Victors & villains

So the summer is upon us – not that the weather is trying very hard. And so Inspire Church moves into summer mode and a new series on some of our Old Testament heroes – the victors and the villains. Each Sunday now we’re keeping it simple and unplugged, adults and kids together, singing, prayer, discussion, tea & coffee, fellowship. And we’re kicking off this Sunday with a lesser-known Old Testament heroine – Hagar. Never heard of her? Great! Come along on Sunday to find out more – and perhaps why she’s not until recently been the focus of much attention. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome!

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Watch out!

Anybody who thinks that we are living through turbulent times might want to consider what it might have been like to live in AD66 when the people of Judea successfully overthrew the occupying Roman forces. Four years of turmoil followed. Saint Mark, caught up in the turmoil of that time, reminds his listeners of some words that Jesus shares with his disciples. “Watch out!” says Jesus – it is too easy to get drawn into taking sides. So we’ll be thinking about how we deal with the turmoil of our times. And we’ll also be making, baking and breaking bread. Everybody’s welcome! 10am Sunday.

On Sunday evening it will be Conspire. Slightly earlier time of 7-8pm at 3 Deanbank Avenue – off Grange Avenue – M19 2EZ. An hour of quiet prayer, discussion and friendship.

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Two copper coins

On Sunday we remember the story of the widow who gave two copper coins. In a week in which the news has seemed dominated by self-interest, her act of altruism is chastening. But it was chastening then too. Set in amidst stories of power squabbles with the Jewish leaders, the story has an even greater resonance with these tumultuous times.

Our service will reflect on these stories but we’ll weave in some conversations about our church – part service, part church meeting – through some small discussion groups. We’re postponing our shared lunch afterwards though until later in the summer. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s welcome!

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Vigil on the Village Green

Thanks to all those who came along to our vigil on the village green last Sunday. Our message was simple and clear – we condemn violence of all kinds and in Levenshulme we celebrate hope not hate.

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Levenshulme Hope Not Hate Vigil

Over the past few weeks we have been thinking about how Jesus used symbolic acts to bear witness to the kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven. Prompted by some of your ideas, this Sunday we are going to join in our own symbolic act: a community vigil on Levenshulme village green to stand up for hope and for love in the face of the hatred we see all around us. We are joining forces with Levenshulme Community Association to gather at the village green at 11am to join with other members of the local community to remember the victims of the violence in Orlando, the brutal murder of Jo Cox MP and indeed the shooting that has taken place in Levenshulme only this evening.

We will meet in church at 10am as normal for a short service, and then at 11am we will all make our way down the road to join with others from the community for our vigil. Everybody is encouraged to wear colourful clothes and to bring flowers as signs of hope and peace. At the village green there will be one or two short speeches and there may be a simple activity for children too. We’ll then return to Inspire for teas and coffees as normal.

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Many people see Jesus as a wise sage, pouring out advice and guidance to his followers about how to live the pure and upright life. A closer look at Mark’s gospel suggests this really isn’t the case: all too often, when Jesus is asked a question, he responds with another. No more so than when confronting those who rule society. Jesus is the great interrogator. On Sunday we will explore this idea some more by looking at a series of parables and instances where Jesus uses questions to reveal deeper truths. Sunday. 10am. Bring your questions!

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Den of robbers

This Sunday we’re embarking on the next stage in Mark’s gospel – when Jesus enters Jerusalem itself. Unlike last week, when we were reminded that Jesus seemed more comfortable at a picnic rather than a synagogue, this week Jesus heads straight to the temple – to offer up a prayer? To preach a sermon? No. To stir up trouble. Come along on Sunday to find out why. 10am. Everybody’s welcome here.

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What do you want me to do for you?

Last week we wondered what question would we ask of Jesus. This week, Jesus has a question for us – what do you want me to do for you? He asks it of his disciples. He asks it of a blind man. And the responses he gets are very different. So what would you ask? Bring your questions on Sunday and we’ll discuss them together. Our guest preacher will be our old friend Stuart Mustow. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s (answers) welcome here.

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Give it up

If you met Jesus, what would you ask him? Which is his favourite gospel? Didn’t he wish he’d had some female disciples? When is he coming again? Once upon a time, a rich young man met Jesus and asked him what he had to do to receive eternal life. He received an answer that I’m not sure he was looking for? Come along on Sunday morning if you want to find out what Jesus said. And you may get your questions answered too! 10am. Sunday morning. Everybody’s welcome – bring your questions.

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This Sunday we have a very special visitor coming all the way from Peru. It’s not Paddington Bear either. No, the lovely Anna Sims will be joining us to tell us all about her work in Lima and how God is moving in that city. For those who may not have met Anna, we couldn’t wish for a more lovely and interesting visitor. Do come along to find out more … and to hear the latest instalment of Mark’s gospel – a lesson about the greatest and the least. 10am. Sunday. Everybody’s Welcome Here, including bears.

It’s also Conspire again on Sunday. 7.30pm at 3 Deanbank Avenue – off Grange Avenue – M19 2EZ. An hour of quiet prayer, discussion and friendship.

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