Category: News

Sunday Worship 14th February 2021

http://www.northstaffordshiremethodists.org.uk/video/

If you have not got internet access and would like a DVD of the service posted out to you then please contact Michelle in the Circuit Office.
Tel 01782 612648 Or leave a message on the answer phone.

Jesus is transfigured



Welcome, Call to Worship & Prayer – Rev’d John Taylor
Hello everyone and welcome to our recorded act of worship
for today the 14th February.

Call to worship
Our call to worship is taken from a song by Alexander Gondo
“Come all you people.
Come and praise your Maker.
Come now and worship the Lord”

Prayer     Let us pray:
O Lord, our God, you alone are worthy of all our worship and
praise. You are the God who never fails to keep his promises.
We thank you that in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we
see your love, justice, mercy, provision and victory.
You are the God who lifts up those who are weighed down.
You are the God who provides for your children.
Our desire is to praise you as long as we live.
Accept our praises as we gather together today.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Holy Lord, everything we need is found in you.
For those of us who come feeling broken, bring restoration.
For those of us who come feeling weak, bring strength.
For those who come weeping, bring joy.
For those of us who come with doubts, bring faith.
For those who come feeling shame, bring freedom.

For those of us who come feeling burdened, bring rest.
For those of us who come feeling anxious, bring peace.
For those who come feeling guilty, bring forgiveness. Amen

We sing the hymn ”Jesus on the mountain peak”
1. Jesus, on the mountain peak,
stands alone in glory blazing;
let us, if we dare to speak,
join the saints and angels praising.

Alleluia!

2. Trembling at his feet we saw
Moses and Elijah speaking.
All the prophets and the Law
shout through them their joyful greeting.

Alleluia!

3. Swift the cloud of glory came.
God proclaiming in its thunder
Jesus as the Son by name!
Nations, cry aloud in wonder!

Alleluia!

4. This is God’s beloved Son,
Law and prophets sing before Him,
First and last and only One
All creation shall adore Him!

Alleluia!

Brian Wren

Bible reading: Mark 9: 2 – 9 read by Rev’d Christine Legge
Our beautiful passage of scripture today lifts us up and allows
us to glimpse heaven as Jesus meets with the representatives
of the Law and the Prophets and hears His Fathers voice once
again.
Mark 9: 2 – 9 The transfiguration
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him
and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone.
There he was transfigured before them.
3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in
the world could bleach them.
4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who
were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let
us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one
for Elijah.’
6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice
came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to
him!’
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw
anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them
orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of
Man had risen from the dead.

I hope your imagination took you to the top of the mountain
to witness that wonderful event of encouragement for Jesus,
and as we continue to dwell in that place we sing together:

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the
works thy hand hath made, How Great Thou Art.
Hymn:
1 O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed:
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee:
how great thou art, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee:
how great thou art, how great thou art!

2 When through the woods and forest glades I wander                                   and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze:

3 And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,                                            sent him to die, I scarce can take it in
that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
he bled and died to take away my sin:

4 When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
and take me home — what joy shall fill my heart;
then shall I bow in humble adoration,
and there proclaim: my God, how great thou art:

Stuart K. Hine (1899–1989)

vv. 1, 2, 4 based on O store Gud 1885by
Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859–1940)

Reflection – Rev’d Joy Ventom
I wonder when you last said ‘wow’ or ‘that’s amazing’. I’ve
had quite a few ‘wow’ moments so far this year so far and it
is usually companied by me getting excited and needing to
share the experience with someone. ‘Wow’ moments have
included seeing flower shoots in the garden when the snow
went and the Godly Play story arriving in the post, which I am
using during Lent. When going up a hill or mountain the trek
up can be tough but the view never disappoints.
Today we find Jesus and his three closest friends up a
mountain, where they have a transfiguring revelation that
changes the way they see the world. Perhaps few of God’s
people would claim quite such a moment of vivid insight, but
many have special memories of a time when God has been
very close to them.
What ways of worshipping might God give us to enable us to
express our ‘Wow moments’?
Through conversations with some in my congregations, they
have expressed a gratitude for zoom worship and said they
find it easier to connect with God because there are no
distractions like people talking. I wonder, maybe zoom
worship isn’t just for now but is a gift God has given us now
to be used well into the future. Maybe it will be a both and,
worship in church, on zoom and Facebook.
Peter’s response to the presence of Moses and Elijah shows
how much he longs to hold onto this special moment. On this
mountain top, he wants to find resources to build dwellings,
so that they can stay together as the people of God, just as
God stayed with the people in the tabernacle I the desert. It                          was never going to happen that way it was just a moment of
fleeting brilliance. However, human beings yearn to embody
their faith in bricks and mortar, and many of our churches
bear witness to this passion to give concert expression to our
moments of wonder.
How can we balance our glimpses for God’s glory with our
desire for stability?
The disciples receive mixed messages. Their trust in Jesus
received a shock as he explained the future that lies ahead of
him. Yet now they have seen him in transcendent majesty.
Who is this? Down the mountain, Jesus is back is the hurl –
burly of ministry, with a young boy whom the disciples cannot
heal. They see Jesus cast out the spirit and heal the boy, and
they must have a clear vision of the way that his glory
embodies God’s power at work in him.
As the story of the Church progresses, the disciples learn to
trust the link between God’s glory and God’s power. They find
that they too can change the world for good if they hold fast
to their trust in God.
What links do we recognise between our work to make
change in Jesus name and our awareness of his glory?
Moses and Elijah are two of the greatest heroes of the people
of Israel. Their presence embodies the traditions of law and
prophecy. Who are the heroes of our tradition? Maybe they
are people with ‘Big names’, maybe they are folk who have
faithfully served unnoticed. We need to find ways to
remember them, honour them, and let their legacy continue
to inspire us, as Jesus followers were inspired by Moses and
Elijah.

Hymn:

1 O thou who camest from above
the pure celestial fire to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart!
2 There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return,
in humble prayer and fervent praise.
3 Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up thy gift in me —
4 Ready for all thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make the sacrifice complete.
Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer – Rev’d John Palmer
God of eternal light and everlasting glory, send the Spirit of
your Son Jesus Christ upon us that we may be transfigured by
the dazzling vision of his goodness, as we bring our prayers to
you.
You have caused your Church to see the light of the gospel of
the glory of Christ

Inspire our witness to him that all the earth may be raised to
a new vision of your abiding presence and love.
Let us worship the Lord: in the beauty of holiness
Before you, O God, there is a consuming flame and round
about you a raging storm: Humble our leaders and all who
exercise authority among the nations of the world, that they
may keep before them the vision of your peace.
Let us worship the Lord: in the beauty of holiness
Let your light shine in the hearts of our community and
overshadow us with the cloud of your presence, that it may
continue to be a place of transfiguring grace.
Let us worship the Lord: in the beauty of holiness
You see the suffering of people throughout the world who
struggle in the face of poverty, violence, injustice, and illness;
you know those desperate ones who have no hope or vision
for themselves or their loved ones:
Let your transfiguring grace bring light and hope to all who
yearn for something new, O God.
Let us worship the Lord: in the beauty of holiness
You call the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting:
Hear our prayers for all who need your light, especially ___.
We give you thanks for the light of your blessing, especially
for ___.
Hear our prayers for those who have ascended with Elijah and
Jesus into your eternal light, remembering those who lives
have been lived for You.
Let us worship the Lord: in the beauty of holiness

Holy and ever living God, grant us grace to ascend unto your
holy mountain and to see the dazzling vision of your
transfigured reality in our worship and prayer this day.
And then strengthen us to listen to your voice and to follow
you in faithful service,
even when you are hidden from us, until at last we see you
face to face in your eternal and everlasting glory, in the
power of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
God of dazzling beauty, yours is the radiance that transfigured
Christ Jesus.
Within our speaking and listening, may the radiance of Christ
enthral our minds and hearts once more.

Bring us back again to that heart of things where wonder and
praise begins and loving service never ceases.
Let us worship the Lord: in the beauty of holiness Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father………..

Hymn:

1 Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.

2 Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar                                                                                lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.

3 When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you,
I will ever sing to you.

William Williams, 1717-1791,
translated Peter Williams, 1723-1796

Closing Prayer & Blessing – Rev’d John Palmer
Go now, and speak of what you have seen of God’s glory.
Do not cling to the holy moments
when heaven overshadows you,
but as the Lord lives, listen to Christ and follow him
from the places of revelation
to the places of mission.
And may God shine the light of glory into your hearts.
May Christ be with you and never leave you.
And may the Spirit renew the image of God within you.
We go in peace in the power of the Spirit
to live and work to God’s praise and glory.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Sunday Worship 7th February 2021

Welcome and Call to worship – Rev’d Joy Ventom
Welcome to Worship wherever and whenever you are
reading, listening or watching this service.
May you know God presence with you now and in the weeks
to come.
Lift your eyes to gaze on God.
Hear God’s word and receive God’s peace.
With all that you have been, all that you are, and all that you
hope to be, offer yourself now to God in Worship and praise.
Amen

Prayer – Rev’d Christine Legge
Lord, we praise you for the way you made yourself and your
love known to us in Jesus;
For the gentleness of Christ
Which still brings us your mercy;
For the way his readiness to reach out and touch the lives of
others reassures us of your presence and power.
We praise you for your commitment to work for our good
which we witnessed in his utter determination to make
people’s lives whole.
Father, we praise you for your free grace which found its
echo in Christ’s acceptance of every person who turned to
him for forgiveness and healing;
For your anger with everything that spoils life and robs us of
the joy you meant the gift of life to be.
Lord, we praise you for your undiluted purpose for your
people, your never-ending grace for all humanity; for your
triumphant love which was given its fullest demonstration in
Christ’s dying and rising for us.
We praise you for that love which still flows from the empty
cross and the empty tomb to bring us hope and healing and
wholeness today.
In the name of Christ who makes us whole. Amen.
(from 500 prayers for all occasions, David Clowes p. 54-55)

Hymn:
1 Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

2 In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.

3 Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

4 Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

Bible reading – Mark 1:29-39 (NIV) read by Mrs Sheila Heap
Jesus heals many
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James
and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.
30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they
immediately told Jesus about her.
31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The
fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all
who were ill and demon-possessed.
33 The whole town gathered at the door,
34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also
drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons
speak because they knew who he was.
Jesus prays in a solitary place
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got
up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he
prayed.
36 Simon and his companions went to look for him,
37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is
looking for you!’
38 Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby
villages – so that I can preach there also. That is why I have
come.’
39 So he travelled throughout Galilee, preaching in their
synagogues and driving out demons.

Worship song:
You give rest to the weary
You bring strength to weak
As they wait in Your presence
There is grace for their need
So I’ll wait, I’ll wait
Yes I’ll wait for You

I will say of the Lord ‘He is my refuge’
I will say of the Lord ‘He is my strength’
I will say of the Lord “He is my shelter, my hiding place’
I will come to the source of all creation
I will drink from the well that never dries
I will draw from the one who won’t grow tired, the Lord
of all

You can come in the silence
You can come in the noise
Bringing peace in a moment
Bringing comfort and joy

Lou Fellingham

Reflection by Mrs Sheila Heap
– Local Preacher & Local Preachers’ Secretary
JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE

Over the past ten months, I wonder if you, like me, have had
the television on a lot more than usual?
It’s not that I’ve become a TV addict, but rather just seeing
another face and hearing another voice to ease the sense of
isolation, knowing that life still goes on despite all its
restrictions.
I will admit though that I have become rather addicted to a
tea time quiz programme called The Chase.
A team of amateur quizzers answer questions to build up as
big a cash fund as they can to challenge one of a team
professional quizzers – hence the name, The Chase.
If they win, they get to share their combined winnings
between them. Of the Chasers, who the majority of
contestants hope to face is the same Chaser – nicknamed The
Dark Destroyer – and he certainly lives up to his name, mean,
mocking and fierce.
But whether he outwits his opponents or they outwit him, he
always ends with the same comment. ‘It’s just another day at
the office!’
Just another day – I wonder how many times we say that –
an ordinary day, nothing exciting or exceptional.
In today’s Gospel reading, Mark tells us about just another
day in the early ministry of Jesus – or was it?
We have heard of that wonderful affirmation at His Baptism
when His true identity as God’s Son is revealed, soon followed
by the choosing of a group of men going about just another
day. Mark tells us in v28 that the news of this new preacher
had spread throughout Galilee.
Two weeks ago, we saw the inauguration of a new American
President. His first 100 days in The White House is regarded
as the time when priorities for that term of office are set out.
Mark’s first chapter is often taken as Jesus setting out His
priorities for His ministry, publicly and privately.
Having preached in the synagogue in Capernaum, He goes on
to visit Simon Peter’s home. Being quite a large family home,
Jesus may well have used it as a base, a retreat from the
crowds.
It was a great cause of embarrassment for the hostess,
Simon’s mother-in-law, Joanna, who was unwell and there
was no-one to provide the customary hospitality to a visitor –
and worse still – it was Jesus Himself.
But then, something miraculous happens, which transforms
the situation. Jesus takes control. The power of His touch has
an instantaneous effect, and immediately Joanna feels strong
enough to attend to Jesus’ needs. The news spread like
wildfire. By evening, crowds who were troubled in body, mind
and spirit gathered throughout the town. A touch, a few
words were all they were seeking. It would have gone viral on
Facebook.
From just another day, Jesus was exhausted. It wasn’t just
physical hospitality and rest He needed. Mark tells us that
very early next morning, Jesus went out alone to a place of
quietness to pray. He needed privacy and solitude – time with
God in prayer, so that He may experience God’s hospitality, to
seek God’s direction and to be spiritually equipped to sustain
His ministry for just another day.
For before too long, His disciples were searching Him out, for
the crowds had already started to gather, looking for
spectacular miracles rather than the gospel truth.
Even in these uncertain times that we are living through there
is good news. You and I are on Jesus’ priority list. Our homes,
Church buildings, places of learning, jobs, relationships,
friendships and social activities may be in lockdown, but Jesus
isn’t. There is no need for social distance between Jesus and
us. A day with Jesus is never just another day.
He is seeking our hearts, minds and spirits to welcome Him
into every aspect of our lives. Privacy and solitude have a
place in our spiritual lives to enable us to receive God’s
hospitality, even if sometimes it feels an uncomfortable and
isolating place.
He is relying on you and I to use the gifts and opportunities
God gives us to serve others, as we are enabled, as part of
our priorities if God’s Kingdom is to grow. Don’t let today be
just another day – make today – and every day – a day spent
with Jesus.

Hymn:
1 We have a gospel to proclaim,
good news for all throughout the earth;
the gospel of a Saviour’s name:
we sing his glory, tell his worth.

2 Tell of his birth at Bethlehem —
not in a royal house or hall,
but in a stable dark and dim,
the Word made flesh, a light for all.

3 Tell of his death at Calvary:
hated by those he came to save,
in lonely suffering on the cross,
for all he loved his life he gave.

4 Tell of that glorious Easter morn:
empty the tomb, for he was free.
He broke the power of death and hell
that we might share his victory.

5 Now we rejoice to name him King:
Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
This gospel-message we proclaim:
we sing his glory, tell his worth.
Edward Joseph Burns (b. 1938)

Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer – Rev’d John Taylor

Hello everyone.
Let’s have a time of prayer together:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests
to God. —Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Listening, understanding compassionate God, hear us now as
we bring to you our concerns for the world, the Church, our
communities and ourselves.
Jesus, during Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power
and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life
from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now
to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19
and other illnesses.
May they feel Your power of healing through the care of
doctors and nurses.
Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from
people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a
sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others
from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and
friends and bring peace to all who love them.
God, as more people get sick, healthcare workers and first
responders are working longer hours with fewer supplies and
with more risk of contracting the new Coronavirus
themselves.
Renew their energy and sustain them on long shifts. Bring
Your protection upon them as they work with patients.
Multiply their supplies so they have the protective items
needed to stay safe on the job.
Inspire and invigorate the research doctors developing better
tests to diagnose the virus, create vaccines to prevent it, and
identify protocols to eliminate the disease’s spread.
Good and gracious God, we ask for healing for our
wounded Church and a way forward through this time of
anxiety and distress.
May Jesus, the compassion of God, draw us to himself in
Word and Sacrament and send us forth strengthened in faith
to share his love with the world.
Lord we pray now in silence for ourselves and our own
communities…
Silence
May Christ bring you wholeness
of body, mind and spirit,
deliver you from every evil,
and give you his peace.
Amen.

We say together the prayer that Jesus gave us…
“Our Father who art in heaven….)

Our next song is Worship song:
“King of Kings majesty God of heaven living in me”

King of kings, Majesty
God of Heaven living in me
Gentle Saviour, closest friend
Strong Deliverer, beginning and end
All within me falls at Your throne

Your Majesty, I can but bow
I lay my all before You now
In royal robes I don’t deserve
I live to serve Your Majesty

Earth and Heaven worship You
Love eternal, Faithful and True
Who bought the nations, ransomed souls
Brought this sinner near to Your throne
All within me cries out in praise.
(Jarrod Cooper)

Closing Prayer – Rev’d John Palmer
God, who calls us to follow,
enlarge our vision of You.
Let your Spirit move through us, filling us with light and life.
Make us clear channels of your love and grace
that we might serve you in serving others.
Jesus, the light of the world, goes with us. Amen.

A Celtic Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Amen.

CORONAVIRUS

Dear All

Following further Government guidelines, for the time being, worship services and all Church meetings, groups and lettings are suspended.

https://www.methodist.org.uk/coronavirus/#h

Which means for us that no worship services will take place at Wolstanton starting from Sunday 10th January.
We will update you all as soon as more information becomes available.
In the meantime take care, and let us hold the Church and each other before God.

Every blessing,
Rev John Palmer

 

Sunday Worship

Dear All

Following further Government guidelines, no worship services will take place at Wolstanton starting from this Sunday 10th January 2021.
We will update you all as soon as more information becomes available.
In the meantime take care, and let us hold the Church and each other before God.

North Staffordshire Methodist Circuit Sunday Worship is broadcast each Sunday Morning at 10.30 am.

Services to listen to or download from here:               http://www.northstaffordshiremethodists.org.uk/media/

Also available is a video version of this service with words to the hymns and songs to watch or download from here:            http://www.northstaffordshiremethodists.org.uk/video/

Every blessing,
Rev John Palmer