St Marys Church

Good News for Norwood Green

Online Worship 


We all need wisdom. From Dave Bookless 3rd January 2021

The Magi, or wise people, who visited Jesus, followed in a long biblical tradition of wisdom, which starts with Worshipping God.



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.



The call to follow Jesus from Dave Bookless ~ 10th 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.





Are 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? 




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.


      

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.



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.


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.


How to be good From Dave Bookless ~ 7th 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.



God's Covenant From Liz Wolverson ~21st March 2021

A sermon for Passion Sunday 




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?




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.



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.




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.



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’.



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.





How does Jesus pray for us? ~ From Anne Bookless 16th May 2021

Anne Bookless looks at how Jesus prays for his disciples in John 17, and reflects on what this teaches us both about Jesus’ care and prayer for us now, and about how we can pray.


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



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?





Is God front and centre in our lives? ~ From Liz Wolverson 6th June 2021

 

Liz Wolverson OBE speaks on the Bible passage Mark 3:20 - end


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.

 

 

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.


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.




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?





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