AUG
7

ittle Fishes and TOTS toddler groups for 0-4 years old.

There are thriving groups for toddlers and their parents & carers at Alcombe, Minehead, Watchet and Williton.  Please click on the toddler group links in the appropriate church's column to the left for details. - See more at: http://westsomerset.2day.uk/?localBoard=2948&globalBoard=0#sthash.HRstq8iQ

Little Fishes and TOTS toddler groups for 0-4 years old.

There are thriving groups for toddlers and their parents & carers at Alcombe, Minehead, Watchet and Williton.  Please click on the toddler group links in the appropriate church's column to the left for details. - See more at: http://westsomerset.2day.uk/?localBoard=2948&globalBoard=0#sthash.HRstq8iQ.dpuf
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Latest Information:

Coffee Morning:
Friday Coffee mornings
on Zoom will be back by popular demand at
10.30 am,  and
Margaret Lintern will lead our Thursday evening service on Zoom at 7.30pm.

If you have not used one of our Zoom services before but would like to join in please email the Circuit Administrator.

Listen to news:
0808 281 2478

Content is updated weekly on Thursday evening
*

There are many opportunities to engage with Christian worship
on line, a few of which
are listed below;
Just click on any in italics to be directed to that site:

9am Monday to Friday
Morning Prayers from Wesley House Cambridge

Prayers and Worship Services from Wesley's Chapel, London

Songs of Praise on Sunday afternoons on BBC 1

Premier Christian Radio via their website or on Freeview channel 725

Live worship at 11 am on a Sunday morning from Plymouth Central Hall search YouTube or Facebook for ‘Plymouth Central Hall’

Information about worshipping at home and live streaming of worship from the Singing the Faith plus website here…https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Regular updates from the Methodist Church are available here…https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus-guidance/

 Should you need to make urgent contact, please contact the Superintendent Minister on 01643 705175 or email wsmc2425@gmail.com

We will continue to support the life and work of the West Somerset Circuit in other ways – please check this website for updates and 
Click here to read The Messenger which we will continue to publish during this closure period

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Feeling Isolated or worried?
 

Citizens Advice
West Somerset can be contacted anytime 24/7—Phone 0800 801 1808
leave a message if the phone is not answered. 
For further information,
visit the website: www.westsomersetadvice.org.uk

To contact us at this website with any comments or questions please use the  Contact Us button at the bottom of this page

Sunday 2nd August 2020

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use whilst we are unable to use Methodist Church premises.  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.

Opening Prayer

Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm;
still me, Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease;
enfold me, Lord in your peace.

David Adam (1936-2020)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith – number 624

Hymn: Help us O Lord to Learn (Singing the Faith 501)

Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here

https://youtu.be/Lb5-0Rex6uM

Help us, O Lord, to learn

the truths your word imparts,

to study that your laws may be

inscribed upon our hearts.

 

Help us, O Lord, to live

the faith which we proclaim,

that all our thoughts and words and deeds

may glorify your name.

 

Help us, O Lord, to teach

the beauty of your ways,

that all who seek may find the Christ,

and make a life of praise.

William Watkins Reid (b. 1923)

Prayer:

God of our going out and our coming home, I worship you today.

For the times and places that have filled me with joy, I praise you.

Where I have chosen the wrong path and caused pain to myself, to you and to others, I ask your forgiveness.

For the assurance that you will walk beside me to forgive me and restore me, I thank you. 

Today’s Reading from the Old Testament: Genesis 32:22-31

Time to Reflect

An enduring cliché from the world of movies is the portrayal of the happy ending in spaghetti-western movies, with the hero walking off into the sunset satisfied that order has been restored and everyone can now live in peace and harmony. 

This was brilliantly parodied by John Sullivan in the Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special (1996) when the Trotters finally become millionaires: the episode ends with Del-Boy, Rodney and Uncle Albert walking off into the horizon as the sun sets. At the time, it was thought that this would be the final episode of the long-running and popular comedy, but as it turned out, the show not only returned, but so did the characters’ troubles. Their moment in the sun had turned out to be temporary and Sullivan captured the experience of many of us, that there are rarely easy answers to life’s struggles.

Today’s Old Testament reading ends, not with Jacob walking towards the sunset but towards the rising sun. It is not the story of a hard day’s work successfully completed, but of a night-time of wrestling that resolves some questions but leaves others still open. His opponent refuses to offer him easy answers so whilst there is blessing for Jacob, things are not neatly tied up.

Jacob, plans to spend the night alone preparing for his uncomfortable reunion with his brother, Esau. Given their history, we might expect that he was always going to have a disturbed night. Choices from long ago are still having an impact on his life and his family’s. After years of ducking and diving, Jacob seems to have come close to the end of his own resourcefulness but there is still something that wants to turn events to his advantage. 

Into this scene walks the unexpected stranger.  Later Jacob understands that he had been joined by God as he struggled with his past.  What follows shows us that Jacob is not entirely ready to give up the fight and his mysterious opponent, seeing that Jacob is willing to fight to the end, delivers a decisive blow. It is at this point of vulnerability that Jacob opens up to a moment of unvarnished self-awareness and unexpected God-awareness. 

Jacob demands a neat and tidy resolution which his companion refuses to give to him.  Instead, from the struggle, Jacob is offered the opportunity of a new beginning. A new name, a new blessing (a blessing of his own and not one stolen from Esau) and a new insight to God’s presence and God’s nature of love. 

So, for Jacob, there, with the rising sun, comes hope to follow a night of uncertain and painful struggle. But there is challenge too: he has to reconcile himself to the fact that some of the scars and wounds of a lifetime of wrestling will travel with him into the new day. 

God has confronted him with his past and offered him a better future but his history will not be rewritten. He is offered a future shaped by God’s faithful provision (rather than his own manipulative gains) and reconciliation (rather than the uncertainty of unresolved conflict). He will limp towards the future less certain of his own strength and more aware of God’s presence.

The fantasy of walking off into the sunset is appealing because we would all like neat endings. Sometimes though, God challenges us to embrace new beginnings whilst carrying the memory of our tangled past. Facing up to our past in order to be ready for God’s future may involve some painful wrestling with uncomfortable truths, but in the struggle we can find God’s presence and God’s blessing.  Our story, God’s story has not ended yet.  May you see God’s face and live. 

Take a time to sit quietly

A time of prayer

Ever-present God, I join my prayer with all those who pray in the name of Jesus today:

We pray for your church that you grant us patience as we continue to the work we need to do to prepare for future gatherings together.

For those who are anxious about the future and those who see only threat in the days to come.

For those who are estranged from loved ones and feel they are unable to do anything to bring about reconciliation.

For those who wrestle in the night with trouble and distress of body, mind and soul.

I pray especially for …

Holy God,
help us to show others that you are present in the midst of their struggles, that together we might demonstrate your great love and concern for your world.

In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father ……

Hymn: Listen to Oh My Soul – Casting Crowns - https://youtu.be/3DIi0DRq6ww
or sing a verse of a hymn that comes to mind

A prayer of blessing

Power of God, be our protection;
wisdom of God, be our guide;
word of God, be our inspiration;
shield of God, be our defence;
hosts of God, be our deliverance;
Son of God be our salvation;
now and always. Amen

St Patrick’s Breastplate, Book of Armagh (9th Century)

Original Materials by Rev.d Dalwyn R Attwell
All Hymns reproduced under CCLi 1144191. 

Genesis 32:22-31

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day is breaking.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me.’ So he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ Then the man said, ‘You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.’ Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.’ The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

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