Have you cried more this year? Or at least found yourself wanting to?
Tears of frustration, stress, loss, fear, loneliness?
It’s been a year that would make anyone cry.
For some you’re not surprised. You’re the sort that don’t mind admitting that your eyes water while watching The Repair Shop or at the sight of a young boy (was he any older than 12?) winning Bake Off. For others, it may take a lot more to provoke the tear ducts. But when they water they take you by surprise.
A few years ago, I discovered that I am far more likely to be fighting back the tears watching a film at 30,000 feet in an aeroplane than I am at ground level. Though the finale of Love Actually has produced a lump in the throat more than once.
But the moments that cause most tears are in the middle of relationships. When you feel powerless, or afraid of losing someone, or when you have lost someone and the tears flow.
In Acts 20:13-38, Paul is saying farewell to the church at Ephesus, to relationships that are bathed in tears. Twice Paul reminds them of the tears he shed while he was with them, and then the church cries when they realise they will never see him again.
The Romans were suspicious of people who cried. They thought it showed a lack of strength, a leadership flaw, whereas the Greeks, and certainly Biblical characters were willing to show their emotions much more freely and unashamedly.
As has been said, I guess they knew that tears were the overflow of the heart rather than the outworking of the brain. You need both, but there’s nothing wrong with the tears.
Advent is the season when we remind ourselves that hope for the world came with the relief of an exhausted mum hearing her new-born child crying. As every mother knows, those angry tears are the sign that there’s life, that things are well, that there is hope. Jesus came into the world crying so that our tears could have hope. So for those of you who find yourselves drawn to tears, know that those tears offered to God water the hope we have in Jesus. Dark situations, difficult situations, frustrating situations cause us to weep. But we don’t need to despair. We can cry with hope, because to quote an old song writer:
those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.Psalm 126:5
I was delighted that Ewan was willing to be interviewed. He turned 18 this year, and has had to deal with disrupted studies, disrupted exams and coming into the world of work at the most uncertain time any of us can remember for a long time. His level-headedness is brilliant to witness.
1. Sunday Gathering
If you were with us on Sunday you will know that we had an unfortunate interruption at the beginning of the service. As you will imagine, a few of us met immediately after the service to review what happened and to ensure that it won’t happen again. We will put some things in place our end to make sure that it is unlikely to be able to be repeated, and we will keep on reviewing things to ensure the safety of everyone. We’re sorry if it caused any upset to you.
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
Or you can join us live on YouTube.
2. Coffee Morning – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am
A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz. So, whilst it’s not as good as being together in person, there’s an opportunity to do it all online.
Meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/94930624852?pwd=dlI0SnhwY3RaNnUrUGpSMTkrWm5hZz09
3. On Thursday at 7.45-9.00 Prayer Meeting
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
4. WhatsApp Prayer Meeting
On Friday 10.30-12.00 there’s a prayer meeting using WhatsApp. Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
5. Looking Ahead to Christmas
On Sunday 13th December, 12.30-1.15, All Age Christmas Together
A time for all the family to engage together – story, songs, game, prayers – at home but connected across the church via Zoom (only). Families will receive the link via email, but if for any reason that hasn’t happened for you, contact Morag.
The Christmas Window Trail – 14th-27th of December
This year, we’re bringing our Christmas Alive story to the streets of Salford.
There will be 6 windows across our local area showing different scenes from the Christmas story, with short audio to play when you find the window (you will be able to scan the QR code in the window with your mobile phone to listen)
The window scenes will be visible for two weeks so there’s plenty of time for you to get out and explore the Christmas Story.
Help needed! Could you deliver some leaflets containing the map to follow around the Height area from week beginning the 7th of December? If so, please let Ian know asap.
We are planning a Christmas Carol Service on Sunday 20 December at 4.30-5.30. This will be held at St James, Hope, (The church at the crossroads of Lancaster Road and Eccles New Road, M6 8EJ.) Holding it there means we can do a socially distanced service that will accommodate most of us. Everyone will be able to stay safe by being distanced from one another, but able to be part of a service that will be full of joy. However, places will be limited to 100 (including children) and you must book in advance in order to attend. Details for booking to follow.
There will be an online Christmas Day Service from 10.30 to 11.15. This will just be on Zoom, not on YouTube as well.
And there will be NO service on Sunday 27th December.
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite 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.
1. Have you ever been to Jerusalem?
I know it’s a random question but we have received this request from Philip Booth, a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University, who is currently looking to develop partnerships with local religious communities for a project which examines the history of travel and pilgrimage to Jerusalem. For more information, you can visit the project’s website here.
For the project, he’s conducting a survey and interviews with willing participants who have been to Jerusalem. His hope is that the information gathered will allow him to run some public talks about the history of travel to Jerusalem and the role of the people of Greater Manchester in that history.
If you’d be happy to be involved, the survey can be accessed directly via the following link: https://mmu.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/from-mancs-to-jerusalem
2. Do you want to help?
Sam Pratt is part of Langworthy Christian Community, a friend, and works for Salford CVS.
He has asked if anyone can offer them some help.
As we enter Lockdown 2.0 many individuals and families are going to struggle like they did in April. Job losses, self-isolation and illness are some of the main factors contributing to the daily struggle that our community is living through – not to mention the mental health impact of this pandemic.
At Salford CVS we are seeing an increase on the demand of the voluntary sector, as I’m sure many of you are who run food banks or similar will also be experiencing.
I am calling out to the Salford Churches in my area (Langworthy, Ordsall, Claremont and Weaste) to rally volunteers once more to get us through winter. I know we’re all tired and fed up of this virus but our community needs us now more than ever.
Below are the volunteering roles available and ones that we foresee to be needed over the coming Winter months.
Volunteer Roles available (but not limited to)
Drivers. Every week schools and organisations need drivers to drop off food parcels for isolating families. We are also now delivering Oximeters for Salford CCG to those with Covid to monitor their oxygen levels. These tasks are all low risk but are ad hoc so you may get a call last minute for availability. Expenses will be paid.
Dog walkers, shopping, general tasks. These are regular assistance for those who are shielding. A love for dogs and shopping lists is a must!
Trusted Voices. The easiest role available! We will send up to date local Covid information for you to share on social media and in other forms. We recognise that trust local voices are extremely powerful in combatting conspiracy theories and sharing Public Health facts.
To sign up and for more information on volunteering opportunities click below.