Worship led by Mrs Olwen Baker: Come to worship God and feel the presence of God was the Call to Worship.
It was followed by the singing of ‘Give me joy in my heart’ In the prayers we were asked to praise, thank and honour God, to bless, salute and acknowledge.God and to ask for forgiveness for the things we have neglected and failed to do for others. Thanks, were offered for the beautiful world. Addressing the young people, the question was asked, are you good at arithmetic? If there are 100 hundred sheep in a field and one escapes through a hole in the fence how many sheep will be left in the field? None being the correct answer as they will all follow. A session of ‘Simon Says’ followed and it showed that we are often unable to follow instructions as many put thumbs up without the Simon says preface. The singing of ‘Come on and celebrate was accompanied by the praise band and was followed by the offertory. The reading from Ezekiel 34: 11-16 and 20-24 was read by Brian Smith and Ephesians 1: 15-23 read by Annie Aspinall. Singing of ‘The Lords my Shepherd’, Townsend version followed. The reading of Matthew 25: 31-46; ‘The final judgement’ was said to be the last lesson the lectionary programme on Matthews gospel. The shepherd separating the sheep from the goats and Jesus commenting that what you did for anyone you did for me. When you failed to help anyone of my people you did it to me. Those that did will have eternal life. Introducing the sermon Olwen told us that when young she pictured God in a big throne, Jesus in a smaller throne and the holy spirit as a cotton wool type cloud. The theme was a template for life, being sheep rather than goats, recognising lambs are soft and attractive but older goats often look good! Whilst in a café it was noted that chairs and tables were cleaned with disinfectant after use and we are very careful about who and what we touch and who we talk to. Jesus talked to Pharisees and touched lepers. The woman went to the well when nobody was about as she was an outcast having had five husbands – Jesus talked to her. He put children on his knee, something that shocked the disciples. How do we measure up to this template? All the tasks are easy to do and Jesus said whatever you do you do it for me. When there are homeless people sleeping on the streets do we cross over the road. How do we respond to those who are relative prisoners in their homes due to infirmity or dementia There are some good things such as celebrities appearing in TV programmes and giving prize money to charities. Coming back to the theme which do you want to be a sheep or a goat? The goat has not realised Jesus is the answer to life. Good works help but do not get you into the kingdom – subject for another sermon! However, not a good idea to be a goat. Prayers or intercession were led by Denis Kirkham and the final hymn. ‘Will you come and follow me’ followed by the blessing concluded the service. Kindly written by Dennis Hobson