An illustration depicting a woman touching Jesus's cloak

Hello everyone,

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 (




Opening Prayer

Living God,
who walked among us,
who moved into our neighbourhood,
we come to find our place in the bigger picture of your world,
to find our story in your story.
May our lives entwine together,
as we draw closer to you. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)







Reflection from 11 June


Picking teams (Matthew 9: 9-13) 

In the Bible, Jesus picked the tax collector, Matthew, to come and join. It’s interesting because actually tax collectors were really unpopular then. They’re not the most popular people today, if, like me, you pay taxes to HMRC. But at least we respect that they’re probably doing it well. In Jesus’ day the tax collectors were truly hated. They were largely the people of the Jewish community who had been appointed by the Romans to collect tax for the Romans. So, they were traitors to their own kind, taking money from their fellow Jews and giving it to the people who’d come in and taken over the land, the kind of invading forces. But more than that, they also kind of cheated. They didn’t follow the rules. They cheated people out of their money by making the taxes bigger and then they pocketed some of that money themselves. So, they were traitors to the cause and wicked thieves.


Jesus picks a tax collector, and welcomes a tax collector, and goes and eats with the tax collector and all his friends and various other sinners, and recognises that the most unloved, unwelcome outcast is welcomed into Jesus’ family. No one is beyond his love, especially not the unpopular.


A week ago we had Uxbridge Pride, a kind of subdued little affair, but it was lovely actually having Uxbridge Pride, and as you might have noticed before we began the service, the church has an inclusive church notice up, talking about how we’re deliberately welcoming those of all genders, of all ages, of all mental health disabilities, physical disabilities, of all sexualities, of all gender identities. And it’s not because we’re kind of ‘woke’, in that kind of modern language, it’s because actually God loves everybody and everybody’s included.



Touching the cloak (Matthew 9: 18-22)

In the story, Jesus is going through a crowded place and a woman touches the back of his cloak and touches the tassel. And he knows. How does he know? What is it that he suddenly has this feeling? I think it’s the faith of that woman touching his clothes, releasing his healing power to her, and he felt that healing power moving out of him. And in that moment, he turns round.


An illustration depicting a woman touching Jesus's cloak


Jesus never initiated this. The woman reached out and touched his cloak. And the woman had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. It’s natural for us to bleed, but it had a special meaning back then, and bleeding continually for 12 years is not natural at all. It is completely life draining. It’s a little bit opaque what the Bible is saying in terms of what sort of medical condition this is; whether it’s a sort of natural womanly cycle that just goes on perpetually all the time in a very unnatural way, or whether there’s some medical complaint that needs a doctor to heal.


Interestingly, the other gospels, Luke and Mark, talk about how this woman is at her wits end; how she’d actually gone and spent her entire money seeking out physicians and healers and doctors to see if they could heal her and failed. And after 12 years she is at her wits end. It’s not like today where you could sort of just pop to Boots and get some sanitary wear and try and manage the condition, unpleasant though it is. In her day she would have been physically challenged by how to keep clean and safe at a time like this with bleeding all the time. But more than that, blood had a very special meaning. Those who were bleeding were not considered to be holy or clean. They were put out of society, they were sent to go and live among the rocks outside the village. Literally an outcast. Literally no longer able to be a part of the community.


And then Jesus responds to this. The woman reaches out to Jesus, and Jesus responds to this person who is religiously, societally, unclean in the most amazing way with grace, instead of being repulsed and disgusted. He responds in peace, expresses love, and confirms that her faith has healed her. It’s quite amazing. It’s quite lovely. More than that, he calls her daughter. He accepts her and welcomes her into the community.


Raising of Jairus’ daughter (Matthew 9: 18-19, 23-26)

Can you tell me what a sandwich story is? I did that usual thing that preachers do and asked the Internet. More specifically, I thought I’d ask ChatGPT to see if it could tell me a sandwich story. And it did so I thought I’d share it with you:


Ben was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich who lived in a lunch box. He had lots of friends, but his best friend was Jen, a cheese and tomato sandwich who lived in the same box, and they liked to talk and laugh with each other, and sometimes they shared their crusts. One day their owner, a boy named Tim, took them to school and he put the lunch box in his locker. And he went to class. Ben and Jen waited patiently for lunch time when they hoped that Tim would eat them and enjoy them. But lunchtime never came. Tim had forgotten his lunch box in his locker. He’d gone to the cafeteria instead, where he’d bought a pizza slice and a soda. Ben and Jen felt sad and hungry. They wondered if Tim would ever remember them.


The next day, Tim still didn’t remember his lunch box, but left it in his locker again and went to the cafeteria. Ben and Jen felt sadder and hungrier. They started to feel stale and mouldy. They wondered if they’d ever be eaten. The third day Tim finally remembered his lunch box. He opened it and he saw Ben and Jen inside. They looked old and rotten. He said, “Oh, gross!” and he threw them in the trash. Ben and Jen felt hurt and betrayed. They’d waited for Tim for so long, only to be rejected by him. They wished they’d never met him. They wished they’d never been made. They lay in the trash, feeling sorry for themselves. They held each other’s hands and said goodbye, and they closed their eyes and waited for the end. They didn’t know that someone was watching them from above. It was Kim. A girl who loved sandwiches more than anything. She’d seen Tim throw them away and felt sorry for them, and she wanted to save them. And she had a plan to make them happy again.


So that’s what ChatGPT told me about sandwich stories. I thought it was actually kind of interesting that it linked back to our picking the teams and the ones who were left at the end were kind of forgotten and almost felt dejected and wasted. I thought it was also fascinating, and maybe I’m overdoing this because I work in the world of generative AI, that actually at the ending left us wondering what is Kim going to do, but that doesn’t really help us. And, you know, I think asking the Internet and asking generative AI gets you so far, but it doesn’t always bring you the wisdom you’re looking.


But what is the sandwich story in the sense of the Bible reading? Well, we actually had the synagogue leader coming up to Jesus talking about his daughter having died, and asking for his help. And then the woman with the issue of blood interrupts the scene, touches him as he’s on the way, and there’s the healing of the woman shoved into this story. So a sandwich story in a Biblical sense, often in Mark and Matthew and Luke, is where you’ve got one story with another one shoved in it. It’s an interesting device the authors use, because there’s usually some sort of connection between the stories. There’s some sort of message as to why they put these stories into each other.


So let’s think about Jairus’s daughter, the synagogue leader’s daughter and the parallel with the woman with the blood. They were both female. And in Biblical days, women were far less well regarded as equal as they are today. So it’s interesting that we’re focusing on women here. They’re both ritually unclean. One because of the blood, the other because of death. They both talk about a significant number 12, which is an echo between the two of them. It’s a 12-year-old daughter, and a woman struggling for 12 years. And they’re both regarded as daughters. Jesus calls the woman his daughter, and Jairus, the synagogue leader, is talking about his daughter. And it’s an act of touch between Jesus and each woman that brings new life and new surrounding.


An illustration depicting Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from the dead


In the story, Jesus goes and there’s a whole load of noise. The pipers are playing, which is a bit odd for our modern ears. But what’s actually happened is they’ve hired a load of professional mourners to start mourning, so the pipers are playing the music of mourning, and folks have gathered, and Jesus sends them all out. He gets them out of the way and says, “No, the child’s just sleeping.” I don’t think Jesus is saying that because he has some insight that this is a medical coma, that she’s going to come round. He says it almost jokingly: get out of the way, let me deal with this. He ushers everybody out and then interacts with the daughter so that when she comes to life, it’s not surrounded by all these other people. She’s in a quiet, gentle, graceful moment, treating her with great grace.


I think these stories tell us a lot about the way we are sometimes healed, not always, but sometimes. What it is to kind of reach out to Jesus in times of pain and heartache, in isolation and loneliness. And sometimes we get that sense of truth back that we are beloved, and we are known intimately by our creator. There’s also just one interesting possible irony, and I might be reading into the story, but the woman with the issue of blood as mentioned would be sent out of the community, and not allowed to worship with everybody else. It would be the synagogue leader who enforced the rules. They kept the law and enforced the law, so it’s entirely possible that this synagogue leader had actually banished the woman with the issue of blood away from the synagogue, away from the town and away from everybody else. And then Jesus responds to her in the midst of responding to him, and treats both with love and grace. I just kind of wonder what’s going through his head as his daughter is getting healed and yet he’s being shown up as the one who’s banished the woman that Jesus heals as well. Interesting intertangling there in that moment.
Neil Mackin






Readings for 18 June

Matthew 9: 35 – 10: 8

The Workers Are Few

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Exodus 19: 2-8a
  • Psalm 100
  • Romans 5: 1-8






Our worship

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 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, Revd Dr Dong Hwan Kim. 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.


Please note that the June communion service will be on 18 June, the third Sunday of the month, instead of the last Sunday of the month.



Forthcoming services

18 June – Revd Dr Dong Hwan Kim (Methodist minister) – Holy Communion

25 June – Peter Davies (Methodist local preacher)

2 July – Anne Byfield (URC lay preacher)

9 July – Christ Church worship group (Louise George)





Church charity news

Church charity events

The following events are currently planned to help fundraise for this year’s church charity, Communicare Counselling Service. Details will follow nearer the time.


Table-top sale – Saturday 23rd September
Quiz evening – Saturday 14th October
Silent auction – November


You can find more details about Communicare Counselling Service, our church charity for 2023 at:




News from GB and BB

On Sunday 4th June the Explorers and Anchor Boys met together for a packed lunch and then had some very special visitors come to see them.  Jason from Falconry UK brought Rocco (a Pygmy Falcon), Blu (a Blue Winged Kookaburra), Bailey (a White Faced Owl), Pickle (a Tropical Screech Owl) and Brooklyn (a Verreaux Milky Eagle Owl) to meet us.  As well as learning some interesting facts about all these birds, the girls and boys – as well as the Leaders – were able to hold the birds and see them close up.  After the birds had left we ended the afternoon with some games.
Stephanie Marr


Five photos showing members of the Girls' and Boys' Brigade holding a variety of different birds




A cartoon showing a man leaning backwards in a pew and a woman about to tip the seat forward. The caption reads "Pardon me, Sir, we are just a few minutes out from the benediction and I need you to return your pew to its full upright position."
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc –



From the Circuit 

Circuit Life Newsletter

The latest Circuit Life newsletter is now available and can be downloaded here.





Part-time clerical assistant vacancy

We currently have a job vacancy for a part-time clerical assistant. The main duties will involve:

  • Assisting in co-ordinating the day-to-day running of the church
  • Keeping the church diary up to date with room bookings and exploring avenues for increasing income through room bookings and creative use of the church premises.
  • Responding to enquiries and visitors to the church office
  • Assisting with providing admin support to the Church Administrator, minister (when in post) and elders, including producing publicity materials and papers for meetings.


Applicants are sought with relevant experience, computer literacy and sympathy with the aims of the Church.

The post is for 15 hours a week (worked Monday – Friday)

Proposed start date: August 2023

Salary £9,350 – £10,300 per annum depending on experience

An application pack is available from the Resources coordinator (

Closing date for applications: 5pm on Friday 30th June 2023.



Dates for your diary

22 June – Congregational Meeting, 7pm

7 July – Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade Display, 7pm in the Watts Hall

10 September – Congregational meeting

23 September – Table-top sale in aid of Communicare Counselling Service

30 September – URC Learning Hub (focusing on small groups and intentional relationships)

14 October – Quiz night in aid of Communicare Counselling Service

19 November – Congregational meeting




Children’s Corner

A puzzle showing several pictures of mouths, two of which are identical
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2023. Reproduced with permission.)


Praying for other churches

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:

  • Ruislip Methodist
  • Christ Church, Enfield URC



Closing prayer

Lord, in your compassion and mercy, bless us this day.
Lord, in your authority and power, send us this day.
Lord, in your love and strength, sustain us this day.
(Taken from the URC Worship Notes for 18 June 2023)




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