Circuit Worship: 26th September 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 pressing play on the first video below.

Welcome and call to worship

Let’s worship God together.
Come, for all are invited
Come, praise and worship the one who accepts us all
Come., for all are welcome, all are valued, all are called.

Song: StF 20 Be Still


Holy God, we come to you in the name of Christ,
seeking understanding, desiring wisdom,
longing for a renewed sense of your presence with us,
in every iota of our lives.

Help us put aside all the things that cause us to stumble,
that we may follow you with sincere and open hearts.

God of eternity, you are at the very heart of our lives:
we adore you.

God of miracles, you add flavour to our world.
You are the salt that seasons us,
you preserve all that is good and make us whole:
we worship you.

God of humanity, you look on us with love
and we cannot help but love you back:
we bless you, Lord.


In a moment of quiet we acknowledge our need of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness as we make our own confession.

God comes to us in our brokenness

Enfolds us in his love

and forgives us by his grace


Thanks be to God

Song: StF 495 Dear Lord and Father of mankind

Reading: Mark 9: 38-50

Another Exorcist

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

Temptations to Sin

‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’


Prayers for the world

Loving Father, following the meeting of the UN this week, talking about their response to climate change and vaccines for the poor, we pray that the words they say will turn into concrete actions and interventions for our world. We pray for the poorest who need the help of the richest. May those who lead and hold power see the humanity in others, feel the pain and strife of those who are desperate, and act with integrity making meaningful promises they can keep.

May we see the shape of God in all of humanity.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, the energy crisis will be worrying many people. As the weather gets colder, some will be wondering how they will afford to heat their homes and keep warm. We want to pray for everyone who is anxious about their future. We pray for people who are struggling financially and concerned for their family. We also pray for those working hard to being relief to people in need. Give them the energy and resilience they need to keep being supportive and bearers of hope. We pray for our foodbanks, debt advisors and mental health services, help us to give generously where we can.

May we see the imprint of the Holy Spirit in everyone we encounter.

Lord, hear our prayer.

God of all, even with the crisis in Afghanistan leaving the news cycle we continue to pray for this country. We pray for those who are fearful and for people who really don’t know what the future holds. Please help those who need to leave find ways out of Afghanistan and for those who have to stay please keep them safe.

May we see the outline of your grace even in the darkest places.

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Heavenly Father, help us to learn how to live our lives in your service. Help us to live well for you. Help us to learn more about your values and see them in our own lives. Help us not to be stumbling blocks for others but signposts towards you. Help us to bring peace and light into others’ lives. As we go through this week help us see God at work in the people we meet.

May we see the pattern of your love in all we do.  

Lord, hear our 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. 
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. 

Song: StF 409 Let us build a house (All are welcome)


May the blessing of God, 
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
Be among us and remain with us always.Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Recessional by Tim Attride, played by Karina Sturdy:

Circuit Worship 19th September 2021

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

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 this linkor simply pressing play on the first video below.

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 Preachers.

The Lectionary Readings today are for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

We start with the Call to Worship.

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


We continue our worship with the first hymn:

Hymn No. 1: StF 408 “How small ….”

Opening Prayers

Loving Heavenly Father, we are pleased to be able to worship you this day We acknowledge your love for us, and our place in this amazing world.

We have, though, erred and strayed from your way as we live our lives. For this we ask for your forgiveness through the sacrifice of your son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Lord, help us to face the truth about ourselves. Help us to hear our words as others hear them. Let us be honest and recognise our impatience and conceit. Let us recognise our anger and and selfishness and accept our own weaknesses for what they are. Give us the grace to acknowledge that we have been wrong.

We ask these prayers in the knowledge and love of our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Let us join together in the Prayer that Jesus taught 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.


Our first reading is from the book of Exodus.

Exodus18: 13-26

The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.

Reading 2: Mark 9: 30-37

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Who Is the Greatest?

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent


The next hymn is StF 526

“Lord of all Hopefulness”

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Loving Heavenly Father, in our prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession we acknowledge and respect the power of your spirit to enable us to be a force for good in the troubled world in which we live.

In gladness and thankfulness, we recognise that the whole of our life is bound up in the mystery of faith, and the life of the Spirit. Our thankfulness reaches out to you in the confidence that you will continue to lead us, nudge us, cajole us and warm us. Help us as Christian men and women to be living witnesses to the life of the Spirit, within us

Awaken our gratitude again to the wonder and enduring fullness of your passion and mercy. May the earthy, all-embracing nature of your good purposes flood over us, and incorporate our life of faith in that new world you bring into being.

In our prayers of intercession, we think of those who are needy at this time. With sadness we acknowledge that the story of most of our history is of victory going to the strong, and suffering falling on the innocent and the weak. We ask you to be with those who need your loving kindness.

We pray for the broken hearted, the shocked, the ill, those suffering due to the pandemic at this time of stress in our world.

We pray for grace that we might ourselves with acts of love to everyone, not matter who they are.

Teach us, O Lord, to mingle our tears with your tears, that the trials and distress which accompany our living may become part of your saving love at this time of trial in our world.

It is to you, in the name of Jesus your Son, that we pray today


Organ Voluntary

Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547 (J.S. Bach)

Jos Maters plays the organ of the Martinikerk, Groningen, the Netherlands

Circuit Worship: 12 September 2021

Led by 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 this linkor simply pressing play on the first video below.

Welcome & Call to worship

It is a great delight to welcome you to this time of worship. Wherever you are
and whatever your circumstances, we hope you will find comfort and hope in
this service. My name is Peter Powers and I am one of the Ministers that work
in the Oxford Circuit.

Call to worship:
Come to worship,
to be comforted and disturbed,
challenged from our complacency,
but also offered forgiveness
and the hope of eternal life.
Come to Jesus, prophet, priest and king.


Opening prayers

Most merciful and gracious God,
we offer you our heartfelt love and praise
because your Son, Jesus Christ,
was willing to risk everything for the whole world.
Even for us.
We come to worship you,
earnestly seeking your will for us –
however risky that might be, you are worth it.

Creative God,
you called us into your kingdom,
and adopted us as your children.
Redeeming Saviour,
you showed us how to be servants,
denying ourselves to serve others.
Sustaining Spirit,
you give us strength to take up our cross
in the service of the kingdom of God.

Teach us to serve others,
and in doing so, to serve you.

Lord, you walked with your disciples from village to village.
And on the way you talked to them about many things.
Giving them your teachings

Some things were not easy to hear or to understand.
We meet you here today, Lord, to hear these things too.
Giving us your teachings

You don’t call us to sit doing nothing.
You want us to be on the move:
taking risks to change our world and save our lives.
Help us, then, to draw close to you,
to be ready to listen. Then to act.
Giving us your teachings

‘Who is Jesus?’
For the times I have been asked this question, and have
struggled to give an answer:
Forgive me, Lord, and give me your words to speak.

For the times I have been ashamed to acknowledge you:
Forgive me, Lord, and grant me courage.

For the times I considered only human concerns, and not God’s:
Forgive me, Lord, and widen my horizons.

For the times I saw opportunities to take risks for God but
looked the other way through fear or indecision:
Forgive me, Lord, and build up my confidence in you.

For the times I only take the chocolates I like out of your box:
Forgive me, Lord, and make me whole,
ready to do your good will.

We have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
The same Jesus who took up his cross and died for our sins.
The same Jesus who looks on us now with love and intercedes on our behalf.
Open our hearts to receive your forgiveness and blessing, Lord.


Reading: Mark 8.27-38

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the
way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered
him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the
prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered
him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone
about him.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great
suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and
be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his
disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are
setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to
become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and
follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose
their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it
profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can
they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my
words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will
also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy


As I look back on our journey, I remember Caesarea Philippi as a group of
villages straddling the hilltops. Jesus brought us from Tyre to walk above the
olive groves out to the fields of sheep, where the eye could look across great
distances, and dwell on the expanse of the valleys and mountains. He was
expansive in his questions. ‘Who,’ he asked, almost meditatively, ‘do people
say I am?’ We looked at one another. It was a question we had heard many
times on the edges of crowds. We answered him as they did: ‘John the Baptist,
reincarnated.’ ‘Elijah, returned from heaven.’ ‘Any one of the prophets!’
There was a pause, as Jesus considered our answers. He cocked his head on
one side, and a smile played around his mouth. ‘You’ve been listening to
gossip,’ he said. ‘Alright…when you hear those speculations, who do you say I
… He looked right at us. There was an embarrassed silence, which grew until
the beating of my heart and the stirring in my chest grew too loud to ignore. I
blurted out what we had talked about among ourselves, ‘You are the Messiah.’
The smile reached Jesus’ eyes. And we walked on. There was nothing more to
be said as that thought, finally articulated, rolled around in our minds and
hearts. Messiah. Messiah. Then Jesus told us to stop overthinking and
concentrate on a place to stay for the night.
Later that evening, as we sat watching the fire burn low, Jesus returned to the
subject. Messiahs don’t always come in triumph. Had we thought that maybe
God had another plan in mind? Had we considered that the path ahead might
not end in glory, but in suffering, rejection, torture and death? There would be
glory, but not in the way we expected. It would come on the third day, when
death would be conquered for ever.
It was late. In my defence, I was tired and confused. I took Jesus aside. This was
no sales pitch. Who would want to follow Jesus if the stakes were so high? But
Jesus was angry. He sent me to bed with a flea in my ear, calling me some rude
names. But the next morning, he settled down with the people who crowded
around him, so that he could unpick the familiar story of Messiah and reweave
the story of salvation in his own way.
‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up
their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and
those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save
it.’ Jesus carried on talking for a long time – riddles that we didn’t understand
until much later. What I understood him to mean was, that if we live life as we
please, our lives will soon be over and that’s it; but if we live to please God, we
gain everlasting life.
Then he looked straight at me. He was a prophet of course, as well as Messiah.
He said, ‘Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous
and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he
comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ That prophecy was to
come true in time to come. I was ashamed of him. I denied him three times. I
repented…on the beach, when Jesus challenged me, oh so gently, so lovingly.
He was not ashamed of me. Never. He forgave me and gave me a new
commission: to feed his sheep.


Thanksgiving Prayers

Lord God, we praise you that your ways are not our ways.
We praise you for the gift of your wonderful Son.
Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer!
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of his excellent greatness!
Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!

He took risks for us, greater than we can ever comprehend. He
took on the troubles and heartaches of the world, and died on
the cross.
Praise Him…
He rose again and gave us new life in him. Life in all its fullness.
Life forever.
Praise Him…

Prayers for others:
So many people in our world today are taking huge risks with their lives for
causes they believe in. We think particularly of those in Afghanistan who have
taken to the streets to protest about the rule of the Taliban. It’s difficult to
comprehend how frightening and disorientating it must be for the Afghan
people to be living with this rapidly changing reality and so we pray for safety.
For those showing huge courage, we ask that their voices are heard, and that
we in the west keep listening, thinking and praying for them. We pray that
leaders with influence use the power they have to guide those who
desperately need it to safety.
Loving God draw close to the people of Afghanistan,
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer’
Caring is very much in the news this week and we are reminded of both the
cost of care in pounds and pence and the personal costs for those who do the
caring. Thank you Lord God for everyone who cares. Whether for elderly
relatives, for people with disabilities, or for the frail and infirm in care home
settings. May we never devalue the care givers. And as we as a society wrestle
with the cost of care, help us not to lose sight of the human lives that are
deeply affected by care needs and caring. Thank you that you are a God who
deeply cares for us all. Help us to understand the full meaning of being cared
for and cared about by our Creator.
Loving God draw close to all who give care,
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer
We are aware of many different people and groups fighting hard for climate
justice; trying to bring to our attention the peril the world is in and effect
change. Thank you for people who care deeply about the environment and are
not afraid to use their voice to speak about it. We pray for everyone preparing
for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow later this year. We particularly pray
for the young people who are mobilising their friends and classmates. Thank
you for their thoughtful concern and the energy they devote to thinking about
such huge global issues. May they be determined rather than daunted by the
scale of the challenge and be encouraged in their pursuit of change.
Loving God, draw close to the people around us who fight continually for
climate justice,
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer’
Many of us will have examples of Christian around this world facing
persecution and danger. Brothers and sisters who live in countries hostile to
their beliefs and for whom expressing their faith is a highly provocative act.
Please draw near to everyone who is in danger today because they follow
Christ. Help persecuted Christians around this world find safe spaces to express
their faith and, for those for whom there is no safe space, may they know your
deep love for them. May they powerfully feel the presence of your Holy Spirit
and hold onto the promise of the Gospel.
Loving God draw close to all for whom discipleship is costly,
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer
Finally, we pray for ourselves. Whatever circumstances face us in the week to
come may we face them in the knowledge that you are always with us. May we
learn how to let go of the things of this world that weigh us down or distract us
from serving you.
Loving God draw close to all of us this week as we work out what discipleship
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer
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.



Loving God,
we commit to following you this week
into corners of the community
we usually prefer to ignore.
Help us to pray and speak and act for change.

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

Circuit Worship: 5th September, 2021

Led by Paul Carter

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 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m Paul Carter and I’m one of the ministers here in the Oxford Methodist Circuit. Whether you are joining us from one of the churches in our circuit, or from a church somewhere else, or from no church at all, you are welcome, to worship God.


CSB 96 Living God, your word has called us


With the breath of the Spirit, let us enter the holy place which is prayer.

God, give us eyes to see your presence,
ears to hear your word.

We come and lay all that is on our hearts at your feet,
knowing that, where we have missed the mark, you offer forgiveness,
knowing that, where we do not feel worthy, you offer acceptance and grace and love.

You are the water in the wilderness, the sea without a shore.

You sustain life; you quench our thirst.

We praise you for your Son, Jesus.
The water that he gives will become in us a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.

You are the sea without a shore, the water in our wilderness.



StF 53 How shall I sing that majesty


Isaiah 35: 4–7a

Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
   He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
   He will come and save you.’

 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert; 
the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,*
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 

Mark 7: 24–37

From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre.* He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Sir,* even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’



StF 706 Longing for light — Christ be our light


With the breath of the Spirit
and in the name of Christ
we pray.

Gracious God,
whose Spirit helps us in our weakness
and guides us in our prayers,
we pray for the Church and for the world
in the name of Jesus Christ.

Renew the life and faith of the Church;
strengthen our witness;
and make us one in Christ.
Guide us at the beginning of this Methodist new year,
with new teams and new ways of doing things.
Grant that we and all who confess that Christ is Lord
may be faithful in your service
and filled with the Spirit,
that the world may be turned to you.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Guide the nations
in the ways of justice, liberty and peace;
and help them to seek
the unity and welfare of all people.
Give to all in authority
wisdom to know and strength to do what is right.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Comfort those in sorrow;
heal the sick in body or in mind
and deliver the oppressed.
Grant us compassion for all who suffer,
and help us so to carry one another’s burdens
that we may fulfil the law of Christ.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Receive our thanks and praise
for all who have served you faithfully here on earth,
and especially those who have revealed to us
your grace in Christ.

May we and all your people
share the life and joy of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



And now may the blessing of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit
be with you and those you love,
today and always.


Organ Voluntary

Trumpet Tune (Philip Tordoff)

Alexander Binns plays the organ of Derby Cathedral

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