This is now my 21st letter, something I never envisaged back in March when I wrote my first one. I do hope you are all keeping well and safe in what are still worrying days. For those of us who live in Greater Manchester there are now restrictions around people mixing and socialising in houses. We hope and pray that we don’t have to go into lockdown again. We all need to do our best and not get complacent. Just a reminder too that Boris Johnson has made face masks compulsory in churches from the 8th August, so please bring one if you are worshipping this Sunday. Let’s pray especially for the scientists and developers who are working on vaccines and other medications.
This week my weekly u tube study will be looking at the aftermath of the feeding of the 5000, when Jesus sends his disciples off in the boat while he stays behind. They hit a storm and rowing is made difficult, and Jesus goes out to them on the water. Peter goes to meet him on the water, and starts to sink. Please find out what happens on the u-tube link below!
I will be leading worship this Sunday at Shevington (bar any further restrictions being announced before then) It will be different, no singing, plenty of hand sanitisation and social distancing, but it will be worship in God’s name.
Please continue to check out our church web sites to see too what else is going on. I have to say the churches are doing a remarkable job in finding different ways of communicating the gospel to our communities. For those with Smart phones, i-Pads etc, you may wish to watch a live streamed service from Wesley’s chapel in London. The service times and link are as follows:
Sunday 9:45 and 11:00.
All these services will be available at:
Prayerfully yours, Rev John
Revd. John C Hilton, Tel: 01695 625528, Email: [email protected]
Sunday 9th August 2020
This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church. If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you
I come this day to worship You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Open my heart, to receive Your love, my soul to receive Your Spirit and my mind to know to Your truth. For Your glory.
Hymn: Great is thy faithfulness
Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here
on the picture link
Let us pray together
God of grace, I praise You. I praise You for who You are: creator, faithful, rescuer, and holy. I praise that You even though I cannot be with others to worship You, I can feel that You are here in my heart.
I praise You, for all the blessings You have given me. For family, for friends, for a relationship with You. Help me not to take You for granted.
God of grace, as I worship You this morning, help me to be transformed by Your love, and in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
Time to Reflect
I am sure we can all relate to Peter. Throughout the gospels we get a picture of someone who does not always think before he speaks, if we take Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:13-20 and think – did he rush his confession of faith or not? Only a few verses later Jesus rebukes him.
And it is the same in this reading. Peter is singled out while the others stay in the boat.
Jesus says to his disciples ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid’ when he walks on the water to the disciples in the boat. Should this have been enough for Peter as it was for the others? No, Peter being Peter, wants to try and walk on the water.
Perhaps, the message today, for us, is one of trust as we journey as disciples through these difficult times? Jesus says to us, as he said to Peter, “Take heart, it is I: do not be afraid”.
Take a time to sit quietly and ask yourself – what work has already begun in your life? Perhaps, you are not where you want to be but you have progress from where you were.
A time of prayer
Almighty God, I come now to pray for Your world. Your world which is full of brokenness, injustice, and inequality. I bring before You the rulers of the world, local or national, and pray that they would remember that all power comes from You.
Almighty God, I pray for your church. I pray that during these times we would unite in worship and service. I pray for my local church, and its ministers/pastors, that they would be strengthened by Your Spirit.
Almighty God, I pray for those known to me and name them before You. And, I pray for myself, that I would be transformed by Your Spirit, and live in the love which You have given me through Jesus.
In the name of Jesus, I pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father ……
Hymn: Listen to Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer by Keith & Kristyn Getty
A Prayer of blessing
As this time of worship ends,
and I enter into the storms of life,
and the uncertainties which may come,
may I take heart that Jesus is present,
and ever live for His holy name.
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be with me, and those whom I cherish in my heart, now and always.
Original Materials by Matthew Ramsden, Local Preacher from Bolton Methodist Circuit
All Hymns reproduced under CCLi 1144191
Standish Methodist Church
Minister: Rev’d John Hilton
Tel: 01695 625528
Email: [email protected]
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK
from Rev. John Hilton
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been thou for ever wilt be:
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960)
Matthew 14:22-33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land,[a] for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind,[b] he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God”.
Copied from Bible Gateway and last accessed on 22 June 2020. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+14%3A22-33&version=NRSV