Holy Communion – Live Streamed – Sunday, 7 January 2024

Preacher: Revd George Mwaura
Celebrant: Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Gathering Music


God of new beginnings, as we gather on the first Sunday of a new year,
bless our worship, our church, our world and us,
shine your light into our lives, your peace into our hearts,
your healing into our woundedness, your strength into our struggles.
Empower us with your Spirit, that we may serve you afresh.
In Jesus’ name we pray.



Welcome to the house of God.
We have come from all the corners of the earth.

Welcome to the hospitality of God.
We come as we are; we bring our life, our stories, our journey.

Welcome, brothers and sisters.
We are the rainbow people of God.

Welcome chosen people
May God our companion bind us in his love.


Hymn: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,
great David’s greater Son!
hail, in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free,
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

He comes with succour speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
who souls, condemned and dying,
were precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers,
upon the fruitful earth
and love, joy, hope’ like flowers,
spring in his path to birth:
before him on the mountains
shall peace, the herald, go;
and righteousness in fountains
from hill and valley flow.

Arabia’s desert-ranger
to him shall bow the knee;
the Ethiopian stranger
his glory come to see;
with offerings of devotion
ships from the isles shall meet,
to pour the wealth of ocean
in tribute at his feet.

Kings shall down before him,
and gold and incense bring;
all nations shall adore him,
his praise all people sing:
to him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.

O’er every foe victorious,
he on his throne shall rest;
from age to age more glorious,
all-blessing and all-blest:
the tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand for ever,
his changeless name of love.

James Montgomery (1771–1854)

Prayer of Approach

Living God, in the beginning you called all life into being to reflect your creativity:
we celebrate your generosity.

At his baptism you called Jesus to reflect your purpose:
we celebrate his coming among us.

Today you call us to receive your Holy Spirit, and to reflect your love in the world:
we celebrate your trust in us.




O God, when compassion should begin with us, but does not:
forgive us and shake us up.

When unity should begin with us, but does not: :
forgive us and shake us up.

When understanding should begin with us, but does not: :
forgive us and shake us up.

When hospitality should begin with us, but does not: :
forgive us and shake us up.

When hope should begin with us, but does not: :
forgive us and shake us up.

In Jesus’ name we pray.


All powerful God, giver of life, as you affirmed your Son at his baptism, so you affirm us as your children,
forgiving us that which has marred our past and offering us a new beginning.
So, with confidence and trust, we set out afresh on our journey of faith to your glory.


Prayer of the Week

Creator God, giver of light and life, by your word you bring everything into being:
the far-flung galaxies and the tiniest atomic particle.
You have given us a world to enjoy and to care for.
Give us compassion in the use of its resources,
wisdom in our stewardship of your gifts, and reverence for all that you have made, for Jesus’ sake.


Ministry of the Word

Genesis 1: 1–5

Read by Brian Halstead

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness he called ‘night’. And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.


This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn: On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry

On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
come then and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every Christian breast,
and furnished for so great a guest!
Yea, let us each our heart prepare,
for Christ o come and enter there.

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace our souls must fade,
and wither like a flower decayed.

Stretch forth thy hand to heal our sore,
and make us rise, to fall no more;
once mor upon thy people shine,
and fill the world with love divine.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee
whose advent set thy people free,
whom, with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost, for evermore.

Charles Coffin (1676–1749)
tr. John Chandler (1808–1876)

Mark 1: 4–11

Read by Adrian Boynton

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the River Jordan. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

The Baptism and Testing of Jesus

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’


This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.


By Revd George Mwaura


Affirmation of Faith

We believe in the Creator,
the maker of all things.

We believe in the Son,
the redeemer of our broken world.

We believe in the Spirit,
the sacred wind that binds all things together in the family of God.

Creator Father, beloved Son and living Spirit.


Prayers and Intercessions

Led by Glynne Gordon-Carter

The Peace

Peace to you from God, who is our Father.
Peace from Jesus Christ, who is our peace.
Peace from the Holy Spirit, who gives us life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

Hymn: When Jesus came to Jordan

When Jesus came to Jordan
to be baptised by John,
he did not come for pardon,
but as his Father’s Son.
He came to share repentance
with all who mourn their sins,
to speak the vital sentence
with which good news begins.

He came to share temptation,
our utmost woe and loss;
for us and our salvation
to die upon the cross.
So when the Dove descended
on him, the Son of Man,
the hidden years had ended,
the age of grace began.

Come, Holy Spirit, aid us
to keep the vows we make,
this very day invade us,
and every bondage break.
Come, give our lives direction,
the gift we covet most
to share the resurrection
that leads to Pentecost.

Pratt Green (1903–2000)

Holy Communion

The Thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become our spiritual drink.

Blessed be God for ever.

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, good Father to us all, your face is turned towards your world.
In love you gave us Jesus your Son to rescue us from sin and death.
Your Word goes out to call us home to the city where angels sing your praise.

We join with them in heaven’s song:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We bless the name of Jesus, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh,
whose brokenness and suffering makes love real,
who on the night in which he was betrayed took bread,
gave thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples saying,

Take, eat. This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

After supper he took the cup saying,

Drink from this, all of you, this is my blood given for you.
Do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me.

This is the mystery of our faith.

Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Therefore, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we acknowledge brokenness as a path to truth.
We long for the bread of tomorrow: eternally broken and so able to nourish.
We long for the new wine of the kingdom: continuously poured out that thirst may be quenched.

Send your Spirit on us now,
that by these gifts we may feed on Christ with opened eyes and hearts on fire.
May we and all who share this food offer ourselves to live for you
and be welcomed at your feast in heaven, where all creation worships you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours forever and ever.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


The Communion

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Post Communion Prayer

Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us with these heavenly gifts;
may our communion strengthen us in faith, build us up in hope, and make us grow in love;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.



Valerie Williamson BEM

We are sad to learn that Valerie Williamson, who was a Trustee of the Centre for Integrated Living, died on Wednesday, 20 December 2023 after a short illness. Her Funeral will be held at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone at 12.00 noon this coming Tuesday (9 January 2024), with refreshments after the Service. The Service will be conducted by Revd Nick Evans from Newport Pagnell.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: 18–25 January 2024

Go and Do Likewise (Luke 10: 27)

Churches Together in Milton Keynes (CTMK) has organised a wide-ranging and interesting programme of events for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024.

Annual Gathering of Churches Together in Milton Keynes

7.30 pm Thursday 18 January 2024 at Christ Church Stantonbury MK14 6BN

With Rt Revd David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton. Including a review of the first year of CTMK; looking ahead for the coming year; ‘Thinking Mission’ working with others on our mission priorities, including poverty, climate justice and refugees; music from One Voice.

Working Together

7.30 pm Friday 19 January 2024
at the Oak Tree Centre, Wallinger Drive, Shenley Brook End MK5 7GZ

An evening service with Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, Revd George Mwaura and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

A Just City – Workshop on Social Justice in Milton Keynes

1.00–3.30 pm Saturday, 20 January 2024 at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone

There will be broadly three parts: Keynote speech from Dr Chris Shannahan, Coventry University; Small-group discussions; Brief presentations on means of tackling the issues. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-just-city-tickets-770213728997.

Handel’s Messiah

7.30 pm Sunday, 21 January 2024 at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone

Performed by Cornerstone Chamber Choir, Orchestra and soloists. Performance in aid of Ukraine Appeal and MK Money Lifeline. Tickets £20 & £16 (under 18s £2).

Love Your Neighbour

7.30 pm Monday, 22 January 2024 at the Milton Keynes Salvation Army Centre MK14 7BA

With Revd Geoffrey Clarke, Moderator of URC East Midland Synod, and Roman Catholic choirs.

God’s World

7.30 pm Wednesday 24 January 2024 at Whaddon Way Church MK3 7JS

A special service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with Dr Anna Krauß, President of the Fourth Presidency Group of Churches Together in England and music by Rehoboth PEFA Church.

For more information about any of these events visit the Churches Together in Milton Keynes website at: https://www.ctmk.church/search/label/Week%20of%20Prayer%202024.

Cornerstone Prayer Network

Prayer is central to our Christian fellowship. The Cornerstone Prayer Network is here for people who have asked us to pray for them. Please send your prayer requests to cornerstonechurch.prayernetwork@gmail.com and the details will be passed on to the members of the Prayer Network. If your prayer request is for someone else, please check with them before sending details to the Cornerstone Prayer Network.

If you would like to become a member of the Cornerstone Prayer Network, please send your details by email to cornerstonechurch.prayernetwork@gmail.com, or speak to June Halstead after a Service in the church.


Final Prayer

As Jesus came to the river
to do what God wanted,
the Spirit came upon him
to show that God loved him.
Send us out from here
as your beloved children,
filled with the right attitude
to share your love with all the world.

Hymn: God is working his purpose out

God is working his purpose out, as year succeeds to year,
God is working his purpose out, and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

From utmost east to utmost west, wherever feet have trod,
by the mouth of many messengers goes forth the voice of God.
‘Give ear to me, ye continents, ye isles give ear to me,
that the earth may be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

What can we do to work God’s work, to prosper and increase
the love of God for all humankind, the reign of the Prince of Peace?
What can we do to hasten the time, the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

March we forth in the strength of God, with the banner of Christ unfurled,
that the light of the glorious Gospel of truth may shine throughout the world;
fight we the fight with sorrow and sin, to set their captives free,
that the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

All we can do is nothing worth unless God blesses the deed;
vainly we hope for the harvest-tide till God give life to the seed;
yet nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

Arthur C. Ainger (1841–1919)


God be in your head, and in your understanding;
God be in your eyes, and in your looking;
God be in your mouth, and in your speaking;
God be in your heart, and in your thinking;
God be at your end, and at your departing.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you today and always



Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ,