Sunday Service

The Vine at Home complied and produced by Twelve Baskets copyright at Twelve Baskets 2021

25th July 2021


The Vine at Home 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year B
Call to worship written by Tim Baker

Grace is here to welcome us, Christ is here amongst us,
The Spirit moves by ways we do not know, And God comes close, closer than we can imagine.
Come close, Lord Jesus.
Amen.

Hymn: 44 STF – Come on and celebrate! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ekZIByjMVI

Opening Prayers written by Tim Baker
This day, Lord of light, we come to encounter you.
We invite you to come and shine in our hearts, to transform us by your love and your grace, that our faces might shine with your glory, that your love might be seen in our eye-contact, our gentle smile, our encouraging nod, perhaps even our tentative embrace.
This day, Lord of light, come amongst us by your grace.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
For our prayers of thanksgiving, you are invited to think of something you are thankful for. Each of us have received so much and, no matter how we feel right now, there is something we can be thankful for. Let’s just take a few moments now – what are you thankful for today?
Living God, we are truly thankful. You, O Lord, are the provider of blessings and giver of gifts. We are your thankful people.
And despite all you have done for us, despite all we have received, we have failed you and fallen short of your desires for our lives. We have stood with the apostle Paul when we have done and said the things we wish we hadn’t, and regret the missed opportunities to do and say the things we wish we had.
We’ll hold a moment of quiet now, in which you are invited to reflect on your mistakes and regrets from this past week, offering them to God in prayer.
Living God, you accept us just as we are, you welcome us into your presence, no matter what we have done or how we have let you down. Thank you for your forgiveness for us and for continuing to use us for your glory.
We bring all our prayers in the name of the Creator God, the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.
Let us now say the Lord’s Prayer

Readings: 2 Samuel 11:1-15 David Commits Adultery with Bathsheba
11 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”
6 So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths;[a] and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, 13 David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
David Has Uriah Killed
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”

John 6:1-21 – Feeding the Five Thousand
6 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.[a]2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages[b] would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they[c] sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Jesus Walks on the Water
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[d] they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said to them, “It is I;[e] do not be afraid.” 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

Reflections on the reading
The full reflection from All We Can (allwecan.org.uk) is included in The Vine Resources – email thevine@twelvebaskets.co.uk to find out if your circuit is subscribed.

Have you ever had unexpected guests at a meal time? Imagine having five thousand people turn up for Sunday lunch. If you were suddenly asked to provide for thousands of people would you react like Philip or Jesus? Would your practical mind work out that this would be an expensive meal and one that you certainly couldn’t afford? Or would you calmly trust that all you needed was already there?

In this story, Jesus shows us how extraordinary things can happen. Jesus takes an ordinary amount of food and changes it into something remarkable.

What about you? Where are the ‘ordinary’ moments in your life, that could become extraordinary? What are the ‘ordinary’ things, practices, habits, life-choices, resources, relationships that you have…which might be (or become) extraordinary?
How can we use the ‘simple’ things that we have to help make the world a better place?

Let us pray.

O God of all, You bring life and transformation
And offer us the gift of joining in partnership with you.
All over the world, we see change beginning,
we see ordinary things and ordinary people having an extraordinary impact.
Show us how to demonstrate your generous love in all we do,
Give us hearts that overflow from you,
Living God, we pray that change will begin here, in this place,
We pray that change may begin with us.

Amen.

Prayers of intercession written by All We Can

Leader: Heavenly Father,

We pray for the students and teachers in our communities.
We bring before you the children who will be able to access education because of the extraordinary gift of a bike.

Leader: Lord of transformation,
All: Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

We pray for those who are living in poverty in our midst. We pray that the work of All We Can and their partners would break the cycle of poverty in Uganda and bring change.

Lord of transformation,
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

Help us all to fulfil our God-given potential. May these bikes be a starting point for children to live life to the maximum and see their hopes and dreams become a reality.

Lord of transformation,
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

We pray for our heads of government and those in positions of power. We ask for them to be motivated to eradicate injustice and inequality.

Lord of transformation,
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

We thank you for the NHS and the amazing staff that keep it running. We pray for communities like Butagaya where access to healthcare is difficult and limited.

Lord of transformation,
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

We thank you for the opportunity to keep learning and growing. We pray for the young people in Butagaya learning to be bike mechanics and pray that these skills will help sustain them and give them security.

Lord of transformation,
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Amen.

Hymn: 615 STF – Let love be real, in giving and receiving – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkBAxZw5NxU

Blessing
May God help us to steer our lives towards him,
May he use us to break the cycle of poverty
And keep the wheels of transformation turning.
May Almighty God bless you and guide you on your way,
Amen.

Hope Journey Sharing Parables at Greasby Infant School

HOPE JOURNEY SHARING PARABLES

was a joy to visit Greasby Infant School on Thursday 1st July to deliver Sharing Parables to 60 children and 5 staff from F2.  This was our first visit into schools this year and we were very blessed with dry weather as we held the event in the outdoor play space.  

Following the welcome and introduction

  1. We read the story of The Lost Son from the bible. A parable is a story Jesus told to explain his teaching to us. We talked about feelings – how the various characters felt at different times in the story and why their emotions changed.  Very  importantly we looked at how we can all make wrong choices but God always forgives us if we are truly sorry for what we have done and aim to put it right.  The children made paper plate faces – a smiling face on one side and a sad face on the other – and used the paper plate faces to retell the story to us

2. The puppets shared a modern day version of the story.  A boy wanted to go to a disco but dad had said no.  However he sneaked out and went off with his friends and had a great time.  However he woke his dad up when he got home so his dad found out what he had done.  However dad did forgive him because he loved him so much.  Just as our Father God loves us and will forgive us too.  The children made peg puppets to take home to use to retell the story to their families

3. We presented a monologue, from dad’s point of view, again exploring how sad he was when the son asked for his inheritance and left home seeking a better life.  But how he rejoiced when the son returned home.  Sometimes we can wander away from God, but He is always ready to welcome us back too.  The children then made scoobies with different shaped beads

Square = someone we rely on, and who supports us

Round = somebody it is good to be around (friend, teacher, family member)

Heart = somebody who takes care of us

Star = a superstar in our life

We all enjoyed learning about how God loves us, takes care of us and we can trust Him to be our superstar and very special friend forever.

We are looking forward to welcoming all the children and staff into church again for another exciting programme of Hope Journey events next year

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Hope Journey Sharing Parables with Brookdale Primary School

HOPE JOURNEY SHARING PARABLES

This week what welcomed 30 children and 3 staff from F2 (4-5 year olds) Brookdale Primary School into our sanctuary to share the Parable of the Lost Son (the Prodigal Son)

Following the welcome and introduction

  1. We read the story of The Lost Son from the bible. A parable is a story Jesus told to explain his teaching to us. We talked about feelings – how the various characters felt at different times in the story and why their emotions changed.  Very  importantly we looked at how we can all make wrong choices but God always forgives us if we are truly sorry for what we have done and aim to put it right.  The children made paper plate faces – a smiling face on one side and a sad face on the other – and used the paper plate faces to retell the story to us

2. The puppets shared a modern day version of the story.  A boy wanted to go to a disco but dad had said no.  However he sneaked out and went off with his friends and had a great time.  However he woke his dad up when he got home so his dad found out what he had done.  However dad did forgive him because he loved him so much.  Just as our Father God loves us and will forgive us too.  The children made peg puppets to take home to use to retell the story to their families

Puppets tell a modern day version of the Parable of the Lost Son

Square = someone we rely on, and who supports us

3. We presented a monologue, from dad’s point of view, again exploring how sad he was when the son asked for his inheritance and left home seeking a better life.  But how he rejoiced when the son returned home.  Sometimes we can wander away from God, but He is always ready to welcome us back too.  The children then made scoobies with different shaped beads

Square = someone we rely on, and who supports us

Round = somebody it is good to be around (friend, teacher, family member)

Heart = somebody who takes care of us

Star = a superstar in our life

Children listen to dad telling them his story

We all enjoyed learning about how God loves us, takes care of us and we can trust Him to be our superstar and very special friend forever.

We are looking forward to Sharing Parables with Greasby Infant School next week

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Hope Journey Explore

Hope Journey Explore

This week we shared Hope Journey Explore via Microsoft Teams with 61 children at Greasby Junior School and 28 children at Brookdale Primary School on Thursday 27th May.  I am grateful to the Circuit Team for their knowledge and support

Following my welcome and introduction, we shared four workshops

  1. Explore – using images and starting with our own church, we looked at various artifacts and furniture usually found in churches and identified what each was and what we use them for.  This included the Bible, pulpit, lectern, baptismal font/baptistry, communion table, hymn book, organ/keyboard etc.  This facilitated explanations about denominations, the history of the bible, baptism and celebration of communion.  We then looked at the development of the church and, despite some differences, we all come from one root.
The Cross as a symbol of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

2. Holy Books – which focussed on the Bible – structure, Old Testament, New Testament, gospels/epistles, various versions etc and compared the Bible with the Qur’an and Torah.  The children asked the most amazing questions eg how old the bible is? When and how did different versions develop?  Did they use a quill to write it?  How has the same version carried on?  They also asked How did Jesus knew he was going to be killed?  We then explained the Trinity.

The Bible is Christians’ Holy Book

3. Signs and symbols – after a fun quiz looking at company logos, we examined the meaning behind various signs and symbols.  In particular we talked about the Cross, ICHTHUS, the dove, a crown of thorns and a triquetra.  We compared the Cross to the Star of David (Judaism) and the Crescent Moon (Islam) before asking the children to design a symbol shield for themselves

ICHTHUS – The greek letters mean Jesus Christ Gods’ Son Saviour

4. Prayer – We asked Why pray? Who do we pray to? Where can you pray? What do you pray about?  We watched a video of several children answering those questions.  We explained ACTS, the Lords Prayer and introduced a holding cross, before listening to Sir Cliff Richard singing the Millennial Prayer – The Lords prayer.  We concluded prayer is taking with God, and we can pray to God at any time, in any place. Children were encouraged to write their own prayers using TSP – Thank you, Sorry and Please if they find it helpful.

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and of peace

We have displayed some of the children’s work for your enjoyment and hope you will come along to admire their work during the half term break

The Triquetra symbolises the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit

Thank you to Brookdale and Greasby Junior School for joining us at Hope Journey again

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Church Opening

As from the 25th of July we are able to ease restrictions regarding Sunday worship. However, for the time being and out of consideration for others, we are proceeding with caution. We are still asking our congregation to wear masks when moving around, only removing them when seated in church. We have permission to sing but, for the time being, we are recommending that it be from behind a mask wherever possible. The seats will be put back into rows, but we will still be practicing social distancing, albeit at 1 metre instead of 2. We hope that this will encourage those of you who have not yet felt able to return to worship in person, to give it a go, because we have missed you.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord our God” so please come and join us each Sunday at 10.45 am. for worship, fellowship, and a cup of tea or coffee.

Hope Journey Cross Factor with Brookdale Primary School

Hope Journey Cross Factor with Brookdale Primary School

It was a joy to be able to share another Cross Factor with 29 Year 5 children and 2 staff at Brookdale Primary School on Wednesday 14th April (via Google Meet).

The morning included

  • the Easter Story using a jig saw puzzle, which puts Jesus at the heart of the cross.  We discussed the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, The garden of Gethsemane, how Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priests house, before being taken to Pilate who ‘washed his hands of the affair’, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, following which the children designed a storyboard about what we were really celebrating at Easter
  • A look at some crosses from around the world (Roman, Crucifix, Palm, Celtic, Salvadorian) and why we share Palm crosses on Palm Sunday.  The children designed their own cross depicting scenes of the Easter story
  • a Roman Soldier telling us his experience of being in Jerusalem during Holy Week and how he felt when being told to go and arrest Jesus – whom he believed to be a good man who had performed miracles and healed people.  He was saddened when they crucified Jesus and shocked and delighted to meet an angel at the tomb who said Jesus was alive.  The children imagined being that Centurion and wrote a letter to a friend Maximus to tell him what had happened
  • We thought about how some things can look dead – but are brought back to life – like a bulb before it grows into a beautiful flower and a chrysalis before it becomes a pretty butterfly.  Christians believe that Jesus rose again and is alive and with us today and every day.  We discussed what we may like to change in our own lives, in our community and in the world and the children wrote their thoughts on leaves which were glued onto a tree, demonstrating renewal of life

The children received 3 gifts from Greasby Methodist Church

Resurrection Rhyme (Bible Society)
  1. The Journey through Holy Week as a take home leaflet t(see above) so that the children could colour the images whilst they shared the story with families
  2. All about Easter – a Resurrection Rhyme, published by the Bible Society this year.
  3. A Palm Cross – with an explanation of the significance of these crosses for Christians
Significance of the Palm Cross

We are very blessed that our virtual Hope Journeys have taken place this year but looking forward to when we can welcome the children and staff back into church again

 Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Annual Report April 2020-March 2021

Please find attached a copy of the Annual Report for April 2020 – March 2021 as promisedhttps://greasbymethodistchurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Annual-Report-2020-21-Final-10.pdf

Please do take time to read the report and praise God for the many blessings we have received throughout what has been a challenging year and pray for wisdom and guidance as we develop our Mission Plan for Greasby Methodist Church 2021-23

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey Cross Factor with Greasby Junior School

Hope Journey Cross Factor with Greasby Junior School

What a joy to be able to share Cross Factor with 64 Year 5 children and 4 staff at Greasby Junior School on Monday 22nd March via Google Meet

Cross Factor aimed to complement the Ecumenical Assemblies Team videoed assembly entitled ‘Easter in a Nutshell’, which highlighted the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We looked at the Easter Story using a jig saw puzzle, which puts Jesus at the heart of the cross.  We discussed the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, The garden of Gethsemane, how Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priests house, before being taken to Pilate who washed his hands of the affair, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, following which children designed a storyboard about what we are really celebrating at Easter.  This work is currently displayed in the foyer at church

We also looked at some crosses from around the world (Roman, Crucifix, Palm, Celtic, Salvadorian) and why we share Palm crosses on Palm Sunday.  Some children designed their own cross depicting scenes of the resurrection of Christ.  This wonderful work is also on display at church.

Significance of the Palm Cross

We were able to share 3 gifts from Greasby Methodist Church

  1. The Journey through Holy Week as a take home leaflet so that the children could colour the images whilst they shared the story with families
  2. All about Easter – a Resurrection Rhyme, published by the Bible Society this month.  This included a special Easter blessing from us all at Greasby Methodist Church
  3. A Palm Cross – with an explanation of the significance of these crosses for Christians
Resurrection Rhyme (Bible Society)

The next Cross Factor for Year 5 children at Brookdale Primary will take place on Wednesday 14th April. 

Whilst we remain grateful for the technology which has facilitated our Hope Journeys this year, we do look forward to when we are able to welcome the children into our church again for more interactive learning sessions.

 Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator