Circuit Worship: 28th November 2021

Led by Stephen Spain

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 this link or simply clicking play on the first video below.

Welcome and call to worship

Hello and a warm welcome to this service of worship for the first Sunday in Advent. My name is Stephen Spain and I’m a minister in Oxford Circuit. Let us worship God together.

Come to God all you who are afraid.
Come all you who are anxious.
Come all you who are weary,
and in Him find peace and hope and rest,
this Advent and always.

Song: StF 175 Light of the World

Advent Candle Liturgy

We read from the prophet Isaiah: ‘Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”’ – the Advent God of creation.

As we light our first candle, we give thanks to God for the gift of this bounteous creation, celebrating its diverse life and wondrous beauty. We know that all created life should be enabled to flourish as God intended, and yet often our actions do not treat it with value. As we face the climate crisis, we lament the ways in which creation has been stifled and altered by our actions. And yet, we also give thanks for the hope we find in the Creator as we wait for God to visit us again.

Let us pray. We pray for all who work to renew the environment, to reverse the years of neglect and abuse and bring hope, love and light to the world. We commit ourselves to play our part in protecting this most precious of gifts and to ‘lift up our voices mightily’ to call on all to do more to care for creation. Amen.

Song: Light a candle in a darkened place, verses 1 and 2: 

Prayers

We praise you, O coming God, for you are ever near us.
The presence of your love transforms and renews us.
Draw close to us as we draw close to you. 
You are the Lord who saves and heals
To you, O Lord, we lift up our praise.
Lead us in your truth and teach us your ways;
Have mercy on us and surround us with your love;
In you, O Lord, we put our trust.

We praise you, God of all time and all seasons, 
for your trustworthiness, for your faithfulness, 
and for your watchfulness. 
For you do not let us down,
you do not give up on us and you do not let us go. 
Amen.

Forgive us, loving God, 
when we allow fear to overcome confidence; 
when we put our trust in that which is destructive 
and allow hope and faith to slip through our fingers.
Forgive us and strengthen us when we are fragile. 
Protect us when we are vulnerable, 
and use us to bring light and hope
to those in darkness and despair. 
We ask this in Jesus’ name. 
Amen.

Song: StF 180 O come, O come, Immanuel

Reading: Luke 21:25-36

The Coming of the Son of Man

‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Exhortation to Watch

‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’

Sermon

Music for reflection: Look up – Matt Beckingham

Prayers for the world

God, you entered the world as a human baby at a difficult time.

We pray for those in difficult circumstances,
those for whom the picture is bleak:
those waiting in hope for justice,
those in the darkness of poverty,
those who must walk for clean water.
Lord, inspire us, and make us signs of your kingdom.

We pray for those who live in fear and foreboding
under the tyranny of modern-day Herods;
for those who are weighed down with dissipation
and the worries of this life.
Give us the courage to support them through protest and prayer.
Lord, inspire us, and make us signs of your kingdom.

We pray for those who show where God is to be found:
those who offer friendship at bus stops and in the playgrounds,
in the counselling rooms and on telephone help lines,
those who work to bring peace and restore hope.
Lord, inspire us, and make us signs of your kingdom.
Amen.

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.

Song: StF 173 Into the darkness of this world

Blessing

Be brave and admit your fears. 
Be daring and speak out your hopes,
and be confident that the God of Advent is with you.

And may the blessing of the coming God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Be with you this Advent and forever more.

Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Carina Sturdy plays Toccata on Veni Emmanuel by Andrew Carter

Circuit Worship: 21st November 2021

Led by Sizwe Mkwanazi

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=PLc2KHyGgDaLt845Ed0UU4FaU-yfXNw73_

Call to Worship

Welcome to today’s service. My name is Sizwe. I am leading this service. Our call to worship is taken from psalm 132.

O Lord, remember in David’s favour
    all the hardships he endured;
how he swore to the Lord
    and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
‘I will not enter my house
    or get into my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
until I find a place for the Lord,
    a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.’

We heard of it in Ephrathah;
    we found it in the fields of Jaar.
‘Let us go to his dwelling-place;
    let us worship at his footstool.’

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting-place,
    you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
    and let your faithful shout for joy.
10 For your servant David’s sake
    do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath
    from which he will not turn back:
‘One of the sons of your body
    I will set on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
    and my decrees that I shall teach them,
their sons also, for evermore,
    shall sit on your throne.’

Amen. We will now have our first song taken from Singing the Faith hymn 503.

Song:

STF 503, Love divine all loves excelling

Prayers of Thanksgiving

Great God, we give you thanks that you call us out of silence to name hidden and domestic violence.

Today we pray for all those women who despite suffering from violence, continue to care for family and children, to grow and prepare food, carry water, earn a living, and offer support to others.

We pray for women who are trafficked as domestic or sex workers; for women who are raped and do not know how to find words to name their pain or a way into the future.

We pray for transformation of our societies which often find it easier to judge the victims of violence than to solve the problems of injustice

Great God, we give you thanks that you call us out of silence to name hidden and domestic violence.

We pray that women’s voices may be heard and considered in all peace and reconciliation work.

We pray for a transformation in the violent way many men act towards and think about women.

We pray for right and just relations between women and men that together we may transform and overcome violence in all its forms and learn to celebrate our diversity and interdependence

Great God, we give you thanks that you call us out of silence to name hidden and domestic violence.

We look forward to the age of peace, when violence is banished, both women and

men can love and to be loved, and the work and wealth of our world is justly shared.

Great God, we give you thanks that you call us out of silence to name hidden and domestic violence.

Song: 

STF 317, At the name of Jesus

Bible Readings

John 18: 33 – 37, read by Freda Carmack

Exodus 1: 11 – 20, read by Wendy Spray

Sermon/Reflection

Prayers of Intercession & Lord’s Prayer, led by Grace Samkange

Our prayer of intercession today will follow the format of the Lord’s prayer for justice. Let us pray. Our father: our father who always stands with the weak, the powerless, the poor, the widowed, the abandoned, the lonely, the sick, the aged, the very young, the unborn and those other victims of circumstances, we pray for the one in three women facing violence each day and for the child brides forced into early marriages. Who are in heaven: where everything will be reversed, where the first will be the last and the last will be first and where all will be well and every manner of being well. Hallowed be thy name: may we always acknowledge your wholeness, respecting that your ways are not our ways, your standards are not our standards, you bring good news to the poor, heal the blind that they may see, seeking justice for the poor, may the reverence we bring to your name pull us out of the selfishness that prevents us from seeing the pain of our sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, children and colleagues experiencing different forms of violence. Your kingdom come, your will be done: open our freedom to let you in so that the complete mutuality that characterizes your life might flow through our veins in daily lives may we radiate equal love for all. On earth as it is in heaven: may the work of our hands, the temples and structures we build in this world reflect structure of your glory so that the joy, righteousness, tenderness and of heaven will show forth within all our homes, workplaces, communities, schools, playgrounds and during our daily commutes, give life and love to us and help us to always see everything as a gift, help us to know that nothing comes to us by right and that we must give because we have been given to help us to realize that you entrusted the different gifts and talents for us to be your eyes ears hands and feet we ask particularly that we learn more and work with the different agencies and organizations seeking to address hidden effects right by our doorsteps as truly plural us give not just to our own but to everyone, even those that are different from us, give your gifts to all of us equally, foster in us the spirit of willingness and being open to discussion on all forms of violence within our churches, homes, workplace, and communities. Our daily bread: so that each person in the world may have enough to meet their basic needs give us this bread of resources and opportunities to become active agents of change in the various campaigns on ending violence on girls and women by 2030. Deliver us from evil: that is from the blindness which which leads us to participate in anonymous systems within which we end up knowingly and unknowingly supporting the systems and perpetrators of violence through our inaction, fear or self-preservation. God with us Emmanuel you come to us today. You are present in the caring that prepares us for life’s way. Amen.

Song:  

STF 119, God of Eve and God of Mary

Sending out Prayer and Blessing

Now we have come to the end of our service, a service that has been a reminder about the struggles that women face and children in particular. I ask that we go out and observe and take action against violence directed at women and children. Let us pray. Dear Lord, we thank you for your word, a service that has served as a reminder that while we go on with our daily business, there are women and children that endure different forms of violence. We ask that you give us courage, you give us a voice to speak up and to speak the truth to power when it comes to violence that is directed to women and children, that you give us the strength to do all that we can do to fight violence against women and children. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. We now say together the grace. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and ever more. Amen.

Circuit Worship: 14th November 2021

A service for Remembrance Sunday, led by Simeon Mitchell

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 this link or simply pressing play on the first video below.

Welcome and call to worship

Welcome to this online act of worship from the Oxford Methodist Circuit on this Remembrance Sunday. My name’s Simeon Mitchell, and I’m a local preacher in the circuit. Whoever you are and wherever you are, it’s good to be sharing with you.

We come to worship in the name of God
To remember his promises and celebrate his love
To mourn those lost to the horrors of war
To give thanks for acts of sacrifice and service
and to commit ourselves to walking the path of peace.
This is the day that the Lord has made
And we shall rejoice and be glad.

Song CSB 216 O God beyond all praising

Prayer and Act of Remembrance

Eternal God, into the peace of your presence we bring our restless lives.
We worship you, because in you we find life and joy and love.
We love you, because you always care, but never stifle.
We follow you, because you help us to learn how to live in community with all around us.
We adore you, because you accept us in our brokenness and forgive the things which
burden us.

Praise God, who loves us
Through Jesus Christ, who saves us
And who raises us to new life in the Spirit.
Amen.

And now, on this Remembrance Sunday, as we keep two minutes of silence, let us remember before God, and commend to his sure keeping:

those who have died for their country in war;
those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure;
and all who have lived and died in the service of humankind.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Two minutes silence

Hymn StF 698 God! As with silent hearts we bring to mind   

Bible readings

Today we are using Bible readings suggested for Remembrance Sunday, which invite us to not only hear again Jesus’s challenging call on us to be people of love, but also first to reflect on God’s promise of a future where all will experience peace and justice.

Micah 4:1-4

In days to come
   the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
   and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it, 
   and many nations shall come and say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
   to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
   and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
   and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
 He shall judge between many peoples,
   and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
   and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
   neither shall they learn war any more; 
 but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
   and no one shall make them afraid;
   for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 

Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said: ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Reflection

Song StF 707 Make me a channel of your peace

A Remembrance Prayer

Hymn StF 705 It is God who holds the nations

Closing prayer

Lord, as this time of worship draws to a close,
we commit ourselves to remembering your ways 
and acting on them,
We will strive for all that makes for peace
We will seek to heal the wounds of conflict
We will work for a just future for all humanity.
Help us to be your hands and feet in the world.
Amen 

Organ voluntary

Adam Wilson performs Edward Elgar’s Solemn Prelude ‘For the Fallen’ , Op. 80, no. 3 (arranged by Harvey Grace) on the 1879 ‘Father’ Willis/Harrison & Harrison organ of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Circuit Worship: Sunday 7th November 2021

Led by 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 link below:

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLsgxMxsw38k_p4Ofbx0tCbc

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 Circuit’s Local Preachers who take services every week.

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 song:

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, to

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,

We join together in the prayer Jesus taught his disciples and us:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name;

Your Kingdom Come,

Your 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.

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.

We come to the readings for today:

Readings:

Ruth 3: 1-5, 4:13-17

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Mark 12: 38-44

Beware of the Scribes

And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Address

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 of the lockdowns and for those who have lost loved ones.

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, particularly those who have suffered through the pandemic worldwide 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

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

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