Sunday Worship – 30th August 2020 by Rev Gayle Taylor

White wooden signpost with four arrows – “wrong”, “right”, “decision”, “choice”.

Sitting in different chairs, joining in at different times throughout the day, God’s people still gather for worship on this, the Lord’s day. Welcome, to Sunday worship.

Call to Worship

Based on Psalm 26 with parts in bold to say aloud:

Here we gather, O Lord,

test my heart and mind,

try me and prove me.

Here we gather, O Lord,

trusting you without wavering,

walking with integrity.

Here we gather, O Lord,

singing in our souls with thanksgiving,

telling of your wondrous deeds.

Here we gather, O Lord,

in the house which we love,

and in which you dwell.

Here we gather, O Lord,

let us worship you

in the place where your glory abides.

HYMN – Jesus Calls us Here to Meet Him

All-Age Prayer

Loving God,

you made us and you know us

outside and in.

Some of us like to look tough

and hide our soft centre.

Some of us look fragile on the outside

but have a core of steel within.

We believe that you want us to be whole,

so help us to accept all the different qualities

that make us uniquely the people we are.

May we use our strength to support other people

and not to trip them up.

May we risk sometimes showing our softness

so that we feel with others in their pain

and share with them in their joy.

Solid as a rock, or mushy as marshmallow;

hard as a diamond, light as a feather

or frothy as a milkshake,

help us to become our best selves for you.


Reading: Matthew 16:21-28 read by Walter Thomson

Dramatised reading:


HYMN – I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Sunday School for All Ages:

Positives And Negatives

You will need: a variety of items laid out on a table (such as mobile phone, umbrella, pencil, chocolate bar, book, and so on), pen and paper.

On the paper beforehand write along the side of the paper all the items that are on the table under one another. Older children/adults could do this for themselves. Across the top of the paper put two headings: Positive and Negative. As people look at each of the items they need to write a positive and negative comment about each item. For example, a mobile phone helps us stay communicated/play games as a positive, but as a negative it can be a distraction/ people don’t know when to put it down; for an umbrella it keeps you dry but it also means it is hard to see where you are going or who you bump into; and chocolate tastes yummy and gives us energy but is also fattening. You could link others to issues of recycling/environment/health/ education.

Most things we do in this life will have both positive and negative effects for people. You would have expected Peter to have the positive approach but Jesus called what he said a stumbling block and a stumbling block is a negative thing.

What are the stumbling blocks—the negatives—in your church or community? Think of positive ways that we can help each other in the church and community.

HYMN – I Will Offer up My Life

Prayers for Others and Ourselves

Living God,

we view you, as Christians,

through the lens of Jesus of Nazareth,

a man who experienced more and achieved more

in his tragically short lifetime

than most of us will if we live to be a hundred.

If it is true that you were present in him

in a uniquely powerful way;

his thinking completely in tune with yours;

his life imbued with your spirit,

then we can look at him and see you

in a new and different way:

not separate from human brokenness and suffering,

but one with us in our loss and grieving,

as well as in our wonderment and joy.

We pray now for anyone today going through

the long, slow journey of loss, and grief, and recovery,

in one way or another.

The announcement of bad news:

“I must go to Jerusalem and suffer… and die…”

We pray for those who have received recently

the kind of news that all of us dread:

news of serious illness,

of redundancy,

of the loss of a loved one.

Be with them on the road they must travel

from here on in.

And for those who have to break bad news to others:

may they receive the care and support that they need.

There is the immediate, instinctive denial:

“Never, Lord!… This must not happen to you!”

Sometimes, O God, it is just too much to bear.

We pray for those who have been assaulted

with loss on a scale that no-one should have to face,

or whose back has finally broken under one last, tiny straw.

May there be ears to listen, arms to hold,

hearts to understand until they are ready

to face their truth and take the first small step forward,

even if that leads to…

…the anger, the looking for someone to blame:

“Get behind me, Satan!”

Forgive us if we have lashed out in anger

at someone who did nothing to deserve it

because they were voicing our own secret thoughts

or just because they were close by.

Grant us compassion, and broad shoulders,

if someone needs to vent their rage on us.

There is the bargaining, the doing of deals,

the desperate searching for hope:

“If you are willing to lose your life, you will find it”.

May we move quickly from false, futile deals

with the universe, to this real, honest deal with you.

Help us to let go of whatever it is we are most fearful

of losing, then no-one can take it from us.

Help us, as quickly as we can, as slowly as we need

to reach acceptance, of a new and different future:

“The Son of Man will come in his glory…

and you will see him”.

God, grant hope to all who are in despair,

or someone to hold a candle of hope on their behalf

until its light reaches through to warm and encourage them.

God, who knows from the inside what it is

to be human, with all the joy and sorrow that entails,

bless us and all for whom our prayers are offered.


Offering – We now have a “donate” button the website that will take you to a secure page with the Charities Aid Foundation if you want to make a donation to the church online.

Prayer of Dedication

“What good is to anyone”, Jesus asked,

“to gain the whole world and lose their soul?”

Wise and generous God,

we could bring you all the money we had—

be it a widow’s mite or a king’s ransom—

and it might help the church,

but in the economy of the kingdom

it would count for nothing.

Such money as we do bring

is only of real value

if it represents a letting go

of all that binds us to this world

and in so doing sets us free to follow Christ

and to commit ourselves more fully

to the service of his kingdom.

So may we do

and so may it be.


HYMN – Take up Your Cross – let’s hear some gospel music in this weekend when we remember Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech over 50 years ago.


Continue your walk with Jesus

as you leave our time together.

Whatever the burdens are that you carry,

know that Jesus shares your load.

May God’s love,

Jesus’ compassion,

and the Spirit’s guidance

be with you

as you go about your daily living. Amen.