Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Sunday 4th October Worship@home resources

Sunday 4th October: 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, Margaret Nodding.


God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit –
calls us to set our sights on the goal
of following and living in the way of Christ.
God calls to us follow now.

Prayer taken from the prayers

Hymn: God the great Creator

Opening Prayer:

Lord God, we are all so different, each our own being;
and yet you love and care for us all,
you nurture and protect us.
How can we not be thankful to you
for all that the journey with you offers!
We thank you that you guide us,
in unexpected ways, to find the right way in life.
We thank you that when we wander, you draw us back to you,
give us new direction and encourage us to follow where you lead.
We thank you that you know our individual needs and quirks,
and yearn for us to be on the journey of life with you.
We thank you that the pains of life can be overshadowed
by the joy of walking with you.
For all these blessings and more,
we give you thanks and praise.

God of the journey of life,
the mystery of our very being,
we confess that the journey we take
gets disrupted and we get sidetracked.
We go off on wild goose chases that lead us nowhere,
up blind alleys and into bad and barren places.
We find our way back to you in sorrow for our failings
and in penitence for our wanderings.
May we be enriched by your welcome,
relieved by your forgiveness
and comforted by your all-embracing love.

Prayer taken from the prayers

Hannah’s Creative Prayer

Sometimes when we struggle to pray, a structure can help us.
Today, pray using a teaspoon prayer

T- thank you
     What are you thankful for this week?

S- sorry What would you like to ask God for forgiveness for?

P- please Is there anything you would like to ask God for this week, maybe guidance or help? 

Today’s Old Testament Reading:
Isaiah 5:1-7

Listen while I sing you this song,
    a song of my friend and his vineyard:
My friend had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
He dug the soil and cleared it of stones;
    he planted the finest vines.
He built a tower to guard them,
    dug a pit for treading the grapes.
He waited for the grapes to ripen,
    but every grape was sour.

So now my friend says, “You people who live in Jerusalem and Judah, judge between my vineyard and me. Is there anything I failed to do for it? Then why did it produce sour grapes and not the good grapes I expected?

“Here is what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge around it, break down the wall that protects it, and let wild animals eat it and trample it down. I will let it be overgrown with weeds. I will not trim the vines or hoe the ground; instead, I will let briers and thorns cover it. I will even forbid the clouds to let rain fall on it.”

Israel is the vineyard of the Lord Almighty;
    the people of Judah are the vines he planted.
He expected them to do what was good,
    but instead they committed murder.
He expected them to do what was right,
    but their victims cried out for justice.

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

Today’s Gospel Reading:
Matthew 21:33-46

The Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard

33 “Listen to another parable,” Jesus said. “There was once a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to tenants and left home on a trip. 34 When the time came to gather the grapes, he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share of the harvest. 35 The tenants grabbed his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again the man sent other slaves, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all he sent his son to them. ‘Surely they will respect my son,’ he said. 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the owner’s son. Come on, let’s kill him, and we will get his property!’ 39 So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

40 “Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” Jesus asked.

41 “He will certainly kill those evil men,” they answered, “and rent the vineyard out to other tenants, who will give him his share of the harvest at the right time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say?

‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless
    turned out to be the most important of all.
This was done by the Lord;
    what a wonderful sight it is!’

43 “And so I tell you,” added Jesus, “the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the proper fruits.” 44 [a]

45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables and knew that he was talking about them, 46 so they tried to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.

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, Margaret Nodding 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:

When I first saw the Gospel Reading set for today I have to admit I was a little perturbed. I wondered how to even begin to share anything on this parable. Yet I was inspired by seeing Jesus again in conversation.

In all his encounters with those who oppose him, disagree with him, and seek to ridicule him, Jesus shows grace and a willingness to engage in conversation. Jesus doesn’t just dismiss the views of others, he listens, he challenges and he responds, sometimes forcefully. He doesn’t collude with what he knows to be unjust. I wonder how we respond when faced with those who profoundly disagree with us? Do we listen well?

The religious leaders rail against Jesus because he consistently fails to conform to the expectations they have of him. He eats with the wrong people. He speaks in stories and riddles. He won’t answer their questions directly. He challenges their authority.  Yet Jesus is unwilling to give up the dialogue with them, to give up sharing the good news, engaging in conversation and seeking to include all. Is this how we live as followers of Christ? Even giving a hearing to those who oppose us?

In his ‘explanation’ of the parable, Jesus speaks of producing the fruits of the kingdom (v.43). What do you think of as the fruits of God’s kingdom? If we want to see what the fruits of the kingdom are we have the example of Jesus before us. Love, mercy, forgiveness, justice, generosity, compassion, presence, wisdom, truth, healing, reconciliation, joy, thanksgiving, peace, lament, obedience, humility. Perhaps as we hear again the parable of the wicked tenants, we can long and pray to be those who live the kingdom values of Jesus in the vineyards of our lives. 

thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Rev Miriam Moul

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

God of one and God of all, we pray for:
those who don’t know who they are,
who can’t understand themselves or their place in society –
God of all, we pray for them.
Those who don’t ‘fit in’,
who are or seem to be different –
God of all, we pray for them.
Those who don’t know where they come from,
their heritage or home, their family or bloodline –
God of all, we pray for them.
Those who feel lost and isolated, confused and afraid,
rudderless or homeless, strangers in a strange land –
God of all, we pray for them.
Those who wish they were someone else,
or somewhere else, in some other time and place –
God of all, we pray for them.
In your great mercy, Lord,
hear our prayers and grant surer journeys for them all.

Prayer taken from the prayers

Hymn StF 693: Beauty for Brokenness


O God, help us to:
see Christ in all things, (hands over eyes, looking around)
hear Christ through all things, (hands behind ears)
understand Christ from all things, (gathering gesture)
feel Christ in all things, (touch fingertips together)
know Christ in all things. (fingers on temples)
And so may God’s blessing go with us this week

Prayer taken from the prayers

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