The Unending Debt of Love - Romans 13:8 - A Clay Jar

Sing to the Lord, in the congregation of the faithful



Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen


Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...


God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.


May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung Sue Turner


Almighty and eternal God,

make us grow in faith, hope and charity:

and that we may be worthy of your promises,

cause us to love what you command;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

Exodus 12: 1-14
read by Andrew Ratnam

The First Passover Instituted

Praying the LectionaryDrinking God's Word...together.Exodus 12:1-14 – The  Passover

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn with fire. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand, and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the Passover of the Lord. I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from human to animal, and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Romans 13: 8-14
read by Mark Toner

Love for One Another

Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not murder; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:8 - Creation IS Science

An Urgent Appeal

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is already the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone; the day is near. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us walk decently as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in illicit sex and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.


Matthew 18: 15-20
read by Rev Janice Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Matthew chapter 18 beginning at verse 15

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

Reproving Another Who Sins

How should Christians handle disputes (Matthew 18:15-17)? |

“If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If you are listened to, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If that person refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church, and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord


Charlie Mackesy To Love And Be Loved Available For Immediate Sale At  Sotheby's

One Christmas I received a gift of the above picture, which I really like. In the picture, the boy says: “I realise why we are here.” The mole asks: “for cake?” “To love”, said the horse “and to be loved.” This picture is the craftmanship of Charles Mackasy.

Charley Mackasy is a Christian illustrator and author who published and released a simple book, entitled “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. This book was first published in October 2019 and has spent over 100 weeks on the Sunday Times Bestseller List. It is the longest Sunday Time Hardback Number One of all time. It is quite simply a book of illustrations and snippets of conversations between a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse but it communicates deep truths about relationships, struggles, hopes, and fears. Something about it struck a chord with many people and one of its dominant themes is love – what it means to love others, what friendship looks like, and what it means to encourage, support and care for each other day by day through thick and thin, through storm and calm, through times of disaster and times of peace.

This book echoes the great principles and tenets in Scripture about God’s love. God’s love for us is the greatest theme in Scripture. From beginning to end, God demonstrates his love, his compassion, and his grace to humankind, fulfilled in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Each Sunday we hear the words in the introduction to our confession. “We love because God first loved us.”

Jon Foreman Quote: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing  debt to love another.”

This theme of love is evident in our Epistle reading today. Its key verse is this. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law.”

As far as I am able, I do not like to be in debt (some things, though are unavoidable, like paying up a car or mortgage), and I seek to clear it as soon as I can. Paul tells us it is right to pay what we owe, seek to be debt free, and honour those in authority. But he also says the only debt that will never be paid off and should never be paid off is the debt of love! We can never say ‘I have done all the loving I need to do’. Our love for one another, will never run out. In fact, in every circumstance, we need to ask ourselves…what is the most loving thing I can do in this situation?

So firstly, whom are we to love? We are to love above all else, God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, then we are to love ourselves, and our neighbours.

What Is God's Love For Us

To be in a position, to love your neighbour as yourself, you need to know two things. You need to know what love is and that you are loved. We are the object of God’s love. As Karl Barth, the Systematic Theologian once said: “Scripture can be summarised in these few words “God loves us”. We are not just loved in a general way but deeply loved in an unconditional manner. We tap into this love, when we grasp the truth, that God loved us first. He is the source of our love. Before we can give this love to others, we must receive this love for ourselves. After all, we cannot share, what we do not know nor have experienced.

Sometimes, it is hard to love ourselves as we are, for we know the sinful thoughts, that fill our minds. We are acutely aware of the cruel words we utter, and hurtful deeds that we commit. This can create in us at times a sense of self – loathing. Yet we must never forget, nor lose hold of the truth that God, despite all our shortcomings, loves us unconditionally. Some of us may have suffered emotional, verbal, mental or physical abuse in our lives and consequently we have been told that we do not matter and that we are of no worth. We feel of little value and even unloved. Nothing is further from the truth- you are greatly loved, and this love for you knows no bounds! Open yourself to receive God’s wonderful love and then having received it, we are asked to share it with one another. Such love is so special that we cannot keep it to ourselves; it is for sharing with our neighbour.

Justin Bieber - Love Yourself (Lyrics) - YouTube

Who is my neighbour? This question was posed in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The answer given in response was all encompassing. We are to love everyone, beyond our church walls and community. We cannot be selective, but rather we are to be inclusive. The parable of the Good Samaritan goes on to illustrate that love in action. The Good Samaritan was from a different background and culture from the victim, and yet, the Good Samaritan went to extreme lengths to ensure that the injured man was cared for and that he had every opportunity to recover well, despite the personal inconvenience and financial repercussions to the Good Samaritan. Jesus tells us “Go and do likewise.” As Jesus’ love knew no limits, so our love is to emulate as far as we can that amazing love.

Jesus Fulfills the Law—in Love | Michael Pahl

Why should we do that? We are told in our Epistle that this is what God expects of us and it is the means of fulfilling the law. For the follower of Christ, there is a call to godly living; a call to loving others that is radical and sacrificial. Why are we called to love? I believe in part that it is to protect ourselves and others. Without love, our hearts are hardened and unsoftened hearts cause harm to others. If we love, then it prevents a whole series of unwelcome consequences.

The proof Paul gives is to explain to us that loving our neighbour is the safeguard or guarantee that these commandments are being obeyed. We cannot keep the commandments without love. Love is the motive to fulfil them.

The examples given highlight this. You shall not commit adultery. When a person commits adultery, they are not loving their neighbour, in the way God intended. If a person loves their spouse, they will not commit adultery. Godly love prohibits adultery because such action shows disregard for another’s purity and well- being. Love highly values the virtue of others and will not do anything that is morally defiling. After all, adultery comes from impure, sinful lust, it never comes from pure love.

Another example provided is that you shall not murder. If you love others, then you are not going to harbour resentment, bitterness, longing for revenge against them. Love as it says in 1Peter, “covers a multitude of sins.” Love can be demanding, and at times love can be costly and sacrificial.

Love Will Cover A Multitude Of Sins - Northwest Church Of Christ

In the Epistle it goes on to mention the commandment- “You shall not steal”. A person loving their neighbour gives to help them out, they don’t take from them in the sense of robbing them. Anyone who robs is saying that they do not love the person, but rather love the material possessions that person possesses. Such behaviour is contrary to love and is breaking the law.

Finally, the Epistle mentions you shall not covet. Coveting implies that we are discontent and dissatisified with the gifts God has specially chosen and given to us, and that we are desirous of what someone else has. If we are loving, we will be thankful for what has been endowed to us.

In reading this, you might feel this is a rather tall order, how can I in my humanity and frailty, love as Christ calls me to. How do we love like that? Is it actually possible to love others in this radical way? We can love in this way as we are filled with God’s love. In Scripture, it speaks of God’s love being poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to love. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to love beyond what we can imagine we can do. When we open ourselves to God’ Spirit, then this love flows from us to others.

God Has Poured Out His Love Into Our Hearts Through the Holy Spirit -  Belovedlove Sunray

So, we are called to love and keep on loving for this was the model that Christ set for us. Even on the cross, when Jesus was in extreme agony, love still flowed from him. To his perpetrators he said lovingly “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” To his Mother, and to his disciple John, he said lovingly: “This is your Mother, this is your son.” To the thief hanging on the cross he said lovingly: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Christ mirrored the words in the epistle for us” let no debt be outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, and he invites us to follow his example of radical loving. Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

Loving God, thank you for your unconditional love towards us,

which touches and blesses our lives.

We lift to you this day those who feel undervalued,

unloved and even insignificant,

remind them of your incredible love for them.

Help us to let no debt be outstanding except the debt of love.

May your spirit pour your love into our hearts

that we might share that love with others.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.

Loving God, thank you

that you hear and answer our prayers.

We praise you for those times

when you have answered us

and granted our requests.

We lift to you those who

are struggling with difficult people

and are not sure how to progress,

give them wisdom, understanding

and a spirit of forgiveness.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.

Loving God, we are conscious of our pluralistic culture,

with its diversity of people, races and cultures.

Help us to ensure that all are treated

with equity, dignity and respect,

Where there is prejudice,

broaden people’s understanding and perspective.

Where there is inequality and discrimination,

help us to fight for fairness and justice.

Give perseverance to all who strive to remove bias and intolerance

and encourage us to work in harmony with one another.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.

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Loving God, we are aware of oppression and persecution

in different parts of the world.

We think of people

who live in constant fear and insecurity,

and we pray for diplomacy and negotiations,

to bring about a better quality of life.

We lift to you all

who have fled their home country,

and are seeking asylum in a strange land.

We pray that they would feel welcomed,

helped, supported and resourced.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.

1,281 World Around Us Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

Loving God, we marvel at your creativity

evident in the world around us.

Teach us to cherish

and respect the environment.

Be present in our net zero deliberations

and guide us on the right path to take.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.

Loving God, we thank you for the patient endurance

of many who suffer so much.

We pray for their strength and courage

and ask for your upholding and healing.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.


We pray for those who have died in faith

that they may rise to eternal life.

Draw near to all who grieve

bring your comfort and peace,

your light and your hope,

now and in the days ahead.

Loving and gracious God,

We wait on your Word.

Wait on the Lord -

Loving God,

increase our faith in you.

In times of difficulty and challenge

fill us with strength and perseverance,

that we might wait on you

and be of good courage.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

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.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.



The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord:

and the blessing of God the Father,

the Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen


Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.


St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.


You can donate to St John’s by credit or debit card by following these links.


And, as always, if you need us, you can contact  

Annual General Meeting:

The Annual General Meeting will take place on the 1st October. As usual it will be held within the context of the 11am service. There will be a bring and share lunch and the formal meeting will follow. Forms for nominations to the elected vacancies are at the back of the church.  The AGM papers are at the back of the church.  If they run out, please ask the Church Office.    If you prefer to receive them by email, please sign the sheet at the back of the church.  You only need to give your name, assuming we have your up to date email address.  If you will NOT be able to attend the AGM, and would like your apologies noted, there is a sheet to sign for this as well.  If you wish to raise a matter under Any Other Business please let Margaret Morton have the details of that by 12 noon on Friday 29th September. or 01387 262734


If there is sufficient demand, we hope to run a trip (destination not decided on, yet, but suggestions welcome) in mid-October (possibly 14th or 21st, date still to be decided);  we may also run something in mid-November, and there has been a suggestion we might go to the Christmas Market in Hawkshead (near Ambleside/Windermere) on or about 2 December.  Watch this space!

Other Dates for your Diary:

  • Friday, 06/10/2023:                                           Beetle Drive*
  • Friday, 19/01/2024:                                           Burns Supper
  • Thursday,  14/03/2024                                      Pamper Session
  • Saturday, 16/03/2024                                        Men’s Breakfast

* See notice below….


  • A gentle reminder to those who have bought tickets for Cook and Taste India – this will take place in the Hall on Saturday 30th September at 2.30 pm. Come ready to enjoy all the goodies on offer, and watch out for the raffle prizes, too.
  • Watch out for MU Prayer space which is held on the second Thursday of the month, via Zoom, at 12noon and 8pm. You’ve (probably) just missed Peace & Reconciliation this week, but forthcoming sessions include Faith in Action (12 Oct), Gender Justice (9 Nov) and God With Us (14 Dec).  Details on the poster on the lit noticeboard, and also the St J’s website.  The Church Office (pastadmin@stjohnsdumfries.,org) can provide Zoom joining details.  The invitation to join in ‘Prayer Space’ is not just for MU members…(see above)

We are hoping to have different themes in the window bays in the church at Harvest, particularly celebrating the theme of ‘Gifts’.  If you would like to contribute towards the cost of the flowers, provide some kind of gift, or would like to take on decorating a bay yourself, please speak to Carolynne or Janice.

Activities are resuming after the summer break.  Short Mat Bowling will resume, in the Hall, this Tuesday, 26/09/2023;  the Quiz Nights will resume this Friday, 29/09/2023, both at 7.30pm.

On the subject of activities, please support the Beetle Drive here at St J’s Hall on Friday, 06/10/2023.  Doors open 18.30;  eyes (however many you have) down at 19.00. There will be a refreshment break halfway through (no bush tucker involved), and a raffle.  No entry fee, but donations invited.  If you’ve never played before, don’t worry;  all will be explained, and it should be fun.

Dumfries Christian Network tells us…

African Children’s Choir on Monday 25th September at 2.00pm in St Andrew’s Church (picture of poster below…note that the time is incorrectly stated on the poster;  concert starts at 2pm, not 2.30pm)

Quartz says…

  • CLC:  This is the Quartz house group, we meet every second Monday. More info is on the website. [].  On the 05/10/2023, we are planning to meet at Tatyana’s!  Please get in touch if you need directions. 
  • Forest Church:  We will continue to meet at the Crichton on the 3rd Sunday in the Month.  
  • Magazine:  A Quartz review is being written for the Autumn/Winter St Johns Magazine. You can still read the last one in the current magazine which can be downloaded from the St John’s website or picked up in the building.
  • The Blog:  This site is maintained by Wordsmith Crafts CIC. Sometimes the content comes from people who have sent things in. There is the capacity to let other people post blogs directly too, and these will be tagged with their name. This expands the use of the site to encourage discussion, even for those who cannot physically meet in one place often. If you would like to contribute, or recommend someone, please get in touch.
  • An invitation:  Would you like to become more involved in Quartz?   We will be publishing a list of ideas for projects. If you are inspired and would like to contribute an idea have a quick search on the website for similar things to compare it with what Quartz has done in the past – then send your idea in. Once the list is published, we will be trying to find people to help make them happen! Involvement in one activity does not commit you to being involved in any others (unless you want to be). If you are willing to be more involved in the planning and selection of ideas let us know.

Dumfries Academy tell us…We would be extremely grateful if you could share details about our Fairtrade Coffee Morning with your congregation.  It is being held on Saturday, 30th of September, 10am – 12:00 pm at St George’s Church Hall.  All the money raised will help pupils to finance a life changing trip to Kenya in 2024.   Entry costs £5 for adult and children can attend for free!

There will be live musical performances by pupils throughout the morning,  a raffle and a selection of stalls selling home-baking, second-hand books and home-made jewellery.  

It promises to be a good day!

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service will be at 6pm on Sunday 21st September followed by refreshments in the hall.


St John's Church

2 days 15 hours ago

Sunday 24th September is our Seventeenth Sunday Service after Pentecost. There is an Eucharistic service at 11:00 am. Do join us- be great to see you! Tonight there is a

St John's Church

6 days 18 hours ago

You are must welcome to join us for our contemporary service this Sunday in St John’s at 6pm. Be great to see you! 👍

St John's Church

1 week 4 days ago

Choral Evensong will take place at St John's Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries, on Sunday 17th September at 6pm, sung by the Choir of St John's Church, Dumfries, in memory of

St John's Church

3 weeks 3 days ago

Sunday 3rd September is our Fourteenth Sunday Service after Pentecost. There is an Eucharistic service at 11:00 am. Do join us- be great to see you! Tonight there is evensong