Sunday 31st October: thirty-first in Ordinary
Listen to the service as a radio broadcast on 105.9 BishopFM just after the 11am Sunday morning news, or stream it at 11am on the website through YouTube – See below…
Below you can find the radio podcast if you can’t listen on 105.9 BishopFM and also the YouTube video stream, which will go live at 11am on Sunday. You will also see the regular extras including the video of Susan’s sermon.
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Radio podcast for 105.9BishopFM
This Week’s YouTube broadcast
(live at 11am, at the same time as the radio broadcast, and available here after that, with 15 minutes of hymns to join in with beforehand)
If you haven’t listened to the audio or video services above, and wish to read the lectionary readings before considering these further worship resources for this week follow or this link to biblegateway.com for this week’s Bible readings from:
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 look at (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (3) the pdf sheet The Vine, or (4) the District Worship at Home resources or (5) watch ‘Politics in the Pulpit’ a resource from JPIT, or read (6) the Connexional reflection; or otherwise to come (7) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (8) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings for the day.
1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne click on the video below.
2. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb at home sheet
3. or read the VINE worship at home sheet which MWiB are supporting this year
4. or consider the Darlington Methodist District’s Worship at Home resource page:
5. or watch ‘Politics in the Pulpit’, a resource from JPIT (Joint Public Issues Team) looking at how issues in politics today can be considered in the light of today’s lectionary passages:
6. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
Time to Reflect
All Saints Day does not feature prominently in Methodism. Although there are some exceptions, most of our chapels do not carry the names of saints, yet the idea of sainthood is something that perhaps we should consider.
What does sainthood mean to you?
Rather than those canonized people we regard as saints, I want to think about two definitions of ‘Saint’.
1. A very virtuous, kind, or patient person*
During the pandemic, we have all experienced this kind of saint. Immediately springing to mind are doctors and nurses who have treated so many, saving lives and comforting those for whom a cure never came. I am sure you will join me in thanking God for the NHS.
There are so many others who may or may not be Christians, whose work has been essential during the pandemic: HGV drivers, cleaners, teachers, teaching assistants, school dinner staff, shop workers, food producers, IT experts, and those with the skill to create vaccinations. The list is endless! Thank God for their skill, dedication and sacrifice – loving their neighbours as themselves.
2. A Christian believer*
A saint is also any Christian believer, many of whom fall into the earlier category too – motivated by their faith in God to share their skills. Each of them following both of Jesus’s commandments in today’s gospel passage – to love God and neighbour.
To me, saints are all the people who do Christ’s work on earth – the unnamed, unacknowledged everyday folk who do great and wonderful things through their love of God and neighbour.
Growing up at Altofts Methodist Church in West Yorkshire, I was privileged to be surrounded by so many remarkable: Sunday school teachers, members of the congregation and particularly my grandparents who nurtured my faith. I thank God for their love on my Christian journey.
What about you? Who are those who have nurtured your faith and shown you love and encouragement on your journey with Christ? I invite you to give thanks to God for them.
Hand in hand with these everyday folk are, the ‘Saints in Light’, those everyday Christians who have taught us a thing or two and encouraged, but whose earthly lives have come to an end. We are privileged to be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
It is in the combined effort of these unsung heroes where we truly see the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through ordinary people like you and me. Through time and space, they are bringing the kingdoms of earth and heaven closer together through love of God and neighbour. Together we move towards that time when God will wipe every tear from our eyes; a time when death, mourning and pain will be no more. Although you may be reading this alone, you are part of that amazing congregation of God’s people through time and space. You are a saint!
To the Glory of God, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the Connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Tom Fergusonn
7. 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. The garden is looking autumnal as our local biodiversity gardening group (come and join them on a Wednesday morning) along with Cultivate4life team are working on it on a Wednesday morning. Watch the new herb bed going in, or even give a hand!
8. 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
Youth Team Resources
Hope’s Images for the week
Hope, Millie and Hannah have now left the Youth Team to go to pastures new – see what they are up to by look at the Youth Worship Team page, and see what Connor, Abbie and Niamh are doing as they form this year’s continuing Youth Team. However, Hope has left us behind images for every Sunday of the 3-year lectionary cycle. See her images for this lectionary Sunday below
Niamh’s Hymn for this week
StF 346 Christ is the World’s Light
Rebekah’s image of the week
Rebekah is a member of Sunday@3 and enjoys photography… She is offering her photos to help us reflect each week: