St. James Hope, 3 Vicarage Close, Salford, M6 8EJ
07771 558 058

Midweek Musings

Neil’s Reflections

This week someone sent me an email who had heard me speaking at Elim’s online conference. It’s always nice to get an email from someone who agrees with what you’ve said and this woman had been kind enough to get in touch.

She explained that her pastor was encouraging her to use her social media accounts to tell people about the church’s online services. And she was reluctant, essentially because she felt that the distance between her friends and the church services was too wide.

I know what she means.

But she was no secret Christian. She has spent a lot of time in her career debunking false perceptions of churches and is widely known as a follower of Jesus. People come to her and ask questions, normally along the lines of ‘how can you stay so calm in the midst of all this madness’. And she tells them how she does it.

It gives her lots of opportunities to share who she is and why Jesus is so compelling for her. 

It sounds like a woman who knows what obedient wisdom looks like.

The email reminded me of Philip setting off on a strange trip to a desert road (Acts 8:26-40). He’s left the revival in Samaria and told to go to a road in the middle of nowhere. No more than that. He gets there and, in the distance, he sees a chariot. ‘Go and catch it up’ is the next part of the direction. And as he gets there, he listens to a man reading from Isaiah. He asks a single question that leads to a new beginning: ‘Do you understand?’

God was already at work and it took someone willing to ask, ‘what are you thinking?’ I wonder if things are still like that. Rather than feeling we have to tell people everything, sometimes it’s enough to ask what is happening. Sometimes, like the woman in the email this morning, it’s enough to answer the question, ‘how do you cope?’

Philip was one of the church members who was ‘full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom’ (Acts 6:3). I think this story shows us what wisdom looks like. It’s about being open to the nudges of the Spirit, even when they don’t make total sense, and then the wisdom of knowing what to say.

Let’s make this our life prayer: fill me with your Spirit and give me the gift of wisdom.

If you want to watch the film that prompted the email, it’s here:


This week’s interview is with Sunita. She is a student nurse who is passionate about Jesus. Watch her talk about her faith, about coming to the country when she was a teenager and what brings her joy.


1. Our Gatherings

Sunday gathering

The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:

Meeting ID: 836 810 848

Midweek Gatherings

This week we have 2 prayer meetings during the week:

On Wednesday between 1-2pm we offer prayer ministry.

You may feel anxious and just need someone to pray for God’s peace over you. You may be ill or be concerned about someone who is sick; we can pray with you for God’s healing. You may feel low or confused; we can pray with you to know God’s joy and guidance in these strange days. Whatever your reason, we would love to pray with you and for you.

Meeting link:

On Friday 10.30-12.00 there is a prayer meeting that doesn’t need Zoom! We use Whatsapp and it works great. If you want more information contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.

2. Home Groups: Thursday at 7.45-9.00

The link for home groups is here:

Meeting ID: 998 857 193

3. Stay Connected: ‘Virtual Vine Wednesdays’

‘Virtual Coffee Morning’ – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am

Since closing we’ve missed chatting to people and we know some of you have missed popping in for a brew and a catch up too. So, whilst it’s not as good as the real thing, we thought we would try meeting up online instead. So, grab yourself a brew and join us. There may even be games and live music!

Meeting link:

If in doubt

All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website:

4. You’re not alone

If you need prayer, or need to talk, don’t hesitate to contact folks in your WhatsApp group, or Neil – his number is 07771 558058. Stay up to date via the church’s website where you will find all sorts of resources to help you stay alert to God in the midst of real life.

Links and Resources

1. Children’s Resources

Morag and Ian have out together a couple of films for children at different ages. Having said that, whatever your age you might want to take a look!

But if you have children that fall into these groups, I know that they will really value your feedback.

You can watch them here:

2. Any of you interested in any of these?

Pauline Pollitt, one of our older members of the church, has had to downsize from her flat to The Fountains Care Centre, Swinton. She had some books that she would like to pass on to anyone who would like them:

Several books by Joyce Meyer; ‘The Father’s Blessing’ by John Arnott and  ‘My Dear Child’ by Colin Urquhart.

And 7 Bibles in different translations: NIV, NLT, NKJV, The Message, CEV. Two of them are Daily Study Bibles for Women.

If you want any of these, contact Neil.

3. Activate Conference

Some of you may remember that Ian and Morag led worship at the Activate conference last year. You might also remember Ian raving about it. This year it’s online so you can be part of it from your front room. It’s on Saturday 25 July 9.30-12.00 or Wed 29 July 7-9.30pm. Tickets can be bought here.

4. Just a thought

At the moment Sky Atlantic are showing ‘Perry Mason’. Some of you will remember the original. Apparently, this is nothing like it. It’s a bit raw so this is not necessarily a recommendation, but it does involve a (convoluted) plot that involves a church leader that is heavily based on someone called Aimee Semple MacPherson who was the pastor at Angelus Temple, Los Angeles in the 1920s-1930s. She was quite a character! Watching it, I remembered that a number of years ago I wrote about her. You might be interested to read about her. Here’s a wikipedia entry about her and this is my piece.

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