Service of the Word – Live Streamed – Sunday, 10 December 2023

Led by: Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Gathering Music


Lord, we come because we want to see you today,
we come because we want to hear your story,
we come because we want to experience your love,
we come because we want to encounter you in our lives.


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)

Lighting the Second Advent Candle

[The second Advent candle is lit.]

Bring your thoughts, bring your feelings,
bring your busyness, bring your chaos,
bring your calm, bring your worries,
bring your hopes and your fears.
Bring it all here – and put it all down for a while…
and let the light of God fill the space.



Forgive us, Lord, for focusing on our problems
and not looking beyond them to you and the bigger picture.
We can become frustrated and impatient when we are blind to, or unsure of, the way ahead.
And often we take things into our own hands instead of waiting for your perfect timing.
Forgive us for getting wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas,
instead of feasting our eyes on the Messiah, heaven’s true gift of Christmas.

Lord God, we’re sorry. John was persistent and lived his message of Jesus.
Help us to humble ourselves and to live out your good news today.


Assurance of Pardon

By freely admitting and confessing our sins, we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, Son of God.
Through the power of his blood, shed for us, we are forgiven.


Prayer of the Week

God, we thank you for your persistence with us, never giving up on us;
and for the persistence of those who prayed for us that we might come into the kingdom.
You knew the right time for us.
You knew what lay around the corner for us then, and you know what lies ahead now.
Thank you for the excitement you fill us with.
Thank you for your Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
Thank you for the peace knowing him gives us.

Thank you for your Holy Spirit, the One who stirs up, who opens up your Word,
and helps us to put the pieces together that we might see the bigger picture
of Jesus and all that he came to be and do.
Thank you that there is always more to discover.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we give you thanks and praise.


Ministry of the Word

Isaiah 40: 1–11

Read by Richard May-Miller

Comfort for God’s People

1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

3 A voice of one calling:
‘In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

6 A voice says, ‘Cry out.’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’

‘All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures for ever.’

9 You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
‘Here is your God!’
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
he gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.                                                                                    NIV®

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

Hymn: Hills of the North, rejoice

Hills of the North, rejoice,
river and mountain-spring,
hark to the advent voice;
valley and lowland sing.
Christ comes in righteousness and love,
he brings salvation from above.

Isles of the Southern seas,
sing to the listening earth,
carry on every breeze
hope of a world’s new birth:
in Christ shall all be made anew,
his word is pure, his promise true.

Lands of the East, arise,
he is your brightest morn,
greet him with joyous eyes
praise shall his path adorn:
your seers have longed to know their Lord;
to you he comes, the final word.

Shores of the utmost West,
lands of the setting sun,
welcome the heavenly guest
in whom the dawn has come:
he brings a never-ending light
who triumphed o’er our darkest night.

Shout, as you journey home,
songs be in every mouth,
lo, from the North they come,
from East and West and South:
in Jesus all shall find their rest,
in him the universe be blest.

Editors of English Praise (1975)
based on Charles E. Oakley (1832–1865)

Mark 1: 1–8

Read by Rosemary Goldie

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way’ –
3 ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.” ’

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.’


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


By Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga


Affirmation of Faith

We believe in God the Father,
origin and destiny of us all.

We believe in the beloved Son,
promise of hope;
God’s laughter in the face of despair.

We believe in the Holy Spirit:
The sacred wind that bind us together in God’s love.

We believe on the coming of that day on this day,
when the creation will be made whole once more
and God’s peace and justice will reign on all people
and we will adore the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ever and ever.


Prayers and Intercessions

Led by Don Head

[At the end of the Prayers and Intercessions please join in with these responses.]

Come, Lord Jesus,
come as King.

Rule in our hearts,
come as love.

Rule in our minds,
come as peace.

Rule in our actions,
come ad power.

Rule in our days,
come as joy.

Rule in our darkness,
come as light.

Rule in our bodies,
come as health.

Rule in our labours,
come as hope.

Your Kingdom come among us.

We say together the prayer that our Lord gave to his followers:

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 Peace

The Lord Jesus Christ, said:
I leave you peace, my peace I give you.
Lord, grant us your peace.

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

Let us offer each other a sign of peace.


Cornerstone Christmas Charity Appeal 2023

Our annual Christmas appeal launches this weekend. There will be an envelope in the Reception area for members to collect on Sunday morning containing all the details. There are also leaflets and donation envelopes available there for those who are not on our membership list. Our annual appeal has raised over £128,000 in the last eleven years and this has been distributed among forty charities. The appeal is an opportunity for us, as Christians, to give to those locally and further afield who need us to be good neighbours to them.

The charities we are supporting this year

  • Advantage Africa (supporting practical projects to support vulnerable people in Uganda and Kenya.)
  • ‘Toilet Twinning’ (supporting good sanitation and hygiene in the poorest of countries)
  • MK Money Lifeline (providing free, confidential and impartial debt advice in Milton Keynes)
  • MK Act (a local domestic abuse intervention and support charity)

To donate by cash or cheque, please use the appeal donation envelopes provided and return them at any service in the collection baskets. Please make any cheques payable to ‘Cornerstone Christmas Appeal’. If you are a UK taxpayer, PLEASE fill in the gift-aid form on the envelope. This increases the value of your donation by 25%.

To donate online or by telephone banking please use the following account details:

Sort code:                               23 05 80 (Metro Bank)
Account number:                    43302825
Account name:                        Cornerstone Christmas Appeal

Please make your donations by 31 December 2023. Your generosity will be much appreciated!

Christmas Appeal Committee

Offering Envelopes for 2024

If you would like a set of offering envelopes for next year, please let me know. Those of you currently using envelopes are already on the list to receive a set for next year, but I need to know if there is anyone else who would like a set for 2024.

Janet Trimnell,

Advent Bible Study

We are be using some of the Methodist study materials called ‘Out of the Ordinary’. You can have a look at The Bible readings for this week’s session, ‘Pointing to the Light’, are Isaiah 61: 1–4 & 8–11 and John 1: 6–8 & 19–28.

Flower arrangers at Cornerstone: Volunteers needed

We are a small team of volunteers working to provide flower arrangements throughout the year. The arrangements enhance the beauty of the church and our worship. Flowers are done on alternate Friday and Saturday mornings to suit volunteers. The choice of arrangement is down to each arranger and the individual styles provides an interesting and welcoming focal point on entering the church. We are seeking new volunteers. You do not need any experience as we are happy to train and support you. We have a flower fund, so individual flower arrangers don’t take on any financial outlay.

If you have a few hours a week to spare, we would love to hear from you, kindly contact us by leaving a message at the Cornerstone Flowers pigeonhole in Reception or email

Thank you, Ratna Devi

Cornerstone Christmas Cards

The original batch of church Christmas cards sold out by mid-November. They have now been reprinted and are available in the shop at £3.99 each pack of 5. The equivalent number of 2nd class stamps can be purchased at a 10% discount.

Bob Collard

Thank you for eating cake!

The cake sale last Saturday and Sunday mornings raised £62. Many thanks to everyone who bought a slice of cake – and an even bigger ’THANK YOU’ to the wonderful bakers!

Peter Cope


Final Prayer

Lord, as we go into our week may we look for more of you.
Help us to see more clearly, to see further, to see what you see, to see the whole picture –
and to live our faith each and every day.


Hymn: You shall go out with joy

You shall go out with joy
and be led forth with peace.
The mountains and the hills will
break forth before you;
there’ll be shouts of joy,
and all the trees of the field
will clap, will clap their hands.

And all the trees of the field
will clap their hands,
the trees of the field
will clap their hands
The trees of the field
will clap their hand,
while you go out with joy.


Stuart Dauermann (1975)


Be people of peace. Let peace live in your heart and share the peace of Christ with all you meet.
Share peace by acting out of compassion and not fear.
Share peace by listening to all sides of the story.
Share peace by praying for our world.
In this Advent season, we need to see, feel, and share peace.
As you go out into the wonder of God’s creations, share peace and hope with those you meet.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you today and always.


The Dismissal

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