2021 Online Sermons
Click on the video or the link below to view a sermon:
21st November ~ Christ the King ~ from Dave Bookless
The idea of monarchy seems outdated, elitist and oppressive to many today, but perhaps that’s because we’ve got the wrong idea of Kingship. Christ the King, wasn’t about power and glory, taxes, nationalism and war. Rather his Kingdom was and is without armies, political power taxes or even border. Jesus is the Sovereign King – ruler over peoples, nations and planets. Jesus is the Shepherd King - seeking to nurture and protect those under his care. Jesus is the Servant King – modelling an upside-down set of values, where others come first, the poor are raised up. So, the question is, Jesus my sovereign and my shepherd, and do I seek to live out his servant-hearted leadership in my own life?
21st November – Remembrance ~ from Anne Bookless
Today’s readings from Daniel 12 and Mark 13 speak of future wars, conflict and uncertainty. Looking to the past, we remember the Trenches and all who, in the World Wars and other conflicts, gave their lives for others and for freedom. Looking to today, we remember those suffering from Trauma caused by current conflicts. Looking to the future, with COP26 just past and the certainty of suffering and conflict caused by climate injustice and chaos, we remember the Tragedy that is unfolding. Yet, beyond all this, we know there is a bigger story of God’s purposes, guaranteed in Jesus, where Tragedy is transformed into Triumph over death and suffering. Jesus calls us to eat bread and drink wine is remembrance of his death and resurrection, the source of our hope beyond Tragedy.
7th November ~ Jonah ~ from Liz Wolverson
October 2021 ~ Love God, Others, Creation ~ Dave Bookless
the Jews, the great commandment was simply ‘Love God’ with all your being. Jesus explained we can’t love God without loving
our neighbour. Today, we can’t love God
or neighbour without loving creation. In
this all age talk, Dave explores loving God others and creation.
24th October 2021 - Liz Wolverson
The Bible is 'God breathed', but what does that mean? Liz explains that it don't see the personalities and cultures of the different authors, but instead that God's Spirit work through these to bring the words to life and to challenge and speak to us.
17th October ~ To lead is to serve ~ Sermon from Dave Bookless
After the shocking murder of David Amess, MP, who devoted himself to others, today's readings focus on Leadership Styles. Are we like James and John, who shamelessly sought self-promotion, or are we like Jesus - the true King and High Priest - who accepted the cost of leadership, and who modelled a form of leadership characterised by service, suffering and sacrifice.
10th October ~ Sermon from Liz Wolverson
What must I do to gain Eternal Life?
3rd October ~ Sermon from Liz Wolverson
Gods love in a Orange
When people tried to trap Jesus with a question on divorce, he replied but also challenged them to accept God's Kingdom like little children. Sometimes we need to see the big picture to keep things simple and focus on what really matters: keeping rules, or knowing we are held in God's love?
19th September ~ Sermon from Anne Bookless
Who is the Greatest?
Mohammed Ali famously said, 'I am the greatest'. Jesus' disciples argued over which of them was the greatest. But what is greatness? Jesus turns our ideas upside-down by taking a child and saying we need to become like children to be 'great'.
5th September ~ sermon from Dave Bookless
Wealth, Poverty and Afghanistan
With the shocking images and stories emerging from Afghanistan, and the many refugees arriving in both neighbouring and Western countries, today's reading from Proverbs 22, about attitudes to poverty, is fitting. Dave looks at the Biblical teaching on poverty and wealth, and particularly at how Jesus redefines this, putting the poor at the heart of his mission, and at how those who follow him will be judged. We are called and compelled to care for those in need, because in doing so we meet Jesus face-to-face.
29th August 2021 ~ sermon from Dave Bookless
An Affair of the Heart
The book of Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs, stands out in the Bible. Why is a book of explicit erotic poetry that doesn't even mention God included in Holy Scripture? Is is really about sexual love, or is it an allegory about God's desire for intimacy with his people? Dave argues that the Song of Solomon is actually best understood on three levels. It is both about human passion and our relationship with God, but it's also about intimacy with the natural world. All the imagery in the Song is taken from nature. This is a wonderful vision of all the relationships that were broken in the Garden of Eden - with God, each other, and creation, being restored.
22nd August 2021 ~ sermon from Liz Wolverson – Plato, Superheroes & the Armour of God
What do Plato’s radical dualism, Superheroes and Paul’s analogy of the Christian life as wearing the armour of a Roman legionary have to do with each other? List to Liz’s sermon and you’ll find out, and be encouraged and inspired!
15th August 2021 Sermon from Dave Bookless
Mary's song, 'The Magnificat' is often used to reinforce the image of Mary as a passive, humble receptacle for God's work. However, this is actually a radical, even revolutionary, protest song, calling on God to overthrow powerful oppressive rulers and lift up the poor and weak. Dave asks 'What does it mean for us today to live out Mary's song?'
8th August 2021 Sermon from Anne Bookless ~ Change your clothes!
Anne reminds us of the transforming message of Ephesians, and how the Gospel story (Ch.1-3) can change our story (Ch.4-6). Using the image of taking off the 'clothing' of damaging and dangerous behaviours and 'putting on' Christlike character, we're challenged to live out our faith.
1st August 2021 ~ Sermon from Dave Bookless ~ Olympics Church or Parkrun Church?
Dave looks at Ephesians 4:2-6 as a manifesto for the local church. The current Tokyo Olympics show amazing sporting talent and achievement, but it's all about competition, being the best, winning rather than losing. In contrast the ParkRun movement encourages people of all shapes and ages to take part. The aim is not winning but pushing your own boundaries and supporting each other. This is like us as the church: humble, gentle, patient, loving, united and living in peace (Ephesians 4:2-6).
25th July 2021 ~ Sermon Liz Wolverson
The Gospel in which we believe is not one of tolerance; it is about love and the need for whole hearted relationships and for us all to love each other, as God loves us, extravagantly and unfalteringly so that our lives are changed forever.
18th July 2021 ~ Sermon from Liz Wolverson
We have all been tested by Covid and many have been scarred by what they have gone through. We can be confident that each of us irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity and sexuality are all part of the Body of Christ and are much loved because Jesus who had a body like ours understands our limitations and exhaustion, our needs and fragility.
11th July 2021 ~ Sermon from Liz Wolverson
Living our very best life in tune with God knowing that life will not always be easy or pain free but to quote the theologian, Jane Williams, ’We carry in our blood the serum, the antidote to the belief that life is pointless and evil always triumphs.’
God's strength in our weakness~ From Dave Bookless 4th July 2021
Was St Paul a 'super apostle', or was he somewhat weak and feeble? How did God use suffering and opposition to make Paul more open to God's grace and power? How can we, like Paul, find God's grace is sufficient for all our needs and God's power is made perfect in our weakness?
How are you today? ~ From Dave Bookless 27th June 2021
It's very easy to reply 'I'm fine' when we feel anything but, if somebody asks 'How are you today?' It's also easy to put on our best face before God, or in church, and pretend we're fine when we're not. In Mark 5:21-end we see two people approach Jesus, one a respectable leader, the other a woman who was a social outcast. Both come as they are, the leader humiliating himself by begging at Jesus' feet, the woman unable even to speak but in desperation reaching out to touch Jesus' clothing. Both are accepted, welcomed, and experience not just remarkable physical healing but a transformed view of who they are in Christ. Whether we come in desperation, in shame, or in anger and grief, like King David in 2 Samuel 1, we find Jesus' radical welcome and acceptance, redefining who we are and how we see others.
Facing Giants & Storms~ From Dave Bookless 20th June 2021
The familiar stories of David and Goliath, and Jesus calming the storm both speak to us today. We all face giants of opposition, despair and fear and storms that threaten to overwhelm us. Dave Bookless tells us some secrets of how to tackle the battles we face.
The Good Samaritan ~ From Anne Bookless 13th June 2021
Anne Bookless preaches on the familiar story of the Good Samaritan, bringing out how shocking and surprising it really is, and challenging us to think about 'Who is my neighbour?', particularly in terms of people we often reject or keep away from.
Is God front and centre in our lives? ~ 6th June 2021
Jesus and Nicodemus ~ From Dave Bookless 30th May 2021
In John 3:1-17, Nicodemus comes secretly by night to meet Jesus. He's a good man, a religious leader, a wealthy and respected figure. However, to Jesus this counts for nothing. Jesus tells him: 'You must be born again'. What did Jesus mean? What does it mean for us?
Marks of the Spirit filled Church ~ From Dave Bookless 23rd May 2021
On Pentecost Sunday, Dave Bookless examines the marks of a Spirit-filled church, looking at the early church in the book of Acts, and lessons for today. He finds that a Spirit-filled church has In-Spir-ed Worship (filled with the Spirit, bringing freedom, joy and hunger for more), Intentional Community (sharing their lives in a way that draws new members in), Incredible Generosity (sacrificially sharing their belongings and possessions) and is also International and Inter-cultural. These latter points are often neglected, but what we see at Pentecost is Babel reversed, and the inclusion of people from Africa, Arabia, Europe, Turkey (Asia Minor) in the community of believers. Furthermore, throughout Acts the Holy Spirit constantly challenges the believers to overcome cultural and linguistic prejudices, and to learn the riches of each other’s cultures. This is a vision of the Church that culminates in the great crowd of Revelation 7:9-10: people from every nation, tribe and language together worshipping Jesus
How does Jesus pray for us? ~ From Anne Bookless 16th May 2021
Remain and Go From Dave Bookless ~ 9th May 2021
Dave Bookless speaks about Jesus' words in John 15:9-17 where he urges his disciples to remain in his love, and to go and bear good fruit. If Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, we can only be fruitful - in fact we can only survive - if we remain deeply connected to Jesus - through fellowship, prayer, bible study and more. That way we can experience the transforming Agape love that flows from the Father to the Son and on to the disciples. But that's not the end. We are also called to bear good and lasting fruit. The love is to flow through us and into God's world. We bear fruit both in terms of our character and in terms of sharing our faith.
The Good Shepherd From Dave Bookless ~ 25th April 2021
In this talk, Dave Bookless, compares Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to Maslows’s hierarchy of human need. The Good Shepherd meets all the needs of the sheep – for provision, protection, presence (community), plan and purpose, and for eternal paradise. However, Jesus also calls his followers to be more than sheep. And to become shepherds themselves: ‘Feed my sheep’, he says to Peter. We seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, and let our bodily, safety and social needs look after themselves. Only then can we find true freedom as we discover that we are ‘Sometimes the sheep…sometimes the shepherd’.
The meaning or Resurrection by Liz Wolverson ~ 18th April 2021
Liz Wolverson was provoked when a TV history presenter tweeted Dead bodies, don’t come back to life’. Jesus’ resurrection is so much more than a single body being resuscitated. It means new life for all, all people and all creation. It brings hope after our year of despair and death. It breathes God’s Spirit and brings God’s Peace and Power to all of us.
Meeting Jesus From Anne Bookless ~ 11th April 2021
Anne Bookless speaks about Thomas, who wasn't there when Jesus first appeared, and how all of us have different emotions, as we deal with traumatic and extraordinary events - whether coronavirus or the miracle of Easter. Some of us, like Thomas, may feel that we never have amazing experiences of God, but Jesus encourages us to have faith, and meets us with Peace, Personal encounter, Promise, and Purpose.
Easter Sunday From Liz Wolverson ~ 4th April 2021
Liz Wolverson talks about Mark 16.1-8, and the strong emotions Jesus' resurrection unlocked: disbelief, fear, confusion ... before peace and joy. Jesus' resurrection breaks open the boxes of our rules and regulations, our safe pictures of reality and of God, and if we let him, he breaks open the chains that bind us too.
Standing out in the Crowd From Dave Bookless- Palm Sunday 28th March 2021
Many of us are missing being together with others - being in a crowd. Palm Sunday saw the crowd welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem, yet many of the same crowd probably shouted 'Crucify him!' a few days later. It's so easy to just go along with the crowd, but how can we be true to ourselves and true to Jesus in going against the flow - standing out in the crowd?
God's Covenant From Liz Wolverson ~21st March 2021
without spending all your time struggling (and failing) to keep the rules. Starting with the Ten Commandments and the Old Testament legal system, Dave Bookless explores how Jesus then turns everything upside down, looking at who we are on the inside, not just what we do on the outside. Jesus threw out the moneychangers from the Temple because, whilst they were completely legal, they were deeply immoral - cheating and exploiting the poor and vulnerable. Getting God's favour is not about our works but about receiving God's free grace through faith. Becoming good is not about keeping the rules, but spending time with Jesus and becoming like him.
Take up your Cross and follow me From Dave Bookless ~ 28th February 2021
Exploring what it means to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus every day. He suggests it's about following Jesus in all those small, everyday decisions we make. Such choices stem from our priorities, which in turn come from our values. Those values originate in the relationships we value most. As those who seek to take up our cross and follow Jesus, our core relationship is with him, and we should seek to live out his values, of love, justice, caring for others, especially the vulnerable and marginalised, and reflect these in our priorities and choices. This may lead us into suffering, but it will also bring us the true freedom that can only be found by losing ourselves in serving Jesus.
Lent & The Rainbow From Liz Wolverson ~ 21st February 2021
Liz draws out the parallels between the lack of care for Gods world and the devastating year we have all experienced during this pandemic. This Lent is a season to take Gods Rainbow covenant with all creation and allow ourselves to be renewed and remade in Gods image.
Ash Wednesday reflection: Jesus in the storm from Anne Bookless ~ 20th February 2021
Rev Anne Bookless speaks about Jesus asleep in the boat in the storm on the lake We have all endured storms this past year, and sometimes Jesus seems asleep or absent, but he is there. Reflecting on Rembrandt's painting, "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee", Anne asks us to think about the different reactions of the disciples, who we identify with, and what we might want to cry out to Jesus in our storms.
Mountain Top experiences From Dave Bookless ~ 14th February 2021
Often, especially this past year, life can feel like walking through thick cloud with no idea of what the future holds, unable to see beyond the next step. Sometimes, when mountain-walking, you suddenly burst through above the clouds, and everything becomes clear. Perspective is transformed, hearts are lifted, and there's a new sense of momentum. The bible contains many 'mountain top experiences', culminating in Jesus' transfiguration in front of 3 disciples, when they suddenly saw the glory of who He really is. This sermon looks at our mountain top experiences, what to make of them, why some of us may never seem to experience them, and how they fit into our Christian journey, lifting us, and preparing us for the valleys and tough days ahead.
re you Religious or are you spiritual? from Dave Bookless ~ 6th February 2021
Today, membership of religious faiths in western countries is declining, but we're not becoming more secular. More and more people say 'I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual.' In this talk, Dave looks at two elderly Jewish people, Simeon and Anna, who recognised Jesus as the promised Messiah. Both were conventionally religious but both were also sensitive to God's Spirit and the possibility of something new. Can we be like them, avoiding the dangers of dead, formal religion and also the risks of rootless, narcissistic spirituality? Can we learn to be both religious and spiritual?
The call to follow Jesus from Dave Bookless ~ 17th January 2021
Who does Jesus call? Not just adults – God called your Samuel, and not just ‘special’ people but each of us, personally. The call is, first, to ‘come and see’, to explore and discover, but then to ‘follow me’. This isn’t like following on social media – it’s a lifetime’s journey with costs, and sacrifices, but the joy of becoming a disciple of Jesus makes it wonderfully worthwhile.
Jesus baptism and ours from Dave Bookless ~ 10th January 2021
Jesus didn't have to be baptised, but chose to identify with us in doing so. Today, through Jesus, baptism gives us solidarity with the chaos and suffering of our world, makes us new creations through the gift of the Holy Spirit, and gives us a new identity as God's beloved sons and daughters.