There was a Church Service on 25 January 2020

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

Welcome and Introductions from David Silcox included five minutes for people to greet and meet one another, as this was the Day 7 Service during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, so we welcomed members from a number of other Churches in the North Watford and Garston Churches Together to share our Service and brunch afterwards.

The Opening Prayer was given by Winston Bothwell

Announcements were given by Kevin Harris and included:
*Jill Newman is in hospital after a fall and would appreciate prayers
*Fred Darlison has died, please pray for his family which includes Stuart Foster’s widow, Fred’s daughter Marlene.
*Kevin read out the update from the Philippines about the volcano there. Members are safe but request prayers
*There was another update on the Australian bush fires. They are grateful for recent rain but request prayers for those still experiencing the effects of the fires
*Kevin read out the Thought for The Week

Hymns were led by Nancy Silcox
Hymn 1.  Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace

Nancy then began by telling everyone a little about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, saying that the Theme for the week is Unusual Kindness but within the week a service was hosted each day by a different church and each day had it’s own Theme:
Day 1 was last Sunday and as there was no pulpit swap this year, each church had it’s own service with a Theme of Reconciliation:
Day 2 was Monday 20th and a Service was held at St. Peter’s Church at 7:30 with a Theme of Seek and Show Christ’s Light
Day 3 Tuesday’s Service was at Garston community Church at 7:30pm with a theme of Keep Up Your Courage
Day 4 people met to worship together at The Scroll Church at mid-day to consider the theme of Trust, Do Not Be Afraid, Believe. Fellowship afterwards included soup and rolls
Day 5 A Service was held at Christ church at 7:30 on Thursday night and looked at the Them of Keep Your Strength Up
Day 6 Yesterdays Theme was Hospitality and the Service was at Stanborough Park Seventh Day Adventist Church at 7:30pm
Day 7, today, the Theme is Transformation—Changing Our Hearts And Minds

A Reflection was read by Linda Halford

People joined in saying together the Set Prayer for day 7 from the Brochure

Hymn 2.  Purify My Heart

The Scripture Reading was Matthew 18:1-6 and was read by Peter Beardsmore

Hymn 3.  The Power Of Your Love

Speaking of Life was from GCI President, Dr. Greg Williams and was entitled Being A Grave For Hate

Hymn 4.  I Stand Amazed In The Presence

Intercessory Prayer was led by Sueann Henderson and included:
*Please bring the unity of your spirit here as we share in worship. Help us not take for granted that we can meet in safety and we think of those who cannot meet because of persecution—we pray for your blessing
Change our hearts and lives and forgive us for not taking every opportunity to share unusual kindness as we represent you in our lives
*We see around us disasters—fires, volcanoes, droughts and locusts. We pray that your will be done in this world and give us your heart of compassion to support and help others in disasters
*We pray for Watford, for the town Chaplaincy. Inspire them and give resources as they support people in need both spiritually and physically. Be with the NHS and hospital in Watford. Bless the churches in Watford to be unified in spreading the Gospel and Bless the people of Malta who have given us the theme and information for this years’ Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
*We think of our dear sister Jill and we ask you to give her peace. We also pause to think of Erica and David from Woodside Community Church who are struggling with health problems. Also Ruth Yule from Soul survivor. They are devoted Servants of God and we ask you to intervene in their lives
*We pray for the Scroll church that you would help them to find a new pastor to care for them
*Help each of us to reach out and bring the warmth of Christ into the cold places, to bring compassion and hope and peace
*Thank you for grace and forgiveness, hear our prayer and bless the fellowship of Christian Unity.

Hymn 5.  Ancient Words

The Sermon was given by David Silcox. Monday is Holocaust Day in Remembrance of the many who died. There have been so many wars, like the Crusades, the 100 years war, etc.—‘religious’ wars in the name of the ‘Prince of Peace’. So the Theme of ‘Unusual Kindness’ is very appropriate for Christians Together!  Jesus touched and healed lepers who were the outcasts of society, as well as spending time with women, tax collectors and sinners. This love and compassion changed hearts and minds!  We can follow this great example set for us of showing love and compassion—that unusual kindness that should herald Christianity and change not only our own hearts and minds, but through the sharing of the gospel also change the hearts and minds of those around us.

The final Hymn was Lord For The Years, after which the Closing Prayer was led by George Henderson

David mentioned Day 8, the final Service of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is tomorrow and will be held at 3:30pm at Beechen Grove Baptist Church in the centre of Watford.  Do consider going and adding your voice to the Joint Songs of Praise!

Fellowship continued over Brunch in the church hall. 

Young People’s Church took place in the Westfield Room during the Service and was led by Geoff and Jean Sole.  The lesson this week was based on 1 Thessalonians 5:11, ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up’. The young children built a toy car which they could actually ride on out of some plastic parts. The teenagers considered the theme of why God allows suffering.

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The bi-weekly Bricket Wood Bible Study was held Friday night 24th January as usual at 7:30 in the upstairs room of the St. Stephen’s Parish Centre.  John Stettaford led the study this week and took us through 1 Peter chapter 1. The next study will be on 7 February when David Silcox will begin in chapter 2. Everyone is welcome to come along for the Bible study and the refreshments that follow.

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