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Circuit Worship: 27th November 2022

A service for the first Sunday in Advent, 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 letting the videos play after the first one.

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: O come, O come, Immanuel, StF 180

Reading: Luke 21: 25-36

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: Into the darkness of this world, StF 173

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

https://youtu.be/zVbAJclt2nAToccata on Veni Emmanuel by Andrew Carter, played by Carina Sturdy Brackin

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Circuit Worship: 20th November 2022

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://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLttk_KPHz6_mU9bUw7-XNrV

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 Circuits Preachers.;

We start with a prayer:

Merciful God,

You have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding.

Pour into our hearts such love towards you that we, loving you above all things, may obtain your promises which exceed that all we can desire.

through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

We join in 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

Our 1st Hymn is: StF 317 “At the name of Jesus”

Prayers

We come to a time, Creator God, when we praise you for the immensity of your love for us.

The Love that brought the universe to life, and gave us our position on this wonderful world that we live on, the love that brought us life. We praise you for the endurance of your love, the love that came to share our human life:

The love that died for us upon the cross

The love that triumphed over hatred and death

Saving God,

We praise you for the endurance of your love. The love that came to share our human life: The love that died for us upon the Cross. The love that triumphed over hatred and death

Saving God, we praise you for the endurance of your love.

Strengthening God,

We praise you for the power of your love:

The love that brought your Church to life: The love that transforms hearts and minds. The love that dares and cares and unites.

Strengthening God, we praise you for the power of your love.

Loving heavenly father, we think of those whose lives are difficult, through sickness and unhappiness, who have lost important members of their families.

We think of those who suffered over the pandemic, through severe sickness and death. For those who suffer in different ways, through mental illness and those who look after them. We think of all other forms of sickness, that they may find peace in the coming months and years.

Through Jesus our Lord, Amen.

We now listen to the two readings from

Luke and Colossians.

Readings

Readings: 1.  Luke 23: 33-43

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Reading 2:  Colossians 1: 11-20

May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.

 The Centrality of Christ

 He is the image of the invisible God,

 the firstborn over all creation.

 For everything was created by Him,

 in heaven and on earth,

 the visible and the invisible,

 whether thrones or dominions

 or rulers or authorities —

 all things have been created through Him and for Him.

 He is before all things,

 and by Him all things hold together.

 He is also the head of the body, the church;

 He is the beginning,

 the firstborn from the dead,

 so that He might come to have

 first place in everything.

 For God was pleased to have

 all His fullness dwell in Him,

 and through Him to reconcile

 everything to Himself

 by making peace

 through the blood of His cross —

 whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Sermon

Hymn

Song: “In Christ is our Salvation”

Prayers of Intercession



We come now to our Prayers of Intercession

Loving Heavenly Father, your Kingdom is a kingdom of justice and mercy. We pray for the leaders of the nations, that they may lead fairly for all people, and with compassion for all the different nations there are in our world.

Today we pray especially for the war in Eastern Europe, that peace may come and the killing stopped.

Loving Heavenly Father, your Kingdom is a kingdom of hope and joy. We pray for all people, the bereaved the anxious and the ill, the destitute, the hungry, for those relying on food banks, and for the homeless.

Loving Heavenly Father, your kingdom is a kingdom of love and unity, where all people are treated fairly, and with compassion. We pray that we may be true agents of your saving grace.

We say these prayers in the hope that you will come to be with us in your eternal kingdom.

Yours faithfully

Amen.

We now hear the Organ Voluntary.

Organ Voluntary

Organ voluntary: Prelude in G, BWV 541 (J.S. Bach)

Abolade Olatunji plays the organ of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, Nigeria

https://youtu.be/DK13LILCZHs

Circuit Worship: Remembrance Sunday 13th November 2022

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/watch?v=QKLJq5ZD3eQ&list=PLc2KHyGgDaLtEL_Py–a7CoaL9LQdC4hJ

Welcome and call to worship

A very warm welcome to this service of worship for Remembrance Sunday from the Oxford Methodist Circuit. My name is Reverend Miriam Moul and I am one of the Ministers of the Circuit Whoever you are and from wherever you are joining us today, we are delighted that you are here.

Call to Worship

From the darkness of death,

From the tumult of war,

Children of light,

We are called today to remembrance.

In light and in peace,

We will remember them. Amen.

Song:

Singing the Faith 132 O God our help in ages past

Opening Prayers

Sovereign God, great and wonderful, almighty and all-powerful, in grateful praise we bring you our worship. We praise you that you are greater than our minds can grasp – higher than our highest thoughts, beyond expression in words. In grateful praise we bring you our worship.

Holy God, we praise you that you are source of all that is and has been, that you are at work in our world and in our lives, always seeking to fulfil your purposes, never resting until your will is accomplished.

Saving God, we praise you that you came to our world in Christ, and that through him you come to us again, revealing your love, renewing our faith, showing your mercy, giving us life.

Forgive us that we have not appreciated all you have done – we have not kept our first sense of wonder at your greatness; we have not given you the praise that is rightfully yours; we have presumed to limit you to our own expectations; we have been closed to your Holy Spirit’s prompting; we have kept Christ at arm’s length when his challenge has disturbed us.

In a moment of silence we bring our own prayers of confession to God,

Come to us now as we worship you, and through your loving mercy give us guidance for the days ahead. Help us to grow stronger in faith, more committed in discipleship, more faithful in the service of Christ, until that day when he is all and in all.

In and through the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.


Reading 1

Isaiah 25:1-10

O Lord, you are my God;
   I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
   plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 
2 For you have made the city a heap,
   the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
   it will never be rebuilt. 
3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
   cities of ruthless nations will fear you. 
4 For you have been a refuge to the poor,
   a refuge to the needy in their distress,
   a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, 
5   the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
   the song of the ruthless was stilled. 


6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
   a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
   of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear. 
7 And he will destroy on this mountain
   the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
   the sheet that is spread over all nations; 
8 he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
   and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
   for the Lord has spoken. 
9 It will be said on that day,
   Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
   This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
   let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 
10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain. 

Reading 2

Matthew 26:26-30

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ 27Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’

30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Song:

Singing the Faith 698 God as with silent hearts we bring to mind


Reflection

2 Minutes silence


Song:

Once crimson poppies bloomed


Prayers of Intercession and The Lord’s Prayer

A Prayer written by Rev Paul Mellor, a serving RAF Chaplain

God of Love, At this time of Remembrance, help us to remember, now more than ever, that all people are members of your family and called to reflect your likeness and light. We acknowledge that we find some of those qualities harder to reflect than others.

As today we are mindful of times when our nations
have faced division, conflict and war, we confess that Christ was not selective about those whom he chose to love, forgive and bless. So, help us reflect who you are by echoing your love in all we do. For we are called to the costly business of being as committed to the welfare of those who call themselves our enemies as we are to the welfare of those we call our friends. In obedience to the one who calls us to follow him as Lord, and inspired by his cross – a symbol of the greatest act of ‘love for enemies’ there has ever been – enable us to willingly embrace all that it stands for.

Help us to stand shoulder to shoulder with those we once called enemies and call them friends, living in a way that: enables us to build bridges across seemingly impossible divides, enables us to be ministers of peace and reconciliation allows light to shine in the darkest of places.

As we look at the dark and broken world around us, may we place our hope as in the prayer of Desmond Tutu:

“Good is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
light is stronger than darkness;
life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours, through him who loves us.”

And empower us to face the challenges, in the midst of the many tribulations in our world that can cause hatred and division, to make our lives ones that promote goodness and love, life and light. Amen.

Loving God,
as we work for peace – give us wisdom,
as we strive for justice – give us courage,
as we tear down the walls that divide – give us strength, as we care for those in need – give us compassion. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Song:

Singing the Faith 696 For the healing of the nations

Blessing:

Go now.Go with God’s blessing. Go in justice and love. Go now. Go and love your neighbour. Go and respect the earth. Go now.Go and befriend strangers. Go and make peace. Go now. It is time.We go to walk with God.


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