There was a Church Service on 4 March 2017 

The Service was held in St. Peter’s as usual at 11am. 

The Opening Prayer was given by Robin Howard

Announcements were given by David Silcox and included:
*Irene’s friend, Anna, is out of hospital and now at home
*A card was signed and a gift presented to Peter & Dorothy Beardsmore on their 40th Wedding Anniversary
*There are a couple of updates to the new Watford church directory on the Bulletin Board
*Eric Senior of the Sheffield congregation has died
*The funeral of David Magowan was last Wednesday

Hymns were led by Nancy Silcox:
Hymn 1. How Excellent Is Thy Name
Hymn 2. Praise Ye The Lord, The Almighty 

We saw a Video Clip of Dr. Joseph Tkach Speaking of Life, entitled ‘Always With Us’ 

Hymn 3. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Intercessory Prayer was offered by Irene Wilson who told of a walk she took around the Ambassador College Campus. Although God has taken his name away from there, he continues to bless those who acknowledge him. A security guard carried her parcels for her. Her prayer included:
*We thank you for the beautiful season of spring, as life returns—the spring flowers and the rain are symbolic of your plan as you create renewal in each of us—we are truly grateful to be your children and to know you
*We have a heart that cares and so we bring before you Ron Hitchcock’s son, Robert
*We miss Eileen Howard so much and we put her in your hands to care for her—our desire for her is healing
*Graham Mitchel and his family need your care as he recovers from his chest infection
*Len and Pam Maylin need your healing and encouragement as they place their faith in you and you honour that
*Maggie McGarvey is ill and needs your peace and healing
*Emily, a friend of winston, has lost her leg and we pray for her
*Ann Nadim has a chesty cough among other things and we ask for your healing and blessing on her
*We place all these people in your righteous will
*We thank and praise you for Anna’s recovery and ask that you be with her to full health through your grace and mercy
*We thank you so much for the peace and safety to praise and worship you—this is such a blessing in this nation and we remember our brothers and sisters who suffer for your name’s sake—protect, bless, inspire and encourage them in their Christian walk
*We pray for those in prison, especially those who are innocent
*We pray for Watford and thank you for the work of Christians across this town. We pray for the overworked hospital and thank you for the dedication of the staff and workers there

Hymn 4.   Ten thousand Reasons
Hymn 5. Great Is Thy Faithfulness 

Before the Sermon there was a Scripture Reading brought to us by Phillip Halford, who read Psalm 139:13-16 which says we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The Message was given by Richard Fowler. As a teacher of special needs pupils, Richard deals with young people who were born with such disabilities as Downs Syndrome. He often sees the pain & frustration of these young people and has wrestled with the questions people ask about where was God’s grace when these children were born. He looks at it as a puzzle and offered us some pieces of the puzzle to give a picture as God might see it:
1-We are fearfully and wonderfully made as we heard in the Reading from Psalm 139. Each baby is a miracle and even with a disability, millions of processes have gone right!
2-The earth groans and travails (Romans 8:22) as a result of Adam’s wrong choices in the beginning. God created the processes and set things in motion, the he allows creation to take its own course—he does not cause these disabilities. Like Henry Ford designed and created Ford cars, all of these were made by him but he didn’t actually make each one with his own hands. Romans 8:21 reassures us that the creation will be delivered from decay and the bondage of corruption. The physical world simply does not work as it was created to, but is waiting for redemption to God’s glory. When people asked of a man blind from birth, Jesus answered it was not a result of sins but would manifest the glory of God—not the absence of God’s grace, but waiting for it
3-Disability is not the destination. Zech. 12:1 says God formed the spirit of man within him. The spirit is what counts and will live on when united with the Spirit of God. Eternal Life is the potential with the image of God inside us. We are defined by our potential not our physical body/life.
4-We re a New Creation. When we are Christian we move from Adam’s family to God’s family! 2 Corinthians 5 :17 says all things become new and we are reconciled.
5-My Grace Is Sufficient for You. Salvation has a time frame. 2 Corin. 12:7 tells of Paul’s disability, called the thorn in his flesh. His response to God’s saying no to healing and that his grace was sufficient, was that his strength is made perfect in weakness and Paul gladly gloried in infirmity to proclaim the power of Christ—he took pleasure in infirmities for when he was weak he was strong
6-God could have prevented and healed, but that is not how he works. Jesus suffered and experienced the earthly and said that we suffer in this life. Jesus, however, has done what is necessary to put it right at the right time. He participated in our disability through his suffering. Hebrews 2:8 say we see not yet all things under him.
We may remain puzzled at God’s will, but as in the hymn, may we also sing “You give and take away, but my heart will still say, ‘Blessed Be Your Name’”!

The final Hymn was Count Your Blessings after which the Closing Prayer was led by George Henderson

Fellowship continued over refreshments in the church hall.

The Young People’s Church during the Sermon time watched a 7-minute YouTube presentation of Paul’s 1st missionary journey. They looked at Acts chapter 13 which tells the story of Paul and Barnabas visiting Paphos in Cyprus. The young people then completed maps of this missionary journey marking the main towns visited. They discovered the journey took about two years. During the lesson the young people ate some seed-covered nuts from Cyprus. The lesson was led by Geoff & Jean Sole.

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Bricket Wood Bible Study continues to meet bi-weekly at the St. Stephens Parish Centre in the upstairs room at 7:30 on Friday nights. Friday 3rd March we continued in our in-depth look at the Gospel of St. John, led this study by David Silcox. Fellowship over Refreshments was enjoyed after the Bible Study. The next study will be at 7:30 on Friday 17 March—why not join us?

Dorothy Beardsmore coordinates our collection of items for the Women’s Refuge–if you would like to donate to help these women in distress, please give the items to Dorothy.

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