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  • Writer's pictureRev Claire

Sunday 7th March 2021 - Where do we grow from here?


Welcome to worship this morning. Today we are privileged to have our Regional Minister, Phil Barnard, who will be looking at 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 and helping us to look ahead at where God is taking us as a church post Covid. We meet on zoom for coffee and cake after the service at 12.15pm. Phil will be joining us, so jump on to say hello. The link is here


Bible study continues this week, exploring God's heart for mental health. Monday at 8pm and Wednesday at 10.30am. You can join using the link above.


As the roadmap out of lockdown begins this week with all children and young people going back to school pray for families with children who will be feeling all sorts of different things - joy, anticipation, relief, anxiety, fear. As the roadmap unfolds we will all react in different ways. Click here for Claire's blog which she shared at the prayer meeting last week that reflects and speaks into some of this.


Call to Worship


As we join with each other for worship, scattered but together as one body of Christ, let us sing an anthem to God. Because it is a beautiful thing to praise Him and give Him thanks. As we awake and start each day, let us announce His love to ourselves and sing of His faithfulness through the night.


Remember the happy day that our eyes were opened to His grace and shout for joy; declaring 'How great thou art!'


When wicked people pop up like weeds our God will cut them down. They will be scattered to the winds. But in Him we are more than conquerors and have been made as strong as a charging bull.


Let our ears be filled with the sounds of His promises: Promise like;

'The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”


(Based on Psalm 92)



Songs for Worship


A playlist of songs is below - you might want to save the last two for before and after the sermon



What next?


As we look ahead to whatever the future looks like, it can make us feel a little bit on edge. As many of us know and have experienced, our mental health often struggles during times of change and uncertainty. It may be that you are anxious or worried right now. Here are some tips from Newsround on how to manage those feelings as you look ahead.



Our verse of the year (Psalm 91:2) reminds us of how God is our refuge - our safe place. As we step into the future, it's good to remind ourselves of that. If you have any worries, lay them all before God now. You might want to write him a letter or draw him a picture explaining how you are feeling. God will answer your prayers and will take care of you.


How can you help other people who are worried about the future? You might want to make them something or write down Bible verse or quote or draw an encouraging picture that they could hold onto as we face the next steps in life together. Bless them with your words and your pictures.


Prayers


As we enter the next week our Lent passage allows us to look at God as our comforter. Psalm 55:17 says, 'Evening, morning and noon; I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.'

Scripture is filled with reminders that God comforts those who mourn and are in distress. The following prayer reminds us that, as well as comforting us, God can use our grief and pain to help others. As we listen to the word and prayer let's open our hearts to Him who brings us peace and, as we head towards an end to lockdown and the future post Covid, may we be built up to be the 'light on a hill' that God has called us to be. May we be built up to be show our community and our nation the light, peace, comfort, hope and salvation that is our God. After the prayer there is another song for us to sing, as a further prayer.






Word


Below is the word from Phil Barnard. You may want to read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 here first.


Although the sermon this week has already been recorded, we pray Lord that you will bless the word from your servant, Phil. Open our ears and hearts and may we be empowered to do your will in this time. We pray, too, that you will bless Phil in the work that you have called him to. May his obedience bring blessing to him and his family and those who hear your word through him. Amen.





Blessing


To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. To the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Jude 24-25

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