Circuit Worship: 22 November 2020

Revd Stephen Maunder and Siobhan Antoniou

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLtn2AdPyDPePfRW9IriP9vm

Welcome and gathering prayer

I offer you a welcome to the online Service for the Oxford Methodist Circuit on this Sunday before Advent.   Today brings to a close our readings from Matthew as the main Gospel since last Advent, as we shall be moving to Mark for the year ahead.  

I am very pleased to be sharing our service with Siobhan Antoniou who is a student minister within the United Reformed Church, and is on placement within our Circuit for the coming months.  Siobhan will be reading the Gospel and leading our prayers for others.

As we worship together, let us pray together:

God of grace and love and hope, we gather to worship you.   Open our hearts, our minds, our souls, to your word that we might find refreshment and renewal at this time.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

Song:

‘Be still’  Singing the Faith 20 

Prayers

Loving God, we give you thanks that at all times you are with us.   We praise you for the wonder of this world in which we live, for the vastness of the universe, and worlds and stars beyond our knowing.  In all of this we may find it hard to grasp that you care for us, and yet we know that  you do indeed hold us in your embrace, and love us to the uttermost.

We thank you for that love shown through Jesus. For the Servant King whose ministry continues to inspire us, for his death and resurrection bringing us hope of life light in a time of darkness.

We thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit uniting us wherever we are, holding us together as your family, and renewing us day by day.

Forgive us we pray when we fail to see you in the faces of those in need.   Help us to serve you more faithfully day-by-day with openness and generosity.

Renew us, we pray, that we might walk more closely with Christ.  

Renew us, we pray, that we may have hope for this moment and for the future. 

Renew us, we pray, so that we may praise you in all that we do.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Reading

Matthew 25:31-46  NIV

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Reflection

Song – When I needed a neighbour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym8yOdCFGPc

Prayers

Creator and cherisher of all people, we pray for our world.

We give thanks for the food on our tables, for access to clean and safe water to drink, for warm clothing for winter, and for doctors and nurses when we are sick.

We know that not everyone in our community here in Oxford, or around the world, is able to have the things needed to thrive.

We pray to our Lord Jesus Christ for everyone who feels hungry today. For people whose crops have failed, for those facing benefits sanctions, and PIP assessments, and school holiday hunger. God who hungers with the hungry – hear our prayer

For those who are thirsty and living in places of drought especially in East Africa and the Middle East. We pray for water to flow again, for the building of dams and wells and for everyone working for climate justice. God who thirsts with the thirsty – hear our prayer

We pray for those who are experiencing homelessness, who face a cold winter without warm clothes as well as those who are exploited in sweatshops creating fast fashion garments. God who dwells in homeless shelters and sweatshops – hear our prayer

We pray for everyone affected by illness, especially during this pandemic, and all the healthcare staff working hard to care for others. We pray for everyone struggling with grief, loneliness and isolation at this time. God who sits with us when we are feeling lonely – hear our prayer

We pray for those in prison and in detention centres here in the UK and around the world, and for chaplains and visitors who support imprisoned people. God who sits with prisoners – hear our prayer

God help us to see your face in everyone we meet this week, and give us the strength and courage to serve you through our service to others.

Amen

Song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym8yOdCFGPc

Blessing

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, remain with us all evermore. Amen

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: 15 November 2020

Alan Turner-Smith

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=PLc2KHyGgDaLug_U8OmniT42j58ZMnEMHG

Welcome and call to worship

Welcome to worship with friends in the Oxford Methodist Circuit. My name is Alan Turner-Smith. I’m one of the Local Preachers in the Circuit. When we cannot do it any other way it’s wonderful to be able to share with you now from my own room to yours.

Today we’re all rather gloomily thinking about the future under Covid-19 restrictions, let alone politics and Brexit. Dark evenings don’t help either, and we wonder whether there is any light in the days to come.

People have always worried about the future. Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage the anxious Christians in Thessalonica with these words

you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day.

Yes, that is where we belong, in God’s own daylight!

StF 706 Christ be our light

Prayers

Yes, we so much need to see God’s light!

Shall we pray:

Lord God
Awaken us to your glory
Dispel the darkness of our night
Destroy the heaviness of our heart
Cure the blindness of our sight
Heal the deafness of our ears
Open the mouth that is dumb
Restore the gentleness of touch
Encourage a sense of adventure
Bring us to an awareness of you
Awaken us to your glory.

Father God,
you are the one who leads us
from darkness into light,
from captivity into freedom,
from anxiety into peace,
from despair into joy.

Yet we long to break free,
choosing independence,
convinced of our own wisdom,
forgetting your love and grace.

Forgive us,
draw close to us,
embrace us once again
in your loving arms,
and enable us to follow you
in worship and grateful service
each day of our lives.

Amen

And so, as Jesus taught us, we say:

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.

Reading

So often God’s judgement comes through a crisis, because how we react at times of upheaval and choice exposes who we really are.

Last week we were remembering how our parents and our grandparents knew war and destruction on a scale unparalleled in earlier times. We have known crises too, but perhaps none so universal and personal as the present pandemic, which has crept up on us, as Paul writes in our reading now ‘like a thief in the night’.

Throughout the Bible we read how those who trust in God and try to do his will are not spared human disaster. There is no Ark for us in which to float away while all the others pay the price for sin. No, God’s people find their salvation within the very heart of human disaster, not by being immune to it. This is why Paul told the Thessalonians in vivid terms to be prepared for days of upheaval and judgement.

Let’s hear that now.

1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11

5 There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labour, and people will not escape. But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11 And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Reading

God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes.

Let us ponder those words of Paul words for a moment.

Our Gospel reading is one of Jesus’ parables. The one before it is about some foolish young women who took no extra oil in their lamps for a wedding. Jesus concluded this parable with the words

… “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.

After that Jesus told another parable, which encourages us to think about what we should be doing in the preparation for that day when we come face to face with our heavenly father. The story is a warning: we do not know the day or the hour.

Matthew 25: 13-30

13 …“Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

14 “At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to leave home on a trip; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. 15 He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave five thousand gold coins, to another he gave two thousand, and to another he gave one thousand. Then he left on his trip. 16 The servant who had received five thousand coins went at once and invested his money and earned another five thousand. 17 In the same way the servant who had received two thousand coins earned another two thousand. 18 But the servant who had received one thousand coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 20 The servant who had received five thousand coins came in and handed over the other five thousand. ‘You gave me five thousand coins, sir,’ he said. ‘Look! Here are another five thousand that I have earned.’ 21 ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ 22 Then the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, ‘You gave me two thousand coins, sir. Look! Here are another two thousand that I have earned.’ 23 ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ 24 Then the servant who had received one thousand coins came in and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not plant, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. 25 I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you.’ 26 ‘You bad and lazy servant!’ his master said. ‘You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not plant, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed? 27 Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. 28 Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has ten thousand coins. 29 For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. 30 As for this useless servant—throw him outside in the darkness; there he will cry and gnash his teeth.’

Song

Reflection

Song:

Prayers and Blessing

In our prayers now we begin by giving God thanks.

We give thanks for all those people whose daily lives are about giving;
be it medical or physical assistance, teaching, training and encouraging,
loving, caring, supporting, praying;
all the many ways that one life can be blessed and enriched by another.
For all these people we give thanks.

So we pray …

For all whose day starts with anxiety,
as they leave the security of home worrying about the risk of infection;
particularly those whose health or age classifies them as vulnerable.
Loving God, be close, keep them safe,
along with all whose tasks today includes the care of frail and elderly.
And for all of us, grant wisdom to make sensible choices,
not just for ourselves, but for everybody.

In silence let us bring to our Lord any who are particularly on our minds.

And finally, we pray for ourselves:

Merciful God,
Though we are not perfect, may we be forgiven,
though we are not stunningly effective, may we be faithful,
though we are not holy, may we press on in faith,
though we are undeserving, may we be accepted by you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


And so now we leave each other to follow him in his service,
with peace in our hearts, sharing this blessing

The deep peace of the Running Wave to you.

The deep peace of the Flowing Air to you.

The deep peace of the Quiet Earth to you.

The deep peace of the Shining Stars to you.

The deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Amen

Organ Voluntary: Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in C (Dieterich Buxtehude)

James Bowstead plays the organ of Wakefield Cathedral

James was Organ Scholar of Jesus College, Oxford, and conducted Wesley Memorial Church Choir from 2014 to 2016. He was subsequently Organ Scholar of Peterborough Cathedral, before moving to Wakefield Cathedral as Assistant Organist, where he is currently Acting Director of Music.

Circuit Worship: 8 November 2020

Simon Blainey

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=PLc2KHyGgDaLv_RDmwd7G0GbYBlFlNNzxm

Welcome and call to worship

Hello and welcome to the Oxford Circuit Service for Sunday 8th November.  I’m Simon Blainey, one of the local preachers on the circuit, and I’ll be leading today’s service.  Wherever and whenever you are listening to this service, I’m delighted to be sharing in worship with you. 

We’ll begin our service with a short to call to worship, which will be followed by a song of praise and adoration.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his;

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Song:

Lord Let Your Glory Fall – Songs of Fellowship 1430

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENQYKMQEe6c

Prayers of thanksgiving

Father, we have come to praise you, the one true living God.

We have come to thank you for all the good things with which you fill our lives.

We thank you for your love shown to use in Jesus Christ.

We thank you for showing us in Jesus that nothing can defeat your plans for your world.

We praise you for Christ’s life, death and resurrection, and thank you that he can set us free from everything that spoils our lives.

We thank you that we can come to you with our questions, our problems, and our worries,

That we can bring you our lack of hope and our lack of purpose.

And we thank you that when we do so your Holy Spirit will fill us with your power, and give us the confidence and hope that come from knowing that we are your children,

And for this we praise you.

Amen

Reading

Matthew 25:1-13

1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Sermon

Prayers of confession

We come now to a time of confession, so let us pray.

Lord God, we confess that there are times when we have followed the example of the foolish rather than of the wise.

When we have been too distracted by worldly things to let you into our lives and our living.

When we have seen the mistakes of others, but have not understood their lesson for us.

When we have made mistakes ourselves, but instead of learning from them have gone down the same slippery slope again and again.

When we have failed to speak your words of wisdom to the face of folly.

When our failure to do stand up for what is right and good has allowed evil to have its way.

Lord God, you know our failings, and we acknowledge them to you now.

But we can take heart, for we know that in your unfathomable wisdom you will always forgive those who truly repent, and so this morning as we repent of our folly, we ask you to take our thoughts and minds, to fill them with the words of wisdom that you speak, and so allow us to be free in the truth you have made known to all humanity.

Amen

We’re going to share now in a song which leads on from that prayer.

Song:

Spirit of God Within Me – Hymns & Psalms 294

Prayers of intercession

Lord, we pray for our world.

We pray for those who struggle for justice for the deprived and despairing;

For those who are seeking to make the world a cleaner, safer and fairer place for all;

For governments that turn a blind eye to the effects of their decisions on your good world;

For industrial leaders who give no thought for the impact on future generations that results from the profit-driven choices that are being made today.

May the light of Christ be the source of wisdom for all the world.

In the name of Jesus

We ask our prayer.

Lord, we pray for wisdom for politicians;

For those who came into politics with high ideals and a genuine desire to seek justice and truth;

For those whose values and judgments are shaped by their knowledge of the scriptures and their love of the Lord.

For those whose only aim is to lift themselves higher, no matter the cost to their personal integrity,

And for those who will sacrifice anything for their own personal gain.

May the light of Christ be the source of wisdom for all politicians.

In the name of Jesus

We ask our prayer.

We pray for wisdom for churches;

For churches where the gospel is preached and faith in Christ is declared.

For churches rich in fellowship and things of the Spirit, but who never reach out with love or in mission.

For churches struggling to find their purpose while they are unable to meet in person as a worshipping community.

May the light of Christ be the source of wisdom for all churches.

In the name of Jesus

We ask our prayer.

Lord, we pray for wisdom for people;

For those trapped by the offer of instant solutions to their problems for today,

But who have no answer to the debts that must be faced tomorrow.

For those who ignore the fact that sudden riches for some must be paid for by those who can least afford it.

For those seeking to be faithful to Christ and the gospel of love in a world that has turned its back on its maker.

May the light of Christ be the source of wisdom for all people.

In the name of Jesus

We ask our prayer.

We pray for wisdom for ourselves.

May the light of Christ be the source of our wisdom in all we face and in all that we choose;

In all we plan and everything we desire;

In all our relationships and in all our service;

In all our commitments and all our obedience;

In all our pain and in all our pleasure;

In all our successes and all our failures;

In all our joys and in all our sorrows;

In all our walking with God and trusting in Jesus.

In all our waiting on the Spirit and in all our surrender to his power.

In the name of Jesus

We ask our prayer.

And I invite you to join me in saying the Lord’s Prayer together:

We come now to our final hymn, which I think expresses very well the certain hope we can have in Christ even when things do seem very dark

Hymn:

I Cannot Tell Why He Whom Angels Worship – Singing The Faith 350

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDEgli4aQDo

Blessing

So go into the world and stand up for those who will fall without us.

Go into the world and spread wisdom in place of folly.

Go into the world and give hope to those who are despairing.

Go into the world and love those who are breaking.

Go into the world in the power of the Spirit.

Go into the world in the name of Christ, who overcame all that evil could do,

Go into the world, to take up your cross, and follow him.

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

https://youtu.be/u2E8qcKcgAU

Circuit Worship: 1 November 2020

Led by 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:

YouTube Playlist for 1 November 2020

Welcome and call to worship

Hello and welcome to the Oxford Methodist Circuit Online Service.  My name is Anna Herriman.  I am a Local Preacher on trial in the Oxford Methodist Circuit and you are very welcome to join us for worship today from wherever you are.  Today is All Saints Day which falls on 1st November and this year it falls on a Sunday – today!  Therefore, it makes sense to me to focus on this theme in today’s service.  The celebration of All Saints Day on 1st November dates from the 9th Century but it has been celebrated at other times of the year for much longer.  First, let us gather now together for worship.  Please do say the words in bold together with me.

Like the faithful ones who have gone before us, let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus. 

Our hearts set on God’s love, 

Our hands ready to bind up the hurts of creation and all people, 

Our feet ready to go the extra mile. 

Let our eyes see light even within darkness and glimpse potential where others see dead ends.

Give us mouths eager to sing God’s praise and hearts yearning to rejoice.

Like the ones who have gone before us, 

Let us follow as part of the communion of saints. 

As we prepare for worship, let us hear a song from Singing the Faith number 24: “Come now is the time to worship.”

Song: StF 24 CSB 27 Come now is the time to worship

Prayers

Let us now give God a prayer of adoration and praise Him for all that he does for us.  Let us take a moment of silence before we pray:

<pause>

With all your people, on earth and in heaven, we praise your name, O God, for you alone are worthy of adoration. And you reign supreme beyond space and time. 

In you is the fullness of perfection;
in you is our hope of salvation;
in you is the promise of life eternal.
With all your people, we praise your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us now take a moment of silence as we ask God for forgiveness of our sins:

<pause>

Let us pray together:

With a great cloud of witnesses around us,
we try to run the race that lies ahead.

We have sinned against you in our thoughts, actions and word.
Help us, God of truth, to lay aside every weight 
and the sin that restricts our movement.
Forgive us for the times we have failed to clothe ourselves in love
and enable us to fix our eyes on Jesus,
in whom we have found our hope. 
Amen. 

We will now have our Bible readings where we can focus on God’s Word from Psalms and the gospel reading from Matthew in the New Revised Standard Version.  Psalm 34 focuses on God delivering the righteous and that we should not fear the Lord and advises us how.  Matthew 5v1-12 delivers a similar message and that God is open to all.

Reading: Psalms 34: 1-10, 22

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
    so your[a] faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
    and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
    happy are those who take refuge in him.
O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
    for those who fear him have no want.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Sermon
Prayers of Intercession and The Lord’s Prayer

Let us now together have the prayers of intercession.  When I say “Christ who calls us”, please respond same time with the words in bold “hear our prayer”.  Let us pray:

Across the ages you, Jesus, have called women and men to follow you, 
and to walk in the way of righteousness and truth.
We praise you for the witness of Christians in every generation,
for those who have served you, 
those who taught the Gospel to the people,
for the ones who struggled for the poor and oppressed
and those who have died a martyr’s death.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Bless your followers today, we pray.
We remember all who make sacrifices to serve you,
and your persecuted disciples in many lands.
Strengthen their faith in the time of need.
Grant them hope in the teeth of despair,
and the love that knows no boundaries.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Give to the world your deep peace, 
and help us overcome the oppression and violence that destroys lives.
We pray especially for those nations tinged with hatred and injustice especially in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and look to a world in which all may have enough.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Give to the world your comfort to all those suffering badly from the effects of Covid 19.  All those who are ill, suffering long time effects, bereaved, lonely, those whose mental health, lifestyle, jobs and finances are at risk.  We pray for wisdom for leaders as they try to curb the spread.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

We pray for our own country as we continue to face uncertainties and concerns as Brexit approaches.  We pray for guidance and wisdom to our politicians and those seeking an improved society.

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Comfort and hold all who are sick, sorrowing and are lonely,
and give your wisdom and peace.
Let us spend a few moments remembering the names of those who are suffering known to us. <pause>

Christ who calls us,
hear our prayer.

Teach us, each one, to follow you, Lord Jesus,
to be your disciples, the heralds of your kingdom.
Though we sometimes feel weary, strengthen us to persevere,
and so to run the race that lies before us,
in thankfulness and hope.

Christ who calls us, 
hear our prayer.

And grant us the peace that comes in serving you.
Amen.

Let us now say together the prayer that Jesus taught us to say:

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. 

We will now have hymn number 660 from Singing the Faith that remind us that we are called to serve and spread God’s grace.

Song: StF660 Called by Christ to be disciples
Closing prayer and Blessing

We will now finish with a closing prayer and Blessing

Almighty and everlasting God,
who enkindles the flame of your love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that as we rejoice in their triumphs,
we may profit by their examples.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
Amen. 

May God give us grace to follow the saints
in humility, righteousness and peace.
And may the blessing of the God of hope,
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, 
go with us and remain with us,
always.
Amen.

The Blessing in BSL
Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started