Sunday 20th January 2019

January 20th, 2019

Today our leader was Rev, Chris Stebbing from St.Lukes Lodge Moor

Hallam Churches Together pulpit swap day

Readings :  Isaiah 62    John 2  The wedding at Cana

He started by telling us of a wedding he had been asked to conduct between a Jew (The bride) and a catholic.   At first he had wondered if he could do the wedding and then he thought Jesus was a guest at the wedding in Cana and it would have been a Jewish wedding and so the wedding went ahead with the bride’s father  a Rabbi – sharing the service with Rev. Stebbing,       at St.Lukes.

At Cana  Mary must have had some responsibility for the wine   we can assume that by this time Joseph had died and so there on her own with Jesus.  When she notices the wine is running short she asks her son for help   telling the servants to do as he asks   as a result the water in 6 huge jars is turned into wine.   We see from this that Jesus :  Has power over materialistic things  – He has compassion  – He responds to requests  (via prayer)  – He provides more than enough  –  He provides the best.                            His disciples believed in Him  –  do we ?

Sunday 13th January 2019

January 13th, 2019

Leaders : Fulwood Preaching Team

Psalm 46

2019 is here  what has it in store for us ?  There are optimists and pessimists.       In time of trouble who would you turn to ?  Everyone needs someone to turn to –  God is our shelter,     God is our friend always ready to help in times of trouble.     In Psalm 46   we read “God is our refuge and strength  an ever present help in trouble   The Lord Almighty is with us”

Bible study

January 9th, 2019

Led By Rev Suzanne Nockels

Readings;  Gen 1:1  Mtt 24:35  Rev 21:1  Is 65:17  Gen 28:10  John 1:51

Suzanne asked us to draw how we imagine Heaven.  This led to discussion what the bible tells us about heaven.

Why do we think of heaven above?  Is Heaven a parallel universe?

We considered Jacob’s dream of a stairway to heaven and from John how Jesus is our way to heaven, so coming closer to Jesus brings us closer to heaven.

Our role is to highlight the Kingdom of Heaven and how we can feel heaven through the joy of worship with others.

 

Afternoon Tea Service – Sunday 6th January 2019

January 7th, 2019

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Reading Philippians 2

We were posed with two questions – from a list of some recipients of New Year Honours, who did we feel were deserving and who else would we wish to see added to the list?  We then shared memories of awards we had received.

Jesus Christ served us and we honour Jesus for what he did. He became a servant and humbled himself even unto death. God exalted him to the highest plain.

Suzanne played out a sketch as a servant to the wise men – a bag person.

Why were the wise men following a star to find a new king/leader? They travelled miles to different lands and people, who no doubt thought the Wise men also looked different.

Would Herod have received an honour these days?

Finally a the end of our journey, what a surprise when we arrived at the stable, not a palace. The Wise men trusted the star and when they arrived they knelt before the baby Jesus and presented their gifts.

We all have gifts, what would we offer in our service to God?

 

 

Sunday worship Sunday 30 December

January 2nd, 2019

Led by Mr Darryl Lomas

Reading Luke 2:25-35

Darryl thanked Pastor Blane for the ideas in his service.

As background to his service Darryl related the fact that in the 1950s and 60s Japaneses department stores looked to America for ideas how to make money at Christmas but chose a shocking central theme of nailing not Jesus on the cross but Santa Claus.

In the reading, Joseph and Mary had travelled to Jerusalem to take Jesus to the Temple. An old man and stranger (Simeon) led by the Spirit to go to the temple that day, approached Mary and Joseph recognising the child Christ and asked to hold him.   Simeon speaks of promises and prophesies, an early introduction to the death and sorrow to come in the life of Christ especially on the cross. He reveals there would be opposition to Jesus who will go on to be the salvation of the world not just for Jews but Gentiles as well.
There is no way to know how long Simeon had been waiting at the Temple but he represents how we, too, should anticipate the arrival of the Messiah. He feels comfort in holding the child and accepts the time is now right for him to die.

In celebrating the birth of Jesus we can recognise he came to share his life with us and we should realise that waiting in hope will not disappoint.

The presents that Santa brings are but nothing compared to the gifts from God.

Church walk

December 29th, 2018

The weather was kind and we had a very pleasant stroll through Endcliffe Park to Forge Mill Dam cafe to enjoy refreshments and friendly discussion including about the institution of Communion and how it is taken by different denominations.

In our contemporary view of the Lord’s Supper, there is but one cup. However, historically, there were four, each with its own blessing and its own story to tell. They represent the four “I wills” that God declared in Exodus 6:6,7, and today they remind us of our journey as consecrated followers of Christ.

The Cup of Sanctification: “I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.”

The Cup of Judgment: “I will deliver you from their bondage.”

The Cup of Redemption: “I will . . . redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”

The Cup of Praise: “I will take you for My people, and I will be your God.”

All four of these cups are not only part of the story of Passover but also part of our story with Christ.

Jesus and His disciples had already partaken of the first two cups and enjoyed their Passover meal. However, it was the third cup, the Cup of Redemption, that Jesus took “after the supper” and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20, NIV).

But what about that fourth cup? Interestingly, it’s quite possible that Jesus did not drink from the fourth cup. Instead, after the third cup, He said, “ I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29, NIV).

That cup is His promise to us that He will return for us and that we will drink it together at the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Taken from the Bible Advocate online 29/12/2018.

 

Christmas Day Service – 10.15am

December 23rd, 2018

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Reading from Luke 2

It was good to be joined by a number of friends from Hillsborough Tabernacle Congregational Church.

Suzanne introduced the congregation to how we might say Merry Christmas in a number of languages from around the world.

At the Advent Service at the beginning of December  a ‘posada’,  a wandering crib, was circulated  amongst the congregation and for the month of December was passed between members and friends who added their thoughts to a notebook.  Suzanne shared some of these thoughts with us.

Suzanne then revealed the extent of the Roman Empire where the census was conducted. This was the first census so a new experience for the people.  Change was happening.

 

 

 

 

 

Carols by candlelight 23rd December 2018

December 23rd, 2018

Carols by candlelight today at 2.45p.m.

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Readings:  Luke 2: 1-7    Luke 2: 8-20      John 18: 33-37

Suzanne reflected on the time someone put a ‘Darth Vader’ toy amongst the churches nativity scene.  ‘A stray in a manger’ but with a lot of imagination wouldn’t Jesus have welcomed such a stranger and isnt that the whole spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Dinner at Pilate’s house?

Have you ever wondered how and where famous people celebrated Christmas dinner and with whom? Did their identity change from that seen in public? Does our identity change during Christmas dinner with the family?

In the reading Jesus says ‘belonging to the truth’, how does that work?  Truth is subjective, relative to our own truth, fundamentally truth is knowable and can be owned.

However Jesus says he is not of this world. Is Jesus messing with us, truth is not something we possess, we belong to truth where truth is a person  ‘ the way, the truth and the life’.  We belong to Jesus in a different way to belonging a gym etc.

Christmas shows our limitations of belonging whereas Jesus never lets us down.

 

Sunday worship – 16th December 2018

December 17th, 2018

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Readings:  Matthew 1:18-25     Luke 1:26-38

Suzanne displayed an image of ‘The Annunciation’ by American artist, Henry Ossawa Turner (1898).

We reflected on the young girl sat on a bed with hands clasped in a dim room, gazing at a bright light at the foot of the bed.  This was his representation of Angel Gabriel visiting Mary.  Mary an ordinary person finding a connection with God.

Suzanne asked if we live our lives by a given script, was it meant to be or like in panto do we go off script? What was the script for Mary? Protect her reputation, get married and have children. Whilst Joseph as a good Jewish man would do their bit for the community, find a girl with a good reputation, get married and have children.  Neith Mary nor Joseph stuck to the script!

The narrative around Mary and Joseph contains a hint of danger and threats, if not to Mary and Joseph, to their families. In this  case God intervenes.

Mary does not accept disgrace because she listens to God which we can do with practice without conforming to cultural expectations.

 

 

 

Church Anniversary Sunday 9th December

December 13th, 2018

Led by Rev Bill Bentham and Mrs Betty Bentham

Reading: Luke 15:  11-32

Bill asked why the parable of the Prodigal Son for a church anniversary?

Advent is a time to look forward and consider the journey that the church has undertaken. What has happened in the last 12 months, has the church remained the same, moved backwards or continued to move forward? Everyone connected to the church will have their own opinion.

We tend to all have a personal ‘jobs to do list’ and we cannot afford to just stand back and ignore those jobs. Anniversary is not just about the church but about those connected to church, the Congregational Federation and the NE Area.  Churches are closing but we have seen the new church developing in Pickering.

Churches are not just about the members, at Scunthorpe CC half the Samaritan Purse boxes are filled by people outside the church, at Tapton our Advent Wall boxes are being filled by all the organisations using the church. Not a dividing wall but a uniting wall.

There is a dilemma about worship. Why will people volunteer and do favours for the church but not attend worship?

We might consider ourselves a small congregation but Paul on his journeys made a massive difference, seeking out Christian communities and engaging with them.  St Augustine was cent by Pope Gregory to evangelise in Britain but was met by Celtic Priests already here and he went to Canterbury where the church already existed.

Back to the Prodigal Son – this was Jesus telling us we have freedom to make decisions and live by them. We look at happy days and see joy but Jesus reveals the joy is false and will collapse. To the Jews the story of the wayward son is heightened by him working with the pigs!  To the Jew leaving God is deemed to lead to everlasting purgatory, but the love of God wants us to return.

Perhaps the title of the Prodigal Son should be changed to God the Father of the Prodigal Son.

There will always be sympathy for the eldest son who remains faithful to his father but the parable reflects on the returning son and the celebration that will result when anyone returns to God at any time providing it is genuine.