There was a Church Service on 11 January 2020

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

The Opening Prayer was given by Pat Newton

Announcements were given by Kevin Harris and included:
*Ron Hitchcock’s funeral will be Wednesday 23 January at 2:30pm.
*The Bricket Wood Bible Study has resumed its fortnightly meetings and all are welcome to attend. The next study will be at 7:30pm in the St. Stephen’s Parish Centre upstairs room on Friday 24 January.
*Saturday 18 January begins the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity, although there is no pulpit swap this year. For details of the daily meetings, please see the ‘Coming Up’ page on this website. We will host the Churches Together Service on Saturday 25 January and the earlier service begins 10:30am and will be followed by brunch as we have done over the last few years.
*The GCI update is available on the notice board and includes an update on the fires in Australia, where a number of members were affected, and also an update from the Bahamas on the effects of a recent hurricane, thanking us for our financial assistance
*The Thought For The Week is also on the notice board. There is a Thought For The Week page on this website, but it is usually a week behind because it is often changed on a Thursday or Friday before the new one comes through.

David Silcox introduced the first Hymn, Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord, before introducing Barry Robinson to lead the Communion

Barry Robinson began the Communion Service with a short message. We approach Communion by:
>Looking back in gratitude—1 Corinthians 11:23 says do this in remembrance of me
>Looking in as verse 27 reminds us to examine ourselves, although none of us are ‘worthy’, it is the acceptance of Jesus Christ that makes us worthy. We need to consider and repent
>Looking up as Communion is participation with Christ and we look up to Him 1 Corinthians 10:16
>Looking around-in fellowship, the One Body of Christ, taking the symbols of unity
>Looking forward to the future 1 Corinthians 11:26
>Looking outwards verse 26 to proclaim and share the gospel
Barry prayed thanking God for the meaning and for the sacrifice of Jesus that we can share and look forward and for the reconciliation it represents
Barry broke the bread and people came forward to take the bread and wine, returning to their seats and waiting to eat, drink and rejoice together in unity.

Hymns were led by Nancy Silcox:with a theme of Communication and for this she introduced a reading

Reading – Linda Halford read an inspirational story entitled ‘Why’

We communicate to one another ~ Hymn 1.  Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
We Communicate with God ~ Hymn 2.  We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer

Intercessory Prayer is part of our Communication with God, led today by James Esom and including:
*Thank you God that the Birmingham Youth Weekend went well, our youth are important and we thank you for the youth leaders and workers who serve in our congregations
*We pray to you, our great Creator, and are grateful for all you do for us. We thank you for this Church that we are part of and ask that you guide and lead our Ministers and Councils
*Be with those who are not here for whatever reason. We remember Phillip Halford and ask your healing
*We pray for both people and animals affected by the fires and ask that you would intercede to end these disasters. Please send rain to put out the first and end the drought
*The situation in the Middle East is especially volatile at this time and we ask for your guidance. We heard of the horrific plane crash and we pray for the emergency services who rush to help in disaster. Be with the governments as they make far-reaching decisions
*We pray for the homeless in cold winters and inspire and guide those individuals and charities who serve and try to help them
*Please be with and comfort Ron Hitchcock’s family. Ron will be missed in the Watford Congregation

God Communicates with us ~ Hymn 3.  I Am Thine O Lord

One way God communicates with us is through the Sermons we hear at Church. Today’s sermon was given Barry Robinson on the Teaching and Ministry of Jesus Christ. Mark’s gospel skips the birth and youth of Jesus and begins with his Ministry and teaching. Mark 1:34 Jesus set the example of prayer; verse 37 says all men seek thee—the human heart is constantly seeking for meaning and purpose. Verse 40 if you will you can make me clean shows us that we do not demand and claim healing, but ask humbly for God’s will and this leper received what he asked for. Verse 41 Jesus did not need to touch the leper to heal him but here he demonstrated love and compassion as well as his power. Even today there is nothing that would make Jesus not want to come and touch us. Verse 44 Jesus told the leper not to tell anyone because it was not yet time for Jesus to be taken, but today he tells us to go and tell everyone. Ironically, what do we often do? Keep it quiet and hesitate to proclaim the gospel. 
Mark 2:1 people knew that Jesus was in the house—would people know that Jesus is in your house?! Verse 5 Jesus didn’t say ‘be healed’ but ‘your sins are forgiven’. This showed his power as the Son of God to forgive sins, and that forgiveness happens prior to repentance—while we were still sinners Christ died for us! If he just heals, perhaps a person continues in a sin that brought on the sickness in the first place…
Jesus proclaimed a ministry of reconciliation with God and we carry this on in his name – 2 Corinthians 5

The final Hymn was Ancient Words,  after which the Closing Prayer was led by Irene Wilson

Fellowship continued over Refreshments in the church hall. 

There was a half-hour Prayer Meeting held in the Westfield Room at 12:30pm for anyone who wished to attend. This Prayer Meeting will be held once a month into the future.

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The fortnightly Bricket Wood Bible Study took place in the St. Stephen’s Parish Centre upstairs room at 7:30pm on Friday night 10 January. Mike Barlow led the study continuing to look deeply into the book of 1 Peter. Refreshments followed the study.

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