Who says?

Our kids like nothing better than imitating their grandfather uttering one of his stock of old-fashioned phrases such as “you’re not so dusty well-brushed”. Sayings handed down from generation to generation are sometimes just daft fun, but sometimes they carry special wisdom and meaning. The Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is a collection of sayings and poems dedicated to sharing wisdom amongst people of faith – and for the next few weeks we are going to be exploring some of its more (and less) well-known verses. But that’s not all, every week we will be asking someone from our own church or community to share their own favourite sayings – frivolous and serious, biblical or not! So – any volunteers? Please let me know.

Our “who says?” series kicks off on Sunday at 10am … and will carry on right through to advent. Do encourage your family and friends to take part – they can get involved on our Facebook page or on twitter using the hashtag #ourfavouritesayings.

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Harvest at Inspire

Over the summer, many of you might have noticed that the community garden at the back of the Inspire Centre has been blooming! Week after week, our Inspired to Grow project team – including a number of church members – have been harvesting all kinds of lovely fruit and vegetables, some of which have been used in the Inspire Cafe. On Sunday, as part of our harvest celebrations, we’ll be giving thanks for their hard work and God’s beautiful bounty that we have been blessed with. It is also an opportunity for people to bring tins and other dried foodstuffs – and also men’s clothes and other essentials – which we will donate to our friends at Barnabus. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome!

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Wear Love!

As summer draws to an end, so Inspire Church is beginning a new teaching and learning series: Wear Love! Over the course of the next few weeks we will be exploring the book of Colossians – Paul’s letter to a young church, growing up in the shadow better and brighter places nearby and struggling to make sense of all kinds of claims and counter-claims about faith and the true meaning of life. This Sunday we’ll be thinking a bit about the author of the letter – Paul – and why his letters to young churches like the one in Colosse have become so important for the church today. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome!

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Summer unplugged

We have all been enjoying our simple ‘unplugged’ services during the summer holidays. This Sunday our service will be led by Andy Hall and the following Sunday our good friend Stuart Nixon (who some people met on our church weekend away). We are still thinking about Old Testament meeting places at the same time as reflecting on the times that we meet God. Do take some time out to ask – when did I last have a divine encounter? Sundays 10am. Everybody’s welcome here!

On Sunday 24th July there will be NO service at Inspire. On the rare occasions we don’t have church we call it ‘Do Something Different’ Sundays and encourage people to meet a friend, pray in the park, call someone who might be lonely, read your Bible, or visit another church. There are lots more ideas on the sheet below .

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Breakfast time / summer time

This Sunday we’re going to start our service with breakfast together. After that there will be continuing our meeting places series thinking about Sarah, Hagar and being human. During the summer holiday period we will be keeping our Sunday mornings short and simple. Sitting in a circle, no fancy equipment, no frills or fuss. There will be activities for kids though so everybody’s welcome to come along. 10am. Sunday. A place to meet. A place to eat. A place to find yourself. A place to find God.

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On the threshing floor

Having wrestled with riverside angels and grumbled in the desert, this week our meeting places series takes us down and dirty on the threshing floor with Ruth and Boaz! Although set in a very different place and time, this remarkable and tragic international love story has much which speaks to our current community and the stories we share in the day-to-day upheavals of modern city-living. We’ve not had so many visitors in recent weeks, so why not come along as I can guarantee a morning of friendliness and fun. Sunday. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here!

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Friend or foe?

One of the best thing about coming to church is to meet up with different friends. What I enjoy especially about church though is that my friends are from all walks of life, all ages, all races – people I might not normally mix with day to day but who on Sunday remind me of our wonderfully diverse community – people who I can call friends. On SUnday Andy will be exploring friendship from the viewpoint of another Old Testament meeting place story: that of David & Jonathan. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here!

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Meeting Places

Church can be many things. For me, it is a band of diverse disciples busying together to work out their faith in a community of joys and struggles, constantly trying to glimpse God’s presence amongst them and share the love, grace and hope that Jesus first showed to us. But church is also a place: a meeting place. And one of the most important things about being a band of disciples is that we get to meet together each week to share the stories of our joys and struggles in the world and celebrate God’s grace and peace. When we don’t meet, when we don’t come together in one place at one time, our discipleship soon loses direction and our faith soon loses the fellowship and the fun that is enjoyed by meeting and worshipping together. Meeting places are our shared commitment to one another and a moment in the week when we can explicitly try to ‘meet God’. So for that reason we’re going to spend the next few weeks thinking about them … with the help of some Old Testament meeting place stories. 10am. Every Sunday. Everybody’s Welcome. Meeting Place: Inspire.

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Forever and ever and ever and ever

This Sunday we reach the last phrase of the Lord’s Prayer: For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen. From a very humble and intimate start – Abba Father – it seems to finish with quite and triumphalist ending … or does it? Come along on Sunday morning to find out more! 10am. Everybody’s Welcome, rain or shine, it will be worth it! One person said to me after Sunday’s service (which I wasn’t leading!!) – “I often lie in bed on Sundays and think, perhaps I’ll just lie here this morning and not go to church. But every time I get up and make the effort, I always leave feeling better for having come along”.

The following weekend is our Inspire Church Weekend Away. Because so many people are coming, reluctantly elders have decided that there will be no church service at Inspire on Sunday 15 June. For those not coming, I’m sorry but hope you find another way to find fellowship, worship and time with God that day.

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No trespassing

I’ve never considered myself much of a trespasser. I may have had the odd game of football somewhere naughty as a boy but I’m not sure that constitutes the greatest crime. And I’m not sure we’ve got too many trespassers to forgive either – the CCTV at Inspire takes care of that. So what do we mean when we dutifully recite “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”? Perhaps the more modern version is more helpful: forgive us our sins. Perhaps not. Either way, on Sunday we’ll unravel this part of the the Lord’s Prayer together and try to understand why Jesus places this at the centre of his prayer pattern. 10am. Everybody’s Welcome!

I’m very conscious that it’s bank holiday weekend too so here’s the deal: we gather at 10, start at 10.10 and finish at 11 sharp, unplugged, keeping it simple. Make a moment for God.

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