The Living... — The Treaty at Beersheba Genesis 21:22 (NIV) - At...

I will exalt you, O Lord because you have restored my life.



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.



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.

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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.

sung by Dougie Byers


O Lord,

let the world be ordered in peace,

according to your will:

that your people may be free

to worship you with joy;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

Genesis 21: 8-21 read by Kay Solaja

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So, she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

Irwin, Kirkman, and Defiance UMC - Genesis 21:8-21 Hagar and Ishmael Sent  Away 8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned  Abraham held a great feast.

When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

Hagar and Ishmael (Biblical Stories Explained) - YouTube

God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Romans 6:1b-11 read by Simon Lidwell

Dying and Rising with Christ

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may increase? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore, we were buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, so we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Stream More fruit: Alive in Christ | Louis Kotzé by Hatfield Christian  Church | Listen online for free on SoundCloud


Matthew 10:24-39 read by Rev James Clark Maxwell

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Matthew chapter 10 beginning at verse 24

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

“A disciple is not above the teacher nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

Whom to Fear

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Consider the sparrows… – The Living Message of Christ

“Everyone, therefore, who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword.

For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,
and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord


“Get this slave woman and her son out of my house.”

Observations from a simple life: Hagar and the God who sees

These words come from Sarah in an angry outburst. She has had enough. She is at the end of her tether, and she can take no more. For Sarah today of all days was meant to be one of celebration. Isaac has turned three years of age and they were celebrating the end of Isaac’s weaning. Yet instead of a joyous time of celebration, it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar was caught mocking Isaac. Ishmael would have been 17 years of age and his mockery of Isaac was the final straw that broke the camel’s back, and led to Sarah ordering this slave woman, Hagar and her son, Ishmael to leave her home for good.

Feelings are raw on all sides in this dysfunctional household. All his life Ishmael has been told that he was the child of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. However, when Ishmael found out that Sarah was pregnant, he knew that he was no longer the desired heir. Things shifted and changed. Isaac now became the centre of attention. This incited Ishmael’s jealousy and anger against Isaac. Ishmael feels victimised, deceived, supplanted, and robbed of his inheritance. Just as Hagar despised Sarah, so now Ismael despised Isaac.

Whilst we can understand where Ismael is coming from, his behaviour cannot be condoned. What about his mother, Hagar? Earlier on in the book of Genesis we hear Hagar saying: “You are the God who sees me.” This reveals much, about Hagar. I think Hagar saw herself as invisible woman. No one seemed to think of her and her feelings and needs. After all no one asked Hagar whether she wanted to sleep with Abraham. No one asked her whether she wanted the baby. No one asked her whether she was fine with handing that baby over to another woman. It seemed to Hagar that she did not matter. It was only her body, her baby, her life after all- yet she was never consulted!

The God Who Sees Me

Hagar felt taken for granted, used and abused. Some people seem to get a raw deal in life. It is not of their own making- it is just the hands they have been dealt in life are not good. Hagar falls into that category. No doubt Hagar had all sorts of emotions running through her -broken dreams, grief, stress, disappointment, feeling emotionally drained as well as feeling broken hearted, forsaken, and isolated. She may well have been living at this moment on the brink of a nervous breakdown- seeing no help in sight; feeling as if life is not worth living. As someone coined the phrase “her bottle was empty!”

Rosh Hashanah and the Empty Water-skin – Reb Rez

Her bottle was empty but you could say that the bottle of Abraham’s household was empty. We have Sarah and Hagar at each other’s throats; we have ill feeling between Ishmael and Isaac and poor Abraham is caught, in the midst of it all. When Sarah says get rid of this slave woman and her son, we are told Abraham is greatly distressed. He is if you like caught between a rock and hard place. What is he meant to do? Abraham brings his dilemma to God. He waits on God to discover his next course of action, and God goes along with Sarah’s suggestion. Strange as it may sound, God had a purpose in the sibling rivalry and Sarah’s reaction. God knew that Ishmael would continue to cause contention in the family and seriously hinder God’s purposes if he were allowed to remain. No good will come from all of them dwelling in the same household. So, Hagar and Ishmael had to go! Abraham’s heart must have been deeply broken the next morning as he carried out God’s instructions. With a touch of tenderness and compassion, Abraham took bread and a skin of water which is about three gallons and gave it to them. The food and drink were suffice for the journey ahead to the next town or city.

God Provided Isaac - Genesis 21 - 22 — CrossWay Fellowship

There may be some that are thinking that Hagar didn’t deserve to be kicked out of Abraham and Sarah’s house. This seems so cruel. I believe what makes this story seem so bad is that from an earthly point of view Hagar wasn’t the only one at fault.

Let’s think about something. Who first came up with the idea for Hagar to have Abraham’s child? Who came up with this plan? Sarah was the one who thought of this idea first. God, for some reason allowed Abraham and Sarah to be childless for quite some time. So, Sarah probably thought that she would help God out by having a child through Hagar, her maiden. So, we could say that Sarah was the instigator to the beginning of this problem that Hagar was facing. The moral of this scenario is wait and trust in God and do not take things into your own hands and rely on your own resources. When we forge ahead with our ideas and ways of doing things rather than God’s, people get hurt.

Hagar is hurt and feels alone and abandoned with her son in the wilderness. Their resources are exhausted. What is important to note here is that this ironically enough is all of God’s plan. Hagar was not in the wilderness by accident. She was placed there. In other words, it was arranged for her to be in the wilderness. Hagar may not have understood all that was going all. All she was conscious of was that her world had been turned upside down.

Maybe, we feel a bit like Hagar today or we know of someone like Hagar. Do you feel your life has been turned upside down for no good reason? Do you find yourself spiritually in the wilderness- in a place that is dry and barren? You may not understand what is going on, but do not lose heart for God knows and he has a specific plan for you. It could be that God is testing your faith so that you can deepen your trust in him. #

The God Who Sees - Gary Thomas

Certainly, God was testing Hagar. Hagar found herself in the hot, dry, dreary, barren wilderness. She was alone with Ishmael. This was new to her. There was no one to help her; no one to seek advice about what she needed to do. We are told that she “wandered in the wilderness”; this means that she had no real direction. She didn’t know where she was going or what she was going to do. We see that her resources were depleted. We are told that her bread had run out and her bottle was empty. Her resources had run dry. She was hurting because there seemed to be no direction. She was hungry because there seemed to be provision.

Hagar knew that it would be just a matter of time before they would die. The sun was bearing down on them; there is no food in her backpack; now there is no water in the bottle. We are told that “she cast the child under one of the shrubs.” Now, this was not an act of a cold-hearted mother trying to get rid of an extra burden. This statement describes the condition of the wilderness.

We are not told the exact condition that Ishmael was in; but her reaction seems to suggest that the heat was getting to him. He may have collapsed, and so she lovingly placed him under the shade of the shrub to protect from the harsh heat. Ishmael was not in the best condition at that moment because Hagar prayed to God that her son would not die. Hagar was weary. She was now at the end of her rope. Her bread is gone; her bottle is empty. She cannot rely on her own strength and resources.

Your bottle like Hagar’s might be empty but that is not the end of the story. The good news is still to come. God provided Hagar not just with more water but with a well. The particular word “well” refers to a pit or well that has been dug. God dug her a “well”. We are not told when the ‘well’ was dug but God was letting Hagar know that he was going to provide for her every need. God gave her an endless supply of water. God showed Hagar that she couldn’t make it any further unless she had supernatural help.

Genesis 21:14-21 Archives - AtoZMom's BSF Blog

We are told that Hagar and Ishmael remained in the wilderness. God didn’t change Hagar’s location or situation, but he gave her strength to face each day. Hagar knew that God would provide for her every day that she was in that wilderness. As long as Hagar was in the wilderness, the “well” gave water to her. God kept her bottle full. God was enough for Hagar!

So, this great truth applies to us too, when our bottle is empty and our resources are depleted, God provides. Not only does he provide but he provides abundantly- in ways that are better than we could possibly imagine.

A.L.L. For Jesus Lesson: God's Provision

Like Hagar our predicament of being in the wilderness might not change- we might still have the same illness, or the same difficult family relationships, or the same demanding work environment, or the same financial challenges but the difference is that God knows and cares. He not only knows and cares, but he is ready and willing to do something about it. He is ready to provide for us in surprising, essential, and abundant ways. Like Hagar we may be surprised and relieved to find that God is working with us and that He is pouring his blessing on our lives. 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

Lord you are compassion.

You are aware of the hurts

and suffering that your people face.

We think of those who suffer from rejection

and pray that they might receive all the prayer

and help they need.

We thank you for the work of woman’s aid

and ask your blessing on their ministry.

Lord of all healing

Hear our prayer

Lord of all truth and goodness

we pray for those in positions of authority

in the church all over the world,

and in each gathered community

that in all the challenges and pressures

we may be enabled to hear your calming voice

and deepen our trust in you.

Lord of all healing

Hear our prayer

33,289 Truth Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Lord of great power and majesty

we pray for those with political and military power,

and all whose decisions affect many lives.

Speak truth into motives, honour into actions

and your vision of peace into every situation.

Lord of all healing

Hear our prayer

Amid Russian Invasion, New Initiative Launches Free Telemedicine For  Ukrainians Under Siege

Lord of all compassion, we pray for families

whose lives have been torn apart

as a result of terrorism.

We pray for those countries in hostility and war,

thinking of Ukraine,

Israel and Palestine

and also of Syria and Sudan,

asking that they might have security and peace.

As people weather storms at home and abroad

lavish your care upon them,

carry them when too weak to walk on their own,

and bring them peace and quell their fears.

Lord of all healing

Hear our prayer

Free light in dark Pictures | Royalty-Free | FreeImages

Lord of all healing we pray for those

whose minds and hearts are in turmoil,

whose lives lurch from one crisis to crisis,

for those who find their lives shattered

by illness or injury;

send your light and hope

into their darkness and pain.

Lord of all healing

Hear our prayer

Lord of the resurrection,

we lift to you those

whose earthly life is ebbing away

and ask that they might be welcomed home by you.

Be with all who journey with them,

and reassure them of your abiding love and care.

Lord of all healing

Hear our prayer

Calming Storm Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Lord of all, we thank you

that in the joys and storms of life,

you are our constant companion,

ready to help and carry us,

wiling to strengthen, guide and lead us.

Enfold us all today in your abiding love.

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.


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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 12 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 16 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