Vicars Cross United Reformed Church

Bringing the Message of Gods Love to our Community

  • Oldfield Drive
  • Vicars Cross
  • Chester
  • Cheshire
  • CH3 5LL

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Message from the Minister

As I move back to leading in-person worship I am conscious of the variety of views about the easing of restrictions. 

I would like to use the worship booklet as a way to communicate to the church family that:

  • I will continue to wear my face mask in public
  • buildings.
  • I prefer to maintain a social distance of at least 1m where possible.
  • I will be taking a COVID-19 Self-Test twice weekly.  

In Paul’s message to the church leaders at Ephesus he tells them “Look after yourselves and everyone the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be like shepherds to God’s church. It is the flock that he bought with the blood of his own Son.”
As Minister to God’s churches in Upton and Vicars Cross.  You are the flock I am called, by Christ, to shepherd and I will do my upmost to be safe and keep you all safe too.
Life has changed but keeping Christ at the centre of all that we do, we can move forward in faith.
The poem that follows reminds us to trust in the Lord and remain hope filled for the future.  

When the Storm Passes:
(Translation of Alexis Valdés poem)
When the storm passes
and the roads are tamed,
and we are the survivors
of a collective shipwreck.
With a weeping heart
and a blessed destiny 
we will feel happy
just for being alive.
And we will hug
the first stranger
and praise the luck 
of not having lost a friend.
And then we'll remember
everything we lost
And all at once we will learn
all we had not learned before.

We will no longer be envious 
because we have all suffered
We will no longer be lazy
And will be more compassionate.
What belongs to all will be worth more 
than that never achieved
We will be more generous
and much more committed. 
We will understand how fragile
it means to be alive.
We will sweat empathy
for who is and who has left.
We will miss the old man
asking for a dollar in the market
we didn't know his name
although he was next to us.
And perhaps the poor old man
was your God in disguise.
You never asked for his name
because you were in a hurry.
And everything will be a miracle
And everything will be legacy.
And life will be respected,
the life we have won.
When the storm passes
I ask God, full of sadness 
to return us to be better 
as he had dreamed we would be.

Grace and peace.

Rev. Ruth Wilson

Tel: 01244 372622
Mobile: 07470 992673

Worship Update for Upton & Vicars Cross
Worship on the third Sunday will be joint worship with Caldy Valley, Garden Lane, Hoole URC and Upton URC on Zoom.  
15th August at 10.30am
19th September at 10.30am
For those without computer access Vicars Cross URC will be hosting in-person worship starting at 10.30am - all are welcome.

Using the Worship Booklet 
Please read the words that are indented and in BOLD print aloud.
The Scripture reading(s) in bold type are linked to the reflection each week.

Rev. Ruth Wilson
Tel: 01244 372622
Mobile: 07470 992673

                                           Sunday 1st August

(Marje Robinson, Vicars Cross URC)

Call to Worship (Adapted from Roots on the Web)

We come to you today with questions,
hoping for answers.
We are grateful for our daily bread,
but we would like the bread of eternal life.
Help us to be fed and filled
with God’s life and love.

Thank you, Lord, that you love us unconditionally
and that we are safe within your care.
Thank you that we have all we need
all that is needed for life.
We are sorry that enough is sometimes 
not enough for us,
that we can be greedy and uncaring,
and forget the millions who have insufficient 
for their needs.
Forgive us Lord,
help us to be thankful for what we have
and be generous to others.
When we have walked away from you
and put other gods in your place,
thank you that you take us back
and forgive us and welcome us.  Amen.

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 Psalm 78:23-29
Ephesians 4:1-16 John 6:24-35

Jesus and his disciples needed rest after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, so they travelled to the other side of the lake. However, the crowd soon caught up with them. They’d just had an unexpected and free picnic the day before, and wondered what Jesus had on offer today.

Jesus knew their motives and told them to work for ‘the food that endures for eternal life’ (John 6:27), and not seek after ordinary bread that they had eaten the day before. That bread satisfied for a few hours only, what they needed to work for was food for their spiritual sustenance giving them a taste of the Kingdom of God.

The listeners hadn’t got it yet, though. They wanted another sign of his power so they could believe Jesus when he said that just as God gave manna (bread) to the Israelites fleeing across the desert from Egypt, he could give them this bread he was talking about now.
Jesus’s response was:

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)
Consternation! No physical bread (were they hungry again?) and Jesus telling them that God was his Father and that he was the Bread of Life, and all they had to do was believe what he said. No more feasts from a packed lunch today for them.

Now wholemeal bread (what the listeners would have eaten) contains fibre, some protein, fat and eleven minerals and vitamins, and provides energy over several hours, and is, therefore, a valuable food. Jesus promises us much more than that. If we believe in him, and take him into our hearts, we get all that is necessary for spiritual life.

We all have times in our lives when we feel we can’t cope, and this is the very time when we most need God in the form of the Holy Spirit inside us. We can now experience his love and comfort, and have hope. However bleak the future looks, Jesus comforts and sustains us.

But there is more than just a personal benefit to believing in Jesus. In the Ephesians reading, titled ‘Unity in the Body of Christ’, we are urged to 
‘….lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Ephesians 4:1-3)
I would suggest that some of these qualities, at least some of the time, can be very difficult to demonstrate. However if we can manage to live like this, we have Jesus in us and can work for God and his Kingdom. We will never hunger or thirst again. What a promise!  Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Creator God,
as searing temperatures and wildfires cause 
  death and destruction,
as torrential rains and floods tear homes and lives apart,
we pray that governments and industrialists
will see the damage they are doing 
and address climate change.

Father God,
we pray that each of us will play our part 
in limiting our activities that cause pollution.
We can choose not to engage in activities that 
  are harmful,
knowing that this will help to conserve our beautiful planet.
Though we are small parts of our world
All our efforts help.

Caring God,
help us to provide food for the hungry,
not just bread and other foods,
but help us to demonstrate your love for everyone
so that people want to know more about you.
We pray that they can come to know you as we do,
and have you as a sustaining presence within them.

Loving God,
Help us to show your love to all we meet;
help us to be a listening ear; a helping hand;
a caring person and a reliable friend to all.
We now bring before you in a few moments of silence
those known, or not known, to us who are on our minds ...

Almighty God,
we surrender ourselves to you.
Use us for your service,
show us how to bring your Kingdom to earth,
and help us in our endeavors.
We bring these prayers to you
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Lord’s Prayer

Sending out Prayer
As we leave this time of worship,
may we go into the next week
bringing the bread of life 
to everyone we meet.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you,
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.