Open Church

As we begin the second phase of our Sabbath year, it is important to remember why we are taking the time to rest from our normal routines and explore different ways of discipleship, worship and fellowship. This is what makes us an open church: open in the sense of being welcoming to all, but also open in the sense of being ready for the Spirit to lead us in ways we might not expect.

This new phase will see us exploring new patterns to our Sunday morning services. Our monthly pattern will be as follows:

First Sunday – Food
Second Sunday – Worship & Preaching
Third Sunday – Break-out groups
Fourth Sunday – Topic-based discussion

But most weeks we will have a weekly pattern too: starting with some set prayers, a song and a reading; then doing our different activities; and finishing with more set prayers and singing. So more ‘free’ in the middle, but more structured at the beginning and end. We’ll review it as we go but let’s be open what God has to show us through the rest of spring and summer.

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

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Ho-san-nah!

It is Easter, not Christmas, that marks the climax of the Christian year. The events of what some call ‘holy week’ remind us that the political violence we see on the streets of Middle East today have been played out for over 2000 years. But at a deeper level, expectation, trust, betrayal, forgiveness, love and fear – played out in Jesus’ death and resurrection – are the very stuff of all our lives.

Our Easter services will take us on a journey from Jesus’ Mr Bean-style entry into Jerusalem, through the despair of Good Friday to the hope of Easter Sunday.

Palm Sunday – 10.30am 9/4 – as the crowds waved palm branches and cheered the wandering radical into the capital city, all was not quite right. A bit like a scene from Mr Bean, he pitched up on a donkey. It was all a bit awkward but nobody said anything as they didn’t want to seem rude.

Good Friday – 10-11am 14/4 – a service of music and quiet reflection followed by hot cross buns and the Churches Together walk of witness for those who’d like to join it.

Easter Sunday 10.30am 16/4 – a service of celebration and hope and chocolate.

Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Elevate: rising above our differences, lifting our voices

SPONSOR ME?!
On the 23rd April I’m going to run the London marathon to raise funds for a special new Inspire project called ELEVATE – you can read more about the project on my fund-raising page by clicking here.

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Passover

 

There’s a lot to be said for a simple meal with friends. We love having people over and sitting around our kitchen table putting the world to rights – so many of the best ideas start from these relaxed discussions. This is one of the reasons we are suggesting we all make time to do this with one another as part of our special sabbath practice on Wednesday evenings. Our example comes from Jesus himself. This Sunday we start to look forward to Easter and we start where Jesus and his disciples started: with Passover.

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

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Easter 2017 // Don not be afraid

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Jubilee justice!

It makes me feel rather old but I still remember vividly the sunny day in 1998 when 70,000 of us gathered in Birmingham city centre to form a human chain around the G8 Summit meeting there. We were campaigning to end third world debt and in the years that followed a huge amount was done to relieve the debt burden in countries right around the world, freeing up funds for schools and hospitals. Clearly we didn’t solve the problem of world poverty but it did show that when we pull together campaigning can change things. (This is why we are planning to take a coachload of people from Levenshulme to the big Greater Manchester Citizens Assembly on 1st May to put pressure on our prospective mayors to do something about poverty in Manchester – details to follow).

On Sunday we are going to look again at the principle of Jubilee – in some ways the ultimate sabbath – and what it might mean to practise jubilee in a world no less indebted and enslaved than all those centuries ago.

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

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Neighbours from heaven

We are blessed with the BEST next-door neighbours. They are always ready to help out in an emergency, support a spot of DIY and they’re pretty good at baking too – loving our neighbours is a piece of cake!! But looking further up and down the street and considering my own neighbourliness makes the challenge to love our neighbours that much more tricky. As we continue with our series on sabbath, this Sunday we will explore the last 4 commandments which are less "thou shalt not" and more encouagements to be committed neighbours.

We will also spend time during the service talking about our church approach to pastoral care. How do we look out for one another? How do we support one another in times of need? As we grow, do we need to become more organised to be better at this? You may want to have a think about this in advance.

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

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Opting out

So who’s given something up for lent? Are you craving it already? (I am). Makes you realise eh? This Sunday we’ll be thinking about cravings and coveting and our general acquisitiveness and talking about how we cope. We’ll also be sharing communion – an antidote to self-satisfaction?

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

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Against multi-tasking

In many walks of life, the ability to juggle multiple activities at once is often highly-prized. Some lunchtimes I can sit at my desk, eat a sandwich, take a call and browse my e-mails all at the same time. This normally leaves me with indigestion, amnesia and unanswered e-mails.

And so on Sunday – as part of our celebration of all things sabbath – we remember the virtues of mono-tasking and we rebel against a world that demands more, more, more.

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

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Finding freedom

As we come towards the end of a busy working week – and with half-term on the horizon for some – many of us are no doubt all too conscious of the trials and tribulations of hard work. But sabbath says: STOP! Remember that God liberates us from slavery – just as he liberated the Israelites from their Egyptian slave masters all those years ago. Come and discover more … and relax with friends too.

10.30am. Sunday – Inspire Centre – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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