Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Worship@home

During the pause in public gatherings for worship, you are not disconnected. Use the information posted here to worship and pray with the church community from the comfort of your armchair. Send prayers and items for worship to webmaster@bishopmethodist.org.uk that will be included here.

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Sunday 20th September Worship@home resources

Sunday 20th September: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time marking

Sunday 13th September Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 13th September: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time If

Sunday 6th September Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 6th September: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time If

Sunday 30th August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 30th August: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time This

Sunday 23rd August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 23rd August: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time This

Sunday 16th August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 16th August: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time This

Sunday 9th August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 9th August: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time This

Sunday 2nd August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 2nd August: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time This


Either click on the links above or scroll below to view the posts one after another

  • Sunday 20th September Worship@home resources

    Sunday 20th September: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time marking Harvest

    If you wish, you can listen to the service recorded for BishopFM 105.9 on Thursday, which will be repeated in the church today at 11am

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    Parts of this short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and also an all-age talk by Rev John.

    Welcome

    Come to the God who knows us,
    to the God who created our being,
    to the God who knows our frailty,
    to the God who loves and cherishes us beyond measure.
    Come as you are and worship God.


    Hymn: StF 123 Come you thankful people come


    Opening Prayer

    Lord God,
    we all belong to your kingdom
    and we bring our different lives and experiences
    to worship you today, the true and living God.
    We praise you, Lord, for all that you are,
    for the creation that is yours,
    for its beauty and wonder, its diversity and richness.
    We praise you for your presence and comfort
    that swaddle us in your purity and enrich us with your abundance.
    We praise you for your steadfastness
    that perseveres with us, faltering disciples and failing followers.
    We praise you that, day by day, you amaze and enrich us
    and reveal yourself in new and unexpected ways.
    We praise you that you are the same yesterday,
    today and for ever – and yet forever new.
    O Lord our God, you are indeed,
    from the depth of our being,
    highly to be praised.
    Amen.

    Almighty God,
    we don’t always know how we got to where we are,
    and we certainly don’t always know where we are going;
    we don’t always choose the right path,
    and we certainly don’t always follow it;
    we don’t always deal well with the struggles of life,
    and we don’t always give thanks for the joys of life either;
    we don’t always think of the effects that our choices
    cause to others, near and far.
    We are too often selfish,
    wanting what we want no matter what the cost to others.
    Almighty God, forgive us, reassure us
    and cradle us within your forgiveness.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    At this time, many of us won’t have seen our loved ones for many months. Today, find a photo or think of someone that you haven’t been able to see for a while. How do they make you happy? Have you ever taken them for granted? Take a moment to thank God for this person in your life.


    Harvest from All We Can: Change begins with a Bicycle

    Follow this link to give a one-off donation or to give £6 a month to All We Can ‘Change begins with a Bicycle’ Harvest Uganda Appeal


    A bike ride away is our local Harvest Appeal

    Follow this link to give money to support Woodhouse Close Community Centre and the Foodbank or drop some of the items on the list below into them one day during the week, or contact Rev John on 01388 603142 if you aren’t able to go yourself and you wish him to collect something from you to drop up to them.


    Today’s Psalm: Psalm 145

    A Hymn of Praise

    145 I will proclaim your greatness, my God and king;
        I will thank you forever and ever.
    Every day I will thank you;
        I will praise you forever and ever.
    The Lord is great and is to be highly praised;
        his greatness is beyond understanding.

    What you have done will be praised from one generation to the next;
        they will proclaim your mighty acts.
    They will speak of your glory and majesty,
        and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
    People will speak of your mighty deeds,
        and I will proclaim your greatness.
    They will tell about all your goodness
        and sing about your kindness.
    The Lord is loving and merciful,
        slow to become angry and full of constant love.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 20:1-16

    The Workers in the Vineyard

    20 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a man who went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them the regular wage, a silver coin a day, and sent them to work in his vineyard. He went out again to the marketplace at nine o’clock and saw some men standing there doing nothing, so he told them, ‘You also go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you a fair wage.’ So they went. Then at twelve o’clock and again at three o’clock he did the same thing. It was nearly five o’clock when he went to the marketplace and saw some other men still standing there. ‘Why are you wasting the whole day here doing nothing?’ he asked them. ‘No one hired us,’ they answered. ‘Well, then, you go and work in the vineyard,’ he told them.

    “When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’ The men who had begun to work at five o’clock were paid a silver coin each. 10 So when the men who were the first to be hired came to be paid, they thought they would get more; but they too were given a silver coin each. 11 They took their money and started grumbling against the employer. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day’s work in the hot sun—yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’ 13 ‘Listen, friend,’ the owner answered one of them, ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day’s work for one silver coin. 14 Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’”

    16 And Jesus concluded, “So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Philippians 1:21-30

    21 For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more. 22 But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work, then I am not sure which I should choose. 23 I am pulled in two directions. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ, which is a far better thing; 24 but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive. 25 I am sure of this, and so I know that I will stay. I will stay on with you all, to add to your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that when I am with you again, you will have even more reason to be proud of me in your life in union with Christ Jesus.

    27 Now, the important thing is that your way of life should be as the gospel of Christ requires, so that, whether or not I am able to go and see you, I will hear that you are standing firm with one common purpose and that with only one desire you are fighting together for the faith of the gospel. 28 Don’t be afraid of your enemies; always be courageous, and this will prove to them that they will lose and that you will win, because it is God who gives you the victory. 29 For you have been given the privilege of serving Christ, not only by believing in him, but also by suffering for him. 30 Now you can take part with me in the battle. It is the same battle you saw me fighting in the past, and as you hear, the one I am fighting still.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) an all-age video talk by Rev John or (5) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (6) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below



    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings

    4. or an All age Talk this week, reflecting on the Gospel passage:




    5. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    All Christians talk about grace but it seems to me that as Methodists we talk about grace a lot! This unearned, love of God in Jesus Christ freely offered to all people is both the foundation and heart of our worship, the sacraments and our new life in Christ. It is this grace that is expressed in God’s saving action toward us and nothing of our faith can ever be outside a response to God’s grace.

    In turning to Matthew 20 we reach Jesus’ parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard. The New Testament scholar Charles B. Cousar suggests that the best response a preacher can make to this text is to simply get out of the way of this challenging, perhaps even annoying picture of God’s grace. Why annoying? This story is told to Jesus’ disciples who have as Peter says “…left everything and followed [Jesus]” (Mt 11:27). It is to these that Jesus tells his story of workers who queue for their wage after a whole day toiling in the scorching sun. We can imagine their eyes popping when the latecomers receive a full day’s wage for but one hour’s work. If they have stumbled upon such generosity, what then will be their reward? Imagine then the knot in their stomachs as they receive nothing but the exact same coin as their colleagues who had hardly broken sweat. What employer would be so foolish as to alienate such faithful workers?  

    This then is Jesus’ answer to his faithful follower’s enquiry about their reward. Confronted by the reality of God’s grace all legalistic religion, all bargaining with God finds its end. The reward is the work itself for it is carried out in the presence of the master.

    As we are confronted by this grace, so it poses a question. Is it enough for us to know that we labour in the presence and purpose of the God who loves us? As our story stands on the threshold of Holy Week in Matthew 21, are we content that we shall gather with last minute arrivals so that even a thief, in the last minutes of his life, finds a gracious promise of paradise?

    In our frustration, may we recall with humility, the grace first shown to us.

    Grace and peace.

    thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Andrew M. Emison



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly


    Hope and Millie’s Reflection


    Prayers of Intercession

    from the Radio service to be broadcast at 11am

    Eternal, ever-living, ever-present God,
    in the struggles and joys of this day, we pray:
    For those who are overburdened, weighed down, demoralised,
    fearful or desolate because of what life has thrown at them…
    God, be with them.
    For those engulfed in pain and anguish, facing illness and death…
    God, be with them.
    For those troubled in mind and spirit, who find no peace or calm…
    God, be with them.
    For those alone and lonely, without friend or comfort…
    God, be with them.
    For those frightened and bewildered, who see no direction
    or purpose in their lives…
    God, be with them.
    Eternal, ever-living God,
    bless them all in this and every hour,
    in this and every step of life’s journey.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

    Hymn: StF 125 Praise and Thanksgiving


    Blessing

    Lord, give us a way to go,
    a path to follow,
    a purpose to fulfil
    and meaning to our deeds.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

  • Sunday 13th September Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 13th September: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    If you wish, you can listen to the service recorded for BishopFM 105.9 on Thursday, which will be repeated in the church today at 11am

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and also an all-age talk by Rev John.

    Welcome

    Come to the God who knows us,
    to the God who created our being,
    to the God who knows our frailty,
    to the God who loves and cherishes us beyond measure.
    Come as you are and worship God.


    Hymn: With Contrite Steps


    Opening Prayer

    Teach us, O God, how to treat you,
    how to know you, how to love you,
    how to learn of you,
    how to do as you would have us do.
    Teach us, above all,
    how to show those same things to those around us,
    and those whose lives meet ours,
    those who rub alongside us each day,
    and those who flit briefly by.

    Forgiving God,
    more willing to forgive than often we are to confess,
    help us to see our failings,
    to see where we fall short,
    to see where we deceive ourselves,
    where we close our eyes and ears
    to the ripples of our wrongdoing.
    May we breathe in the reality of our actions,
    the need to change, the depth of our unworthiness.
    We come before you, seeking forgiveness. (keep silence)
    Now let us breathe in the power of your forgiveness,
    and breathe out the need to live and love
    in the shadow of your forgiveness of us,
    that we may forgive as you have forgiven us.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com


    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week, think about your hopes and dreams for the future. What do you hope for in the future? What do you hope the world will be like? On a piece of paper, write your hopes and dreams for the future. Fold the four corners of the paper into the middle and put it in a tub of water. While watching it slowly unfold, ask God for his help and guidance in your hopes and dreams for the future. 


    Today’s Psalm: 103

    The Lord is merciful and loving,
        slow to become angry and full of constant love.
    He does not keep on rebuking;
        he is not angry forever.
    10 He does not punish us as we deserve
        or repay us according to our sins and wrongs.
    11 As high as the sky is above the earth,
        so great is his love for those who honor him.
    12 As far as the east is from the west,
        so far does he remove our sins from us.
    13 As a father is kind to his children,
        so the Lord is kind to those who honor him.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 18:21-35

    The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

    21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?”

    22 “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven,[a] 23 because the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants’ accounts. 24 He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 The servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had, in order to pay the debt. 26 The servant fell on his knees before the king. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay you everything!’ 27 The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.

    28 “Then the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and started choking him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he said. 29 His fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ 30 But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. 32 So he called the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ he said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. 33 You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.’ 34 The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount.”

    35 And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 14:1-12

    Do Not Judge Others

    14 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but do not argue with them about their personal opinions. Some people’s faith allows them to eat anything, but the person who is weak in the faith eats only vegetables. The person who will eat anything is not to despise the one who doesn’t; while the one who eats only vegetables is not to pass judgment on the one who will eat anything; for God has accepted that person. Who are you to judge the servants of someone else? It is their own Master who will decide whether they succeed or fail. And they will succeed, because the Lord is able to make them succeed.

    Some people think that a certain day is more important than other days, while others think that all days are the same. We each should firmly make up our own minds. Those who think highly of a certain day do so in honor of the Lord; those who will eat anything do so in honor of the Lord, because they give thanks to God for the food. Those who refuse to eat certain things do so in honor of the Lord, and they give thanks to God. We do not live for ourselves only, and we do not die for ourselves only. If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For Christ died and rose to life in order to be the Lord of the living and of the dead. 10 You then, who eat only vegetables—why do you pass judgment on others? And you who eat anything—why do you despise other believers? All of us will stand before God to be judged by him. 11 For the scripture says,

    “As surely as I am the living God, says the Lord,
        everyone will kneel before me,
        and everyone will confess that I am God.”

    12 Every one of us, then, will have to give an account to God.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) a video of the six young people starting this year’s Youth Worship Team which takes the place of our All Age Worship Video, or (5) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (6) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below



    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings

    4. or instead of an All age Talk this week, we have the video of the six young people on the Youth Worship Team this year:




    5. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    Unlimited forgiveness, – how easy is it to forgive, – can we move on from the hurt we feel

    In our gospel reading Peter wanted to know what he must do about forgiveness. We may find the word ‘sorry’, is easily said, often used and sometimes it is not really meant.

    Peter thought he was being very generous by saying that a person should forgive 7 times. The number seven was thought to be the perfect number. Jesus answers Peter that this is not enough, and even seventy times seven would not be enough. Seventy times seven at that time was thought to be an infinite number.

    What Jesus is guiding Peter and us to understand is about forgiveness that it is not a worldly thing, but something that is at the heart of His teaching. Jesus told Peter the parable of the King and his unmerciful servants to illustrate that his followers should be willing to forgive and the consequences if they do not. In parts of the world they find it is difficult for people to forgive because their honour is at stake. When someone is hurt, they want to hurt back. They want revenge for what has happened, but that is an endless route. 

    Revenge or retaliation is the way of the world and Jesus shows us that forgiveness starts from God. By accepting His forgiveness, we are transformed in His likeness so that we too should offer forgiveness to others in the same way.

    To forgive someone when you have been hurt, or had your life affected is not easy.  During this time of lock down, people will have been hurt, disappointed, and maybe angered by neighbours or people taking more food than they need. We need to let go of those feelings and embrace God’s love. It is said that when a victim forgives, it stops the bitterness hardening their heart and ruining their life, that by forgiving, a person is changed from being the victim into a survivor. The generosity of what the victim has done may touch the life of the offender, to the extent that in some cases; the act of forgiveness, has changed their ways and in some cases made them friends. Some people have been surprised by their neighbour’s help during the lock down, neighbours they have never spoken to.

    In the reading from Genesis we heard how Joseph’s brothers were afraid. They were afraid of what Joseph would do to them. When they saw Joseph, they fell on their knees and said they were his slaves. Joseph is disturbed by their sadness and says the most amazing thing; “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”. By this statement Joseph showed that he had not allowed his hurt to corrupt him, he had taken his suffering and seen that through it God had led him to help others. Had he stayed with his brothers, Joseph would not have become such an important person, and would not have been able to help thousands of people from starving. God asks us to let go, and to lay all our burdens at His feet, this includes the hurt and suffering that we have received. By forgiving we are showing others God’s love.

    thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Linda Ashworth



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly



    Hope and Millie’s Reflection


    Prayers of Intercession

    from the Radio service to be broadcast at 11am

    Loving and forgiving God
    We pray for our world today
    As we bring the virus under control
    Help and guide Prime ministers, Presidents, Kings and Queens,
    all types of workers around the world
    Parents and children
    And all who have lost loved ones
    may they feel your love this week
    as they go about their work. Amen

    Prayer taken from the prayers from the connexional resources during the pandemic

    Hymn: StF 407 Let us build a house


    Blessing

    Into a world of noise and confusion;
    into a world that bewilders and even bemuses us at times;
    into a world of delight and regret;
    into a world of hope and fear;
    into a world that is ever changing,
    we go with the message of an unchanging God
    who gave his all that we might live life to the best of our ability.
    God of all, go with us and within us,
    this and every day.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

  • Sunday 6th September Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 6th September: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

    If you wish, you can listen to the service recorded for BishopFM 105.9 on Thursday, which will be repeated in the church today at 11am

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and also an all-age talk by Rev John.

    Welcome


    Hymn: Loving God


    Opening Prayer

    Dear Lord Jesus,
    we don’t have to see you
    to know you are with us.
    You bring us all together,
    as a community,
    in your love.
    Thank you, Jesus.

    In the higgledy-piggledy ways of life, Lord,
    with challenges and changes pulling us this way and that,
    we sometimes find it hard, in the heat of the moment,
    to know what is right and what is wrong.
    Forgive us for our failings and wrongdoings.
    Forgive our insensitivities to the ways of others.
    Forgive anything that cuts us off from each other or from you.

    Lord God, we thank you that we are all
    members of your family.
    Thank you that together we can
    build a strong community.
    We can make a difference in our world.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

    President’s Prayer


    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    One thing that makes me happy are flowers. Today, go somewhere that there is flowers and either look at them or pick one. While either looking or holding the flower, think about all the things God has given you that make you happy. Thank God for these things in you life that make you happy.


    Today’s Old Testament Reading:
    Ezekiel 33:7-11

    “Now, mortal man, I am making you a lookout for the nation of Israel. You must pass on to them the warnings I give you. If I announce that an evil person is going to die but you do not warn him to change his ways so that he can save his life, then he will die, still a sinner, and I will hold you responsible for his death. If you do warn an evil person and he doesn’t stop sinning, he will die, still a sinner, but your life will be spared.”

    Individual Responsibility

    10 The Lord spoke to me. “Mortal man,” he said, “repeat to the Israelites what they are saying: ‘We are burdened with our sins and the wrongs we have done. We are wasting away. How can we live?’ 11 Tell them that as surely as I, the Sovereign Lord, am the living God, I do not enjoy seeing sinners die. I would rather see them stop sinning and live. Israel, stop the evil you are doing. Why do you want to die?

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 18:15-20

    When Someone Sins

    15 “If your brother sins against you,[a] go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back. 16 But if he will not listen to you, take one or two other persons with you, so that ‘every accusation may be upheld by the testimony of two or more witnesses,’ as the scripture says. 17 And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.

    Prohibiting and Permitting

    18 “And so I tell all of you: what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

    19 “And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 13:8-14

    Duties toward One Another

    Be under obligation to no one—the only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not desire what belongs to someone else”—all these, and any others besides, are summed up in the one command, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 10 If you love others, you will never do them wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole Law.

    11 You must do this, because you know that the time has come for you to wake up from your sleep. For the moment when we will be saved is closer now than it was when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, day is almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light. 13 Let us conduct ourselves properly, as people who live in the light of day—no orgies or drunkenness, no immorality or indecency, no fighting or jealousy. 14 But take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop paying attention to your sinful nature and satisfying its desires.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (6) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below



    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    At the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic – when as a ministries team we began producing these worship at home sheets, I thought they might be needed for a few weeks. Now, 5 months in, I realise how naïve I was! 

    I want to thank all those people who volunteered to draft one of these acts of worship. An offering made, each week, by leaders of worship both lay and ordained, from across the connexion in good faith and often written under pressure.   

    To begin people were grateful for the acts of worship. Then, quite quickly, a few people began to write in to offer us advice or to blatantly tell us what we were doing wrong! Can, I wonder, the worship of God be wrong? Of course, liturgically we can all do things that might not suit everyone, but if your heart and my heart are in the right place, surely God will accept what we offer. My general response was they are offered in good faith, by a brother or sister in Christ – adapt them as you will.

    In the trauma of dealing with the pandemic we have moved the phase when we declared, “we are all in this together” to a more destructive phase.  A time of disillusionment, where nothing anyone does seems to be quite good enough for anyone else.

    Jesus (our God on earth) knew people all too well.  The emotional roller coasters we travel in life.  Which is why, I suggest, he recommended that if you have a problem with someone you should go to him or her directly, before dragging in the wider community (which today would include the online communities many of us belong to).

    We all make mistakes. (For the mistakes we’ve made on these sheets I apologise). We will all need at some point to point a mistake out to another person, or to apologise for something we have done wrong. Let us do this graciously with love and care for another. As we move into this new Connexional year, let us all commit to reviewing not what might we do to please humankind but what we might do to the glory of God.

    I pray may all our mistakes be made in good faith, and may our reprimands be smothered in the love of God. Amen

    thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Rev Paul Wood



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly



    Hope and Millie’s Reflection


    Prayers of Intercession

    Loving God we hold before you today:
    Those who began their period as a Probationary Minister today. Those ministers who have moved home this summer. Those preachers, who have not led worship for many months. For churches who are struggling to know when to re-open.

    We pray for those we love:
    For those who mourn…
    For those who have been ill…
    For frontline workers.
    For those struggling to find work.
    For those who have started or who are about to start school.

    We pray for your world:
    For those parts of the world devastated by COVID19.
    For refuges and those living in fear.

    We pray for ourselves – in a moment of quiet hold before God what is on your heart today. Binding all our prayers together we say:

    Prayer taken from the prayers from the connexional resources during the pandemic

    Hymn: StF 504 Love Divine


    Blessing

    Dear God,
    we go back into our communities;
    the places around where we live,
    where we learn to listen to you
    and to each other
    and act on what we hear.
    Be with us, Lord.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

  • Sunday 30th August Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 30th August: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and also an all-age talk by Rev John.

    Welcome


    Hymn: Counting Every Blessing by Rend Collective


    Opening Prayer

    Lord, do we really believe that we are in the presence of the Son of the Living God?
    Still our hearts now,
    so that we may truly appreciate who you are.
    As we hear these words of power,
    we bow down before you and praise you.

    Thank you, Lord,
    that you do not call us to anything
    without also giving us the resources to cope.
    You do not ask us to go anywhere you haven’t been.
    You call us to take up our cross,
    and we come to you with fear and trembling,
    but knowing that ultimately your way is the best.
    Be with us, Lord, and help us to understand.

    Lord, I acknowledge before you
    that often I can be like Peter:
    hearing your word but going off on my own track,
    not wanting to see your path, especially if it looks rough.
    Forgive me, Lord,
    and set me on your path.

    Lord, I acknowledge before you
    that there are times when I want the world,
    but don’t give much thought to my soul.
    Forgive me, Lord,
    and help me to take up my cross.

    Lord, I acknowledge before you
    that there are times when
    I am a stumbling block to others – and to myself;
    times when I look for complications
    instead of just following you.
    Forgive me, Lord,
    And help me to follow you. Amen.

    Heavenly Father,
    thank you for your promise,
    that no matter how hard
    the path we walk,
    we can be confident
    that we will share in your reward.
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com



    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week, go to the sink in your house and wash your hands with soap and water. Think about times in your life that you may not have done the right thing. While washing your hands think about these times and ask for forgiveness from God.


    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 16:21-28

    Jesus Speaks about His Suffering and Death

    21 From that time on Jesus began to say plainly to his disciples, “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. I will be put to death, but three days later I will be raised to life.”

    22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “God forbid it, Lord!” he said. “That must never happen to you!”

    23 Jesus turned around and said to Peter, “Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from human nature.”

    24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. 25 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. 26 Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life. 27 For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his deeds. 28 I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Son of Man come as King.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 12.9-21

    Life in God’s Service

    Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. 10 Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another. 11 Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. 12 Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. 13 Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers.

    14 Ask God to bless those who persecute you—yes, ask him to bless, not to curse. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same concern for everyone. Do not be proud, but accept humble duties.[a] Do not think of yourselves as wise.

    17 If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. 18 Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. 19 Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20 Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.” 21 Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video talk by our minister, Rev John, or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by our minister Rev John

    Picture: Loire, Gabriel, 1904-1996. Carrying the cross of Christ, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.
    [retrieved August 28, 2020]. Original source




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    How often have we heard the story of the burning bush? Perhaps you first heard it at school or in Sunday School. Many of us certainly knew the basic plot as soon as we saw the heading. Yet, when we read it now, in these difficult times, perhaps it is the assurance God hears our sufferings that is what we need most from this reading, rather than a familiar story. If on our next walk outside we saw what Moses did, and heard a similar promise, would we rejoice? Yet, God is telling us to do that, without flames amidst our shrubbery.

    The reading from Romans tells us, Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. In difficult moments, that is enough, to ask of someone that get through these times. What is astonishing is, it can be sufficient if we will let it be.  Not that we are ever alone.

    Listening to what God tells us in our despair is often the hardest thing. Why did God have to burn a bush so that it would keep burning until Moses noticed it? Moses was in the depths of despair. We don’t like to listen in our despair to anything of hope. Much of the duty of a Christian is to help one another out of the wallowing. To share our own grief’s lessons with those who are in the midst of learning them. We should weep with those who weep, yes, and yet, more than this, we should pass the tissues and try and help them through.

    At present, we are much minded to think of all that is wrong in our lives, of those dear to us being taken from us, or at risk of so being. Take thought though of all that is not awful even in our present miseries. For there is more goodness on show than at that burning bush each and every day, if we would but see it. It may be hard to see, yet that is why God gives us such lights. If we light a candle in a dark room, an experiment I recommend, you will marvel at how much such a small light can reveal. So how much more can a burning bush light up? Yet more than this, the light of God is alive in every Christian this very day, and it burns even brighter than the sun itself.

    If you doubt this, take the Romans passage, and think of examples you have seen of each verse, one or two a day this week. You will soon see much light, more than comes in at your windows in the bright summer days.

    Do not let the evil that sits in the world overpower you. Leave such to the Lord, He will deal with the evil people, turning them to good. Focus instead on the good you can do. For if we all do what good we can, that is quite enough to make the world a very different place. If we dwell on evil, we will be overwhelmed. Yet instead of decrying all that is wrong, let us concentrate on doing good. If we spend our time doing our bit of Good, we do far more than all the handwringing in history ever accomplished. Do not let yourself think yourself weak, you have prayer, you have the good you can do for others with your God-given abilities. That is quite enough to overcome a lot of evil for other folk, if you would but set to it with a will. Thus, the True Christian does not just hold to what is good in theory. We do good. For are we not True Christians, all of us?



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or join us this afternoon at 3pm for the last Sunday of the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park or you can listen online on BishopFM on 105.9FM in the comfort of your home. Please book your place!




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly



    Hope and Millie’s Reflection


    Prayers of Intercession

    Lord God,
    you reproached Peter because he had only human concerns;
    but Peter just wanted to protect the one he loved.
    We pray for people the world over
    who find themselves in difficult situations.
    We pray that they would all have someone
    to care for them and lift them before you.
    Merciful God,
    hear our prayer.

    We pray for all who are persecuted for their faith:
    for all who are misunderstood,
    for asylum seekers who flee real danger in their homeland.
    We pray for those who work tirelessly to address wrongs.
    Merciful God,
    hear our prayer.

    We pray for people whose lives don’t always work out right,
    through their fault, or through no fault of their own.
    Merciful God,
    hear our prayer.
    We pray for the people in our lives
    who need your protection, Lord,
    that we will always be faithful in prayer for them.
    Merciful God,
    hear our prayer. Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

    Hymn: StF 504 May the mind of Christ my Saviour

    Video by Matt Beckingham, used with permission


    Blessing

    Lord God, you knew what was going to happen to you.
    You didn’t flinch, or back away.
    You calmly told the disciples – and us – what to expect.
    As we go out now, remind us constantly to look to you in the good and the tough times.
    Guide us as we go in your name. 
    Amen.

    Prayer taken from the prayers for today on rootsontheweb.com

  • Sunday 23rd August Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 23rd August: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev David Briggs.

    Welcome


    Hymn: This is a day of new beginnings

    acknowledging the sound track from Dean McIntyre and the singing of Niamh Prior


    Opening Prayer

    Lord, do we really believe that we are in the presence of the Son of the Living God?
    Still our hearts now,
    so that we may truly appreciate who you are.
    As we hear these words of power,
    we bow down before you and praise you.

    Lord God, we come before you in humble adoration.
    How blessed are we that the one who holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven is the one who has the key to our hearts.
    We praise you, God, that we have the privilege of being part of the amazing story of faith that sustained our ancestors. Thank you, God, that we know our future is safe with you. 

    Lord, thank you that you are always ready to forgive me
    when I trust you enough to confess my sins to you,
    even when I feel I don’t deserve it.
    Be merciful to me, O God.

    Forgive me for the times when
    just because someone else’s story is different from mine
    I don’t always want to believe it.
    Forgive me for the times I only live my story,
    not seeing the bigger picture.
    Be merciful to me, O God.

    Forgive me for the times
    I see you as less than the Son of God,
    and my whole outlook on life
    needs a good dose of your love and understanding.
    Be merciful to me, O God.
    Amen.



    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    How would you finish the sentence “God is great, God is good, thank you God for…” how would you finish it? Is there an event or people that you are thankful for? Do you thank God enough for this part in your life? 



    Today’s Psalm: Psalm 138


    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 16:13-20

    Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

    13 Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    14 “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”

    15 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

    16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

    17 “Good for you, Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven. 18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

    20 Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 12.1-8

    Life in God’s Service

    12 So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

    And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you. We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video talk by local preacher, Margaret Nodding, or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by Local Preacher, Margaret Nodding




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    In November, we moved house. It set me thinking how old and new need to exist together. A different house, same old furniture; meeting new people, keeping old friends. Old and new together enrich our lives. And it happens all around us in different ways.

    Grandparents and grandchildren bridge the generation gap. In nature in autumn and winter, already buds are on the seemingly bare branches, nurturing life for another spring. In our north east culture, ancient Celtic sites co-exist with new developments. St Peter’s Church by the River Wear bears witness to many centuries of Christian life,  now surrounded by a modern university. But I suspect the Venerable Bede would have welcomed new ways of learning, exploring, discovering.

    What does Jesus say about this? Many are tempted to think Jesus discarded all that was old giving us licence to do the same. Yes, we have his words about new wine and old wineskins that destroy one another when they are put together. But in the wilderness, whenever Jesus was tempted away from love and vulnerability, he found his resistance in words from the scriptures with their timeless wisdom and relevance.

    Jesus held within himself the wisdom of the ages, God the Ancient of Days, ‘the rock from which we were hewn’ with the effortless ease he had of living with his contemporaries in fresh and creatively new ways.

    During lockdown, we have learned of necessity to hold familiar songs and prayers with new ways of experiencing and expressing them. To be able to hold old and new is something we need to take into an uncertain future, as we abide in the timelessness of God, ‘ever old and ever new’ but allowing Jesus continuously to bring new life to birth in us, bubbling up with laughter, love and possibility.



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park or you can listen online on BishopFM on 105.9FM in the comfort of your home. However plan and book your place for next week and following weeks!




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection


    Prayers of Intercession

    Hymn: O thou who camest from above


    Blessing

    Jesus told his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah.
    We go out now, hearts so full of amazement and joy,
    that we can’t help but share the good news.
    Go with us, good Lord, and help us to tell everyone who will listen. 
    Amen.

  • Sunday 16th August Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 16th August: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev David Briggs.

    Welcome


    Hymn: This is a day of new beginnings

    acknowledging the sound track from Dean McIntyre

    Opening Prayers

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week, go outside and find a stone. Take this stone inside and hold onto it tightly. Think of things that people have said or done to you that have hurt you in any way. Are you carrying that hurt around or letting it go? Jesus said “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” What will you do with your hurts? Will you carry them forever, or will you choose to let them go?


    Today’s Old Testament Reading:
    Genesis 45:1-15

    Joseph Tells His Brothers Who He Is

    45 Joseph was no longer able to control his feelings in front of his servants, so he ordered them all to leave the room. No one else was with him when Joseph told his brothers who he was. He cried with such loud sobs that the Egyptians heard it, and the news was taken to the king’s palace. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But when his brothers heard this, they were so terrified that they could not answer. Then Joseph said to them, “Please come closer.” They did, and he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives. This is only the second year of famine in the land; there will be five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor reaping. God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make sure that you and your descendants survive. So it was not really you who sent me here, but God. He has made me the king’s highest official. I am in charge of his whole country; I am the ruler of all Egypt.

    “Now hurry back to my father and tell him that this is what his son Joseph says: ‘God has made me ruler of all Egypt; come to me without delay. 10 You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me—you, your children, your grandchildren, your sheep, your goats, your cattle, and everything else that you have. 11 If you are in Goshen, I can take care of you. There will still be five years of famine; and I do not want you, your family, and your livestock to starve.’”

    12 Joseph continued, “Now all of you, and you too, Benjamin, can see that I am really Joseph. 13 Tell my father how powerful I am here in Egypt and tell him about everything that you have seen. Then hurry and bring him here.”

    14 He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and began to cry; Benjamin also cried as he hugged him. 15 Then, still weeping, he embraced each of his brothers and kissed them. After that, his brothers began to talk with him.

    16 When the news reached the palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, the king and his officials were pleased. 17 He said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers to load their animals and to return to the land of Canaan. 18 Let them get their father and their families and come back here. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they will have more than enough to live on. 19 Tell them also to take wagons with them from Egypt for their wives and small children and to bring their father with them. 20 They are not to worry about leaving their possessions behind; the best in the whole land of Egypt will be theirs.”

    21 Jacob’s sons did as they were told. Joseph gave them wagons, as the king had ordered, and food for the trip. 22 He also gave each of them a change of clothes, but he gave Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothes. 23 He sent his father ten donkeys loaded with the best Egyptian goods and ten donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and other food for the trip. 24 He sent his brothers off and as they left, he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way.”

    25 They left Egypt and went back home to their father Jacob in Canaan. 26 “Joseph is still alive!” they told him. “He is the ruler of all Egypt!” Jacob was stunned and could not believe them.

    27 But when they told him all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to take him to Egypt, he recovered from the shock. 28 “My son Joseph is still alive!” he said. “This is all I could ask for! I must go and see him before I die.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society



    Today’s Psalm:
    Psalm 67 read by Ian

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society



    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 15:10-28 read by Katie

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society



    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 11:1-2a,29-32

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video talk by local preacher, Ev Swinbank, or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by Local Preacher, Ev Swinbank on the theme of ‘Have Faith’




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    The Gospel reading raises a multitude of questions and this reflection is not necessarily able to answer them. Why did Jesus seem to reject the woman – surely his message is for all the world? Why were his disciples apparently so heartless? Why did Jesus heal some people and not others? We say that God always answers our prayers but why are some prayers for healing answered with a ‘no’?  That last one is surely more pertinent now than ever.

    I admit that I don’t know the answer to those.  However, the reaction of the woman shows us ways that we can respond when faced with hard questions and difficult situations.

    Firstly, in the midst of her trouble and desperation, she recognised who Jesus was and that she should turn to him. She recognised him as someone special, as the one with the power to help her.

    Secondly, she reacted with boldness. She was not put off by approaching a stranger, by approaching a man or by approaching a foreigner – none of which would have been easy for a woman of her time to do. Her boldness continued as she pressed the matter and argued her case. She was not put off by Jesus’s silence or the disciples’ irritation.

    Finally, she approached with faith – and that is her claim to fame. She argued her case. Her boldness and her faith go hand-in-hand. Her request was not a “well, Lord, if you might, possibly …”  She trusted that Jesus was the one to help her and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

    Are we like that woman? When we approach Jesus, do we truly recognise who he is – the Lord of Lords but the Saviour who can meet our deepest needs?

    Do we approach with faith, clearly asking, or do we provide God with get-out clauses: “Please heal my friend – or at least make him not quite as bad?”

    Do we approach with boldness?

    And, when we don’t get the answer we want, does our faith allow us to answer back? God’s back is strong enough to take it if we shout and rail back at him – as long as our faith then allows us to respond to his answer.

    from this week’s Connexional Resources



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park or you can listen online on BishopFM on 105.9FM in the comfort of your home. However plan and book your place for next week and following weeks!




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly…

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides


    Prayers of Intercession

    The Canaanite woman sought your help. She loved her daughter so much, she was so desperately in need, that she wouldn’t give up till she had her answer.
    We pray in faith.
    Hear us and answer our cry, blessed Lord.

    Lord, may we learn from this woman, to wait on you expectantly, patiently, persistently, doggedly. Grant us the courage of our convictions when we truly believe we are doing your will.
    We pray in faith.
    Hear us and answer our cry, blessed Lord.

    We pray today for those who feel excluded, whatever their situation, whatever the reason: for prisoners, refugees, the homeless; for the sick, the mentally unstable; for any who feel that they are outsiders.
    We pray in faith.
    Hear us and answer our cry, blessed Lord.

    We pray for ourselves when our faith is weak, or we feel that we don’t belong.
    We pray in faith.
    Hear us and answer our cry, blessed Lord.
    Amen

    from rootsontheweb prayers for today

    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 StF 345: And Can it Be

    From the YouTube channel of the Chet Valley Churches in Norfolk, used with permission


    Blessing

    We go out today,
    renewed and strengthened in faith,
    ready to serve you, Lord,
    and find you in the people we meet.
    We go out to follow you, and our hearts.
    Lead us, good Lord.
    Amen.

    from rootsontheweb prayers for today

  • Sunday 9th August Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 9th August: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev David Briggs.

    Welcome



    Hymn StF 51: Great is thy Faithfulness

    From the YouTube channel of the Chet Valley Churches in Norfolk


    Opening Prayers

    I come this day to worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    Open my heart, to receive your love, my soul to receive your Spirit and my mind to know to your truth.

    God of grace,
    I praise You. I praise you for who you are:
    Creator, faithful, Rescuer, holy.

    I praise you even though I cannot be with others to worship you,
    I can feel that you are here in my heart.

    I praise you for all the blessings you have given me.
    For family, for friends, for a relationship with you.
    Help me not to take you for granted.

    I’m sorry for the times I take my eyes off you,
    and seek to do things in my own strength.

    I’m sorry for the times I doubt that
    you can keep me on the straight and narrow.
    I’m sorry for the times I ask you for signs.

    Lord, I pray that you will forgive
    my doubts and hesitations,
    show me your loving presence,
    especially when I most need it,
    and teach me to trust you at all times.

    God of the earth and the waves,
    we praise you that you more than meet all our needs.

    You call us out from our security
    to experience your adventures and blessings.

    You don’t want us to be like a becalmed ship,
    or stuck in the harbour.

    You want us out in deep water –
    and you’ll be with us.

    We praise you, Lord.
    Amen.

    from the Connexional worship resources and rootsontheweb prayers for today

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    There are so many sounds around us that we ignore. Whether it be birds outside or noises in your house. This week, take a moment to sit and listen. What can you hear? How does it make you feel? Tell God about it…

    Images by Hannah’s sister Rebekah

    Today’s theme



    Today’s Old Testament Reading:
    Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28

    Joseph and His Brothers

     Jacob continued to live in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived, and this is the story of Jacob’s family.

    Joseph, a young man of seventeen, took care of the sheep and goats with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s concubines. He brought bad reports to his father about what his brothers were doing.

    Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, because he had been born to him when he was old. He made a long robe with full sleeves[a] for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother so much that they would not speak to him in a friendly manner.

    Joseph Is Sold and Taken to Egypt

    12 One day when Joseph’s brothers had gone to Shechem to take care of their father’s flock, 13 Jacob said to Joseph, “I want you to go to Shechem, where your brothers are taking care of the flock.”

    Joseph answered, “I am ready.”

    14 His father told him, “Go and see if your brothers are safe and if the flock is all right; then come back and tell me.” So his father sent him on his way from Hebron Valley.

    Joseph arrived at Shechem 15 and was wandering around in the country when a man saw him and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

    16 “I am looking for my brothers, who are taking care of their flock,” he answered. “Can you tell me where they are?”

    17 The man said, “They have already left. I heard them say that they were going to Dothan.” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

    18 They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted against him and decided to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes that dreamer. 20 Come on now, let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the dry wells. We can say that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what becomes of his dreams.”

    21 Reuben heard them and tried to save Joseph. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Just throw him into this well in the wilderness, but don’t hurt him.” He said this, planning to save him from them and send him back to his father. 23 When Joseph came up to his brothers, they ripped off his long robe with full sleeves.[a] 24 Then they took him and threw him into the well, which was dry.

    25 While they were eating, they suddenly saw a group of Ishmaelites traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were loaded with spices and resins. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up the murder? 27 Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we won’t have to hurt him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed, 28 and when some Midianite traders came by, the brothers[b] pulled Joseph out of the well and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society



    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 14: 22-33

    Jesus Walks on the Water

    22 Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away. 23 After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; 24 and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it.

    25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. 26 When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear.

    27 Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!”

    28 Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.”

    29 “Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried.

    31 At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?”

    32 They both got into the boat, and the wind died down. 33 Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus. “Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society



    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 10: 5-15

    Salvation Is for All

    Moses wrote this about being put right with God by obeying the Law: “Whoever obeys the commands of the Law will live.” But what the scripture says about being put right with God through faith is this: “You are not to ask yourself, Who will go up into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down). “Nor are you to ask, Who will go down into the world below?” (that is, to bring Christ up from death). What it says is this: “God’s message is near you, on your lips and in your heart”—that is, the message of faith that we preach. If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. 10 For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. 11 The scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” 12 This includes everyone, because there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him. 13 As the scripture says, “Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.”

    14 But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? 15 And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scripture says, “How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video talk by Rev David Briggs or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by Rev David Briggs on the theme of the Storm at Sea




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    I am sure we can all relate to Peter. Throughout the gospels we get a picture of someone who does not always think before he speaks, if we take Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:13-20 and think – did he rush his confession of faith or not? Only a few verses later Jesus rebukes him.

    And it is the same in this reading. Peter is singled out while the others stay in the boat.

    Jesus says to his disciples ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid’ when he walks on the water to the disciples in the boat. Should this have been enough for Peter as it was for the others? No, Peter being Peter, wants to try and walk on the water.

    Perhaps, the message today, for us, is one of trust as we journey as disciples through these difficult times? Jesus says to us, as he said to Peter, “Take heart, it is I: do not be afraid”.



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park or you can listen online on BishopFM on 105.9FM in the comfort of your home. However plan and book your place for next week and following weeks!




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly…

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides



    A Good News Response



    Prayers of Intercession


    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 StF 715: Eternal Father, Strong to Save

    A prayer of blessing

    As this time of worship ends,
    and I enter into the storms of life,
    and the uncertainties which may come,
    may I take heart that Jesus is present,
    and ever live for His holy name.
    And may the blessing of God,
    Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
    be with me, and those
    whom I cherish in my heart,
    now and always.
    Amen.

    Original Materials by Matthew Ramsden, Local Preacher from Bolton Methodist Circuit

  • Sunday 2nd August Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 2nd August: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Local Preacher, Vanessa Purdy.

    Welcome



    Hymn StF 153: Break thou the bread of life

    Opening Prayers

    Dear God,
    you look deep inside us,
    seeing not only our outer but our inner needs.
    Have compassion on us, we pray.
    Feed us today from your holy word,
    and we will be filled.

    Lord God of compassion and boundless blessings,
    we are full of amazement
    that you care so greatly for the needs of your people.
    We worship and adore you for your generosity,
    your love, and your power.

    Lord Jesus, we are sorry for the times
    we keep you to ourselves
    and for not sharing your love with others.
    Help us to share it with those around us.

    As Jesus thanked you
    for the baskets of food,
    we thank you, God,
    for the many things you give to us
    every day
    .
    Amen.

    from rootsontheweb prayers for today



    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 14:13-21

    Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

    13 When Jesus heard the news about John, he left there in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. The people heard about it, and so they left their towns and followed him by land. 14 Jesus got out of the boat, and when he saw the large crowd, his heart was filled with pity for them, and he healed their sick.

    15 That evening his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away and let them go to the villages to buy food for themselves.”

    16 “They don’t have to leave,” answered Jesus. “You yourselves give them something to eat!”

    17 “All we have here are five loaves and two fish,” they replied.

    18 “Then bring them here to me,” Jesus said. 19 He ordered the people to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. 21 The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting the women and children.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 9:1-5

    God and His People

    I am speaking the truth; I belong to Christ and I do not lie. My conscience, ruled by the Holy Spirit, also assures me that I am not lying when I say how great is my sorrow, how endless the pain in my heart for my people, my own flesh and blood! For their sake I could wish that I myself were under God’s curse and separated from Christ. They are God’s people; he made them his children and revealed his glory to them; he made his covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the true worship; they have received God’s promises; they are descended from the famous Hebrew ancestors; and Christ, as a human being, belongs to their race. May God, who rules over all, be praised forever! Amen.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video talk by local preacher Vanessa Purdy or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by local preacher Vanessa Purdy on the theme of the Feeding of the 5000




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below (Susan and Vanessa have focussed on today’s New Testament lectionary passages, however this reflection concentrates on the Old Testament Reading from Genesis 32:22-31:

    An enduring cliché from the world of movies is the portrayal of the happy ending in spaghetti-western movies, with the hero walking off into the sunset satisfied that order has been restored and everyone can now live in peace and harmony. 

    This was brilliantly parodied by John Sullivan in the Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special (1996) when the Trotters finally become millionaires: the episode ends with Del-Boy, Rodney and Uncle Albert walking off into the horizon as the sun sets. At the time, it was thought that this would be the final episode of the long-running and popular comedy, but as it turned out, the show not only returned, but so did the characters’ troubles. Their moment in the sun had turned out to be temporary and Sullivan captured the experience of many of us, that there are rarely easy answers to life’s struggles.

    Today’s Old Testament reading ends, not with Jacob walking towards the sunset but towards the rising sun. It is not the story of a hard day’s work successfully completed, but of a night-time of wrestling that resolves some questions but leaves others still open. His opponent refuses to offer him easy answers so whilst there is blessing for Jacob, things are not neatly tied up.

    Jacob, plans to spend the night alone preparing for his uncomfortable reunion with his brother, Esau. Given their history, we might expect that he was always going to have a disturbed night. Choices from long ago are still having an impact on his life and his family’s. After years of ducking and diving, Jacob seems to have come close to the end of his own resourcefulness but there is still something that wants to turn events to his advantage. 

    Into this scene walks the unexpected stranger.  Later Jacob understands that he had been joined by God as he struggled with his past.  What follows shows us that Jacob is not entirely ready to give up the fight and his mysterious opponent, seeing that Jacob is willing to fight to the end, delivers a decisive blow. It is at this point of vulnerability that Jacob opens up to a moment of unvarnished self-awareness and unexpected God-awareness. 

    Jacob demands a neat and tidy resolution which his companion refuses to give to him.  Instead, from the struggle, Jacob is offered the opportunity of a new beginning. A new name, a new blessing (a blessing of his own and not one stolen from Esau) and a new insight to God’s presence and God’s nature of love. 

    So, for Jacob, there, with the rising sun, comes hope to follow a night of uncertain and painful struggle. But there is challenge too: he has to reconcile himself to the fact that some of the scars and wounds of a lifetime of wrestling will travel with him into the new day. 

    God has confronted him with his past and offered him a better future but his history will not be rewritten. He is offered a future shaped by God’s faithful provision (rather than his own manipulative gains) and reconciliation (rather than the uncertainty of unresolved conflict). He will limp towards the future less certain of his own strength and more aware of God’s presence.

    The fantasy of walking off into the sunset is appealing because we would all like neat endings. Sometimes though, God challenges us to embrace new beginnings whilst carrying the memory of our tangled past. Facing up to our past in order to be ready for God’s future may involve some painful wrestling with uncomfortable truths, but in the struggle we can find God’s presence and God’s blessing.  Our story, God’s story has not ended yet.  May you see God’s face and live. 



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park, although today’s service is fully booked in the car park, but you can listen online on BishopFM on 105.9FM in the comfort of your home. However plan and book your place for next week and following weeks!




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly…

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides



    Prayers of Intercession


    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week, take a candle and…

    …place it in front of a newspaper and pray for those in the news.

    …Then place it in front of photos of people you know and pray for individual people.

    …Then place it in front of a photo of your church, and pray for the church during this week.


    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 StF 628: Faithful One, so unchanging

    From the YouTube channel of the Chet Valley Churches in Norfolk



    Blessing

    By the end of the day, the crowds must have been exhausted.
    They left with full stomachs and full hearts.
    They had met with Jesus.

    You have fed us this morning, Lord,
    and we go out to live the lives you call us to.

    May we be conscious of your perfect timing in our lives,
    as we reach out to the outsiders as well as to our own.

    Bless us, Lord.
    Amen.

    from rootsontheweb prayers for today

  • Leaving Service for Andy and Janet

    Live at 11am, the Leaving Service for Rev Andy Bryer and his wife Janet will appear in this post on Sunday 26th July.

    From around 10.45 you can click play on first video below which will play music until 11am when the service starts.  If you join late, you will still join at the beginning of the service, or slide the slider at the bottom of the frame to the far right and I think that will allow you to watch as it is streamed (and you can watch back on this page later). 



    The second video frame below sees Andy and Janet speak live at the end of the service.  You can click play on this frame at any point, it will give their live feed from the moment the service ends [if I get the timing exactly right].  Andy will speak a further blessing and then he and Janet will respond to any comments made during the service and wish us all goodbye.



    You can send “comments” – well wishes, memories with them at any point during the service by using the comments box at the bottom of the website page…  You will have to give your email address to do so, but that will not be shown when the comment is published.

    If any of your congregation wish to join us but don’t have internet/computer etc they can dial in and listen to the service on 01388 436815.  They can join at 11am, or at any other time after that.  This will be just the recorded service – I don’t have the ability to put Andy live here unfortunately!

    If you have enjoyed this service today, you might like to also go to the regular service materials provided on this website each Sunday including the audio sermon from local preacher Susan Thorne.

  • Sunday 26th July Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 26th July: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev John Purdy.



    Hymn StF 610: Best of all God is with us

    Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:

    taken from Methodist Conference 2020 live stream



    Opening Prayer



    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

    The Parable of the Mustard Seed

    31 Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.”

    The Parable of the Yeast

    33 Jesus told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.”

    The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

    44 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field.

    The Parable of the Pearl

    45 “Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, 46 and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.

    The Parable of the Net

    47 “Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish. 48 When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into the buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away. 49 It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good 50 and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.

    New Truths and Old

    51 “Do you understand these things?” Jesus asked them.

    “Yes,” they answered.

    52 So he replied, “This means, then, that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of heaven is like a homeowner who takes new and old things out of his storage room.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 8:26-39

    26 In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27 And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.

    28 We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,[a] those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29 Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. 30 And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.

    God’s Love in Christ Jesus

    31 In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things? 33 Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34 Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! 35 Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36 As the scripture says,

    “For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;
        we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”

    37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39 neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) after 12 noon the Leaving Service video sermon by our Superintendent minister, Rev Andy Bryer or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or after 12noon listen and watch Rev Andy’s last sermon on the Circuit taken from the leaving service which can be found in full here and watched live at 11am or watch back in full after that from the same link




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    Our agricultural friends will know the concept of sowing and reaping.  I’m not a gardener but I know if I plant seed potatoes, I will probably dig up potatoes.  There are numerous biblical passages pursuing themes of sowing and reaping.  Jesus taught parables along these lines.  In Galatians 6:7 one reads these words, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (ESV).  Similar words are found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 2 Corinthians 9:6.   

    However, this not just a New Testament concept, in Job 4:8, one reads these words, “As I have observed, those who plough iniquity, and those who sow trouble, reap the same” Job 4:8, and in Hosea 10:18, we discover the prophet’s warning, “You have ploughed in wickedness and reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your mighty men.”

    Consider our Old Testament reading in Genesis.  Jacob has been deceived and was given Leah instead of Rachel.  Jacob the deceiver is himself deceived.  We read in Genesis 25:29-34, how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew. In Genesis, Chapter 27, we read how Jacob tricked his aging, blind father, Isaac into giving him the first born’s blessing.  There are other trickeries pertaining to Laban’s flock (Genesis 30) but just before Jacob and Esau meet again, Jacob has an encounter at Peniel. 

    On this night, Jacob wrestles an Angel and before the day breaks there is a name change.  This is significant because Jacob’s name means, supplanter, or one who grasps the heel, (as pertaining to his manner of birth).  The name change given to Jacob is now Israel, a combination of the Hebrew words for “wrestle” and “God.”

    What is now sown in Jacob’s life through his encounter with God is a new way of life.  Not only has his name been changed but his character will be forever marked by the event at Peniel.  As Christians, we have received a new name (Isaiah 56:5, Rev 2:17; 3:12, and a new nature (John 3:6, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10, and 2 Corinthians 5:17)so that we can sow good seeds in the lives of others.

    I can testify of a new nature within.  Since, coming to Christ, I have changed.  The Scripture says, “The Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  According to Wesley there would be an initial sanctification process (a process that attends to the entire work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life) at salvation then a continuing work where the mind of Christ was and is being formed in the Christian’s daily life.

    Take a time to sit quietly and ask yourself – what work has already begun in your life?  Perhaps, you are not where you want to be but you have progress from where you were.  



    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August and book your place at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly…

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides


    Prayers of Intercession

    Dear Father,

    I thank you for the ongoing work in my life.  I know it will continue until you take me home.  Thank you for sins forgiven, for a life with you now, and a life with you in the hereafter.

    We pray for the Methodist Church, nationally and worldwide…

    We pray for the universal Church and the churches that have met through technological means during this time…

    We pray for all those who have suffered loss in this present coronavirus situation…

    We thank you for every act of kindness done during this time and all the imaginative ways that ministers and lay workers have used to keep in touch with their congregations…

    We pray for those who are in needing of healing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually… 

    Lord in your mercy,
    hear these prayers.   

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    Tissues are fragile. They tear easily.

    Think about someone you know, or groups of people, who may feel ‘fragile’ or vulnerable.

    If you want to, you can write of draw a hope or a prayer for them onto one of the tissues.

    Keep the tissue in your pocket or put it beside your bed to remind you to sleep these people in your thoughts and prayers.


    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 StF 394: Spirit of God unseen as the wind

    Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:


    Blessing

    The blessing of God, the Father, the Son and
    the Holy Spirit be upon us, now and always.
    Amen.

    Original Materials by Rev Heather Wilson, Wolds & Trent Circuit, Lincolnshire District
    All Hymns reproduced under CCLi 882296

    If you have enjoyed this service today, you might like to watch the live service marking the end of Rev Andy Bryer’s ministry on our Circuit either as a live stream at 11am today or watch the recording back at anytime.

  • Sunday 19th July Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 19th July: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev John Purdy.

    Welcome



    Hymn StF 81: Now thank we all our God

    Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:



    Opening Prayer

    Let us pray together

    Creator God,

    we gather in the knowledge and vision of your love.  
    In the Risen Christ, Jesus’ disciples were filled with new hope and they saw that you called them to speak your message of renewal, commitment, forgiveness and freedom.

    We thank you that you have called us to share that hope, even in the uncertainty that we often feel.

    You dwell with us, your love enfolds us and we find peace in your presence.

    We thank you that Jesus brings new insights into the world and that through his life, death and resurrection you continue to speak with us today. Jesus reached out his hands in healing, in friendship and in blessing; may we do the same in his name today.

    We thank you that you continue to reach out into the life of the world; that in our deepest uncertainty you bring the certainty of your love; in the place of deepest darkness you bring your light and into our lives you bring your forgiveness.

    Creator God, we pray that you continue to inform our compassion, be our vision and bring light, hope and peace to us and to all the world.

    Amen

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week, find a stone.
    It could be a stone that you may have in your house or maybe from outside. Hold onto this stone and think about this week.
    Was there any time when you didn’t follow God,
    maybe you went in your own direction?
    While holding onto the stone,
    think about these times,
    in the past week and before,
    and ask God’s forgiveness and help.


    Today’s Psalm: 139:1-12, 23-24

    God’s Complete Knowledge and Care

     Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
    You know everything I do;
        from far away you understand all my thoughts.
    You see me, whether I am working or resting;
        you know all my actions.
    Even before I speak,
        you already know what I will say.
    You are all around me on every side;
        you protect me with your power.
    Your knowledge of me is too deep;
        it is beyond my understanding.

    Where could I go to escape from you?
        Where could I get away from your presence?
    If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
        if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
    If I flew away beyond the east
        or lived in the farthest place in the west,
    10 you would be there to lead me,
        you would be there to help me.
    11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
        or the light around me to turn into night,
    12 but even darkness is not dark for you,
        and the night is as bright as the day.
        Darkness and light are the same to you.

    23 Examine me, O God, and know my mind;
        test me, and discover my thoughts.
    24 Find out if there is any evil in me
        and guide me in the everlasting way.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

    The Parable of the Weeds

    24 Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man sowed good seed in his field. 25 One night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the plants grew and the heads of grain began to form, then the weeds showed up. 27 The man’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, it was good seed you sowed in your field; where did the weeds come from?’ 28 ‘It was some enemy who did this,’ he answered. ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’ they asked him. 29 ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because as you gather the weeds you might pull up some of the wheat along with them. 30 Let the wheat and the weeds both grow together until harvest. Then I will tell the harvest workers to pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them, and then to gather in the wheat and put it in my barn.’”

    Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds

    36 When Jesus had left the crowd and gone indoors, his disciples came to him and said, “Tell us what the parable about the weeds in the field means.”

    37 Jesus answered, “The man who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; the good seed is the people who belong to the Kingdom; the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One; 39 and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvest workers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age: 41 the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things, 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth. 43 Then God’s people will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Listen, then, if you have ears!

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 8:12-25

    12 So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13 For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14 Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. 15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16 God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God’s children. 17 Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ’s suffering, we will also share his glory.

    The Future Glory

    18 I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20 For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21 that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23 But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and[a] set our whole being free. 24 For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video by our minister, Rev John Purdy or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or (5) just take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below




    2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by our minister, Rev John Purdy as he chats with Willowy Weed:




    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings




    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    Jesus often used the natural world as a means of helping his disciples explore the Kingdom of God. In today’s Gospel reading Jesus gives us one of the parables of the Kingdom which tells us about the way that plants grow. Here both the good crop and the weeds which are planted later begin to grow; as they grow, they merge together.  

    Jesus knew about the impact of good and evil which was to find its full force as he walked the way of the cross. He knew about human nature. He knew that goodness, truth and justice are in the world but oppression, injustice and conflict are there also. Just like the plant and the weeds which grow together in this parable, so the complexity of human experience both good and bad exist alongside one another.

    The crop and the weeds grow together as do good and evil and so does opportunity and oppression, hope and despair, light and darkness. It is only when the harvest is brought in that the weeds and the crop can be separated.  Here is a parable of the end times, but it was also a parable of the hope of the  Kingdom which means that forgiveness is always offered and when accepted has a transformational  impact on the way that life can be lived and hope is shared.  

    What though might this mean for us today? We live in an imperfect world, where human beings do the best of things and the worst of things. Jesus knew that, finding the best when he took the smallest offering of 5 loaves and 2 fish which fed the crowd of well over 5000 people and yet finding the worst in a crowd crying, ‘Crucify’. 

    Paul, in our reading from his letter to the Romans, tells us that the whole creation eagerly awaits redemption. Here is the deeper hope, a moment when all may find redemption offered through the cross and the renewal that it brings. After all, as Jesus shows us, there is hope for all in what God has done and in what God is doing. May that hope be seen in our response to the world as we discover and share God’s love which continues to bring light into the darkness of our mixed up, imperfect world.

    The parable tells us that the weeds and the good crop grow together; can good and evil ever be untangled in this world?  What challenge does this present to our living as God’s faithful people in the world today?




    5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world




    6. and/or from next week plan to book your place at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park




    7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly…

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides


    Prayers of Intercession


    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 StF 704: In Labour all creation groans

    Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:


    Blessing

    The blessing of God, the Father, the Son and
    the Holy Spirit be upon us, now and always.
    Amen.

    Original Materials by Rev Philip Wagstaff
    All Hymns reproduced under CCLi 882296

  • Sunday 12th July Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 12th July: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Local Preacher, Margaret Nodding.

    Welcome

    Hymn: We will meet

    A beautiful hymn from the Iona Community that has touched a chord with many during these times is “We will meet” by Hans-Olav Moerk and John Bell. The sheet music and video are available on the Iona Community home page, together with Hans-Olav’s account of the writing of the original words. Special copyright arrangements for the current circumstances are explained there too.

    Opening Prayer

    When the seeds of new life are sown, let us praise the Lord.
    When crops ripen in the field, let us exalt our maker.
    When the wind blows, or the snow falls, let us draw close to God. 

    Lord, for all your gifts in creation,
    for the gift of each other
    and the gift of the Church
    we offer our thanks. 

    Most of all for the gift of Jesus
    who went about among us as teacher and friend,
    who lived, died, and rose again
    we offer our deepest gratitude and amazement.
    In Jesus’ name.
    Amen.

    Let us take a time of quiet to bring to mind
    the ways in which we feel
    we have let God or ourselves down during the last week…

    Lord, when we are slow to listen,
    forgive us.
    Lord, when we are hasty in our actions,
    forgive us.
    Lord, for the things we have done, that we should not have done,
    forgive us. 
    Lord, for the things we have not done, that we should have done,
    forgive us. 

    Let us rejoice, for in Christ we know our sins are forgiven.
    In Jesus’ name. 
    Amen.

    Today’s Psalm: 119:105-112

    Light from the Law of the Lord

    105 Your word is a lamp to guide me
        and a light for my path.
    106 I will keep my solemn promise
        to obey your just instructions.
    107 My sufferings, Lord, are terrible indeed;
        keep me alive, as you have promised.
    108 Accept my prayer of thanks, O Lord,
        and teach me your commands.
    109 I am always ready to risk my life;
        I[a] have not forgotten your law.
    110 The wicked lay a trap for me,
        but I have not disobeyed your commands.
    111 Your commandments are my eternal possession;
        they are the joy of my heart.
    112 I have decided to obey your laws
        until the day I die.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

    The Parable of the Sower

    13 That same day Jesus left the house and went to the lakeside, where he sat down to teach. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the crowd stood on the shore. He used parables to tell them many things.

    “Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.”

    And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!”

    Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower

    18 “Listen, then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. 19 Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in them. 20 The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. 21 But it does not sink deep into them, and they don’t last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once. 22 The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don’t bear fruit. 23 And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 8:1-11

    Life in the Spirit

    8 There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God’s law, and in fact they cannot obey it. Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.

    But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video by Margaret Nodding or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or (5) just take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.

    1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below



    2. Or listen and watch an all age sermon by Local Preacher, Margaret Nodding, in the video



    3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings



    4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:

    Over the last few months we have begun to look at the world in a new way. Certainties are no longer as certain as they once were. This time last year no one imagined being in lockdown, although the possibility of a serious virus pandemic was not unimagined.  

    When I read the parable afresh the first thing I noticed was that for his own safety, and perhaps in order to be better seen, Jesus gets into a boat and puts some distance between himself and the crowd. The Bible does not tell us if it was more than 2 metres! Jesus sits down to teach indicating his authority to teach. Jesus takes practical steps to be heard and communicates in ways the crowd were used to and addressed them in ways they would understand. The image of a sower was common in first century Palestine.

    And when the seed is scattered not all of it bears fruit, some falls on the path or on stony ground. Some is in shallow earth and fails to mature. Amid much bearing of fruit there is also the failure of hearing and not understanding. Jesus recognized that even with the best news in the world there would still be setbacks.

    The disciples have the parable explained to them. They have the benefit of the expertise of Jesus who told this parable and was be definition best placed to explain its meaning.

     As we move forward together and plan the activities of our local churches in a world that has been changed we should be encouraged by this parable.

    Encouraged to work in ways that we discern are appropriate in our current situation.  Perhaps an extra line on the plan for the Circuit’s online worship and resources for those not online and unable to attend a building.

    Encouraged to keep trying even if the seed we cast does not always bear fruit straight away or in ways we may expect.

    Encouraged to gather as much wisdom as we can from others and glad to listen to those who are called to teach and explain, even when this might move us out of our comfort zones and takes us in unexpected ways.  Amen.



    5. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them


    Take a time to sit quietly…

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides


    A time of prayer

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week, use your hands to guide you through prayer. 
    Thumb: pray for all the people serving us- key workers, NHS staff, teachers, shop workers, bus drivers, etc.
    Fore-finger: pray for the people who are leading us- politicians, church leaders etc
    Middle finger: prayer for the churches 
    Ring finger: pray for your relationship with other people, that we will stay connected even if we can’t see them
    Little finger: pray for the most vulnerable


    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 StF 45: Earth’s Creator, Everyday God

    Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:

    A prayer of blessing

    Dear Lord.
    When times are hard, walk beside us.
    When we are unsure of which way to turn, dwell within us.
    When we need to listen to others, encourage us.
    When our lives and work bear fruit, rejoice with us.

    So may the blessing of God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us all today and forever more. Amen.

    Original Materials from the Connexional Resources by Rev E Adam Wells

  • Sunday 5th July Worship@home Service materials

    Sunday 5th July: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Methodist-Church-worship@home-logo-1024x209.jpg

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne.

    Welcome

    Call to Worship

    Jesus, I come to you to celebrate your love and to receive your word.
    You taught that we must worship God in spirit.
    I long to worship with your people,
    but I know you are with me in these difficult times.
    Amen.

    Hymn StF 610: Best of all, God is with us

    Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here to this year’s Conference themed hymn:

    Taken from the Conference Service 2020 at Westminster Central Hall

    Let us pray together:

    Lord God,
    I am in wonder at the world you have created
    and the life you have given me.

    I thank you for that gift of life
    and the joy of sharing my life with others.

    I have not always lived my life as you would wish.
    Yet, even as I confess this to you,
    I know your forgiveness by the suffering and death of your Son,
    Jesus Christ, my Saviour.
    Amen

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    This week use the Little Miss and Mr Men to help you pray.
    Mr Happy– say thank you for something that makes you happy
    Little Miss Naughty– say sorry for something you have done wrong
    Mr Bump– ask God to be with someone who is not well at the moment
     Little Miss Sunshine– say thank you for something that brings ‘sunshine’ to your life

    The President’s Address to the Conference 2020

    If you wish to, take half an hour now to listen to the President’s Address from our new President, Rev Richard Teal, to the Methodist Conference which took place last weekend

    Today’s Gospel Reading:
    Matthew 11.16-19,25-30

    16 “Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group shouts to the other, 17 ‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn’t dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn’t cry!’ 18 When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ 19 When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God’s wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”

    Come to Me and Rest

    25 At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. 26 Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.

    27 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

    28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Epistle Reading:
    Romans 7.15-25a

    15 I do not understand what I do; for I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. 16 Since what I do is what I don’t want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. 17 So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. 18 I know that good does not live in me—that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. 19 I don’t do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. 20 If I do what I don’t want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.

    21 So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, what is evil is the only choice I have. 22 My inner being delights in the law of God. 23 But I see a different law at work in my body—a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. 24 What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!

    This, then, is my condition: on my own I can serve God’s law only with my mind, while my human nature serves the law of sin.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below

    Click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection

    Prayers of Intercession

    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 StF 459: Captain of Israel’s host and Guide

    Sing along or listen to this hymn which always concludes Methodist Conference…

    Taken from the Conference Service 2020 at Westminster Central Hall

    A prayer of blessing

    May the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit rest and remain with each of us sharing His worship today and always.

    Original Materials by Ralph Frankland Hymns reproduced under CCLi 882296 taken from the Connexional sheet published for Worship at Home during the pandemic.
    Used with permission © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church in Britain

  • Sunday 28th June – Worship@home Service materials

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. This act of worship has been prepared using a mixture of prayers for Conference from the Conference Agenda and Prayers from the Darlington Methodist District shared worship materials. From Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne.

    For the Methodist Church in Britain, this Sunday is Conference Sunday, normally a hugely busy and eventful occasion. It begins the Representative Session of Conference and is full of greetings and catching up. Our Ordinands both Presbyteral and Diaconal are received into full Connexion on this day and ordained as they continue their Ministry with that very powerful affirmation of their calling by the Church.
    This will not be happening this year because of the pandemic and a much reduced virtual Conference will happen dealing with that business that cannot be postponed. We should remember in our prayers those who had expected to meet in person and in particular those for whom ordination must be postponed.
    You can watch the live streaming of Methodist Conference here

    Call to Worship

    Last year’s President, Rev Barbara Glasson opens the Representative Session of Conference with the traditional hymn ‘And are we yet alive’

    Welcome

    Hymn: Lead me to the cross

    Sing along or listen to this hymn by Graham Kendrick, performed by the MAYC orchestra and singers on their CD Shout it out

    How can I be free from sin —
    lead me to the cross of Jesus,
    from the guilt, the power, the pain?
    Lead me to the cross of Jesus.
    There’s no other way,
    no price that I could pay;
    simply to the cross I cling.
    This is all I need,
    this is all I plead,
    that his blood was shed for me.

    How can I know peace within?
    Lead me to the cross of Jesus,
    Sing a song of joy again!
    Lead me to the cross of Jesus.
    Flowing from above,
    all-forgiving love
    from the Father’s heart to me!
    What a gift of grace
    his own righteousness
    clothing me in purity!

    How can I live day by day —
    lead me to the cross of Jesus,
    following his narrow way?
    Lead me to the cross of Jesus.

    Graham Kendrick (born 1950)
    © 1991 Make Way Music, PO Box 263, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 5AP, UK. info@makewaymusic.com. International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission. CCL Licence No. 882296

    Opening Prayer

    Rev John reads prayer by Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, (taken from the Conference Agenda vol 2 page 506). Used with permission © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church in Britain

    Eternal God,
    We come together as the Methodist Conference does at this time, each in different places with different concerns and expectations, anxieties and hopes.
    As they confer, help them to listen to each other with care, self-awareness, and a desire to discover you again in the comforting and the disturbing, the familiar and the new.

    We come together in Spirit with the Conference as your Church, committed to maintaining its life of worship and service so that all may grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you and your Son, Jesus Christ.

    Help us to recognise what most requires our time, energy and commitment at this time, so that our words, actions and ways of being may radiate your transforming love.

    We come together in a changed world, conscious of continuing suffering, grieving for all who have been and all that has been lost, and wondering about the future.

    Help us to be wise, compassionate and courageous; to stand alongside those in pain; to play our part in working for justice and reconciliation in all the earth; and to pray without ceasing.

    In all things, may your love and grace surround and uphold us,
    may the presence of Jesus guide and sustain us,
    and may the power of the Holy Spirit bring us hope, inspiration and peace.

    Amen.

    Prayer by Revd Nicola Price-Tebbutt (taken from the Conference Agenda vol 2 page 504). Used with permission © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church in Britain

    Living God,
    As we come before you, let your Spirit fill our hearts.
    Help us to remember that in your kingdom all are welcome.
    You have place for the weak and the strong,
    for the rich and the poor,
    for those on the margins and for those in the centre.
    Give us love to embrace all those around us,
    give us hope as we work with others to build your kingdom,
    give us vision as we seek peace and justice,
    give us strength and courage to walk with you when we face
    discrimination, inequality and violence.
    We pray for the coming of your kingdom and
    the day when your will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
    Amen.

    Prayer by Dr Daleep Mukarji (taken from the Conference Agenda vol 2 page 504). Used with permission © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church in Britain

    Today’s Psalm: Psalm 86

    A Prayer for Help

    13 How much longer will you forget me, Lord? Forever?
        How much longer will you hide yourself from me?
    How long must I endure trouble?
        How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night?
        How long will my enemies triumph over me?

    Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me.
        Restore my strength; don’t let me die.
    Don’t let my enemies say, “We have defeated him.”
        Don’t let them gloat over my downfall.

    I rely on your constant love;
        I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
    I will sing to you, O Lord,
        because you have been good to me.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 28.5-9

    Then in the presence of the priests and of all the people who were standing in the Temple, I said to Hananiah, “Wonderful! I hope the Lord will do this! I certainly hope he will make your prophecy come true and will bring back from Babylonia all the Temple treasures and all the people who were taken away as prisoners. But listen to what I say to you and to the people. The prophets who spoke long ago, before my time and yours, predicted that war, starvation, and disease would come to many nations and powerful kingdoms. But a prophet who predicts peace can only be recognized as a prophet whom the Lord has truly sent when that prophet’s predictions come true.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 10.40-42

    Rewards

    40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes God’s messenger because he is God’s messenger, will share in his reward. And whoever welcomes a good man because he is good, will share in his reward. 42 You can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because he is my follower, will certainly receive a reward.”

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Epistle Reading: Romans 6.12-23

    12 Sin must no longer rule in your mortal bodies, so that you obey the desires of your natural self. 13 Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes. 14 Sin must not be your master; for you do not live under law but under God’s grace.

    Slaves of Righteousness

    15 What, then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law but under God’s grace? By no means! 16 Surely you know that when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey—either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God. 17 But thanks be to God! For though at one time you were slaves to sin, you have obeyed with all your heart the truths found in the teaching you received. 18 You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness. 19 (I use everyday language because of the weakness of your natural selves.) At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy purposes.

    20 When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed of? The result of those things is death! 22 But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life. 23 For sin pays its wage—death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below

    Click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    As the lockdown is starting to ease off, we’re able to see people that we haven’t seen in a long time. Think of some people that you miss and haven’t seen in a while. Maybe you could find pictures of them or draw them and put them somewhere in your house that you see a lot. This week take some time to pray for these people, maybe you could call them and see how they are doing. 

    Hope and Millie’s Reflection

    Prayers of Intercession

    Let us pray for the church, for the world and for ourselves.

    Loving God,
    We pray for your guidance and wisdom as your church, especially through Conference, finds new ways of reaching out into the world with the good news of your generous love and forgiveness. Gift leaders with the innovation and inspiration that comes from your Holy Spirit so that your church may be more effective witnesses of your saving grace.

    Lord Jesus,
    as the world continues to suffer the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray for compassion and fairness in sharing practical resources and medical expertise so that there might be healing and wholeness for all. We pray that all those who have influence over the lives of others, might make decisions based on kindness and for the common good.

    Holy Spirit
    we pray that you infuse with love the hearts of those who use war as a weapon of power. Hear our prayers for an end to all conflict, and for recognition and support to be given to refugees and displaced people around the world.

    Compassionate Christ,
    we pray for comfort and strength for those who are still isolated, for parents and children, for the elderly and those suffering long term illness.

    Lord our God,
    lift anxiety from those who are worried about the future, their jobs, businesses and their financial situation. May they know that they are not alone, that Jesus is always with them.

    Holy Spirit
    we pray for ourselves, for our plans that have been changed, for the people we have lost and miss still, for our hopes and dreams for the future. Strengthen our faith, deepen our commitment to your ways and help us to better serve God and to see Jesus in everyone we meet.

    Thank you Lord that you that your love never fails.

    Amen

    Prayers taken from the Connexional sheet published for Worship at Home during the pandemic. Used with permission © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church in Britain

    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 StF 566: Take my life and let it be

    Sing along or listen to this hymn

    Blessing

    Go with confidence into the days ahead, trusting in God’s
    unfailing love and faithfulness.
    God will not abandon you, for you are the work of his hands –
    His own creation – and His love endures forever.
    So go in joy to love and serve the Lord!

  • Sunday 21st June – Worship@home Service materials

    This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. This act of worship has been prepared based on the Methodist Connexional ‘Worship during the Coronavirus pandemic’ available here.For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne.

    Welcome and call to worship

    Hymn: StF 467 I need thee every hour

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B9HbPskX5c

    I need thee every hour,
    most gracious Lord;
    no tender voice like thine 
    can peace afford:
    I need thee, O I need thee,
    every hour I need thee;
    O bless me now, my Saviour;
    I come to thee.

    I need thee every hour;
    stay thou near by;
    temptations lose their power
    when thou art nigh:
    Chorus

    I need thee every hour,
    in joy or pain;
    come quickly and abide,
    or life is vain:
    Chorus

    I need thee every hour;
    teach me thy will,
    and thy rich promises
    in me fulfil:
    Chorus

    Annie Sherwood Hawks (1835-1918)

    Collect for today

    Today’s Psalm: Psalm 86

    Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
        for I am poor and needy.
    Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you;
        save your servant who trusts in you.
    You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord,
        for to you do I cry all day long.
    Gladden the soul of your servant,
        for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
    For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
        abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
    Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
        listen to my cry of supplication.
    In the day of my trouble I call on you,
        for you will answer me.

    There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
        nor are there any works like yours.
    All the nations you have made shall come
        and bow down before you, O Lord,
        and shall glorify your name.
    10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
        you alone are God.

    Old Testament Reading:
    Jeremiah 20.7-13

    Jeremiah Complains to the Lord

    Lord, you have deceived me,
        and I was deceived.
    You are stronger than I am,
        and you have overpowered me.
    Everyone makes fun of me;
        they laugh at me all day long.
    Whenever I speak, I have to cry out
        and shout, “Violence! Destruction!”
    Lord, I am ridiculed and scorned all the time
        because I proclaim your message.
    But when I say, “I will forget the Lord
        and no longer speak in his name,”
    then your message is like a fire
        burning deep within me.
    I try my best to hold it in,
        but can no longer keep it back.
    10 I hear everybody whispering,
        “Terror is everywhere!
        So let’s report him to the authorities!”
    Even my close friends wait for my downfall.
    “Perhaps he can be tricked,” they say;
        “then we can catch him and get revenge.”
    11 But you, Lord, are on my side, strong and mighty,
        and those who persecute me will fail.
    They will be disgraced forever,
        because they cannot succeed.
    Their disgrace will never be forgotten.
    12 But, Almighty Lord, you test people justly;
        you know what is in their hearts and minds.
    So let me see you take revenge on my enemies,
        for I have placed my cause in your hands.
    13 Sing to the Lord!
        Praise the Lord!
    He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Epistle Reading: Romans 6:1-11

    Dead to Sin but Alive in Union with Christ

    What shall we say, then? Should we continue to live in sin so that God’s grace will increase? Certainly not! We have died to sin—how then can we go on living in it? For surely you know that when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptized into union with his death. By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life.

    For since we have become one with him in dying as he did, in the same way we shall be one with him by being raised to life as he was. And we know that our old being has been put to death with Christ on his cross, in order that the power of the sinful self might be destroyed, so that we should no longer be the slaves of sin. For when we die, we are set free from the power of sin. Since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that Christ has been raised from death and will never die again—death will no longer rule over him. 10 And so, because he died, sin has no power over him; and now he lives his life in fellowship with God. 11 In the same way you are to think of yourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned, but living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:24-39

    24 “No pupil is greater than his teacher; no slave is greater than his master. 25 So a pupil should be satisfied to become like his teacher, and a slave like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, the members of the family will be called even worse names!

    Whom to Fear

    26 “So do not be afraid of people. Whatever is now covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. 27 What I am telling you in the dark you must repeat in broad daylight, and what you have heard in private you must announce from the housetops. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell. 29 For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. 30 As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!

    Confessing and Rejecting Christ

    32 “Those who declare publicly that they belong to me, I will do the same for them before my Father in heaven. 33 But those who reject me publicly, I will reject before my Father in heaven.

    Not Peace, but a Sword

    34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; 36 your worst enemies will be the members of your own family.

    37 “Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples. 38 Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. 39 Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.

    Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
    Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

    Time to Reflect

    Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!

    If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below

    Click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings

    Hope and Millie’s reflection slides

    Hannah’s Creative Prayer

    “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” -Romans 6:4

    Is there something that prevents you from stepping out and living to the full the new life that God offers you?
    Are you held back by lies, hurt, anger, bitterness, forgiveness or the memory of past events? 
    Let go and let God!

    Prayers of Intercession

    Eternal God, we come to pray as your co-workers and co-carers in your world. We know you already care and are already there in the places and with the people for whom we pray.

    In a moment of silence we pray for people suffering, in pain, depression or anxiety. We pray for all those who work to alleviate suffering.

    We pray for communities struggling in poverty, overcrowding and hunger, for people feeling disconnected and for those who are working together to bring comfort, food and help.

    We pray for governments and those in power around the world, for wisdom and the desire to put the wellbeing of their people first and to work together with other countries in peace.

    We bring all our prayers, in trust and confidence, in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

    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: StF 41 Blessed be your name

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnWKehsOXu8

    Blessèd be Your name
    In the land that is plentiful,
    Where Your streams of abundance flow,
    Blessèd be Your name.
    And blessèd be Your name
    When I’m found in the desert place,
    Though I walk through the wilderness,
    Blessèd be Your name.

    Every blessing You pour out I’ll
    Turn back to praise.
    When the darkness closes in, Lord,
    Still I will say:
    Blessèd be the name of the Lord,
    Blessèd be Your name.
    Blessèd be the name of the Lord,
    Blessèd be Your glorious name.

    Blessèd be Your name
    When the sun’s shining down on me,
    When the world’s ‘all as it should be’,
    Blessèd be Your name.
    And blessèd be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering,
    Though there’s pain in the offering,
    Blessèd be Your name.

    You give and take away,
    You give and take away.
    My heart will choose to say:
    Lord, blessèd be Your name.

    Matt & Beth Redman
    © 2002 Thankyou Music/Adm. by worshiptogether.com songs excl. UK & Europe adm. by Kingswaysongs, a division of David C Cook www.kingswayworship.co.uk  Used by permission.

    Closing Prayer

    May Immanuel God be with us, bless us with the deep heart-knowledge that God is with us, and as we share the reality of ourselves with God, may we know ourselves held and beloved. Amen

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