There was a Church Service on 23 March 2019.

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

The Opening Prayer was given by Robin Howard.

Announcements were given by George Henderson and included:
*This years North Hampton Social will be on Saturday 11 May as before in the Saxon Hall at Raunds. This will be the 10th Social and everyone is invited to attend and hear or guest speaker, Franz Danenberg
*The US Update is on the notice board, as is this Week’s Though For The Week, which is by guest writer, Jeff Broadnax
*Dorothy Beardsmore requests prayers for her sister, Margaret Elliot who has had another stroke, and her brother who has been diagnosed with liver cancer

Hymns were led by Nancy Silcox with a Theme of Jesus, our Saviour:
Hymn 1. Jesus is the Name we Honour

Nancy showed a video clip of a youth naming Jesus is every book of the Bible!

Hymn 2. My Jesus, My Saviour

Speaking of Life this week was entitled Love Story and was presented by Joseph Tkach

Jean Sole gave a short talk about the Watford Prayer Chain. Prayer has always been an integral part of our Church. Maureen Gaddes Hanlon started the Watford Prayer Chain about 20 years ago. At present there are 7 people on the Prayer Chain, both men and women. Anyone who receives a prayer request passes it on to the others. These are mainly confidential prayer requests, urgent prayer requests and prayers requested within our local congregationof Watford. Requests can be made to Jean Sole or members of the Pastoral Council who will pass them on to her. If you phone and Jean is not in, ask her to ring you back rather than leave the request as a message. When a request is receive, the person first offers up a quick, immediate prayer and then activates the chain. It is good to have feed back so that they can also pray prayers of thanks for prayers answered.

Intercessory Prayer was offered by James Esom and included:
*Thank you, Father in heaven, for the prayer chain, and we are grateful that we can bring our prayers to you individually, through the Prayer Chain and together gathered here in Intercessory Prayer. Thank you for the fellowship we share here that we can speak to one another and find encouragement and help
*Be with our church leaders, locally, nationally and internationally
*Be with those not here today—you know their problems and we put them into your loving hands.
*Be with those struggling with unemployment
*We pray for the youth and ask you to guide them in their lives. Be with our Young Adults Church, that they can learn of your way and look to you in their relationships and careers
*We pray for those bereaved, particularly at this time, David MacEwan whose mother died this week. Be with and comfort his family
*We read of the devastation of floods in Africa and pray for your love and grace to bring help, comfort and hope to those affected
*Knife crime has been a tragic recent issue and we pray that you would help and guide our police and leaders as they deal with this
*This is a dark world and we are appalled to read of the Mosque attack in New Zealand. We pray for your coming to end these terrible ordeals
*Dorothy’s sister and brother are both ill an we ask you for healing and encouragement in their stressful situations
*Bless the prayer table and look on those who come to us there with grace and mercy

Hymn 4. The Church’s One Foundation
Hymn 5. At the Name of Jesus

The Semon was given by David Silcox. It’s not fair! Is a cry heard everywhere. It is the topic of the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20. Remember that the early morning workers agreed a wage for the day but when the end of the day came and those who only worked an hour were paid the same, they moaned. It wasn’t fair, but the parable is not about justice or wages or fairness, but about grace! Grace is NOT fair—if we all received what we deserve or earn, that would be death, not eternal life! In context we need to go back to chapter 19 and see that Jesus was answering, or illustrating, how impossible it is for anyone to earn eternal life—as impossible as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, yet nothing is impossible to God (verse 26). Peter then says, but we have given up everything to follow you and what shall we have for that? Nothing is due us for our sacrifices and hard work! But for following Jesus we reap the blessings that obedience yield—physiccal, mental, psychological and spiritual, and in the end, Eternal Life. (Note in Matthew 20:1 that this is aparable about the kingdom of heaven—the other gospels say the kingdom of God, but Matthew is writing to Jews, many of whom think it is wrong to say or even write the name of God!) Verses 6&7 illustrate that God wants everyone: those not hired till the end of the day were probably the lame, the old and those less able to work, that no one wanted to hire, and here the owner of the vineyard paid them ‘what is right’—that is, what everyone else got! Verse 16 then says the first shall be last and the last will be first because God loves everyone and gives his grace to all. It is certainly not fair, but it is real in life and also shows God’s grace. Verse 15 shows God dispenses grace in an unfair way—nobody deserve grace, for all have sinned and deserve death!

The final Hymn was All Hail The Power, after which the Closing Prayer was led by Irene Wilson

Fellowship continued over refreshments in the church hall.

In Young People’s Church today, which was led by Geoff and Jean Sole, we considered the Parable of the Four Soils. They read parts of Matthew 13 and several contemporary versions of the story. They went outside and filled some gardening trays with peat and then with some small stones and weeds created a miniature field with a path, a weedypatch, a stony patch and leaving an area of good soil. They then planted some nasturtium, cress and parsley seeds all around the trays. They all took the trays home and will wait to see the results!

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