Welcome & Notices
Invitation to Worship
This morning’s service has been put together by Pete Clarke
Today’s songs of worship were chosen by Ken Tollman
We come together this morning from our individual homes and families. But we join with homes across Woodley, Berkshire, the UK, and the world wide church to worship Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We come with hearts ready to listen and respond…
Act of Confession
Families can use the activity sheets below to find out together who Paul was and what was happening with the early Church. The activity sheet has colouring in, a quiz, a code to crack and a map to follow Paul on his journey.
Acts 13:1-12 – The Start of Paul’s Journey (NIVUK)
1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
6 They travelled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 ‘You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.’
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
Extra study resources for individuals or Small Groups can be found on our website by following this link: stjameswoodley.org/small-group-resources. This page will be updated every Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s worship.
Let’s pause and use this song as an opportunity to reflect and respond to God’s message to us this morning.
Our intercessions have been prepared by Margaret Mayer, and follow the P.R.A.Y. acronym by Pete Greig.
Please take as much time as you need to add your own thoughts and prayers.
As we pause and listen to God, it may help to use the photograph of Southlake to imagine that you are standing on the bank taking in the peacefulness and stillness of the scene before you. As you watch the sunlight settling on the water, you become aware that Jesus is standing beside you…
Rejoice – Psalm 92:1-2,4-5
“It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O MOST High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night. For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts.”
Father God, we thank you for your faithfulness to us in all times and places. We thank you that even in the darkest of times, You are the light brightly shining. We thank you for being Peace that goes far beyond our understanding and drives out the fears always lurking to overwhelm us. Most of all, we thank you Lord for your love for us, that same love that died upon a wooden cross to set us free. Amen!
Heavenly Father, in a world that is so unbalanced in so many ways – distribution of wealth, food, water, housing and so forth, the current pandemic seems to have accentuated especially the lack of food. We pray for all nations who are struggling to feed their peoples. We have seen pictures where neighbours and friends have fought to feed their own families and where orderly queues have waited to be fed, where jobs are no longer available and unemployment high.
We pray for the poor of our own nation, for those who need help from food banks and those who are maybe, still living on the streets. We pray for those whose jobs have gone overnight and those living in families in very difficult circumstances, also lifting to you our own prayers centred around imbalance…
Lord Jesus, we thank you for all those who serve us, for the staff in the NHS and all who care in the community and in care homes, for those who keep essential services running, our police, firefighters, army and the millions of folk who serve us in shops, empty our bins, bring our post, to name just a few. Please keep them safe.
In these days when we are unable to put a comforting arm around someone in distress, hold the hand of someone who is terminally ill or even hug the children and family that we love, please be our expression of love and comfort to all who are crying out for hope and peace. Please heal those who are sick in body, those who are lost in the darkness of depression, and those suffering from anxiety and all who need your help. Please be with them all.
Finally, we yield ourselves to you Lord Jesus, for the coming week. As the flower lays passively in my hand, and, with gentleness and strength, may we be your ambassadors in our neighbourhood and with family and friends. Amen.
“For I am the LORD your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:13.
Life is not easy at the moment, it may even feel like the middle of a storm. But we have a God who is with us, who fights for us, who defeated death and is alive forever! So let’s Raise A Hallelujah… louder and louder…
Thank you for joining us for worship this morning. Head on over to our virtual lounge on Slack to #chat or for #prayer with others!