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: 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...
Service Date: 21 October, 2007

Many of us get taught pretty young not to bother people.
Maybe it’s a British thing. Our mother may have told us off for bothering her for sweets or ice-cream on a trip to the shops – because them as asks don’t get. We get taught to ask for things politely if we ask for them at all – Would you mind opening that window? And if the person by the train window ignores us, we’re likely not to ask again but just to smother in the heat. When someone gives us a present, we exclaim, You shouldn’t have bothered! When I visit people in hospital sometimes they say the same: You shouldn’t have bothered coming over here! – even though it’s my duty and my joy to see how they are. And sometimes when I only hear about a crisis after it’s over, and I ask why no one told me, the answer comes: Oh,...

Service Date: 14 October, 2007
Here’s a story of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. It’s told by one of Jesus’ friends and he’s not too good at maths, so he counts on his fingers.

There were one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten men on the road ahead of us as we got near the village. Ten of them, but thirteen of us. We were a bit worried in case they wanted to attack us, but there were more of us than them. And as we got nearer, we could see they weren’t in any shape to be a danger to us.

As they came up to us, we could hear one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten voices raised in warning. Unclean! unclean! they were shouting. Unclean! unclean! And it didn’t mean they’d not had a wash for a while –...

Service Date: 7 October, 2007
Sheila reads Luke 17:1-10. Sarah sighs loudly.

Sheila:What’s the matter, Sarah?

Sarah:It’s this job. It’s getting me down.

Sheila:What about it?

Sarah:Some weeks I can’t get anything right. I put the wrong date on the order of service. I don’t visit someone who’s really wanting to see me. Last month I even forgot my godson’s birthday! Sometimes I feel like a real failure.

Sheila:No wonder, if you don’t listen.

Sarah:Listen to what?

Sheila:To the reading I’ve just read! If someone in the church does something to hurt you, it says, you’ve got to tell them where they’ve gone wrong. And if they’re sorry, you’ve got to forgive them...

Service Date: 30 September, 2007
Rich man: [at lecturn] I still don’t see where I went wrong. All right, I was used to the best of everything, but I’d worked hard to get it. If you develop a taste for good wine, why drink plonk? If you can afford to have your clothes made for you, with a tasteful stripe of purple to show you’re close to royalty, what’s the point of off-the-peg? And it wasn’t as if I’d done anything to put what’s-his-name, Lazarus where he was. I don’t know what his hard-luck story was, but it was nothing to do with me. And he was nothing to do with me. Just turned up on my doorstep one day and set up camp there. It wasn’t too nice for my guests having to step over him to get in, I can tell you. But I left him there. I could have set the dogs on him, but that’s not the sort of...
Service Date: 23 September, 2007
A Zimbabwean refugee in Sheffield gave us a moving account of current difficulties in Zimbabwe. This was followed by a presentation on Christian Care in Zimbabwe, from material supplied by Commitment for Life, the part of Christian Aid supported by the United Reformed Church.

Othi is a farmer in Matabeleland, a dry area in south-west Zimbabwe. After being trained to use simple conservation-farming techniques by Christian Aid’s partner organisation Christian Care, she reaped a harvest nearly six times bigger than her previous year’s crop. Now she can send her children to school, and pass on 50kg of seed, as well as her secrets for success, to five more families.

The techniques involved in conservation...

Service Date: 9 September, 2007

Can you stop interrupting me? 

Philemon: Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, to Apphia our sister –

Apphia: That’s me!

Philemon: Of course it’s you! Paul knows we’re both church leaders, doesn’t he? Of course he’s going to write to both of us.

Apphia: Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt. It’s just so exciting, getting a letter from Paul addressed to me.

Philemon: Excuse me, it’s written to me first. I bet in years to come they’re going to call it ‘the letter to Philemon, not ‘the letter to Apphia’. Anyway, if you’ll allow me to continue?

Apphia: Please do

Philemon: ... to...

Service Date: 2 September, 2007

Down with the pews!

Since I’ve come here, people have told me some of their memories of the Sheffield Blitz. Those times must have been difficult and dark, but I’m very grateful to those bombers who dropped a load on St Andrew’s, because they disposed of our pews for us. Now, instead of having only one way to sit on a Sunday morning, we can use different seating arrangements for different reasons in church. Many of you will remember our Easter communion this year, when we sat in circles together around our Communion table. I hope that service helped you feel God’s hospitality. And one of the reasons I wanted to do it that way was that how we seat people says a lot about who we think is important.

When I’m at the Caledonian Society’s formal meals, someone has spent time and...

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