An illustration depicting the disciples silhouetted against an orange background with tongues of fire on their heads and a dove flying above

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 10 May. The next newsletter will be sent out on 17 May.


Opening Prayer

God of Pentecost,
come to us today and fill us with your Holy Spirit.
Teach us to see the new things you are doing in us.
Help us to embrace the changes and challenges you ask of us,
as we look for the coming of your kingdom.
(Taken from Roots)



A silhouetted person praying against a sunset sky






Reflection from 5 May

Readings – Acts 10: 44-48, 1 John 5: 1-6 and John 15: 9-17

I’d like to start by thinking about the story we had in Acts and I’d like to do it from the perspective of one of the apostles who was with Peter:
“I was with Peter that day, myself and a couple of the other disciples, we’d been with him all day.


I remember him preaching to the crowd. He often preached, but this seemed different somehow.


An illustration depicting Peter preaching to a crowd


The people were getting excited and responding, you could tell God was at work and they were sensing his spirit touching their hearts, you know when people who have been struggling for years suddenly feel forgiven, feel seen, feel loved in a way they’ve never known before, it changes them from insight out. You see the frowns give way to a blank puzzled stare, then they relax, then they smile with muscles they’ve never used for years, then spontaneously they start responding to God – with prayers, with shouts, with new words they never knew they had.


But me and the disciples looked on the crowd and we realised they weren’t like us. The looked different, they dressed differently. Some of them looked a bit dodgy. They weren’t Jews like us.


We thought Jesus had come for us and the Jewish people – but God obviously had other ideas.


Peter was quick, he always was quick, he realised God was blessing them just as he’d blessed us. And so we should welcome them, we should help them get baptised just we had, we should welcome them into our homes and our community.


Looks like God’s plans for this kingdom were going to be so much bigger than we thought!”


In the story of Acts we see God’s love breaking through beyond what the Jewish apostles thought, to this group of Gentiles breaking through beyond the Jews. Interestingly we see a very human wrestling with the differentness. The Jewish Apostles had their vision of Jesus being their Messiah, the Jewish Messiah, and this starts to be stretched. Through most of Jesus’s ministry he’d reached out to Jews. He did miracles and healings for the Jews; he spoke to Jews in their language, in their stories that they understood, using their scriptures, their ways because Jesus was a Jew. He described himself in their language so he used the term the ‘Son of Man’ which was used 107 times in the Hebrew Bible and was very much understood by the Jewish people as the one God sent, as the Messiah. Earlier in the in the book of John, he argues with the Jewish leaders about Abraham, saying, “before Abraham was, I am” appropriating the very precious name of God – ‘I am’ – for himself.


Two weeks ago we talked about the Good Shepherd. Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd very clearly and characteristically positioning himself as the one who’s come for the Jewish people. Even at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, where he picks up the scroll from Isaiah and reads it out in the synagogue: “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me for he has anointed me to  preach the gospel to the poor, he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to set liberty to them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” and then he declares, “in your midst this scripture is fulfilled” – actually declares himself to be the one fulfilling the scripture. He’s basically saying “I am the one that your Jewish prophets talked about of old. I am he. I am the Messiah; the Messiah for the Jewish nation.”


A illustration depicting Jesus reading the scroll in the synagogue


There are a few exceptions like the healing of the Roman centurion’s servant and the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman. There’s that amazing story where this Greek woman, who is very other, comes and challenges the Jewish rabbi Jesus, and Jesus’s initial response is, “it’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs,” which is actually an astonishingly rude thing to say. It’s basically saying ‘you’re other, you’re Greek, you’re foreign, you’re not Jewish, you’re the dogs’ and yet curiously in that little passage there’s a sense in which Jesus learns from that woman and then does indeed provide the healing she’s seeking.


But now the apostles are witnessing God’s love being poured out in the same way on the Gentiles in the story in Acts. Peter’s preaching and God’s love is obviously meeting them just in the same way that they’d experienced God at Pentecost; that sense of speaking in tongues, manifestations of the Spirit, people being all struck before God and overwhelmed by his love. In some translations we’ve got the interesting language that it talks about being ‘even on the Gentiles’. It’s almost as if the people writing the translation and recognising it as sort of othering the Gentiles – ‘even the Gentiles’ – and they wrestled with this.


These were people who were not like them. They were different; they had different customs, different food, they dressed differently, they smelt differently, they were other. They were not like them, not the same, but God evidently loved them and he brought them into the fold and he commanded them to love one another and so they did for God’s love was the thing that grounded their lives and inspired their actions.


In the epistle John which we read, traditionally taken to be a letter of encouragement to the church and often believed to have been written by the same apostle John who wrote the Gospel of John, but written around AD 63-66, we’ve got these words: “We know that we are the children of God because we love God and we observe his commandments.” We love God and observe his commandments and when you kind of have that sense of the unfathomable depth of God’s love for us, and if you can appreciate his unfathomable depth of his love for us, perhaps that becomes the thing that grounds our lives too and we get grounded in that love. Perhaps that’s the love that comes from trusting in the crucified Jesus, trusting in God’s testimony which is given both by the Spirit and by the apostles, and by the teaching and through the Bible, and then when God’s love gets a hold of you it opens up eternal life in our lives. It starts to be not just a way of existing, but a way of existing in this world; a way of life that permeates God’s life and love through us, beginning now and carrying on into eternity.


We have that interesting promise that his commandments are not burdensome. When I look around, I often see people who look burdened. I often see people who are worn down, weary in their busyness, with their concerns, with their apprehensions, and I know from time to time I am like that. I think we all are. Maybe we need to think whether our modern understanding of work and pleasure is the right kind of lens to see this through.


Have you ever been absorbed in a project? Maybe you’re into sewing, or gardening, and you just invested more time and more energy into this project than ever you thought you were going to. Did it then sap the life out of you or did it actually give you energy and give you life? Did you get enlivened by this passion project? Perhaps when we’re consumed by the love of God, perhaps his commandments are then not a burden. Maybe they become our passion project and perhaps when we are feeling burdened we ought to step back and try to refocus on the love of God instead. Maybe when we’re busy and overwhelmed we need to go back to our source that is God and try and find again his love and be captivated by his love and find our lives grounded in his love again.


A man planting crops in a garden


I want to look really briefly at the Gospel reading again today from John 15: 9-17, but you know that the verse numbers and the chapter numbers were never really there in the original script. They’re all later additions to make it easier to find things. John includes this section of teaching into the scene where Jesus is at the Last Supper. He’s gathered together all twelve disciples for that last time. He’s already washed their feet to show them the need for servant leadership, he’s already confronted Judas and invited Judas to go off and act on the betrayal he’s setting up, and he given this new commandment: “love one another even as I have loved you,” and he’s talked about preparing a place in heaven for his followers. He’s talked about the coming Holy Spirit which we see manifested in the stories in Acts and how the Holy Spirit will be a helper sent in his name, and he’s shared the parable of “I am the vine. Abide in me and bear much fruit.”


Now in this very intimate setting, he is giving his critical last instructions and truths to his disciples before the consummation of his earthly ministry before he goes on and is arrested and is crucified and he says, “As the father has loved me so have I loved you. Remain in my love.” The New American Standard Bible translates this as abide in my love; to live in or dwell in his love and a new commandment to love one another and to lay down one’s life for each other, and yet there’s also that promise that your joy will be complete.


How do we think about your joy will be complete? I don’t think we should be thinking about happiness as though we’ll have the happiest day ever. I think completeness of joy probably does not mean the eradication of pain, betrayal and loss. Perhaps actually all of those are part of completeness too, but we’ll be complete in our joy as we’re complete in our love and his love works through us. It’s not the easy life pouring out one’s life for another, laying down one’s life in love for others, but I think we should be aspiring to do it from that position of abiding in his love, making his joy complete as we make our joy complete, consumed by his love so that it becomes our passion project to love one another and lay our lives down for one another. I think that’s the challenge and the opportunity for us today.
Neil Mackin





Reflection from 12 May

Readings – Acts 1:15-17,21-26

Roots gives us this reflection as our thought for the week:


One day a church member approached the pastor and began to speak: ‘God has told me…’. The pastor listened patiently and then replied, ‘Well, that’s very interesting, and when I feel that God is telling me the same, perhaps we can move forward’. Stories like that are amusing, but they have a serious undertone. It’s not always easy to discern the way we should go, either in daily life or in church circles – and we go it alone at our peril. Most of us will have experienced enthusiastic colleagues who put forward ideas without properly considering whether they are feasible or desirable. Such folk may need a kindly mentor to draw them aside and point out some pitfalls and alternatives.


In the reading from Acts, the disciples seemed to understand the need for collaboration between people and God. No doubt they had observed and spoken to likely candidates before short-listing Joseph and Matthias, and before involving God in prayer and trusting in the process of drawing lots.


How do we respond if we feel that God might be calling us to something new (in church or in the world)?


If our call is to a formal, recognised form of ministry, lay or ordained, there is almost certainly a recognised process of discernment to go with it. (And selection… and training… and… probably an assessment of some form at the end to get a certificate). Such processes give the assurance of the church’s confidence and protection. The sense of calling is not ours alone; it belongs to the church as a whole.


Of course, not everyone is called to ordained or authorised ministry. However, everyone is called to serve God, the community of believers, and their neighbour. If we are not sure what our calling is, a first step might be to assess our gifts and talents, and to ask what those around us see in us. Gifts of friendship, welcome, hospitality, artistic ability, computer skills (to name just a few) are just as important and necessary as those of a preacher.


Hands lifted up in prayer with light shining down on them


In the first place, Matthias and Joseph were willing to be called by God. Then they were prepared to participate in the selection process. Finally, they were obedient to the call of the Church and accepted the roles that were assigned to them. By the power of the Spirit, may we be able to assess our skills and talents and discern God’s call. May we have the grace to seek the counsel of others. And may we joyfully accept our calling, whatever that may be.





Readings for 19 May

Acts 2: 1-21

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.


An illustration depicting the disciples silhouetted against an orange background with tongues of fire on their heads and a dove flying above


Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Paphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”


13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”



Peter Addresses the Crowd
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:


17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b
  • Romans 8: 22-27
  • John 15: 26-7; 16: 4b-15






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 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

19 May – Christ Church worship group (Pentecost)

26 May – Revd Dr Lynita Conradie (Methodist minister and Circuit Superintendent) – Holy Communion

2 June – Jeremy Day (URC preacher, non-accredited)

9 June – Claire Gill (Methodist deacon) – parade service







A cartoon showing three men looking at a scroll. The caption reads "Can you scroll back up?"
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc –



From the Circuit

North Hillingdon May Fair

North Hillingdon are hosting their annual May Fair soon – look forward to stalls, plants, and books on offer, as well as refreshments including tea, coffee, and cake. Come along to North Hillingdon Methodist Church on Saturday 18th May from 11am till 2pm to join in on the fun. Everyone is welcome.



Summer fun at Hayes End – Saturday 1 June, 2-5pm

Join everyone at Hayes End Methodist Church on Saturday 1st June for their Summer Fun event. Look forward to all sorts of summer entertainment including bouncy castles, crafts, ice cream, and of course refreshments in the form of tea, coffee, and cake. Starting at 2pm and lasting until 5pm, everyone is welcome to attend. Right after the event follows Glori Kitchen from 5:30pm onwards, serving free nutritional food to the community.



Richard Reid’s 40 Years of Preaching

To celebrate Richard Reid’s 40 years of preaching milestone, look forward to a special Circuit service at North Harrow Methodist Church, Pinner Road, HA2 6EQ, at 4pm on Sunday 2nd June. Everyone is welcome to attend.


URC News

Thames North Eco Day: Our Shared Climate

8 June 2024, 10am – 4pm

Vine Church, Ilford

A day exploring actions we can take to preserve human and bio diversity. Activities for all ages. Children very welcome. For more information, please email


A poster showing a world map in green and the text "Thames North Synod. Eco Day 2024. Our Shared Climate. Celebration and action for justice. 8th June. 10.00am - 4.00pm. Vine Church, Ilford. A day exploring actions we can take to preserve human and bio diversity. Activities for all ages. Children very welcome. For more information, please email Full itinerary for the day will be sent to attendees by end of May."


More to look forward to at our Eco Day on 8 June 2024:


Progressing our buildings to Net Zero around the Synod

Are you wondering what you can do with your church buildings to reduce their Carbon Footprint?  Why not come along to the Synod Eco Day and hear Andrew Mills of St Johns New Barnet URC, holders of a Silver Eco Church Award, in conversation with Sacha McArdle, Thames North Synod’s Assistant Property Officer, on the work that has been done at St Johns New Barnet URC.  In addition, you will be able to see the work that has been done at The Vine URC as a Thames North Synod Pilot Project. You will also be able to pick up a few tips on applying for an Eco Grant.


Talking Climate, Poverty and the General Election

With a general election looming, it’s a great time to let your candidates know what you care about. This session will cover tips and tools to start building a relationship with your future MP and getting their commitment to act for climate justice in their first 100 days and beyond. With Jess Hall, Campaigns and Organising Officer, Christian Aid.


Food served on the day will be vegetarian but to help us with catering please let Colleen know whether you prefer Vegetable Curry or Vegetable Pasta Bake.  Please register here:




CTU Bible Study

Wednesdays from April 24th to May 29th

13:15 – 14:15 at the Quaker Meeting House, York Road, Uxbridge.


The session on 22 May will focus on Psalms 130, 131 and 132.


An image showing mountains and trees against a sunset sky. The text reads "Join us on a pilgrimage with THE PSALMS OF ASCENT (120-154), Quaker Meeting House, Wednesdays April 24th - May 29th, time 13:15-14:15. using the Friendly Bible Study format, and with reflections from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. All welcome. More information - / 07757 775625."


All welcome. For more information, please contact Mike Beranek at or by telephone on 07757 775625.




Show-Offs: Our Musical Daydreams

Saturday 18 May, 2pm and 7pm

​WOS Productions present ‘Show-Offs: Our Musical Daydreams’, a Spring concert which provides the cast with the opportunity to perform their “fantasy” songs from the shows that they’ve always wanted to sing but haven’t had the chance to do so. The associated roles may be for different playing ages or gender, or the parent show has been unavailable to stage.


A picture of theatre curtains with text in front "Show-Offs! Our Musical Daydreams. Saturday 18 May 2024, 2pm and 7pm, Ickenham Village Hall. 07391 988077"


Look for some fun interpretations of songs new and old, and group numbers that bring the cast together to celebrate our love of musical theatre. Shows featured include ‘Chess’, ‘Something Rotten!’, ‘Chicago’, ‘Hamilton’, ‘Wicked’ and ‘Les Miserables’, plus many more!


Venue: Ickenham Village Hall, 33 Swakeleys Road, UB10 8DG

Show times: Saturday 18 May: 14:00; 19:00


Tickets cost £15 (£10 for children) and can be purchased in advance via card payment online via or by phoning 0333 666 33 66. Booking fees apply. Tickets can also be purchased on the door via cash or card.


Audience members requiring wheelchair spaces should contact the WOS Box Office (07391988077 /





Dates for your diary


19 May Congregational Meeting
22 May CTU Bible study group
29 May Welcome Wednesday

CTU Bible study group

12 June Welcome Wednesday
26 June Welcome Wednesday
30 June CTU AGM
10 July Welcome Wednesday
24 July Welcome Wednesday
4 September Welcome Wednesday
8 September Congregational Meeting
18 September Welcome Wednesday
24 November Congregational Meeting




Children’s Corner


Can you find these words from Acts 2: 1-21? Do you know what they mean?




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



Praying for other churches

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:


  • Ruislip Methodist
  • Christ Church, Enfield URC
  • Kingsborough Church, Uxbridge



Two pairs of hands touching with palms upwards. A wooden cross lies across the two pairs of hands


Closing prayer

Thank you, God,
for making us all different, all special, and all loved.
Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit
to help us to love other people.
Give us joy as we hope and dream about the future.
(Taken from Roots)







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‘Look-In’ – 17 May 2024
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