It is perhaps quite topical that as the rains come down and the floods go up on Sunday we will be thinking about another famous part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount: the parable of the wise and foolish builders. It will be a special all-age service with lots of fun and activities to help us think about what this parable might mean for our lives today. Don’t expect a lesson in house-building or environmental risk assessment, do expect some wise words, warm fellowship and some firm foundations for the week ahead. Sunday morning 10am.
The new year is upon us and so is a new teaching and learning series at Inspire Church. For the next 17 weeks until just after Easter we are going to explore Jesus’ life from the perspective of the gospel of Matthew and what it might mean for us all today. So I’ve called the series: Jesus & Matthew & Me. On Sunday we will take a first look at who Matthew was, where he lived and why he wrote his gospel before launching out in the weeks to come about what it means for us to be a new community in a time of crisis. Don’t miss it! Starts 10am Sunday morning. Everybody’s welcome!
This Sunday is our Community Carol Service at 4pm at Inspire. It is going to be a mixture of readings, carols (of course), drama and Christingle-making. It promises to be lots of fun so do bring a friend or two. Remember there will be no morning service at 10am!!
And then on Christmas Day we will have a special celebration service from 10 – 11am. If you’d like to then do bring a present which you can show everyone. There will be more fun there … and birthday cake for Jesus! … but we promise it will be a shorter service so you can get back to your turkeys, sprouts etc.
This Sunday, as part of the Just Christmas series, Inspire Church will welcome Ian Rowe from Christian Aid who is coming to speak to us about Christmas in the Holy Land and some of the justice struggles that sadly beset places like Bethlehem today. But also the hope that is still to be found in the lives of many people who live there – just as it was to be found there 2000 years ago amongst the ordinary folk of Palestine. Jenny will be leading our service and there will be junior church activities as normal too. 10am Everybody’s Welcome!
Also on Sunday, Conspire will meet at 6.30pm to consider: ‘Right here? Right now?’. There is a lot of pressure to try to enjoy the perfect Christmas (as defined by the major retailers) but this puts great pressure on everyone to be in the right place (both mentally and physically) at the right time (Christmas comes but once a year). In addition Christians have the added pressure to not lose sight of the ‘true meaning of Christmas’ (whatever that is!!). In the midst of it all here is a chance to share our festive thoughts and experiences. Everybody’s welcome.
This Sunday our ‘Just Christmas’ advent series will remember the challenging circumstances of the ‘holy family’ – young, hungry and homeless and yet at the centre of God’s plan for the world. We’ll be thinking about the hungry and homeless in our own city and we’ll welcome Niall Cooper, National Co-ordinator of Church Action on Poverty, who will challenge and inspire us about the relevance of the Christmas story then to our circumstances today. 10am. Everybody’s Welcome!
When Inspire Church asked the community what we should talk about as part of our ‘what would Jesus say about …’ series it was suggested we should talk about human sexuality. Over the years, the church has been rather quick to moralise about the subject and in recent times you would be forgiven if you thought that homosexuality was perhaps the principle preoccupation of the gospels – but as with all things Inspire Church, we want to take a fresh look! Andy will lead our service as we celebrate God’s gift of our bodies and our relationships and as we explore some of the joys and challenges that come with being created to love and to be loved. 10am, Sunday. Everybody welcome – adult or child, gay or straight, single or hitched!
Also, the next Conspire evening will take place this Sunday at 7.30pm in the Inspire Cafe – it will be on the subject of ‘Identity’ – everybody’s is welcome to come along for reflection and discussion.
This week at Inspire Church our hot topic is bankers’ bonuses … and what Jesus would say about them. He turned the trading tables in the temple, he said it was easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to get into heaven, so we think we know what he’d say do we? I wouldn’t be too sure! And we will have special guest, Stuart Mustow, who will lead our time of teaching and learning. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome – why not invite a friend who you might have had a good old rant with on this topic!!
Also, on Sunday evening a new church activity will begin: Conspire. Steve and Jo are setting up a monthly gathering in the Inspire Studio on the third Sunday evening of the month. It will start at 7.30pm and involve reflection and discussion in a relaxed atmosphere. The first meeting will explore “In the beginning … “.
This Sunday at Inspire Church we will be celebrating our Urban Harvest. It will be a really special celebration service to round off our series on creation. Our music and worship will be led by Andy Powell and the Prayer In the Park team; we will be ‘commissioning’ and giving thanks for our new staff and volunteers who work day-in day-out at the Inspire Centre; and we will be celebrating the wonderful creation that God has given us and all its abundant gifts of life. There are 4 things to remember though:
1) Show & Tell – if you grow something in your garden or on an allotment, or if you make something or create something special (knitting, brewing, painting, bread-making etc.) why not bring along some of your produce / creations to show everybody and (if you want) tell us a bit about it. Better still, if you have a friend who grows stuff or makes stuff, why not invite them to come along and show off what it is that they do.
2) Tins and Sleeping Bags – we will be taking a special harvest collection for our friends at Barnabus – the project that supports homeless people in Manchester. They would be grateful for all kinds of different non-perishable food stuffs (tins, pasta, long life milk, cordial etc); men’s and women’s clothes; and especially sleeping bags and blankets. If you feel you could bring something like this then please do. (But if you don’t feel you can then that is fine too!)
3) Harvest Lunch – after the service we will be holding a special baked potato harvest lunch. There will be plenty to go round but if you haven’t already it would be great if you could let Roz know you are coming so we get an idea of how many to cater for. And we need to supply our own fillings – a few people have offered to bring various fillings but if anybody feels they can bring a meat chilli then do let Roz know. Also, it would be great if people could bring some drinks to share and puddings. (And if you don’t like baked potatoes and want to stay then do bring something you do like!) You can contact Roz on rozh35.
4) The service starts at 10am. There will be joy!