An open bible with a cup of coffee on wooden table in front of a window

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

Jesus, you call us to accept your yoke that is easy,
and your burden that is light.
Show us your ways and keep us from burdening ourselves or others with things that are not from you.
(Taken from Roots)






Reflection from 2 July

Readings –
Psalm 13 and Matthew 10: 40-42


Psalm 13 does begin quite sadly, quite grimly. It’s a classic psalm of despair. David has problems. He was suffering and was in great distress. And his cry to God is, “How long. How long are you going to let me suffer like this?” And that’s a cry of despair that we know echoes around the world today in many places. We often ask why doesn’t God do something to ease the suffering that is felt by people in so many situations? Why does evil persist? How long will it take for things to get better?


David talked with God, questioned him, even accused him of abandoning him. But in praying with God, in talking with God about things, he was transformed and able to look back on the times that God had helped and provided for him. That can sometimes be the power of prayer. Not to change the situation, but to change the person who prays. Praying with God, talking with God, telling his troubles to God helped David to hang on, to persevere. It helped him to trust that God would look after him in the future. He was at peace again, sort of.


But we know that David wrote more than one psalm of lament. The sense of calm in life doesn’t always last. One problem is solved, another one comes along. Our moods vary. We’re so changeable but God is consistent. God sees, God cares, God wants to help us. We have times when things go wrong and sadly, some people do seem to have a much bigger share of troubles than other people. If we are fortunate when we’ve got a trouble, we feel lucky if we’ve got friends to talk with that can sometimes help the situation. Sharing sometimes helps.


Someone holding another person's hands and offering comfort


We might not be as able as David was to speak with God. But simply asking God ‘why?’ and ‘how long?’ might be there in our hearts. The Bible tells us that the Spirit will help us speak when we don’t have words. We might not manage any words at all, but hopefully, like David, in our hearts we would know that God hears, cares and will help. Maybe not always as we expect it, and maybe not always when we expect it. But it will come.


And even in the midst of troubles there will be the blessings of lighter moments. Bits of joy, perhaps even laughter. As David wrote in Psalm 30, verse 5: “Weeping might stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” And again in Psalm 52: “The steadfast love of God endures forever.”


It would appear from Psalm 13 that many of David’s problems were caused by people speaking and plotting against him. We know that Jesus had his enemies too, who likewise criticised him and plotted to kill him. We know too Jesus also spent much time alone talking with God his father. Our gospel reading today comes at the end of a time when Jesus has been preparing his disciples for mission, sending them out, telling them how to go about it. He knew that their future would hold difficulties. It might not be easy. That while some might welcome them, others would not.


Mission is a risky business. It can split families. I wonder how the families of the disciples reacted when they left to join Jesus. Even today, we know that time spent in church, in church life, can cause conflict in families. There is a cost to discipleship. If partners don’t agree, then that can cause difficulties. And we know that Christians have sacrificed much over time: ease and comfort, ambitions, jobs, even life itself. Jesus warned his disciples that they might not be listened to, or welcomed, and there could be dangers.


Two disciples walking along a river with mountains in the background


But Jesus was sending them out to preach in his name, and they were to assume that God would provide for them. They weren’t to take much with them and they weren’t to worry about material things like clothing and foods. As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6: 28-30:


“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothed the grass of the field, which stays alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you?”


The disciples were being sent out in Jesus’s name. With nothing: no sandals on their feet, no staff, no begging bowl. It was believed that to receive a message of a king was to receive the king himself. So those who went out in the name of Jesus also went out in the name of God and were his representatives, and it’s so today. Those twelve disciples and those who came after them would not be offering their own thoughts on what life was about. Rather, they would be bringing the message of their Lord. And those who welcomed that message welcomed the one the message is about.


The disciples, quite frankly, would either receive hostility or hospitality. In far gone biblical times, nomadic people might rely on the hospitality of others for survival. Travellers, complete strangers, could expect a meal, water for washing and good company during their stay. That rule of hospitality wasn’t so strong during Jesus’s time, but it was still pretty important. But in their travels, the disciples would have a mixture of responses. Jesus had said even the smallest act of kindness, like a drink of cool water to his disciples, would bring the giver God’s blessings. In those times, ‘little ones’ refers to disciples as much as children. Rabbis spoke of their pupils as little ones. The giving of such a drink would be as if they were giving Jesus himself a drink, and by inference, giving to God.


There was at that time a rabbinic saying: “If people are truly of God. To receive them is to receive the God who sent them.” Through time through the time God had sent many messengers. The prophets who foretold the coming of Jesus. Jesus bringing about a new relationship with God. The disciples who passed on the good news to others. Those who listened became believers and shared the good news with others. And those who gave the message and those who heard the message are equally important.


The poet Robert Browning wrote, “All service is ranked the same with God.” Everyone is important in the eyes of God. We all have different gifts. Whatever gifts we have. We can all show hospitality to others and above all be kind. Not take things for granted and saying thank you. Remember those who sometimes go unnoticed – homemakers, washing, cooking, shopping and caring. Those who work in the background but are so essential. How many invisible hands prepared this building and got it ready for the service today? And how many welcoming smiles and greetings did you get as you came into church this morning? I saw a few.


Giving and generosity are part of God’s plan for us. Good deeds often done in secret rather than in public. Mind you, some of us find it hard to receive out of pride, embarrassment or perhaps a need for independence. But learning to accept graciously is also important. The Scottish theologian William Barclay wrote, “This short passage from Matthew stresses simple things. The great ones will always be needed. But the Church and Christ will also need those in whose homes is hospitality and in whose heart is the caring which is Christian love.”


Hands holding a heart shape


I attend a Zoom meeting each Friday with Christians of other denominations. A few weeks ago, an Anglican lady asked me about my church membership. When I told her, she said, “I don’t know much about the URC, but my local one has a great food bank.” Historically, the church has cared for the needy. In recent years, night shelters and food banks have come to the fore, but there are other issues too, like support for asylum seekers and of course issues to do with climate concern. Churches and congregations don’t all agree. And in some churches, some people are less welcome than others. We can all be challenged from time to time. Jesus sends us in his name, and therefore in the name of the one who sent him, to make the most of chance encounters and opportunities that come our way. To show just how much God loves and cares. As Jesus said in Matthew 25 verse 40: “The King will reply, ‘Should I tell you? Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Anne Byfield





Readings for 9 July

Matthew 11: 16-19. 25-30

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:


17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’


18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”



The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.


27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Zechariah 9: 9-12
  • Psalm 145: 8-14
  • Romans 7: 15-25a


An open bible with a cup of coffee on wooden table in front of a window







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 parade service led by Christ Church member, Louise George. 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.



Forthcoming services

2 July – Anne Byfield (URC lay preacher)

9 July – Christ Church worship group (Louise George)

16 July – Revd Dr Dong Hwan Kim (Methodist minister)

23 July – Christ Church worship group (Louise George)

30 July – Revd Sue McCoan (URC minister) – Holy Communion




Church charity news

Table-top sale – Saturday 23rd September, 10am – 3pm

There will be a table-top sale in aid of our church charity, Communicare Counselling Service, on Saturday 23rd September 2023, 10 am to 3pm.

Trestle tables will cost £10 each. I shall be selling my goods in aid of Christ Church funds. If you wish to book a table, please contact me on 07810 433986 or the church office.

Jean George


A table-top sale in a church meeting room


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





A cartoon of a young Noah sitting in front of a guidance counsellor. The caption reads "I urge you to forget your dreams of zoo-keeping and sailing Noah... and I have to say that all your God talk is not going to get you very far in today's heathen workplace."
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc –


Voices in Accord concert

Songs for a Summer Afternoon – Saturday 15th July, 2.45pm at North Hillingdon Methodist Church

Voices in Accord, conducted by Alison Elcoat, present ‘Songs for a Summer Afternoon’ – a concert in aid of the Hillingdon Brain Tumour Group at North Hillingdon Methodist Church, 260 Long Lane, Hillingdon UB10 9PB on Saturday 15th July 2023 at 2.45pm. No tickets are required but there will be a retiring collection for the charity.






NHS 75 Open Day

Saturday 8th July, 11am – 3pm at Mount Vernon Hospital

We are holding a family friendly open day at Mount Vernon Hospital on Saturday 8 July, from 11am – 3pm, as part of our NHS 75 celebrations.

Entry is free, and there will be range of activities on offer including a bouncy castle, games, and a football tournament, as well as stalls offering information about healthcare services and careers in the NHS.

A banner ad for the NHS 75 Open Day. The text reads "The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Open Day. Mount Vernon Hospital. 8th July 2023. 11am - 3pm. Family friendly activities, stalls, food and more!"




Dates for your diary

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 maze puzzle
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2023. Reproduced with permission.)


Praying for other churches

This week we hold Trinity, Harrow (URC and Methodist) in our prayers.



Closing prayer

Loving Lord Jesus, we take your yoke upon us now.
Lift from of us any burdens we are carrying,
any expectations we are trying to meet that are not from you.
Give us rest, and lead us to those good works
that you have prepared for us to do this week.
Be glorified in us as we walk with you.
(Taken from Roots)




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‘Look-In’ – 7 July 2023
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