This week I go back into the classroom. Once a year for four days stretched over two weeks, I am back in front of a class of Masters’ students. It always feels like a pressure and beforehand I always say it will be the last time I’ll do it, but then I get there and benefit from it so much that I sign up for the following year’s timetable.
I’ve learnt lots of things over the years leading these classes. But these are my two biggest lessons:
1. I need to listen carefully.
When my brain is spinning aware of the time left and the things you still need to cover, while trying to really understand what the student is saying with one eye on another student who looks like they are asleep (surely not!), it’s easy to give the impression of listening while having no idea what is being said.
Of course, it’s rude, thoughtless and self-centred but am I the only one who ever does it? I don’t mean to stop listening, it’s just that other things crowd in. But when I stop listening, I may never know the gems of wisdom that I could learn from, or the expressions of vulnerability that would make the moment feel like holy ground. I just miss too much. This week I will try to listen well.
2. I need to be careful what I say.
This is scarier really. I need to remember that in years to come, I might bump into some of these people and they will say ‘I remember when you said….’ And I will have no memory of that at all. Sometimes it will sound like really wise stuff and I will put on a nonchalant humble expression and seem to shrug it off. Other times it will be their memory of harsher responses. And I will wonder why I ever would have adopted that tone or used those words. And walk away wondering what I was playing at.
My words can leave lasting impressions either way. They can build or they can tear down.
We bring our series on hospitality to a close this week. We will be reflecting on the story of Abraham and Sarah who receive passing travellers. It was only when they left that they realised they were angels – messengers of God giving them a promise of what will happen to them next. Nearly two thousand years later, the writer to Hebrews urges his church to welcome strangers with open arms, because in the past some have met messengers of God (angels) without knowing it.
So this week, I will try to listen for the angels in the classroom. And I pray that God will use me in that kind of way as well. And I pray that this will be your experience as well – in your daily places, with those folks you are with in the office, on the zoom call, in the dining room, the pub garden, the bedroom.
That we will all experience the rumours of angels.
Whole Church Training on Additional Needs with Su Robinson
Tuesday 4th and Tuesday 18th May, 7pm
As you may remember from previous announcements and last week’s Midweek Musings, we have some training sessions booked looking at additional needs and how we can better support those living with them and their families.
This training isn’t just for those who will be serving in Kids Church, but for everyone in church. We all know when we are understood, we are supported and if we understand others and their circumstances, we can better support them.
So we strongly encourage you to attend these sessions, led by Su Robinson; a local Christian mum of 2 with lived experience in this area.
Please let Morag, Ian or Neil know by Sunday 2nd May if you will be attending as there are some materials to accompany the training. Thank you
Getting Involved in the New Phase of Church
We will be holding our first service in St James, Eccles Old Road on Sunday 6 June at 11.30am. Moving back to onsite worship means that we will have lots of opportunities to be involved in the ministry of the church.
You might be wondering where you fit into the church after all this time of scattered worship. You might wonder where your gifts and passions fit in. Or you might just want to know how you can serve generally.
Please talk to use – we want to help you feel confident in knowing how your gifts can be a blessing to us all.
Children and Young people
High on our priorities is the work we do with children and young people.
There are opportunities to create a safe, secure place for our youngest toddlers in the creche; you can work with children in small groups as they explore the same Bible passages that will be being preached about in adult church; you might have craft skills that children could work on with you; you might be able to be involved with light-touch mentoring with the young people; you might be willing to help with practical tasks.
You might not know what you have to offer, you just might know you want to invest in the next generation. Let’s talk with you about how you can be involved. Contact Morag if you would like to know more.
Volunteers needed for the following groups:
- Creche (Pre-school), Reception to Year 2, Year 3 to 6, Year 7 to 9
- One to one support for individuals with additional needs
- Mentors (starting with older teens)
Expectations of Volunteers
- To commit to serving at least one Sunday service per month
- To serve for at least one full academic year
- To complete an application form and provide two references (new volunteers)
- To be willing to be DBS checked and undertake safegaurding training
- To prepare for the delivery of their group
- To ensure each child feels safe, valued and supported
What Volunteers Can Expect
- To be given training and support
- To be provided with ideas and resources for sessions that tie in with sermon themes (excluding creche)
- To be part of a rewarding and vital ministry (even if it doesn’t always feel like it!)
How can I get involved?
Please contact Morag (by the end of April)
Going forward, we will need help to form these teams:
- Welcome Team
- Prayer Team
- Worship Band
- Operating the PA System
- Operating the Streaming Computer (we will show you how)
- Operating EasyWorship to project words
- Cleaning Team
The teams will have their own leaders, but in the first case if there are areas you would be willing to be involved with, can you let Neil know. Most of the teams will ask you to be available around once a month or so.
If you are already involved in any of these teams, it will help if you confirm that you will carry on.
Is it time you took the plunge?
We are planning to hold a baptismal service on Sunday 11 July. If you have been waiting for this moment, or are wondering if this is the next step for you in your discipleship journey, please talk with Neil.
Upcoming themes we will be exploring
It is widely believed that the experience of the last 12 months gave us a chance to ask questions about what we are doing and perhaps more importantly what we would like to do. But how do we know what is going to be best for us? Some people just wait for things to happen to them, others press on regardless, and many are caught in the middle anxious that life is slipping by.
In May there will be a sermon series entitled: ‘Making Sense of the Moment’. We will be asking 4 questions alongside praying 4 sections of the longest Psalm in the Bible. We will try and make it really practical as well as grounding it in prayer.
The 4 sermons will be:
- Making Sense: Where Am I? Psalm 119: 1-8 (9 May)
- Making Sense: Who am I Becoming? Psalm 119:41-48 (16 May)
- Making Sense: What Time Is It? Psalm 119:105-112 (23 May)
- Making Sense: What Could the Future Be? Psalm 119: 49-56 (30 May)
In June and July:
We will have a series entitled: The Return of the Church. For this series we will be reading the book of Ezra together. This book is the story of the return of Israel to their land after 70 years in exile. Then, out of the blue, they were able to return and had to find out what it meant to be the people in their own land again. They would encounter times of provision, of disappointment, of resistance, of breakthrough and joy and compromise.
The link between Ezra and our situation seems to connect well. As we change the place where we worship to St James, there is also the sense that we are about to begin a new story together. The lessons that people learned in the period of Ezra will prompt us to chart our new course together.
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
Sundays 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 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
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.
Thursday at 7.30pm
As we contemplate the future, we need to be open to all that God wants to do, ready to seek his blessing on all that lies ahead. This week we will be praying together: please join us.
Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil Hudson and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
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.