Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Sunday 16th August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 16th August: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.


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 Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Today’s Psalm:
Psalm 67 read by Ian

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

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

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

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

Reading taken from 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.

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


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.

from rootsontheweb prayers for today

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