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The Parables of Jesus: Lost Sheep and Lost Coin

It’s week 3 of our summer series on the parables of Jesus this week. And this week we’re thinking together about two stories Jesus told with something in comon: the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin.

You can read the parables here, and here are some questions that might help you think, reflect and pray about them:

  1. Have you ever got lost? And/or, have you ever lost something and worried that it was lost forever? What was the “found” feeling like?
  2. Why do you think the Pharisees objected to Jesus welcoming the “tax collectors and sinners” and eating with them?
  3. Jesus says there’s rejoicing over sinners who “repent”. What do you think repenting means? Why is it so important to Jesus?
  4. In both these stories, the “finders” are desperate to find the one sheep or coin that they’ve lost, even though they have plenty of others left. What does it say about God that he devotes so much energy to finding even just one lost person?
  5. As Christians, we often think of ourselves as having been “found”. But are there still ways that we’re sometimes lost and need to be found?

Please share any of your answers to these questions, or any other thoughts or reflections about these parables in the comments below. And join us at 10:45 on Sunday morning as we worship, explore these parables and share Communion together!

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The Parables of Jesus week 2: 3 Kingdom Parables


By UWAKOYA ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This Sunday is the 2nd week of our series looking at the parables of Jesus. We’re looking at three of the parables about the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus told in Matthew’s Gospel; you can find them here. And here are some questions to help you think, reflect and pray about them: Continue reading →

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The Parables of Jesus week 1: The Good Samaritan

This Sunday, we begin our Summer series of services, where we take a few weeks out to look at a particular theme. The aim is to make these a bit more informal: less of me preaching and more a chance for us all to explore the particular passages and what they might mean for us together. Continue reading →

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The blog is back…

So, yeah, it’s been a while (2 years to be precise…). And I’d love to give an excuse for why this blog hasn’t appeared since 2014 – server problems, computer problems, freakish internet outages in Urmston every time I wanted to post… Continue reading →

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Urmston’s Favourite Carol

Hello, it’s me again – long time, no blog!

We at Greenfield Church want to end the Christmas season with a bang, not a whimper.  So we want as many people in Urmston as possible to help us find Urmston’s Favourite Carol!

Throughout December, we want you to nominate your top 3 Christmas carols.  Over Christmas itself, we’ll collate all the results.  Then, at our special service on Sunday 5 January, we’ll announce the top 5 and reveal what Urmston’s Favourite Carol is.

Here’s how you can vote for your favourite:

  1. By post: Write down your top 3 and post them to Greenfield Church, Primrose Avenue, Urmston, M41 0TY, marking your envelope “Urmston’s Favourite Carol”;
  2. By email: Send your top 3 in an email to, putting “Urmston’s Favourite Carol” in the subject line.

Your vote needs to be with us by Christmas Eve to be counted.

So what will it be?  Hark The Herald Angels Sing?  Away In a Manger?  Silent Night?  Vote now and join us on January 5th to discover Urmston’s Favourite Carol and give this Christmas a special send-off.

PS Don’t forget Greenfield Church is now on Twitter!  Follow us using @GfieldChurch.  Can you fit your vote for Urmston’s Favourite Carol into one tweet?

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Sermon, 9 December 2012

Here’s my sermon from yesterday, based on Malachi 3:1-4 and Luke 3:1-6.  Not an easy set of passages to preach from, or a particularly easy theme (especially when it’s the church Christmas lunch afterwards!).

Anyway, right-click on the link below and choose “Save target as…” or the equivalent in your browser if you want to have a look at it.  There’s also a PDF of the background/reflection leaflet for last week if you want to have a read of that as well (with the added bonus of the deliberate mistake on the original being corrected!)

By the way, if you do read these then please comment on them using the box below (or e-mail me if you’d prefer) – all (constructive) feedback would be gratefully received!


advent_leaflet2.pdf (approx 1.1mb)

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Sermon for Advent Sunday, 2 December 2012


It’s been a long time since I lasted posted one of my sermons (or even since I lasted posted here and enjoyed a brief moment of post-Baptist Assembly popularity).  But since it’s Advent and, therefore, technically the start of a new church and Lectionary year, I thought this was a good time to get into the habit once more.

So, here’s the sermon from Advent Sunday, which is based on Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36.  There’s also a leaflet with some reflections and questions on it about the two passages.

(From memory, you have to right click on the links and then choose the equivalent of “Save target as…” from the menu that appears in order to download them – please let me know if there’s another way.  I’m going to look to find a better of way of linking to documents etc., all suggestions gratefully received!).


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Yesterday’s sermon – 5 February 2012

…just in time!

Yesterday’s sermon was part of our special service for Education Sunday (as mentioned on this blog previously).  The passage was Mark 1: 29-39, which covers Jesus’ healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law and His decision to spread His message through the other villages in the area.

We focussed on the latter part of this.  It followed a testimony from a teacher from our local infant school who had come to this service.  She shared what teaching meant to her, what a privilege it was and some of the ups and downs, highs and lows of teaching.

I tried to tie the sermon in with that.  I took the idea of Jesus’ mission being the thing that drove Him on, rather than the popularity He was experiencing in Capernaum; this mission, I suggested, was bringing the good news of the coming of God’s Kingdom.  And it was this I likened to what was shared about the job of teaching: how, like a good teacher builds relationships with pupils and parents, God works in our lives by building relationships with us, rather than just telling us what to do.

We then noted how, when Jesus leaves Capernaum and goes on, He calls His disciples to follow Him: “Let us go”.  I suggested that Jesus, too, was inviting all of us, in our own callings, to go with Him and partner with Him in His ongoing mission to spread the good news of the Kingdom.  This is something that we are learning, but that at the same time we take with us.

Here’s the sermon notes, if you’re interested in reading them, they’re in Word .doc format. Again, I think it works best if you right click on the link and select “Save Link As…” or the equivalent. And if you do read them, please comment below!

(And, for reasons of length, I will post separately about the mysterious story hinted at in the first point!)

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Yesterday’s sermon – Sunday 29 January

Yesterday’s sermon was based on Mark 1:21-28, the story of Jesus driving out an evil spirit from a man in the synagogue in Capernaum.  We thought primarily about what this (and the reactions of the people to Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue before the exorcism) might have to say about Jesus’ authority.

Authority often seems to be a dirty word these days: we don’t like being bossed around.  Yet Mark here presents a whole town (almost) as being amazed by Jesus’ authority: in his teaching (which Mark says was like nothing they’d heard before) and in his freeing the possessed man.

So what’s going on?

We suggested that Jesus’ authority was something that liberates: rather than seeking to control and exercise power over people (as a “bossy” authority would), Jesus brings an authority that somehow sets people free.  It is an authority that exercised over the things that hold people, that prevent them from coming to God; it doesn’t seem to be exercised over people themselves (in the sense of controlling them, putting them down).

(None of this is to deny the ancient Christian truth that “Jesus is Lord”.  It’s to simply say that this Lordship, which we submit to, is often not the same as the lordship the powerful in our world often exercise.)

We then thought about some of the things that might hold us: fears & worries; sins; things that have hurt us in life.  Finally, we went through a short time of imaginative prayer, picturing ourselves in the synagogue and bringing just some of those things that hold us to Jesus.

The notes (and they are notes – I hope the above helps explain them!) are attached below; please read them and comment on what you think of them!

Amazed By Authority

To download the file, please click with the right mouse button and select “Save Link As…”.

Posted by Stephen in Yesterday's sermon, 0 comments