James Eaton-Challinor: January 2021
The online Circuit service this coming Sunday (17th January) at 10.45am will be a Covenant Service and the liturgy we'll be using is in the document that accompanies this article. The service will be on Zoom but it will also be live streamed to the Shrewsbury Methodists Facebook Page (search @ShrewsMethodist or access from the Bayston Hill or Belle Vue church pages on this website). If you would like the Zoom Codes please email email@example.com.
The service will also include a Love Feast and you'll need a drink and something to eat which could be as simple as some juice and a piece of cake.
The Covenant Service goes back to John Wesley's time. He wanted a form of worship which would help people open themselves to God more fully. In 1755 Wesley created such a service, using material from the writings of the seventeenth-century puritans divines, Joseph and Richard Alleine. Over succeeding generations the Methodist Church has made changes to the service so that it continues to be relevant to congregations using it.
The aim of the service is to help people hear God's offer and God's challenge; to provide space for God to prompt and for people to respond. Yet, more than this, for the Covenant Service is not just a one-to-one transaction between individuals and God, it is an act of the whole faith community.
Both the Covenant Prayer and Service are regarded as jewels of Methodism and one of the most distinctive contributions of Methodism to the liturgy of the Church in general. Other churches are now discovering it and making use of it in their worshipping life.
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