Rhythm & rest

And on the seventh day, God rested. As we kick-off our new series on practising the sabbath we will begin with our first principle: rest.

Why is rest so important? How do we rest? When do we rest? Why did God rest? How do we tune in to the rhythms of nature? How do we listen to our bodies so as not to overdo it?

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here! Bring a pillow!

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Rest // Remember // Rebel

On Sunday we’re starting a new series through until Easter. As in previous years, we will spend some time working through the gospel of Matthew, but this year – our SEVENTH year as a regenerated church – we will also explore the idea of SABBATH.

What does Sabbath mean? How does it apply today? Are there sabbath practices that we could adopt to help us grow individually and as a church? How can we reinterpret sabbath justice in a world of inequality?

These are just few of the questions we’ll begin to explore with an introduction to our theme on Sunday morning. Do come along.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everbody’s Welcome Here!

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Porridge & prayer

Sunday is New Year’s Day. If you’re anything like me, the idea of getting to church for 10.30 might seem a long shot. Fear not! We’ll be serving porridge, toast, coffee, tea and fruit juice from 10.30 for anybody who wants to fall out of bed for some new year’s fellowship.

There will be prayer, reflection and singing but you won’t be harangued into worthy new year’s resolutions, there will be no injunctions about how 2017 will be bigger or better. As we begin our special ‘sabbath year’ we will simply start to enjoy the presence of the living God through food, fellowship and freedom.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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DIY Nativity

It’s our community carol service this Sunday – 4-6pm. The service will include a DIY nativity (kids come dressed as any character from the Christmas story), traditional readings and carols, all followed by festive finger food. Everybody’s welcome from all faiths or none at all – make it part of your Christmas celebrations.

Three important things to remember:

1) Invite and bring your friends – many people who don’t come to church very often love to come and remember the ‘reason for the season’ and this will be the kind of service where they can easily fit in and feel really welcome. If we all brought one person …

2) Please bring some festive finger food – things like mince pies, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cheese, satsumas, grapes, cheese straws, crisps, nuts, bread, sandwiches, breadsticks, humous, dips, chocolates – and if you can manage it, bring some to share too.

3) There will be NO SERVICE at 10.30am.

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Belly thanks

As children we are always told to "say thank-you!" On one level it is just a common courtesy, but deeper down it is vital for our health and well-being as individuals and as a community. But it’s not always easy, not least saying thanks to God. On the last Sunday of the Christian calendar year we will be thinking about the time Jonah gave thanks from the belly of the whale and we will be giving thanks ourselves. For what? Come & find out.

DON’T FORGET THE NEW START TIME. 10.30am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome here.

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This is not the end

If you’re anything like me, 2016 is turning into quite a bewildering year. And I don’t think it is too political to express concerns about the choices we are making in nations that once celebrated being open and plural societies. So on Sunday we will once again try to make sense of what it means to be disciples in bewildering times. And I will attempt to wrap up our year-long journey with Jesus in Mark’s gospel. Thankfully there were a few bewildered disciples there too!

DON’T FORGET THE NEW START TIME. 10.30am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome here.

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Bring some bread!

Bring some bread!

As we come to the last Sunday in our Food Glorious Food series this Sunday we are going to celebrate BREAD. I know that in our church we have some fine bakers, but even if you haven’t got time to do any baking, I’m encouraging everyone to bring in a little bread to share. Wholemeal, sour dough, pitta or some plain sliced white – whatever is your favourite, let’s make a bread feast!

Our readings will now return to Mark’s gospel as we spend the next few weeks looking at the final section of his Jesus story and what better story to link to our ready theme but the Last Supper – so we’ll share communion this Sunday too.

As ever, everybody’s welcome here! 10am. Inspire.

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Spaghetti Spirituality

We are very privileged as a congregation that the United Reformed Church has recognised the special place that Inspire is becoming and agreed to give us Liz. They cover her pay and some of her expenses and as a church we are asked to make a relatively small contribution of around £3000 each year. Through our fundraising this month we have raised half of that amount and this Sunday will be the last special fundraising Sunday for this purpose. You are all very generous with your giving and we try not to make a fuss about money at our church, but please take the opportunity to make a special donation towards our community work this Sunday and then we can focus on working with our wonderful community rather than worrying about the funds.

Our service on Sunday will feature possibly the most famous type of pasta ever: spaghetti. Once the nation was led to believe it grew on trees, this week we will learn that it is the most holy of foods. We will also be celebrating harvest so along with your special donation for our community work, if you want to bring some tins or other non-perishable foods for a harvest collection then that would be lovely too – Andy will gather them along with Christchurch offerings and deliver them to Mustard Tree. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here.

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The Jesus Arms

Some of you will know that one of the most popular venues at the annual Greenbelt christian arts festival is a place called The Jesus Arms. It is of course the beer tent where every evening people gather to enjoy a pint or two and sing hymns with great gusto. It captures something of the atmosphere that I imagine might have prevailed when Jesus turned water into the finest wine at the famous wedding at Cana. So following cake, beans and chocolate, this Sunday we will sample beer in the company of our resident brewing expert. (And don’t worry, we’ll make sure it’s child-friendly affair – other beverages will be available). Only at Inspire Church. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome here.

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Truly divine

Every Sunday at Inspire Church is of course an opportunity to encounter the divine. But this Sunday that will be especially true as we think about the confection that bears that very name. Did you know that one of our tribe not only has a taste for chocolate, but she also knows a thing or two about ethical trading? As part of our favourite foods series, she will be telling us a little bit about her sweet tooth and also her passion for fair trade. And chocolate will be eaten! 10am. Sunday. Chocaholics especially welcome.

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