John’s gospel is marked by a series of encounters between Jesus and a number of quite diverse men and women. Over the coming weeks we are going to look at these encounters and explore what we can learn from them about Jesus’ relationship with us. This Sunday we will explore the time when the Jewish leaders’ brought an adulterous woman before Jesus and his encounter with her. Janet F. will lead our thinking together. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome!
When Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in the small village of Cana everybody was rather pleased! But his purpose was not so much to encourage a spate of binge drinking in rural Galilee but to make a few points about sex, politics and money… and abundance too. All taboo in many churches … not at Inspire! Intrigued? Come along to find out more. 10am. Sunday. (PS I’m sure our wonderful junior church leaders will think of something suitable and relevant for the kids too!!) Everybody’s Welcome Here!
Levenshulme Churches Together Lent Meetings start up on Wednesday 20th February with the theme ‘Open to the Spirit’ – starting at Inspire! They will then take place every Wednesday in different churches around Levenshulme all starting at 7.30pm for refreshments then 8-9pm for the reflection … as follows:
- 27th Feb – Methodist Church (Woodfold Avenue)
- 6th March – Cromwell Hall (Marshall Road)
- 13th March – ST Peter’s Church (Stockport Road)
- 20th March – St Mark’s Church (Barlow Road)
- 27th March – St Mary’s Church (Elbow Street) with a Passover Meal
- There will also be a walk of witness on Good Friday – starting at 11am from St Peter’s.
Last week we thought about invitations! Dylan found 4 in just one short passage about Jesus meeting the disciples. An invitation can be a wonderful thing to receive – making the invitee feel special … not least when the invitation is an unexpected one. A simple: come and see! This Sunday Andy is leading the service and we’ll all be together throughout so there will be lots of family fun! A great occasion to say to a friend – come and see! 10am Sunday.
Quite a few of us from Inspire Church joined the big protest to Save Levy Baths and Library last Saturday – more than 400 people marched the streets and everybody was encouraged to write to Council Leader Richard Leese about the issue – the address is Sir Richard Leese, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA. This week there is another special protest – we are all being invited to place a blue plaque on either the library or the pool at 6pm TOMORROW Friday 1 February.
Inspire Church is spending the weeks before and after Easter taking a fresh look at the life of Jesus – through the eyes of the gospel according to St John. Before Easter we will be looking at Jesus encounters with all kinds of people on his way – dodgy priests, worn-out women, blind beggars and unemployed fishermen – people just like you and me. The invitation is simple: come & see. 10am. Every Sunday. Everybody’s Welcome Here!
Even by Inspire Church’s standards, to heed Isaiah’s call to abandon our Sunday rituals and do justice instead was somewhat out of the ordinary! But I hope people felt they got something out of our cocoa trading game and that it made very real the injustices experienced throughout the chocolate supply chain from the small farmers to the supermarkets. And I hope too that our exercise might have motivated you to action too – perhaps you’ve had a rice and beans meal? Perhaps you’ve decided to raise some money to twin our toilets with some toilets overseas (see http://www.toilettwinning.org/) or perhaps you have decided to join a campaign – why not try one of these: Labour Behind the Label; Tearfund; Avaaz; Christian Aid; Fairtrade Foundation.
This week is our final week exploring the Book of Isaiah. Andy will lead the service as we think about Isaiah’s promise that the Spirit of the Lord will bring good news to the poor – words echoed by Jesus when he set out on his ministry. Four members of our congregation will themselves be making something of a fresh start as they become church members too. Please pray for Gareth, Janet, Hannah and Jonathan as they prepare for this special occasion and do come along on Sunday to give them your support. 10am. Everybody’s Welcome!
Happy New Year! Any resolutions? As some of you may know, I’m planning to run the Brighton Marathon for JustLife in April so for me it’s regular running and the need to shed a few kilograms! Resolving to go on a diet is often seen as a mark of self-sacrifice so it is timely that we should be looking at chapter 58 of Isaiah this Sunday where the prophet talks about ‘true fasting’. Isaiah rails against our self-centred rituals – he’d no doubt have all kinds of issues with our new year resolutions! – and instead calls us to focus on the needs of the poor. But this is no guilt trip, on Sunday we’ll look not only at God’s concern for justice but also the promises that come with lives focused on restoration and hope. 10am Sunday. Everybody Welcome!
2012 has been a wonderful year at Inspire Church. We’ve journeyed together through the books of Mark, Jonah, Acts and Isaiah and we’ve celebrated the wonderful ways in which people in our church and community ‘care’. We’ve seen a very special baptism, five new members and lots of others join our growing congregation for Sunday services. And we’ve been very busy in the Inspire Centre too with toddler groups, market fairs, community celebrations, youthwork and the Inspire Awards. We’ve pulled all of this together in a special presentation attached here. Give thanks and praise to our ‘great big God’.
2012 at Inspire Church.pdf
I hope you are all enjoying this special Christmas week.
First of all, many many thanks to everyone who helped out with the Christmas carol service last Sunday. With around a hundred people cramming into our cafe/church there was the most wonderful atmosphere and a genuine feeling that the whole community was pausing for a moment to reflect on the light and hope that is Jesus coming into our world. Aside from the festivities, I was most touched by the way church regulars quietly facilitated and encouraged whilst our friends from the community stepped into the (lime)light. Thank-you all for being so welcoming! And the band was great too so special thanks to Andy, Steve, Gareth and Luke.
So as the year draws to a close, this Sunday we’ll be reflecting on 2012, its highs and its lows too. We’ll be thinking back across the different things we’ve done as a church, what we’ve learned together and the kind of church we’re becoming. Alongside this we’ll be thinking about Isaiah 52 and the ‘suffering servant’ poem. Highs and lows. Beginnings and endings. 10am. Sunday. Everybody welcome!
And for those who are away: have a very happy new year!
Grace and peace.