Evening Prayer and Thanksgiving for the life and friendship of the Revd Rob Lamerton

Sunday 23 November 2008 — the Feast of Christ the King

Thanksgiving service"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Hymn: What a friend we have in Jesus (TiS 590, Tune: Scarlet Ribbons)

"Friends in Christ, we come together to meet with God, and to take our part in the building up of his church. we will lift up our hearts in thanks and praise, hear from God's holy word, and pray for this world and for ourselves. Today we gather to remember and give thanks for the life of Rob Lamerton, pastor in this congregation of St. Philip's. It is time of sadness, but also a time to rejoice, to remember, to laugh and to smile as we share good memories of our beloved friend."

The children made a presentation and sang, Jesus is friend of mine! This had been sung often by Rob and the children at the Sunday Eucharist.

The Word of God

"Heavenly Father, give us wisdom and understanding. As we listen to your word, and reflect together on our memories of our beloved friend Rob Lamerton, may we know you better, love you more, and learn to please you in all we do; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Ephesians 1.15-23, read by Beryl Holder.
The Song of Mary (Luke 1.47-55).
John 21.1-19, read by Chris Cheah.

Hymn: Once in Judah's least known city. (This favourite of Rob's is from the Iona Community, it knocks on the head some of the dubious assumptions surrounding Jesus' birth; the Iona people say, "Don't let it be sung too pompously"!)

Once in Judah's least known city
Stood a boarding house with back-door shed,
Where an almost single-parent mother
Tried to find her new-born son a bed.
Mary's mum and dad went wild
When they heard their daughter had a child.

He brought into earth a sense of heaven,
Lord of none and yet the Lord of all;
And his shelter always was unstable
For his mission was beyond recall.
With the poor, with those least holy,
Christ the King was pleased to live so lowly.
Can he be our youth and childhood's pattern
When we know not how he daily grew?
Was he always little, weak and helpless,
Did he share our joys and problems too?
In our laughter, fun and madness,
Does the Lord of love suspect our gladness?

Not in that uncharted stable
With the village gossips standing by,
But in heaven we shall see him
— Here as much as up above the sky —
If, in love for friend and stranger,
We embrace the contents of the manger.

Reflections

Pat Forbes spoke then sang, The Temptation, a song from the Iona Community.
Chris Cheah spoke and read a poem.
Denise Manley spoke and introduced the songs Warm love, by Van Morrison and Mr Tambourine Man, by Bob Dylan.
Brian McKinlay spoke and read an extract from The Hound of heaven, by Francis Thompson (1859-1907), much loved by Rob and requested by Sandy.
Revd Jeanette McHugh spoke and introduced the hymn, Here we adore you, hidden Saviour, Lord (TiS, 500).

Prayers

The prayers included the Lord's Prayer, the Song of Simeon (Luke 2.29-32) and this Prayer of Resurrection Hope (contributed by Joyce Webster):

Lord Jesus Christ, strong Son of God,
help us to see that life is eternal,
that love is immortal, that death is an horizon,
and the horizon but the limit of our earthly sight.
— adapted from some words of Bishop Thomas Brett (1667-1774)

The service ended with the hymn, Crown him with many crowns, (TiS 228)

"Go in the peace of Christ. Thanks be to God. Amen."