Service of the Word – Live Streamed – Sunday, 22 October 2023

Led by: Revd George Mwaura
and: Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Gathering Music


Creator God, we worship you, and we praise you, for we are wonderfully made.

For the wonder of who I am, I praise you; safe in your hands all creation is made new.



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.


Gathering Prayer

God of integrity, may your word sink deep into our hearts today and move us.
May it leave its mark on our minds and inspire us.
May it imprint your desires into our actions and guide us.
May it instil in us a sense of belonging to that which is true and beautiful,
so that we draw others closer to you and they too feel a sense of belonging.
In Jesus’ name we pray.


Hymn: All my hope on God is founded

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew.
Me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

God’s great goodness aye endureth
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light, and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from his store
new-born worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth th’Almighty giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.

Robert Bridges (1844–1930)


Cleanse us from the mark of sin.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Faithful God, forgive us when we mar your image
and others don’t see your compassion mirrored in our lives.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Forgive us when the mark we leave on the lives of those we encounter is a negative one.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Forgive us when we seek only to identify with the powerful and not the vulnerable.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Forgive us when give our allegiance to that which is not healthy.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Forgive us when we are reluctant to identify as your disciples.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Lord, have mercy on us.


Dear God, we thank you for your gift of forgiveness,
and that you remain loyal to us, even when our loyalties drift elsewhere;
that, in spite of our mistakes, your grace ensures your imprint on our lives isn’t fully erased;
that, because of your love, we can be confident in belonging,
and begin again with your blessing.
In Jesus’ name.


Prayer of the Week

We praise you, Lord, for witnesses through the ages
who have told your story and made you real to the next generation.
So take our lives, we pray, and let them be consecrated, Lord, to you.
Take our moments, time together and our numbered days
and let them flow in ceaseless praise to you, merciful Lord.
Help us to put into practice what we learn when we are together
and to take the message of Hope and salvation through Jesus
beyond the walls of this church, to the glory of your name.


Ministry of the Word

Isaiah 45: 1–7

Read by Peter Steeds

1 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armour,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honour,
though you do not acknowledge me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
6 so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.


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

Hymn: Jesus put this song into our hearts

Jesus put this song into our hearts,
Jesus put this song into our hearts.
It’s a song of joy no-one can take away,
Jesus put this song into our hearts.

Jesus taught us how to live in harmony,
Jesus taught us how to live in harmony.
Different faces, different races, he made us one,
Jesus taught us how to live in harmony.

Jesus taught us how to be a family,
Jesus taught us how to be a family.
Loving one another with the love he gives,
Jesus taught us how to be a family.

Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing,
Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing.
Changed our tears of sadness into rivers of joy,
Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing.

Graham Kendrick (b. 1950)

Matthew 22: 15–22

Read by Nerys Steeds

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?’

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.’ They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’

21 ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied.

Then he said to them, So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’

22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.


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.



Led by Glynne Gordon-Carter

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: Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine

Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine:
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God;
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I on my Saviour am happy and blest —
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Fanny Crosby (née Frances J. van Alstyne) (1820–1915)

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 God be always with you,
and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.


Congregational Meeting

12.30 pm this Sunday (22 October 2023) by Zoom

There will be a congregational meeting this Sunday (22 October 2023) by Zoom, which will include an update on the work of the CIO among other items. The Zoom invitation, Agenda and Minutes of the last Congregational Meeting on 11 June 2023 have been circulated.

Pat Kyd, Clerk to the Ecumenical Partnership

Sponsored Bible Reading

Saturday, 23 September 2023

We are delighted to let you know that the Bible Reading event received donations of £1301. So, when we’ve added gift-aid to that, we have the magnificent grand total of £1525!

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this event and who donated so generously. THANK YOU ALL!

Peter Cope

MK Can! Success

MK Foodbank’s attempt on the record for the longest line of cans of food was a resounding success. The previous record was 44,966 cans in a line 3.28 km long, set in Canada in 2014. On Monday, 16 October 2023 in Campbell Park, the people of Milton Keynes put down 102,447 cans in a line over 8 km long and this was officially confirmed by Guinness World Records as the new world record. Our own contribution from Cornerstone was to donate 482 cans, 341 of which were used in our own 25‑metre segment of the line and the rest donated to the common pool. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way: by donating cans, doing work beforehand, and helping out on the day.

All of the cans will now be used in MK Foodbank parcels over the coming months. MK Can! was a fantastic achievement and will help MK Foodbank, and the people they serve, enormously. But let’s hope it is not needed in the future. No one should be reliant on charity in order to eat.

Social Justice Committee

Wednesday evening Bible Study

This Wednesday (25 October 2023) we have our last session on the Parables of the Kingdom and we are studying the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22: 1–14). In preparation we are also asked to read Isaiah 25: 6–8. After this week we shall take a break before resuming with the first of our Advent studies on Wednesday, 29 November 2023. Details to follow.

Church Membership Renewal 2023

At Cornerstone we all renew our membership each year at this time. We would like this to be as simple and easy as possible. Every member on our email contact list will be contacted by email asking if they wish to continue membership and if there are any changes to their contact details. If you reply ‘yes’ then you will continue on the membership list with contact details unchanged or amended as appropriate. Your replies should be sent to our Stewardship Secretary, Janet Trimnell ( Not every member has internet access – for members who need them, paper membership forms will be available in church at Sunday services – please ask a steward, complete the form and return it to the Stewardship Secretary’s pigeonhole in Reception. If you wish to speak to someone about your membership, please talk to Pat Kyd in church.


Final Prayer

Lord, this day and every day, may we touch many lives for you by our living,
by allowing your love to flow in and through us, reaching all among whom we live, and work, and play.
May we be generous with our time and resources,
and may you be glorified in all we do.
In Jesus’ name we pray.


Hymn: I, the Lord of sea and sky

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them,
they turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them,
my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide,
till their hearts be satisfied,
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Dan Schutte (b. 1947)


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.



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


The Service is followed at 12.30 pm by a Congregational Meeting by Zoom.