St Marys Church

Good News for Norwood Green

Online Worship 

3rd January 2021 from Dave Bookless ~ We all need wisdom.  

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

10th January 2021 from Dave Bookless                                                      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

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 

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 ~ Dave Bookless                                            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 ~ Anne Bookless                 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 ~ Liz Wolverson                                                            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 ~ 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 ~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 21st March 20121

A sermon for Passion Sunday from Liz Wolverson

Standing out in the Crowd - Palm Sunday 28.03.21

A sermon by Dave Bookless

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 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 – 11th April 20021

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.

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