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
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,
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. firstname.lastname@example.org. International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission. CCL Licence No. 882296
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
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.
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
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.
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?
2 How long must I endure trouble?
How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night?
How long will my enemies triumph over me?
3 Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me.
Restore my strength; don’t let me die.
4 Don’t let my enemies say, “We have defeated him.”
Don’t let them gloat over my downfall.
5 I rely on your constant love;
I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
6 I will sing to you, O Lord,
because you have been good to me.
Today’s Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 28.5-9
5 Then in the presence of the priests and of all the people who were standing in the Temple, I said to Hananiah, 6 “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. 7 But listen to what I say to you and to the people. 8 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. 9 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.”
Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 10.40-42
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!