be calling you to develop your own pastoral ministry at St Michael's?

From Our Tower:

Kent County Association: Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Friday, 8 September 2023 in 42m (6–1–24 in C) 1320 Hull Surprise Minor

  1. Jacqueline Barlow
  2. Janice Byrne
  3. Emma Jarvis
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Philip Jarvis
  6. Stephen Coaker (c)

Rung to mark the first anniversary of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and remembering the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Could you pass on this sheet to someone else who might like to see it?