Circuit Worship: 1 November 2020

Led by Anna Herriman

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 1 November 2020

Welcome and call to worship

Hello and welcome to the Oxford Methodist Circuit Online Service.  My name is Anna Herriman.  I am a Local Preacher on trial in the Oxford Methodist Circuit and you are very welcome to join us for worship today from wherever you are.  Today is All Saints Day which falls on 1st November and this year it falls on a Sunday – today!  Therefore, it makes sense to me to focus on this theme in today’s service.  The celebration of All Saints Day on 1st November dates from the 9th Century but it has been celebrated at other times of the year for much longer.  First, let us gather now together for worship.  Please do say the words in bold together with me.

Like the faithful ones who have gone before us, let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus. 

Our hearts set on God’s love, 

Our hands ready to bind up the hurts of creation and all people, 

Our feet ready to go the extra mile. 

Let our eyes see light even within darkness and glimpse potential where others see dead ends.

Give us mouths eager to sing God’s praise and hearts yearning to rejoice.

Like the ones who have gone before us, 

Let us follow as part of the communion of saints. 

As we prepare for worship, let us hear a song from Singing the Faith number 24: “Come now is the time to worship.”

Song: StF 24 CSB 27 Come now is the time to worship

Prayers

Let us now give God a prayer of adoration and praise Him for all that he does for us.  Let us take a moment of silence before we pray:

<pause>

With all your people, on earth and in heaven, we praise your name, O God, for you alone are worthy of adoration. And you reign supreme beyond space and time. 

In you is the fullness of perfection;
in you is our hope of salvation;
in you is the promise of life eternal.
With all your people, we praise your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us now take a moment of silence as we ask God for forgiveness of our sins:

<pause>

Let us pray together:

With a great cloud of witnesses around us,
we try to run the race that lies ahead.

We have sinned against you in our thoughts, actions and word.
Help us, God of truth, to lay aside every weight 
and the sin that restricts our movement.
Forgive us for the times we have failed to clothe ourselves in love
and enable us to fix our eyes on Jesus,
in whom we have found our hope. 
Amen. 

We will now have our Bible readings where we can focus on God’s Word from Psalms and the gospel reading from Matthew in the New Revised Standard Version.  Psalm 34 focuses on God delivering the righteous and that we should not fear the Lord and advises us how.  Matthew 5v1-12 delivers a similar message and that God is open to all.

Reading: Psalms 34: 1-10, 22

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
    so your[a] faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
    and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
    happy are those who take refuge in him.
O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
    for those who fear him have no want.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Sermon
Prayers of Intercession and The Lord’s Prayer

Let us now together have the prayers of intercession.  When I say “Christ who calls us”, please respond same time with the words in bold “hear our prayer”.  Let us pray:

Across the ages you, Jesus, have called women and men to follow you, 
and to walk in the way of righteousness and truth.
We praise you for the witness of Christians in every generation,
for those who have served you, 
those who taught the Gospel to the people,
for the ones who struggled for the poor and oppressed
and those who have died a martyr’s death.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Bless your followers today, we pray.
We remember all who make sacrifices to serve you,
and your persecuted disciples in many lands.
Strengthen their faith in the time of need.
Grant them hope in the teeth of despair,
and the love that knows no boundaries.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Give to the world your deep peace, 
and help us overcome the oppression and violence that destroys lives.
We pray especially for those nations tinged with hatred and injustice especially in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and look to a world in which all may have enough.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Give to the world your comfort to all those suffering badly from the effects of Covid 19.  All those who are ill, suffering long time effects, bereaved, lonely, those whose mental health, lifestyle, jobs and finances are at risk.  We pray for wisdom for leaders as they try to curb the spread.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

We pray for our own country as we continue to face uncertainties and concerns as Brexit approaches.  We pray for guidance and wisdom to our politicians and those seeking an improved society.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Comfort and hold all who are sick, sorrowing and are lonely,
and give your wisdom and peace.
Let us spend a few moments remembering the names of those who are suffering known to us. <pause>

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Teach us, each one, to follow you, Lord Jesus,
to be your disciples, the heralds of your kingdom.
Though we sometimes feel weary, strengthen us to persevere,
and so to run the race that lies before us,
in thankfulness and hope.

Christ who calls us, 
hear our prayer.

And grant us the peace that comes in serving you.
Amen.

Let us now say together the prayer that Jesus taught us to say:

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. 

Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours.

Now and for ever.
Amen. 

We will now have hymn number 660 from Singing the Faith that remind us that we are called to serve and spread God’s grace.

Song: StF660 Called by Christ to be disciples
Closing prayer and Blessing

We will now finish with a closing prayer and Blessing

Almighty and everlasting God,
who enkindles the flame of your love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that as we rejoice in their triumphs,
we may profit by their examples.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
Amen. 

May God give us grace to follow the saints
in humility, righteousness and peace.
And may the blessing of the God of hope,
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, 
go with us and remain with us,
always.
Amen.

The Blessing in BSL

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