Some experiences become legendary. Some of us remember the legend of the fishing trip. A bunch of guys went to North Wales one Saturday morning with the intention of catching a haul of fish. It was early, we were in high spirits and hungry so we stopped off for cooked breakfasts. A decision that we would relive with deep regret.
Arriving at the quayside we joined loads of other folks all waiting for their respective boats. The banter flowed freely as we waited. Until our boat arrived. Other people had got on boats that at least looked like they had been built this century. Ours looked like Noah had captained it.
But on we got, were given our fishing tackle and off we set. What became noticeable very quickly was how quiet we became. Not much banter now. And as the boat rocked from side to side, one by one we fed the fish the breakfast we had enjoyed a couple of hours ago.
No one wanted to say it, but we all just wanted it to end.
After a while, one brave soul spoke to Captain Bligh and explained that we would like to go back to land. He explained that we had booked a whole day trip and that was what we were going to get. It took the suggestion of a re-enactment of a full-blown mutiny to persuade him to get us back.
A week later we laughed about it all.
Being tossed about at sea is no fun. You feel out of control, silenced by your sickness, regretting the decision to get on board, gradually hating a crew who are still capable of laughing.
One of the longest chapters in Acts (27) is the account of a life-threatening storm. There are 276 men on that boat and Paul and his 2 friends are among them. Paul is not in control of the situation. He is on the boat as a prisoner, cargo if you like. On his way to Rome in chains. He may not be in control, he’s the least significant person on board, but he’s not helpless.
Caught up in the storm, he offers his own wisdom to those in charge (27:11). After all, he’s been in shipwrecks before, he has form! He prays for those with him in the storm (27:22-23). He averts a disaster when everything seems lost (27:31) and he offers practical help when everyone has been under constant stress (27:34-36).
There were 273 sailors who were glad that there were three Christians on board.
Some of you know more than others what it has been like to be in a storm for the best part of a year. Your workplaces have felt the battering – in terms of ability to respond, or the economic implications of lockdowns, or the uncertainty of knowing what is happening.
But you are there. People who worship the God who gives wisdom. The God who hears you pray for those who are in the storm with you. The God who helps us offer practical help.
You may be in the storm. But you know the God who is bigger than the storms. The storm may go on much longer than you would wish. But you are there for a purpose. You are there because God loves those who are in the storm with you.
This storm may become legendary. And you may be the legend!
Martin has an interesting past. He’s one of God’s wise, quiet men who serve without fanfare but always effectively. We are glad he’s part of the church and it’s great that we can let you get to hear some of his story.
(Click on a heading to see full details)
1. Coffee Morning: Wednesday at 10.30am.
A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz.
2. Prayer Meeting: Thursday at 7.30pm
Prayer is our core business as church. Everything stems from this and is powered by this. Come and join us as we pray for the church, the city and the events that are happening all around us.
The link is here: https://zoom.us/j/99171331331?pwd=WWUrajBFd29SUGNETnVJVlpSMVA1UT09
3. Prayer Meeting: Friday
Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
4. Sunday Service at 10.30am
Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/836810848
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
And on Salford Elim Church’s YouTube page.
And at 10am, led by Hannah:
If you would love the privilege of praying for our Sunday morning service, then we need you! Log on to the Sunday morning Zoom at 10am and we’ll go into a break out room for 15-20mins, to pray together for those involved in the service, as well as for the service itself.
I’d love to see you there xxx
5. Quiz Night: Friday 5th February, 7.30-9.30pm
We’ve really enjoyed the last few Quiz Nights and so we thought we’d do another!
You can come on your own and will be teamed up on the night or you might want gather a team beforehand – there might be folks in church that you want to team up with but it’s also a chance to extend an invitation to those who don’t come to church with you regularly.
If you know that you want to be in a team with friends and family you can form a team of up to 5 screens. But you must register that team with Ian by Thursday the 4th of February.
He needs to know the names of who will be in your team (the name that will appear on each person’s Zoom screen would be very helpful!) and the team captain’s mobile number (the team captain will also need to have WhatsApp installed on their phone in order to send and receive questions and answers).
If you don’t have a team beforehand, come along and we will create teams on the night – no one will be alone. But please turn up on time!
It should be a fun night 🙂
Here is the link to use: https://zoom.us/j/99180747057?pwd=TUxwMTNsdHNYZ0c1aDFpL1ltSXc1dz09
6. Young Adults Work (Ages 15+)
15-18 Sunday groups – every other Sunday 12-1.30pm
If you’re 15-18 and would like to get involved, we have bi-monthly sessions which involve fun social activities and bible studies, all from the comfort of your own home. Get in touch if you’d like more details of the zoom link for these events.
18+ young adults group
In normal times, we run a 6 week cycle of fortnightly events of alternative worship, bible studies and social events.
We’ve adapted our work since 2020 and are currently running fortnightly events on zoom – switching between a social evening and bible study using the Nooma programme.
If you’d like to get involved, these take part on every other Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm – please get in touch for the zoom link. The next event is Wednesday 20th January.
7. Kids Work
During this time of not being able to meet together in the same building, we have adapted our children’s work to the below schedule.
3–11-year-olds (Primary School children)
Once a month, resources go out online via the church website for parents and carers to access and use when convenient. They will follow the content of the main Sunday services wherever possible and include bible stories, activities and crafts. The idea being you can dip in and out of the activities suggested whenever suits you and your family best. Please feel free to use as little or as much throughout the month as you find helpful 🙂
On the 4th Sunday of each month, after the main service at 12:30pm, there is a ‘Family Zoom’ aimed at those with children 11 and under. For safeguarding reasons, Morag sends out emails directly to parents and carers about this and the Zoom link, but if you haven’t been emailed or texted about this and you think this is something you’d like to do with your child, please do get in touch!
11-15s (High School children)
Every Sunday after the main service, there is a Zoom meeting for those in High School. This is usually at 12:30pm, but on the 4th Sunday of each month will be at 1:30pm. Each week we have a bit of a catch-up, do something fun, study the bible and pray. We’ve spent time going through Acts and are almost at the end of the Youth Alpha course.
For safeguarding reasons all Zoom links are sent out directly to parents/carers on a weekly basis. Again, please get in touch if you have a child in High School and think this is something they would like to join in with.
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in ChurchSuite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: https://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.
It’s important to remember that the Christian faith is not a ‘leap in the dark’ but is built on real places, with real people, experiencing real events. Archaeology helps with this. You might this article outlining the 10 most significant discoveries in 2020 interesting:
This is a site that has been helpful for people gaining fresh insights into the Bible: https://eyewitnessbible.org/
Some people I find really helpful to follow on Twitter (there are loads to be honest!):
- https://twitter.com/AJWTheology – great on theological insights
- https://twitter.com/marcushoneysett – helpful to bridge the gap with culture around us
- https://twitter.com/Stoxo – good on music and the arts
- https://twitter.com/ShaneClaiborne – good on radical social justice
- https://twitter.com/BethMooreLPM – American leader speaking sense
- https://twitter.com/KSPrior – Karen Prior, Professor in English and Religion
- https://twitter.com/jenniferwilkin – writer