• Vocations Sunday 2017

    All are called… some are called to…


    This resource has been written by some of the students and a member of the teaching staff of Westminster College www.westminster.cam.ac.uk

    Vocations Sunday is normally marked on the 4th Sunday of Easter.  In 2017 this is 7 May.
    There are plenty of worship resources available on the internet provided by other denominations.
    We have chosen a quote from the United Reformed Church’s Basis of Union: 'All are called… some are called to' as our theme, to give our material a distinctively URC feel. It acknowledges that we are all called to serve God in the world and recognises that there are a variety of different ministries. At the same time, some people may also be called to specific ministries within the Church: as Ministers of Word and Sacraments, as Church Related Community Workers and as Elders.

    We hope that it is helpful to you as you plan worship for Vocations Sunday.

    Stephen Ansa-Addo, Jacob Bali, Helen Garton, Tessa Henry-Robinson, Julie Kirby, Alison Smith and The Revd Dr Yak-Hwee Tan


    • Acts 2:42-47
    • Psalm 23
    • 1 Peter 2:19-25
    • John 10:1-10

    The Materials

    Bible Notes
    Sermon Ideas
    About Sheep
    Prayers, Call to Worship and Blessing
    All-age talks / Symbolic actions  (includes suggestion for using the Wordsearch)
    Hymn Suggestions

    Links to other worship resources


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  • Stepping Out



    Matthew 14:22-33

    Consider this...

    Peter, when he saw Jesus, stepped out from the boat and walked on the water. His trust was in Jesus. Peter got out of the boat and he did not sink. That is, until he took his eyes off Jesus. He allowed his fear of the waves and wind around him to distract him, and he started to sink.  How often do we feel that we are sinking below the waves? What distractions do we need to lay aside?

    God longs for us, like Peter, to reach out in faith. As Peter sank, he called for help and Jesus reached into the water, pulling Peter from beneath the waves.  How often, when fears and anxieties crowd in on us, do we take out eyes off Jesus and feel that we are sinking?

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  • Walking the Way with Christ


    Read: Acts 10:34-43

    Consider this:

    However you look at it, 2016 has been quite a year! For some, it has been a year of achievement, progression and joy. For others, it has brought uncertainty, doubt and fear.

    The news of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the USA’s decision to elect Donald J Trump as President have certainly been controversial. They have affirmed some people’s ideas about how their country and, indeed, the world, should proceed.  For others, they are a sad indictment of how bad things have become.

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  • Let there be light...


    In the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, eating, drinking and meeting with friends and family, it can be very difficult to find a moment of peace at Christmas. Yet, somewhat ironically, peace is precisely what this great festival is all about!

    Sometimes, we need to calm down, take a breather and focus on the things which really matter. This is especially important at this time of year, as we seek rest at the end of a busy year and seek inspiration for the fast approaching new one.

    This short liturgy, adapted from the URC’s Vision4Life materials (www.vision4life.org.uk) offers a chance to take a few minutes out of their busy schedule to consider what Christmas really means. It can be used by individuals for private reflection or by groups who wish to share the experience together.

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  • The Life Light



    Read:John 1: 1 – 5 (from ‘The Message’ / ‘Word on the Street’)

    The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word.
    The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.

    Everything was created through him;
    nothing — not one thing! — came into being without him.
    What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by.
    The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.

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  • How Long to Sing This Song?

    Read: Psalm 40

    Consider this:

    What are you thankful for? What song might sum that up? What does it mean for you to speak of God’s love for you? What story would you tell?

    In scripture, the Psalms offer us much to ponder. Some are songs of praise and thanksgiving. Others are songs of woe and grief. Some are songs of hope and reassurance. Others are songs of anger and despair. What Psalms would you write?

    Here’s what U2 made of Psalm 40…

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  • Take Time to Trust


    Read: Psalm 63:1-8

    Consider this:

    Life isn’t always easy. Big challenges, difficult situations and the general busyness of life can leave us feeling tired and drained.

    As you reflect on this Psalm, focus on those parts of your life which feel weak and worn out. Let the words soak into your heart as you sit in the loving gaze of God. God made you. God knows you. God is with you, always, in everything you face.

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  • Turn! Turn! Turn!

    turnturnturnRead: Ecclesiastes 3 vv1-8

    Consider this:

    What’s happening in your life right now? Are things going well? Are there challenges to face? Is there much to celebrate? Is there a lot for you to consider? Are there things which bring you joy? Are there problems which cause frustration?

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  • Share Your Story


    Read: Exodus 14 and Joshua 3

    Consider this:

    Picture the scene; you are a small child, an Israelite, thousands of years ago. You were born into a slave family serving the Pharaoh in Egypt, but now things are changing. A man named Moses has been sent by God to set you all free and bring you out of Egypt into the land that God has promised to give to you.

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  • A prayer for Assembly 2016

    Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, we are your people, people of the way.
    Light our path.
    Show us Your way clearly and compellingly.
    Through complexity, diversity, dissent, make Your will known,
    make Your will shown – in our lives and in our Church.
    We give thanks for Your call which gave birth to our Church many years ago.
    Help us now to hear Your call afresh.
    Like a cool wind on a hot day, blow us out and about, people of the way,
    healing, life-giving, wise and faith-full.


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  • Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep...

    doyoulovemeRead: John 21:15-19

    Consider this:

    Standing up for our beliefs in a world of doubt can be a very difficult task indeed, especially if those around us aren’t supportive of our ways of thinking and looking at the world. Believing in God and remaining true to our calling to serve the divine purposes of faith, hope and love can be made almost impossible. Consequently, we sometimes get it wrong, mess things up, think, do and say the opposite of what we’re supposed to. This can leave us upset, ashamed and unsure of what to do next.

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  • A prayer following the verdict of the Hillsborough Inquest

    Living and loving God,

    As we turn to you now, following the verdict in the Hillsborough inquest,
    we acknowledge that you are a God both of justice and of mercy;
    a God of truth and of love;
    a God who has walked this earth before us and knows each of us better than we know ourselves.

    We hold up to you once again the 96
    and all those who have suffered and are suffering as a result of the disaster at Hillsborough.
    May they know your love and strength surrounding and upholding them.

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  • Teach Us How to Pray


    Read: Matthew 6: 7-13

    Consider this:

    How often do we find taking time to pray difficult? Sometimes even 5 minutes peace does not seem possible! Yet, even in the shortest of moments, in the most unexpected places, the peace and power of prayer can be felt immensely.

    Take 5 minutes to explore the familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer through the eyes of a child.

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  • Rural Mission Sunday resources 2016 now available

    The Arthur Rank Centre has produced resources for Rural Mission Sunday to celebrate and inspire mission in rural areas.

    Resources for Rural Mission Sunday, 17 July, are now available on the theme Sow and Grow.

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  • In the name of the Lord

    A prayer for Palm Sunday

    Lord Jesus,
    the disciples accompanied you into Jerusalem,
    proclaiming you the king who comes in the name of the Lord:
    the Messiah – God’s anointed on earth,
    the one who does deeds of power,
    the one to save Israel.

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  • Child of God


    Read: 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31

    Do This:

    Place a mirror into a box facing upwards. On the lid of the box, write or place the following text. Share the box with your friends. Make sure they read the text before they look inside!

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  • Vocations Sunday 2016

    Vocations Sunday is marked this year on 17th April in line with our ecumenical partners.  However the material can be used at any time of the year to suit local arrangements.  This resource has been written by the students of the Scottish United Reformed and Congregational College (http://www.scottishcollege.org.uk ). We thank them for their work and the care with which they have approached the task.

    The compilers write, 'We hope it is both helpful to you as you plan worship for Vocations Sunday and gives you a flavour of the unique approach of the Scottish College which blends learning and experience, story and reflection in an integrated approach where students lay people, elders, and ministers are trained alongside those training for the ministry of Word and Sacraments. We hope this Scottish model is a gift to our wider church.
    'We have based this resource on Spill the Beans (http://spillbeans.org.uk), a resource for both Revised Common Lectionary and Narrative Lectionary, with a Scottish flavour for worship leaders, children and young people. Some of the material used here can be found in Issue 8 and is reproduced with permission.'
    Andy Braunston, Stewart Cutler, Paul Dempster and David Scott
    November 2015




    • Luke 10:38-42 - Mary and Martha
    • 1 Samuel 3:1-10 – the call of Samuel
    • Ephesians 4:1-16 – called to different things


    Bible Notes
    Worship Ideas
    Praise and Hymns
    Age Group Ideas
    For Teens
    Complete Material (in Word)



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  • Everything is Worship


    Read: Isaiah 58:1-12

    Consider this:

    'In the life of the [Native American] there [is] only one inevitable duty – the duty of prayer- the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. His daily devotions [are] more necessary to him than daily food. He wakes at daybreak, puts on his moccasins, and steps down to the water’s edge. Here he throws handfuls of clear, cold water into his face, or plunges in bodily. After the bath, he stands before the advancing dawn, facing the sun as it dances upon the horizon, and offers his unspoken orison.

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  • Resources for Lent

    Find a selection of resources to guide you through Lent

    URC Northern and North Western Synods

    Devotions for Lent
    Following the success, and wide take up, of the Advent and Christmas devotions the North Western and Northern Synods of the URC have produced daily devotions for Lent. These will be sent out by email to those who sign up and also placed on the Northern Synod website. They run from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday.

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  • A Christ is not just for Christmas...


    Read: Matthew 28:16-20

    Consider this:

    The tinsel has been taken down, the decorations packed away. The season for parties and celebrations, jingle bells and glad tidings is over. It’s time to get back to normal. But what is ‘normal’? Is ‘normal’ how things ought to be?

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