AINSDALE METHODIST CHURCH NOTICES
Sunday 5th July 2020
The son of man is come – Ralph Beyer (1921-2008)
Pencil on paper, 1961, Methodist Modern Art Collection
Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes.
This is a pencil study for one of the Tablets of the Word, eight large carved stone blocks around the nave at Coventry Cathedral, which its architect, Sir Basil Spence, commissioned from Ralph Beyer. The text, taken from Luke 19:10 and John 10:11, is written in freely composed letters. Next to it, a figure carries a sheep on his shoulders. The portrayal of Christ as the Good Shepherd is based partly on his parables (Luke 15:3–7 and John 10:1–18), partly on Psalm 23 (‘The Lord is My Shepherd’) and on Isaiah (40:11) and Ezekiel (34:2–31). Luke says when a shepherd finds a lost sheep: ‘he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.’ Such a figure is found in early Christian sculpture and inscriptions, particularly in Roman catacombs.
We come before you,
with all our cares and worries,
laying them down before you.
We come before you,
setting aside this time to worship,
opening up ourselves to you.
We come before you,
in the expectation that you will take and transform us,
before we return to the world once again,
ready to face all that comes our way.
We trust in you and in your promises,
for you are gentle and humble in heart,
your yoke is easy and the burden you place upon us is light.
And you grant us rest.
Lectionary Readings – Sunday 5th July 2020
Zechariah 9.9-12; Psalm 145.8-14; Romans 7.15-25a; Matthew 11.16-19,25-30
Coffee after Church
Join the congregations of Ainsdale & Liverpool Road Methodist Churches for a virtual coffee after the online service from 11.45 on Sunday 5th July at https://zoom.us/j/
It was great to welcome newcomers this week, feel free to join us at any point.
We are following the the Lyfe material from The Bible Society each Tuesday (note the change of time) at 10.30am on Zoom. The material for this week is attached to these notices. You can either join with us on line (details below), or you and a friend or a small group of you (socially distanced etc!), may want to use the material by yourselves.
You can either join via the internet at https://zoom.us/j/
The latest Bible Society magazine is available free of charge with lots of interesting articles and information. If you would like a copy please contact Hillary Turner who will be delighted to send you a copy (01704 808087).
The Circuit Meeting was held by Zoom on 24th June. The business was kept to a minimum. The circuit agreed to the sale of Crossens Methodist Church which is in the hands of TMCP and heard about the ongoing conversations between Peterhouse School and Cornerstone Church over the sale of the field. An ‘assessment holiday’ was agreed for one month to help support the circuit churches during these financially difficult times. John Attwater will be stepping down from his role as circuit steward in August and was thanked for all that he had done in the life of the circuit. An opportunity would be found to do this face to face. Pam O’Malley’s and Dom Bray’s appointments as circuit stewards were extended for one year. The District was asked to support a Mission and Ministry Review of the circuit to help us implement some structural changes in the circuit. The possible appointment of additional ministerial support was delegated to the Circuit Invitation Committee.
The answers to the quiz provided by Brenda Pomfret (supported by David Radcliffe) a couple of weeks ago are at the end of these notices. Mark your own answer sheets and let Brenda Pomfret know how many correct answers you got and we’ll publish the winners names! (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01704 578080)
If you have any items you would like including in the church notices please email or phone Rev Patrick Evans at email@example.com or 07813 211501.
PATRICK’S (and Marie-Anne’s) PAGE
Re-opening our buildings (the church has never been closed).
The Government and the Methodist Church have just this week issued new guidance on opening churches for worship from the 4th July with certain restrictions. This guidance is permissive not mandatory – Managing Trustees may open buildings for worship but they don’t have to. The Government guidance is all about how do we keep everyone safe. We are reminded of very practical issues: action plans and risk assessments, priority of social distancing, putting in place signing in sheets for track and trace purposes and the promotion of good hygiene practices. There is no communal hymn singing and the suggestion is that as numbers are limited, we should have a booking system! You may have seen the meme showing the vicar taking bookings for Christmas services! Get in early to book your seat. Furthermore, the Government guidance to the over 70’s and other higher risk groups is very strong and is stay at home as much as possible. In the event of anyone contracting the virus following a visit to the church the Managing Trustees (Church Council) need to demonstrate that they took all appropriate and reasonable steps to mitigate any risk and to ensure the safety of all those attending.
On top of all these considerations the Methodist Church is asking us a missional question. The danger is that opening our buildings assumes we are going ‘back to normal’ (which I really understand) and ‘people will come’, rather than staying in the strange (and uncomfortable) land where ‘we have to go’. Before we rush back into our buildings it is important that we take time to reflect: ‘Church’ can be wherever we gather or scatter, conscious of our calling as disciples of Jesus. We already knew this, but the lockdown has brought it into sharp focus. Our task is to consider what use of our buildings and what pattern of worship will best serve the discipleship of our people and the needs of our local community. We are being encouraged to spend this time thinking missionally, planning missionally and praying missionally. To honestly ask, have our communities missed us in lockdown and if not, why not?
i. What changes in our community have you noticed during lockdown? What new needs have arisen?
ii. What has been the impact of lockdown on our church? What strengths/weaknesses emerged?
iii. Have any new dreams or visions come to light?
iv. Are the church’s mission priorities still the things on which we believe God would have us focus?
v. What have we planned? Can they still take place, or must they be set aside for now?
vi. What fruit do you long to see in your community as a result of your actions.
So, whilst local churches wrestle with all of these questions, the Methodist Church buildings in Southport may remain closed for some time and reopen as and when appropriate for each church. In not rushing to open we open ourselves up to prayerfully listen to what God is saying to us at the threshold of this new beginning. I personally feel uncomfortable about returning to our buildings when so many of our members are over 70 or shielding at home. Not to mention the very practical issue that many of our Local Preachers and Stewards are in this group too. I would rather wait a little longer, however hard that is. We will of course continue to review the changing situation.
‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it’ may never have been uttered in Star Trek but why let that ruin a good quote. My prayer is that we will be open to the challenge and possibility of ‘It’s church, Jim, but not as we know it’, as God gives us fresh vision and new purpose.
In the meantime, we will continue to produce the circuit service online and find creative ways of being church wherever we are. Please hold the church and circuit stewards in your prayers.
Marie-Anne and Patrick
With Sunday approaching I am reminding us of the services available via the Methodist Church online, as well as some others on TV & Radio. Please see below.
Online Circuit Service
This week’s service will be led by Rev Ann Hall who will also preach.
The link to this service is http://southportmethodist.org.
You can listen to a recording of our weekly online Circuit Service via your telephone by calling 01704 335755. Calls will be charged as a local rate call via landlines, although costs will vary for mobile users. Services are typically up to 50 minutes long. You can still listen to the service from Sunday 28th June up until this coming Sunday, when from 11am you can listen to the service for Sunday 5th July, which will be available for a week.
On a general note you can link to the Circuit website at https://southportmethodist.
How can I get involved?…If in future weeks you would be able to record yourself reading the bible, sharing some testimony, singing or playing music etc, or writing a prayer or sharing a photo, or have any other ideas, please let me know on 07813 211501 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other worship resources and on line services from the Methodist Church can be found at https://www.methodist.org.uk/
BBC Local Radio (incl Radio Merseyside)
At 8.00 am this Sunday, all 39 BBC local radio stations will be joining together for worship.
BBC Radio 4
Sunday 8.10am – Sunday Worship
Speaking into troubled times – The Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James’s Church, Piccadilly, and composer Bob Chilcott explore the power of music to speak into troubled times.
Sunday 10.45am – Sunday Morning Live
Sean Fletcher and Sally Phillips take a look at the week’s talking points and explore the ethical and religious issues of the day. Alongside lively chat, the show also shines a light on inspiring, unique and occasionally unusual stories and people.
Sunday 1.15pm Songs of Praise – Celebrating Florence Nightingale and the NHS
Katherine Jenkins is in London to mark the birthday of the NHS and Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary, and the archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to all carers on the frontline.
FUN QUIZ (now with answers!)
Answers 1-10- put the 2 CLUES together in each question to find names of members of AMC congregation. Answers 11-20 all about SOUTHPORT. 21-30 are mixed.(Brenda P)