Circuit Worship: Sunday, 11th October

Led by Revd John Anderson

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:

YouTube playlist for 11 October

Welcome, introduction and opening words

Good morning and welcome to this time of worship. I’m Rev John Anderson, one of the ordained ministers within the Oxford Circuit, thank you for joining me. Whilst we are within the season of Harvest, today marks the beginning of Prisons Week and is also Homelessness Sunday, both of which we will remember in our prayers. We will also reflect upon one of the more difficult parables within Matthew’s Gospel, but more on that later. 

We begin our time together with a pause, to still our thoughts and remind ourselves that wherever we are, we are in the presence of God.

Silence

This is the day that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it!

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.
Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice.

Song: Come, ye thankful people, come Singing the Faith 123 

Opening Prayers (from Methodist Worship Book p27ff)

Prayer of approach

Let us pray.

Silence

Loving God, we have come to worship you.
Help us to remember that you are here with us.
May we pray to you in faith,
sing your praise with gratitude, 
and listen to your word with eagerness;
through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer of adoration

Let us praise God.

Silence

Praise be to you, O God,
the maker of the universe, 
by whose wisdom we are created and sustained.

Praise be to you, O God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
by whose love we are redeemed and forgiven.

Praise be to you, O God, 
the source of all holiness, 
by whose Spirit we are made whole and brought to perfection.

Praise be to you, O God, 
Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now 
and shall be for ever.  Amen.

Prayer of confession and declaration of forgiveness

Let us confess our sins.

Silence

Loving God,
we have sinned against you
in what we have thought, said and done.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
We are truly sorry 
and turn away from what is wrong.
Forgive us for the sake of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Silence

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
This is his gracious word: 
‘Your sins are forgiven.’
Amen.  Thanks be to God.

The Collect

God of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things,
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish in us all goodness
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Reading: Matthew 22: 1-14

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

Reading: Philippians 4:1-9

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Song: Come sinners to the gospel feast Singing the Faith 401

Sermon

Prayers of Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God.
For the love of our Father, the Maker of all,
the giver of all good things:
let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

For the world’s beauty and the changing seasons,
and for the life that we have been given:
let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

For Jesus Christ our Saviour,
who lived and worked among us:
let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

For his suffering and death on the cross 
and his resurrection to new life:
let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

For his rule over all things
and his presence in the world:
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

For the Holy Spirit, the giver of life,
who teaches and guides us:
let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

For the grace of the Spirit
in the work of the Church 
and the life of the world:
let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayers of Intercession and The Lord’s Prayer

From Homeless Sunday

Heavenly Father,

We pray today for all women and men, who are homeless this day. For those sleeping under bridges, on park benches, in doorways or bus stations outside high street shops and many other inappropriate places. For those who can only find shelter for the night but must wander in the daytime. For families broken because they could not afford to pay the rent. For those who have no relatives or friends who can take them in. For those who have no place to keep possessions that remind them who they are. For those who are afraid and hopeless. For those who have been let down by our social safety net. 

For all these people, we pray that you will provide shelter, security and hope. We pray that those of us with warm houses not be lulled into complacency and forgetfulness. 

Jesus, help us to see your face in the eyes of every person experiencing homelessness who we meet. So that we may be empowered through word and deed, and by your grace, to bring justice and peace to those who are homeless. Amen.

The Prisons Week Prayer for Sunday

Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.

Blessèd are you, eternal God,
to be praised and glorified for ever.

Hear us as we pray for your holy catholic Church:
make us all one, that the world may believe.

Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you:
that the life of Christ may be revealed in us.

Strengthen all who minister in Christ’s name:
give them courage to proclaim your Gospel.

Inspire and lead those who hold authority in the nations of the world:
guide them and all people in the way of justice and peace.

Make us alive to the needs of our community:
help us to share each other’s joys and burdens.

Look with kindness on our homes and families:
grant that your love may grow in our hearts.

Inspire us to have compassion on those who suffer from sickness, grief or trouble:
in your presence may they find their strength.

We remember those who have died:
Father, into your hands we commend them.

We praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory:
bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Silence

Heavenly Father, 
you have promised to hear 
what we ask in the name of your Son:  
we pray you to accept and answer our prayers, 
not as we ask in our ignorance, 
nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, 
but as you know and love us in your Son, 
Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

As our Saviour taught his disciples, we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

Hymn: Summoned by the God who made us Singing the Faith 689

Dismissal

The love of the Father enfold us,
the wisdom of the Son enlighten us,
the fire of the Spirit enflame us;
and the blessing of God, the Three in One, 
be upon us and abide with us now and for ever.  Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Carillon de Longpont, by Louis Vierne (born 8 October 1870)
Jonathan in Scott plays a Mustel harmonium in Brodsworth Hall, near Doncaster, UK

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