Service sheet for Sunday 29th March

Please find below the service which has been prepared by Rev. Christine Coram for our use at home this week. Due to space considerations this service has been abbreviated, This still results in a meaningful and helpful reflective service. Those of you on our email list will receive the full service in due course.  Thank you to Christine and the circuit for there work in preparing this service.

Life to Dry Bones

Settling down to worship:
Breath slowly and try to clear your mind. picture a cross and offer yourself to God.Breath in his Holy Spirit
A Prayer
Holy and precious God, I come to you to worship and love you.
I place myself in your hand and offer you everything I am in the space and peace.
I worship you for your goodness and love….for Jesus and his death for me…..for the blessing of your Holy Spirit.Forgive me for my moments of weakness despite your strength, my loneliness despite your presence, my fear despite the hope I know in you.
Thank you that I have received your forgiveness.
I adore you as I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

StF 18
Be still and know that I am God [repeat]
I am the Lord who saves and heals [Repeat]
In you O Lord, I put my trust [repeat]

Praying for others
Pray for the people you normally see at Church on a Sunday – those you sit with or try to speak to each week. Picture them and lift them to God.Pray for your neighbours, picturing their houses and the people in them. Lift them to God.Pray for health workers and food retailers. Pray for charity workers as they try to find new ways to support those in need.Cast your mind around the world and pray as you feel God lead you.
Pray the Lord’s prayer.
Reading – Ezekiel 37.4-10 & 14
Then [the Lord] said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”’So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”’So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.”’

Sermon “ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live.”

Christine

I hope that no one is offended by this picture – but it says a lot to me about what it means to be alive – but not fully alive.And that is what Ezekiel experienced in the valley of dry bones.At first the bones were just a pile of sun-bleached remains – a sad and hopeless sight.When God first speaks to Ezekiel, he asks him if the bones can live again. Ezekiel’s seems to answer: ‘Don’t ask me!’ But actually, rather more respectfully he says ‘I don’t know the answer – but I believe that you do’ and maybe even ‘If you say it’s possible, I believe you.’And he discovers, as he obeys God’s instructions that the fleshless bones can be reformed into human bodies – but they are still dead.And then comes my favourite part of the story – God breaths life into the bodies – HIS life and they stand up, restored, rehabilitated, really alive.The words ‘breath’, ‘wind’ and ‘spirit’ are all one word in Hebrew. So, are the bodies filled with breath or God’s Spirit? Or both? To be fully alive we need both.At the moment, separated as we are from each other, we may feel as if we are a heap of dried bones – that the things that are life-giving to us have been taken away.

But maybe, the lives we’ve been living have been the dry bones, and this time of limited activity and aloneness are God’s opportunity to become more aware of his presence with us and to be filled again with his Spirit that truly gives us life.Jesus promised us life after death – but life now ‘IN ALL IT’s FULLNESS’.
We can be living and not alive to God – living and not alive to the power, love and glory in the world.American author and speaker, Joyce Meyer says:

‘It’s never too late for a new beginning in your life’

Maybe this crisis is an opportunity for a new beginning?
When did you last listen to bird song or watch the clouds drift across the sky? When did you last really listen to another person in a conversation on the phone or enjoy the sun through the window on your face? I thank God that this crisis has come at a time when the natural world is waking up from its winter ‘death’. There is new life all around us. The air smells different, the colours of the grass and earth are more intense, the dull earth is alive with shoots – and it doesn’t matter if they are weeds! What is God saying to you in the sights and sounds around you?

StF 441 As water to the thirsty, as beauty to the eyes.

Responding to God’s word
Take some time to appreciate something that you have recently taken for granted.
Slowly re-read God’s words – and know they are God’s promise to you…
I will put my Spirit in you
and you will live.
Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken,
and I have done it, declares the Lord.

StF 457 – Author of faith, eternal word,

A Celtic Blessing
God bless the earth that is beneath us,
The sky that is above us,
The life that lies before us
Your image deep within us. Amen

Geoffrey’s thoughts for today

The virus struck in China first,
Then swiftly spread to other lands,
Forcing each nation to set up
Unprecedented crisis plans —
Plans to contain and then delay,
Whilst experts worked worldwide to find
That new vaccine, that spells at last
Healing and hope for humankind!

Thanks to those experts, striving hard,
Thanks to health workers, sorely pressed,
Giving their all to help the sick,
Thanks for all acts of kindliness.
Many run errands, keep in touch
By text or skype or else by phone,
Saying to isolated friends:
‘We’re here for you — you’re not alone!

Now comes the ban: none shall attend
To see an infant blessed, baptized!
No marriage vows shall now take place,
Between the loving groom and bride!
Only a few can say goodbye
To those they love, who pass away,
Those absent boldly state: ‘We were
In spirit with you still that day!’

Some must close shops with staff laid off.
Some cannot travel — not allowed!
As the strict lockdown takes effect,
Each must care for the other now.
But hear a strident voice cry out:
‘Where is your God, who you say cares?
Why does he stand by idly now,
Heedless of all my desperate prayers?

God is not deaf to all your cries:
His love is shown, where people care,
Where people strive to heal and help –
That is his Spirit, working there!
Now as we face mortality,
Lift up your eyes to heaven above,
Knowing through all eternity
You’re held in our great Saviour’s love!

Geoffrey Scarlett 2020

Joining with others for Worship

If you would like see others worshipping and join with them in spirit some virtual and televised services are available the ones I am aware of are as follows:-

Wesley Chapel is livestreaming services and Prayers which can be found at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAUqhmhevz5sqhh72LIMxA?utm_source=Methodist+Church+House&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=11420941_Week+Ahead+Update

Also the Morning prayers from Wesley House in Cambridge are available on there facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/wesleycambridge/

It is possible to look at this even if you are not signed up as a member of Facebook.

Please note that since this was written it has been found that the programme described below is at 10.45 this week (29th March). On Sunday Mornings the BBC is showing an half hour programme ” Sunday Worship” at 11.15 on  BBC 1.   This includes Sermon, prayers, readings and Hymns,  Last week the Hymns were taken from previous episodes of “Songs of Praise” recorded in the same building.  Last weeks programme is available on the i player, but you need to sign up for this.

Flowers for the Community

Mothering Sunday Flowers 2020-1

If you would like some Daffodils for yourself or to give to others please look for the bucket which will be placed outside the church door sometime this morning(21stMarch). This is a gift for anyone not just for mothers. Our thanks to the people who have organised this.

 

Chance to Pray

Although our church is unable to be open for services for the foreseeable future, it will be open for private prayer on this Sunday (22nd March) from 10a.m. until 12 noon. We thank the people who have made this possible.

You may also be interested to know that Alison Judd the World President of Methodist and United Church Women (who is known to many of us) has put a very relevant and meaningful letter on their website to read it please follow the link below.

https://wfmucw.org/presidents-page

 

 

Church closed

In order to keep everyone safe we have made the decision  to suspend church activities at least until Easter (12th April).  We will NOT be holding a Sunday service until 19th April at the Earliest.  The situation will be reviewed nearer Easter and we may have to continue the closure for longer. It is intended to produce an order of service for each week which you can follow at home; this will be posted on the website when it is available. All Methodist churches are closed at this time.

This suspension also applies to many of the other activities that we hold in the church. Further information on individual groups will be posted here as it is received.  It is suggested that you contact the leaders of regular events before attending activities.

We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in the World at this difficult time.  We trust in God’s larger plans for his people and the world, even though we have our own fears and impatience, and know that the door to his relationship with us never closes.

Broader Horizons this Sunday

Jayne Ozanne will be sharing her faith journey and testimony at Broader Horizons this Sunday 15th March at 7pm.

The banner headline on her web page is’ Unashamedly Gay, Unashamedly Christian’. She is the author of Just Love and editor of the anthology Journeys in Truth and Grace.  Jayne is often quoted and interviewed for various media and was the speaker last Boxing Day on Radio 4’s Thought for The Day.

This event follows on from the Testimony themed “Jammy Church” which is taking place earlier on the same day. For details of this and the Methodist Churches year of testimony please see the post

15th March Testimony

We have been running Broader Horizons on the third Sunday of most months since April 2017. The focus of these evenings is to interview Christians ‘Parkinson style’ to hear of their faith and relationship with God, and how, in their professional roles, they have had cause to rely on God.

Experience Easter

As the Church is closed this event is now cancelled. We intend to hold it in 2021 instead.

ExperienceEaster2020

On Saturday 11th April  between 11 am. and 4 p.m. we will be holding a Community Funday based around the story of Easter . There will be,an opportunity to do various crafts, play. activities and refreshments. Explanations of the Easter story will be available to look at if you wish. The event will be free to enter and everyone is welcome,  we request that all children are accompanied.

15th March Testimony

The Theme for Jammy Church on Sunday 15th March is “Testimony” this ties in with the Methodist Churches year of Testimony more about this can be found at

https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/the-year-of-testimony/

This event takes place between 4 p.m. and 5.30/6p.m. on the above date.  More about Jammy Church can be found at

https://www.facebook.com/JammyChurch/

and also in previous posts on this site.

The pictures above where taken at various Jammy Churches in the past.

Into all the world

Hedge End Methodists Jammy June 2015 #5

Easter offering  envelopes are now available in the pews. This is a scheme run by Methodist Women in Britain to support the world Mission Fund. The World Mission Fund supports Gods Mission in 65 Partner Churches outside the U.K. through various means including scholarships and leadership training.

This years title  is ”Into all the world”, reflecting on a wider theme of Journeys, More details can be found on the MWIB website at

https://mwib.org.uk/index.php/2019/10/04/easter-offering-2020-into-all-the-world/

More about Methodist Women in Britain can be found at

http://mwib.org.uk/

If you would like to give money please use the envelopes provided and put them in the collection in the usual way. This needs to be done before the circuit dedication service. If you wish to gift aid all of the form on the back of the envelope also needs to be filled in.

The Circuit dedication service for this scheme  will take place on  at 4. p.m. on Sunday 17th  May  at St James Road, Methodist Church Shirley Southampton..

http://stjamesroad.co.uk/

 

Helping you to live in a fellowship of friendship.