Lectionary Readings 4th July 2021

Ezekiel 2.1-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12.2-10; Mark 6.1-13

Prayer

Servant Lord, grant us both the opportunity and the will to serve you day by day. May all that we do and how we bear each other’s burdens be our offering of love and service to the glory of your name. Amen.

Ainsdale Lunch & Leisure

Tai Chi – Every Tuesday 1.30pm–3pm – (On booking system via ALL office)

Gentle Gym – Starting Thursday 1st July (then every Thursday) – 10.30am-11.30am – (On booking system via ALL office)

Art Class – Starting Thursday 1st July (then every Thursday) – 10.15am-11.45am – (On booking system via ALL office)

Lunches – Every Tuesday & Thursday only, starting 6th July – 12noon – (On booking system via ALL office – only 12 people per day) Call 01704 574838 to book.

Bible Study

The bible study group will meet at 10.30am in the garden at Ainsdale Methodist Church on Tuesday 6th July – Study morning. All welcome.

Short Service

Wednesday 7th July 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 .

Thank you

Many thanks from Joan Williams in Connell Court for the lovely flowers she received a couple of weeks ago. She really appreciated the lovely colours and brightened both her and her room immensely.

Volunteer’s Needed

Compassion Acts are running a Summer Fest Free holiday club Monday 16 – Friday 20 August

The Community Church, The Salvation Army + Cornerstone Methodist Church

Monday 23 August – Friday 27 August

Christ Church, The Salvation Army + Cornerstone Methodist Church.

The sessions will run from 10am – 3pm so I would imagine that volunteers would be needed from 9am – 4pm.

All volunteers will be required to have a current DBS which we can process through our office if the volunteer doesn’t already have one. Anyone who is interested in volunteering should email office@compassionacts.uk (it would be helpful if they could let us know where they heard about it) and we will get back to them.

Dear Friends

I have been a Methodist Minister for 24 years. I have served in 4 circuits and had a variety of different churches, big and small.   And in all those years, my congregation has over and over again disappointed and frustrated me. I have been disappointed when the Church has not supported a project that would serve the neighbourhood; I have been disappointed when people choose the familiar overtaking a risk; I have been disappointed when we haven’t agreed on the priorities for the mission of the church; I have been disappointed that people haven’t been willing to give of their time or money to the church. I have been disappointed…well, you get the idea. Throughout my ministry there have been lots of disappointments. Two or three times over the years, I have been so disappointed that I seriously questioned remaining in the church. On several occasions a job in Tesco has looked very tempting.  No responsibility, no stress and no church meetings!  Or so I thought.  But I have never been able to walk away.  This is where I belong, even when church is the source of my frustration and disappointment. Because we are not in church to be with people who want to sing the same music, or rally for the same cause, or listen to the same speakers. We are in church to learn to love better, in the name of the God who first loves us. And this can only happen when we love past our disappointments and differences, when we make the church a place of acceptance and affirmation. It is a deep spiritual practice. There is really only one choice: between imperfect community and no community. Again and again, we are all called to choose to commit ourselves to building a more just, more diverse, and yet ever more messy and imperfect community. 

The God in Love Unites us Report, challenges us to love beyond our strongly held differences in understandings about marriage and same sex relationships and cohabitation, to keep loving, even when it hurts.  Whatever the outcome of Methodist Conference, there will be those who are disappointed and hurt.  There will be those who will want to walk away from the Methodist Church.  May the God of love hold all those who are hurt and disappointed by the decisions of Conference and may we who are called his people commit to loving each other, making space for our differences, being a place for all to know God’s amazing love and grace and join him in the ministry of reconciliation as we continue to live with contradictory views.

The above was written before the Methodist Conference met in Birmingham. The Conference voted on Wednesday to permit the marriage of same sex couples on Methodist premises (254 in favour and 46 against).  No one will be asked or expected to act or speak against their conscience.  Churches and ministers will be asked to ‘opt in’ or not, so there is a long road still to travel as we work out what this means for the circuit. I am very happy to have a conversation with anyone who has any questions or concerns about the resolutions of Conference. 

May God hold us in his love.

Marie-Anne  

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