Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Sunday 30th August Worship@home Service materials

Sunday 30th August: 22nd 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 also an all-age talk by Rev John.


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.

Prayer taken from the prayers for today on

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 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 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

Hymn: StF 504 May the mind of Christ my Saviour

Video by Matt Beckingham, used with permission


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. 

Prayer taken from the prayers for today on

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