Sunday Worship – 11th February 2024 – Sunday Before Lent

(All our songs this morning are from Singing the Faith (StF) numbers will be given where available)

Welcome to our Sunday Service, today shared on paper across our circuit and with the congregation at Northcliffe Church a Local Eccumenical Partnership church with the URC and led by Rev Kerry Tankard our Chair of District.

Click on the blue links to follow them for bible readings and associated links


Let’s go up the mountain.
Let’s go up to the place where the land meets the sky
where the earth touches the heavens,
to the place of meeting,
to the place of mists,
to the place of voices and conversations,
to the place of listening.

Song – SF 83 – Praise my soul

A Time of Prayer

O God,
We open our eyes and we see Jesus,
the months of ministry transfigured to a beam of light,
the light of the world,
your light.
May your light shine upon us.

We open our eyes and we see Moses and Elijah,
your word restoring us, showing us the way,
telling a story,
your story, his story, our story.
May your word speak to us.

We open our eyes and we see mist,
the cloud of your presence
which assures us of all we do not know
and that we do not need to fear that.
Teach us to trust.

We open our eyes and we see Peter’s constructions,
his best plans, our best plans,
our missing the point,
our missing the way.
Forgive our foolishness and sin

We open our eyes and we see Jesus,
not casting us off,
but leading us down, leading us out –
to ministry, to people.
Your love endures forever.

We open our ears and we hear your voice,
‘This is my beloved Son, listen to him!’
And we give you thanks.


God of light and glory, may we recognize your glory around us – a sense of the sacred found in the everyday: in the stories of faith we tell, in the lives of the people we meet, in the words we use to speak. Amen.

Music: The Transfiguration [written by Sufjan Stevens]

This version performed by Karl Digerness, (vocal and banjo) Minna Choi, (vocal and piano)

An Ignatian exploration of the Gospel reading.

Prepare yourself:

Sit comfortably and relax into your body. Notice your breathing, and with each breath out feel yourself letting go of burdens, worries, things that hold you back from God. With each breath in, imagine the Spirit of God filling you and bringing life to your body, heart, and soul. Become aware of God’s presence with you.


Ask God to give you the grace you need right now, the grace to know God’s presence.


Mark 9:2-9

Read slowly and let yourself imagine the scene. Read it twice, even three times, if that helps you better imagine it. You may choose to underline something that stands out to you – let yourself wonder why that was.

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Imaginative Contemplation [1]

This is a prayerful journey, so be open to how God will use your imagination.

You have joined Jesus and three disciples for a hike up a high mountain.

Take a moment to get a sense of your surroundings.
What can you see?
Is there an easy path up the mountain or do you have to clear it yourselves?
Are there trees or other vegetation? Is the terrain smooth or rocky?
What kind of day is it?

What do you hear?
Are there any birds singing, insects chirping?
Hear the crunch of feet on the ground as you walk.

What do you feel?
Is there a breeze that touches your skin, or sunshine?
Perhaps rain is falling. 

What do you smell?
What does the mountain air smell like?

Look at Jesus and the other disciples.
What do they look like? What are they wearing? How tall are they in relation to you?

Continue on your walk up the mountain, letting your imagination of the scene take over.
Who do you walk with? Do you chat or stay silent? Do you rest or push on? Spend a few moments on the walk up the mountain.

Arriving at a place near the top of the mountain, you all stop for a moment. And Jesus is transfigured before your eyes; “his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.” How do you react to this transformation? How does it affect you?

Slowly you realize that there are two people there, talking with Jesus. Peter identifies them as Moses and Elijah when he suggests making dwellings for the three men. Peter says, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here!” What is your feeling in this moment?

You hear a great voice say, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ In what way do you react to this?

Let your prayer continue with your imagination. Before you close your prayer, spend a few moments talking with Jesus or one of the other disciples, sharing your thoughts and feelings about what happened and listening to what he has to say in response. 

And when you are ready, close with a favourite prayer.


What happened in your prayer?
What feelings did you experience?
During the prayer period, when did you feel encouraged?
When did you feel discouraged?
Did you receive the grace you asked for?
What did you receive?

Song – StF 447 – Jesus be the centre

A Time for Others:

Pray for those who are travelling with you at this moment in your life: a carer, a friend, a family member, a professional of some kind, whoever God brings to mind.

            Give thanks for them; ask God to grant them the grace they need.

Pray for places of anxiety in the world that you have heard about in the last couple of days:

            Imagine those places; ask God to grant them the grace they need.

Pray for friends in the circuit who are discovering, like you, the mystery of the presence of God.

            Remember where you know them from and what they mean to you; ask God to grant them the grace they need.

Pray for yourself.

            Enjoy God’s presence with you; ask God for the grace you need.


Hymn/Song: Recall a favourite hymn and recite the words to yourself, or read them to renew your memory of it.

The Blessing

The God of grace is with you, has blessed you,

and delighted in your company this day.

Be at peace,

as the blessing God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit anoints you anew. Amen.

[1] This example was prepared by Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Washington DC

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