Worship

In this section, we keep archives of many of our services. As you browse here, we hope you'll get a flavour of our worship, including the themes we look at, our hymns and our sermons.

Service Date: 13 January, 2008
Isaiah 42:1-9 (read by James)


James: Did you get that last bit all right, Sarah? I was trying to read it all out clearly to you from my notes of what he said, so you could make another copy, but I have to admit I’m not always sure what our master Isaiah is getting at. And we’re his disciples! I don’t know what people will make of it in thousands of years’ time.
Sarah: Do you think in thousands of years’ time people will still be interested? Surely the Messiah will have come by then, and our master’s puzzling teachings will be way out of date.


James:Well, we can’t start worrying about what they’ll think of it then. I’m just concerned about what to make of it now. I mean to start with, who is...
Service Date: 6 January, 2008
It's not over yet!
The tree’s down, the presents are unwrapped and put away – Christmas is over. Or is it? Imagine how the wise men might feel on their arrival in Bethlehem. They’ve been travelling for months, with nothing but a star and their belief in God to guide them. They’ve gone far away from the countries they know, from the customs and language and food of home, from the places where people know and respect them. They’ve set off a royal time-bomb in Herod’s palace, where a paranoid monarch is preparing to get rid of anyone who might want to tip him off his throne. And now they’ve finally got to Bethlehem.


And what do they find? No new-born baby in a manger;...
Service Date: 25 December, 2007
God's present for us
Has anyone got a present they’d like to show us?
We’ve spent all Advent focussing on this tree: putting it up, taking it down to go into the church, putting it back up here again, decorating it, putting our young people’s skills and enthusiasm into making it bright with suns, moons and stars, leaves, flowers and fruit. We can be proud of what we have made of our tree. But now it’s time to go into reverse. Now it is time to look on our tree again and see what present God has given us.


We have been walking through Advent with the prophet Isaiah of Jerusalem, who has been telling us about God’s promises to come. But what does Isaiah tell us this morning? He speaks of promises fulfilled. The people who walked in darkness have...
Service Date: 23 December, 2007
Fruitful living
Isaiah the prophet was trying to encourage King Ahaz, the king of Israel in his day, to trust in God, to look to God to do something to help the people. But Ahaz wouldn’t ask. So Isaiah said, Right – God’s going to give you an answer anyway. God is giving God’s people a sign of hope. A young woman’s going to have a baby, and when he’s grown up things will be so good that he won’t need to do any work in the fields – he’ll drink milk from the cow made into curd cheese, and honey that bees have worked to produce. But that’s a long way off, said Isaiah, and things will go very wrong for you first. And sure enough, because the king wouldn’t trust God, but thought he could work out what to do on his...
Service Date: 16 December, 2007
Wait for it!
I find it’s getting harder and harder waiting for Christmas, since everyone else except us seems to have been celebrating it since the beginning of November. Christmas decorations in the shops, Christmas presents advertised on TV – and what are we doing in St Andrew’s? Even in our advertised carol service, we’re sticking to Advent, the time before the coming of Christ, rather than singing the old favourite Christmas carols, as some of us did yesterday morning outside Somerfield in Broomhill.


So why am I being such a Scrooge, not letting us get into the Christmassy mood and join the party? Well, in our first reading this morning Isaiah gives God’s promise that the wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom, there...
Service Date: 9 December, 2007
Shoots of hope
Last week we were thinking about light – sun and moon and stars, and the invisible light of understanding that God can give us. And this week we’re needing light again, but this time for a more down-to-earth reason; because we’re thinking about green and growing things. We’ll start off with a quick biology quiz. What do green and growing things need in order to stay green and growing? Water and food and light and heat. Just now, our gardens and our lawns aren’t growing very fast, and that’s partly because we don’t see the sun’s light for very long each day. But we’re moving towards the shortest day of the year – which day is that? – and after that, we can hope that we’re on the way to more sunshine and eventually to spring.


Some of us will have...
Service Date: 2 December, 2007

Healthcare Sunday

Service Date: 11 November, 2007
We come now to our act of remembrance; its order is in your service sheets and it will proceed without announcement. Three points before we begin: The names of those inscribed on our War Memorial will be read in the form that was known to their families and friends. The two minutes silence is observed in thanksgiving for and remembrance of both them and all the others who have lost their lives in later conflicts. And we will end this act of remembrance by singing both verses of the National Anthem, which you will find on your orders of service as a prayer, on this our national day of remembrance.

 

We commemorate today… Andrew Briggs; John Brunton; James Cumming; Bernard Duke; Charlie Goodsir; Roy Harrow; Charles Henderson; Frank Mastin; Bruce Mathews; Farquahar...
Service Date: 4 November, 2007
I don’t know if any of you were trick-or-treated at Hallowe’en – or even if you went trick-or-treating. I only got one party of little girls, who seemed a bit disappointed to get an apple each instead of a handful of sweets. Traditionally churches have been less interested in Hallowe’en, the eve of All Hallows, than All Hallows or All Saints itself – 1st November, the day celebrating all the saints in heavenly glory. But we Nonconformists have been a bit sniffy about saints, which seem like a very Catholic idea. To avoid the danger of praying to them, we’ve tended to ignore them altogether – except, of course, for St Andrew, who’ll get his moment of glory later this month.

 

But would poor old Zaccheus we’ve just heard about fit into All Saints anyway? You’d think he’s...
Service Date: 28 October, 2007
That story Sheila has just read to us abouth the tax collector and the Pharisee will be very familiar to some of us here this morning – one of the stories Jesus tells which we’ve heard and heard preached on for years and years and years. For others here today, it may be the first time you’ve ever heard the story. And I guess whatever part of the Bible we’d just heard, some people would know it and it would be new to others.

 

I remember when I first became a Christian, back when I was 17 or so, it felt really daunting trying to get into the Bible. There was so much of it, and just reading it from beginning to end didn’t help, because sometimes bits seemed to repeat, and sometimes it changed from one sort of writing to another without warning. I looked up to people who’d been...

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