Sunday 30th August

Welcome & Notices

1. Digital Lounge this afternoon at 2pm. Click here to join!
2. Laurence is on holiday from 3rd-12th Sept.
    Please contact the office or churchwardens if needed.
3. We're currently exploring live-streaming our services.
    Updates to follow!

Introduction to Worship

I will exalt you, my God and King.
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you.
And extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.
His greatness no-one can fathom.
- Psalm 145: 1-3

Song of Worship

How great is our God…. creation declares His majesty, His splendour, His power. And yet, for us, He sent His only son to die, to take away our sins. Let’s proclaim … How great thou art, my God how great thou art.

Memory Verse

Children and family activities

Have you enjoyed finding out about our Bible Superheroes? I wonder what the most surprising thing you’ve found out about our Bible Superheroes. Who has been your favourite? Today is our last superhero, she was very courageous, her name was Esther. Did you know that God isn’t mentioned in the book of Esther, not even once. Truth or lie?

Activities based on our readings for today.

Bible Readings

Exodus 3:1-15 – The Burning Bush

1 One day Moses was taking care of Jethro’s flock. (Jethro was the priest of Midian and also Moses’ father-in-law.) When Moses led the flock to the west side of the desert, he came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire coming out of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up. 3 So he said, “I will go closer to this strange thing. How can a bush continue burning without burning up?”

4 When the Lord saw Moses was coming to look at the bush, God called to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5 Then God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The Lord said, “I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries when the Egyptian slave masters hurt them. I am concerned about their pain, 8 and I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them out of that land and lead them to a good land with lots of room—a fertile land. It is the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 9 I have heard the cries of the people of Israel, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have made life hard for them. 10 So now I am sending you to the king of Egypt. Go! Bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt!”

11 But Moses said to God, “I am not a great man! How can I go to the king and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God said, “I will be with you. This will be the proof that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship me on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “When I go to the Israelites, I will say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you.’ What if the people say, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”

14 Then God said to Moses, “I am who I am. When you go to the people of Israel, tell them, ‘I am sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “This is what you should tell the people: ‘The Lord is the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He sent me to you.’ This will always be my name, by which people from now on will know me.

Matthew 16:21-28 – Jesus Says that He Must Die

21 From that time on Jesus began telling his followers that he must go to Jerusalem, where the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law would make him suffer many things. He told them he must be killed and then be raised from the dead on the third day.

22 Peter took Jesus aside and told him not to talk like that. He said, “God save you from those things, Lord! Those things will never happen to you!”

23 Then Jesus said to Peter, “Go away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about the things people think are important.”

24 Then Jesus said to his followers, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 25 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life, and those who give up their lives for me will have true life. 26 It is worthless to have the whole world if they lose their souls. They could never pay enough to buy back their souls. 27 The Son of Man will come again with his Father’s glory and with his angels. At that time, he will reward them for what they have done. 28 I tell you the truth, some people standing here will see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom before they die.”

For those who like taking notes during the sermon



We are in the presence of a holy God;
In the presence of a saviour who died for us and rose again;
In the presence of the Son of Man,
who will come in his Father’s glory with his angels.
We are humbled in his presence, aware of our shortcomings, knowing:
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and
purify us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1: 8-9

God of mercy, we acknowledge that we are all sinners.
We turn from the wrong that we have thought and said and done
and are mindful of all that we have failed to do.
For the sake of Jesus who died for us forgive us all that is past
and help us to live each day in the light of Christ our Lord. 

Song of Worship

All of me
I give my life to You, receive this offering
It’s all I have but You deserve my everything


Prepared by Pete Clarke

When, as now, we come together for worship and prayer, we often use the term “intercessions” – which basically means to “pray for others”. When writing to Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote:

Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them.

When writing to the Philippians he also said:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

As we pray now let’s pray with confidence and courage for the needs of others and our wider world. At the end of each section, following the words “Lord in your mercy” please respond “Hear our prayers”.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayers.

* * *

Father we want to thank you for those close to us, our families and close friends. Thank you for those who we hold dear and for all those for whom we have particular care and concern. As you reflect upon your loved ones, use his time to both thank God for them and to pray for them in their various physical, material and spiritual needs.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayers.

* * *

Let’s thank God together for this church of St James. Thank you, Father, for past 50 years of the life and development of St James, for all those who have faithfully served here and for the activities and ministries that make up our shared life today.

In these difficult and unusual times, we pray for Laurence and the PCC as they seek to lead us and especially as they seek vision for the future.

Pray now for our church as we feel our way in re-opening the building, and how we continue to encourage those unable to return at the moment.

Pray for Linda and our children and families as they tackle the challenges of change, especially about returning to schooling.

Pray too for our community here in Woodley, for the witness of all the churches. Give thanks to God for the good things that have come out of the past few months in terms of the support and help that people have given one another.

Lord we pray that the light and love of Jesus might be made known, recognised and embraced throughout the Woodley community.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayers.

* * *

Let’s pray now for our nation. Father we have much to be thankful for as a nation and we recognise that you have richly blessed us in so many ways. However, Lord, we find it painful to see the ways that our country has turned its back on you and has chosen to pursue policies that do not honour you. Please forgive us.

Please take time now to pray for Elizabeth, our queen, and our political leaders as they seek to steer the country through the present crisis and into a very uncertain future.

Pray too for our arch-bishops and church leaders, that they might have both wisdom and courage to lead and speak in a bold and godly way into the nation’s life.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayers.

* * *

Our media makes us constantly aware of the challenges faced by the nations of the world. Father, we look on with a sense of despair at the rich and powerful countries of the world as their leaders flounder under clouds of suspicion, dishonesty and lack of integrity, pursuing selfish polices that so often fail to consider the disadvantaged in within their own boundaries as well as neighbouring states, struggling with poverty, disease and unrest. Father we ask for your forgiveness, especially where our own country falls short.

Pray now for one situation around the world where God’s help is needed and the love of Jesus is sadly lacking.

We remember too our responsibilities in caring for creation. Father we are thankful for those areas where good progress has been made in caring for the environment yet we know that there is so much more that needs to be done. As we become increasingly aware of the outcomes of gradual climate change, pray that the international community would work with greater effort and determination toward finding the political will to bring about the policy changes needed to limit long term damage to our environment.

Merciful Father – accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Song of Worship

The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam 3:22-23

Final Blessing

We are called and loved by God the Father 
and kept safe by Jesus Christ. 
May mercy, peace and love be ours in abundance 
from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thank you for joining us for worship this morning! Please join us for a time of fellowship this afternoon at 2pm in our new Digital Lounge on High Fidelity. You don’t need to download or install anything – just click here to join in: