There was a Church Service on 5 January 2019

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

As a ‘Call To Worship’, a ‘New Year Video’ was played using a Jacqui Lawson ecard with fireworks and Auld Lang Syne, which Nancy explained was also a hymn with Christian words, All Glory Be To Christ.

The Opening Prayer was given by Joy Barlow

Announcements were given by David Silcox and included:
*Happy New Year to the Watford Congregation
*Gavin sends a letter to elders and church leaders each week and the new National Ministry Team is now in office, taking the lead and responsibility for the Churches in the UK. Pray that God will lead, guide and inspire them, and indeed, Joe and Greg internationally as well.
*Reg & Pat Newton are not well.  Reg has a chest infection that they thought initially was mild pneumonia.
*Mike Barlow is also not well and requests prayers
*Esther (Cargil) Marsden is very ill and has been given only days to live.  Prayers are requested for her and her family at this difficult time.
*There will be Communion during the Service next week.

Hymns were led by Nancy Silcox:
Hymn 1.  An Army of Ordinary People
Hymn 2.  I Am A New Creation

Jean Sole gave a Reading of Revelation 21:1-7.

Speaking of Life this week was Greg Williams on video entitled Where There Is No Vision.  He cast a vision for our Denomination for 2019 of ‘Healthy Church and all that that implies.

Hymn 3.  Be Thou My Vision

Hymn 4.  Ten Thousand Reasons

Intercessory Prayer was offered by Winston Bothwell and included:
*On a chilly day, remember that each day we are one day closer to summer! We thank God for a new year and a vision of hope
*Be with the new National Ministry Team. Give them wisdom as they direct the Churches of the UK into the future.
*thank you, God, for peace to meet in safety and worship.  Although we are diminishing in numbers, we still request that you guide and bless our congregation.  Be with the young people—protect and be with them as they face the challenges of todays society
*We think of those who are ill and inform.  We pray for them and their families, including Blossom, Peter, the Battisons, and particularly be with Esther Marsden to comfort her and her family—give them peace and we pray your will be done.
*Reg & Pat Newton are key leaders in our congregation serving the Prayer Table and also refreshments.  Strengthen and heal them, bring them back to serve you effectively.
Be with Mike Barlow, raise him up so he can also continue to serve not only this Congregation but wherever he travels on occasion, such as Exeter and Reading.
*Encourage your people by your hand and give us the vision of hope for a better future—God hast that day.

Hymn 4.  My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness

The Message was given by Irene Wilson who began by mentioning Street Angels on New Years Eve where one of the things they were involved in was handing out disposable slippers to young women coming out of night clubs in their 10” heels!  They were very grateful to take off their painful footwear.  In this modern age of instant we often forget to say ‘Thank you’.  Luke 17:11-19 gives an example of the 10 lepers on the road to Damascus. This is NOT a parable, but a true story and teaches us an important lesson about gratitude and thankfulness.  The Road to Damascus was the ‘internet’ of it’s day, where you gathered information and performed your work.  The M1 of its time, to get to your destination quickly.  Jesus encountered 10 lepers that he cleansed but only one remembered to thank Jesus and that one was a Samaritan, a foreigner.  Leprosy was a contagious and terminal disease.  Lepers were quarantined and often lived in depression and lonliness.  To recover from this disease was rare and a miracle.  The only way back into society was for the Priest to declare them clean.  When the lepers greeted Jesus it was a generic greeting like ‘Mister’, not the word Mary used when she encountered the resurrected Jesus of Master, sovereign Lord.  Did the lepers remember later the powerful person they encountered?  Did it change their lives? Did they wonder when they heard he had been crucified?  Or like lottery winners, did they become ingrateful and take it for granted?  Romans 1:20-21 says many knew God but did not give glory or thanks but became vain and in the foolishness their heard was darkened.
As Christians God has changed our lives and redeemed us—do we remember to thank him?  We have so many blessings to be grateful for, physical and spiritual.  Don’t take it for granted—it is the greatest survival story ever told!  Mankind’s survival through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

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

Fellowship continued over refreshments in the church hall. 

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Bricket Wood Bible Study–the biweekly Bible Study was held at7:30pm on Friday 4th January, as usual in the upstairs room of the St. Stephen’s Parish Centre, Bricket Wood. David Silcox continues with the study in 1 John 3 and refreshments followed the study. You are welcome to join us for the study any time–the next study will be Friday 18 January.

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