Lectionary Readings 1st August 2021

Exodus 16.2-4,9-15; Psalm 78.23-29; Ephesians 4.1-16; John 6.24-35

Prayer

Almighty God, your Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence. Give us new hearts and constant wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Circuit Online Services

We are bringing to an end the circuit online service and will be exploring new ways of supporting those who are unable to come to on site worship.  Join us for our final online service on Sunday 29th August and look out for new initiatives in September.  As Superintendent I want to thank everyone who made the services possible – local preachers, worship leaders, readers, those who have shared testimony, prayed and of course our brilliant musicians and singers, just too many to mention by name, but you have all been amazing.  They brought their many gifts, learnt new skills, gave willing of their time and God has used their offering to bring us together in worship week by week through a very challenging time.  Who at Easter 2020 would have thought we would still be doing this over 18 months later!   But a particular thank you goes to Martin Maynard our amazing webmaster who works wonders each week.

Bible Study

The bible study group will meet at 10.30am in the garden at Ainsdale Methodist Church on Tuesday 10th August, Tuesday 24th August & Tuesday 7th September – All welcome.

Church Office

Please note the Church office will be closed from 30th August until Wednesday 18th September.

Short Service

Wednesday 4th August at 10am.  Will be in the garden weather permitting. All welcome.

Coffee after Church

This week coffee after church will begin at 12 noon . All are welcome whether you have attended church or chosen to stay at home .

Faith Afternoon Tea

 On 25th August we will be joining with our friends at the Village Church for a Faith Afternoon Tea from 2.30pm – hopefully taking place in the  Village Church Garden.  We are asked to take Cakes/Scones and the Village Church will provide the Savouries.  All are welcome & this will be a good opportunity for us to get to know one another better.

Sunday Evening Circuit Services

All held at Leyland Road Methodist Church at 6.30pm

August 1st – Mark 1:1-3:35 Identity and Mission led by Colin Fyles

August 8th – Mark 4:1-8:21 Mission and Boundaries led by Shirley Potts

August 15th – Mark 8:22-10:52 On the Way led by Jean McKenna

August 22nd – Mark 11:1-16:8 Passion Week led by Rev. Peter Lyth

Dear Friends,

We are living at a time of huge change.  Around us we have seen how Covid has revealed the inequalities in our communities.  We have seen the impact of poverty and inequality, fear and conflict and yet we are a people of hope. In the circuit we have come together to support the vulnerable, the lonely and the bereaved; those facing really hardship, unemployment and household debt.

 The prophet Micah reminded the people that the worship God wants, is for us to act justly, to love as God loves, and to walk humbly with God (6.8).  We can gather each Sunday and say our prayers, nod in agreement with the scriptures, and sing our praises to God but if those things do not guide our actions in the world, if they do not align our interests and concerns with God’s, they are merely self -serving words to make us feel better about ourselves.  Micah can see that the people are doing the ‘religious thing’, but it hasn’t changed their lives, they are still lying and cheating. Some things it seems don’t. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ often starts as bad news because it challenges us to change our lives.  Raising money, donating food and clothes are great, but we need to be careful that they don’t become just another ‘religious thing’ in which nothing changes.

Our Calling as Methodists means that we long for God’s justice in the world and that we are committed to working for justice not only by responding to need but also by campaigning for change.  The Methodist Church has set up a new two year project called Walking with Micah: Methodist Principles for Social Justice.  It is the beginning of a big conversation on justice asking what Jesus and our Methodist heritage has to do with our politics, economics, social values, and personal decisions. In what ways do our prayers, reading of the Bible and sharing in communion, inform and guide our thinking? Do we carry them with us through the rest of the week or do you leave them at the door as we ‘go in peace to love and serve the Lord.’

That is why we are delighted to be partnering with Compassion Acts who are now based at the newly named Victoria Centre.  In the circuit service last week Richard Owens the CEO quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu: ‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.’

It would be great if we could join in the Micah conversation across the circuit.  If you are interested in joining in, please get in touch.  In the meantime, please pray for the team at Compassion Acts in their new building and how we can work together in the future to make a real difference in our community bringing hope, the love of Christ and real change.

Yours,

Marie-Anne

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