On Sunday morning we are stepping into the rather small shoes of Zacchaeus – you remember, the short guy that climbed the tree! Bethan and Liz will be leading our service as we explore once yet another story where Jesus invites himself over for tea! 10am Everybody’s Welcome! Invite yourself! It’s also Palm Sunday which means that Easter’s on the on the horizon too! Our Easter services this year will be as follows:
- Good Friday – 3 April – 10-11am followed by hot cross buns and the Levenshulme Churches Together walk of witness.
- Easter Sunday – 5 April – 10-11.30am – community celebration service with special worship band!
As part of our commitment to being an inclusive and welcoming congregation, recently Inspire Church has listed its details on a number of websites that enable gay Christians to find ‘gay-friendly’ churches like ours. You can find more details of gay-friendly congregations here: www.gaychurch.org.uk.
Inspire Church is a warm, welcoming and lively bunch, made up of people from all walks of life: young, old, single, married, black, white, gay, straight. Everyone is welcome whether they’re long-standing church-goers or people who’ve never been to church before in their lives.
I didn’t plan it this way but it seems quite timely that in Budget week our Sunday service will consider the time when a rich young ruler met Jesus. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” he asked. He’d clearly kept all the (fiscal) rules. So what was it that he needed to do? You’ll have to come along on Sunday to find out! 10am. Sunday. Everyone welcome – especially those with questions about eternal life and stuff.
This week I met a friend who works in Sierra Leonne. His charity is setting up and running schools out there … or at least it was … until last June all schools were closed to halt the spread of ebola. They’ve not yet reopened. When I read the story of the 10 lepers it made me think about how they might have been treated in Jesus’ time – and what it might have meant to them to be healed … and yet only one returned to Jesus to say thank-you! And that one was a foreigner – doubly stigmatised, doubly grateful perhaps? Have you ever felt stigmatised? Have you ever felt doubly grateful? Come and step into the shoes of another unnamed gospel hero. Sunday. 10am. Inspire Church. Rejects welcome.
There used to be a lady in Levenshulme who would often come for a cup of tea at Inspire Cafe who had a serious back problem which meant that she was bent over as she walked. It didn’t stop her getting around and she was always ready for a chat but her disability gave her much discomfort and meant she was often treated badly by people. I haven’t seen her for a while now. Jesus once met a woman like this. If you want to find out what happened when he did then you’d better come along on Sunday! 10am. Everybody’s welcome.
This Sunday we are encouraging everyone to come to church for a fairtrade breakfast. Our friends from ChristChurch Boys Brigade will be cooking us fairtrade banana pancakes and there will be other goodies on offer too. All of this to mark Fairtrade Fortnight and remind us that the church – so often seen as a marginal voice in our society – has been at the heart of a fairtrade revolution in our country … to the benefit of millions of farmers around the world. But there are challenges too … Sunday. 10am. Everybody’s welcome!
Valentines Day is drawing near. Many might see it as a reminder to do something special for the love of their life. To stop taking them for granted and celebrate the joys of unconditional love. But should we really need a special day to prompt us to remember how to love? This Sunday we put ourselves in the shoes of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus and kissed his feet. Her love is contrasted with poor Simon the Pharisee who seemed to lack a little spontaneity. No Valentine’s cards, no annual reminders – she loved without thinking. Come along on Sunday for a post-Valentines debrief!! Sunday. 10am. Everybody’s Welcome!
Have you ever had that knock on the door? The house is a tip. You’re still in your pyjamas. You really don’t fancy visitors right now. I wonder whether this is what the Roman Centurion felt when he heard Jesus was on his way to visit him. “I am not worthy!” he said. Sadly, too often this is the way people feel about coming to church or declaring their faith. As we are finding, Jesus’ radical inclusion is a common theme in Luke’s gospel and it sits at the heart of who we are at Inspire Church. When we say Everybody’s Welcome Here! – we mean it. So why not mention it to a friend this week? There’s always room for more, especially those who feel unworthy. 10am. Sunday.
Who are your best friends? What do you like doing together? What brought you together in the first place? Who’s the organiser? Who’s the joker? Who asks the difficult questions? Who stays a bit on the edge? Friends are funny things so on Sunday we’re going to talk about them as we think about the twelve disciples. Yes they were followers of Jesus. Yes they were holy and brave. Yes the saw and did amazing things. But bottom line, I like to think, is that they were all good mates … and Jesus was one of the crowd too.
Some of the most special friendships though are forged across long distances – people from different backgrounds but with something shared. We’ve got a special guest visiting on Sunday – Clare McBeath, co-principal of Northern Baptist College – who is going to get us thinking about a special project she’s been involved with called Two Sides of the Same Coin which has brought together friends from Manchester and Angola. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s Welcome Here!