An illustration depicting the three crosses of Jesus and the two thieves against an orange sky

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 (


Please note that there will be no newsletter on 12 April due to the school holidays.


Opening Prayer

Generous God, who shares our life,
pouring out the Spirit of Jesus,
open our hearts and hands to reach out
to one another, and to those we live or work among
in caring and service, love and compassion.
(Taken from Roots)








Reflection from 24 March

Reading – Mark 11: 1-11

Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, the event which we recall each year on Palm Sunday, is recorded in all four gospels. Here we have the familiar story of Jesus being welcomed as a king as he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. It’s a scene of excitement. You can picture the crowds cheering as they throw their cloaks or the palm branches on the ground, shouting “Hosanna!”. I wonder how many of them were people who had been following Jesus in the time leading up to this moment, and how many of them were just swept up in the excitement of the others around them.


Excitement and anticipation, I would imagine. What is Jesus going to do next? Well, what happens next in Mark’s version of the story is a bit of anti-climax to be honest. Jesus enters Jerusalem and goes into the temple court, but since it’s already late in the day, he then goes out to Bethany with the twelve disciples. Nothing else happens that day. Did the crowds go home disappointed, I wonder? Did they feel a bit let down by the lack of action following this triumphant entry? Were they expecting something amazing to happen? Maybe that’s part of the reason why some of them perhaps turned against him later on. That sense of expectation followed by disappointment.


Do we sometimes have high expectations for what God might do in our lives and then feel disappointed, and perhaps a little betrayed, when life doesn’t live up to those expectations? When we might build up this image of God as we want God to be – the God who meets our own needs, our own wants, and does what we want him to do – only to find that God doesn’t work in the way that we want him to.


We don’t like to think that we would be the kind of people who would be praising Jesus one minute, only to turn against him a short while later, but we all have times when we change our minds about things. Can you think of times in your life when you’ve met someone and formed an opinion about them – good or bad – only to then find that some time down the line, your opinion completely changed?


We assume of course, that it’s the same people who cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday who were then the ones who turned against him and pressurised Pilate into crucifying him, but who knows how much overlap there really was between the two different crowds. Maybe those people who were caught up in the excitement of others on Palm Sunday, got equally caught up in the anger and the condemnation of those crying out “Crucify him!” just a few days later.


An illustration depicting Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt


We too can get caught up in the things that are going on around us. Things that can bring us closer to God, or take us further away. Meeting here together in church is one way of being part of a community which hopefully helps to strengthen our faith and helps us to grow. A place where we can hopefully also be open about the times when holding on to our faith is more challenging. But we can also get caught up and bogged down in the busyness of life, in the challenges of life, in all the things that feel like they pull us away from God. We can be overwhelmed by things that trouble us or make us anxious; all the demands on our time. There are moments when we might be struggling and it seems as if our prayers go unanswered. God isn’t being who we want him to be. God isn’t living up to our expectations. And perhaps we then get angry with God.


The trouble with putting our own expectations on to God though is that we often then try to remake God in our own image – our own vision of what God should be. A vision that is limited and flawed. The image of who God is in my head will be different from the image of God in yours – maybe not wildly different, but it will be different. But God is not confined to our individual expectations. God is so much bigger than all of those and we are reminded in Isaiah 55: 8 that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and God’s ways are not our ways.


Jesus didn’t live up to the expectations of the crowd. His entry as a king was on a donkey. Nothing amazing happened that day according to Mark’s telling of this story, and a short time later it seemed as if it was game over. All that hope it seemed ended up coming to nothing. But of course we know that the cross wasn’t the end and the really amazing thing was yet to come. But it didn’t come in a way that would have been expected. And the same can be true for God working in our own lives. When we look back on some situations where we might be able to see that even though God might have seemed far away and definitely not living up to our expectations, God was still at work in our lives. Moving in unexpected ways. Taking us in directions that we didn’t expect.


I wonder how many of the crowd that day went full cycle: cheering Jesus as he entered Jerusalem, becoming disillusioned and calling for his crucifixion days later, and then came back to Jesus as followers of the early church? Sometimes we too go through similar journeys – moments of feeling excited about our faith, periods of disillusionment and then coming back once more with our faith strengthened. God working within us in mysterious ways, taking us in unexpected directions. In those moments when God feels far away and our expectations feel unmet, may we hold on to the hope that there is a bigger picture that we cannot see and that God’s love and power is at work around us, whether we are aware of it or not.
Louise George





Reflection from 31 March

Readings – Mark 16: 1-8 and John 21: 9-18


The second time Jesus said to Peter “Simon, son of John. Do you love me?” He said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” These words from the gospel are very plain and apparently very simple. But to carry them out as a church is very difficult.


“Death, where is thy sting?” The last lines of the greatest English Good Friday hymn (you can contest this opinion!) “Then am I dead to all the globe. And all the globe is dead to me.” The Christian identifies with seemingly God-planned finality to all the hope for what the hymn calls the globe, the Earth, the universe; to individual life. Humanity descended into hell with the beloved body of Jesus, the rescuer of that humanity. And as we listen and watch the constant record of dismay in our news, we must think of these words of the gospel, the sign of the globe.


The sign is John’s gospel’s favourite word. Not saying miracle all the time, but sign. The Greek word for sign is one that you may very well know from computer language. It’s semeia and you get ‘semiology’ from this word, the study of sign language. The Romans made the terrible experiment with a sign. It’s very difficult to assess, the Roman Empire, because obviously we owe a great deal to it intellectually, but in terms of killing it was supreme, and the sign of the killing, at least in some of the provinces, was the wooden cross with a naked human being alive and then dead hanging to it. The endless crosses and the three crosses of the Gospel and the semeia is a triptych; the three crosses.


An illustration depicting the three crosses of Jesus and the two thieves against an orange sky


On the cross of Jesus, it says Pontius Pilate, the stooge of empire, had written a message in three languages. Firstly, Hebrew the tongue of God’s unchangeable law, the language of what Christians call the Old Testament, the First Testament and the second language was Greek. Hebrew, Greek and then Latin – the Empire language, speaking of absolute rule unique in the world at the time. The cross inscription sneered at the humanity of the human race which the Romans in their legal system were saying that they upheld.


Our second reading has Jesus and Peter and some of the other disciples on the beach as they’d often been. Peter always stands for impetuosity, often not understanding something that everybody else seemed to understand. Peter had the knack and Peter was declared later on by the Roman Church to be the supreme head of the church. So, I hope that some of the popes listen to Peter in his impetuosity, in his good, impetuous and out in the open approach. The conversation comes between Jesus and Peter, and it is about the most important thing for the globe: human love. Conversion to love from some of the weaker parts of our personality. And the simple offer to our dead and mutating globe is spoken in Jesus’s own dialect, Aramaic. When Jesus spoke to Peter he was speaking in ordinary daily speech, and speaking to him in the open air of the beach, which transforms all religious construction into real human affection. For the globe, if we seek a contemporary term to the contrast Jesus brings to the cults of secrecy, cheating, physical abuse; if there is one word that so craves transparency, it’s Jesus saying to Peter: “Feed my sheep”. “Peter, feed my sheep.” And Jesus said,  Peter show the church how to follow one into the open air like we’re sharing on the beach of the resurrection. The body of Christ. This is our three in one: God Creator, Son, Holy Spirit. The three in one who speaks every language on Earth and every feeling of our emotion, and we are the beloved flock of Jesus Christ. Christ is risen from the dead. By death he has conquered death and opened for us the gates of eternal life. Hallelujah. Amen.
Revd Jon Dean




Readings for 7 April

John 20: 19-31

Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.


21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”



Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”


But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”


26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”


An illustration of apostle doubting Thomas trying to touch Jesus hand.


28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”


29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”



The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Acts 4: 32-35
  • Psalm 133
  • 1 John 1: 1 – 2: 2





Readings for 14 April

Luke 24: 36b-48

36Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”


37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”


40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.


44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”


45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Acts 3: 12-19
  • Psalm 4
  • 1 John 3: 1-7








Our worship

We meet at 11am for our Sunday services, which are also live-streamed on our YouTube channel. If you wish to view our services online, you can find them at

You can also view a recent service on our church website. Our service this week will be led by Methodist local preacher, Genevieve Musey. 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

7 April – Genevieve Musey (Methodist local preacher)

14 April – Christ Church worship group

21 April – Neil Mackin (Christ Church member and trainee URC lay preacher)

28 April – Preach with a view joint service at Ickenham URC





Church charity news

Church charity coffee mornings

The next coffee morning in aid of Communicare Counselling Service will be on Saturday 13 April.


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





A cartoon depicting devils partying beneath a banner proclaiming "Jesus is dead!". One devil is looking concerned at a TV screen with the words 'grave-cam' showing a tomb with a stone rolled aside.
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc –



Small world!

For many years I used to go to the URC at Richings Park, Iver once a month to play the organ for their Sunday Service. Over twenty years ago a quiet demure lady became a member of the small congregation.  After a while she began to occasionally lead a service, and then I learned that she had left to train for the URC ministry. That lady was Sue McCoan, our interim moderator.

Ken Pearce




Dates for your diary


17 April Welcome Wednesdays
24 April CTU Bible study starts
27 April Preach with a view social event
28 April Preach with a view joint service at Ickenham
Farewell service for Revd Dong Hwan Kim at Ruislip Manor Methodist Church
19 May Congregational Meeting
8 September Congregational Meeting
24 November Congregational Meeting


Children’s Corner


A maze puzzle
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2024. Reproduced with permission.)





Praying for other churches

w/c 7 April

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:

  • Wealdstone Methodist Church
  • Wembley Park URC
  • St Margaret’s, Uxbridge


w/c 14 April

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:

  • Northwood Methodist Church
  • St John’s Northwood URC
  • St Andrew’s, Uxbridge


Closing prayer

Lord, your generous love was showered upon us in Jesus.
Help us to be generous to those among whom we live or meet.
Guide us in building and becoming a generous community,
as we seek to put our faith into action.
We ask this in Jesus’ name and for his sake. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)




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‘Look-In’ – 5 April 2024
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