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!
Have you noticed the the political temperature rising? There’s a General Election on the horizon? How does that make you feel? Anxious? Irritated? Bored? And what’s at stake? The NHS? The economy? The cost of living? In Jesus day it was the sabbath, and harvests, and the poor, and healing. And who were the politicians? None other than the scribes and pharisees. This Sunday we’re going to have a look at Jesus from their point of view and ask the question: what does it mean to show up? 10am. Everybody’s welcome!
Jesus had a habit of inviting himself for tea. He knew how much people like to eat together (and Nandos weren’t so common in Palestine). Imagine how you’d feel. Honoured and privileged? Or worried about that pile of washing up and the unmade beds? That would be the least of your worries if you were the local tax collector. What? Tea? At my house? So this week we’ll put ourselves in the shoes of Levi who received such a visit. And in order to recreate the scene we’ve decided to have brunch together too. So if you want to fall out of bed and into church on Sunday morning at 10am then you will be welcome. Unshaven if you like. Pyjamas if you must. Everyone is welcome at Inspire Church!
As we step into the shoes of some of the characters that meet Jesus in Luke’s gospel, this Sunday we are going to follow the crowd. Even early on in Jesus’ ministry he gathered quite a following – but what were they after? What did they see in him? And how did their curiosity turn so quickly to thoughts of anger and even murder? When we look at the crowds in Place de la Republique this evening, or when we go to the cinema or to the football, what kinds of crowd do we find ourselves in? And what do we like or dislike about them? Come along on Sunday to find out more. 10am. Join the crowds!
Happy New Year! This week Inspire Church will start a new teaching and learning series where each Sunday we will ‘step into the shoes’ of one of the characters that we find in Luke’s gospel and explore how Jesus looked from their point of view and what adventures he invited them on. Our series will run through until Easter and take us all the way through Luke’s gospel so you can ‘read along at home’ if you’d like to over the next few weeks. This Sunday we are going to start with John the Baptist. 10am Everybody’s welcome.
As we head towards the third Sunday in advent, this week we will take a look at the nativity from the perspective of the shepherds. There will be advent candles, nativity rehearsals and festive fellowship … and no doubt the odd tea-towel will make an appearance. Do come along. 10am. Sunday. Everybody welcome. With or without improvised headgear.
Also, don’t forget about our Community Carol Service at 4pm on 21 December. This will include the performance of the eagerly anticipated nativity play, Christingle-making and will followed by festive finger food (there will be no morning service).
On Christmas Day there will be a special short service from 10-11am too which is always lots of fun so do come along in Christmas jumpers etc.
As we explore some of the different characters through advent this Sunday we’ll be focusing on one of the most celebrated of them all: Mary – Jesus’ mum. Many of us will immediately think of a pretty young woman, all dressed in blue, possibly on a donkey – perhaps a bit of a melancholy figure? Mmm. We’ll be thinking about how much of that stereotype holds true … and exploring how Mary’s life might also speak to ours today. The kids will also be rehearsing for their nativity play for the 21st – so don’t miss it. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome.