Circuit Worship: 20th June 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=PLc2KHyGgDaLubTzWeo3cStWYo5WKAWIxl

Welcome and call to worship

Jesus on the boat in the storm said: ‘Peace! Be still!’…and there was a great calm.
We come to God, just as we are.
Sometimes at ease.
Sometimes confused by life’s storms.
Let us trust God with our big questions, and listen for God’s still small word to restore us to a sense of peace.

Song: Now thank we all our God

Opening prayers

Loving and sometimes silent God,
we come into your presence,
thankful to quieten our hearts and to wait for you to speak.
We bring our joys, our challenges, and our questions.
We open our hearts honestly to you,
and we wait in that space beyond questions
to feel you hold us in compassion.

Eternal God,
we praise and adore you for all that you are:
for being bigger than even our biggest questions;
for caring more than we can fully comprehend.
We praise and adore you
for your strength and your silence;
for your power and your peace.
We praise and adore you
for being in control and yet not controlling;
for being in the storms and beyond them.
We praise and adore you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we praise you for ever.

God of our questions and our struggles,
when we too quickly mistake silence for indifference:
forgive and help us.When the voice of our own needs silences the voices of others:
forgive and help us.When we abandon others in their storm and watch safely from the shore:
forgive and help us.When we lose faith because things get tough:
forgive and help us.In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lord Jesus,
you do not let us sink when our faith is going under.
You do not let our boats overturn when the seas of our life get rough.
You do not let our questions swamp us or our failures destroy us.
Rather, you forgive us, you save us,
you encourage, challenge and calm us –
and for this we are thankful. Amen.

Reading: Mark 5.35-41

Sermon

Eularia Clarke’s 
‘Storm Over the Lake’.

God of power and peace,
when the storm is raging:
You are there.
When our boats are sinking:
You are there.
When faith slips through our fingers:
You are there.
When our hearts sink and our courage fails:
You are there.
In the roar of the waves,
in the sound of the wind,
and in the silence:
You are there.
So, we praise you.
We thank you.
We worship you.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Listen to song: Can you hear me?

Prayers for others

In the light of the extension of restrictions,
we remember in prayer today:
those whose businesses are sinking…
those drowning in debt…
those going under with stress…

Faithful God, may they know you care.
Loving God, may they trust you’re there.
Saving God, hear our prayer.

We pray for those embroiled in stormy and violent relationships,
among and within nations, communities, and families…
those played out on the world’s stage…
those hidden behind closed doors…

Faithful God, may they know you care.
Loving God, may they trust you’re there.
Saving God, hear our prayer.

We pray for those whose cries go unheard,
especially those tortured and executed by brutal regimes…
for those whose questions go unanswered,
especially those searching for justice…
for those whose pleas go unheeded,
especially those on the edge unable to access mental health services…
for those whose needs go unmet,
especially in the Yemen, in Tigray, and in all places of poverty where the resources available are inadequate to feed the hungry and starving…

Faithful God, may they know you care.
Loving God, may they trust you’re there.
Saving God, hear our prayer.

We pray for the church as it seeks to address and answer big questions,
questions about life and death,
about gender and sexuality,
about faith and finance,
about race and responsibilities,
about integrity and healing…

Faithful God, may they know you care.
Loving God, may they trust you’re there.
Saving God, hear our prayer.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

Song: In Christ is our salvation

Blessing

Go in peace.
May the whisper of God’s wisdom
go with you today
into all your relationships.

May God’s blessing be yours, Father, Son and Spirit.

Now and always.

Amen.

Organ voluntary: Pièce d’Orgue, also known as Fantasia in G, BWV 572 (J.S. Bach)

Phoebe Tak Man Chow plays the organ of All Saints’ Church, Orpington

Circuit Worship: 13 June 2021

Led by Prof. David R. Matthews

The service this week is integrated into a single video:

The readings this week are those set in the Lectionary:

Psalm 20

Mark 4, 26-34

Prayers:

Bless us 

Our brother Jesus, you set our feet upon the way and sometimes where you lead we do not like or understand. 

Bless us with courage where the way is fraught with dread or danger; 

bless us with graceful meetings where the way is lonely; 

bless us with good companions where the way demands a common cause; 

bless us with night vision where we travel in the dark, keen hearing where we have not sight, to hear the reassuring sounds of fellow travellers; 

bless us with humour — we cannot travel lightly weighed down with gravity; 

bless us with humility to learn from those around us; 

bless us with decisiveness where we must move with speed;

 bless us with lazy moments, to stretch and rest and savour; 

bless us with love, given and received; 

and bless us with your presence.

Bless us, lead us, love us, bring us home to you, bearing the Gospel of life. 

(Kathy Galloway – Iona Community)

The mustard seed

Loving God, we confess that we have failed, 
we have not been what you intend us to be, 
we have not been what we want to be.

We would touch the world with goodness, 
but we chase after our own salvation. 

We would care for your creation, 
but we squander it with little thought for those still to come. 

We would meet the needs of others,
but we find ourselves reluctant to share. 

We would stand for truth, 
but we remain silent in the face of evil.

We would live with love and compassion,
but we take on the values of this world. 

We would share our faith joyfully,
but we lack courage to trust in you. 

We need you, God,
if we are to become who you want us to be. 

Transform us by the power of your Spirit. 

Renew our faith day by day and make it like a mustard seed, 
full of promise and possibility, always growing.

So may we may live with courage and purpose 
and see the signs and parables 
you have for us in the world today. 

(Francis Brienen)

Intercessions

Lord of the universe, through power beyond our understanding you called our planet into being and sustain it in all its beauty and balance.

We grieve for the damage that has been done by human greed and human carelessness.

Inspire us again with your vision of a world where people live in harmony with their environment, where resources are fairly shared and where life in all its forms can flourish.

  • We pray for your blessing on all who are campaigning to raise awareness, particularly the young generations speaking up for their future 
  • We pray for struggling communities around the developing world who are seeing their fragile livelihoods devastated by changing weather patterns
  • We pray for those of us in the prosperous world whose lifestyles have caused so much harm.  Strengthen in us the will and the discipline to change our harmful habits. 

Lord of the powerful, from the earliest pages of scripture you have laid out a blueprint for earthly rulers based on justice and righteousness – calling those in power to respect and cherish all their people, and to live in peace with their neighbours.

We hold up to you now our political leaders, remembering especially those who have been meeting at the G7 summit. Grant them the wisdom to see that the crises which threaten the whole world can only be solved by setting aside self-interest and working together; stir up in them a proper sense of urgency and the determination to follow brave words with equally brave actions. 

Lord of the powerless, in the life of Jesus you chose to identify with the weak and vulnerable, the outcasts and misfits.  He shows us how you want human life to be lived – not by conventional standards of status and success, but with loving-kindness and compassion. 

We hold up to you now the powerless people of our world:

  • The helpless citizens of so many war-torn countries, living through endless cycles of violence and fear
  • Those languishing in refugee camps, or risking the dangers of the sea in a search for safety.
  • Those living on the edges of our own society and struggling to get by. 

Lord of the power-sharers, through the gift of the Holy Spirit you have chosen to make human agents and human activities the channels for your transforming power.  

 We ask your blessing now on all your power-sharers, of whatever race and creed:

  • all who are committed to building a fairer, greener world, 
  • all who work patiently to bring peace, 
  • all who stand up with courage for justice, 
  • all who give healing to the sick and comfort to the sad, 
  • all who offer new worth to the despised and new hope to the despairing.

May we remember that however helpless we feel, we do each have the power to make a difference – In our homes, our workplaces, our neighbourhoods, our churches, our world. So may we join gladly and with energy in the work of making your kingdom come. 

(Clare Matthews)

Organ Voluntary

Toccata in G (Théodore Dubois)
Roger Sayer plays the organ of the Temple Church, London
https://youtu.be/7YtzuqTqLwU

Circuit Worship 6th June 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 link below:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLubDJH5uDfbzr5cGZg-PcoG

Welcome and Call to Worship:

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

The Lectionary Readings today are for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

We start with the Call to Worship.

Loving, Heavenly Father, we thank you for the wonderful world in which we live.  We thank you for your word that we will be thinking about today. We would ask you to open our eyes and ears to your message of love that we hear today.

Amen

We continue our worship with the first song:

Hymn: Love divine all love excelling

Opening Prayers:

Creator God

We praise you for the intensity of your love. The Love that brought the universe to life, the love that designed and ordered our world.  The love that breathed life into humankind.

Creator God, we thank for the immensity of your Love.

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, and brough us the Holy Spirit. The Love that triumphed over hatred and death

Saving God, we thank 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.In the name of Christ, Amen.

We join together in the Prayer that Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be your 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.

And lead us not into temptation;

But deliver us from evil.

For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen

Reading 1:  Mark 3: 20-36

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebub,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Reading 2: 2 Corinthians 4: 13-5: 1

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

We thank God for the reading of His Word.

Address

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song: Lord of all hopefulness

Prayers of Intercession and Blessing

Loving God, your Kingdom is a Kingdom of justice and mercy. We pray for the Leaders of the Nations, particularly at this time of Pandemic, and war in the middle east and food shortages throughout parts of our world. We pray that the rights and needs of all people will be met, by promoting peace and harmony.

Your Kingdom Come, your will be done.

Loving God, your Kingdom is a Kingdom of hope and joy. We pray for all those in sorrow or need. We remember the homeless, the bereaved, the anxious and the ill. We pray for those we know who are in need at this time.

Your Kingdom Come, your will be done.

Loving God, your Kingdom is a kingdom of light and life. We pray for ourselves, that you will guide us safely on our journey through life so that we will might become to be with you in your eternal kingdom.

Your Kingdom Come, your will be done.

Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Organ voluntary: Tuba Tune (Norman Cocker)

Daniel Cook plays the organ of Westminster Abbey

https://youtu.be/lMzDXp8U1Qs

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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