Spit & dust

On Sunday we are resuming our series looking at Mark’s gospel and remembering that it’s OK to change your mind! We’re going to plunge back in with the amazing story of Jesus’ healing a blind man with spit and dust. Everybody’s welcome. 10am.

In the evening we can dig a little deeper at our ConSpire gathering. 7.30pm at Fred’s Ale House. Do come along – especially if you’re one of those who struggles to get to church at 10am. ConSpire is for you!

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I love the word ABIDE. I don’t really know why. It sounds good, it’s pleasing to say. It’s one of those words we kind of know what it means but we don’t use it every day so we have to think a little about what it might mean. In John’s first letter he talks about abiding in God’s love – that makes me think of a baby resting in its parents’ arms, or the patience of an old couple, caring for one another at the end of their lives. Do we abide? What does it mean to us that God is love? On Sunday morning we’ll be doing some open heart surgery. Do join us. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here!

The service will be short and sweet! Why? Because I want to encourage as many people as possible to join me in an act of love and to pay a visit to our friends at Levenshulme Baptist Church who will be celebrating their 141st anniversary. As their congregation is now so small, it will mean a huge amount to them if some of us were to join them and make it a special occasion.

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Love One Another

Our All-You-Need-Is-Love mini-series continues on Sunday morning with John’s reminder that we are called to love one another. Sound easy? Sound difficult? Let’s meet to discuss this and more. And pray. And sing. And share fellowship. And celebrate communion and our own unique resurrection community. Everybody’s welcome! 10am. Sunday.

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All You Need Is Love

We’re going to take a short break from Mark’s gospel over the next few weeks and delve into a new topic: LOVE! We’ll focus our reflections around the New Testament letter called 1 John – the first epistle of John. It’s only a short book but it’s beautifully written and all about God’s love and our response. It all starts on Sunday morning. 10am. Everybody’s Welcome Here!

Also, on Sunday evening it will be ConSpire at Fred’s Ale House from 7.30pm. It’s a relaxed evening of simple worship and discussion. Do give it a try.

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Easter at Inspire Church

Happy Holy Week! We will have a very simple Good Friday service from 10 until 11am on Friday morning with music and reflection followed by hot cross buns. For those that would like to, we can then join the Levenshulme Churches Together Silent Walk of Witness which will pass by at 11 and normally takes around 30 minutes to walk up and down the Stockport Road, finishing at St Peters. In recent years, many of us have found the sombre service followed by the silent walk to be a very special part of our journey of faith. If you’ve not done it before then do join in.

And then on Sunday we will celebrate! Our friends from Levenshulme Baptist Church will be joining us for what I hope will be a very happy occasion with worship and singing and resurrection joy … and no doubt some chocolate too! Again, don’t miss it. 10am Sunday Morning.

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Compassion for the crowd

Are you part of the crowd? Some of us like to be. Some don’t. But on Sunday we’ll be thinking about crowds in two contexts – first, those that crowded around Jesus needing something to eat (think: Idomeni refugee camp above) – and second, Palm Sunday and all the crowds that came out to meet Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. Mark’s gospel tells us that Jesus had compassion for the crowd: com-passion means suffering-with. Come along on Sunday morning to find out more. Everybody’s welcome here! 10am.

Or if you can’t make it at 10am. Why not come along to ConSpire – our new Sunday evening gathering at Fred’s Ale House? We’ll start at 7.30pm with some simple prayers and readings and then we’ll open up a discussion about compassion, crowds and Palm Sunday. Do come along and try it! (Fred’s Ale House is on Stockport Road just opposite the Albert Road traffic lights).

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Following the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus once again finds himself in conflict with the religious authorities. Once again, the challenge concerns following the religious rules. But before long he meets a woman who dares to question his own understanding of who is “in” and who is “out”. Come along to find out more. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here – especially rule-breakers.

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Fair-trade Breakfast

On Sunday it’s all about breakfast! – a fair trade breakfast. We’re going to be joining literally thousands of other people up and down the country who will be sitting down to a fairly-traded to remind themselves that by buying fair trade produce we can support farmers in poor countries through them earning a proper wage and having good local schools, clinics etc. So, please come along and bring with you (if you feel you can) some fairly-traded breakfast things to share – perhaps some bananas, some Traidcraft cereals, peanut butter – we’ll provide fair-trade tea and coffee. If you’re not sure what to buy then here’s four things:

· Roz and others are holding a fair-trade sale at Inspire from 9-5 on Friday and there will be lots you can get there;

· You could ask in your local supermarket what fair-trade things they have (that will give them a nudge if they haven’t got much!!);

· Bring a kit-kat (they are fair trade now) and some non-fairtrade bread or other non-fairtrade breakfast stuff;

· JUST COME WHATEVER – if you forget, or can’t afford it, or struggle to get organised or whatever, it is far more important that you bring yourself than anything else … this is not meant to be a hurdle to coming to church!

We’re going to start a little earlier at 9.45am and have breakfast together for 45mins or so before then having a short time of worship and Bible reflection together at 10.30am. Do come along – it’s going to be fun, there will be food and we will be standing in solidarity with the many people who produce our food but don’t always get paid properly to do so. Precisely the people that Jesus keeps standing up for in Mark’s gospel!!

Also on Sunday evening, we’re resurrecting our Conspire gatherings. They will be a bit different from before. Every other Sunday we’ll gather from 7.30-9.00pm at Fred’s Ale House (just by the Albert Rd traffic lights). We’ll have a simple service focused mainly on discussing a Bible passage. Our first gathering will be THIS Sunday 6th March. Again, everybody’s welcome (but sadly it’s not for kids).

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Who touched me? /// Conspire

Anybody catching the train into town at rush hour will know by the time it gets to Levenshulme it’s normally rammed with people and you have to squeeze up against complete strangers to get through the doors. I imagine it was in just such a situation when a woman touched Jesus and something special happened. “Who touched me?” he asked. Come and find out more about this remarkable story on Sunday. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome to reach out and touch.

Advanced warning: we’re at the beginning of fair-trade fortnight and so next Sunday 6th March we’re going to share in a special fairtrade breakfast. Everybody who feels they can is encouraged to bring something fairly-traded to share and eat together. More next week.

We’re also resurrecting our Sunday evening Conspire gatherings. They will be a bit different from before. Every other Sunday we’ll gather from 7.30-9.00pm at Fred’s Ale House (just by the Albert Rd traffic lights). We’ll have a simple service focused mainly on discussing a Bible passage. Our first gathering will be on Sunday 6th March. Again, everybody’s welcome (but sadly it’s not for kids).

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Crossing to the other side

I’ve lost track on how many storms we’ve had this winter – are we on Hurricane Zebedee yet? This Sunday our journeying through Mark’s gospel takes a fresh turn, marked by the crossing in the Sea of Galilee and the time when Jesus calmed the storm. The story recalls that of our old friend Jonah who was himself caught up in a storm as he turned his back on the oppression of the imperial city-state Nineveh. Far from waking up Jesus, Jesus was waking up the disciples to their true missionary calling. Come and find out more on Sunday. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here. (And there’s normally cake).

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