Our service today was led by our Circuit Superintendent, Rev Jennifer McKenzie. The theme of the service was the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
The service opened with words of welcome from Rev McKenzie. Our opening hymn was ‘Jesus calls us here’.
Prayers followed praising God for the gift of the world including all that is in it and the faith to enjoy and appreciate it. This was followed by the Lord’s Prayer.
A DVD of the parable of the Good Samaritan, which used puppet characters and animation, was shown, suitable for both children and adults. Putting the story in a modern context the DVD finished with a tale of children rescuing a cat. The Hymn ‘When I needed a Neighbour’ followed at which point the children left for their classes.
A Bible reading, from the New International Version, by Linda Thomson followed, Luke 10, v 25 – 37 which retold the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Rev McKenzie introduced the sermon by saying the essence of the parable was being a good neighbour. The story emphasises the significance of differences and the depth of feeling this may engender. The story is about breaking down these barriers by challenging stereotypes and peoples’ thinking. The story calls on everyone to exercise grace to heal the divisions in society. Rev McKenzie illustrated this by reference to the life of the nun Sister Ruth (who died recently) and her work in Pakistan which received respect from the Government and people of Pakistan. She was a Christian in a predominantly Muslim country. Rev McKenzie concluded by emphasising our calling should be to make the world a better place for everyone.
We then had the challenge of a new hymn, ‘We dream of a church that will live as a movement’, whose words reflected the essence of today’s service.
The Prayers of Intercession followed.
Our final hymn was ‘Brother, Sister let me serve you’ followed by the Benediction as we shared the Grace together.
Kindly written by Norman Lowe