Have you ever wondered whether others are asking:
What is s/he doing here? Who does s/he think s/he is?
It’s the feeling that maybe you don’t have the right to be in the conversation, or the experience to be in the team, or the skills to be used in a task.
Most of us have only got just-enough security, that it doesn’t take much for us to be destabilised. And the thought that people might be asking these questions can really rock us.
A few years I listened to Sarah Bessey give a presentation reflecting on her experience of being female in conservative church contexts. Overwhelmingly she felt that she had always been accused of either ‘not being enough’, or on the other hand ‘being too much’.
She said the message that women have heard for too long is that either:
You’re too much or You’re not enough
You’re too strong or You’re too weak
You’re too opinionated or You’re too bland
You’re too emotional or You’re too cold
You’re too feminine or You’re not feminine enough
You’re too smart or You’re ‘blonde’
You’re high maintenance or You’re too detached
Would you agree with her?
If so, maybe 2000 years have not changed much. When Mary chose to sit with Jesus learning from him, rather than stand in the kitchen preparing a meal for him, maybe you can hear the men’s indignant thoughts,
Why is she here? No one will listen to her anyway. Why does she not go and do something practical? That meal is not going to cook itself.
But can you hear Jesus, defending her, not just against the men but her sister as well? It’s not just men who think you are in the wrong place.
Can you hear him say:
You’re in the right place.Luke 10:38-42
In one sentence Jesus lays out a different pathway for women as well as men.
To all of us he shows a new way about:
The way I listen to others
The way I talk about/to others
The way I support others
The way I seek to understand others
The way I protect others
The way I ask for help from others
The way I offer help to others
The way I honour others
Jesus’ actions and answers challenge office politics, a culture that needs #MeToo, church roles, and, perhaps most importantly of all, the way I see my own security, whoever I am.
So take your place: with the Master.
There’s much to learn, much about the way we think to be reformed, much about what we value to be challenged, much about the way we see one another to be transformed.
Read and Be Stirred
We are taking 3 months thinking about the promise and possibility of hospitality. The suggestion is that hospitality is how we share grace to one another and then offer grace to others. But first we need to receive the grace that is offered to us by Jesus – in the context of meals.
You might be interested to read this article:
Hardly anything is more characteristic of Christian love than hospitality. Through the ministry of hospitality we share the things we value most: family, home, financial resources, food, privacy, and time. In other words, we share our lives.Tim Challies
1. Lunchtime in Exile: starts Tuesday 23rd February, 12.30-1.30pm
Weekly from Tuesday 23 February at 12.30-1.30, there will be lunchtime sessions exploring the Book of Revelation.
We know that not everyone will be able to come along at that time, but we will record all the sessions so you can catch up later so you can watch them at whatever time works well for you. The link to them is here: salfordelimchurch.org/revelation
Before we begin, it would be good for you to watch these 2 short films that give an overview of the book and an introduction to the type of literature that it is:
If you want to buy a book that would help, I would suggest Ian Paul’s Revelation: An Introduction And Commentary (Tyndale New Testament Commentary)
2. Wellbeing Course: starts Thursday 18th February, 1-2.30pm
Are you living on empty? Maybe it’s time to refill.
The Wellbeing Journey is a new series exploring holistic wellness: body, mind and spirit. It is based around 6 key areas of wellbeing: physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial and vocational, to help you discover how to run on a full tank.
There are eight sessions to explore together, lasting between 60 and 90 minutes, which includes a video and time for discussion.
If you know someone who would benefit from discussing their wellbeing in a friendly and supporting environment, do invite them.
Here’s the link: https://zoom.us/j/92865676423?pwd=TVZSR253YWc1Wm1LQ3l4eTdDY0o3dz09
Our Regular Gatherings
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.
Meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/94930624852?pwd=dlI0SnhwY3RaNnUrUGpSMTkrWm5hZz09
2. Prayer Gathering: Thursday at 7.30pm
Every other week we get a chance to join together and pray – for situations we are facing, for our church, our city and events further afield. We would love you to join us this Thursday.
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
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.