Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Sunday 11th October Worship@home resources

Sunday 11th October: 27th 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, Ev Swinbank.


Welcome to our worship this morning, in church, online and on local radio and I hope that you have had your hair done, got the spray tan sorted, and are wearing your best outfit because even with all the restrictions we are off to a wedding! In fact we’ll have to hurry, and light the candle to remind us of the presence of God, for the feast you will discover is ready to begin!

Hymn StF 35: The trumpets sound the angels sing

A Wedding Prayer

A Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.

Hannah’s Creative Prayer

This week think about the future and what you would tell your future self. If you are able, write a letter to your future self, saying hopes and dreams that you have. What is something that you would have liked to achieve? How would you like to have developed and grow in your faith? Write these things down and pray for God’s help and guidance in achieving these things.  

Today’s Old Testament Reading:
Isaiah 25:1-9

A Hymn of Praise

25 Lord, you are my God;
    I will honor you and praise your name.
You have done amazing things;
    you have faithfully carried out
    the plans you made long ago.
You have turned cities into ruins
    and destroyed their fortifications.
The palaces which our enemies built
    are gone forever.
The people of powerful nations will praise you;
    you will be feared in the cities of cruel nations.
The poor and the helpless have fled to you
    and have been safe in times of trouble.
You give them shelter from storms
    and shade from the burning heat.
Cruel enemies attack like a winter storm,[a]
    like drought in a dry land.
But you, Lord, have silenced our enemies;
    you silence the shouts of cruel people,
    as a cloud cools a hot day.

God Prepares a Banquet

Here on Mount Zion the Lord Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world—a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine. Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations. The Sovereign Lord will destroy death forever! He will wipe away the tears from everyone’s eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered throughout the world. The Lord himself has spoken.

When it happens, everyone will say, “He is our God! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the Lord! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has saved us.”

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

Today’s Gospel Reading:
Matthew 22:1-14

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

22 Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: ‘My feast is ready now; my steers and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!’ But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his store, while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city. Then he called his servants and said to them, ‘My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people.

11 “The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ the king asked him. But the man said nothing. 13 Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and gnash his teeth.’”

14 And Jesus concluded, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

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

John and Vanessa go shopping…

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, Ev Swinbank 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:

The reading from Philippians reminds me of a chorus that was often sung as a ‘round’ – “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice”(577 in Mission Praise) However, we may ask “how can we rejoice in the Lord always?” Life is not always a bed of roses and we often face hardship and struggles. The Covid-19 crisis has been a real challenge for many people and rejoicing may have been the last thing on people’s minds.
But what is it that makes us rejoice? People will have different answers but many will mention material things, and recent restrictions on shopping, going to the gym, hairdressers or going on holiday; have been a real bind for some.
Throughout the Bible, we are reminded that there is more to life than material blessings. Cynics may say “fine talk when you live in the affluent West” but during my visits to some of the poorest areas of Africa and Asia, I found that those who had little in material terms were still able to rejoice. They valued family and community and were thankful for the little they had.
Covid-19 has challenged us all and made us think about what is really important in life. It has brought us closer to family and friends and reminded us to be thankful, and look for blessings that are beyond the material world. Paul says that when we come before the Lord with thanksgiving we shall find His peace. There will be many today who do not have peace in their lives and we pray that one day, they will find the peace of the Lord that passes all understanding.
Take a time to sit quietly

thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week

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 may be in many ways indescribable, but never unapproachable, so let us come into his presence with some wedding prayers:

Let us pray.

God of grace, source of all love, we pray for all wedding couples on this day and all who celebrate many years together, that they may continue to live together in love and faithfulness til the end of their lives. 
Lord of life, hear us in your love.

Enrich friendships and relationships that each may be for another a companion in joy and a comforter in sorrow. 
Lord of life, hear us in your love.

Help us all to be patient, gentle and forgiving, that our homes, marriages and partnerships may reflect Christ’s love for all people. 
Lord of life, hear us in your love.

Enable weddings that are planned to safely go ahead, and family and friends to appropriately celebrate a feast of joy. At the same time, be with those who grieve the loss of their loved one through Covid 19 or in any other way that has broken the bond of love. Be there for them in their loneliness and sense of isolation. 
Lord of life, hear us in your love.

May we who have heard the gospel of love today and the invitation to share appropriately and joyfully in that love, respond in such a way that we may be signs of your love in the world.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Hymn StF 401: Come sinners to the gospel feast


Next week we will leave the parables of Jesus behind, and focus instead for a few weeks on Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, but until then we go in the blessing of God.

For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish from this day forward
With the clothes of good fruit, and love always love.

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