Carlops Online Worship 9 May 2021

6th  Sunday in Easter


Lighting of candles        Adam 


Call to Worship              Murray Campbell


One: Come and celebrate our common home

All:  We gather as the family of humanity

One: The mountains, islands and deserts

All:  We honour the glory of God in creation

One: The lakes, rivers and seas

All:  We come to the source of the living water

One:  With the land, its soil, seeds and sustenance

All:  We give thanks for God’s generous provision

One:  With the forests of great trees, the lungs of the planet

All:  We sing with joy and clap our hands

One:  We join with the whole creation, inspired by those who have gone before       and the prophetic voices of today

All:  We dare to praise and pray for another possible world. Amen   


Opening Reading      Steven Whalley

Psalm 98:  5-9  

Sing praises to the Lod! Play music on the harps!

Blow trumpets and horns, and shout for joy to the Lord, our king.

Roar sea and every creature in you;

Sing earth and all who live on you!

Clap your hands you rivers;

You hills sing together with joy before the Lord,

 Because he comes to rule the earth.

He will rule the peoples of the world with justice and fairness.



Hymn 624       In Christ there is no east or west


In Christ there is no east or west,

in him no south or north,

but one great fellowship of love

throughout the whole wide earth.

In Christ shall true hearts everywhere

their high communion find,

his service is the golden cord

close-binding human kind.

Come, brothers, sisters of the faith,

whate’er your race may be:

whoever does my Father’s will

is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west,

in him meet south and north,

all Christ-like souls are one in him,

throughout the whole wide earth.


Readings                       Gavin                                                                                       


Acts 10: 44-48

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.


John 15: 9-17

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.



Reflection                        Steven Whalley


As you will know next week is Christian Aid week. This is a week I associate with people walking around with red bags, carrying red envelopes and wearing ‘authorised collector  badges’ with a look on their faces that could be concern or determination as they consider what will happen on the next door they knock on.


Some collectors like to do their collections on a ‘oner’. This means on the first visit they will knock on the door and encourage a donation and completion of the gift aid declaration there and then.  This does have the advantage of reducing the overall time spent on the whole exercise.


early in the week and then visit the houses on the next day or later in the week.  Sometimes there may be the need for repeat visits, if people are not at home or busy with bath time, until you have everyone crossed off your list as either having  onated or having chosen not to.


Taking this approach, you experience a range of responses. There are those who have already put the money in the envelope and completed the gift aid slip. And there are those who politely (or less politely) indicate they do not want to make a donation.  

Of course, a typical response when told an envelope was posted through their door is “Oh we didn’t get one”. That can be disheartening when you, the collector posted the envelope through the door a day or so earlier. Of course, it could be someone else in the household has ‘put it somewhere safe’ or the dog has used it as a chewing toy.

Whatever the reason, the collector can go to the prepared response which is – to give a cheery smile and say “Well, if you want to donate I have a spare envelope here”.

Of course, it is a sad fact we will not be seeing red bags this week as we did not see them last year.  But the work of Christian Aid remains important and what we do can still make a difference. In the newsletter [this week] there are details of what we can all do. Please have a look and consider what you can do. Even a small online donation can make a big difference. And it’s made more important than ever as the pressure is on governments, whose spending has increased in support of COVID impacts to reduce overseas aid. 

There is a link between Christian Aid and today’s readings.


The readings today have been rich in message the themes of water, praise, love and joy.

In our opening words we gave praise to the Lord for his work in creation and for the land. soil and sea. The Psalmist tells the earth and all who are in it to sing praises.

John mentions love nine times in nine verses.  He is definitely putting a lot of effort in getting the message over.  He talks about Jesus love for the disciples being like the love of the Father for him (v9) and the familiar command to love one another (v 12 & v 17).

He also talks about joy.   Their joy is complete by following the Lords commands (v 11) especially the command to love one another (v12)


The reading from Acts carries two messages for me.  The first is from receiving the Holy Spirit. The passage tells us the Gentiles received the Holy Spirt. The Holy Spirit is universal for everyone and not just those who we see every day/week and not just for those with whom we share a geography, or physical characteristics. In Christ there is no East or West, no North or South.  The second is the importance of water. In the reading a relatively small amount of water is used in baptism but we know water should be treated as one of God’s most precious gifts.    


We know much of Christian Aid’s donations go to work for countries in Africa and to other underdeveloped countries. We remember God’s message that the work we do to obey God is not restricted by borders, just as the word was shared with Gentiles.  As someone said recently, in asking shall we be inclusive to all, how can we say no when the Lord has already said yes.   


Water, Praise, Love and Joy

There is a strong link between how we look after our world and how it affects the poor, the people Christian Aid helps. We already know there are areas in the underdeveloped world that suffer because how resources are managed. 


I always remember when a Minister spoke about water in Africa. It was when he was in Ministry there and was asked how people where he lived got water. This from a young girl who had to walk miles to the nearest water source. When being told it comes from a tap in the house her response was – people must be very happy.


We know that poorer countries are less able to deal with climate change implications and so the people in those countries suffer that much more.  The Christian aid website highlight that the climate crisis is making it worse for people who are already fighting poverty. Their statement is “This climate emergency is one of the greatest injustices we face. Together we stop this climate crisis”.


It’s worth having a look at the Christian Aid website. There must be 100s of stories they can tell website and I imagine they pick stories that are typical.  There is a story from Kenya which describes how a lack of reliable source of water means they struggle to withstand the unpredictable weather made worse through the climate crisis. Drought means millions are short of food because they can’t grow crops. To make it worse, in parts of Kenya in 2020, the drought was followed by relentless rainfall and flooding which damaged crops that had struggled to grow.


So, climate change and its effects on people, especially, those in poorer nations are important to Christian Aid. Does make it important to us? Yes, it must. In Genesis Chapter 1 v 26 the Lord says of humans they will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small’.  Does having power mean exploiting it or being selfish?  The Message version says ‘Be responsible for the fish in the sea and the bird in the air for everything that moves on the face of the earth. That obviously includes all other humans.


Water, praise, love and joy.

Our bible themes are reflected in Christian Aid and what we do about it.

  • Water: We know the power of water to enrich us through baptism and practically thorough helping those in need – where water is more precious than we can imagine. Will we help others make it available where it needs to be?
  • Praise: Shall it be an active praise where we help those less fortunate than ourselves? Shall it be an inclusive praise not limited to those around us just as the gift of the Holy Spirit was not limited to just the Jews but also the Gentiles
  • Love & Joy. John shows us we need each other and the sacrifice that comes with showing love and receiving that joy. Jesus makes the ultimate sacrifice – to lay down his life for others. What will we sacrifice in Christian Aid week?




Prayer               Bridget 


Let us say the Lord’s Prayer together:

We give thanks for all our blessings, for the beauty of nature surrounding us, for our food and water and shelter.  We gave thanks for the thoughtfulness and support of those active in our church and wider community. We give thanks for the vaccine that is giving most of us more freedom to see family, loved ones and friends, remembering those who can’t be reunited with their families overseas.


We pray for all the young people whose education and social interaction have been disrupted.


We pray for those among us who are suffering from poor health or who are recovering.

We remember all those who have lost people close to them in the last year.


Let us pray for world leaders to be guided to act fairly and compassionately.  We pray for democracy and for leaders to act with openness, honesty and integrity.




In a short silence we offer our own prayers.


We pray for the protection of our planet.

We pray for those who are suffering in Myanmar and Ethiopia.

We remember Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe and others held in Iran, the people of Hong Kong, and people throughout the world who are persecuted for their beliefs.

And we thank God for all in the NHS and caring professions, for the police and for all other workers who have been putting themselves at risk for the rest of us.  Amen



Hymn 320          Joy to the world!


Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

let earth receive her King.

Let every heart prepare him room.

and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the saviour reigns!

let all their songs employ;

while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness

and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love.



Benediction                   Steven Whalley            


Sung Blessing                 May the God of peace go with us

                                     as we travel from this place;

                                     may the love of Jesus keep us

                                     firm in hope and full of grace.