In Acts 2: 46-47 we have an insight of how the first followers of Jesus lived – being together, learning, sharing and eating. Following in these footsteps we are beginning to try something new here at church: Tea@5. Come and share in a simple meal, followed by games, craft, prayers and exploring different parts of the Bible. Open to anyone of any age. Donations towards the cost of food. For more details or to let us know you are coming ring 07749877823.
One way we help each other is through our children’s toy and clothes Good as New Sale Thursday, which is on April 26th this year. 9.30 -12noon and 7.30-8.30pm. You decide how much you would like to sell items for, label them up and bring the day before or on the morning of the sale. 75% of the sell comes back to you. Look out for more details near the time.
Vice-President Jill Baker visited our District recently and lead a Lay Employees' day about Pilgrimage and the place called Bethel found in the Old Testament. It was interesting to hear that Bethel over the years was a place where people found God’s presence and went to seek wisdom, but eventually became a place of pagan worship. This reminded me that places, people and situations change. Dare I suggest that staying the same isn’t an option? Just as each day dawns and brings new opportunities and challenges, may we ask God to strengthen us, re energise and guide us for what lies ahead. Jill has discovered that spending some time in silence has helped her to stay connected to God, and perhaps this Lent time you may like to try and find 15 minutes of silence in each day. Perhaps reading from the Bible, praying, listening or just resting in God’s presence.
The President’s theme for this year is exploring the rhythm of mission and discipleship, and the booklet, Day by Day, contains prayer to help you explore prayer day by day. This little booklet can be found in church if you want to pick one up. One of the prayers -
Creator God, whose Word, at the dawn of time gave light and life; receive my praise. Jesus Christ, companion on the way, listening, healing; forgive my self-centredness. Holy spirit, giver of energy and love; Source of grace and courage; fill me today.
Young Families Worker
One of the features of Jesus’ ministry that I notice over and over again is the way which Jesus seems to welcome all the so-called “wrong” people. The company that Jesus chooses sets fingers-wagging and tut-tutting.
As a church which seeks to be shaped by the example of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus we aspire to be similarly inclusive. In January our Church Council adopted an Inclusivity statement. It deliberately uses conversational language rather than that of a formal policy statement. It will shortly be displayed around the church building. It reads as follows:
We welcome everyone whether you are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay,
confused, rich or poor. We hope that you feel able to belong, whatever your
gender, sexuality, mental health, physical health, ability, race or ethnicity.
We welcome children; wailing babies, excited toddlers, even those that wiggle,
giggle, cry or are shy.
We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or prefer to just growl
quietly to yourself.
You’re welcome here if you’re just browsing, just woken up, or have just left
prison. We don’t care if you are more Christian than the Archbishop of
Canterbury or haven’t been to church since Christmas ten years ago.
We welcome YOU, whoever you may be.
It’s our hope that together we will experience the width, length, height and
depth of God’s love for us in Jesus and understand our sacred worth.
Unfortunately we don’t have any perfect people here. We all have hang-ups and
we get things wrong. We’re not yet who God is calling us to be either as
individuals or as a church. Please help us to understand each other’s needs
better so that all of our colours can shine as God intended.
We believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can learn to follow
Jesus Christ together.
This is our dream.
We need each other.
We need YOU!
Our inclusivity statement is aspirational. We recognise that we are not yet where we need to be. We don’t yet provide the best welcome that we could to wheelchair users for example. It also seeks to reflect our brokenness. At Frodsham Methodist Church we have different opinions on some of the issues raised. Part of being an inclusive church is that we belong together despite the fact that we hold different views sincerely. I believe that this is normal within the church of Jesus Christ. Living with difference can be costly. A Jesus-shaped church is one which like Jesus, bears pain so that God and people can be held together.
Grace and peace.
Andrew M. Emison
Written by the Minister & Members