Holy Communion for Sunday, 26 July 2020

[The complete Service is contained in one video file. The musical prelude and postlude are each in their own video file, at top and bottom of this post. The words of the service, hymns, readings and intercessions are all included in the video of the Service, but not the words of the Sermon by Revd David Moore; if you wish to read his text while listening, you will need to scroll down to it in the text of the Service, which is below the video recordings here.]

The Service today is led by Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Organ Prelude


Introit: O God, you search me and you know me

O God, you search me, and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you are before me,
ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar
and with love everlasting, you besiege me,
in every moment of life or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future, too.

Although your Spirit is upon me,
still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you;
even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

For you created me and shaped me,
gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you.
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new —
mmm, all creation is made new.

Bernadette Farrell (b. 1957)


Good morning, Living Stones, and welcome to our Holy Communion Service
on the seventh Sunday after Trinity.

A warm welcome to our preacher too, our dear David Moore.

We begin with the Prayer of the Week.

Let us pray.

Prayer of the Week

Provident Father,
with the prayer your Son taught us
always on our lips,
we ask, we seek, we knock at your door.
In our every need,
grant us the first and best of all your gifts,
the Spirit who makes us your children.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.


Hymn: Come, now is the time to worship

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are, to worship.
Come, just as you are, before your God, come.

One day every tongue will confess You are God,
one day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains
for those who gladly choose You now.

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are, to worship.
Come, just as you are, before your God, come.

One day every tongue will confess You are God,
one day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains
for those who gladly choose You now.

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are, to worship.
Come, just as you are, before your God, come.

Brian Doerksen (b. 1965)

Gathering Prayer

Jesus said: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

Welcome to the house of God.
We have come from all the corners of the earth.

Welcome to the hospitality of God.
We come as we are; we bring our life, our stories, our journey.

Welcome, brothers and sisters.
We are the rainbow people of God.

Welcome, chosen people.
May God our companion bind us in his love.


The Confession

Forgive us for the things we have done and have not done.
Forgive us for the things we have said and have not said.
Forgive us for the life we have lived and not lived.
Beloved God, help us to reflect the image
of the one we profess to follow
in thought, word and deed,
and in discovering our true self
draw others into that light.


Kyrie eléison

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

The Word of the Lord

1 Kings 3: 5–12

Read by Suzanne Richardson-Bailey

5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’

6 Solomon answered, ‘You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

7 ‘Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.


This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Matthew 13: 31–33 & 44–52

Read by Robin Kyd

The parables of the mustard seed and the yeast

31 He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’

33 He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about thirty kilograms of flour until it worked all through the dough.’

The parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl

44 ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The parable of the net

47 ‘Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 ‘Have you understood all these things?’ Jesus asked.

‘Yes,’ they replied.

52 He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’


This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.


By Revd David Moore

The first time I conducted public worship was in a tiny Methodist Chapel in the village of Hinton Charterhouse, which is six miles from Bath where I lived. I was nineteen. Dorothy accompanied me and, as the organist was sick, had to play the harmonium!

We travelled by bus. It was winter and the Chapel was heated by a coke stove positioned in the centre of the chapel. I read the notices, which were in a large notebook. But the last notice was a folded poster, which, by the time I had unfolded it completely, I could no longer see the congregation and it was much too near my face for me to read. So, carefully turning the poster I asked the congregation to read the poster to me. Which they did! Not the usual Call to Worship!

That first sermon somehow got parcelled up in the chaos and cooperation of those moments. The service proceeded and eventually concluded with the Blessing and when I opened my eyes there was a kettle on the coke-fired stove!

Then there were, of course, disputes within the service as to which tunes were sung to two of the hymns and that was part and parcel of the worship! That’s West Country chapel-religion for you!

This was a congregation who in the main had known each other much, if not most, of their lives. And today, sixty-four years later, the memories of that day remain in a deep secure place in my memory. The chapel is no longer there…, but in my memory it will remain as long as I live.

I tell you all this personal history because somehow ‘the hit and miss’ nature of reading scripture aloud in church is still as critical to me as it was for my first service all those years ago. So today’s reading about finding a treasure in a field, a man acting with dubious morals, is held up as virtuous! So what do we think of that? What are we to make of this?

Parables are about story-telling and at their best are just wonderful, but to the modern mind there are plenty of issues which make some recoil.

The one thing I wish to point out to you from the Gospel reading today is that we encounter the purposes of God, and indeed the presence of God in countless ways – waving our personal religious flag – Anglican, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, United Reformed, which mean nothing to God.

But Anglicans, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, United Reformed actively pursuing a joined-up Ecumenical agenda will make God do more than smile – probably whistle or even tap dance!

This Church of Christ the Cornerstone was built as a fortress to the lasting values of Ecumenical modernity. After quite a good start we have, to my mind, for years been slipping, missing the mark, failing to be sufficiently ambitious to remain positive and politically true to our vision. Churches that boast of political neutrality, or who fail to focus upon the period of history of Ecumenism in Milton Keynes sell the future short.

We as a congregation, and I include myself in this critique, can turn up on Sundays, say our prayers, listen to a sermon, receive communion, have a chat and that is it for another week. Belonging to a congregation means more than turning up on time and putting money in the collection – it should be about sharing the weight of the overall purpose of this place in recognising in today’s world every church is now an outpost for pilgrims.

That tiny congregation in Somerset I referred to earlier has not survived and there is no guarantee that a church such as this will survive in the same form for ever. That is why Cornerstone first and foremost chose an Ecumenical Partnership; it is the only way to survive in a city centre.

All praise to God for every office holder, and every hand that drops coins in the collection basket. … We haven’t arrived, we are simply catching our breath for the next stage of a very long journey, and that means formulating what our long-term game plan really is.

That is why we should be shaking the gates of heaven in prayer for the Ministers, the Officers, the Stewards and all who are part of this community.

City-centre churches are extremely hard places to work and that is another reason for praying for our Ministers and for ourselves.


Choral Response: Put peace into each other’s hands

Put peace into each other’s hands
and like a treasure hold it,
protect it like a candle-flame,
with tenderness enfold it.

Put peace into each other’s hands
with loving expectation;
be gentle in your words and ways,
in touch with God’s creation.

As at Communion, shape your hands
into a waiting cradle;
the gift of Christ receive, revere,
united round the table.

Put Christ into each other’s hands
he is love’s deepest measure;
in love make peace, give peace a chance,
and share it like a treasure.

Fred Kaan (1929–2009)

An Affirmation of Faith

We believe in the Creator:
the maker of all things.

We believe in the Son:
the redeemer of our broken world.

We believe in the Spirit:
The sacred wind that binds all things together in the family of God.

Creator Father, beloved Son and living Spirit.



By David Stevenson

Lord God, our minds are focused on you,
we trust in you, knowing you will keep us safe.

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for your Church throughout the world.
Knowing you are everywhere by our side cradling us all,
always thankful for all you have sacrificed for us.
Guide those who through your Grace tell the Gospel and share the Good News:
‘Jesus is alive. Love has won victory over evil and death.’

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray, leaders of the world focus and unite in putting humanity first;
that everyone will benefit from future solutions and breakthroughs against Covid-19.
An end to the persecution and suffering of humanity will end.

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

Come Holy Spirit, uphold compassion and honesty with all who serve.
We pray for Elizabeth, our Queen.
We ask you bless all leaders and politicians as they strive against Covid-19.
Give them insight and aptitude to resolve whatever confronts them
in a way that both heals and protects all people.

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for mums and dads, children, mates, neighbours and all who surround us;
everyone in our dispersed Church and in our lives, our community, though isolated.
We give thanks for our milk person, post person, our fire person, our road sweep,
the bus drivers and taxi drivers.
Lord, we pray that by your Grace they will live free of danger.

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are in need, isolated, vulnerable and scared, confused:
for those, who attend to the needs of others, carers, nurses and doctors.
Have mercy on those who have died, uphold those who mourn;
let light perpetual shine upon them in hope of eternal life, as promised.

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for Peter Cope and Bob Collard who are celebrating significant birthdays today.
We thank you for their dedication to your work at Cornerstone.
Bless everyone who has a birthday today.

Lord, in your Mercy,
hear our prayer.

In you Lord we place our trust, our today, our tomorrows.
You are our shield, the rock of our salvation.
To you be the glory.

Merciful Lord, accept these prayers and all who call upon you,
for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.


Hymn: King of glory, King of peace

King of glory, King of peace
I will love thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast,
thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enrol thee:
e’en eternity’s too short
to extol thee.

George Herbert (1593–1633)

The Peace

Jesus says,

‘Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

The Offering

Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9: 6–7

Thank you

To everyone who is continuing to pay us regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme.
To everyone who is continuing to pay us regularly by bankers’ order.
To people in the envelope scheme who are putting their money aside every week ready to bring in when we re-open.
To members of the envelope scheme who have already sent cheques and on-line donations.

Thank you

Holy Communion

The Thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become our spiritual drink.

Blessed be God for ever.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Eucharistic Prayer

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;
in your love you made us for yourself.
When we turned away
you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life
that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened his arms of love upon the cross
and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,
at supper with his friends
he took bread, and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to them, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,
he gave you thanks, and said:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;
do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,
send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine
may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts
make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world
we offer you this sacrifice of praise
and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Take this bread:

Share this wine.

In these Christ comes to us with love from God.
The gifts of God for the people of God.


Hymn: When we walk with the Lord

When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His word,
what a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favour he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

John Henry Sammis(1846–1919)

The Blessing

Thank you for joining us this morning.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace.

And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father,
the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be among you
and remain with you
today and always.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ.


Organ Postlude

[Video recordings of all the music in this Service can be viewed by following this link: http://www.cornerstonemk.co.uk/music-videos-for-sunday-26th-july/]