The first service of Dalriada Mid Argyll in Lochgilphead Church was followed by a congregation BBQ. Thank you to the catering team!
In our service today we are contemplating an end and a beginning, turning a page to a new chapter in our church’s history. Next week we move from North Knapdale Church to become Dalriada, Mid Argyll church, so today we will give some time to thinking of this change.
Call to Worship Ps 23 vs 1 – 3
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake.
Prayer together for Dalriada Mid Argyll Church and area.*
Lord, this Parish of Dalriada, Mid Argyll, this land of forest and loch, of hill and field, of town and village,
of homes and work, of rest and holidays,
Make this be a place of Your peace.
Here be the peace of those who do Thy will,
Here be the peace of people serving others,
Here be the peace of holy people obeying,
Here be the peace of praise by dark and day,
Be this land Thy holy place.
We, thy servants make this prayer.
May it be it in thy care
Readings – Is 55 vs 1 – 3 and 8 – 9
John 4 vs 7 – 14
John 7 vs 37 – 39.
This move into a united congregation will bring challenges, and it will bring blessings, we look forward to that, but we also look back and have our own memories of our worship and life as North Knapdale, in Tayvallich, in Bellanoch and in Inverlussa, some too might remember services at the hut at Kilmory. But as this hymn encourages us – Be thou my vision – not our thoughts but God’s, not our ways but His.
I would like us all to take a few minutes in quiet reflection together – yes to remember the good from the past, but also to look for a God-given vision for our church into the future.
How will we work with God to bring a river of living water to our thirsty communities?
I’ve asked Catherine to play quietly as we sit and ponder these things – to pray or to contemplate our memories and our visions.
Time of quiet
Our Father, who is in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the Kingdom
The power and the Glory
May this day bring Sabbath rest to our hearts and homes
May we know the grace to embrace our own finite smallness,
in the arms of God’s infinite greatness
May God’s word feed us and his Spirit lead us,
Into the week and life to come.
And may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us now and always;
*amended from a poem attributed to St Aiden for the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, from Celtic Daily Prayer, The Northumbria Community Trust.
We’re delighted to announce, as part of the ‘Big Weekend’ for the Church of Scotland, a special ‘Heart and Soul 2020’ event will take place (online) on 17th May 2020. The current crisis has meant that the original event, scheduled to have taken place in Princes Street Gardens on that day, has had to be cancelled.
However, a number of features from the event in Princes Street Gardens can be transferred into an online format, and we’re going to screen an abridged ‘Heart and Soul’ at 2.00pm on 17th May – when the original event would have taken place. The programme will run until about 4.20pm.
A recording of the event will be available soon afterwards. You will be able to watch the event live on the Church of Scotland website (www.churchofscotland.org.uk) and live on the Facebook page (fb.me/churchofscotland).
Hosted by our usual presenters, Rev Ken Froude, Seonaid Knox and Rev Justin Taylor, the event begins with a replay of the service of installation for the new Moderator, Rev Martin Fair. Without giving too much away, the event features a mix of worship, music, stories and some exciting ‘In Conversation’ guests.
Heart and Soul regulars ‘Fischy Music’ will lead a special segment for all ages, and we hope that you’ll join in all the actions from home!
Spread throughout the afternoon will be some very special conversations:
Hugh Pym will be in conversation with Prof Jason Leitch and Viv Dickenson from CrossReach, discussing how they have all been tackling Coronavirus and also how their own faith has helped them.
Very Rev Susan Brown will be in conversation with Ross Greer MSP and Tara Shannon from COSY discussing climate justice.
Prison Chaplain Anne Stewart will be in conversation with Hospital Chaplain Mark Evans talking about chaplaincy as a career and the impact of Coronavirus in their places of work.
No Heart and Soul would be complete without some hearty singing, and we’ve chosen some highlights from the archive over the last ten years of Heart and Soul, the Guild Big Sing and the General Assembly to round things off.
On Monday David and I took part in the digital church conference. There were about 65 participants and it was also very interesting with time for breakout rooms to chat in small groups.
The speakers were Rev. Albert Bogle, a former Moderator of the General Assembly, Dr. Peter Phillips, professor of Digital Theology at Durham University, Neil MacLennan a tech person, and Laura Digan, a very charismatic and bubbly trainee minister.
Dr Peter Phillips explained that the church has always mediated religion with e.g. icons, religious paintings. Now we are mediating religion digitally.
Church is a community expression of our faith – online or offline – or should we just call it “church”?
Dr. Phillips then went on to explain the three uses of technology in church:
1. To enable offline church – like having a website to engage with members and invite non members to attend traditional church – “come to our building”. The focus is “bums on seats”
2. To extend offline church into online activities – first week of lockdown some churches broadcast a service from an empty church. We the congregation were spectators rather than participants.
3. Disrupting offline church through online church – second week of lockdown – interactive service broadcast eg leaving a space for silent prayer so the spectators can feel connected and participate. Using zoom or Facebook live the spectators can truly participate. Not only is God present in each physical location He is also present “online”.
Sanctuary First is an expression of online church. (They even have on online cafe running 10-12 every weekday. Go on their website and have a look).
We then had break out groups where we talked about what we were already doing.
The main issues were:
digital availability ie poor internet connections in rural places
no Internet access for majority of elderly members.
God is in the digital space as well as the physical locations
God can and does make things Holy on line.
After lunch we reconvened with Neil MacLennan speaking about the technical issues.
He talked about zoom being a very useful platform for meetings and that the congregations should keep going with their functional meetings. He referred to property committees and finance committees etc but we don’t do so much of that. He did say that on line kirk session meetings are fully legal.
Doing large tech is a team game where one person looks after the tech side of the meeting while others run the talking side.
He suggested three different ways of doing online church:
One to many ie live streaming a service, like watching tv.
Some to some ie a few people meeting together as church on the zoom platform.
Some to many ie the leaders using zoom and live-streaming that to many. After the livestream everyone can have their own coffee and chat on zoom.
For all this to work he says it is necessary to get help and pay money!
He had some tips on what to do which were helpful:
Take it easy
Get young people to help
Pick the low hanging fruit
If all you do is phone 2 people a day that is good.
Next speaker was Rev Albert Bogle on Rebooting the church
“A new kind of networked congregation may well emerge, one no longer defined by location”
Our immediate challenge is:
Grieving for what has been lost
Pastoral burden of ministry
Reluctantly embracing technology
The financial challenge
Reconnecting to our core calling.
He said if all we do is try to keep the institution afloat we have missed the point. John ch4v23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” This is what Jesus said when the woman at the well wanted to know where the correct place to worship is. The physical location is not important!
There have been discussions on the legality of communion taken on line. Alberts view is that actual physical communion – is it even authentic – communion is only a foretaste.
He said “How many buildings are going to survive the virus?
We need to think about networking with other churches and non church organisations. Think about how the early church worked. The network has to be bigger – worldwide.
We then had another breakout group where we were to discuss the question:
How then would thinking like a “Networking Church” begin to change the way we approach mission and the gifting of the churches at the moment as well as looking to the future?
This was a difficult question for the ministers in the group to answer as all they seemed to be thinking about was how to keep their own congregation gathered. They didn’t quite grasp the networking idea.
I’ve got loads of ideas running around my head but I won’t explain them just now!
The last speaker was Laura Digan who was filled with enthusiasm and talked about how the Holy Spirit was just as active online as anywhere else.
We were absolutely exhausted after the conference just because it was online for 4 hours including a lunch break. Apparently it gets easier the more you do.
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”
When we pray these words we are asking God to protect us and keep us on his safe path when the devil comes and tempts us.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be the first and only person on earth. It’s one thing for us to be lonely it was another for Adam who had never known another human being. How much he must have missed no childhood, no parents no friends.
He was the first person made in the image of God and the first human to have a personal relationship with God. Fortunately, God didn’t let him wait too long before he presented him with an ideal companion Eve
As Adams descendants we all reflect to some degree the image of God as our life and worth comes from Gods Spirit.
In reality our worth comes not from our achievements but from the God of the universe who chooses to give us the mysterious and miraculous gift of life. Value it as he does.
In the garden there were two tree the Tree of Life which represents immortality, eternal youthfulness and the Tree of knowledge which represents mortality and the knowledge of good and evil – a tree of conscience
God gave Adam the responsibility for the garden and told him not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Why would God place a tree in the garden and then forbid Adam to eat from it?
Rather than physically preventing him from eating from it he gave Adam the freedom to choose and thus the possibility of choosing wrongly.
God gives us choices and we too can choose wrongly. These wrong choices may cause pain, but they can help us learn and grow. Living with the consequences of our choices teaches us to think and chose more carefully
Obviously, Adam explained the rules of the garden to Eve when she joined him and how the Tree of Knowledge was off limits.
Disguised as a shrewd serpent Satan came to tempt Eve by making her think that sin is good, pleasant and desirable. However, she decided it looked so delicious and as the serpent persuaded her by saying that the minute, she ate it she too would be like God knowing good from evil. She looked, she took, and she ate. The battle is often lost with the first look as temptation often begins by seeing something you want. To make herself feel less guilty she involved Adam in her wrongdoing. Sadly, Adam didn’t think of the consequences and in one small act of rebellion he went ahead and ate it.
In that moment something large, beautiful and free was shattered and sin was brought into the world.
The Biblical meaning of Temptation is a ‘trial’ in which man has a free choice of being faithful or unfaithful to God.
Temptation is not a sin as we have not sinned until we give into temptation.
Temptation is Satan’s invitation to give into his kind of life and give up on gods kind of life.
In Mathew 4 verses 1-11 it tells us how he even tempted Jesus who did not sin.
The Biblical definition of sin becomes important because the scriptures define the boundaries and standards which God has set for us.
However, the definition of sin in the Bible is not a test of arbitrary do’s and don’ts. Instead they show us the way God lives. They show the spiritual principles by which he lives, the same standard of conduct he expects his human creations to live by.
SIN CAN BE WHAT WE DON’T DO
Christ’s teaching helps us to understand why it is sin not to do what we know we should do. It boils down to who’s will is more important in our lives. Is it our will to do what we want to do or is it Gods will doing what he thinks is most important which shapes our actions?
It is through action-through works, through doing good that we know we ought to be doing that God builds his nature and character within us. If we want to get rid of our sinful nature, we have to replace it with something else. We don’t magically get rid of it we have to replace it with God’s nature, his thoughts his ways.
True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts as faith without godly works Is useless, worthless. Such faith is of no lasting value as it doesn’t change the person, nor does it help others to hear the words “Be warm and filled” when they’re cold and hungry.
God of mercy guide us through this season minister to us in the wilderness of our temptation that we who have been set free from sin by Christ May serve you well into life everlasting.
Today is the first Sunday in Lent.
Lent is the six week period leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
Lent is seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the remembrance of the death and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Fasting reminds us of the 40 day fast Jesus had before he started his ministry. Catherine mentioned this in her talk. Jesus fasted in the desert in preparation for his life’s work and the devil came and tested him.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is always held 46 days (40 fasting days and 6 Sundays) before Easter Sunday.
Ash Wednesday is the day after Shrove Tuesday, which in the UK is more commonly known as Pancake Day, that was last week. Did you have pancakes?
These days, Christians around the world observe Lent in different ways. Many from more orthodox and traditional denominations will still observe the fast strictly, beginning with the wearing of ashes on Ash Wednesday and abstinence of meat, fish, eggs and fats until Easter Sunday.
Others will choose to give up just one item for Lent, more commonly a ‘luxury’ such as chocolate, meat, alcohol or cake. It is also becoming increasingly common for people to give up other things such as watching TV or using social media. The time gained from missing out on these activities is spent in meditation, Bible study, prayer or doing something practical to help others. There are many devotional resources available such as Lent Bible studies – there is a practical booklet in this months life and work produced by Christian aid which gives topics for prayer and practical things to do to help alleviate the climate crisis in Kenya.
One thing we could focus on in our lent practices is forgiveness, asking God to forgive us the things we do wrong, the things we don’t do that we should, and also forgiving those who have hurt us. We need to forgive others in order for God to forgive us. We could spend our lent time thinking of the ways others have hurt us and letting go of the hurts and forgiving them. Spending time in god’s presence, meditating on his word will help us to do this. Meditation will also help god speak into our hearts and heal the hurts, and also show us where we have done wrong. We must ask god for his forgiveness and sometimes we have to ask others too.
Psalm 32 is all about forgiveness and the blessings of being forgiven.
When we know we’re in the wrong and try to hide it or blame another, not even admitting it to ourselves that is when we feel our bones wasting away, God’s hand heavy on us, or just our conscience pricking us. We know we need to ask God for forgiveness but we sometimes don’t want to admit we are wrong. The thing is, once we admit it and ask for forgiveness, we can feel overjoyed at his response. He always forgives us when we come to him with a sorrowful heart, and a determination to be a true follower. Not only does he forgive us but he miraculously forgets.
At the beginning of Lent as a season of preparation and self-examination, what do we need to confess individually and corporately in order to receive the blessings that our sins are forgiven, our debt is covered, and no record of wrongs is kept?
Today, as we get ready to begin the period of Lent, our approach to the wonder and drama of Easter, we are directed towards looking into this mysterious event in the life of Jesus and His disciples – what we know as the “Transfiguration” of Jesus on the mountain side.
Like so many events in the gospel, this is loaded with meaning, with symbol, and with instruction – pointing us to the truth, the amazing significance, of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, and gives us such a jolt towards the conclusion – “surely this man was the Son of God”.
Readings: Exodus 24v12 to 25v9:
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”
When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one but Jesus.
We have heard two stories here, thousands of years apart, in Exodus, at the beginning of the formation of the Hebrew nation as the people of the living God. Refugees moving towards their promised land, and then later, in Galilee, in the midst of the life of the Messiah, Jesus, taking His disciples to a new understanding of His place as Son of God. Two very different events, in very different cultures.
Moses is called by God up the mountain to speak with God, Jehovah, and receive instructions for His people. There are some similarities with Jesus story – Moses waited six days before God called him to his presence, Moses met God in a cloud, but there the similarities dissolve.
Jesus waited six days in Galilee before going up the mountain, and yes he did seem to go into a cloud to meet God, no, to meet Elijah and Moses.
Moses was meeting God for 40 days – Jesus was in His meeting for a few hours possibly.
Moses is given lengthy instructions on what God wants his people to do: we often only think that this is when Moses was given the ten commandments – yes, but these were already given to him on a previous meeting with God. This time God first gives extremely detailed instructions as to how to build “The Tabernacle” – a tent like building in which God could visit and instruct His people – or at least the chief priest of his people.
There are 7 chapters following Moses meeting with God in which Moses recites the instructions of God as to how to build the tabernacle, how to furnish it, how to prepare the priests, how to dress the priests and then finally who to use to build it all. Then God writes the ten commandments on to stone tablets – and gives them to Moses.
God is saying, I have given you rules to live by, and made promises to you to be your God, but I need to keep communication open with you always – and to do that you need to make this very precious, and very holy and complex building, with special furniture, and specially prepared people in symbolic clothing into which I can come to meet you and you need to get the details absolutely right – its got to be perfect
God is saying to Moses, we are so far apart, so different, we need to have extraordinary preparations before we can come near each other.
Let’s go back to Peter, James, and John, up the mountain with Jesus.
Jesus does not go into a cloud, but he himself is changed – transfigured, transformed in some mysterious way – He shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white – and he is joined by two others – Moses and Elijah – the two outstanding prophets and leaders of the Hebrew nation, the chosen people. Two people who have been recorded in the scriptures as knowing God.
It is as if Jesus is entering another dimension, he has stepped out of the material present in Galilee and is with others from another life time – or to put it another way, he has drawn the others from their eternal life place, into His presence in Galilee. This is sounding like “science fiction”, isn’t it – I would rather call it “Spiritual reality” – it is beyond our normal human experience – but really – Jesus is showing the disciples that he is more than a man, He is giving them a glimpse of His divinity.
Peter, as you can imagine is deeply affected by this – he recalls this later in his letter –
“We didn’t follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to His majesty. Eye witnesses – we saw His majesty – , God revealed in Jesus.”
Moses was given 7 chapters of detail as to how to prepare a place where God could talk to his people.
God gives us 16 words of instruction on the mountain with Jesus as to how God can talk to His people:
“This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased, listen to Him”
If you want to hear what I am saying to you – listen to Jesus.
If you want to know how I would like you to live – listen to Jesus.
If you want to know my will for you – listen to Jesus.
I do not need special buildings any more, I do not look for special clothes, I do not need you to appoint special people.
Here is Jesus – This is my Son, He represents everything of me, listen to Him.
This is not complicated, it is not easy, it asks for commitment, it asks for faith, it asks for trust – but it is not a complicated message.
This is my Son, Listen to Him.
You know, in talking to people, in reading stories of Christian lives, in hearing people speaking of their Faith in Jesus, I have heard many people say that they came to follow Jesus after reading one of the Gospels, reading of Jesus life and words, His teaching and His actions.
I have never come across anyone who came to faith in him after reading Genesis, or Exodus, or even the Psalms.
People come to know God through the life of Jesus.
It was not an empty phrase that God gave to Peter, James and John as they watched with awe as Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah. These words are the very essence of life for all.
Here is Jesus – transformed before you, here is Jesus moving beyond your material existence into the realm of eternity, into the place of continuing life – into timeless reality
Here is Jesus – my Son, Living God of creation and all that is
Listen to Him.
How simple, how uncomplicated, how welcoming,
As we read the Gospels again and again – as we refresh our memories of the words, actions, promises of Jesus.
So we hear again and again His words. We hear His words, are we listening.
And so as we live our lives: Are we listening?. What has he said to us in the past, how has he led us up to now? and –
What is He saying, to you, to me, to us, for our lives, for our actions, for our Faith in Him. – for our comfort, and our challenge –
What is He saying – Are we listening – today
OUR LIFE IS THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT WHICH WE WILL EVER RECEIVE AND IS GIVEN TO US BY GOD. LET US LIVE WISELY.
AS A COMMUNITY OF BELEIVERS WHICH BEGINS BY FAITH IN THE RISEN CHRIST AND IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHICH ENABLES US TO WITNESS, TO LOVE AND TO SERVE.
WE ARE GODS PEOPLE CHOSEN TO BE PART OF HIS PLAN TO REACH THE WORLD IN LOVE AND BY FAITH WITH THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
IN MATHEW CHAPTER 28 V16-20 JESUS CAME AND TOLD HIS DISCIPLES GOD HAS GIVEN ME ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH THEREFORE GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES Of ALL THE NATIONS. – BABTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT. TEACH THE NEW DISCIPLES TO OBEY ALL THE COMMANDMENTS THAT I HAVE GIVEN YOU AND BE SURE OF THIS I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS EVEN TO THE END OF AGE.
WE BELONG TOGETHER, WE SHOULD REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE AND WEEP WITH THOSE WHO WEEP.
WE SHOULD LOOK FOR WAYS TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER AND SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER UNITED WE CAN THEN FACE WHATEVER THE YEAR BRINGS.
LET US BECOME MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH WHO NOT ONLY SEES WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BUT OFFERS TO HELP BEFORE BEING ASKED – MAKE TIME TO TALK.
HOW DO WE WE REACH OUT TO PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM HEARTBREAK, DISCOMFORT AND ISOLATION. HOWEVER, MUCH THEY ARE LOVED BY OTHERS THEY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO LOVE THEMSELVES.
LET US WITH GODS HELP, HELP THEM FIND THE PEACE TO ACCEPT THE THINGS THEY CANNOT CHANGE AND THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS THEY CAN.
THE YOUTH OF TODAY ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF CREATIVE CAMPAIGNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE. THEY ARE REALISING THAT THE WORLD ISNT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE AND THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
WE SHOULD APPROACH THEM AS GOD IS THE CREATOR OF BOTH HEAVEN AND EARTH. HE MADE THE THINGS WE CAN SEE AND THE THINGS WE CAN’T SEE AND HE HOLDS ALL CREATION TOGETHER.
COULD THIS NOT BE A COMMON GROUND AS THEY WON’T COME TO US WE MUST GO TO THEM.
LET US BE PART OF THE JUSTICE MOVEMENT THAT OUR PLANET AND SHARED HUMANITY DESERVES.
IF WE COULD ALL REACH ONE OTHER WITH ONE CONVERSATION THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH EASIER PLACE. UNFORTUNATLEY THAT’S NOT OFTEN HOW THINGS WORK.
REACHING OUT TO OTHER PEOPLE IS THE MOST HEALING THING THAT WE CAN DO FOR OURSELVES AND ANYONE ELSE. JUST SHOWING UP IN EACH OTHERS LIFE GOES FAR.
WE NEED TO PRAY TO GOD AS PRAYER IS THE CONNECTION OF OURSELVES WITH GOD AND THE WORLD AND BEING THE LIGHT OF LOVE IN WHATEVER PLACE WE FIND OURSELVES.
PRAYER IS ONE PLACE WHERE GOD CAN GET TO US, SPEAK TO US, MINISTER TO US AND GUIDE US.
DO WE NEED A QUIET TIME? WOULD PEOPLE COME INTO THE CHURCH OUTWITH A SUNDAY SERVICE – FOR A TIME OF REFLECTION, OR SILENT PRAYER. PERHAPS THIS COULD BE THE START OF THEIR JOURNEY.
LET US ALL THINK ON HOW WE CAN ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO COME TO CHURCH, WELCOME THEM, LET THEM EXPERIENCE THE WARMTH, WELCOME AND COMPASSION WHICH IS FELT
THROUGH EVERYONES LOVE OF GOD
LOUISE AND DAVID BOTH WORK REALLY HARD TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE THROUGH ALPHA TO FIND GOD AND BEGIN THEIR JOURNEY. THAT IS HOW MY JOURNEY BEGAN.
CATHERINE IS GOING TO LEAD SOME OF US IN PASTORAL CARE WHICH WILL ENCOURAGE US TO CONNECT AND INSPIRE AND WE WILL BE MADE AWARE OF THE RESOURCES WHICH ARE AVAILABLE.
I HAD WRITTEN THE WORDS BELOW BEFORE GOD PROMPTED ME TO INCLUDE PASTORAL CARE AS THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF OUR JOURNEY.
I DECIDED TO LEAVE THE LAST SENTENCE IN AS IT IS SO TRUE.
WHEN YOU ASK GOD, WHAT CAN I DO HE SAYS FOLLOW ME I AM ALREADY DOING IT. SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO OPEN YOUR EYES DIRECT THEM AWAY FROM YOUR LIFE AND WAIT AS SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO WAIT BEFORE OUR PRAYER IS ANSWERED.
AS WE BOW OUR HEAD IN PRAYER LET US FOR A MOMENT IN SILENCE FEEL THE STILLNESS THAT IS FILLED WITH GOD AND COMPLETED WITH THE LOVE AND MERCY OF JESUS CHRIST
NO ONE CAN HURT YOU; YOU ARE SIMPLY YOURSELF JUST AS GOD MADE YOU.
YOU ARE IN TOUCH WITH THE GENUINE INTACT IMAGE OF GOD IN YOU.
IN THE SILENCE TAKE A MOMENT OR TWO TO REACH OUT TO GOD WITH YOUR OWN PERSONAL PRAYER.
THANK YOU, LORD FOR THE BEAUTY WHICH YOU HAVE CREATED
AND THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US THE GIFT OF HOPE AND JOY TO APPRECIATE THE AWSOME WONDER OF YOUR CREATION.
AS THE DARKNESS OF WINTER GIVES WAY TO THE HOPE AND RENEWAL OF SPRING.
TO ALL THESE CHANGES WE ASK THE GIFT OF YOUR PERSPECTIVE BECKONING US TO EXPECTATION, HOPE AND REBIRTH.
MAY THE SUNLIGHT AND THE RAIN BE REMINDERS THAT YOU ARE AT WORK RENEWING THE EARTH
AS A GOD OF RENEWAL YOU ARE EVER AT WORK IN OUR LIVES TOO.
FOR FLOWERS THAT BLOOM ABOUT OUR FEET
FOR TENDER GRASS SO FRESH AND SWEET
FOR SONG OF BIRD AND HUM OF BEE
FOR ALL THINGS FAIR WE HEAR OR SEE
FATHER IN HEAVEN WE THANK YOU
ralph waldo emerson
LORD GOD YOU HAVE DONE SO MUCH FOR US
MORE THAN WE DESERVE
FORGIVE US WHEN WE FAIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE HOW BLESSED WE ARE
LORD WE PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND FORGIVENESS TO AVOID THE TEMPTATIONS WHICH ARE PUT BEFORE US AS WE WANDER FROM THE PATH THAT LEADS TO PEACE IN PATHS OF OUR OWN PLEASING
WE ARE NEVER ALONE YOU ARE ALWAYS BY OUR SIDE GUIDING US, COMFORTING US IN TIMES OF SORROW AND SUFFERING AND WE KNOW THAT
WHEREVER WE ARE WE CAN PRAY AND YOU WILL LISTEN AND FILL US WITH PEACE.
LET US ACKNOWLEDGE THE FATHER OF ALL. HIS PRESENCE IN OUR LIVES, OUR WORLD OUR HEARTS BY JOINING TOGETHER IN THE LORDS PRAYER
A church full of all ages celebrating the birth of Jesus. David led the service, young visitors lit the advent candles and Nick gave the Christmas address. The generosity of the worshippers gave over £500 for the work of Glasgow City Mission.
Our first Cafe Church event in Achnamara Hall. While we enjoyed a drink and a biscuit we discussed four questions after reading Luke ch 9 vs 46 – 56.
We concluded the event with some favourite hymns.
Here is the reading….
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but
the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.
And if you would like to comment below with your thoughts, here are the questions…
- What is the first thing that strikes you in this reading?
- Is there a new thought or idea for you from these verses?
- Is there any particular aspect which you see as relevant for today?
- Does I make you want to read more?