There was a Church Service on 9 March 2019

The Service was held in St. Peter’s as usual at 11am. Each week before the Service, those who are helping with, or participating in the Service meet together in the back room to go over the order of Service, announcements, etc. and ask God’s blessing on the Service in Prayer.

As a ‘Call To Worship’, a ‘Nature of God’ video was played.

The Opening Prayer was given by Jean Sole

Announcements were given by George Henderson and included:
*Welcome back to Phillip and Cedric
*Update on Debbie Thomas requesting further prayers
*Thought for the Week and US Update from Greg Williams on the notice board and on-line.  The Thought for The Week can always be found on the home page of the UK Church Website: www.gracecom.church and the US update on the US Church Website: https://update.gci.org

Hymns were led by Nancy Silcox:
Hymn 1.  More Precious Than Silver

The Worship theme this week was ‘Hidden Treasure’ showing how we have to search for and expend effort to find the treasures of creation, in God’s word and that each of us is a treasured child of God. To illustrate this, Nancy handed out a Word Search paper with 25 books of the Bible hidden among the text.  After a few minutes for people to have a quick look for some of the books, we carried on with the Service and the answer sheet was available after the Service over tea in the Church Hall.

Hymn 2.  Ancient Words
Hymn 3.  Thy Word is a Lamp Unto my Feet

Speaking of Life this week was Dr. Joseph Tkach on video entitled Hidden Values

Hymn 4.  The Power of Your Love

Intercessory Prayer was offered by Geoff Sole who began by reading a quote from Charles Spurgeon which encourages us to pray when we feel like it and when we don’t, and included:
*We can learn so much from the Bible and we thank you for your son whose word guide us led by the Holy Spirit.  It is a lamp unto our feet as we just sang. Help each one of us to hunger and thirst after your Word.
*We give you glory for the creation as we saw in the Call to Worship video.
*We see in sadness the suffering in the world such as in Syria and the Yemen.  We ask that you help those situations and to bring peace
*This country faces a crossroads and difficult decisions this month. We ask your guidance and for the sake of the Church give our leaders wisdom and courage
*We see knife crime increasing and ask your help for the police and justice system, for organizations that seek to help.  It is because people do not know you and we pray for Christians everywhere to bring the Gospel to help in our dark world
*Be with the bereaved at this time including the Laqwson family
*Be with those suffering illness.  We think of Debbie Thomas undergoing treatment for cancer; Paul Gunning in a hospice and ask your peace and comfort; Beth bodie who fell and hurt her head to please intervene and heal her; Janie Gadsdon who has been suffering for such a long time

Hymn 5.  give Me Oil In My Lamp

The Sermon was given by David Silcox.  Matthew 18:15-20 contains the passage which instructs us to go to our brother who has offended or harmed us.  This passage stemmed from verse one where they were disputing about who was the greatest.  Jesus’ answer follows and shows that what was on their minds was the problem, not who was the greatest.  What was on the mind of Jesus was a totally different perspective and this is illustrated by his response which changes the question to who and how can you serve.  Verses 2-6 encourages humility like children; Verses 7-11 to not cause offense; Verses 11-14 instructs us to care for the least important people; Verses 15-17 to deal with offenses correctly; using forgiveness in Verses 21-22 and compassion in Verses 23-35. 
Examining Verses 15-20 closer, we see that it says go to your brother, which is not just anyone but those close to you. And here we see WHY—restoration is the purpose, not to correct him but to restore relationship ‘if he hears you, you have gained a brother’. Also we should go in humility because you might just find they are not the only one in the wrong and you may have to apologize as well as forgive! Which is also another reason to go alone. The phrase gained a brother implies we are in danger of losing one.  It is about winning a friend, not an argument; building bridges rather than demolishing; recovering what has been lost or broken.
Verse 16 then goes on to say if it is needed, others can help to restore. Verse 17 and the Church is the last resort before you may need to accept that an issues cannot be resolved.  May have to stay apart to avoid further problems, and in verse 18 the Church has the authority to bind and loose; make judgments and enforce.  This is not speaking of binding or loosing those things that are already bound by law in God’s word, but things to do with restoration and relationship. Verse 21 forgiveness and restoration is the end goal.

The final Hymn was Love Lifted Me after which the Closing Prayer was led by Sue Ann Henderson

Fellowship continued over refreshments in the church hall. 

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Young People’s Church today was led by Richard Fowler and looked at the topics of relationships and marriage in the context of the God-given difference between male and female.  What do we each bring to a relationship, how can we be the best version of our male and female selves, and why male and female is God’s image?

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There was a Churches Across Watford Leader’s Breakfast held at Woodside Community Church at 8:30 this morning with around 20 leaders from different Christian organisations and Churches. Often there is a guest speaker but on this occasion we shared a meal together and then prayed together before going out refreshed physically and spiritually.

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