Despite leaving church covered in flour, there was a real buzz last Sunday after our Inspire bread-making escapade. Lots of thanks to Anne for leading that! But let’s not forget the main message of the day: Jesus has even more for us than the ‘stuff’ of life, it is in the making and doing and being his kingdom that we get a glimpse of eternal life.
This Sunday we turn to Jesus calling himself the ‘True Vine’ – wine tasting anybody!!?? We’ll see. But one thing is for sure – the Inspire Big Band will be leading our worship. If you’d like to be involved you don’t have to be a superb musician to join in. But it would be good if you could let Dave and Jo know that you’re planning to play your part. You can contact them on daveandjo. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome here!
What’s your favourite type of bread? Are you a straightforward white medium sliced type or a bit of a Hovis hugger? Do you save up for a weekend loaf from Trove or buy in bulk from the bargain shelf at Asda? Do you prefer a crusty French baguette for your lunch or a healthy flat wrap? Why not bring your favourite bread to church on Sunday and we’ll have a sampling session afterwards (don’t worry if you can’t or you forget!). And why? Because this week we’re thinking about Jesus saying “I Am the Bread of Life”. 10am. Inspire. Everybody’s Welcome!
On Sunday I will be running the Brighton Marathon for Justlife with a team of 13 other people.
Justlife is the wonderful organisation founded by our old friends Gary and Hannah Bishop that serves vulnerable people in East Manchester and that we have heard a lot about over the past couple of years. You can read more on http://www.justlife.org.uk/.
You can show your support for me and for Justlife in one of three ways:
1) Simply e-mail me on info and make a pledge!
2) Go onto the following website – http://www.justgiving.com/edbrighton2013 – and follow the simple steps to sponsor me. It only takes about 3 minutes.
3) You can send a text message to 70070 with the code EDBR99 and then the amount you want to sponsor – for example “EDBR99 £5″ .
This Sunday Inspire Church made a beautiful Easter Prayer nest with the help of our arty friend Anna Sims. Anna is currently preparing to go to Peru where she’ll be doing more arty faith stuff with some of the poorest communities in Lima.
Another remarkable characteristic of John’s gospel is the number of times Jesus says “I am …” – the good shepherd, the bread of life, the true vine etc. In the coming weeks at Inspire Church we are going to look at these different “I am” sayings and what we can learn about John’s Jesus from them. Immediately after Easter Sunday, where better to start that “I am the resurrection and the life”? It will be an altogether service with the children remaining with us throughout and we will have our good friend Anna Sims joining us to tell us about her preparation for Peru. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome!
A lively group of local young people have turned their hands to a spot of decorating to help out at the busy Inspire Centre in Levenshulme.
The young people are taking part in a 12 week Prince’s Trust Team programme run by Groundwork and The Manchester College. The team gives young people aged 16-25 who are not in work or education the chance to develop their skills and confidence. As part of the programme the Team have to select, plan and complete a project to improve the local community.
They chose to help out at the Inspire Centre as it has recently acquired a new facility – formerly the Connections Dance Studio – which badly needed some redecoration.
Davina Williams (22) said: “We planned the project ourselves from start to finish and it has taken a lot of team work to get it completed in time for the opening. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve learned some new skills at the same time, I’m now ready to redecorate my own place.”
The young people also take part in a team building residential, work experience placements, develop their job hunting skills and gain an accredited qualification.
The young people were congratulated for their efforts at the opening of the new Inspire Studio which is located right next door to the Inspire Centre. The Studio provides a bigger meeting space for the centre which is ideal for dance and fitness activities, concerts and conferences, youth activities and children’s parties.
Ed Cox, chair of the Inspire Board said: “We are so grateful to the Prince’s Trust team for their hard work. They have transformed the Studio in just a week and it’s now ready for community groups and local businesses to come and use. We pride ourselves in offering good quality places for community activities and this is no exception. Their work has been truly inspirational!”
Bookings for the Inspire Studio can be made by calling 0161 850 5717 or visiting the Inspire Centre in person. The Prince’s Trust are running a new course, based at the Inspire Centre, starting on 3rd June 2013 and are recruiting now. More details are available at Inspire.
OK, so it could be Christmas, but we’re in the middle of Holy Week! Tonight (Wednesday) there is a special Passover service/meal at St Mary’s RC Church (Elbow Street) at 7.30pm – the last of our churches together Lent reflections. And then our Easter services are as follows:
Good Friday Service – 10am at Inspire. This will be followed by a walk of witness alongside the other Levenshulme churches from 11-11.30 finishing up with tea & hot cross buns at St Peters.
Easter Sunday Service – 11am at Levenshulme Baptist Church (Elmsworth
Avenue) NB. There is NO SERVICE AT INSPIRE as we are all sharing together in what will be a wonderful joint all-age celebration with Easter Egg hunt, a Big Band, Readings, Bunting-making and of course: cake! Please would people be kind enough to bring some cake / cakes to share at then end.
This week has flown by so do forgive the slightly later-than-normal e-mail. Lent seems to have flown by too and I can hardly believe it’s Palm Sunday this week. Watching President Obama lauded in Jerusalem yesterday put me in mind of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem but the difference between arriving in Air Force One and arriving on a donkey tells us all we need to know about the kind of king we follow. To this end on Sunday we’re going to be thinking about what inspires a heart of service and humility. And we’re going to have a back-to-front service too with tea and toast at the beginning at 10am – so you can have a few extra minutes in bed and skip breakfast if you want. Everybody welcome – whether you prefer jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite or just plain butter!
Later in Easter week, there will be a special Passover supper and Lent Reflection at St Mary’s Church (Elbow St) on Wednesday at 7.30pm. There will be a Good Friday service at Inspire at 10am on Friday – folllowed by joining the other churches in Levenshulme at 11 for a short walk of witness (it’s always a lovely occasion finishing with hot cross buns at St Peters at about 11.30). And then on Easter Sunday there will be no service at Inspire because we’re all joining up with Levenshulme Baptist Church (on Elmsworth Rd) for a special Easter celebration service at 11am.
Our penultimate encounter marks a turning point in John’s gospel as it finds Jesus having dinner at the house of Lazarus in the weeks before his death. His friend Mary is behaving strangely but once again, Jesus moves the focus of our attention from the here and now to something much deeper. Our Bible story this week could really do with some kind of ‘smellivision’ so can I suggest that everybody comes to church wearing their favourite perfume or aftershave so we can enjoy the full effect of the passage and worship God with all our senses. 10am. Sunday. Everybody welcome. Especially smelly people.
After last week’s performance at the portico pool, this week we’re looking at the blessing of a bureaucrat’s boy in John Chapter 4. So far we have seen how Jesus’ encounters with the ordinary folk of Israel point them beyond their immediate concerns to something deeper within, well this time it’s a long distance miracle that finds a full family’s favour. Andy will be leading the service and there will be the usual fun in children’s church too. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome. Invite your household!