Remembrance Service – Live Streamed – Sunday, 12 November 2023
Led by Revd George Mwaura
Preacher: Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga
Call to Worship
On this day of memory, we gather to sing and to pray.
We remember the past and look to the future.
On this day when the guns once fell silent,
we come before you God, seeking your peace.
On this day of hope in the face of terror,
we come before you God, praying with all our hearts:
God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
open our eyes and the eyes of the nations
to find a different path through the disagreements of life in this world.
In this time of story, song, and prayer,
may we be re-committed to being people of peace, true peace.
May we catch a vision of how the world could live together.
And so we echo the old prayers:
Make us channels of your peace.
Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with us!
Sisters and brothers, we come together today as citizens of earth and of heaven to remember.
To remember with pride and appreciation those who have given their lives in service of others.
To remember with dismay the suffering, destruction and pain caused by human conflict.
To remember with gratitude those whose lives, love and friendship, ours has been the privilege to share.
To remember with sadness those whose death has caused us loneliness and pain.
We come together, not to glorify or celebrate war and conflict, but to recognise its cost
and commit ourselves to be peacemakers and peacekeepers wherever that opportunity presents itself.
Whatever our view and whatever part we may have had to play in the theatre of war and conflict,
we express our common humanity by pausing to recognise the value and worth of every life lost
and so express the mystery that to be human is to be both marred by our common failings,
yet fashioned in the image of our Creator.
And in our remembrance, we give God thanks for memory itself,
through which we are forever warned by the mistakes of the past
and enriched by experiences that can no longer be known in the present.
Hymn: Abide with me
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.
Hold thou thy Cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee:
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!
Henry Francis Lyte (1793–1847)
Almighty God – we seek your presence as we come together in this act of remembrance.
Help us not to hide from you our sorrow and our pain, as you also inhabit our joy and thanksgiving.
May all our acts be open to your scrutiny, that we might indeed strive upon this earth
to embrace the values of Heaven.
By your Holy Spirit enfold us afresh in your love and healing,
and through the sacrifice of Christ, inspire us again with the promise of eternal life,
and that great example of self-giving.
You have called us to take up the cross and to follow you,
yet too often we prefer the tools of war and words of conflict.
We acknowledge our failure to live as true children of one Creator.
Forgive us that which cannot be undone;
comfort us as we live with its consequences
and empower us to build a better world in service and obedience to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Reconciliation
As one family, we reflect today on the horrors of the past
that continue to haunt humanity and darken our world.
Lord, where pain still overwhelms,
Where hearts are still breaking,
Where peoples are still oppressed,
Where communities are still victimised,
Where children are still brutalised,
Where lives are still crushed,
Where evil is perpetrated,
Where war still devastates,
But most of all, Lord, wherever a single voice cries out in the darkness,
bring us to one another, in the name of the love you bear in your heart
for all people, all nations and all creation.
Prayer of the Week
[Minister] God of all nations; we pray for those who have been injured or disabled through war;
[Men] for those who have lost homes and security through conflict;
for those who have lost loved relatives in wars;
for those who face danger and take risks for peace.
[Women] We pray for all those, especially children, caught up in current conflicts;
for refugees and all those in need of aid and other help.
[Minister] God of encouragement and Saviour of the despairing,
[All] Comfort those who remember past sacrifices
and guide us in building a just and peaceful community for all.
Ministry of the Word
Malachi 4: 1–2
Read by Pat Kyd
1 ‘Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Hymn: Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence praise,
in deeper reverence praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us like them without a word
rise up and follow thee,
rise up and follow thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love,
interpreted by love!
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all pour strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace,
the beauty of thy peace.
Breath through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still small voice of calm,
O still small voice of calm.
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
Luke 21: 5–19
Read by Robin Kyd
The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 ‘As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.’
7 ‘Teacher,’ they asked, ‘when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?’
8 He replied: ‘Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am he,” and, “The time is near.” Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.’
10 Then he said to them: ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
12 ‘But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
20 ‘When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.’
This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.
By Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga[Silence]
Choral Response[Including the poem ‘In Flanders fields’ by John McCrae.]
Affirmation of Faith
We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.
We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Prayers and Intercessions
Led by Adrian Boynton
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.
Hymn: I vow to thee, my country
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above
entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
the love that asks no questions, the love that stands the test,
that lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
the love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
the love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
we may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
and soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
and her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.
Cecil Spring-Rice (1859–1918)
Cornerstone achieves Eco Church Bronze status
Following a reassessment of Cornerstone’s Eco Church status by the Cornerstone Eco Church Core Group, we are pleased to have been informed by A Rocha that Cornerstone has achieved Bronze Eco Church status. This comes a year ahead of the 2024 target that was agreed by the Ecumenical Council and the Congregational Meeting in February 2022. Very good progress has been made over the past year in all five areas of the Eco Church framework. Cornerstone achieved 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze levels, as follows:
Area 1: Worship and Teaching – Score: 110 out of 110 = Gold
Area 2: Buildings – Score: 378/510 = Silver
Area 3: Land – Score: 70/155 = Bronze
Area 4: Community & Global Engagement – Score: 165/230 = Silver
Area 5: Lifestyle – Score: 92/160 = Silver
This Bronze award is the result of the hard work and dedication of many people working across all aspects of Cornerstone’s activities. The challenge now is to work towards the Silver award, which we are scheduled to reach by 2026.
Eco Church Core Group
Reminder: Church Membership Renewal 2023
At Cornerstone we all renew our membership each year at this time, and every member on our email contact list has been contacted by email. If you have not already done so, please reply to our Stewardship Secretary, Janet Trimnell (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. For any new people wishing to become a church member, the application forms are in Reception; please ask a steward.
Advent Bible Study
There will be at least three Advent Bible Study groups this year, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, beginning in the week of 27 November 2023. We will be using some of the Methodist study materials called ‘Out of the Ordinary’. You can have a look at https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/advent-and-christmas-resources
If you would like to take part, contact Mark in the Office or Stuart Kean or Pat Kyd.
Cornerstone Church Christmas Cards
We have a Church Christmas card designed by the artist Yvonne Bell, one of our volunteer Receptionists. The text inside the card reads ‘The gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of happiness. May all of these be yours at Christmas’
Packs of 5 cards are £3.99 per pack, with all proceeds going to the maintenance of the church building. Those purchasing these cards may have the equivalent number of 2nd class stamps at a 10% discount.
Fair Trade Stall and Open Coffee Morning
Sunday, 26 November, after 10.00 am service until 1.00 pm in the Guildhall
We will be inviting our neighbours from the new city-centre flats to join us. There will be a short presentation in our Ecochurch series on the continuing importance of Fair Trade and an opportunity to buy Fair Trade Christmas gifts, cards and treats. Please bring contributions of cake or biscuits to the Guildhall before the service or make contact with other offers of help.
Joy Chapman 07854 762676, email@example.com
Offertory[Music may be played until 11.00 am.]
Act of Remembrance
Let us remember with gratitude those who, in the cause of peace
and the service of others, died in time of war.
The Last Post[Two minutes silence is observed.]
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
we remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war
into the peace of your presence;
may that same peace calm our fears,
bring justice to all peoples and establish harmony among the nations,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Act of Commitment
Let us commit ourselves to responsible living and faithful service.
Will you strive for all that makes for peace?
Will you seek to heal the wounds of war?
Will you work for a just future for all humanity?
Merciful God, we offer to you the fears in us that have not yet been cast out by love:
May we accept the hope you have placed in the hearts of all people,
and live lives of justice, courage and mercy;
through Jesus Christ our risen Redeemer.
Hymn: The day thou gavest
The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended:
the darkness falls at thy behest;
to thee our morning hymns ascended;
thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping,
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping,
and rests not now by day or night.
As o’er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
our brethren ’neath the western sky
and hour by hour fresh lips are making
thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord, the throne shall never,
like earth’s proud empire, pass away;
thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever,
till all thy creatures own thy sway.
John Ellerton (1826–1893)
God grant to the living: grace;
to the departed: rest;
to the Church, the King, the Commonwealth and all people: unity, peace and concord;
and to us and all God’s servants: life everlasting.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Church, go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ, we will.