Circuit Worship: 30th May 2021

Circuit Worship: 30th May 2021

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:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLvHYGs16RpBI3RTNYUzTgz9

Welcome and call to worship

Hello, I would like to give you a very warm welcome to the service from the Oxford Methodist Circuit for Trinity Sunday wherever you are and whenever that is. I’m Anna Herriman, one of the Local Preachers on trial in the Circuit and will be starting the service today with a poem called “Trinity” written by a member of Wesley Memorial – Joanna Tulloch.

Dance of love in three steps,

care and grace and mercy,

you are with us always

to the end of this pandemic

and beyond.

Face of wonder, Father,

present in creation,

you are with us always

till your gifts are loved and nurtured

and transformed.

Son who shared our being

and taught us true compassion,

you are with us always

in those who care for others,

those who heal.

Spirit, source of courage,

comforter, defender,

you are with us always

wherever there’s injustice,

fear or pain.

Spirit, Son, and Father,

inspirer, friend, creator,

you are with us always

until the new beginning

dawns on earth.

Copyright Joanna Tulloch (2020)

Song:

Our God Saves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUOgVl0KuFI

Prayers

Let us pray:

Loving Creator, the source of life and love, we praise you for the beauty of this day, and thank you for the good things we enjoy.

Jesus, Messiah, we praise you for your courage and kindness in living your life and dying your death for all humankind. We are blessed by your rising from death to life, opening the way for us to follow you.

Holy Spirit of God, you reveal to us the things of God, open our hearts to Love, and shower upon us gifts which build up our brothers and sisters in Christ in peace and joy.

Holy God, amazing Trinity, as you gave yourself to heal us, help us to offer ourselves to you anew today, for you welcome and embrace all who respond in love to you. Amen.

From: https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/21291/30-may-21-worship-if-you-are-unable-to-attend-church.pdf

Reading 1

Isaiah 6: 1- 8

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

The pivots[a] on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph[b] touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”.

Our old testament reading seems to focus more on calling but still has a link to today’s service. The hot coal on the lips implies that we are forgiven and should be connected to God within our calling to serve God’s purpose in His love, following Jesus’ way and letting the Holy Spirit guide us.

Prayers

Let us confess our sins to God:

Holy God,

You are always here, together with your Son and Holy Spirit,

You bring us together, care for us and protect us.

You have done so much for us since the beginning. of the world.

We forget and we have not always followed your way.

We recognise the need for you to lift us up.

Forgive us for not loving others as we should,

Forgive us for we have not sown the seeds of spiritual growth.

Restore us, so that we may reconnect with you, ourselves and each other.

That together we share and spread the Good News of your Son and your love.

Guide us and guard us through your Holy Spirit.

Through the power of Christ and the gift of your Spirit, Amen.

Reading 2

John 3:1-17

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”[b]Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c] Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born from above.’[e] The wind[f] blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you[g]do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.[h] 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.[i]

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Sermon

Song:

StF394 Spirit of God, unseen as the wind

Prayers of Intercession and The Lord’s Prayer

We now share in a responsive prayer of intercession: each time I say “As you, God, love us”, I invite you to join in the response “Help us to love one another”.

Let us pray.

As you, God, love us, Help us to love one another


We thank you, loving God, for your unconditional love, which connects you to us and to all our neighbours worldwide; we thank you for giving us an example in Jesus of how we should share in that connectedness by loving you and our neighbours; and we thank you for the challenge to follow his example which we receive from your Holy Spirit within us. And we ask you to inspire each one of us as individuals to accept that challenge: to love you by loving our neighbours as Jesus loved people and as you love us – loving with a love that is unlimited both in the range of people with whom it connects us and in the lengths to which it is prepared to go.

As you, God, love us, Help us to love one another.

We thank you that even during times of lockdown the churches of our Circuit have found ways to connect with our neighbours; and we pray that as restrictions are relaxed we may seize whatever opportunities we have to enrich both the mission and service by which we connect with the communities around us and the worship and other activities in which we connect with each other.

As you, God, love us, Help us to love one another.


We pray for our national Methodist Connexion, and for your universal Church of which it is part. Connect and unite us in love even with those from whom we are divided by contradictory convictions. May we respect their convictions and be ready to listen to them even when we disagree; may we always be open to receive new insights, to travel from the old to the new on our pilgrimage of faith; and may we have the grace to live with diversity, in the knowledge that we are all “one in Christ Jesus”.


As you, God, love us, Help us to love one another.

We pray for the people of all nations and their leaders. We admit our share in humanity’s responsibility for the heating up of our planet which our heedlessness of our connectedness to the natural world has caused; and we pray for an adequate response to this challenge, firstly by those preparing for or taking part in the forthcoming UN Conference on this crisis in Glasgow, and then by the international community as a whole. We also remember those struggling to cope with the effects of the Covid pandemic throughout the world, including those hit by the lack of vaccines and intensive care in India and elsewhere; and we ask that our leaders may not only be wise in dealing with the pandemic here but also be compassionate in honouring our connectedness to these poorer countries by giving them all the help that is available.


As you, God, love us, Help us to love one another.

Finally, let us remember in a moment’s silence any known to us who are passing through difficult times just now, and let us ask God to show us if there is anything we can do to help them. (Pause)

As you, God, love us, Help us to love one another. 

And we join in the Lord’s Prayer, in whatever version each of us chooses.

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.

Closing prayer and Blessing

May the love of God sustain us in our lives,

May Jesus, the bread of life himself defend us and give us strength to build his Kingdom,

May the Spirit, nourish us and guide us on our journey.

And the blessing of God,

The Father, the Son and Holy Spirit,

Be among you and remain in you always.

Amen

The service now finishes with the reminder that God loved the world that He gave his only Son so that we may live.

Song alternative to Organ Voluntary:

For God loved the world He gave his only Son

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