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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!
During October and November we want to throw our doors open to issues that get everyone talking in the Levenshulme community. In fact, we want Levenshulme to tell us what we should be talking about at Inspire Church. From sex to Syria, from angels to alcohol, from community to climate change – you name it we’ll explore it by asking what Jesus might say about it today! Let us know what you think we should be talking about here.
Summer holidays are nearly over and September is upon us. For many of us that means a new beginning: a new class, a new school, a new job, a new resolution, a new hope. And so what better time than to start a new teaching and learning series all about beginnings!
“In the beginning …” will be a 5-week series exploring the first chapters of the Book of Genesis. This Sunday in our all together service we will think about ‘beginnings’ but then after that we’ll think about the first creation story and how it relates to contemporary scientific accounts of creation. On the 15th of September we’ll be thinking about Adam & Eve and the special role that God has given humanity on the earth. On the 22nd of September we’ll think about Noah and the great flood and then on Sunday the 29th September we’ll have a special harvest service to give thanks for God’s wonderful creation.
As always, everybody is welcome to come along to Inspire Church – whether they are Christians or not. These might be ideal services for people who take an interest in matters of science and faith – perhaps even people who are sceptical of the Biblical accounts of creation. Our emphasis will be on learning and sharing our different perspectives together. It might also be a good time to to come if you’re somebody who is looking for a new beginning. 10am Every Sunday in September.
The holiday season is here and so I thought I’d spell out what’s planned at Inspire Church in the coming weeks:
- 4th August – Ian will lead the service on the subject of ‘Joy’ – our penultimate Fruit of the Spirit – 10am
- 11th August – Ian will conclude our series on the Fruits of the Spirit by thinking about ‘Gentleness’ – 10am
- 18th August – Ed will lead the service along with our mission partner, Anna Sims, who is about to head off to Peru. Our focus will be on ‘new eyes for mission’ – 10am
- 25th August – as it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and many of us will be at Greenbelt, THERE WILL BE NO SERVICE AT INSPIRE! Instead we’ll have another ‘Do Something Different Sunday!’ …
‘Do Something Different Sunday’ is an opportunity to ‘worship’ God in a different way or a different place. Here’s some suggestions you might want to consider:
- Visit another local church and bring greetings from us all at Inspire Church.
- Take an hour to read your Bible, pray and listen to some Christian music.
- Try one of the spiritual practices we learned during our series on John – stilling yourself, learning to love your enemies etc. – some of the John talks are still available to listen to on the church website www.inspirechurch.org.uk.
- List out the 9 Fruits of the Spirit and think about ways you could sow some seeds to enhance some of them in your own life.
- Go and visit somebody who might feel lonely or unloved.
- Invite some friends for lunch and pray as you cook that the meal brings a very special blessing to your relationships.
- … you get the idea!
We’ll then begin a new series on the Book of Genesis in September – with a special focus on creation.
There’s lots else going on in September too – don’t feel under any pressure to get along to everything but if there are one or two things you’d like to go to then great!
- 5 September – Home Group / Abide Group – 7.45pm at Andy & Michelle’s – 36 Grange Avenue
- 7 September – Churches Together in Levenshulme trip to Chester - tickets available from Ian
- 7 September - Curry with Campolo - from 7.30pm – more details are on www.jitc2013.co.uk
- 8 September – Induction of new vicar – Reverend Caroline Throup – at St Peters Church, Levenshulme – 3.00pm
- 8 September – Evening commissioning service for Anna Sims at Holy Trinity, Platt before she heads off to Peru.
- 14 September – Autumn Craft Fair at Inspire – 11 – 3pm.
- 14/15 September – Word for Women Conference, Swanwick – see Ruth / Jo for details
- 28 September – United Reformed Church multi-cultural day in Birmingham. There are more details here: http://www.urc.org.uk/images/mission/racial/MC_Celebration/mc_Poster2013.pdf but if you’d like to go then please tell Ian or Janet.
This will be the last weekly e-mail now until after the Bank Holiday weekend.
Grace and peace.
Last Sunday evening, Inspire was privileged to host a wonderful African evening on Sunday. Although the food arrived in African time it was delicious and although the temperature reached tropical heights, the Zambian choir and Ione-Mai were simply amazing. The singing and dancing was as good as it has ever been at Inspire as 120+ people burst the seams of our brightly repainted cafe. God was praised to the rooftops!