June 20, 2021

Calming the storm

Susan Haynes | Mark 4:35-41 

[Jesus] got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?' They were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'

It's one thing to read or hear about a storm, and quite another to feel the force of the wind and waves and fear for our own safety. The disciples knew about and believed in God's power over creation, but to see it demonstrated through Jesus in their small boat astonished them. It is hard to trust Goad when the storms come in our lives, says Susan, but it's then that we most need to believe Jesus' promise to be with us. 

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. It is introduced by Peter Frere with a reading by Dilys Garrod and prayers from Bobbie Frere. The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

June 13, 2021

Parables of the kingdom

Bobbie Frere | Mark 4:26-34 

[Jesus] also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces corn - first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. As soon as the corn is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.'

If the seed is the gospel, what is our part in making it grow? We are more than passengers, says Bobbie, but co-workers with God in planting the seeds and then nurturing them towards the eventual harvest. The service is introduced by Martin Garrod and also includes a reading from Matt Fox.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

June 6, 2021

Happy families?

Chris Turner | Mark 3:31-35 

Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting round him, and they told him, 'Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.'

'Who are my mother and my brothers?' he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle round him and said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.'

At first sight, says Chris, Jesus' treatment of his physical family seems rather harsh. We know that family life brings about tension and conflicting priorities, so how did Jesus handle this? Chris has a message of hope for everyone who feels misunderstood by their own family.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. The full video version of the service, including music and the celebration of Holy Communion, can be viewed on YouTube.

May 30, 2021

Climate Sunday 2021

Bobbie Frere | Colossians 1:15-20 

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Jesus is the firstborn over all creation, and also head of the church. Yet so often we treat our physical and spiritual lives as if they were unrelated. In this special Climate Sunday service Bobbie and other participants remind us that making right choices in the way we treat the natural world are acts of worship to God. The service is introduced by Peter Frere and also includes a reading from Phil Banting.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. The full video version of the service, including music and further links, can be viewed on YouTube.

There are more downloadable resources for this service, mentioned by Peter near the end, available on our website.

Allan Bartlam | Acts 2:1-17 

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

The coming of the Holy Spirit was marked by wind and fire, so where does water fit in? Allan reminds us that we need not just the initial filling of the Holy Spirit, but also a daily re-filling so that we can overflow to others. The service is introduced by Cathie Bartlam with a reading from Cheryl Homer and prayers from Dave Lucking. The audio quality isn't as good as we would wish, but coronavirus restrictions require us to keep the windows open which leads to some traffic noise.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

John Lanchbury | John 17:6-19 (Common English Bible) 

[Jesus said,] “I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from this world... I’m praying for them. I’m not praying for the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours. Everything that is mine is yours and everything that is yours is mine; I have been glorified in them. I’m no longer in the world, but they are in the world, even as I’m coming to you. Holy Father, watch over them in your name, the name you gave me, that they will be one just as we are one.”

How amazing it is that we get to hear what was on Jesus' heart the night before he died. He prays not just for the small group of disciples who were with him, but for all who would become his followers throughout the ages. John describes some of the challenges but also the privileges and promises that we enjoy today.

The service is introduced by Martin Garrod and also includes a reading from James Howley and prayers from Becky Parnell.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

May 9, 2021

Jesus’ compassion

Graham Romp | Matthew 9:35-38 

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

This is one of many places in the Gospels that refer to Jesus' compassion, and as Graham explains, there are so many occasions where this turns into practical action. How can we do the same? The service is introduced by Susan Haynes (in her garden, with bonus birdsong) and also includes a reading from Alan Haynes and prayers from Anna Gaved.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. The full video version of the service, including music and prayers, can be viewed on YouTube.

May 2, 2021

Jesus’ prayer life

All-In Service Team | Mark 1:29-39 

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’

Making time to be alone with his Father is just one part of a cycle of prayer that enabled Jesus to fulfil his calling. In this extract from our All-In Service Janet Chalmers, Rachel Fasham, Susan Haynes and Dan Parnell explain how we can emulate Jesus' prayer life even allowing for our different personalities and lifestyles. The service also includes a reading from Ann Fasham.

The full video version of this service, including music and much more, can be viewed on YouTube. All the links to the various follow-up activities are on our website.

April 25, 2021

Jesus’ serenity and joy

Peter Frere | Hebrews 12:1-3 

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Peter continues our series on the character of Christ by looking at the attitude that kept Jesus going throughout his ministry, even to death. This extract from our Sunday service is introduced by Bobbie Frere with a reading from Michael Dewsbury.

The full video version of the service, including music and news of the appointment of our new vicar, can be viewed on YouTube.

April 18, 2021

Jesus’ humility

Dan Parnell | Philippians 2:5-11 

Christ Jesus... made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross.

How do you settle a dispute? Paul wrote this letter to instruct quarrelling Christians to follow Jesus' example of servanthood and suffering. In his talk Dan challenges us to think how we can take the same steps. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service, introduced by John Lanchbury with a reading from Maggie Bywater and prayers from Elsie Lanchbury. The audio quality isn't as good as we would wish, but coronavirus restrictions require us to keep the windows open which leads to some traffic noise.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

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