This morning’s Communion service was led by our Minister, Rev. Hilary Howarth. The call to worship reminded us that we come to hear, to know and to worship. Our opening hymn was “Have you heard God’s voice?.”
Chloe Fountayne led our opening prayers then Hilary and Chloe presented hoodies to the young people who were moving up from Junior church. Alicia, Letitia and Eddie received black hoodies with their initials and a Bible verse printed on them.
Communion followed with the young people and Junior church helpers leading the way before leaving for their classes.
The next hymn, ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ was followed by a reading from Isaiah 40: 21 – 31 ‘Comfort for God’s people’ read to us by Steve Maslivec followed by Mark 1: 29 – 39 ‘Jesus heals many people’…… read by Jo Farris.
The hymn ‘Give me faith which can remove’ preceded the commissioning of pastoral friends. Hilary told us that someone once defined a friend as ‘God with skin on’.
After the pastoral friends had been commissioned, the congregation prayed for them and Hilary thanked them for their care and service.
The theme of the sermon was ‘raising each other up’. Hilary pointed out that if you looked at two cars, one a Lamborghini and the other a Fiesta, they would look very different on the outside, but both needed the same fuel to function. You wouldn’t be able to tell on the outside which had a full engine, and which was empty. Similarly, you can think someone is OK on the outside, but inside it’s a different story. They may be running on empty.
In our reading from Mark’s gospel, Jesus was invited for a meal at Peter’s house but on arrival he found Peter’s mother-in-law ill in bed. Jesus listened and responded even though he must have been weary and exhausted. After healing her Jesus rested but rose early to pray. Jesus recognised rest and prayer as our renewable energies to prevent us from running on empty.
In the passage from Isaiah, the Israelites, too, knew that they could cling on to God as an eagle clings to a rock and then faces the storm.
Following the sermon, a new hymn to the Triangle, ‘You Give Rest to the Weary’ was first sung by the choir and then everyone joined in.
Prayers of intercession followed and then the final hymn ‘Brother, Sister, Let Me Serve You’.
The blessing …….‘May you run and not go weary
May you rise up on the wings of eagles.
May you know without doubt
That the everlasting God goes with you!
Kindly written by Mrs. Pat Clark.