It’s been a long 12 months.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The roll out of vaccinations has meant that we can hope that relaxing the restrictions we have lived under will come to an end soon, even if we will have to accept that face masks will continue to be uncomfortable fashion accessories.
For some of you it will be a year that you will remember because of what was lost. Friends and family members may have died, without you being able to be there. You’ll never forget. For others it will be a year when you became aware of things you gained: a new sense of the significance of all the relationships you took for granted.
But we still have a call on our lives, and as we prepare to re-engage with one another, we are reminded of our call as God’s people in his world.
I thought this was well-presented in LICC’s Word for the Week today, so I’ve included an extract here.
‘With resurrection power, we’re baptised in the Holy Spirit and sent out on mission together as Jesus’ hands and feet, a portable temple refreshing the wastelands. No solo trek, this is the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world, starting right where you stand.
The church is the story of embracing culture. Through the Spirit, God began the intensive therapy of healing the body and soul of every believer, with holy behaviour and life-giving fruit flowing from a heart of love. In turn, disciples were sent together to bring healing to the world, becoming the beating centre of a transformed society. When gathered, we re-member who we’re called to be as Christ’s body. When scattered, we graciously move in God’s power to rebuild the ancient ruins (Isaiah 61:4), right where we live, learn, labour, shop, and play.
This is healing work: binding community back together. By inspiring the founding of hospitals and schools; catalysing courage to protect the vulnerable; venturing capital to create jobs; being faith-full citizens; and empowering the reconstruction of communities once segregated, forging them into a diverse family – in all these ways and more, the Holy Spirit’s acts establish a model for humanity to follow. We’re each called to reconcile, starting with radical hospitality in our homes. To go from that upper room of waiting on the Helper, heading out as ambassadors to exhibit supernatural compassion in every endeavour, that all may be made well: ‘Go and minister grace and love!’
In a re-tribalised society where kindness is uncommon, a Spirit-filled community gifted to cross borders, heal rifts, and help friendship thrive in the fissures is truly good news!’
This is why we have spent twelve months saying ‘You’re on mute, no, still can’t hear you, yes, yes, that’s it!’ This is why we have hung together as best we could. This is why we look forward to gathering again, because we know why we are sent.
It may have been a long year, but the call on our lives has not changed. It’s why we do what we do. Let’s keep on doing it.
To connect with LICC, go here: https://licc.org.uk/ourresources/prayer-journeys/working-from-rest-prayer-journey/
Watch, Enjoy and Share
1. The short films we have produced for March continue.
This week’s is a prayer for our city. Thanks to all who have felt able to share them. We hope they are helpful for you and friends around you. We are really grateful for the work Frank has put in to produce these films and also the Easter service.
This week’s is here:
2. Ian has another film and song to share with us.
3. Interview with Rev Gareth Thomas
This is a slightly longer interview with Gareth, the vicar at St James talking about why he is excited about us moving to St James in June.
We will have a Zoom-only Good Friday service at 8-9pm. Join us for an hour of reflection and worship. Please have a candle with you to use during the service.
This will be YouTube service only. It will be on at the same time as usual. The service is a filmed one that includes a range of musicians, testimonies and a sermon ‘on location’ 😉
Why not subscribe to our YouTube channel to get reminded about it, and share the link with your timeline when you see it on Facebook?
Final call for posters
If you still haven’t got around to ordering an Easter poster, please contact Kate Blundell (07805 069033) to arrange collection or delivery. Please specify if you would prefer the three crosses or egg design.
2. Can you help?
Yvonne and Martin Simms run Salford Food Parcels – a way they help people who are struggling with food shortages.
They need some help, especially for these items:
UHT milk, oil, shampoo, deodorant, shower gel, toiletries, tinned food in particular.
If you can help, you could drop them at their home – 11 Lostock Road, Salford, M5 5LH and Gill Oldham has said that she would be happy to pick stuff up and drop them if you can’t get to them. Her number is 07764 851769.
3. Alpha Online: starts Monday 12th April, 7-8.30pm
Following the success of our previous online Alpha course, we are offering another chance for people to explore the big questions of life and faith in a friendly and non-judgemental atmosphere.
There will be 12 weeks to discuss questions such as ‘Is there more to life than this?’, ‘Who is Jesus?’ and ‘How can I have faith?’. Here’s a teaser:
If you know anyone who might be interested in trying the first session, do invite them along and share salfordelimchurch.org/alpha with them – it will give them a taster of what to expect and how to sign up if they’d like to join us.
It will be facilitated by a team of great people: Andrea Catherwood, Emmanuel Isibor, Yvonne Simms, Dave and Chris Swindells.
4. An Offer of Counselling Support
One of the ministries we have as a church is the Community Counselling Service. During this Covid crisis we have continued to offer Counselling remotely via zoom or telephone. There are however, limitations with remote sessions.
We are now offering Walk And Talk Counselling to anyone from church who would benefit from counselling or those known to church members. We would agree a time to meet at the Tea Kiosk in Lightoaks Park and would walk at a slow pace for the 50 minute session.
If you feel you would benefit from this please don’t hesitate to contact Judith Thompson, Neil, or Ian or fill in the form on the church website.
Our Regular Gatherings
1. Lunchtime in Exile
Each week on Tuesdays from 12.30-1.30, there are lunchtime sessions exploring the Book of Revelation.
The link for the series is here:
Meeting ID: 843 1953 5601
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
2. Wellbeing Course: Thursdays, 1-2.30pm
This will not be held this week. Back as usual next week.
3. 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.
4. Homegroups: Thursday at 7.30pm
Every other week we get the chance to reflect on the sermon together and pray for one another. This week we will be reading Romans 14 and talking about this can shape our lives together. If you want to be part of a group, please contact Neil and he will send you the details to connect.
5. Prayer Meeting: Friday
Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
6. Sunday Service at 10.30am
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 using the link above 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.