Sunday Worship 10 May

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Worship for Sunday 10th May, prepared by local preacher, Richard Cawthorn (Excerpts — full service can be found here
https://bishopstreetmethodistchurchsundaystuff.wordpress.com/

Our opening hymn: 'Be still for the presence of the Lord is here'
Sing along or follow words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZugvUQ4m90U
Listen to the tune and follow in STF 20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAtCYjaxSFI

Prayer of Adoration:

Almighty God,
You are present among us, part of your beautiful creation.
We celebrate the radiating light of your glory shining upon us.
We are reminded of your eternal existence
by the sun, moon and stars
that act as constant reminders
that their physical form remains even when we are not conscious of them.

Almighty God,
Your word is trustworthy and true,
recording your engagement with your children;
the gracious provision supplied by your kindness and mercy.
Your goodness blesses us with all we need;
Comforting us in times of distress,
Filling our hearts with courage and hope.

Almighty God,
You do not abandon us in times of trouble.
It is in your nature to send prophets and teachers,
Even to come among us, sharing our human life,
Experiencing our pain and suffering;
And sending your Holy Spirit to give us power and strength
to meet the demands placed upon us.

Almighty God,
Heavenly Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You alone are holy,
You alone have the authority and power to transform our lives,
And your love for us endures for ever.
For all these wonders of your compassion and grace
We praise and worship you:
Our Lord and Saviour.
Amen.

Gospel reading John 14:1-14
This is part of a long farewell that Jesus gave over the last supper
spoken after he had washed the feet of the disciples with his own hands.
These words have power and relevance for us today.
They tell of Jesus' care for his disciples.
Listen now to the Word of God.

Bible reading (Have someone read John 14:1-14 aloud) Video on Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SF7KjumpR0


See image of Stained Glass Window https://bishopstreetmethodistchurchsundaystuff.wordpress.com

REFLECT /ACTIVITY:
Look at the stained glass image: the picture shows John Bunyan sat at a desk in his jail cell, sat by a window.
Consider what you would write about sat at a table by your window with pen and paper,
and write something.

Alternatively draw a picture of what you can see from your window, your garden, flowers, birds, rainbow ....

Or use your imagination to draw what you would like to see approaching your house, the front door, in the street, in your garden.

Think what you might write on a postcard to someone who was shut in a room on their own to tell them that they are not forgotten.

Alternative draw something that brings comfort to you that you would find helpful if someone sent that picture to you.

Write or draw something to share with a member of your family and let them know that you love them, to thank them for how they care for you; share it using the media you have access to — email, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Zoom, Skype.

Our circumstances are considerably different. Isolation can cause a great sense of loneliness, concern and mental health problems. I recall Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury captive in the Lebanon in the 1990's, locked in a cell,
who received a postcard "out of the blue." The picture on the front was a stained-glass window in which the English preacher John Bunyan sat in jail at a desk.

Terry Waite recalled his thoughts in an interview: "I looked at that card and I thought--
'My word, Bunyan! You're a lucky fellow. You've got a window out of which you can look,
see the sky, and here am I in a dark room. You've got a pen and ink, you can write.
But here I am, I've got nothing, and you've got your own clothes and a table and a chair.'
And I turned the card over and there was a message from someone whom I didn't know
simply saying, 'We remember, we shall not forget.' "

May the God of all the Earth,
be present with us now,
in each of our homes,
as we connect together.
Building us into a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood,
offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to our heavenly Father
through Jesus Christ, our risen redeemer and healer. Amen.

Read or sing STF 303 'I know that my redeemer lives'
or watch and listen to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkLuZxqPPzE

Prayers of intercession:

Lord God who protects the weak and weary,
who gives us strength to rise up and soar like eagles,
draw close to us now in each of our homes
as we faithfully seek signs of encouragement and hope.
into your open, resurrected, yet scarred hands.
Heavenly Father,
unite your church into one union
through the presence of your Holy Spirit in our hearts.
Enlighten and illuminate the lives of our ministers,
Empower our local preachers and worship leaders,
And light a beacon before the leaders of our circuit and churches
That they may be inspired to find new ways to guide us into fulfilling our calling:
As we worship,
Learn and care,
Serve one another,
And share the good news.

Gracious Lord,
Give wisdom to our politicians and business executives,
Knowledge and understanding to managers
That resources may be distributed and shared where they are needed.
May these leaders of our companies and nations
Ensure that there is no greed or selfishness
in seeking to retain protective equipment for their key workers,
in denying treatment for the vulnerable around the world,
and actively promote the common good
that justice and peace may prevail for all humankind.

Almighty God,
give strength to the weak
encouragement to the fearful
peace to the anxious
healing to the sick and suffering
through your church
distant but still present
virtual but still connected
apart but still helping.

Loving God,
as we seek your presence in silence
looking to you for comfort, strength, protection and reassurance
breathing with gratitude
holding on to hope
trusting with faith
knowing that you are still God in the midst of the turmoil
and that your love reaches to the ends of the earth.
Be present with us now.

(Silence)

Hear the cry of our hearts, Lord,
silent and aloud,
for bereaved neighbours, near and far.
Comfort those pained by being absent,

Renew us with resurrection hope
that while weeping lingers in this night,
joy will come with the morning.

Amen

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