Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. I hope you are all keeping well. Our church is open for Sunday services but we will continue to live-stream our services and send out our newsletter regularly for the foreseeable future.
You can find previous issues of the newsletter here. We would love to hear from you and are always looking for uplifting and encouraging content to share in future issues of this newsletter. If you have any ideas or content that we can share, please do email them to Louise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We start with our opening prayer:
you called us into your kingdom,
and adopted us as your children.
you showed us how to be servants,
denying ourselves to serve others.
you give us strength to take up our cross
in the service of the kingdom of God.
Teach us to serve others,
and in doing so, to serve you. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)
Reflection from 5 September: Songs of Praise
Music and songs have always been such a big part of church life. Over the last few weeks, it has been lovely to be able to sing together as a congregation. It’s something that I really missed during restrictions and I’m sure many of you here missed it too. Singing at home while watching an online service just isn’t the same!
Worshipping through song, especially in a congregation, is such a powerful thing. I find that the combination of words and music help me feel connected with God in a way that spoken words alone don’t manage to do and speaks to my heart in a way that the spoken word doesn’t do. In times of great joy or deep sorrow, music has helped me to express myself and to draw near to God.
There are so many passages in the Bible which show the importance of music in worshipping and praising God. Moses and Miriam’s song following the exodus from Egypt, David dancing in the street, a whole book of Psalms, Mary responding to the message from the angel Gabriel with song. Passages which call us to lift up our voices and worship the Lord with song, such as Psalm 100:1-2:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.”
Or Psalm 98:4-6:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn –
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.”
Or from the New Testament in Colossians 3:16:
“16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
We are all created differently and music speaks to us all differently. Some of us love traditional hymns and take comfort in well-known words that have spoken to us over many years. Some of us love modern worship songs with catchy tunes and lyrics. Some of us may love the music for a hymn but may not be so keen on the words. It’s just as well that our hymn books have such a huge selection to choose from!
In our service today, we’ll be sharing a variety of different hymns chosen by members of our congregation. Hymns that speak to people in different ways. Some of them may be ones that are well-known and loved; others may be less familiar or new. I hope that there will be some words that resonate with you in amongst today’s selection and that God will speak to your hearts through our music, our readings and our prayers this morning.
The list of hymns and readings chosen for our Songs of Praise service were as follows:
- Be still, for the presence of the Lord (StF20)
- I, The Lord of sea and sky (StF663)
- Psalm 121
- The Lord’s my shepherd (StF481)
- Faithful one (StF628)
- Matthew 6: 25-34
- The old rugged cross (MP536)
- Jesus, I have promised (StF563)
Our readings for this week
Mark 8:27-38 (NIV)
Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’
28 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’
29 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus predicts his death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’
The way of the cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.’
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Isaiah 50:4-9a
- Psalm 116:1-9
- James 3:1-12
We meet at 11am for our Sunday services, which are also live-streamed on our Facebook page. If you wish to view our services online, you can find them at www.facebook.com/christchurchuxbridge. You do not have to be a Facebook user to watch them – our services are publicly viewable. You can also view a recent service on our church website. This week’s service will be led by Methodist local preacher, Mr Richard Reid. You can find the order of service here.
If you are unable to join us in person or online for our Sunday services, but would like to receive a recording of them on a memory stick to watch at home, please let us know.
12 September – Mr Richard Reid (Methodist local preacher)
19 September – Christ Church worship group – Harvest and parade service
26 September – Rev’d Eddie Boon (URC discipleship enabler) – communion service
3 October – Christ Church worship group (11am)
3 October – URC North Metropolitan LAG (3pm) – Joint service of thanksgiving
10 October – Mr Graham Hinton – parade and enrolment service
Harvest thanksgiving service
Our harvest thanksgiving service will take place on Sunday 19 September. For our harvest gifts this year, we would like to collect food donations for Hillingdon Foodbank. These are the items that they are currently in urgent need of:
- Long life juice / squash
- UHT milk / powdered milk.
- Tinned fruit
- Tinned meat and fish
- Tinned tomatoes
- Rice pudding/ custard
Bible exploration group
Our Bible exploration group is now meeting on Tuesday evenings at 8pm at my house and via Zoom. A small group of us met last Tuesday to reflect on Genesis 1:26-28 where humankind is given responsibility for living things. We reflected on what this responsibility means, particularly with regards to the current climate crisis and the effects of global warming and considered the effects of over-population and over-consumption on our world.
Climate change is a huge concern for our world today and it is clear that there are huge challenges ahead. While we know that God is with us, we need to also be prepared to step up to the challenges ahead and pray for God’s guidance to show us what we need to do. Over the next few weeks we will be exploring various aspects of the climate crisis and considering how we are called as Christians to respond to it. If you would like to join us for any of these sessions, you would be very welcome.
Moving Forward with Thanksgiving service
The URC Metropolitan North Local Area Group (LAG) is holding a joint service, ‘Moving Forward with Thanksgiving’ on Sunday 3rd October 2021 at 3pm at Christ Church.
Please join us as our churches come together to reflect on the coronavirus pandemic, with an address by the Synod Moderator, Rev’d George Watt, seeking God’s guidance as we move forward together.
There will be a choir of singers from the different churches who will sing “A Heaven on Earth” by Sally De Ford which will meet to rehearse this and other music for the service at 2pm on 3rd October. Music will be provided by email. Please contact Peter Williams (email@example.com) for further details if you would like to be part of this.
If you would like to be involved in the readings or prayers during the service, please let Louise know.
Refreshments will be served after the service. If each church would be able to bring along a cake to share – especially if you have cooks who could create one modelled on your Church building, or the letters LAG – or just their usual yummy cake – that would be most appreciated! Please let Louise know if you would be willing to make a cake.
Church charity news
Thank you to everyone who supported our first coffee morning at church which was a fundraiser for our church charity and raised £50 for HOPE not hate. We also raised an additional £10 from sales of Jean’s home-made jam. Our fundraising total now stands at £1209.85
You can find more details about our church charity fundraising events and items on our virtual sales table here.
To make a donation to our church charity online visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Hopenothate-Christchurch
Family Fun Day – Saturday 25th September
Distraction Burglaries in Hillingdon Borough
There have recently been a number of distraction burglary offences across West London, including Hillingdon.
Generally one, or sometimes two, white males in their 20s or 30s who are casually dressed have used a number of deceptions to trick their way into people homes so that they can steal.
They have frequently claimed to be builders and knocked at addresses close to properties which are undergoing legitimate building work and claimed to be working at the neighbour’s address.
They have also claimed to be plumbers or from the water board investigating a leaking pipe.
The Police strongly advise people not to let strangers into their homes. If you are not happy with a person who is asking to be let into your home, please speak to a family member or friendly neighbour before letting anyone into your home, even if they appear friendly. Police would always prefer to attend a false alarm than a burglary.
If you have been involved in any similar incident recently that you haven’t reported to police, please contact DC Nick Deakin from West Area Police on 07741 703004 or email Nick.Deakin@met.police.uk – but always dial 999 if the suspects are likely to be close by and you require immediate assistance.
All crime should be reported please if the Police are to have the best chance of spotting trends – you can do this easily online from the OWL APP, through the Metropolitan Police website (https://www.met.police.uk/) or you can call 101.
Remember to mention if you have CCTV of the incident, and make sure that you download it if you can, so that it doesn’t get overwritten.
Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- Wealdstone Methodist
- Wembley Park URC
we commit to following you this week
into corners of the community
we usually prefer to ignore.
Help us to pray and speak and act for change.
(Taken from Roots)