Sunday News Sheet 29th October 2023   

Today’s Service at 10.30am is led by Rev Mandy Briggs.

Services in November 

5th Rev Samual Uwimana HC 

 12th Hilary Cooke 

19th Ken Luxon – Café Church

26th  Rev Samuel Uwimana

A prayer from the President and Vice-President of Conference

God of peace and compassion,
We pray for all impacted by the escalation in conflict in Israel-Palestine
For all who are mourning
For all who are fearful, today, and for what may lie ahead
For all traumatised and re-traumatised by what they have experienced.
Enable us to stand in solidarity with people of peace
May your Spirit bring peace and healing to your troubled world. Amen

NATIVITY

Our outward presents in the Christmas season

I have printed templates, and cut black paper for our Christmas Nativity silhouettes which will go on the widows round the Church, as the characters travel to Bethlehem  (Prayer chapel! )

PLEASE if anyone has a bit of spare time, could they help to cut them all out.  All that’s needed is a pair of scissors.   They will be in Church Sunday. Margaret Powell.

At our Messy Vintage session on October 13th

Local preacher Ken Thomas introduced us to the joy of drumming along to worship songs on his collection of African drums!

He also shared different versions of the Lord’s Prayer with us. The following is from Rob Lacey’s Street Bible:

THE LORD’S PRAYER         

God in heaven, you’re our dad.

We respect everything your name stands for,

and we want others to respect you and your name as well.

Please bring heaven on earth:

People living life your way, like the angels do.

Please bring us all we need to keep us going this day.

Please forgive what we’ve done wrong,

in the same way we forgive what others have done to us.

Please protect us from evil, whether we are tempted or attacked by it.

Because you’re all that is important,

you’re able to do everything and you deserve all the credit.

You’re in a league of your own,

you’re in control.

Really and truly

Count me in.

Please send material for next week by Thursday evening, if possible, to pathares@talktalk.net       01454 778683

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 29th October (Ordinary 30), by Local
Preacher Jenny Clark, (Yate)

Psalm 90:1–6, 13-17; Deuteronomy 34:1–12; 1 Thessalonians 2 : 1 – 8; Matthew 22 : 34 – 46

I don’t know how many of you enjoy quizzes but TV is full of them and the testing of knowledge is no longer reserved for a school examination, it is a leisure activity! We are told that using our memory is a great way to keep it active so when we look at today’s lesson, like the many examples already presented   gospel, we have the kind of question that was carefully fashioned not to just test Jesu’s knowledge but to catch Him out!

Jesus is able to give very solid answers to the Pharisees and Sadducees because he is a scholar but the actions that support these words are the real challenge which Jesus takes forward with the parables and the teaching He gives. It is active and practical, not weak or placatory! Jesus then poses His question to the Pharisees about the lineage of David and while the answer they give is accurate, it is not adequate! Jesus opens up the wisdom of love in kindness and in suffering.

My mother-in-law was lovely but she often asked difficult questions like, “what do you keep in the back room as the door is always closed?” or “Shall I help you put those things away in the cupboard?” I am sure she knew that I threw things in a vacant room to appear tidy and all my cupboards were full of things I needed to discard! Unfortunately keeping things out of regular sight means that they clog up the smooth running of important things and I am now still working through countless items I should have processed.

We are confronted by a world where politics and ideologies are tearing humanity apart. Jesus came to bring the understanding that love is hard and needs to be diverse and encompassing, but we do have a solution to bring peace and harmony. As I write this reflection, Israel and Gaza are in conflict fuelled by a group who has a very different agenda. There is still a huge need to confront the most difficult issues and questions in a way that will bring lasting solutions. Jesus knew that solutions were possible and not built on power and fear but on love and forgiveness, one person at a time. War zones abound with sacrifice, care and love, so should a world at peace.

The hard questions Jesus asked the Pharisees were about the roots of their faith. David was a warrior but he knew the demands of a loving God and certainly fell short on occasions. Salvation shows that it is within the capabilities of us all. How many of us like to hide our troublesome thoughts and anxieties, our wobbles of faith, our complacency or our lack of focus and ability? No one asked any more questions after Jesus challenged the Pharisees as they knew the power of God demands absolute obedience. Jesus showed impossibilities could become possibilities with absolute faith through miracle and resurrection.  Do we still look in the right place for our strength and understanding?

Prayer:

Lord, help us not to turn away from the uncomfortable truths of life but recognise that there is direction and comfort in bringing ourselves to you in prayer, where all of our  unasked questions will be answered and challenges issued! Amen

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 22nd October (Ordinary 29) by Local Preacher, David Carter
Psalm 99; Exodus 33 : 12–23; 1 Thessalonians 1 :1- 10; Matthew 22 : 15 – 22

The four passages for reflection this week are all interesting, but I intend to concentrate on the two New Testament passages.
Matthew 22 : 15 – 22 gives an account of a trick question, designed to trap Jesus. It is followed by a sequel, which strangely does not feature in the lectionary.

The Pharisees hope to trick Jesus into saying something which will either discredit him with his fellow Jews or will bring him the notice of the ruthless Romans as a potential revolutionary. If he says paying tax to the Emperor is lawful, it will discredit him with his own people, who pay the hated foreign taxes because they have to bow to superior force and will see Jesus as betraying any hopes that he might be a liberator. If by contrast he denies the lawfulness of paying tax to the emperor, then it will not be difficult to make him a marked man in Roman eyes.


Jesus cleverly gets round the question, leaving people to puzzle out his answer and posing a question that we need to answer in the very changed conditions of today. Jews and all other subject races had no alternative but to pay the hated conquerors or face consequences far more serious that a modern tax letter from the Inland Revenue. We live in a country where we have to pay tax but through the democratic process, we can have a say on what the Government should ask us to pay and on what it is spent. This gives us a responsibility to speak up and to allow for what the Bible quite clearly teaches about the responsibility of those in power to see that the power they exercise and the revenue they extract from us are used for purposes of which God can approve as well as the community. We know that God’s will is justice for those who lose out in this life. It is his preference for the poor and that should determine Christian attitudes to all aspects of taxation and expenditure by the powers that be. We are in a more favourable, but also more responsibly demanding situation, than were the Jews within the Roman Empire.


At the beginning of 1 Thessalonians : 1–10 Paul is writing to one of the first churches he founded and his tone is more benign than it was in some of his other letters. By and large, he is very encouraging and tells the Thessalonians that they are respected for their welcome to Paul’s mission and their progress in growing in faith and Christian witness since. It represents Paul doing something all Christian ministers should do, encouraging their people in everything good that they are able to do in Christ’s name.

Prayer
Father, as we seek to live the Christian life in our churches and local communities give us grace to see what you will is for us in each situation.

May your Holy Spirit lead us into all the truth that you wish us to receive in guidance. Amen.

Reflection on the Lectionary  

by Local Preacher Hennie Gray (Yate)

Psalm 23; Isaiah 25 : 1 – 9; Philippians 4 : 1 – 9; Matthew 22 : 1 – 1  

                        

*Please note the Psalm and Old Testament reading are from the Related readings in the Lectionary and not the Continuous readings.                       

The main theme of today’s lectionary readings is rejoicing; the kind born of relief and victory. Maybe you can remember the kind of joy when peace was declared after the 2nd World War?

Isaiah’s reading accentuates security and safety in the midst of unrest and chaos, worded as “shelter from the storm” and “shade from the heat.” Psalm 23 echoes this sense of all being well in God’s company, even if we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and in both these readings the banquet is prepared by God for his loved ones as a feast of celebration in plain view of those who mean harm, accentuating their powerlessness and God’s complete victory over evil.                                                

In Philippians, Paul speaks about rejoicing in the same breath as suffering. Paul knew, with relief and joy, that God does not let us down. Paul suggests that worrying  anxiously about  what lies ahead of each of us is a waste of our precious time and it is more helpful if we can contemplate the wonderful things which lift our spirits and make us rejoice. This is spelt this out in a list: whatever is noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy – think on these things. What a lot we miss out on, by failing to rejoice, whatever happens in life.

Rejoicing is a fruit of trusting our God’s promise, to be our shelter in the storm and knowing deep inside that ultimately, we have nothing to fear.                            

The parable Jesus tells us about the wedding feast once again features the rejoicing and celebration with God which happens even in the face of violence, opposition and rejection.  

 All of us can count ourselves among the guests who’ve accepted the invitation once it has been thrown open to those walking in any direction and with a good or difficult past life. It’s a celebration that’s stretched all over time and space, heaven and earth.

At that time, it was cultural that wedding garments would have been provided for guests free of charge, so notice the deliberate insult by the guest who has decided not to wear his, and just turns up in his old clothes – the filthy rags of his old life. Jesus wanted those  listening to him (and also Matthew and his readers) to be clear in their thinking that accepting the honour of a place at the banquet obliges  them to accept also the grace of renewal and transformation. If we continue to live with former outlooks, attitudes and behaviours it places us alongside those who have chosen to reject the invitation.

The good news is that we are all invited to God’s wedding banquet – in accepting we allow the rags and tatters of our old lives to be exchanged for the freely given robes of holiness and right living. Jesus died for this free exchange – the offer is still on the table.

Prayer

O God, our shepherd king: we thank you, for being  present and providing for us, or guarding and guiding us.  For bringing us good days and bringing us through dark days, we thank you. For your invitation to your heavenly banquet, we thank you.

Go into the week ahead and wherever you find yourself, celebrating or sharing a sadness or anything in between, may you rejoice in God’s grace.

See each moment as an invitation to meet with God, each meeting as an opportunity to invite others, until we meet again. Amen.

                 

Reflection on the Lectionary Sunday 3rd September (Ordinary 22)

Psalm 105 : 1 – 6, 23 – 26; Exodus 3 :1 – 15;  Romans 12 :9-21; Matthew 16 : 21 – 28

 by Local Preacher, Adam Biddlestone.

In the space of just a few verses Peter has, according to Jesus, gone from being ‘the rock on which I will build my church,’ (16 : 18) to ‘a stumbling block to me.’ (16 : 23) Jesus described Peter as the rock because of his declaration, ‘you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ (16 : 16). The depth of understanding in Peter’s answer was at the time impressive and insightful but did he really understand what he was saying? Or was he just trying to impress Jesus or show off in front of the others?  

His reaction to Jesus’ prediction in today’s reading is very different. As Jesus goes on to talk about his suffering and death at the hands of the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law and his rising from the dead on the third day, Peter challenged him, ‘Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you.’  (16: 22) Had Peter forgotten his previous declaration or did he not understand the meaning of his words? Peter loved Jesus and it was therefore easy to give him the status of ‘Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ However, to accept that for this prediction to come true, his loving friend needs to suffer and endure a cruel and painful death by crucifixion is hard. Peter’s response is about his human concerns and relationship and not about God’s plan and purpose. As Jesus now begins to talk openly about his sufferings and death, to have one of his closest companions challenging his predictions is a stumbling block which will lead to confusion and doubt to those who are listening.

Jesus ends his response to Peter but going even further ahead in God’s plan, ‘for the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels and then will reward each person according to what they have done.’ (16 : 27) According to whether they have been a rock or a stumbling block? According to whether their words and actions have truly declared Jesus as, the Messiah, Son of the Living God?’

Hopefully, we all have some awareness of God’s plan and purpose for our lives, it is always evolving, sometimes in ways which are deeply challenging and surprising. Such was the experience of Moses the shepherd. On an ordinary day, tending his father-in-law’s sheep, suddenly from inside a burning bush, God calls his name (Exodus : 3 : 4) and reveals himself (3 : 6). The purpose of the Lord’s appearance is to express concern about the misery and suffering of his people at the hands of the Egyptians and to inform Moses that he has been elected to, ‘go to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ (3 : 10) How does Moses respond, as a rock or as a stumbling block? Moses expresses his concerns about God’s plan, his inadequacy for the task, how does he identify himself and introduce God. God reassures him, promises to be with him and gives him the right words. So, after some initial stumbling blocks, Moses goes and leads God’s people to freedom and becomes a rock on which God continues to fulfil his plans.

What about us as individuals and our church communities? How could our words, our priorities, our actions, our lives be described – are we stumbling blocks to people meeting with God and building a relationship with the ‘Messiah, the Son of the living God’ or are we rocks on which the church is enabled to continue to grow and evolve as people meet with God and build a relationship with the ‘Messiah, the Son of the living God?’ What about us as individuals and our church communities? How could our words, our priorities, our actions, our lives be described – are we stumbling blocks to people meeting with God and building a relationship with the ‘Messiah, the Son of the living God’ or are we rocks on which the church is enabled to continue to grow and evolve as people meet with God and build a relationship with the ‘Messiah, the Son of the living God?                                                                  

Prayer: Lord, you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God, help us always to be like a rock on which others can meet with you and build a relationship with you.

Reflection on the Lectionary Sunday

Sunday 27th August (Ordinary 21)

Psalm 124; Exodus 1 : 8 – 2 : 10;  Romans 12 : 1 – 8; Matthew 16 : 13 – 20 

by Local Preacher, David Bainbridge (Horfield).

Jesus asks his disciples, “who do people say the son of man is?’’ The response was, ‘’some people think you are John the Baptist, some think you are Elijah, others think you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’’ If people believed him to be a prophet, then at least they had understood something important about him. He would certainly challenge them as a prophet but also lead them in new and unexpected ways. But then came the all-important question, “who do you say that I am?’’ It’s not surprising that Peter was the one to answer, and although he often got it wrong this time, he was right. “You are the Christ son of the living God.” It was the right answer, but it had the wrong idea behind it as his later behaviour would show. He still expected Jesus to behave in a certain way, more in keeping with the expectations most Jews had for their Messiah. More the conquering hero than the man who would suffer and die for his people. Yet Peter’s affirmation demanded commitment and brought responsibility. He was given the keys of the Kingdom. These keys were a powerful symbol of authority and responsibility. The keys to bind and loose were part of Jewish culture and a key was presented to those who had completed their courses of study in law.

I recall in my youth listening to some preachers who were strong on judgment but short on grace, which left me wondering whether Peter would ever let me through those gates. Coming from a farming background we would only do what was deemed to be essential work on a Sunday – feeding animals. Harvesting hay was not permissible despite the vagaries of weather on the northern Pennines.  It didn’t matter if you risked a ruined crop because you failed to take advantage of a fine Sunday during a wet summer.  I’ve seen this happen with the crop, exposed to the weather ruined and animals having to be fed with hay that was dusty and most unpalatable with no protein value at all. The poor cattle had to suffer, and, in my view, it was an example of too much binding.

Jesus, of course, didn’t hesitate to challenge behaviour that violated God’s law, but it was done in a spirit of love. He didn’t wait for people to repent before showing that he really cared for them. He didn’t wait for them to change their behaviour before having dinner with them or touching them and healing them. and by his example, he was showing his disciples how to use the keys that were entrusted to them, that their real purpose was not to punish or exact revenge but to open the door to the kingdom of God. We are called to speak out on issues that we feel are against God’s will and challenge behaviour that is harmful but if we hold to the example of Jesus then we do it in love. Our prime motivation being to liberate, to use the keys we have been given to open the door to the Kingdom of God and the last word should always be that of Jesus on the cross, one of forgiveness.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we seek your wisdom guidance courage and strength to speak out in love against all that is against your will and to affirm and encourage all that accords with the values of your Kingdom.

Reflection on the Lectionary Sunday 23rd April 2023

The set gospel reading for this Sunday is Luke 24:13-20, 25-31, The road to Emmaus. A Mediation is by Rev. Nick Fawcett, author of the book No Ordinary Man, written from an imagined experience of Cleopas

So that’s who it was!

I see it now, staring me in the face. But how could we have not realised it before?

That’s what I don’t understand.

You see, we’d been to Jerusalem, watched with our own eyes what they did to him, even stood at the foot of the cross, yet we didn’t recognise him when he walked beside us. Why? Was it sorrow that blinded us, our hearts too full of grief to glimpse the truth?

It’s possible, for we were devastated, there’s no denying that; we’d thought he was the one we longed for, coming to redeem our people, and it had been a terrible blow after arriving full of hope, anticipating his kingdom, to see him nailed to that cross, bruised and broken, the life seeping from his bleeding body.

We’d been so certain, so sure he was the Messiah, but we’d seen his death and were making our way back home, our dreams in tatters, our lives in ruins.

That could have clouded our eyes unquestionably, for we had little time for anything or anyone.

He was the last person we expected to meet, I can tell you that.

Oh, I know he’d talked of rising again, returning from the grave – we were talking of it even as we walked, but we’d taken it with a pinch of salt, and in our hearts, we’d given him up, reluctantly making our way back to reality. We never imagined for a moment we might see him; the thought simply never entered our heads.

So yes, perhaps that explains it, why for all that time the penny failed to drop.

Yes, it was more than that, for it wasn’t finally the face we recognised at all. It went far deeper, the way he spoke, the way he acted, the way our hearts burned within us as we walked. And above all the meal that we shared.

He took the bread, and broke it, and suddenly we realised with a certainty nothing could shake, that this was Jesus, risen, alive, victorious.

Yet even as we saw it, he disappeared, vanishing before our eyes, and we’ve never seen him since.

It’s funny that, isn’t it, how we saw him most clearly when we couldn’t see him at all,

 How our eyes were opened when we weren’t even looking —

 And how we know he’s with us now,  even though he’s departed from us!

Nick Fawcett: No Ordinary Man

A hymn from Singing the Faith, (S.T.F.308) also describes the story.

Prayer: We pray that we may recognise Jesus as the stranger walking alongside us

giving us support and guidance; that we too when needed can be that stranger who walks alongside giving support to others.  Amen

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 12th March 2023

Psalm 95; Exodus 17 : 1 – 7; Romans 5 : 1 – 11, 13 – 17; John 4 : 5 – 42

By Local Preacher, Brenda Isherwood (Yate).

John’s gospel says that Jesus, setting out from Jerusalem for his native Galilee, “had” to pass through Samaria however, although most Jews would have taken a detour around the land of Samaria because there were other routes, Jesus deliberately chose to travel through Samaria. The hostility towards the Samaritans was of long standing, there had been centuries of loathing towards them. Although the Samaritans worshipped the same God as the Jews, and believed that a Messiah would come, the Jews considered them not as true Jews, but as a mongrel breed, as foreigners, idolators and hypocrites.

There was a Jewish saying at the time ‘May I never set eyes on a Samaritan!’, but Jesus intentionally went there. So, it was not by chance that Jesus was where the woman would be, even though she came at a time when she thought no one else would be there, to a well most people did not use, away from others in the city because of how she was regarded by her fellow citizens because of the immoral life she was leading. She is a rejected and lonely figure, a person in need … and then she meets Jesus, who is there for her. He speaks to her, not just a few words but a very telling conversation and it was not the custom for a Hebrew man to talk with any female in public, — and this was not just any woman but a Samaritan, and one whose life style, at that time was very much frowned upon, and Jesus knows this, knows all about her, knows the life she is living and despite this, accepts her and loves her still. He tells her about the living water of faith, and then significantly reveals to her, this Samaritan woman, who he really is. She believes him and she cannot wait to tell others, she who shunned the company of her people, now goes running to tell them of Christ and they respond!

It has always been part of our church tradition that no one is beyond the reach of Christ’s love, he reaches out to all of us, no matter who we are or what we have done, and we often find him there, waiting for us at the moment of our greatest need. Jesus was there for the woman at the well, he is there for us, and once we have met him, believe in him, trust him, his love is within us, his holy spirit, like a living water of love, it is there for each one of us, and it is something we are able to share with others, as there is no shortage no rationing of it, no expectation of a reward, it is freely given overflowing and bountiful. Meeting Jesus changed the woman at the well, it changes all those who meet him, perhaps we by our actions can enable others to meet Christ. Amen.

Prayer

Father, we pray for all those who feel unwanted and unloved  for those who feel they are undeserving of love, for those who feel they are different and not acceptable, help them to recognise that you accept all people, that the living water of your holy Spirit is for everyone, that no one is excluded. Amen.

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 5th February 2023

Psalm 112: 1-9; Isaiah 58 : 1–9a; 1 Corinthians 2: 1-12; Matthew 5 : 13-20

The reflection for this week is provided by Local Preacher, Naomi Sharp.

The message of Jesus is so clear when illustrations are used. We expect salt and light to do its job so when it fails to be fit for purpose, there is a major issue. Jesus chose these items as they involved senses which were important to the experience of many people. For the listeners to be able to visualise their role in these terms was a way of making the response to the gospel so integral to everyday life.

A while ago during a service I shared my thoughts on this reading and the emphasis was on the light being hidden. As many Young People were at the Service, the theme was simplified and I used a solar light as a visual aid. Without being in a prominent place, it wouldn’t charge or be able to be seen in the darkness. At the end of the service, a member of the congregation came to give additional information about the light saying there was a switch that was connected to a battery as back up, so it need never go out! Apart from feeling rather foolish at not realising this wonderful technology, I felt that I missed the essential message of God’s power within.

Jesus goes on to say that He has come to fulfill all that is the foundation of the Law of God. However, the Law is a tool of those who follow and one of the main tenets of Gods law is righteousness. If those who teach and represent the Law are not able to follow it properly then it is those people who must improve their understanding and delivery. The Scribes and Pharisees had set limitations on God’s law as they interpreted and taught. Jesus knows that understanding comes from those who listen and follow the teaching of God, through a direct connection.

In its deeper spiritual meaning, righteousness is the quality of being right in the eyes of God, including character (nature), conscience (attitude), conduct (action), and command (word). Righteousness is based upon God’s standard because He is the ultimate Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22).

The Solar light illustration is helpful when we think about the power of God to fill us and empower us but there is also the uniqueness of God’s Spirit which has been given to each individual who commits themself to live according to God’s true Law. This is the switch that has been set within us to never fail when we need its power. God changes us to be and to do, so we can show the way, or flavour the experience of others with the Love of God. Who we are and what we do in the name of God is witness to the power of God at work within us. Amen.

Prayer

Lord, our Saviour, help us to call on you in our darkest moments and feel that we are loved by you for who we are and seek to be. 

Our actions should be driven by our love for you and our understanding of the freedom you give through the Law of God, so we ask for the confidence to allow the Spirit within us to shine through all we seek to do in your name. Amen

Messy Space

Messy Space is a group for pre-schoolers and their adults. 10.00-11.30am during school terms – we offer play, crafts, refreshments, and a song or story to finish.

If you would like to make a donation to help us cover our costs and keep the sessions going, then we suggest £3.00 per child, or £5.00 per family. But we know that things are difficult money-wise at the moment, so if this is too much for you, please still just come along. And the first session is always free so that you can try it out and see if it suits you.

Please be mindful of where other people are at with COVID vulnerability and respect their space, thank you.

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 19th June
Psalm 42 | 1 Kings 19 : 1 – 4, 8 – 15 | Galatians 3 : 23 – 29 | Luke 8 : 26 – 39
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher, Chris Sledge (Potters Wood).

1 KINGS 19 verses 1 – 4, 8 – 15
We all enjoy a good story and especially one that has its fair share of drama. Such is the story of the people of Israel – a story that is punctuated by the acts of famous men such as Abraham and Moses and a story that centres upon the people of Israel’s relationship with God through all the highs and lows of their journey.
One of those “famous men” is Elijah about whom our reading speaks.
Elijah was a ninth century BC prophet, a Tishbite of Tishbe in Gilead on the east bank of the River Jordan (1 Kings 17). His ministry centred upon the northern Kingdom (Israel) and scripture records six main episodes in the prophet’s life :

Elijah appears without introduction and announces a drought to King Ahab and Elijah is miraculously sustained at Cherith, being fed by ravens and then he went to Zarephath,
where he healed a widow’s son (17 v 8-17).

Elijah was involved in a “contest” between the people of Israel and those who worshipped the god Baal, it took place on Mt Carmel, where the sovereignty of God was challenged.

Elijah came under the wrath of Queen Jezebel and had to flee for his life arriving at Mt Horeb (Sinai). This was a sacred place where Moses had met God. This disheartened prophet had now returned to the source of faith for which he had fought and where he found God in the “still small voice.” (19 v 12)

The story surrounding Naboth’s vineyard (ch 21) illustrates the fact that land owned by an Israelite family was God’s gift and failure to recognise this would bring judgement.

A further clash between followers of Baal and the people of Israel (2 Kings 1)

Elijah’s translation by whirlwind brings a dramatic end to Elijah’s prophetic career and his mantle falls on Elisha (2 Kings 2 v 11-12).
Elijah stands as the “doyen” of the Old Testament prophets and was the forerunner of the great eighth century prophets e.g. Amos and Hosea. He was a man of action, always calling people back to God and worshipping Him alone. He proclaimed Moses’ standards of right living in community about which Amos and Hosea spoke so strongly.
When we read the story of Elijah we see a picture of a tremendous person, on fire for God; jealous for the Lord, living only for God. He was not afraid or ashamed to speak out on all that was against the faith in matters of worship and righteousness in community. But this was not without consequences, as he put his own life in danger; he felt isolated at times (19 v 9-10) and had to be reminded that he wasn’t alone.
We ourselves may at times have similar feelings to Elijah and like him needed to be reminded that we are not alone’ our fellow Christians are with us and above all God is with us to empower and strengthen us.
A further great lesson Elijah teaches us is that you can’t divorce religion (faith) from life and politics.
Politics is to do with people and if our faith means anything at all, it will affect them and their lives.

Let us stand firm in the faith we possess and profess, trusting in the God of our forefathers who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Read, as a prayer, hymn 634 in Singing the Faith – Fight the good fight with all your might.

Reflection on the Lectionary

Readings: John 15:1-8 | Isaiah 5:1-7
Today’s reflection was written by Mrs Vivienne Lear

Jesus says, I am the true vine, you are the branches.

The vine was the emblem of the Jewish nation. It was represented on the doors and entrance to the Temple; it appeared on their coins. God had selected the nation to be his chosen people. Through the prophets he shared his intention for his people. He was described by Isaiah as the gardener who prepared a vineyard, cared for it, and expected a good harvest but when he came to pick the fruit of the vine the grapes were sour. These grapes, the chosen people had stopped obeying God’s word and lived their own ways and not in God’s ways. They experienced exile as a result. But God still loved and cared for his people, he did not desert them, he gave them the promised Messiah.

Jesus was the true vine, the fulfilment of God’s purpose where Israel had failed. When Jesus spoke to the crowds, declaring he was the true vine they would have comprehended the reference to the vine and known he was a special prophet from God. Jesus the true vine, the root stock from whom all who believed in him would be the branches and flourish and grow.
But if good fruit was to be expected then growth could not be left to chance. Christ’s contemporaries needed to accept his teaching and grow in his love. This is so with us, we need to hear Christ’s teaching and grow in it. He prepares us as a gardener would prepare the soil and guides us through our daily living.

We don’t just hear his words once and think we will become a good harvest from the true vine. We are not separate from him, we need to abide in Jesus at all times, returning to him daily through our Bible reading and prayers and if we are able, to attend worship regularly for nourishment to our faith. Then whatever our age, our health we can belong to the true vine.

God the gardener has prepared for the fertile soil of our being. He has given us the opportunity to abide in him and absorb the nutrients of the teaching of Jesus who is the true vine. We are aware of the things that delight and please God. He loves to find such fruits in us as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control. He loves to see justice, mercy, right living and honesty. The products of vines, grapes, are different varieties, different colours, different sizes yet together create a combination of tasty sweet fruit. We are all different but as attachments to the true vine we can become good products of that vine and share our fruits with others and not keep it to ourselves.

Lord Jesus, you are the vine we are the branches;
remove every branch from us that bears no fruit
and prevents healthy growth.
You are the vine we are the branches
help us to abide in you,
in your words and in your love.
Amen

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 5th June (Pentecost)
Psalm 104 : 24 – 35 | Acts 2 : 1 – 21 | Romans 8 : 14 – 17 | John 14 : 8 – 17 (25-27)
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher, Jenny Clark (Yate)

John 14 : 8 – 17
‘In one ear and out the other,’ is a familiar phrase and describes the way words can be heard but little else! Listening is active so what the ears hear permeates into the brain and is processed. The words of Jesus to Philip point out that the words and actions of Jesus have not led to understanding and can develop expectations that are unrealistic or miss potential that is ‘staring us in the face’.

On her 90th Birthday, my Mum who had always been quite shy in public gatherings stood up in front of over 60 gathered family and friends and spoke for 10 minutes without hesitation, notes, or repetition , about her life and expressed thanks to all who had come to the event. As her speech continued, the jaws of family members dropped open in surprise. Where did this amazing confidence and eloquence come from? Someone we thought we knew so well was empowered in that moment by decades of experience but had previously no opportunity to express herself! I cannot in any way equate the incident with my mum to the power of Jesus but it is an illustration of how we can find clarity and depth of meaning from qualities we were unaware of, when they are unlocked.

Jesus was always able to unlock potential but more importantly, was able to give people the gift of the Spirit to guide and sustain them. The conversation in the lesson is between Jesus and His disciples, an intimate gathering, one of the discourses leading up to the death of Jesus.
.

As we reflect on the words to Philip and indeed all who were gathered at this special time, Jesus is clarifying not only who he was, but the gift they were to be given. On this day of Pentecost, we recall that same gift given to each one of us and should ask ourselves how effective the Spirit is in our lives.

The Platinum Anniversary of our Queen, Elizabeth II, is a remarkable occasion and her legacy for the world is inspirational. Her Christian faith is without doubt an integral part of her life and her role as Monarch is one of service to those she reigns over. Service to others is a hallmark of how she recognises the good that is done by many who have gained her recognition. The Holy Spirit seeks to guide us all to give of ourselves. Jesus talks to His Disciples, letting
them know that He is leaving them but that their work is just beginning.

Jesus gives the promise of the Holy Spirit and keeping His Commandments is the empowering responsibility. As we feel that ‘transforming wind’ breathe into us again, may we feel clear headed, brave and sure in the faith that we are called to put into action, in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen

Prayer
Lord, we know that we are often unsure and even a little unwilling to give ourselves totally to your service but we do love you and seek to keep your commandments, so give us the courage and trust to allow the Holy Spirit to take away our hesitation and continue to guide and support us in our journey of faith. Amen

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 29th May (Easter 7)
Psalm 97 | Acts 16 : 16 – 34 | Revelation 22:12-14,16,17,20,21 | John 17 : 20 – 26
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher, Alison Smith (St. Andrew’s).

Jesus is coming soon!

We hear this word, this prophesy, this promise and so we look to the skies in expectation; but our time is not God’s time, so we wait.
When He comes, He will reward each person according to what they’ve done – good or bad.
How have we lived?
Have our tongues been sharp?
Have our actions been unworthy of God?
Have we confessed our sins and been forgiven?
God is omnipresent (widespread), omnipotent (unlimited power), omniscient (all knowing). He is the beginning, the creator God who spoke
all things into being. The first and the last being of all men. The Alpha and Omega – the comprehensiveness of God who includes all that can be; and the end, when there will be the last fight for good and evil when Christ will prevail and humankind will be free.
The washing of robes is a metaphor for purification from uncleanliness or sin. Those who profess their sin are blessed and saved through their faith, to go into the eternal city, the New Jerusalem and have access to the tree of life.
When we acknowledge our wrongdoings and ask forgiveness from God, we are washing ourselves clean and He will bless us for this cleansing. He will open up His gates and let us into the eternal kingdom, promised at the end of time.
The angel was sent by Jesus to John for the churches, who should be teaching and heeding this message, this gift that has been given.
Jesus was born a descendent of King David and is rightful heir to the kingdom God promised. He is the cornerstone on which everything is built and is the root, anchoring God, His church and His people together.

Jesus says He is the Bright Morning Star – just as the morning star appears before the sun rises, so Jesus will come for the church before He returns to restore Israel to himself.
Salvation is a free gift and this is a final invitation to us and all sinners to come to Christ, and to quench our spiritual thirst with the water of life.
The Holy Spirit extends this invitation through the Bride, the church. We need to listen, share this truth and follow the invitation to come. Those who come to Christ, drink the water of life freely.
Here Jesus affirms that He is coming ‘soon.’ Again, we don’t know when that will be, when that moment will arrive – maybe today or tomorrow, but the time of Jesus’ return is known only to God. Whenever he comes it will be quickly, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor 15:52).
We often sing hymns reciting the words, ‘come, Lord Jesus’ and respond to other prayers in the same way. Each prophecy regarding Jesus’ first coming has been fulfilled and we trust that each prophecy about His second coming will similarly be fulfilled. Jesus’ promise to return must encourage each and every one of us to the point of saying – Amen. Come Lord Jesus!
John concluded the book of Revelation with this line, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen”
The grace of our Lord saved John and sustained him through his exile, providing him with the privilege of seeing sights of God and His position in heaven, and being gifted to learn and write about the Lord’s future plans.
It is by the grace of God that we are saved so we must give all the glory to Him for what He has and is accomplishing in our lives; and we should shout with joy that “Jesus is coming soon!” AMEN

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 22nd May (Easter 6 & Aldersgate Sunday)
Psalm 67 | Acts 16 : 9 – 15 | Revelation 21 : 10, 22 – 22 :5 | John 14 : 23 – 29
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher Howard Wilson (Horfield).

Acts 16:9-15

Acts 16:9-15

  1. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’
  2. When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
    The Conversion of Lydia
  3. We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,
  4. and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days.
  5. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.
  6. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.
  7. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.

I love passages like this!

Paul has a vision, ‘God wants me to go to Macedonia’, and then just ups and goes. Imagine this today – “God wants you to go to Spain” and we’d immediately think of a hundred reasons why it’s not convenient just yet, maybe in six months… we’d have to check our passport was in date (or maybe even apply for a passport)… we’d need to get online and search for a suitable flight… of course, before then, we might need a few dozen church meetings to agree whether or not this was actually a vision, whether God might prefer that we do some more work on the church roof before we think about spending on people we’ve never met… and so on.

But Paul just ups and goes. In fairness, we might say that Paul has the advantage of having reasonably recently had a direct meeting with God, so maybe he was a bit more attuned to listening to God. It’s great that not only does Paul decide he must go to Macedonia, but he also convinces his ‘team’ to go with him – including Luke who is writing this book.


So, they have what sounds like a challenging journey – it we didn’t fly we’d at least be able to use a decent ferry and then drive in a matter of a few hours. Paul and company were stuck on a sailing ship, then a long walk. Probably another reason we would not be so quick to agree to go. When they finally get there they end up chatting with a group of women – on a Sabbath as well! It’s amazing how far the ‘ultra legalistic Pharisee’ Paul has come since his encounter with Jesus. Not only is he travelling on demand, but he’s breaking Jewish rules about mixing with women on the Sabbath.

Then he ends up talking to Lydia – she would have been a very wealthy woman, dealing in purple cloth in those days would be more impressive than someone who deals in hand spun silk today. Purple dyes were incredibly expensive, so to be able to afford to deal in such cloth would require substantial resources.

This woman is then convinced by Paul and his team, chooses to follow Jesus and along with her household, is baptised there and then (no six weeks of membership classes or need to check out who she was). Seems a lot of effort to go to for one person (and their household).

But that’s the beauty of the God that we follow – willing to put all out for one person. This was the realisation that Wesley came to when he attended a church in Aldersgate Street and felt his heart ‘strangely warmed’ as he realised the God cares for him – ‘even me’. May we all, at the very least, accept that God loves and cares for us, and may just have a role for us in the mission of the Church.

Loving Lord,
help us to listen for your prompting.
Make us willing to respond to your call,
and give us the courage to act upon it. Amen.

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 15th May (Easter 5 & Christian Aid Week)

Psalm 148 | Acts 11 : 1 – 18 | Revelation 21 : 1 – 6 | John 13 : 31 – 35
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher Sarah James of Faithspace

With Christian Aid week upon us we celebrate 75 years since its start. The beauty of the work of Christian Aid is that it really shows the effectiveness of Christians in global justice issues. Who would have thought so many big ideals would be achieved in those 75 years?

From responding reactively to the needs of refugees after the war, to proactively campaigning and partnering with other agencies, they have tackled the root causes of poverty, with new strategies and approaches. Connecting our thinking about our consumption and the global food crisis has demanded more in the way of official development from our own government.

Isn’t it encouraging that we are not speaking of 19th century philosophy here, but the proof from recent history that our good intentions can come to something? So, we know that we can alter the crooked systems and change the world for the better, challenging and campaigning against the evils in the world and giving concrete aid in the meantime. Looking at our readings today will show that it’s all about making space for the holy City; the new Jerusalem to come down: Revelation 21:1-6; making way for the new heaven and new earth. It means including everyone, Acts 11:1-8 and it all boils down to loving one another, John 13:1-5.

So, Christian Aid week is upon us and we celebrate those seventy five years of the charities work. Its humanitarian relief soon stretched to long term development aid to poorer communities worldwide. By tackling injustice and supporting people’s rights they continue to help the refugee, to tackle racism and poverty at their root causes, to educate those who can, to feed and support those in need. They have managed to tackle apartheid, worked to highlight issues: tax inequalities for developing countries and more recently climate change too, campaigning by bringing organisations together to effect systemic change to alleviate people’s suffering. In short, giving us a way to help and showing us that we can. How will you support Christian Aid this week?

Have a look at today’s readings and consider the following:

Revelation 21:2-6
What difference might it make to life here and now if we believe that the ‘Holy city, the new Jerusalem’ will ‘come down’, as it says in the passage, rather than us being taken up to it?
How and what should we do to prepare for this? What difference could it make to our and others lives?

Acts 11:1-8
The Holy Spirit told Peter to accept everyone ‘and not to make a distinction between them and us. Who do we think of, or treat as Gentiles? Other faiths? Other races? Those who don’t come to church? What if you gave your blessing of the Holy Spirit to everyone you met?

John 13:31-35
This was Jesus’ last commandment and the words he left his disciples to remember.
‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another…. By this everyone will know you are my disciples. If Jesus says we are all to be included and the kingdom is to be lived and grown here: how must we love one another and Gods creation?

For your prayer this week:

1. Contemplate the holy city: what one thing could you do to make way for it?

2. Practice giving God’s peace to everyone you meet; be inventive.

3. Take some time to imagine a place where this ‘loving one another’ is the norm. What would life look like then?

4. Pray for God’s presence with you, that you might understand his love and pass it on.

‘Love one another as I have loved you.’

Meditation

May 8th 2022

Psalm 23 | Acts 9 v46-43 | Revelation 7 v9-17 | John 10 v22-30

Two frogs fell into a large bowl of cream. The sides of the bowl were too smooth for them to use as a foothold to climb out. One frog found the circumstances impossible, gave up and sank to the bottom and was no more. The other frog swam and swam with all his might. He kept on swimming, his webbed feet churning up the cream until he found that the cream had turned into butter. He was able to stand on the butter and then hop out of the bowl.

Our Bible readings today are all about perseverance, coping with the struggles of life. The word persevere comes from per, meaning through, coupled with the word severe. It means keeping on, trusting God, looking up and doing our duty even through severe circumstances. It is so easy to give up, we have to make so many decisions in our day to day lives, either as individuals or church communities.

The psalm this week must be one of the most familiar and best loved of all. In the New Testament the picture of Jesus as shepherd caring for His sheep and telling of the shepherd searching for the one that is lost is not the full picture.

If you watched Countryfile last Sunday you will have noticed that there is a lot more to shepherding than looking after white woolly lambs. Their health and safety is all important. Are the fences sturdy and kept mended, are there risks in allowing nature to take over while ewes neglect their offspring. Real shepherding needs strength of mind and body and constant vigilance. Real shepherding is not just about green pastures and cool still waters. Shepherding is of necessity about the highs and lows of life.

God’s shepherding tells us that He is there in our deepest darkest moments. As well as being on the mountain tops and cliff tops, He is with us in the valleys and mole hills. When the going gets tough, we so often attempt to push through on our own, only to find ourselves getting weighed down and going nowhere fast. What we must do is trust our shepherd, being aware of His presence, acknowledging His Blessings and guidance. Just as God perseveres with us and sees us through our darkest journeys, so we need to persevere in our faith and trust Him to see us through those difficult times.

I read the following in Argyle Morley’s Church Magazine.

A little girl told her teacher that she knew the whole of the 23rd psalm. Her teacher sceptically gave her the opportunity to recite it. This is what she said:

” The Lord is my shepherd, He is all that I want.” Then she sat down.

Out of the mouths of babes !!

With every Blessing to you, Val Lamont

A prayer:

Sometimes Lord, something comes along that happens to shake our world. Thank you that you are with us through the difficulties, that you never give up on us. Thank you for blessing us with new beginnings, with green pastures and still waters.

AMEN

Reflection on The Lectionary

Sunday 1st May (Easter 3)
Psalm 30, 14-24; Acts 9 : 1 – 6 (7 -20); Revelation 5 : 11– 14; John 21 : 1 – 19
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher and Circuit Steward, Christine Jones.
John chapter 21
There are times when just saying the word ‘sorry’ doesn’t seem to be enough; times when
we’ve messed up so badly; times when we’ve hurt someone so deeply; times when the
opportunity to apologise has passed or was never there.
That’s how Peter felt. When he realised the enormity of what he’d done, by denying three
times that he knew Jesus, he went out and wept bitterly [Luke 22:62]. But it was too late
and there was no opportunity to say ‘sorry.’ We don’t know how miserably Peter spent the
rest of that night or the next two days. We don’t know if he was among those who stood at
a distance watching [Luke 23:49] Jesus die. All we know is that, unlike Judas, he didn’t kill
himself in his despair.
We do know that on Easter morning when the women returned from the empty tomb with
the idle tale that Jesus was alive [Luke 24:11], Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself and
came back amazed. But there was no opportunity to say ‘sorry’. Nor was there that evening
when Jesus appeared and all the others were milling round [John 20:20]; nor the following
week when the focus was on Thomas [John 20:27].
Peter was still left with his festering guilt. Emotionally if not physically ‘locked for fear’ [John
20:19]. The old close relationship had gone for ever. It was too late to say ‘sorry’. Then the
fishing trip and breakfast on the beach. While the others were busy counting the fish, Jesus
took Peter aside and gave him the opportunity he desperately needed, not merely to say
‘sorry’, but to say how much he loved Jesus. His guilt was gone; his fear was gone; it was the
start of a new and lasting relationship with a new vocation, not merely fishing for people
but shepherding them.
Jesus is reaching out to you with the opportunity to say ‘sorry’ for anything that is locking
you in fear. Your guilt doesn’t need to fester. He is ready and eager to forgive you. What’s
more he has a fresh vocation for you. He says to you ‘follow me’ [John 21:19, 22].
Lord Jesus, remind me again that there is nothing I can do which will make you love me any
less; and there is nothing I can do which will make you love me anymore. I am truly sorry for
the past. I do love you. Please forgive me and help me to make a fresh start. Show me your
will for the next stage in my life and help me to follow you. Amen.

Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 24th April (Easter 2)

Psalm 118 : 14 – 29, 14-24; Acts 5 : 27 – 32; Revelation 1 : 4 – 8; John 20 : 19 – 31
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher and volunteer Lay Pastor, Kevin Marshall.

The Sunday after Easter is often called Low Sunday, a Sunday when often Lay or Local Preachers take services. It is a time to reflect and think about the events of Easter. Many Years ago, in 1998 there was a song by Semisonic that had the line “every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” Easter is the end of Lent and so we enter the new beginning of Eastertide which will take us on a journey until Pentecost. So, during Eastertide we reflect and remember the end of Holy week and the events of the
Crucifixion and death of Jesus on Good Friday. Then the glorious new beginning which came on Easter Sunday with the resurrection of Jesus. This leads us when we consider these readings to ask a series of questions about our Christian life. They challenge us to think about what we are doing in our faith. Are we ready to go forward in the new beginning of Easter answering these questions?

WHO DO YOU OBEY GOD OR MAN?
In Acts 5 we read the disciples had been preaching and witnessing in Jerusalem, had been arrested and put in prison they had been brought before the city officials and told not to speak of Jesus. But when released they had straightway gone back to preaching and witnessing about Jesus again. They were arrested again and asked why they had ignored the commands of the court to which they replied that they had no choice
they had to tell the people about Jesus for that is what He commanded them to do. They said they had no choice for they said, “we must obey God rather than Human beings” (Acts 5 : 29). So, do we feel the same about God who sent His Son to die for us and has raised Him from the dead to give us eternal Life? This leads to the second question from Psalm 118.

WE HAVE THE VICTORY IN OUR LIFE THROUGH GOD HAVE YOU CLAIMED IT?
The Psalmist tells us of the victory we have in God and that we have salvation through Him and He will be the one who blesses us and from worshipping Him we can be blessed. This will give us the victory in our Christian Life, but we have to claim it and to do it daily through prayer and it is given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then in Revelation we are reminded by John that God is eternal

WHEN IS GOD PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE?
As a faithful witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, John was given the Revelation to show God’s servants what must soon take place. In this case, the word soon refers to the events of John’s own lifetime. In particular, John was told to write on a scroll what he saw concerning the Seven Churches, which were located in the province of Asia (Modern-day Turkey), and that existed at the time of the writing of the Revelation. This reminds us God is forever no matter how long our problems seem to exist God is there with us and will be with us for God sees the past the present and the Future.

So, this Eastertide let us remember we should follow and obey God for He has given us the Victory over our problems if we claim it, and we should claim it daily. For God is eternal He sees the past, the present and the future. So let pray as we start the new beginning, we start it with God around us and within us, taking us forward into another new beginning at Pentecost.
AMEN

Eco Church

“The science is clear. Our Planet is in trouble. Climate change threatens the delicate equilibrium that sustains life and biodiversity is collapsing around the globe. We must act now if we are to leave our children a planet worth inheriting.

There is still a glimmer of hope. God chooses to use His people in His redemption story. We have a part to play.”

– quoted from https://app.ecochurch.org/about

A Rocha Bronze Award Winner Eco Church

At Badminton Road Methodist Church, we registered with this exciting scheme early in 2021, and would very much like you to journey with us as we all try to find ways of improving our stewardship of the environment in and around our home.

Easter 2022 – Minister’s Letter

“Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” ( Luke 24:1-12)

This is the Good News of Easter for all Christians across the world.

The Easter story is one that is familiar to us, we know it so well but how do we live it? We are surrounded by death, and we are called to live as resurrection, Easter day people in the midst of death, how is that possible? How do we do that?

On Easter day, early in the morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. The stone was not rolled aside so Jesus get out, but so others could get in and see that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, just as he had promised. The angel who announced the Good News of the resurrection to the women gave them four messages: (1) Don’t be afraid. Are we afraid of coronavirus and wars? The reality of the resurrection brings joy, not fear. When you are afraid, remember the empty tomb of Jesus. (2) He isn’t here. Jesus is not dead and is not to be looked for among the dead. He is alive with his people. (3) Come , see. The women could check the evidence themselves.

The tomb was empty then, and it is empty today. Resurrection is the reality. (4) Go quickly and tell. They were to spread the joy of the resurrection. We, too, are to spread the great news about Jesus’ resurrection; which is the key to the Christian faith.

Because of Jesus’ resurrection , we can be certain of our resurrection because He was resurrected. Death is not the end- there is future life. The power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life. The resurrection is the basis for the Church’s witness to the world. Jesus is more than just a human leader, He is the Son of God.

God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth. On the basis of that authority, Jesus told his disciples to make more disciples as they preached, baptised, and taught. With this same authority, Jesus still commends us to tell others the Good News and make them disciples for the Kingdom of God – so called Heaven.

Emmanuel Swedenborg once said : “ Heaven is such that all who have lived well, of whatever religion have a place there”. How well do you live with people as you tell the Good News of Christ’s resurrection? Easter is the welcome we offer refugees who leave behind their home, fleeing violence, conflict and war. What is your mission and commitment now, after you have heard the story of Jesus’ resurrection?

“ He is the way, and the truth and the life”. Will you trust Him? Will you share the message of resurrection with others – beginning from your family, your church and your community”?

With God’s love, all things are possible.

With every blessing ,
Reverend Samuel Uwimana

Toilet Twinning

Thanks to the hard work of the uniformed groups below:

78th Kingswood Scout Group
13th Kingswood Rainbows
11th Kingswood Guides
Badminton Road Methodist Church Scout and Guide Group

together with donations from the congregation, all the toilets at Badminton Road Methodist Church have been twinned to provide access to clean water and a flushing toilet in some of the poorest communities in the world.

For more about the project, visit https://toilettwinning.org