Mr Robin Perry led our worship last Sunday morning with a good congregation present. He was warmly welcomed by our steward Rosalind Chatburn. Robin’s theme was the call of Samuel. He used some words from Psalm 145 as his call to worship; “Great is the Lord and highly to be praised and his greatness is unsearchable, I will exalt you”. We sang as our opening hymn “To God be the glory, great things he has done! So loved he the world that he gave us his son”.

Our opening prayers of praise, adoration and confession were said followed by the Lord’s Prayer. Robin spoke to the children of the Junior Church about the call of Samuel, as a small boy living in the Temple and serving the judge, Eli. In his sleep, God called Samuel three times and each time Samuel responded but thought it was Eli calling him. Finally he responded to God’s calling him to become a great figure in the history of the Old Testament. The story was told in a video which the children enjoyed. Guy Chatburn read our two bible readings, the first from 1 Samuel chapter three and the second from 1 Samuel, chapter 15.

These reading told the story of God calling Samuel who went on to become one of the great prophets in history and how, subsequently, Samuel was to tell Saul, Israel’s first king, that he had disobeyed God and was out of favour with him. In his sermon Robin likened our calling in these times to God’s calling Samuel. He asked the question “how does God speak to us today and are we listening and are we discerning?” In the story it was the judge Eli who was the discerning one as it was he who knew that God was speaking to the boy Samuel. In these days God speaks to us through scripture, prayer and personal experience. He also speaks to us through dreams and visions and discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but it is prayer which wraps around all that we have been speaking about and whatever he calls us to do, like he called Samuel, he will be with us.

In our prayers for others we remembered the troubled parts of the world and Christians who are currently suffering persecution for their faith. We also remembered those known to us who have recently lost loved ones.