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October Prayer Column

Cats will be cats

Some neighbours have been on holiday, and Jean’s been feeding their cats.  One’s deaf, the other’s devious, and both are catesquely contrary. In the morning they hide and won’t come out.  In the evening they play busy and won’t come in, however coaxed with food, yet next day complain about nocturnal neglect.  And care has to be taken to stop one eating the other’s food as well as its own.  You can learn a lot about prayer from cats.

For instance, have you ever noticed how frequently we go our own way and yet expect to be looked after, miaowing angrily or piteously to the Lord when things catch up with us?  And that bit about “Give us each day our daily bread...”: we don’t usually add “and our neighbours’ too”, but our actions might imply it.  And as to being deaf – well, aren’t we often deaf to what the Lord has to say to us?  Good at yowling our requests, and even rubbing ourselves against the Lord’s legs to get our own way (with a spot of affection, granted, as we glance meaningfully at the tins of goodies on the celestial shelves).  But less good at doing what we’re told.

It isn’t as if we’re entirely indifferent to God.  I’m not suggesting that.  But if we haven’t listened – and acted on what we’ve heard – then our ritual offerings are likely to be as welcome as dead mice on the doormat.  You expect cats to be cats, of course, and true to their nature.  But similarly,  aren’t Christians expected to be true to their new nature, in the Spirit of their risen Lord?

Roy Lorrain-Smith

A prayer for each week

Lord of community, who formed us to make relationships, with you and each other, thank you for neighbours.  Please help us to be neighbourly, according to the needs of the moment, and in the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Lord of communication, who gave us the gift of words, please help us to speak openly, honestly and caringly with one another, and to listen with the same attention as we hope for, through Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

Lord of provision, who created us within a world of resources and harvest, please help us to provide for each other, at home, next door and across the global village, with thankfulness and compassion.  Amen.

Lord of the night and the day, who made us creatures within a world of time, please help us to live each moment of today under your guidance, gratefully, as you alone know all our tomorrows unto eternity.  Amen.

Your own prayers


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Pancakes and Poems at Thornton

Pancakes and Poems, what a great evening we had on 13th February (Shrove Tuesday), in aid of 2nd Mile Project.

People were invited to come along for tea/supper and enjoy a variety of pancakes both savoury and sweet.

The selection was most tempting with fillings such as chilli. chicken and avocado, mushroom or cheese and onion. The sweet fillings were too many to mention, but my favourite was fresh fruits with ice cream – yum, yum.

Throughout the evening, many people had brought poems to read to everyone. The genre of this was amazing with funny, romantic, knowledgeable and even a little bit naughty.

It was good to be together with laughter and smiles all round. A special thank you to everyone who came and all who helped.

Elaine B, Thornton

Virtual Worship - 14 June 2020

Call to worship (based on Psalm 100)Shout with joy to the Lord
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Know that the Lord is God
It is God who made us, and we are God’sEnter God’s gates with thanksgiving
Come into God’s courts with praise Give thanks to God and praise God’s holy name.
The Lord is good God’s love endures for ever. Amen.
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You might like to sing, or reflect on the words of, Hymn StF 363, which begins, “My Jesus, my Saviour, Lord there is none like you. All of my days I want to praise the wonders of your mighty love”.

Read Romans 5:1-8First silently to yourself, then, if you can, out loud, from the Message Bible. I love the way…

Virtual Worship - 19 July 2020

Service sheet (pdf) Opening sentence:Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God...the Spirit makes you God’s children and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, ‘Abba, Father.
Song:Join in with or listen to ‘Sing of the Lord’s goodness’ (Singing the Faith 65) as we offer our praise to God. Alternatively, use a well-known hymn such as ‘Lord of all hopefulness’ (Singing the Faith 526, Hymns and Psalms 552) as we affirm the presence of God in our worship today.

Opening prayers:Creator God
We come to praise your name today,
We are confident of your love for us,
knowing that you want the very best for us and for your world.
Help us to be a people strong in Spirit
and faithful to your call,
so that the confidence you show in us
may be shown to be well placed.
And encourage us to share in the work of Jesus
that the good news of your saving grace
may be a message of hope and rejoicing
for all creation.

The Lord’s Prayer may be said here.
Gospel reading:Matthew 13.24-30
24 He put before …