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Worship Service

Worship Service August 23, 2020

Our worship service via video conferencing. If you would like to be a part of the live stream, drop us a note and we’ll give you details. Otherwise, enjoy the recorded service.

If you’d like to know more about the music and how it is put together for the streaming services, there is another article that talks about that. See the Blog menu for it.

First, the prelude music before the service:

The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns (Organ)
Come Down, O Love Divine (String Quartet)
A Day In The Country (Piano)

The worship service:

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Worship Service

Worship August 16, 2020

Pre-service music:

Service

If you would like to participate in the service as it happens, contact us for details.

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Worship Service

Worship August 9, 2020

Video of our worship service via video conferencing. If you would like to be a part of our live service, drop us a note and we’ll send you details. Otherwise, you can watch a recording of it here.

Music to start the service:

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Worship Service

Worship August 2, 2020

Our worship service for August 2, 2020. The video starts a minute or so after the start of the service. The prelude music is separate to save on video size.

Prelude music played prior to the service.
Worship service, August 2, 2020

If you would like to be part of the live video service, drop us a note and we will be happy to send you details.

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Worship Service

Worship July 26, 2020

Below is a video of our video conference worship service. If you would like to be part of the live service, please let us know.

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Worship Service

Worship Service July 19, 2020

A recording of our church service via zoom for July 19. Due to technical difficulties, the first part of the service was not recorded. The music played before the service is included separately. If you would like to be part of our zoom services, please drop us a note.

How Great Thou Art
Be Thou My Vision
Come Thou Almighty King

The following text is from the order of worship and was not recorded today:

We Gather to Worship:
Celebrant: Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Responder: And blessed be His kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

Celebrant: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; though Christ our Lord. A men.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen .

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
Responder: And also with you.
Celebrant: Let us pray.

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our
unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A reading from the Old Testament. Genesis 28:10-19a

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Worship Service

July 12, 2020 Church Service

Here is a video of our service via the internet and video conferencing July 12, 2020. Since we are unable to meet due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are meeting over the internet.

This was our first week recording it. If you are interested in participating, please drop us a note and we’ll send you details.

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Church News

Current COVID-19 Operating Procedure

From the Mission Board and Father George

Editor’s note: Services have not resumed as of June 26, 2020 and there are no plans to re-open in the foreseeable future, probably through July. An announcement about opening will be made on the home page of this site and via our email list.

Standing Operating Procedure

15th May 2020

SUBJECT: Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) Reopening for Worship

1.  PURPOSE:  This is to outline the procedures and protocols implemented for the Church of the Mediator as we reopen for public worship.  This SOP will remain in effect until further revision by the Mission Board.

2.  GENERAL GUIDANCE:  This SOP and subsequent SOPs will be governed by the general guidance provided by the Diocese of Florida and will be the final authority for procedures and future actions.

3.  BUILDING and SEATING:  Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible.  A minimum of six feet between family groups and/or individuals.  Every other pew on alternate sides should accomplish this.

4.  WORSHIP SERVICES:  Face masks, or coverings, will be worn though out the service by everyone including the celebrant.  Singing will be limited to an opening and closing hymn.  Spoken responses will be used everywhere else.  Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and at the altar rail.  The alms basin will be placed near the front of the church within easy reach of the hand sanitizer.

5.  THE PEACE:  The peace will be exchanged between the celebrant and the congregation as in the prayer book.  The exchange between non-family members will be limited to hand waves, or other friendly gestures.  Exchanges between family members will be according to personal custom.

6.  COMMUNION:  Holy Communion will be distributed in one kind (bread) only.  Parishioners desiring Communion will approach the altar rail one at a time, cleanse their hands with the provided sanitizer, and the celebrant (wearing a mask) will place the host into their outstretched hands.  Where upon, the parishioner will simply return to his/her seat.

7.  FELLOWSHIP:  There will be no coffee hour or fellowship time after the service until we receive further guidance from the diocese and/or local government.  Greetings at the door will be limited to friendly conversation.

8.  SCOPE:  These are temporary measures to keeps our church family safe as our society begins to reopen in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.  A smile and a laugh will go a long way toward making these steps livable in the coming weeks.

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Father George Inspirational

June 28, 2020 Sermon

Father George’s Sermon:

Welcome  (28 June 2020)

“The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” this is the message of the ubiquitous blue and white signs that mark the way to a local parish church all over this country.  When I travel noticing those signs have started many a side trip, or distraction, from the road.

This morning’s Gospel is about welcoming the stranger, inviting into our midst one who is unknown to us and bringing them into our fellowship – inviting them to be at home with us, even if they’re just “passing through.”

In the ancient middle east hospitality wasn’t just a courtesy, it was often a matter of life or death.  Travelers were sometimes dependent upon the kindness of strangers for food, water, and shelter in an extremely hostile environment.  To turn someone, especially a sojourner away was a grievous breach of cultural expectations and was considered a sin in many communities.

Hospitality and welcoming are something we do well here at the Church of the Mediator.  In the few short months with you I have noticed that we go out of our way to welcome the visitor, make them feel at home in our worship services, and see that they are included in our fellowship time in Ryan Hall.  In this way, we are living into both our baptismal covenant and our congregation’s mission statement.

When we welcome the stranger, or sojourner, into our midst we are welcoming Christ himself.  Throughout Christian history we Jesus appeared to his Church, he always came to us in the guise of a stranger – often a poor stranger who would be easy for us to reject and/or neglect.

Joan Chittister writing in her book in 40 Stories to Stir the Soul (Benetvision, 2010) tells this story:

There was a monastery that was renowned for its hospitality, a welcoming place for many weary travelers in need of rest. One day while the abbot was deep in prayer, an angel appeared, surrounded by golden light. The abbot gazed in rapt contemplation and was filled with a peace beyond measure.

Suddenly a series of heavy knocks resounded on the front door. “It is some weary traveler come to find shelter,” the abbot said to himself. “What should I do? If I go and answer the door, the angel might disappear. If I stay, who will care for the traveler?”

Reluctantly the abbot rose, looked resignedly at the angel, and left the room in order to attend to the needs of the dust-stained traveler. When he returned to his cell, the angel, to the abbot’s great surprise, was still there. The angel said to him, “Had you not gone to help the needy traveler, I myself would have been compelled to leave.”

From 40 Stories to Stir The Soul

When we welcome the stranger, we welcome Jesus himself; and suddenly, we find that we are his guests at his table as he welcomes us into his fellowship.  Amen.

Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers every day.  Stay safe and let us all remember to pray for each other.

Peace,

Fr. George+

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Church News Father George Inspirational

About Spiritual Communion

Adapted from the weekly email to members of Church of the Mediator by Father George, June 26 2020.

Several have asked about “Spiritual Communion.”  I’ve written a brief response, as follows:

Interest in “spiritual communion” is on the rise as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our nation and the world making our usual form of Holy Communion impossible in light of remote worship services.  It’s actually a reawakening of a long-standing spiritual discipline that many Christians have used through the ages to connect with the presence of Jesus the Christ in the Holy Eucharist when access to the Eucharistic celebration was either not available or practical.  The Roman Catholic Church offers it as an alternative for non-Romans attending the Mass who are not permitted to receive Communion.

The practice of Spiritual Communion is used by Christians, especially Lutherans, Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists, when they have been unable to receive the Holy Communion, especially in times of sickness and during persecution by states hostile towards religion. Anglican priest Jonathan Warren Pagán cited the joy Walter Ciszek experienced by making spiritual communion during the era of state atheism in the Soviet Union that resulted in the persecution of Christians in the Eastern Bloc.

Referencing theology related to the Body of Christ and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Anglican priest Jonathan Warren Pagán wrote that “Gathered worship in word and sacrament is therefore not an optional add-on for Christians” though the COVID-19 pandemic rendered it necessary to move to online formats for the common good. He encouraged the practice of Spiritual Communion amidst the pandemic, especially during the Anglican service of Morning Prayer. Pope Francis also suggested that the faithful say Spiritual Communion prayers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which renewed interest in the practice; Methodist clergy have also encouraged Spiritual Communion. Wikipedia

An article in Wikipedia states:

According to Catholic theologians, the value of a spiritual can be as great as Holy Communion itself. “Spiritual Communion, as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Alphonsus Liguori teach, produces effects similar to Sacramental Communion, according to the dispositions with which it is made, the greater or less earnestness with which Jesus is desired, and the greater or less love with which Jesus is welcomed and given due attention,” stated Father Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D., in his book Jesus our Eucharistic Love.

“A special advantage of Spiritual Communion is that we can make it as often as we like — even hundreds of times a day — when we like — even late at night — and wherever we like — even in a desert, or up in an airplane,” Fr. Stefano continued.

The Church of England, mother Church of the Anglican Communion, teaches with regard to Spiritual Communion that “Believers who cannot physically receive the sacrament are to be assured that they are partakers by faith of the body and blood of Christ and of the benefits he conveys to us by them.” Some examples:

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though Thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee. Amen.

Another example is:

As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior. Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.

Here’s a couple of Protestant examples (also from Wikipedia):

Mitchell Lewis, a Methodist elder, authored an act of Spiritual Communion for use in the Methodist tradition:

My Jesus, I love you above all things. How I long to receive you with my brothers and sisters at the table you have prepared. Since I cannot at this moment receive you in bread and wine according to your promise in the sacrament of Holy Communion, I ask you to feed me with the manna of your Holy Spirit and nourish me with your Holy presence. I unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from your love. Amen.

St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Pompano Beach, published the following act of Spiritual Communion:

Lord Jesus, we desire earnestly to experience your love as guests at the heavenly feast you have prepared for your children on earth in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar. As were are not able on this day to be gathered at your Table, may we receive you into our hearts by faith, trusting the word of your promise, that “those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Strengthen our faith, increase our love and hope; and after this life grant us a place at your heavenly table, where we shall eat of the eternal manna, and drink of the river of your pleasure forevermore. Hear us for your own Name’s sake. Amen.

I commend the practice of Spiritual Communion to you as a means of staying spiritually connected during this time while we need to be apart.  Always remember that there is no place or situation where our Lord is absent from us.