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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Beans, beans they’re good for your heart …

In the second Sunday of our series on our favourite foods we will be thinking about beans. Who knew that we have a baked bean expert and lover in the congregation? And who can guess the relevant Bible reference that will aid our reflections? We will also be thinking about and praying for those who are ‘without a bean’. Sunday. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here!

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Food Glorious Food

As summer holidays draw to an end I am tempting you and your friends to church with the offer of free cake. You might think that’s a bit desperate but come on, who isn’t tempted? As if any other reason was needed, it’s also the beginning of a new series: Food Glorious Food when for the next 5 weeks we will explore foody passages in the Bible and invite everybody to talk about – and share – their favourite foods. Every Sunday in September. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here!

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Crafty Bezalel

Inspire Church continues its summer unplugged series looking at Old Testament Victors and Villains over the following 3 Sundays will be as follows:

14 August – 10am – Andy will be leading the service exploring the life and loves of Bezalel – the chief artisan in the Jerusalem temple.

21 August – 10am – Liz will be leading the service and she’ll be focusing on ??? – a nameless servant girl from Israel who advises Namaan’s wife.

28 August – THERE WILL BE NO SUNDAY SERVICE as it’s our annual ‘Do Something Different Sunday’ – Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

We’re pausing ConSpire too until the 4th September.

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Let’s hear it for Huldah

As we continue our series on Old Testament victors and villains, spare a thought for Huldah. Huldah who? you might ask. It’s true, she’s not caught the eye of Andrew Lloyd Webber. I’m not aware of her having books written about her. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her mentioned in a church. A very good reason then to change all that. Amongst other things though, she was the keeper of the temple wardrobe. So come in your finest purple! 10am. Sunday. Unplugged but ready to make new friends.

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