AINSDALE METHODIST CHURCH
Lectionary Readings Sunday 23rd May
Acts 2.1-21; Ezekiel 37.1-14; Psalm 104.24-34,35b; Romans 8.22-27; John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15
Almighty God, who on the day of Pentecost sent your Holy Spirit on the disciples with the wind from heaven and with tongues of flame, filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel: send us out in the power of the same Spirit to witness to your truth and to draw everyone to the fire of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thank you to all who supported last Saturday’s event at the Village Church. Despite the rain we raised £463.82 – and all the cakes sold out!
Coffee after Church
11.45am every Sunday
Join the congregations of Ainsdale & Liverpool Road Methodist Churches for a virtual coffee after the online service 11.45am.
The Bible Study Group continues to meet every Tuesday at 10.30am via Zoom.
AINSDALE METHODIST CHURCH RE-OPENING MAY 2021
We look forward to being together again as we re-open our church for worship this Sunday. We do understand that some of you may not be ready to return to church at present and no-one should feel under any pressure to do so. We are asked to self-assess the risks of attending worship. If you feel at all unwell please do not come to church.
We would like to remind you what to expect. Initially we will be keeping to the precautions we had in place in November last year but these will be kept under regular review.
- There will be hand sanitiser in the porch which should be used on entry and exit.
- It is mandatory for face coverings to be worn in places of worship.
- A list will be kept of those who attend with name and contact address or phone number. This is to fulfil government guidelines for Test and Trace and will be destroyed after 21 days.
- There will be an Offering basket on the table in the porch as we cannot take the Offering in the normal way.
- We are still not permitted to sing at this time.
- There will be no service books, hymn books or bibles in the pews. You may bring your own if you wish. If books are given out they will be collected at the end of the service and quarantined before re-use.
- Social Distancing will be in place and seats in use will have been marked with a green tick.
- In order to help minimise the risk of infection we will fill the church from front to back and empty in reverse order. Please do not move around once seated.
- We will be keeping the building well ventilated.
- At present there will be no refreshments available.
- The service will be shorter, 30 – 45 minutes at the most.
- The disabled toilet can be used in an emergency.
If you have any items you want including in the notices for the next week, please let Lucy Lloyd know by Tuesday 25th May on 01704 536648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
23rd May 2020 Pentecost
‘When can we sing?’ That is the question I am repeatedly asked as our buildings begin to re-open. We are told that Methodism was born in song. On Sunday not only do we celebrate Pentecost but Aldersgate Sunday when we remember John Wesley’s ‘strangely warmed’ heart. A turning point in the story of the people called Methodists. What we don’t so often remember is his brother’s experience just a few days before on Pentecost, May 21, 1738, when he wrote in his journal ‘that the Spirit of God, chased away the darkness of my unbelief.’ It was just a few days later that John had a similar experience on his way to a meeting at Aldersgate Street. . Charles wrote that ‘Towards ten, my brother was brought in triumph by a troop of our friends, and declared, ‘I believe.’ We sang the hymn with great joy and parted with prayer.’ Charles was a prolific hymn writer and wrote some 6,000 hymns in his life time – some of which we sing today and some thankfully we don’t!
My question I guess is not ‘when can we sing’ but ‘what shall we sing?’ We may recall a time when a disillusioned musician hung up his harp and lamented: ‘By the rivers of Babylon – there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion…How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?’ I think we know a little how he feels – it’s over a year since we sang together. The psalm seems like a rallying call to get the Temple rebuilt, so that proper worship can get going again, the band can play, the organ can be pumped up and the old hymns can be belted out just like old times.
But what if our post-pandemic world still feels like in a foreign land? Perhaps the psalmist is asking: How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? How could we think afresh, and what could worship be like then? How can we continue to build those new relationships that have emerged during lockdown? How can we provide opportunities for worship to which all are really welcome? Time of change bring great opportunity. Let’s be watching carefully for what the Holy Spirit is doing, and be ready to join in. They may be songs of joy, they may be songs of lament but we are called to sing God’s song where ever we find ourselves in and out of the building.
‘Behold the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing as come.’ Song of Songs 2:11-12