Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Sunday 27th September Worship@home resources

Sunday 27th September: 26th 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

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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 local preacher, Vanessa Purdy.


Hymn: These are the days of Elijah

Opening Prayer:
Meditation by Ian M Fraser

Not just to prayer and worship we’re committed
But, for the struggle for a new world fitted,
‘gainst principalities and powers we’re pitted:
we’re to be church.

Not just in buildings blessed by consecration,
in bank and business, coping with inflation,
and at the office, school and railway station:
we’re to be church.

Not just on Sundays, festivals observing,
but in the weekdays at a check-out serving,
God looks to us for faithfulness unswerving:
we’re to be church.

Not just for worship is the promise given,
earth has to be sustained – so that, in heaven,
work linked with prayer together show we’ve striven
here to be church.

Who is my neighbour?
”In serving each other, my neighbours are all around the world. look at the shoes you wear, the car you drive, your phone, the food you eat…”   Who is YOUR neighbour?

Prayer taken from the Workplace Chaplaincy Mission UK

A Litany for people who work

From a desire to control; From flagrant use of resources; From selfishness and a sense of self-importance; From the misuse of authority and power,
Good Lord, release us.

From easy compromise; From shameful practices; From bribery and corruption; From exploitation of people,
Good Lord, release us.

From extortionate pressures; From unachievable targets; From unsupportable expectations; From unreasonable delegation,
Good Lord, release us.

From discriminatory practice; From insensitivity to other’s needs and feelings; From fear of keeping silent; From fear of speaking out,
Good Lord, release us.

From a sense of despair; From feelings of rejection and worthlessness; From the experience of powerlessness; From the threat of insecurity,
Good Lord, release us

Remembering the generosity of your creation, Help us to find opportunities for our creativeness,
In you we trust, O Lord.

Remembering the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, Help us to be prepared to give of ourselves that others may gain,
In you we trust, O Lord.

Remembering the agony and death of Jesus Christ, Help us to carry the feelings of betrayal and loss,
In you we trust, O Lord.

Remembering the redemption offered to us, Help us to be ready to forgive and accept,
In you we trust, O Lord.

Remembering the gift of the Holy Spirit, Help us to bring comfort, consolation and hope to others,
In you we trust, O Lord.

Remembering the Salvation promised to us, Help us to bring new life into our workplace,
In you we trust, O Lord.

Remembering your promise of eternal life, Help us to join in bringing in your kingdom in our places of work,
In you we trust, O Lord

Prayer taken from the Workplace Chaplaincy Mission UK

Creative Prayer

Today’s Epistle Reading:
Philippians 2:1-13

Christ’s Humility and Greatness

Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit,[a] and you have kindness and compassion for one another. I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

He always had the nature of God,
    but he did not think that by force he should try to remain[b] equal with God.
Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,
    and took the nature of a servant.
He became like a human being
    and appeared in human likeness.
He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—
    his death on the cross.
For this reason God raised him to the highest place above
    and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.
10 And so, in honor of the name of Jesus
    all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below[c]
    will fall on their knees,
11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Shining as Lights in the World

12 So then, dear friends, as you always obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey me now while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, 13 because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose.

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

Today’s Gospel Reading:
Matthew 21:23-32

The Question about Jesus’ Authority

23 Jesus came back to the Temple; and as he taught, the chief priests and the elders came to him and asked, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you such right?”

24 Jesus answered them, “I will ask you just one question, and if you give me an answer, I will tell you what right I have to do these things. 25 Where did John’s right to baptize come from: was it from God or from human beings?”

They started to argue among themselves, “What shall we say? If we answer, ‘From God,’ he will say to us, ‘Why, then, did you not believe John?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From human beings,’ we are afraid of what the people might do, because they are all convinced that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “Now, what do you think? There was once a man who had two sons. He went to the older one and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 ‘I don’t want to,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30 Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. ‘Yes, sir,’ he answered, but he did not go. 31 Which one of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The older one,” they answered.

So Jesus said to them, “I tell you: the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John the Baptist came to you showing you the right path to take, and you would not believe him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

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) the pdf sheet from Roots or (3) an all-age video talk by local preacher, Vanessa Purdy 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

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

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

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

‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ This is the question behind both the Old Testament and the first part of the New Testament readings.

Is the Lord among us when we are thirsty in the Wilderness and have no water?

Is the Lord among us in the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth?

No doubt in the last months the question ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ has been asked as we contend with the global pandemic with all its implications not least the different ways of worship.

“Is the Lord among us or not?”

The answer of faith is yes. We have God’s promise resounding down the generations in the words “I will be with you” and “I am with you”

Is the Lord among us when we are thirsty in the Wilderness and have no water?

Yes, the Lord provides water from the rock.

Is the Lord among us in the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth?

Yes, the Lord is the source and strength of all they do.

God’s presence does not depend upon us and how we feel. God’s presence is a gift to us, born out of love for us. God’s presence is promised in fire and flood (Isaiah 43:2) because we are precious in God’s eyes and loved.

And ours is the call to respond as God asks us, as the father asked the sons, to work in the vineyard. That is our situation. Whether we have been aware of that challenge for many years or have newly come to faith we are called to tell of the saving love of God in word and deed.

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 reflect on the times you have felt distant from God and the times you have known God’s presence.

Hope and Millie’s Reflection

Prayers of Intercession

from the Radio service to be broadcast at 11am

God of grace,
we turn to you in prayer in this difficult time
in which the spread of a pandemic infection has forced our governments
restrictive measures that limit the normal course of life,
they block our sociality and risk making us shut up in our increasingly small sphere,
but they are necessary.

God of love,
help us to maintain community bonds and solidarity with our sisters and brothers,
especially with those who are in sickness and need,
and help us to be a family for those who are without a family.

God of healing,
we pray for those who have been infected and for their family members,
give them the courage to face this moment of illness;
we pray for all healthcare workers who are spending so much
to manage this epidemic competently and generously,
for scientists who are working hard on a cure in a short time;
give them all strength and vision to face and try to stop this epidemic.

God of mercy,
allow us to live this time as a profitable opportunity to reflect on our experience of faith
and on our being part of an easy society prey to fear and discouragement in the face of adversity;
help us, despite the difficulties of this situation, to keep us united and open to others,
help us not forgetting all the other great tragedies that undermine peace and disrupt the world.

God of salvation,
we pray you to support us in fighting the chains of exploitation and injustice
and help us to maintain chains of solidarity throughout Europe;
please don’t abandon us to the fear of contagion,
but even more to the contagion of fear
for Christ Jesus our brother and savior.

Rev. Mirella Manocchio
Presidente of OPCEMI (Opera per le Chiese Evangeliche Metodiste in Italia)

Prayer taken from the prayers during the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Methodist in Britain Website

Hymn HP 794: Go labour on, spend and be spent


Lord, help us to continue to work at home,
and in the community
as we are able,
and the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
work alongside us,
this day and forever more. 

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