Last Sunday morning we celebrated our Church Anniversary remembering and giving thanks for all those who have gone before us for almost 160 years. It was good to have so many visitors and friends with us for the occasion. Keith Harrison welcomed Mr. Paul Savill to lead our worship, who began by saying “we gather, looking back to past times and we look forward to welcome opportunities”. Rod Smith played the organ to accompany our opening hymn written by Charles Wesley “Sing to the great Jehovah’s praise; All praise to him belongs”.
Prayer of praise, adoration, and confession together with the Lord’s prayers followed after which Paul spoke about the armour of God of which St Paul wrote to the early church at Ephesus. We had two bible readings, the first read by Keith Harrison was from Exodus, chapter 16 telling of the Israelites receiving manna from heaven as they journeyed through the desert but expressing regret to Moses that they had been led out of Egypt. The second read by Jill Harrison was from St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, chapter seven in which he wrote of his joy at the faith of the early church at Corinth.
On Church Anniversaries, said Paul, we may look back on things that we may regret but try not to use that word, said Paul, urging us to look forward to future opportunities for service to our Lord and his people. He likened this to St Paul’s encouraging the church at Corinth and his not regretting the sorrow they experience which brought light to their lives in due course. Paul urged us to reflect as we move from disappointment to hope. The Israelites complained to Moses saying they regretted leaving Egypt in spite of the freedoms they had now been given and did not reflect on all that God had done or them even though, through Moses, God said he will provide for them. Paul dwelt on Repentance, Restoration and Rejoicing reminding us that we need to forget the past and dwell on new things with God’s guidance.
The hymn “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah” was sung with great feeling to conclude a wonderful anniversary of our church’s past.