Circuit Worship: 2nd May 2021

Led by Rev Miriam Moul

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=PLc2KHyGgDaLuBJX_WUUlpebmeMT4oumIP

Welcome and call to worship

A very warm welcome to this service of worship from the Oxford Methodist Circuit. My name is Reverend Miriam Moul and I am one of the Ministers of the Circuit serving Cowley Road Methodist Church and as Methodist Chaplain at Oxford Brookes University. Whoever you are and from wherever you are joining us today, we are delighted that you are here.

Would you join me in prayer as we gather together?

Call to Worship

Come among us loving God,

You, who cast the planets into space

and cradled the sparrow in her nest.

Come, loving God and meet us here.

Come among us loving God,

You, who bless the poor and the broken

and stand by the sad and the strong.

Come, loving God and meet us here.

Come among us loving God,

You, who dance in the silence

and shine in the darkness.

Come, loving God and meet us here.

Amen.

Song:

Singing the Faith 3           Eternal God, your love’s tremendous glory

Opening Prayers

Holy God, ever creating and transforming; we come in awe and wonder this day to praise and worship you. In the beginning, you created and designed all there is – you are the architect of the universe. Creating stars that blaze, oceans that roar, light in all its glory, darkness, land in all its diversity, sea and sky. Holy God for the inspiration and spark of your creative power, for the beauty of all your creation, we bring you our praise.

Tender and nurturing God, like a mother and father you draw us to yourself and hold us. Knowing and loving each one of us, excited as you saw the people we would become, the people we are yet to become. Even before we were born, before we took our first breath, you knew us, knitting us together, our personalities, our futures, our hopes and dreams. Tender God, for your relentless love, for your excitement and plans for our lives we bring you our praise.

God of presence, we thank you that you are present in all times and places, in darkness and light, in joy and despair, in the valley of the shadow of death and the face of evil, in hope and disappointment, in life and death. Help us your people to earnestly and urgently seek you in all things, that we may acknowledge your presence in the everyday, ordinary things of our lives made extraordinary by your Spirit’s presence in us and surrounding us. May we continue to be transformed as we encounter you powerfully in the places where we least expect to. God, present in all things, we bring you our praise.

God of love victorious, of the Cross and empty tomb, of the road to Emmaus and a breakfast barbecue on the beach, help us to recognise your voice speaking to us, calling us as Mary did in the garden, to follow the one who knows us intimately, and loves us beyond the horizon of our imagination. Each one of us is held and precious and valued beyond measure. God of love victorious, we bring you our praise.

God of Trinity, you invite us to join in the dance of community. You are ever moving and interweaving together. Knit us together as the community of Christ, help us to dance together in praise and worship. God of Trinity we bring you our praise.

So, holy, creating, tender, present, loving, transforming, leading God, we bring you our heartfelt praise this day.

In a moment of quiet we offer before you those things that we wish to ask forgiveness for this day.

(Silence)

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the forgiveness that is offered through your Son Jesus Christ. May we live as your forgiven people this day and all our days to come. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

Reading 1

1 John 4: 7-21

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Reading 2

John 15:1-8

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO92Lw9v8PE

Singing the Faith 611                       Brother, sister, let me serve you

Reflection:

Prayers of Intercession and The Lord’s Prayer

Loving, Living, Listening and Waiting God, we come before you this day with our prayers knowing that you hear us and that you listen. We praise and worship you for your care for us.

Living God, we pray today for your Church, carrying a gospel of forgiveness and freedom which is so much needed in our world. Give us the courage and the willingness to be your witnesses in ways that are generous and respectful, and which come from the overflow of our love and delight in you. Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Listening God, we pray for countries where there is war, random violence or only fragile peace. May hearts which have been darkened by violence discover a different light and a better way. We pray particularly for the people of Myanmar at this time. We pray for peacemakers struggling to end hostility and violence across the nations. We pray especially for areas ravaged by Covid-19, for the people of India, Brazil and other nations facing huge surges in cases and deaths. We pray for places devastated by natural disasters, particularly remembering today St Vincent and its residents. Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Waiting God, we remember before you those in need of hope. Those who feel that their cries for help are not heard by you or by the people around them. For the lonely, isolated, disenfranchised, hurting, homeless, shunned. We pray for those for whom this day has seemed long and hard, for those in hospital or ill at home, those struggling with depression, mental illness, those waiting for a job. Loving God, give your courage and hope to those in trouble. Your kingdom come, your will be done.

God of love, we remember with deep gratitude those who have left their mark on our lives by giving us love and laughter but have now gone before us to be with Christ. We hold them in our hearts, knowing that you, Lord, hold them in yours. Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Faithful God, we remember before you our families, friends and the communities we represent here. In a moment of quiet we bring before God the concerns of our hearts and minds…Your kingdom come, your will be done.

So ever-loving and listening God, may we be a people who wait and listen for your word to us. People who act when you call us to and stand back when you require it. May we be agents of change in your world, offering not only our prayers to you but our lives and actions. May we be a people that ‘keep watch to see what you will say to us’ and be ready to serve you in all we do.

We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

We say together the prayer that Jesus taught us…

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.

Song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pqPlXLj_HI

Singing the Faith 615                      Let love be real

Blessing:

May God our maker, bless us and wrap us round in love and tenderness. May our brother Jesus bless us and ask us the questions that lead us to do justice. May the Holy Spirit bless us and fill our lives with her courage and wisdom. May we live bravely in the love of God all our nights and days. May almighty God bless us, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, now and for ever. Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Organ voluntary: Sonata in G, BWV 530 (J.S. Bach)

Reitze Smits plays the Schnitger organ of Uithuizen, the Netherlands

https://youtu.be/slfSTazbYhE

This three-movement work lasts just over 12 minutes. Come back at your leisure, after Zoom coffee perhaps, for the Adagio (4′ 20″) and the final Allegro (8′ 45″)

Circuit Worship: 25th April 2021

Mike Trinder

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 following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ymtm0gUbLw&list=PLc2KHyGgDaLt11XAnnfmP0ExsgMuBHRLg

Welcome and Call to Worship:

I would like to welcome everyone to worship today. My name is Mike Trinder, and I’m one of the Oxford Methodist Circuit’s Local Preachers who take services every week.

We start with the Call to Worship

Loving God, open our eyes to the beauty of your holiness, open our ears to the message of your word. Open our minds to the challenge of your truth, open our lives to the coming of your spirit, that we may truly worship you, now and forever.

Amen

We continue our worship with the first song:

Song: “As Servants Working an Estate:

Opening Prayers

God of all life, of all ages, of all places:

God of all people, of all voices, of all accents;

God of all signs, of all symbols, of all songs..

God of all life, as we worship you today,

encircle us with the knowledge that you are always

with us, and your forgiveness, through the sacrifice

of your son Jesus Christ, is always there when we

acknowledge the error of our ways.

In gladness and thanksgiving we recognise the world

as your home, and our place within it. We thank you for

The gift of your son, who shared our human life with us.

Call us back to you to die for us upon the cross, to be

Raised again, that we might know true and eternal life in you.

We ask these prayers in Jesus’ name,

Amen

Reading 1: John10: 11-18

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.

Reading 2: Acts 4: 5-12

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Address

Song No 9 “Of the Father’s Love”

Prayers – intercession, and blessing.

Loving God, your Kingdom is a kingdom of justice and mercy. We pray for the leaders of the nations, that they might rule fairly and with compassion, respecting the rights and needs of all people, and promoting peace.

Loving God, Your Kingdom is a kingdom of hope and joy. We pray for those in sorrow or need. We remember the bereaved, the anxious and the ill, the destitute, the hungry and the homeless. At this time of pandemic, we pray for the people who work in caring for people who are seriously il, and for the families who are separated because y of the lockdowns.

Loving God your Kingdom is a kingdom of love and mercy, and we pray for the Church here and throughout the world, in supporting people who are in great need. We pray for ourselves, that you will guide us through these difficult times.

We ask these prayers in the name of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Carillon de Westminster (Louis Vierne)

Jean-Baptiste Robin plays the organ of Saint-Eustache, Paris

Circuit Worship: 18 April 2021

Revd Stephen Maunder and Siobhan Antoniou

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 following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUKYsUmFi80&list=PLc2KHyGgDaLv5szF4tnu-c5y3uU2Bxuyu

Welcome and call to worship

I am pleased to welcome you to this service from the Oxford Methodist Circuit for the second Sunday after Easter.   I offer Easter greetings to all with the familiar words…

Alleluia Christ is risen
He is risen indeed, Alleluia

In our worship today we hear one of the Gospel accounts of the appearance of Jesus to his disciples as they are gathered in the Upper Room.  I am pleased that our reflection today is being offered by Siobhan Antoniou, who is a student minister from the United Reformed Church on placement within our Circuit.

Song: Praise the Lord with the sound of trumpet

Prayers

Almighty God, as we come together in our worship, we give you thanks and praise for the beauty of creation around us, and in the new life which Spring brings to our world.    

We continue in Easter praise for the resurrection of Christ who came amongst us to show your way of the Kingdom.  A Kingdom of love and grace and service.   We thank you for his faithfulness in ministry, in word and deed, and in taking the road to Jerusalem and to a cross.   We praise you that death was not the end, and that on the third day our Saviour rose again to offer us life in all its fullness in this world and in the kIngdom to come.   

We thank you for the gift of your Spirit holding us in fellowship with one another and inspiring our living.   We rejoice in the gift of your Church on earth and in heaven, and our call to join with those who have come before us, and those who will come after us in witnessing to your goodness as Easter people.

Forgive us, we pray, for those times when despite all that we know of your love, still we turn from you.   Forgive us when we fail to speak with the assurance of your voice in our hearts.   Build us up as your people and renew our faith we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reading: Luke 24:36-48

Today’s Gospel Reading begins at the point where the travellers to Emmaus have returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples about what they had experienced as Jesus joined them on their journey home.

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. 

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”  Amen

Reflection

Song: Christ is alive, let Christians sing

Prayers of intercession

Brian Wren’s hymn reminds speaks to us of the presence of the risen Christ with us now as at all times.   

We bring our prayers together we have moments of quiet as we focus upon those needs known to us….

God of love, we pray for the needs of this world, bringing before you those places and concerns where Good Friday is the flavour of life, and where joy is unknown.   We pray for those in need of peace, for those mistreated by others, for those in constant fear…..

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

We pray for the life of the Church that in our witness we may reflect your resurrection grace.   We hold before you those churches to which we belong, remembering those able to gather and those who are not.  And beyond our own communities we pray for churches where persecution is a constant fear, and where fellowship is behind closed doors.    

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

We pray for those who are struggling with faith and Christian living.  For those whose doubts are overwhelming, and for those for whom worship has become hard at this time…

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

We pray for our communities, for those whose work brings them into situations of challenge and danger.…

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

We give you thanks for those whom we love and who have died.   We praise you for your promise of life beyond this moment known to us in the risen Christ.   We hold before you those who mourn, especially we remember all who have not been able to grieve as they need….  

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

May the whisper of your voice be heard in our hearts that we might find comfort when we need it, challenge when we feel complacent, and strength to embrace the future set before us.

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer   Amen

We join together in the traditional version of the Lord’s Prayer

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: To God be the glory

Blessing and Dismissal

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you.
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Amen

The peace of the Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always.  Amen

We go in peace.  Alleluia   Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Nimrod, from the Enigma Variations, Op. 36 (Edward Elgar)
Jonathan Scott plays the Klais organ of WeiWuYing – National Center for the Arts, Taiwan
https://youtu.be/u2E8qcKcgAU

Circuit Worship: 11 April 2021

Peter Powers

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=PLc2KHyGgDaLt09ioCaKrCE1ioFRY4UmTB

Welcome

Hello and welcome to worship on Sunday the 11th of April, here in the Oxford Circuit. Hallelujah Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia. We continue to celebrate the risen Christ of Easter day. Come embrace the risen Christ; come embrace the Prince of Peace; come embrace his pierced hands; come meet your Lord and your God. Our first hymn is in Singing the Faith no. 297. The hymn is Christ is alive let Christians sing.

Song: Christ is alive

Opening Prayers

I’m recording outside in the sunshine and at the garden at the manse in oxford here though it’s a bit chilly. Still there is some beautiful sunshine and even some blue skies. Let us pray then. As the disciples in the locked room reached out and touched you let us reach out and touch you today. Living Lord Jesus let us feel your scarred hands and feet, let us put our hands in your side, let us be still and know that you are our Lord and our God. Lord your body was broken and your blood was shed. Thank you for the cross. You did it so that we might live. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for all that you have done for us. Thank you for the cross. Your love has set us free. Thank you for the resurrection. You were raised to life and ran out of that grave. Thank you for the resurrection. Thank you that we have eternal life in you. Thank you for your cross and your resurrection. Amen. And a prayer of confession. Gracious and loving one we come with busy hearts and minds. Let us confess to God all those things that we should not carry. O God forgive us when we cannot see you, for all our questions, when we refuse to believe out of uncertainty or fear, when we don’t recognize you at work within us. God of mercy forgive us. O God forgive us when we keep you to ourselves, unwilling to share your joy with others, preferring to stay in our own comfort zones behind closed doors. God of mercy forgive us. O God forgive us when we muddle up our priorities, misunderstanding our purpose and potential and do not listen to your calling. God of mercy forgive us. Hear now the words of Jesus. For all who are truly sorry and seek to renew their lives your sins are forgiven. Lead us now O God to acknowledge your costly generosity by living as forgiven people until heaven and earth rejoice and the whole earth cries glory through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading

1 Peter 3: 3-9

Song: King of glory, King of peace

Reading

John 20: 19-31

Sermon

Song: At the name of Jesus

We sing together another well-known hymn and one of my personal favourites. It’s number 317 in Singing the Faith and is the hymn At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, every tongue confess him king of glory now. We sing together.

Prayers

And so we come to our prayers as we share together prayers of thanksgiving and we make our offering, and then we share together prayers for others. In our intercessions and so in our prayers and in our lives let us give thanks to God. For the love of God our Father the maker of all, the giver of all things, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the world’s beauty and the changing season, for blossom, birds and bees, and for the love of 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. For those wonderful moments of recognition of the Lord alive within us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for his suffering and death on the cross and his resurrection to new life. The signs of new life we see and those that we hope for. Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for his rule over all things and his presence in the world, the signs of compassion, care and community around us, 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, scattered or gathered and the life of the world, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen. Over the last year or so many of us have made our gifts and offerings through standing orders and other similar ways. Through the charitable gifts that we make, our time and our availability, our care and our compassion, we acknowledge all that giving as part of our worship today. Gracious God accept all our gifts and with them our lives to be used in your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord amen. And so as we make our gifts we also make our prayers for the needs of others, marking Jesus to intercede that our prayers might be heard and answered in his name. Let us pray. Loving Lord you promised us that whenever two or more are gathered in your name our prayers will be answered. Our definition of gathering has strangely changed. We pray that these prayers spoken from hearts spread out across our community will be acceptable to you. Gracious God hear our prayer. We humbly pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world separated from each other as we are by the darkness of this disease, we pray that you will hold us close, bound together in your love in faith. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for all the nations. None are exempt from this pandemic. We pray for all the other problems facing the world, poverty, famine, drought and war. These problems continue on unaffected worsened by its shadow. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for our leaders guiding us as best they can. We pray that you will guide them and so lead us through to a brighter world, brighter for everyone. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for our communities, for those serving us, serving us both ministering to our health and to our everyday needs. We pray that you will continue to protect them, keeping them and their families safe. We pray for those around us living alone, isolated, lonely, unseen. Keep them from despair. Lord guide us to them. Show us their need. Gracious God hear our prayer. Pray for the sick – Lord we pray that you will be with them where family and friends cannot. We pray that for those who have lost their battle who have died we pray that they are safe with you. Please comfort and support their loved ones left behind to mourn in isolation. Hold them especially close. Gracious God hear our prayers. Almighty God please join us your children together in your love along with all those who have gone before us and use us to your loving purpose. Amen. We gather these and all our prayers both spoken and felt inside as we share together the Lord’s prayer in the modern version. Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is 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. For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, forever and ever. Amen and before a blessing we sing again our closing hymn See what a morning gloriously bright with the dawning of hope in Jerusalem Folded the grave clothes tomb filled with life as the angels announce Christ is risen It’s no. 309 in Singing the Faith

Song: See what a morning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFM6MdKYmA&list=PLc2KHyGgDaLt09ioCaKrCE1ioFRY4UmTB&index=11

Blessing

You remain in my prayers and the prayers of many others. As the week ahead comes to us we share together in a final blessing. Jesus stood among them and said “Peace be with you. As the father has sent me so I send you the holy spirit”. Go and do the Father’s work in the name of the Son and in the strength of the Spirit. Amen and the blessing of God Father the Son and the Holy Spirit remain with you always Amen.

Organ voluntary

March, from the Occasional Oratorio (G.F. Handel)

Alexander Binns plays the organ of Derby Cathedral

https://youtu.be/R57wqtrhz3M

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