Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. I hope you are keeping well and staying safe. Our newsletter is sent out regularly to share reflections from services, Bible readings and church news to our church family.
You can find previous issues of the newsletter on our church website at www.christchurchuxbridge.org.uk We would love to hear from you and are 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:
thank you that we all have a place at your table;
thank you that we sit alongside the lowly,
the disadvantaged members of our society who are disregarded;
thank you that you turn everything upside down
and give priority to the poor not the powerful.
May we learn more about genuine humility
and how to make a place for everyone.
(Taken from Roots)
Reflections from 21 August
Readings: Luke 13:10-17 and Hebrews 12:18-29
Reflection on Luke 13:10-17
Why did the woman go to the synagogue? I wonder if she went every week? Or heard that Jesus would be there?
Luke, who was a doctor, tells us that this woman had been crippled for 18 years. She could not stand up straight!
Jesus does not delay, he doesn’t say come next week for an appointment. Instead he says when he sees her, “come here, you are set free from your ailment.”
That is easy enough to say,. but then he laid his hands on her and straight away she was able to stand up straight. Praising God for her healing.
How wonderful, if something like that was too happened today what would you do? Would you join singing God’s praises with the woman who was healed, or would you complain that Jesus was working on the holy day of rest?
So why did you come to church today? Do you come every week? Who did you think would be here?
Well, I came because I was asked to come, mind you in the middle of last week our minister at Saint John’s phoned to see if I could cover the service for him. Sorry, I said, I am already expected in Uxbridge. I am glad I came here. Louise was certainly expecting me to be here, are you glad I came? Don’t expect a miraculous healing, but you never know it did happen one Sunday when I was a teenager. A boy I knew was able to stand up after a long time injury was healed by prayer. If you come again something amazing could happen. If nothing else, you may discover that God has something he wants to say to you.
Reflection on Hebrews 12:18-29
Paul, writing to the Hebrews, has been writing to them about their ancestors’ faith. Looking at the many ways in which they were tested by God, as they were given the faith that they needed to carry out the tasks that God was calling them to. Here we read of a comparison of what they had experienced, and the God they had believed in. as opposed to a new way of knowing God, through the love and grace of Jesus.
If you were to describe God to me, I wonder what sort of words would come into your mind, to explain what or who God is?
In the Old Testament, we get a picture of a powerful, fearsome God. Whose name could not be written down or spoken. Moses and the prophets knew this God, and the Hebrews had been living by the Law for many generations. But we still get the stories where things went wrong. God continues to call people to speak for him, and to show his people His plans for them.
Then, In the Gospels we get the life and example of Jesus who was obedient to the Father and empowered by the Spirit to achieve his mission on earth. The good shepherd searching for lost sheep. The one with compassion for a tired hungry crowd, who had nothing to eat. The man who wept when he heard that his friend had died. Who could still the storm on Galilee. And knew everything about everyone, from Zaccheus to Jairus, Mary to Simon, and Judas to Nicodemus.
Jesus came to show a different side to God, still wanting the best for God’s people. Wanting to show them how to live a life pleasing to the Father.
The two mountains are very different. Mount Sinai is a fearful holy mountain, where God spoke with Moses and gave him the instructions that he and all of the people of Israel would need to start a new life in the place to which God was leading them. The people were very afraid of God, who seemed to be very stern, and whose rules for life were not always easy to keep.
This is a difficult God to please. His rules are not always easy to keep. Sometimes it was not always easy to work out what they should do, and what they should not. The mountain of fire and smoke made God to be an angry God, and the more rules there were the more they were had to remember. Some were hard to understand, and some difficult to keep.
Now here is a new mountain. Mount Zion, the city if the Living God. Going to Jerusalem. To a place of angels, and festival gladness. To a place where everyone belongs in the same family, and all have a passport for Heaven, in Jesus.
There is however a warning, that although this may seem to be a much friendlier God with fewer rules, we are warned not to ignore the ones that we have been given. Now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”
This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
When weeding the garden, I pull out the weeds; with them will come out soil and stones. By putting them into a sieve and shaking, the earth and small stones will fall through. The weeds can be pulled out and put to one side for my neighbours’ allotment composter. This is something much more efficient than my compost heap which is not big enough to generate the heat to destroy the weed seeds. We need to remove our unhelpful thoughts and deeds that can let the weeds in our life back in.
We are to live in a kingdom that cannot be shaken. We will be singing with angels the song that those who know the love and forgiveness of Jesus can sing.
I love to sing praise to God and enjoy the songs and hymns which have been handed down to us. It is also great to learn new songs and hymns.
Readings for 28 August
Luke 14:1, 7-14 (NIV)
Jesus at a Pharisee’s House
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Proverbs 25:6-7
- Psalm 112
- Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
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. Our service this week will be a communion service led by Methodist minister, Rev’d Dr Claire Potter. 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.
28 August – Revd Dr Claire Potter (Methodist minister) – communion service
4 September – Anne Byfield (URC lay preacher)
11 September – Cathy Smith (Methodist local preacher)
18 September – Christ Church worship group – Harvest and parade service
Help with the rising cost of living
With the cost of living having an impact on everyone’s energy bills, it’s important to understand what help is available and what cost-of-living payments you’re eligible for. Age UK has put together some information on who is eligible for the different payments being handed out by the government and you can find this online at https://tinyurl.com/ageukcostofliving
Hillingdon Council is also helping support Hillingdon residents most in need by using government funding to provide additional financial assistance to help meet the cost of food, energy, water bills and other essentials. To find out more about their household support fund, visit:
Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal 2022
Would you like to be part of this appeal again and bring joy and God’s love to a child this Christmas?
Printed shoeboxes and leaflets will be available from the vestibule although you can cover your own shoebox if you prefer.
We’ll be collecting the filled shoeboxes during October & November so you have plenty of time to collect items over the summer and beyond.
Last year we donated 36 boxes and a few were donated online. Let’s see If we can donate more this year!
The August coffee mornings will also be for Operation Christmas Child.
If you have any questions please see Graham or Denise.
Christ Church 50th Anniversary
Dates for your diary
Sundays, 12.30pm – 2pm (approx.)
Rehearsals in the chapel for Hopes and Dreams: Moving Forward. Please contact Jean or Louise George for more details.
Please note there will be no rehearsal on 14 August or 28 August.
Saturday 3rd September, 12noon – 2pm
Bunting making worship. Please contact Denise for more details.
Saturday 24th September
All day – Exhibition
10am – 1pm – Fete
3pm – Thanksgiving service
7pm – Quiz supper
Sunday 25th September
11am – Communion and covenant service
1pm – Bring and share lunch
3pm – Hopes and Dreams: Moving Forward
Saturday 8th October, 10am – 12noon
Sewing bee for the community anniversary commemorative wall hanging. Please contact Joanne for more details.
For more information about our anniversary events, please visit our 50th anniversary page.
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- Cannon Lane Methodist
- Acton Hill (URC/Methodist)
Lord, go with us today as we think about including all people.
Inspire us to pray for those in our own neighbourhood who are often excluded.
Inspire us to be active in seeking to include others and find a place for everyone in our community.
Thank you that no one is beyond your love and care.
Help us to be people who live and spread that message. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)