DEVOTIONS PAGE – SUNDAY 21 MAY 2017

SCRIPTURE. Psalm 130 and Romans 5 v 1 -11. These are the 2 passages that are associated with the Aldersgate Day transformation experience of John Wesley on Wednesday 24 May 1738.

REFLECTION. It is good to look back as a way of appreciating the present and the future. At the time John Wesley’s inspiring leadership and taking the gospel out on horseback was a new way of being church – what today we call Fresh expressions. So for this annual celebration which we share on the Sunday nearest 24th May each year think about how today we live out our commitment in response to God’s love and grace. How do we give back to God our time and energy to further his work. Consider your own response to GOD:

  1. What are you grateful for
  2. When and where have you encountered God
  3. Why do you come to church
  4. Why do you believe in God
  5. How does God show you his unconditional love
  6. Where do you see God at work
  7. How and where does God speak to you most clearly?

Finally what is the work of God at this time in this church and community?

HYMN NO. 345 v4
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off my heart was free
I rose went forth and followed thee.

PRAYER
O lord God our heavenly Father
As we remember the work of John and Charles Wesley and our heritage
Grant to us the will and faith to serve this present generation as you call us individually and collectively. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THE MINISTRY IN LYMM

  1. Stephen and family
    Will be leaving the Circuit in August 2017.
  2. Who will replace him?
    It seems unlikely that there will be a direct replacement for him.
  3. Why is this?
    Across the whole connexion there is a shortage of over 50 Ministers. There are 4 vacancies in the Liverpool District including 2 in the Sankey Valley Circuit. This situation of ministerial shortage is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future because of the decline in the numbers candidating for the ministry.
  4. Lymm will still have a Minister with Pastoral Charge but unlikely to be living in Lymm Ministers are stationed to a Circuit and then allocated churches by the Circuit where they exercise pastoral oversight. Obviously if as at present (2016/17) and next year (2017/18) the Circuit has fewer ministers than planned then the pastoral oversight has to be worked out in the light of the ministerial resources that it does have.
  5. What is happening now?
    The Circuit is currently working on plans for 2017/18 and beyond and the impact that a reduced number of ministers has particularly in the provision of worship and the celebration of Holy Communion. It has invited all the Church Councils to offer suggestions as to the way forward. The Lymm Church Council has met and responded positively as to how the Lay Leadership can support the minister.
  6. What happens next?
    At some point in the near future the Circuit will make decisions. These will be announced as soon as they are available.
  7. What can you do?
    Pray for the Circuit and the Methodist church that we may discern God’s way for the future. We will have to strengthen our Lay Leadership. We ask you to prayerfully consider whether God is calling you to a position of Leadership within the church? Or a call to Worship Lead or preach?
    If you decide that you can offer your services or have any comments and queries then speak to Stephen Froggatt or Jim Tomlinson the Senior Steward.

Discipleship study – NOOMA COURSE

A series of Discipleship studies held on the second Sunday evening of each month. Next meeting  Sunday 11th June 2017 at 7:30 pm at St. Martin’s.

NOOMA is a series of short films that explore our world from a perspective of Jesus and narrated by Rob Bell.  They typically examine a common situation and explain the Christian perspective.  Rob Bell is a Christian author, motivational speaker and former Pastor of the Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, USA. The videos are followed by a short discussion amongst participants on how the situation portrayed in the video relates to personal lives and experiences.

Methodist Conference News

This year’s Methodist Conference took place in the first week of July at Westminster Methodist Central Hall. Revd Dr Roger Walton is the new President and Mrs Rachel Lampard MBE is the new Vice-President. Each gave powerful opening speeches on the broad theme of “Holiness and Justice”, with Micah 6:8 being a key presidential verse this year:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.     And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy     and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6 verse 8

Mic. 6:8  He has told you, O mortal, what is good;  and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,  and to walk humbly with your God?  (NRSV)

Read Roger Walton’s speech “Holiness” and Rachel Lampard’s speech “Justice“.

After his first year in office, the Secretary of the Conference, the Revd Gareth J Powell, gave a reflection to the 2016 Methodist Conference entitled “A Cross And A Crown“.

I recommend to all church members and friends that they read these three speeches, and take time to reflect on Micah 6:8 for themselves.