On the first Sunday of the New Year, we were privileged to have Mr Peter Williams to lead our worship. He was warmly welcomed by our chief steward Bunty Hodgkins who wished everyone present a Happy New Year. Peter opened with some word of greeting and for his call to worship used Psalm 107 ”Praise the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me praise his holy name” which the congregation and preacher recited with alternate verses. To Rod Smith on the organ we sang the great hymn by Charles Wesley “Father of everlasting grace, thy goodness and thy truth we praise”.

For the many things we ought to be grateful for, even in these difficult times, Peter led us in prayers of thanksgiving and adoration. After the offering we prayed for others in need especially the people of Ukraine, those who are struggling due to financial and other pressures and the needy throughout our society and our leaders. Our morning’s bible reading, read by Rod Smith, was from Genesis, chapter 39, the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.

In his address Peter spoke of his first car, a Peugeot 206, and its idiosyncrasies, comparing it with his present car with its modern features, highlighting the benefits of climate control which he finds most necessary when driving, as the car temperature can be controlled by its thermostat and thermometer. Are we more like a thermometer or a thermostat asked Peter? Do we set the temperature or do we follow what’s around us, in the interests of expediency? Jesus was a radical and the Jews could not tie him down. He began his ministry starving in the desert and yet he was the bread of life. He died but through his power and resurrection he gave us everlasting life. Referring to the bible reading, Joseph was a Godly man who resisted Potiphar’s wife, he was thrown into prison and then became a great leader of his people and a positive influence. He was thermostat–like person, as was Jesus. “In this context let us not let 2023 pass us by without making a difference to our society becoming instruments of change”, said Peter in closing.