Sunday, 25th October, 2020 - Part 2 - Commands and complications. Moving from not racist to anti-racist
Commands and complications The collision of One World Week and Black History Month Genius is making complex things simple, not vice versa 1300BC when Moses came down with the Ten Commandments - nice, clear and simple but by the time Jesus came on the scene, just one commandment had evolved into 600 specific banns The meaning of neighbour today and Levi's time Who was the only white European mentioned in the bible? The URC moving from being not racist to anti-racist
October 25, 2021
Sunday, 25th October, 2020 - Part 1 - How much rice? What if we were nice to two people each?
Activity - How much rice? Messy maths time Grains of rice on a chess board How would the world be if everyone was generous to two other people Reading - Leviticus 19, 1,2 and 15-18
October 24, 2021
Sunday, 18th October, 2020 - Part 2 - Dreams
Reading: Genesis ch37 vv2-11 Talk - Dreams We all have dreams for our life God has a dream for your life today and for you Joseph was 17 years old when God gave him a life changing dream, that one day he would have power and be influential I want to challenge you today to have a big dream from God Dream big - God has more for you There are times when your circumstances will be inconsistent with your dreams but persevere through these moments. You can reduce your life to your present circumstances or believe through God that your life will catch up with your dream if you don't give up Joseph had his dream at age 17 but didn't achieve his dream until he was 30 Compassion brings you dreams from children from all over the world Children can achieve those dreams but need your help to do that The fight against poverty goes on despite COVID Prayers
October 18, 2021
Sunday, 18th October, 2020 - Part 1 - Compassion and Christian, the child we support
Our involvement with Compassion In April 2013 when we went to Spring Harvest and heard a speaker talking about Compassion There we found Enoch who we have exchanged letters with and he is now 16 Our second child we link to, Khanzi now has a family goat, purchased with the money we have sent Inspired by our experience, we asked the church to sponsor a child as well. Which is how we got involved with Christian
October 17, 2021
Sunday, 11th October 2020 - Part 2 - We all love a good story
Reading - Psalm 139. 1, 5-12 Reading - Luke 15.11 - 32 Short reflection on readings - We all love a good story and the stories of Jonah and the Father with two sons are some of the best We always think of the first, younger son in the story, but I want us to spend some time with the other one. In some ways he was lost as well - never having left home, never disobeyed his father but huge resentment within him As we look out to the world around us, have we caught hold of the compassion in the stories or do we see our service of God as some kind of grudging act? Are we grumpy servants of the Lord or are we beloved children of God
October 11, 2021
Sunday, 11th October 2020 - Part 1 - Who's for a boat ride?
I know some of the congregation were intending to go on cruises this year that have had to be postponed This autumn we are thinking about the story of Jonah, an anti-hero that does all of the wrong things but somehow manages to bring Nineveh to God Originally told by God to go to Nineveh, a 550 mile trek, he instead opts for a 2,500 mile trip to Tarshish instead It's a great comic story but it challenges us to think about what direction we are going with God. Are we heading in the right direction? Is God calling us to do something, to go somewhere or to reach out to someone? Reading - Jonah 1, vv 1-10
October 10, 2021
Sunday, 4th October 2020 - Part 2 - Are you sleeping OK?
Can you rest, are you sleeping okay at the moment or are you having weird dreams We live in a restless world We're restless about the impact that we are having on our world; the climate emergency the pollution of the seas and air Easy to think it's someone else's problem but it's all of ours. Words of a carpenter, a journalist and an artist: A carpenter - Jesus - "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest" A Journalist - The economics editor for the times Philip Aldrich - "The UK is now a world leader in wind" An artist - David Hockney - "I'm living here [Normandy] he wrote in a little seven dwarfs house in the middle of a four acre field and I'm perfectly happy"
October 4, 2021
Sunday, 4th October 2020 - Part 1 - A glorious and varied and creation
This is the end of the season of creation This season of creation ends on the 4th October, St. Francis' day It's almost 800 years since he died yet he still impacts the whole church and world with his example Turning away from material things to a life with Christ Wanting to live out the gospel in its fullest extent Many stories talk of his great love for animals and the environment; He wrote a beautiful song of praise called the Canticle of the Sun The theme of this year's season of creation has been "Sabbath" the day of rest We need times to stop and pause Reading: Psalm 148:7-14 NIVUK read by Clare Downing, General Assembly Moderator 2nd Reading: Matthew 11:25-30 NIVUK read by Peter Pay, General Assembly Lay Moderator
October 3, 2021
Sunday, 27th September, 2020 - Part 2 - Ending our journey with Paul
Reading: Romans 16. 1 – 7 NIVUK read by David Reynolds Final reflections on our journey with Paul. Paul wanted to get to Spain, he saw it as an area ripe for mission but he never got there He was arrested in the temple in Jerusalem, beaten and put on trial for being a Christian Even at the moments of danger and imprisonment, Paul wants to share the love of God he has discovered When on trial, Paul reminded the court he was a Roman citizen and so was sent by ship to Rome where his wish to see friends was fulfilled but only as a prisoner For Paul in Christ, there was no male or female, all those barriers are broken down and we are as one No-one would think of Paul as a feminist though, he was a man of his time Music for reflection Prayers of intercession (using words of Paul) First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. I remember you always in my prayers. (Romans 1.8,9) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15.) 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15.13) The God of peace be with you all. (Romans 15.33) To God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans16.27)
September 27, 2021
Sunday, 27th September, 2020 - Part 1 - Travel plans!
Introduction: Travel Plans! Did you have any travel plans this year? Have you got away after all those weeks of confinement? If you were really brave, have you got into a plane or train? Paul wanted to visit Rome but his plans were disrupted again and again Reading: Romans 15. 22 – 29 Our journey with Paul and some of the highlights: Geoff Cronin, Kate Yates and David Reynolds share verses that are important to them
September 26, 2021
Sunday, 20th September, 2020 - Part 3 - An update on the work of OneCan
Talk: an update on the work of One Can What is a food procurement manager? How we look after our clients, what we give them Crucial to provide a balanced diet Help from Wycombe Wanderers Thanks to our Street Heroes Pre-COVID numbers per week 225, in May 2020 it was up to 623 Annual running costs of £200,000 Many thanks for any donations Prayers of thanksgiving with response - "God our Creator, hear our prayer."
September 20, 2021
Sunday, 20th September, 2020 - Part 2 - Ruth, one of the unsung heroines of the bible
Reading; Ruth 1.22 – 2.12 Short reflection on the reading - Ruth is one of the unsung heroines of the bible A woman who changed the course of history A crucial link in the bible with King David and Jesus A Moabite woman giving one of the greatest statements of loyalty and faith - "where you go, I will go, where you stay, I will stay; your people will be my people and your God, my God." Ruth's story is almost a typical romance story, not quite Mills and Boon but not far off; falling in love, intrigue, manipulation and a happy ending. Reading; Matthew 14. 13 – 21
September 20, 2021
Sunday, 20th September, 2020 - Part 1 - "Thanksgiving" and welcome of Jo Belshaw from One Can
Successes and failures growing things during lockdown Progress on the chilli plants The meaning of gleaning Any wine makers in the congregation?
September 19, 2021
Sunday, 13th September 2020 - Part 2 - Farewell to Paul and learning to accept each other
The end of our series on Paul's letter to the Romans Happy or sad to see the end of it? There is one more week of it next week in our harvest service We started on the 12th July 2020, 8 weeks ago What words or passages have spoken most to you? Reading - Romans 14:1-12 Reflective hymn - Help us accept each other Short Talk - Acceptance, accepting each other as Christ accepted us. Every so often I wonder what it might be like to escape to a cave on a deserted island; untroubled by the 24 hour news cycle, technical difficulties, COVID-19 and the rest of our 21st century world Days filled with nothing in particular Would it last long before feeling desperate for company? We need each other, humanity can't manage alone That means getting along with people who are different to us True in society and the church family Paul had never visited the church in Rome but he was aware of the mix of people who had come into the community, each binging a new perspective into the church Paul tackles 2 issues - the type of food to eat and seasons - how to celebrate and why We have to learn to accept each other Paul talks about the strong and weak in faith to illustrate our differences
September 13, 2021
Sunday, 13th September 2020 - Part 1 - Sky high love
Opening Prayers Introduction: ‘Sky high love’ What comes to mind when I say "sky high"? Prices, balloons, space travel? The Psalm talks about God's love being as high as the sky is above the earth Some older translations have it "as high as the heavens" So often our lives and thoughts get caught up in the day to day minutiae and we should take a moment to stretch our thoughts wider. Reading - Psalm 103. 8-13
September 12, 2021
Sunday, 6th September 2020 - Part 2 - The national debt
1st Reading - Psalm 119 2nd reading - Romans 13 v8-14 Time of reflection with "Come down O Love Divine" Talk - The national debt For 100s of years our government has been borrowing money to fund its activities That amount has steadily increased until 10 years ago, the amount hit 1 trillion pounds With the effect of the pandemic, the amount is now 2 trillion ponds. How do we get out of this - borrow more, bring in austerity, tax more? £40,000 per adult if we wanted to cancel it now 😊 Paul certainly wanted debts cleared He talked though about a debt we can never clear, the debt of love. In Ch8 he speaks of the love of Christ Jesus that holds us in life and death Paul doesn't talk about loving God, but moves straight to loving neighbours. Why does he leave out love for God? Maybe Paul is making the point that loving god is easy but the invisible, annoying neighbour is more of a challenge.
September 6, 2021
Sunday, 6th September 2020 - Part 1 - What's in the box?
"It's that time of year again" - What's in the Box? Has anyone bought any shoes recently? Shoe boxes as a container of gifts for our neighbours in Eastern Europe What does this box contain? Reminders of the previous months - facemasks, seeds, a greeting card, a prayer ribbon Shoe Box appeal details - Link to Hope
September 5, 2021
Sunday, 30th August 2020 - Showing Christian love in our lives today
Reading Romans Reflection and Sermon Revd Bridget Powell The passage from Romans is about what we should do to show Christian love in our lives today Many of the words are found in Paul's writings and Jesus' teaching Roman rule was hard and many people were self-indulgent The disabled or ill were left on the outskirts of society This still happens today, can we help make this better We are living in challenging times and are beginning to realise things won't go back to exactly how they were All change contains an element of risk Thinking about first stepping into a prison Teaching in prison
August 29, 2021
Sunday, 23rd August, 2020 - Part 2 - "What does worship really mean?"
Introduction to the readings Psalm 138 Romans 12 v1-8 00:31:53 Our service this morning began as usual with the call to worship - an invitation to worship the living God. But what does worship really mean Months of lockdown and restrictions have challenged us to think again Some of us are here, many at home It has been difficult to share communion. We also aren't having tea and coffee after worship For many religions in the past it was about offering a sacrifice to a God who held life in the balance Paul knows all about the this tradition but he turns the vision upside down showing how God has made the sacrifice. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Paul's list of gifts - Live life generously, diligently & cheerfully, plus a tribute to Harry Bates who did that constantly
August 23, 2021
Sunday, 23rd August, 2020 - Part 1 - All change
Do you recognise this stuff? Has anyone used cash recently? Ice cream, car park machine? We are not using cash in the way we did. Sometimes we find change difficult to deal with What have been the biggest changes in your life recently? Family, work, friendship groups, church, worship? If things didn't change there would be no life. Be transformed then you will be able to see what is God's will
August 22, 2021
Sunday, 16th August 2020 - Part 2 - Paul reflects on the mercy of God, cleanliness and Godliness
Chapter 11 in Romans where Paul grapples with the place of the people of Israel in God's plan God has not rejected his people, his mercy extends to Jew and Gentile alike. Reading: Romans 11.1-2a,29-32 (NIVUK) Reading: Matthew 15:10-20 (Good News Translation) Short Talk They say that cleanliness is next to Godliness. Given the amount of hand sanitiser we've used recently, are we getting closer to God? 20 seconds for a proper scrub. Singing Happy Birthday or the Lord's Prayer Jesus says it's not about your hands though - of course he's not talking about viruses or basic hygiene but something on a totally different level. We can have any amount of hand washing and still remain spiritually unclean Cleanliness as a metaphor for coming into the presence of God , this is common across a lot of religions with varying degrees of intricacy Who is truly clean?
August 16, 2021
Sunday, 16th August 2020 - Part 1 - Praying for peace – a prayer ribbon
Yesterday was VJ day, commemorating the end of warfare with Japan in the Far East and the effective end of the 2nd World War A solemn day of remembering and a day to pray for Peace Describing the Woburn to Bourne End walk to remember the many who died or were injured in war NHS in flowers on the hillside to thank those who have worked through the coronavirus pandemic Prayer ribbons for you to tie to the church gates and think of people who need peace, justice and the compassion of God We pray peace may flow through our lives today and in the weeks and months ahead
August 15, 2021
Sunday, August 9th 2020 - Part 2 - Carrying good news
Short prayer We have been hearing a lot about the R number recently A simple but crucial number guiding governments around the world to determine how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic Additional precautions to keep R down How does the spread of faith compare to the spread of a virus Richard Dawkins and religion being a virus of the mind Is faith taught or caught? Paul was clear that the Christian faith needed to be passed on Everyone who falls on the name of the Lord will be saved but people need to hear that good news and learn to trust the Living God
August 9, 2021
Sunday, August 9th 2020 - Part 1 - Justice and peace
Introduction: Justice and peace embrace Back in May during lockdown we marked VE day We had big plans to commemorate this VJ is often missed, the marking of the end of the war 15th August, 2020 is the date - 75 years since the end of the 2nd World War Praying for peace Some of the consequences and injustices of that war are still being felt The Burma memorial outside our church - "When you go home Tell them of us and say For your tomorrow We gave our today" Behind the millions of statistics in war, there are individuals Memorials to war associated with our two churches
August 8, 2021
Worship talks - Sunday, 2nd August 2020 - Part 2 - Paul's anguish over Israel
Last week we heard the climax in Paul's letter to the Romans where he sums up that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Next he changes direction and looks at how many of his own people have rejected the message In the next three chapters he struggles with what the place is for his people. He believes there is a place for them and that God has not rejected them. Reading - Romans 9. 1-5 (NIVUK) Paul’s anguish over Israel Reading - Psalm 103. 8-21 (NIVUK) Beginning this reflection by giving thanks for the Jewish community and the great heritage and faith it brings. At its heart, faithful to the living God The positive contribution of the Jewish community to our nation is huge Christianity owes a debt to its Jewish roots The New Testament doesn't replace the old, it renews and moves forward.
August 2, 2021
Worship talks - Sunday, 2nd August 2020 - Part 1 - Found it!
Have you found something recently that you had totally forgotten about? It's a lovely feeling when you find it The stories we'll hear shortly are surprises. People don't find what they are expecting but something amazing! Reading - Matthew 13.44-46 The parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl An amazing, life changing experience finding the pearl
August 1, 2021
Sunday, 26th July, 2020 - Part 2 - Paul, stress, feeling out of control and separated from Christ
Introducing the reading: Paul coming through the fire Reading Romans 8:26-39 Prayer Talk - How are you doing out there? We can get worn down and stressed out by the seemingly endless lockdown Think about those times Paul knew what this was like brought to his knees by his own failures but it wasn't ever a sign of failure Paul writing about a thorn in the side God's grace is sufficient for Paul God isn't a father Christmas figure who looks after our ever whim Paul knew what it meant to be brought to his knees and ask for God's help Perhaps when we think we have everything under control we are heading in the wrong direction? Real courage is the love that faces whatever life throws at it Remember that when we feel separated from the love of Christ that nothing can really separate us What will you offer to the eternal one today? Music and reflection - What will you offer the Eternal One today? Prayer - God whose love holds us now accept the gifts we bring, whatever they may be. Use our prayers and our lives each day in your work of justice, love and peace, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
July 26, 2021
Sunday, 26th July, 2020 - Part 1 - More about growing
Introduction: more stories about growing Update on chilli plant growing Stories about growing, things that are very small having a huge impact - just like the coronavirus The mustard seed Matthew 13:31-32 (NIVUK) The kingdom of God is like the mustard seed The parable of the yeast Matthew 13:33 (NIVUK) The kingdom of heaven is like yeast Talk Has anyone been making bread during lockdown? Sourdough is a favourite Shortages of flour and yeast due to the popularity Imagine the 30kg of flour mentioned in the story - loaves for 100+ people Small things having a huge difference - how will we make a difference in our neighbourhoods?
July 25, 2021
Sunday, 19th July 2020 - Part 2 - The Spirit at work today
Reading - Romans 8 v12-25 Talk - The Spirit at work today So we are here, back in the church after all of these weeks Back in this building after what seems so long since the 15th March. It was a pretty flat act of worship as many were already social distancing and not many people were present The reading we heard on 15th March was the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and the work of the Spirit Jesus said it didn't matter where you worshipped I feel in a way that I have little to offer today; I can't say there'll be coffee after service or lovely biscuits. I can't invite you today to communion I can't give you a hug. I and we can offer this great gift of the Holy Spirit. The spirit that works among us, heals the hurts within us guides us, inspires us brings us new hope Paul discovered this when the Spirit broke into his live and liberated him.
July 19, 2021
Sunday, 19th July 2020 - Part 1 - A mixed bag
The world is a bit of a mixed bag - rubbish and good things, triumph and disaster, joys and heartaches If we think back over the recent months, there have been a lot of things that have been horrible but even during lockdown, some good things Jesus tells us a story about wheat and thistles - good and evil, God will sort it out in his own time Reading - Matthew 13 v24-30 Message from the reading: So the farmer will sort it all out in the end Thank God that the mixed bag will be sorted in time Come the Kingdom, all of the wrong will be resolved Justice and joy, grace and peace, love and life will win out In the meantime, we live in a mixed up world and we need God's spirit and help.
July 18, 2021
Sunday, 12th July 2020 - Part 3 - So have you got into the open this week?
Have you gotten out into the open this week? Escaped the lockdown to get somewhere more exciting rather than just the shops To see family, friends or the hairdresser? It has been great to hear the voices of the children from the nursery school. Some Churches are opening again and Trinity and Cores End hope to do so soon Gathering for worship will be different for a long time Marking a step on the journey out of lockdown Focusing not on "that" lockdown but a more serious one of the human heart and condition - Paul knew all about this disordered mess of struggling humanity Richard Dawkins, "Brights" and dropping that elitist name - Paul would understand If we don't ignore the joyful spirit, God's love is living and breathing, working within us
July 12, 2021
Sunday, 12th July 2020 - part 2 - Introduction to the reading: Over to Paul!
Over the summer months the church lectionary encourages us to look at Paul’s letter to the Romans, a letter in which Paul describes his understanding of the Christian faith to a church he is yet to visit. We are going to take time with Paul, one of the great followers of Jesus who came to know him after the resurrection Paul met Jesus dramatically on the road to Damascus Jesus asked "why are you persecuting me?" Paul came to know the loving God Later in his life he wrote to the church in Rome to introduce himself In chapter 7 he talks openly about the struggles in his life and how God in Jesus rescued him from his life going wrong. Eventually Peter and Paul gave their lives in Rome in the face of huge persecution from Emperor Nero Paul's journey had hard times but he discovered the love of God was stronger than everything else In Romans chapter 8 he talks about how God rescues us through Jesus and the gift of the spirit Reading Romans 8. 1 – 8
July 12, 2021
Sunday, 12th July 2020 - part 1 - Growing things and the parables of Jesus.
Have you grown anything over the months of lockdown? Whatever our situation, we can all grow something Growing is part of life, growing plants, growing as people Planting chilli seeds and growing them How are the seeds we planted back in February going? Over the summer we will hear some of the parables of Jesus, starting with the parable of the sower. Reading - Matthew 13. v1-9
July 11, 2021
Sunday, 5th July 2020 part 3 - Andy Lester of A Rocha
A talk by Andy Lester of A Rocha talks about the environment, bikes, and wagtails in a carwash followed by a challenge from Terry Hinks to ask what will we do differently?
July 5, 2021
Sunday 5th July 2020 part 2 - Foxglove Lane and Mouth Brooding Frogs
Mike Shrubsole, homo sapiens, green apostle for Wessex Synod and convener of the URC Environment Group speaks about Foxgloves and Mouth-brooding Frogs
July 5, 2021
Sunday, 5th July 2020 part 1 - Out in the meadow & Job
Introduction to the readings. Looking at nature with awe and wonder Recognising behind the wonder of creation is a loving God Job's losses and his friends trying to comfort him. Job bringing his complaint to God and realising that God has been with him and can help him through the hard time Reading: Job 38. 1 – 7, 12, 16 , 34 – 41, Job 39. 19, 26- 27
July 4, 2021
Sunday, 28th June 2020 - Love Wycombe 2020 readings, testimony, and thoughts on the reading of Jesus and the leper
John Harbour - Kings Church - introduction to A message of hope People searching for hope We as a church carrying the message of hope to the world Bible reading - Luke 5, 12-15, Jesus heals a man with leprosy John Harbour - Kings Church - response to the bible passage. Jesus reaching out to touch the leper What stands out to you from that story? A miraculous healing of an incurable disease? Jesus telling the man not to tell anyone? There is a shocking element - Jesus reaching out and touching the man Have we missed human touch during the lockdown? What would the feeling have been like to the leper never having been touched for years Two stories, Liz and Steve who have recently encountered Jesus John Harbour - Kings Church - Jesus is still changing lives He says to the man in the story - "be clean" Touching a leper should have made Jesus ceremonially unclean That is how religion works - if one followed a good life, one reached heaven. Touching the leper would have meant Jesus had to be cleansed and he turned things on their head. How could Jesus transform this unclean man? Jesus became an outcast when he hung on the cross, taking all of the dirt from the human race We are all born into the disease called sin Jesus has a cure for the sin of the human heart One touch from him and your life is transformed
June 27, 2021
Sunday, 21st June 2020 part 2 - Reflection on the reading from Matthew 10, v24-33
Talk by David Bailey The whole of Chapter 10 in Matthew's gospel includes Jesus' instructions to his disciples on their great commission to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven When this was written around 85A.D. , the early Christian communities were suffering so much persecution that some were losing their faith so it is not surprising that Matthew records how Jesus tells his followers not to be afraid. Jesus assures them that whilst their persecutors could destroy their body, they would never lose their soul Over the past months all of us have been living through and experiencing a degree of fear In times like this it is easy to despair but a word of encouragement can be the key to helping us to cope. It does not cost a lot but can be the oxygen of the soul. In those difficult moments when we are down, encouragement is what we need to help us think of new ways and help us keep our hopes alive. So it is that 3 times in this short passage, Jesus encourages his disciples to not lose hope
June 21, 2021
Sunday, 21st June 2020 - Part 1 - Faith, water, bags & pencils – Rebecca Hawes (WYC)
This episode works better if you watch it at https://youtu.be/vL0UTv9S3fc - the visual element and potential of soaking Rebecca as she pierces a bag of water suspended over her head with pencils needs to be seen to be believed. When I first read that you could do that with a bag, I thought how is that even possible How do you put pencils through a bag filled with water and not end up with a big mess? As i was thinking about this I was thinking about some of the things that actually we feel that are making holes in our lives that are plodding and poking us around and it's leaving a gap particularly at the moment maybe we're missing being able to go to school, missing seeing our friends and learning together with our teachers. Maybe we're missing seeing lots of the people that we love; we're missing being able to go and to give them a big hug Maybe we're missing being able to visit some of our favourite places we've been able to do lots of exciting and different things during lockdown but maybe there are still other things that we're missing things that we feel have made left a little bit of a hole in our lives So when we find ourselves in that situation when something feels impossible when life feels tough when it hurts that we can't see the people that we love and we miss the things that we enjoy doing what can we do would you know what as Christians? We have the greatest gift ever we have faith in Jesus Christ and that faith means that we can come to God we can come to Jesus We can cry out to god for help and he will answer that doesn't mean that he will take away the tough stuff that we're struggling with it doesn't mean that he will remove those obstacles that we feel are impossible to climb over The bible tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us and sometimes God's answer is it's okay, I'm gonna walk this journey with you I'm gonna be right there beside you every step of the way through these challenges that you are facing
June 20, 2021
Sunday, 14th June 2020 part 2 - Sent
This episode touches on events in America and the UK relating to Donald Trump, BLM, racism, COVID-19 in late May/early June 2020 "Jesus looks out on the crowd and sees desperate need – he sees confusion and anxiety, he sees a lack of meaning and purpose, he sees people struggling with disease and poverty and the prejudice of others. He sees humanity torn and bruised – and his heart is broken too. He is filled with compassion and love for them all. That is where we trace our roots as a Christian community today. Not in the chequered history of the church; not in the heroes or villains of church and society down the years; not in the triumphalism or defeatism of the church over the centuries." ... All too often across the world we’ve seen statues pulled down, but deeper structures and attitudes remaining unchanged. What’s needed is real change not virtue signalling or empty gestures. Wishful thinking and woolly-minded actions will not do. We need to reach deep into hurting humanity bringing that healing grace of Jesus in word and action. As Christians we must keep that innocence of the dove – that integrity and generosity of spirit, but also use our minds – being shrewd like snakes – thinking carefully and deeply about the injustices and hurts in our world and how to truly share in the kingdom work of Jesus today – a kingdom of justice, compassion, healing and peace. May God give us the courage and wisdom to be workers for Christ today – for the sake of all races, all colours, all humanity.
June 14, 2021
Sunday, 14th June 2020 part 1 - Can you help
The phone rings and someone asks "can you help me?". It all depends on what they are asking for. Feeling poorly, a house on fire, an empty plate, a computer that has crashed? It's important to ask for help when we need it The great work the food banks are doing Can you help? We CAN help each other.
June 13, 2021
Sunday, 7th June 2020 part 2 - Sent out in God's name
It was recently announced that Elon Musk and Grimes have named their child X Æ A-12 - a joke on the world with a more normal name to follow? Sometimes children are saddled with what seem like terrible names. My uncle Jack was fine with his first name but not when combined with his surname - Russell Terry was popular in the 60s and 70s, maybe I should go with my second name, much more longstanding - James? Names are amazing things, for some religions the name of God is considered so holy that it shouldn't be spoken. For Christians the name of God is summed up in one word - Trinity For early Christians the Trinitarian name summed up the faith that Jesus had given to them.
June 7, 2021
Sunday, 7th June 2020 part 1 - "Out on the Rye"
Today is Trinity Sunday where we grapple with the question of who God is Some churches take that as the name of their community and the building Trinity URC High Wycombe traces its roots back to 1662 in Crendon Lane A great name to carry Trinity looks onto the Rye, a wonderful green space containing Pann Mill, the river Wye and many activities, saved from development by local citizens, now treasured as a jewel in Wycombe's crown . We can't meet in person but remember that Trinity is a community
June 6, 2021
Sunday, 31st May 2020 part 2 - Pentecost is often missed
Pentecost is often missed 10 weeks after lockdown, we have travelled from Mothering Sunday, Holy Week, Easter and Ascension Day to arrive here at Pentecost and the birth of the Church Difficulty with Pentecost and the blockbuster description of events Experience of God has been dramatic at times but often not like that described in Acts Luke sees this not as a moment of ecstatic praying but communication of the wonder of God and the great news of Jesus We belong to one global community, not little competing religious groupings. The Spirit allows us to speak in the language of everyday like those first disciples of the wonders of God Wonders seen in the greatest of scientific discoveries and a key worker doing their job. Wonders seen in the great sweep of history and the simple story of a carpenter who dies on a cross
May 31, 2021
Sunday, 31st May 2020 part 1 - Celebrating a great birthday
Celebrating a great birthday, that of the Church almost 2000 years ago On a birthday we often have a cake to celebrate Lighting a candle to remember the story from Acts where the spirit descends like tongues of fire A breath to blow out the candle to remind of the breath of Christ, Jesus breathing on the disciples who received the Holy Spirit The power of a mighty wind blowing through the hearts of the first disciples Another connection to wind this week - not the words of our politicians but the repaired organ at Cores End
May 30, 2021
Sunday, 24th May 2020 part 2 - Box Sets and the books of Luke
Are you working through any box sets at the moment? Downton Abbey, the complete plays of William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie? Maybe you need a longer lockdown to finish them? One of the great series in the bible is from Luke, one of only two amazing books by Luke. Imagine if he had been able to carry on the series documenting the amazing work Jesus was doing. How would Luke tell the story of the Church today? We pray for all to know God's Kingdom The delights of the URC - a wide variety Reading: John 17.1-11 Want to see more? Join us in worship on our YouTube channel every Sunday - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOGU0Xl7GgEXwutvo2kRLPg Or visit our website - https://www.trinity-urc.org.uk
May 24, 2021
Sunday, 24th May 2020 part 1 - The Next Instalment
Have you managed to finish the projects you set aside during lockdown? There is always more to do, it's good to tick them off Life is work in progress for all of us Jesus - the Son of God - did he finish his work? Was it completed on the cross and following his triumph over death? We are now in the between times Want to see more? Join us in worship on our YouTube channel every Sunday - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOGU0Xl7GgEXwutvo2kRLPg Or visit our website - https://www.trinity-urc.org.uk
May 23, 2021
17th May 2020 - 6th Sunday of Easter - Part 3. You are loved
You are loved How many rainbows have you seen this week? Look at any street and you will see any number on the street thanking the NHS God making peace with his world in Genesis Cores End Church cross now has a rainbow with the words - "You are loved" The great command of Jesus - "Show that you are my disciples by loving others as I have loved you" Facing all of the challenges, Jesus still speaks the truth that is deep in his heart - the love of God The theme for the week ahead is kindness Want to see more? Join us in worship on our YouTube channel every Sunday - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOGU0Xl7GgEXwutvo2kRLPg Or visit our website - https://www.trinity-urc.org.uk
May 17, 2021
17th May 2020 - 6th Sunday of Easter - Part 2. Resolve - do not be frightened, have confidence in Christ
Reading 1 Peter 3.13-22 followed by a short talk by Derek Holland (from Cores End) 1st verse of the reading - "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?" Standing up to a corrupt regime? Resolve - do not be frightened, have confidence in Christ Sometimes strength doesn't come from physical or even mental might A world not wanting to hear the message of love and forgiveness Want to see more? Join us in worship on our YouTube channel every Sunday - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOGU0Xl7GgEXwutvo2kRLPg Or visit our website - https://www.trinity-urc.org.uk
May 16, 2021
17th May 2020 - 6th Sunday of Easter - Part 1. Not left deserted
Introduction: ‘not left deserted!’ Have you learnt any new skills recently? Louise and her potatoes, Rosie and her masks Learning new skills can be challenging Taking flight on our own We are now at the point of the story of Jesus where he says "over to you" Want to see more? Join us in worship on our YouTube channel every Sunday - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOGU0Xl7GgEXwutvo2kRLPg Or visit our website - https://www.trinity-urc.org.uk
May 16, 2021
10th May, 2021 - Choices and neighbours helping each other
Part 1 - Choices: Life is full of choices At the moment we seem to have fewer choices than usual, lockdown has made the choices of what we do a little smaller. Choosing one thing normally means rejecting the other, we can't be in two places at once Reading: 1 Peter 2. 9,10 Part 2 - Neighbours: It has been good to see neighbours helping each other, running errands and clapping for the NHS Christian Aid reminds us of the neighbours we leave behind and forget about. Those without enough water or food, those who can't escape the coronavirus pandemic as easily as we can. A pecking order with the UK, US and Europe at the top. We need to challenge this. An affirmation from Chile – They will not rob me of hope
May 9, 2021
3rd May, 2020 - The Good Shepherd, Countryfile, One Man and His Dog
3 short talks: Continuing our Easter journey with one word. A reflection on the reading from Peter. Dealing with persecution and abuse. The Good Shepherd, Countryfile, One Man and His Dog
May 2, 2021
26th April, 2020 - Openings, Cleopas and Emmaus
Introduction by Revd Terry Hinks - "Open the book" Do you like opening things? Have you read a favourite book or started a new one recently Three Men in a Boat - a story of opening things - enjoying the thought of a tin of pineapple but nothing to open it with Address – by Revd Terry Hinks Taking you on a 14mile walk today - 30,000 steps but only in your mind A journey with Cleopas and his unnamed companion - no social distancing required Walking home to Emmaus Feeling helpless and hopeless, grief stricken and angry. Wanting to get home to put all of the madness behind them. Empty hearts Meeting a stranger to whom they can unburden all of their feelings How does this person not know about events? How the storyteller moves us from the pain and hurt to something more wonderful.
April 25, 2021
19th April, 2020 - Low Sunday
Welcome and explanation by Revd. Terry Hinks Reading: 1 Peter 1. 3 – 9 Reading: John 20. 19 – 31 A short address by Alan Yates reflecting on the readings - The reading from Peter. - A 60 second summary of our core Christian beliefs - v8 - a reference to Thomas - The second half of our Gospel reading - the story of Thomas - "I wish I was more like Thomas", but not as a doubter. - The courage Thomas showed through his life - Indecision is not the same as doubt - Doubting is not dithering - Thomas's only mistake - Loneliness and isolation - Remember it's not easy to follow Jesus - 2 Corinthians 4 v8 - "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed".
April 18, 2021
12th April, 2020 - Easter Sunday
Revd. Terry Hinks reflects on an Easter day like no other during this pandemic but still, in many ways the same Part 1: Easter egg hunts may be cancelled but we like finding things, including rhubarb and catkins! What have you found this week in lockdown? A TV series, a walk, a computer game or a book. The first Christians weren't expecting to find anything on that first Easter day. What can we find looking around the church today? Part 2: Let us be happy, let us celebrate - easy to say but can we live these words in our lives today during this global emergency. Words of comfort from Her Majesty the Queen last week - "an immovable matriarch". Holy week and Easter remind us that life involves choices. Human values of tolerance, humour and caring
April 12, 2021
10th April 2020 - Good Friday - Walking with people
In a joint Good Friday service, Malcolm Hazell from Union Baptist Church, High Wycombe shares his thoughts on walking with his dogs during lockdown. Walking with spaniels Meeting people and avoiding them. Mark's Gospel Ch1 v 40-41, Jesus meeting the man with leprosy. Jesus doing the unthinkable. Jesus doesn't need to socially distance himself.
April 11, 2021
5th April, 2020 - How has the week been for you?
Revd. Terry Hinks speaking on Palm Sunday, 5th April 2020. "How has the week been for you?" Connecting with people remotely or in thought. Feeling alone and feeling part of the bigger church family. Hold on to the goodness of God, try and reflect that goodness to others
April 5, 2021
29th March, 2020 - Passion Sunday
Two sections from our service where Revd. Terry Hinks talks about: The meaning of the cross Powerful Psalms and powerful stories from the Gospels - Anguish, peace, isolation and agony to placing trust in God. Personal and powerful words from Jesus, questioning God and holding nothing back to achieve confidence. God is not a distant God. Those who seek the Lord will ultimately offer praise and worship.
March 29, 2021
22nd March 2020 - It starts
Our first episode. Listen as Revd. Terry Hinks talks about how life has changed as the COVID pandemic takes hold. From just before the UK lockdown started in March 2020 'I think the last two weeks have been the longest in my life, with each day bringing change and challenge to the way we live our lives, and the way we work as a church community. But today's worship reminds us that the life and work of the church goes on. The doors may be shut, but the church is not closed. The doors may be shot, but God is open, open to your prayers and to your praises. As one journalist wrote this week, the birds are singing, and it will pass. We may be dispersed and anxious, but in Christ, we are united and renewed. Britain today may be a strange land, but we can still sing the songs of faith. And singing is part of what being human is about. It's an instinct within us all. Whether we are croakers, or wonderful opera singers. We may not be as good at it as the birds. But over 1000s of years, we have learned to sing for our own pleasure to share stories and legends and to sing in worship to the God who made and rescues us. Singing is part of the way our nation comes together. ...Perhaps there is no greater song in the world than the 23rd Psalm. Loved by Jews and Christians alike, and people outside those faith communities. While other song songs speak of many different emotions, fear, anger, despair, thankfulness. this psalm speaks of reassurance and trust. Say it to yourself, and almost inevitably, you will feel calmer and more collected. Even when it moves to the darker places of life, it assures us of God's presence within it. Many of the older generation among you will have learned the Old King James version of this great song with that verse Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Wherever you are today, whatever your circumstances, your hopes or fears, know that God is with you. And let that bring you hope and confidence and peace. This Psalm is immensely personal. The Lord is my shepherd. But shepherds always have a flock. Never just one sheep. Certainly I've not come across a shepherd with only one sheep. The Lord is my shepherd. But the Lord is your Shepherd ...a letter from URC, General Secretary, john Proctor, closed with a prayer: "Lord Jesus in the midst of a storm, you said peace, be still buried our anxious fears subside. sustain your church in faith, hope and love. Bring our nation through this tumult, Grant wisdom to those with heavy responsibilities, and healing and hope to those who are infected. In heart and in prayer, we can stay connected. As Christians and as human beings, we can remember that we are part of one flock Christ's flock, and invite others find that love and peace within the one flock to Jesus said, I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. So let's reach out to each other, touch each other in our hearts this week, by phone calls and acts of kindness, by discipline, prayer, and deepen faith, trusting in the Good Shepherd, the Eternal One who gives us all life and a living hope."'
March 29, 2021