Welcomehttps://sites.google.com/site/standrewswashingtonorguk/our-community

Due to the Coronavirus, we are so sorry to advise everyone that St Andrew's is closed until further notice and all services, events and lettings have had to be cancelled. 

There is an on-line service every Sunday at 10:30. To join you will need to download Zoom. select https://zoom.us/download 

The services at 10:30 all have the same  meeting number 959 7943 5144 and password  321257. All are welcome.

The Bede Circuit are joining in prayer on Wednesday mornings at 10 am, meeting number 98349085707, password 479972. All are welcome.



I have just watched the attached youtube clip, The UK Blessing and found it emotional and brilliant, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U  

 Enjoy.


Todays meditation from Rev Matt

Did you know that the world record for the Men’s triple jump currently stands at 18 metres 29 Centimetres. This record belongs to Jonathan Edwards and was set in 1995 at Gothenburg.

This is one ‘heck’ of a jump and journey from A to B!

When I started with you all last September, in my first service in each church, I spoke about journeying with Jesus. Where we had come from, where we had arrived at, and then journeying on into the future. I spoke of how God always was and is, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, always was, and always will be.

Little did I know how true this statement would become for each of us this year.

Since then, what a journey we have been on together. I had started to get to know you all and you had started to get to know me too. Then just when I felt as though I was starting to get to grips with my first year of ministry, out of the blue, we were dealt the curve ball of covid 19.

We closed our buildings, we had to adapt to new ways of working, and we found ourselves in the midst of a rather tough and difficult time.

For some, the covid journey will have meant battling feelings of loneliness and isolation. For others, it will have meant the loss of loved ones. For some, it may have given opportunity for new hobbies to be found, or a new appreciation of nature, of silence or a time to be refreshed.

I have seen first -hand, the devastation that this disease has brought into the lives of many in our local communities, and its surrounding areas, as I have led funerals for those who have died. The sense of not being able to reach out and offer a hug or a shoulder to cry on, a hand shake or a steadying hand, has been really quite tough as I have ministered to people in there time of greatest need.

Yet despite this, the immense privilege of representing you the people of the church of Christ, has not been lost on me, as I officiated in services, and committed people into Gods care at the end of their life on earth.

Whichever version of the covid experience has been yours, I know that God has journeyed with us through this current pandemic. This is not a glib statement, but one borne out of conversations with you the people of Glebe, St Andrews and Springwell. I have heard moving testimony of how your faith has seen you through the tough times and continues to do so.

So, what of the future?

 For some, the journey of coming back together as a worshipping community in a church building has begun. For others, this will take more time. There is a broad spectrum of opinion across the circuit, that in some cases things are happening too quickly. In other quarters, there is a sense that things are not happening quickly enough. Whilst for others, there is a sense of frustration at the lack of action, or the opportunity to respond to the needs around us in our local communities.

Wherever we are at on this spectrum, can I encourage each of us to commit to praying each day for our church communities, our local communities, and for ourselves. Let us pray that we will not want to dash ahead, or lag behind, but be in the place where God wants us to be as a church. In doing so, trusting in God for the future. Not just the future  that we personally see for our churches, or how we wished that it was, but a future that is in Gods hands, Gods timing and has Gods missional priorities at the very heart of our churches, so that we can truly say that we are the people of God, in whom we fully place our trust, our buildings and our lives, as we journey on as the faithful people of God, Wherever that may take us on this journey as the people of the Methodist Church.

How-ever you are today, know that you are always in my prayers. I am here to serve you, so my phone is always open. If you need me please do not hesitate to contact me.

May God grant you his peace this day and may you truly know the depth of love that God has for each of us.

With My Prayers

Rev Matt

Journeying Footsteps

I see a footstep and I decide to follow it for safety, as I notice that one footstep suddenly becomes two, three and four. A pathway is being shown.

At times, I find that I merrily bound along, placing my feet in the guided track. At other times, I find myself finding it harder to place my feet in those tracks and following the lead.

The worst bit though, is somehow when I miss the tracks. It is as if I cannot see them clearly, and they get lost amongst the chaos. In searching for them, the panic sets in and they seem to be gone.

But then, just at the moment when I think that my journey of following the footsteps has come to an end, the veil is somehow taken from my eyes, and I am guided back onto the pathway and I see the footsteps clearly once again. This time they seem bigger, easier to spot and for a while, this seems easy. Yet overtime, the process begins again and those footsteps seem to get smaller and harder to follow. Sometimes its days, sometimes its weeks, sometimes its months or even years, but gradually I seem to lose sight once again of those footsteps that I so dearly want to follow upon the pathway.

So, I come to a complete stop.

I sit despondent at what has happened. I sit dejected as I cannot see what I am looking for and there seems to just be a sense of silence all around. Then in that silence, I hear a quiet voice, it says come and follow me.

There it is again, come and follow me. It seems nearer this time, but I still cannot see the footsteps upon the pathway. Come and follow me. It’s as if the still quiet voice has been looking for me, it seems as if it is trying to guide me. So placing one weary foot in front of the other, I once again take the first tentative steps of faith.

As I listen to those comforting words, come and follow me, the phrase is persistent and rhythmically echoes louder and louder within my soul. Eventually, I find myself gaining focus, and suddenly, there it is, my footsteps are back and the pathway seems to be clear once again.

Guide me o God, that I may walk the pathway of life, listening to your prompting, leading and guiding, as I continue to draw on my faith in Good times and bad, as I walk with you.

A Prayer

Loving God lead us we pray, as we seek to be your people. Help us to journey with you, each day of our lives. Help us to listen to that still small voice, and encourage each of us collectively and individually to place our whole lives in you, as we walk with you as the people of God, taking our lead from you for our churches and our journey in life. In the name of Christ Amen

A Meditation by Rev Matt Sheard

(The Light)

So, the world continues to break, into what feels like millions of tiny pieces

Lives shattered, families smashed apart, like a sledgehammer to a glass vase.

As the death counter ticks on, and goes up and up, its like constantly seeing a piece of modern art, that contains millions and billions of pieces of precious broken glass, scattered across the floor, that represent people’s lives.

Millions of fragments, pieces, and shards. Not looking how they were meant to be.  In many cases causing untold anguish, as the sharp fragments, which have been so brutally smashed and broken, cause people pain, as the thought of a loss of freedom , loss of a loved one , loss of a friend, loss of family time and connectivity with others in the world, causes the jagged edges of the smashed and obliterated million pieces, to dig deeper into the lives of so many.

Yet as these cracks appear, and as a million pieces are starting to be put back together in a painstaking way. A light - shines in the darkness, a light that has always shone, but not always recognised.

 As this light shines and engulfs the darkest voids, through the cracks and shards, and through the newly formed image of people’s shattered lives, we see just a moment of hope, from a light that refracts and causes beauty to be seen in a different way, something new, a new dawn as it were.

So as this light continues to shine, may we see the broken being transformed, the millions of pieces restored, and the sharp edges taken out, but not forgotten, causing us to see things differently both in ourselves, in others and in the world.

For the darkness will never overcome the light. The light of which I speak, will shine for all to see, through all eternity, this light will never be extinguished.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1 v5)

 

 

 

 

 A Prayer (by Mary Beth Thomas)

God, with you there is no darkness. Your character has no shadows, and you are pure and good. Yet in our broken world, we see so much darkness around us. Pain, sickness, and disease are in our community and in many of our homes.

Bring your light and restoring presence to the dark places in our lives. Bring your hope to hearts that feel defeated. Bring your love and compassion to those in pain.

Give us faith to say with the psalmist, “Lord, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.” May your light of hope shine in the darkness for families today. Show us glimpses of your presence with us and the comfort you bring.

In the busyness of today, help us to take a moment to be still and sit with you. To slow down, breathe deeply, and release our burdens to your strong hand. You are trustworthy, good, and true, and we thank you for caring for us so deeply and beautifully. Open our eyes to see you at work today. Give us your light.

In Jesus name, Amen

 

Hymn Christ be our light https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJq3bhdgQoc

Longing for light, we wait in darkness
Longing for truth, we turn to You.
Make us Your own, Your holy people
Light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

Longing for peace, our world is troubled
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.

 

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

Longing for food, many are hungry
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us Your bread, broken for others
Shared until all are fed.

 

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

Longing for shelter, many are homeless
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us Your building, sheltering others
Walls made of living stone.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.

Many the gift, many the people
Many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another
Making Your kingdom come.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today

 

A blessing

May the light of Christ shine in the darkness and always be a lamp to your feet and a light in your lives. In the Name of Christ Amen


A reflection from Rev Matt.

Yesterday, I found our two children packing a suitcase, clothes toiletries swimming gear, sun cream and sun hats. When I enquired what they were doing, the rather indignant answer came back,

Daddy! It’s obvious, we are going on holiday.

Off they went downstairs into the back garden. The paddling pool was the sea, the slate stone covering was the beach. It provided great entertainment for the children (and for a short while for the adults too!)

At this moment in time, you may well wish that this pandemic was all over, and that you were on your holidays, anything to escape all that is going on and being reported 24/7, anything to escape the 4 walls of the house and garden (if you have one), anything to escape what you are having to currently face in your life.

As I was sitting reflecting and praying and giving thanks for this rather odd but fun event that happened in the Garden yesterday, I was reminded of the poem below. Hopefully this will help some of you in where we are currently in coping with this pandemic.

Footprints

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

 

Prayer

Father of all creation, we thank you for the gift of your world.

For the beauty we see in our gardens and parks, for the wonder of animals large and small, and for the way in which creation is made in your image.

As the bird song fills the air, and the sound of the stilled streets reverberates around, we pray that you will help us to live as your people in the current crisis.

Draw close when we are lonely, inspire us when we do not know what to do next, give us patience to finish the tasks we have started, and encourage each of us to look to you each day for our inspiration.

(Pause)

We take a moment and still ourselves, to focus on you, and we bring before you those things which have annoyed, frustrated or hurt us in the last few days. We offer these things into your hands and ask that you will unburden our lives of these things.

(Pause)

We pray that as these things leave a gap, these will not just be an empty hole, but will be filled with your healing, presence and love.

(Pause)

We give you thanks, for all the good things we have experienced in the last few days, whether that was a conversation, a smile from a neighbour, a beautiful flower, a lovely walk or just the experience of having you present with us. For these things we offer you our thanks and praise.

(Pause)

Loving God, we give you thanks for all those who are key workers, Who are putting others before themselves, we thank you that they are prepared to do this to benefit others. We offer you prayers for their protection and safe keeping, and we commend them into your hands.

(Pause)

As morning turns to evening, as day turns to night, as spring turns to summer, as weeks turn into months, we give you thanks that you always travel with us, loving and faithful God.

In the name of Christ

Amen

 

 


A devotion from our minister Rev Matt Sheard. 

Hymn

You tube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yubLGTOcm8c

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, you reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won`t grow weary

Our God, you reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won`t grow weary

You`re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

 

Psalm 21 v1-7

The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give!

You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.[
b]
You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him –
    length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
    you have bestowed on him splendour and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
    through the unfailing love of the Most High
    he will not be shaken.

 

 

Prayer

Loving God we come before you and quieten our hearts and minds.

We come into your presence as your people wanting to offer prayers for the world. Your church and lastly ourselves.

Loving God we ask that you will be with all those people who suffer in any way this day. We ask that you heal those who are struggling with illness and fear of death.

We ask that you comfort all who mourn and grant them your deep peace.

We give you thanks for the workers on the front line of the NHS, for all those in education and for those who are shop workers and other essential key workers. We give you thanks that they are still prepared to keep working and serving in such difficult circumstances. We ask that you grant them your protection.

Father, we ask that you give wisdom to those who govern, having to make decisions on behalf of us all. We ask that you give them clarity of thought, wisdom and rest when needed.

We offer you prayers for our churches. Even though we cannot meet physically, we are still the church, united by your love. You call us to be the church in any ay we can. So help us to do this in these difficult times.

We pray for those who are known to us from our churches who are unwell, struggling, fearful, lonely or anxious. May these people know your healing your comfort, your love your peace.

Lastly lord, we bring ourselves and we ask that you listen to the concerns that we have on our hearts and minds this day.

Loving God, we offer you our prayers with praise and gratitude for all you are and for all you do for us.

In the name of Jesus we pray Amen

Blessing

May God grant us peace this day, May God encourage us this day, may God be near us and surround us this day and may God be on our lips this day.

In the name of Christ

Amen

 

 

 




Welcome to St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Washington. 

Our church is open to God, to life, to the world and to you. Please come in when we reopen and find out more about the activities for everyone within our building and our wider Church.




After my prayer time today, I was led to this old chorus father I place into your hands which I remember from my youth.

I offer the words of this short song with some prayers interspersing the words.

Please read the words slowly and let the wash over you. Then use the prayers after each verse or add your own.


Father, I place into your hands the things I cannot do,
Father, I place into your hands the things that I've been through.
Father, I place into your hands
The way that I should go, For I know I always can trust you. 

We come before you and ask you to be with us as we are in isolation or lock down.

We give you thanks for the ways in which you have sustained us on the journey thus far, and we place ourselves, and that of our future into your hands. Help us when we struggle to look to you. trusting in you in every circumstance of our lives.

Father, I place into your hands My friends and family.
Father, I place into your hands the things that trouble me.
Father, I place into your hands the person I would be,
For I know I always can trust you. 

Compassionate God, we offer into your hands our families who we cannot see at the moment, for those from whom we long for a hug, or the touch of a hand. We thank you that with the aide of the internet or the telephone we can stay in touch, but we know this is not the same as been able to meet face to face.

We offer into your hands, those family members who are key workers, for all those taking a risk to help others and to keep the country healthy, on the move, supplied with food, educated. May you draw close to these people, and may they know your peace and protection at this time.

We offer into your hands, all those who are ill, whether that be a family member, a friend, a member of our church or community, the Prime Minister,

We bring these people before you now and ask for your peace your healing and your love to surround them.

Father, we love to see your face, we love to hear your voice.
Father, we love to sing your praise and in your name rejoice.
Father, we love to walk with you and in your presence rest,
For we know we always can trust you. 

Loving God, we long for your presence in this time in which we currently live, We ask and pray that you will help us to seek your face a fresh each day, help us to hear your voice and help us to sing your praise through all that we do each and every day of our lives. Father, we ask that you walk with us and be our light in the darkness. When we are in those times of deep darkness, of loneliness, anxiety, stress, ill health, my you be our true light that will be our hope. With a light and hope that will never be extinguished.

Father, I want to be with you and do the things you do. Father I want to speak the words That you are speaking too. Father, I want to love the ones That you will draw to you,
For I know that I am one with you

Amazing God, We ask that you would help us always to turn to your word for comfort and peace and strength, and then in turn be inspired to share with others about who you are and how you have loved us and inspired us in our lives. We pray that as we cannot meet in our church buildings, that you will help us to be your church in the many and different ways which you now call us to be. Help us to always be intertwined with you and one with you.

In the name of Christ

Amen


The Cacophony of Gods Silence

Have you heard the silence on the streets, the echo of emptiness as the bird’s echo with their song?

Life has stopped from its normality for a while and the echo of silence reverberates around the streets, avenues, flats and town centres.

The silence may cause us to pause and think, it may cause us to become anxious, it may mean that for days and weeks we do not speak to another, causing us to miss the normality of a hug, a handshake, simple hello.

Yet in amongst the echoes of silence, there is a cacophony of noise, that reverberates loud and clear. It is not the usual bang and crash of life, but in the calling of the still small voice of God to our hearts and lives, My peace I give you my peace I leave with you, do not let your hearts be troubled. Be still and know that I am God. So, as quiet as the dew falling on the grass to welcome the dawn of a new day, so God gives to us Gods voice in the quietness of the cacophony of the stillness of silence.

So rather than filling every part of that echoing silence that each of us face, can we turn the volume up of Gods cacophony of that still small voice, hearing it loud and clear amongst the echoing silence of the world and the beautiful sound of bird song echoing again through our streets. For as the sun rises and the sun sets, and the days and weeks start and finish, God does not finish with us and is speaking in the company of Gods silence. Be still and know that I am God and I am with you to the very end of the age. Come and rest a while, hit pause on the busyness of the world and turn up the cacophony of Gods stillness and silence, stay safe and be refreshed, as we meet with God.

Rev Matt Sheard 2020



We will let you know when the Church activities resume, in the meantime stay safe and God bless.

All are welcome to our Sunday Morning worship at 10:30, followed by tea and coffee in the hall.  

Mainly Music for babies and toddlers is on every Monday term time at 10am. in the Church Hall. Date of next Mainly Music to be announced..

Our Open the Book team are available to lead school assemblies and are at present taking assemblies at Barmston Primary and Junior School. 

We have a fortnightly Bible study group which meets on a Monday evening. Our next meeting to be announced.

Coffee mornings are held on the last Saturday morning monthly at 10am. The proceeds go to  nominated charities.  

Our coffee mornings will resume when possible, date to be announced. 
The proceeds from our 2020 coffee mornings will go to the following charities:

Feb 29th Washington Mind
March 28th Parkinson's UK
April 25th Alzheimer's Society
May 30th Christian Aid
June 27th Air Ambulance
July 18th 2pm Summer Fayre
August 29th South Shileds Drop-in
Sep 26th Diabetes UK
Oct 31st St Benedict's Hospice
Nov 28th Christmas Market.