Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. 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 on our church website 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 (email@example.com)
How shall we come to worship God?
What gift can we bring to our maker?
What rite or ritual should we perform?
What sacrifice would be worthy?
The desires of God’s heart are no secret.
We know what is required of us:
that we do justice, and love kindness,
and walk humbly with our God.
(Taken from the URC worship notes for 29 January)
Reflection from 22 January: Realignment
Readings: Matthew 4: 12-23 and 1 Corinthians 1: 10-18
If you ask for a definition of ‘repentance’, it is likely that many would include in their answer something about ‘saying sorry’. And many a ‘prayer of repentance’ in our worship will reinforce that definition. But the Gospel reading suggests a broader definition. Jesus proclaims ‘repent, for the kingdom of God is near.’ If repentance is just saying sorry, what has that got to do with Kingdom being close by?
When Jesus called the fishermen to follow, he didn’t ask them to say sorry first; but he did call them to a life of repentance. And what happened? They ‘immediately’ left their boats and followed Jesus. And that suggests repentance is about realignment or change of direction, or changing your mind rather than saying simply saying sorry. To be part of the Kingdom adventure, they needed to realign themselves, their lives, towards Jesus.
And the same is just as true now as it was then. To see the Kingdom of God, we need to turn, to re-orientate ourselves, our lives. And this isn’t a one-off. We need to do it daily. We need to ask ourselves ‘What’s stopping me from seeing God’s Kingdom today?’ and to realign ourselves accordingly. That might of course involve saying sorry–but it’s not the be all and end all of it. So, repent and let the adventure begin! We are on a journey and who knows where it might take us. If the example of the disciples is anything to go by, it might be a bumpy ride and we are in for a few surprises along the way.
There are plenty of ‘transformation’ programmes on TV at the moment- e.g. Garden Rescue; The repair shop or the ‘transformation challenge’. All of these programmes start with a product that is okay in itself, but needs to undergo some sort of change to make it better or more user-friendly. The same is true of repentance. It is not just say a ‘sorry prayer’; it is a call to keep the core of ourselves, but to re-orientate it towards Jesus, and to allow him to make us better and more like him.
The prospect might lead us to balk. Maybe we’re too old for adventure now; maybe we prefer the comfort and security of where and who we are. After all, there are few guarantees with this adventure–certainly not promises of health or prosperity; indeed, sometimes the opposite. Following Jesus has a cost. But this didn’t stop the disciples, and it shouldn’t stop us. The Kingdom was good news then and it’s good news for us now. Peter, Andrew, James and John seemed to recognise this immediately. We don’t know what was in their minds, we don’t know what their motives might have been. But we know they didn’t look back. They leapt at the opportunity, wherever it would take them. Could there be anything better?
Dr Paul Ashitey
Readings for 29 January
Matthew 5: 1-12 (NIV)
Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Micah 6: 1-8
- Psalm 15
- 1 Corinthians 1: 18-31
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 and Circuit superintendent, Revd Andrew Pottage. 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.
29 January – Revd Andrew Pottage (Methodist superintendent minister) – communion service
5 February – Alan Yates (URC lay preacher)
12 February – Graham Hinton (URC lay preacher and Christ Church member) – parade service
19 February – Christ Church worship group
Church charity news
Church charity for 2023
Our church charity for 2023 is Communicare Counselling Service. Our next fundraising event will be the coffee morning on 4th February.
You can find more details about Communicare Counselling Service, our church charity for 2023 at:
From our denominations
URC LAG Newsletter
The latest issue of the URC Metropolitan North Local Area Group newsletter is now available here.
Join the URC’s 50th Anniversary Choir
If you love singing, join the URC’s 50th anniversary choir!
We’re looking for voices in a variety of styles, to reflect the diversity of the denomination, to sing at the Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving on Saturday 15 April 2023 at Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
You must be available for the rehearsal day from 10.30am to 4pm on Monday 10 April 2023 at the American International Church, 79a Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TD and the rehearsal and service from 12 noon to 5pm on Saturday 15 April 2023 at Methodist Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH.
Members of the choir will receive the music in advance and have a rehearsal day in central London and then a final rehearsal on the day at the hall ahead of the service.
Unfortunately, we are not able to cover travel expenses. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
For further information, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please complete the form online at https://bit.ly/urc50-choir to register your interest. The deadline for registering your interest is Monday 27 March 2023.
Hillingdon Interfaith Community – Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day.
A short reflection.
St Margaret’s Church, Uxbridge.
Friday January 27th, 10am until 10.30am.
We cordially invite you to join local faith leaders, councillors and the community of Uxbridge for this Act of Remembering.
Other church events
CTU Friendly Bible study series
Tuesdays, 1.15 – 2.15 pm. Quaker Meeting House, York Road.
Until 21st February 2023
Currently focusing on the book of Judith. All welcome.
URC 50th Anniversary Service
Saturday 15th April at Methodist Central Hall
For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/urc50
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- North Harrow Methodist
- St Margaret’s & St George’s, Harlesden (URC/Moravian)
Lord, you bless us in so many ways.
You love us just as we are.
And you also want us to grow closer to you.
Show us how we can bless others
by putting them and you before ourselves.
May we walk humbly with you every day. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)