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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From the moment we awake to face the day ahead,
You are with us, through good times and bad,
Your presence enough for our needs.
Through the hours of the day, in our travels, study and work,
You are with us; in decisions and choices we must make,
Your wisdom enough for our needs.
At the end of the day when we lay down to rest,
You are with us, as we lay our fears at Your feet,
Your peace enough for our needs.
God of all creation
Your love present in the beginning of all things,
reaches throughout all history and touches our lives.
Your love sees failings and forgives.
Your love feels pain and wipes away our tears.
Your love knows grief and comforts the sorrowful.
When we fail to live lives that reflect Your love,
or we take for granted all that you have done for us,
when we trample over others in order to get our own way,
through your Spirit, transform and empower us to live lives full of love, Amen
(Revd Wayne Hawkins, from URC worship notes for 15 October)
Reflection from 8 October
Reading – Matthew 21: 33-46
In today’s story, Jesus tells us about a vineyard. Does anyone know what a vineyard is? A vineyard is like a big garden where people grow grapes to make wine and grape juice. Does anyone also know many days it takes for a grape to dry enough to become a raisin? It takes 3-4 days for a grape to become a raisin. A grape has to lose at least 80% of its water content for it to be classed as a raisin.
We’ve heard today a story from Jesus telling us about a man who owned a vineyard. He worked really hard to make it a beautiful and fruitful place. He planted grapevines, built a fence around it to keep animals out, and even built a watchtower to protect it. He did everything he could to take care of the vineyard. But the owner had to go away for a while, so he hired some people – the tenants – to take care of the vineyard while he was gone. The tenants were supposed to make sure the grapevines grew healthy and strong and then harvest the grapes for the owner.
But when the owner sent his servants to collect the harvest, what happened? The servants were beaten and killed by the tenants. And when the owner tried again, the same thing happened. And then finally the owner sent his own son. But even the owner’s son met with the same fate as the servants.
Now, let’s talk about what this story means. The vineyard owner represents God, and the vineyard is like the world God created. We are the workers in the vineyard. God gives us this beautiful world to take care of, and God wants us to share all the good things in it, like love, kindness, and helping others.
But sometimes, just like the tenants in the story, we forget that everything we have belongs to God. We don’t own this world. We are given our time to be here on the earth and to help look after it. But like the tenants in the story today, we might focus on just taking what we can from the world, and not sharing the things we have with others. God is like the loving owner who wants us to do the right thing and take care of His world.
Can you think of any ways to help take care of God’s world? Here are some ideas:
- Grow your own vegetables.
- Turn off the light when you leave the room.
- Make sure you recycle as many of your food packaging items that you can.
- Look for the sell by date on your food and make sure you use it to help reduce food waste.
- Try to reduce your shower time to save water.
- Why not plant a tree if you can.
We can all do our bit to look after the world – to take care of God’s vineyard.
There are a lot of references to vineyards in the Bible and vineyards are often used as a metaphor for describing the people of God. Vineyards need the right conditions to grow and thrive, and we do too. I hope all of you young people who have made your promises today will continue to grow during your time in the Brigades and I have no doubt that your leaders will do their best to help nurture you and help you to grow and to thrive.
We were reminded in the promises made today of our dependence on God and our need to seek his help to grow in our spiritual life. In the Bible, Jesus refers to himself as a vine and us as the branches. Just as the branches need to stay attached to the vine in order to be able to produce fruit, we need to hold on to our faith and to trust in God in order to be fruitful and to grow in the love of God.
Readings for 15 October
Matthew 22: 1-14
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Isaiah 25: 1-9
- Psalm 23
- Philippians 4: 1-9
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 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.
15 October – Christ Church worship group
22 October – Richard Reid (Methodist local preacher)
29 October – Revd Bridget Powell (URC minister) – Holy Communion
5 November – Ken Pearce (Christ Church member)
Church charity news
Our next fundraising event for our church charity will be a silent auction which will take place in November. A silent auction works by people donating items to be auctioned. Then the descriptions are circulated and everyone gets to bid on any item they fancy. To bid you send your sealed bid to us privately and the highest bid at the close of the auction wins. You won’t know what other people have bid but you can up your bid at any time until the closing date if you wish. After the closing date, the winners will be notified and asked to pay for their items.
Of course, in order to have a silent auction, we need items for people to bid on! They can be new or preloved, handmade or shop bought, physical items or offering to carry out a service. For example, you could make a cake, offer homemade jam, offer a hand-knitted blanket or toy, offer unwanted Christmas or birthday presents, do some ironing or help out with a spot of gardening. For handmade things it could be something already made or something you will make to order.
We last held a silent auction in 2020 which included items like home-baked scones and tea bread; a hand-made baby quilt; an offer to wrap up to 10 Christmas presents; knitted toys; pot plants and magazines.
If you have something you would like to promise for the auction, please contact Louise (publicity@ christchurchuxbridge.org.uk). The deadline for sending ideas for auction items is 31 October. The list of items will then be circulated to allow people to bid on the items offered. You will be able to bid by email, phone or through placing your bid in a sealed envelope marked ‘Silent Auction – FAO: Louise George’ and dropping it into the church office.
You can find more details about Communicare Counselling Service, our church charity for 2023 at:
The Wizard of Oz
25 – 28 October at the Winston Churchill Theatre
Follow the yellow brick road with WOS Productions, in collaboration with Argosy Players, as we present ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Featuring all the iconic moments and songs from the 1939 MGM film, including ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, ‘Merry Old Land Of Oz’ and ‘We’re Off To See The Wizard’, this enduring family favourite sees young Dorothy Gale travel from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz. A perfect show for all the family to enjoy!
Louise George, Sophie George and Lawrence Hoskins will be performing in this production which will be on at the Winston Churchill Theatre in Ruislip from 25 – 28 October. More details available at www.wos-productions.org.uk
Wednesday 25 October until Saturday 28 October: 19:30
Saturday 28 October: 14:30
Child (4-16): £16
Other concessions: £16 (Wed 7.30pm and Sat 2.30pm only)
Dates for your diary
|Quiz night in aid of Communicare Counselling Service
|CTU Bible exploration group
|CTU Bible exploration group
|CTU Bible exploration group
|Congregational meeting with bring and share lunch
|Carols and mince pies
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- North Hillingdon Methodist
- Hounslow URC
- The Kingsborough Centre, Uxbridge
May you find strength in God’s presence, comfort in the promises of Jesus, and courage that flows from the Holy Spirit to face the challenges of each new day. May you walk in faith, knowing that God is with you in every step you take. Amen.
(Adapted from The Vine)