Locations: Watford and Lower Earley
Special Occasion: none
I was involved in services in Watford and Lower Earley this last Sunday. Both had their own special and unique characteristics.
I preached in Watford – with a difference. In one of his letters Paul tells Timothy: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13 NIV11)
There is more than one way to apply this, but what we did this Sunday in Watford is an interpretation of Paul’s instruction. I printed out the text of the crucifixion account from Luke’s Gospel. Then assigned different people or groups of people to read the parts of characters in the story. On Sunday I asked everybody to stand, and then we read the account for the crucifixion together. It was especially gratifying to see everybody take part wholeheartedly, including one of our teenagers.
After this, we broke into small discussion groups to consider the experience of the crucifixion from the perspectives of the different people involved. 10 minutes later we had sharing about what the groups discovered, and I wrapped up with Romans 5:7, and we took communion.
As usual, the groups came up with very interesting insights. Although it was not a typical sermon, I believe this format helped all of us find a personal connection with the crucifixion of Jesus.
Jonty preached in Lower Early, taking on the tricky subject of humility and pride. What a courageous man! You did a super job, Jonty, preaching with honesty and conviction, but without hubris. Thank you.
The singing in both services was encouraging. In Watford we overcame my mistake of forgetting to print enough song sheets and a ‘pink’ projector! Something wrong with the socket, I think.
In Lower Earley we sang a ‘new’ song for us, “Days of Elijah” – Rynhardt led it very effectively.
We sang “Above all” in both services and it was interesting that both congregations struggled with it to some extent. I love that song, but it’s tricky for the church to sing it well. There’s something about the rhythm of the melody that confuses us. I’m not sure what to do about it. Any ideas?
Next Sunday we’ll do the following:
- Have song sheets for everyone in Watford.
- Start the service in Bracknell with a 5-minute countdown video. Here is the draft version:
Please comment on what you’re doing locally with your services. What are you trying that’s working? What is God teaching you?
Share reflections with us so we can grow and please God.
You can leave a comment below.