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What You Need To Know (May 2024)

Welcome to May’s newsletter.

Surely things will begin to get warmer and drier this month. I know it’s a British obsession … but ‘how long, O Lord, how long?’ 

Here’s some of the things that are happening around us in the next couple of months. We hope you’ll be able to join in with as many as you can, and that by doing so, your faith will deepen and your network of friends will widen. Let’s walk this Jesus pathway together.

NEW: Men – Bacon, Banter and Befriending

Saturday 4th May • 10am-11:30am • The Vine

On Saturday 4th May from 10-11:30 at The Vine, there is a chance to get together with other guys in the church to build friendships, listen to and encourage one another – accompanied by bacon sandwiches. (Veggie is offered!) 

£5 donation would be welcomed. 

Let us know you are coming: either Neil, Paul King or sign up at the Info Stand 

Next one: Saturday 13th July

NEW: Midweek Groups from Thursday 2nd May and onwards

From Thursday 2nd May • 7:30pm • The Vine

From 2 May onwards (the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month) we will be having 2 study series through to the summer. One will be going through the book of Romans looking at how the apostle Paul’s letter helped the citizens of Rome both understand the gospel and know how to live that out in their everyday lives in the capital city of the greatest empire the world had ever known. 

Neil will lead this group. He will be using the Bible Society’s new resource which includes films, readings and discussion. You don’t need to buy anything for the course and you can find out more details about it here and look at the films ahead of time if you are interested.

The guy who put the course together, Andrew Ollerton, has written a book that you could buy if you are interested.

The other course is the Prayer Course. Prayer is the basic form of communication we use in our relationship with God. 

The course will use films and discussion questions. It will be led by Ian and will begin on Thursday 2nd May in The Vine. There is more information about that course here.

Both of these will be held at the same time and will be at The Vine from 7.30pm

Let us know you’re coming by signing up at the Info Stand. If you miss the first of these, you are still welcome to join in.

NEW: Afternoon At The Beach

Saturday 18th May • 2pm-4pm Formby Beach

Every now and again, there’s a chance to spend time together just doing stuff that is fun. This is a chance for all the family to get together at Formby Beach, near Southport from 2-4pm. Parking is quite limited around Formby so the best place to go is Lifeboat Road Car Park, L37 2EB. It’s pricy at £8.50 and you need to pay in cash – but think of it as contributing to the beauty of the beaches! 

If you are planning to go it would be great if you could let Morag know.

NEW: Joint Service

Sunday 19th May • 10:30am Church

This is one of the times we join with St James and have a joint service. Please note the time! It’s Pentecost Sunday – the day we pray that the Spirit will burst upon Jesus’ church again – a prayer we constantly need! 

So it feels absolutely right that we worship together that day and that we remember those who are under much more pressure than we are. So we have invited Rev Lee Proudlove from Open Doors to come again. Open Doors supports the persecuted church around the world. He will be preaching at this service.

NEW: Great Manchester Prayer Night

Wednesday 22nd May • 7.30pm • Audacious Church (Trinity Way, Manchester)

Join us as we gather with Christians and churches from across the North West to unite in prayer, crying out to God for our city, nation and world. 

Partnering with Greater Manchester Prayer, we can’t wait to gather together again in person. As we’re led in prayer and worship, we’re expecting God to move and bring breakthrough! So come along to Audacious Church, Trinity Way, Manchester. 

Invite along your friends, family, churches and youth groups for a special evening of uniting in prayer.

NEW: The Vine Pastoral Team Meeting

Wednesday 5th June • The Vine

If you are part of the pastoral care network there is a gathering to pray for the church together and to make sure everyone is being connected together.

NEW: Salford Week Of Prayer Opening Meeting

Thursday 6th June – Thursday 13th June • Various locations (see below)

Once a year, we join with Christians from all over Salford to pray for our city for a week. We see this as a really significant time and encourage you to get involved as much as you can. There will be a daily prayer guide available to help you pray for specific aspects of Salford that week and the following three gatherings:

Thursday 6th June, 7:30pm-9pm: Opening Prayer & Worship Service @ GoChurch, Dallas Court, Salford, M50 2GF.

Saturday 8th June, 9:30am-12pm: Prayer Walk. Meet @ Elmwood Church, Eccles Old Road, M6 8AG. The walks are between 3.5 miles and 5 miles in length and will take around 2-2.5 hours to complete as we stop at various places to pray. The routes will be wheelchair accessible and there is the option to stay and pray at Elmwood for those who might find the walks a bit long.

Thursday 13th June, 7:30pm-9pm: Closing service. Praying for those in authority @ The Council Chambers, Salford Civic Centre, Swinton, M27 5AW.

Check out the Salford Church Partnership website here.

NEW: Hog Roast

Saturday 29th June • 6pm-9pm Church

On this evening we will have our annual hog roast. It’s one of the easiest events of the year to invite friends and family to. 

Kate Blundell will be selling tickets for this. They are £10 for adults, and £5 for kids up to 16. You can see Kate in church or contact her with a message on 07805 069033

Tickets will be on sale in the next month. 

We would like some volunteer help with music, singing etc on the night. We will need help to set up and pack down. And if you would be willing to bring some desserts to share that would be great.

NEW: Extinction And Biodiversity – Public Panel Discussion

Tuesday 11th June • 5:30pm-7pm Church of the Holy Name (Oxford Road, Manchester)

Neil has been asked to represent Elim at a 2 day conference on Faith and Science in Manchester on 11th-12th June. He will be well out of his depth. Please pray! Mostly that he doesn’t have to say anything! 

But on Tuesday early evening, as part of this, there is a public event around the theme of Extinction And Biodiversity. The description of the event is: It’s hard to get our brains around the scope of extinction in geological time, and to make sense of human responsibility in the present. 

Does God will species death? 

Does buying organic food really make a difference? 

Our panel of scientific and theological experts are ready to tackle whatever you want to ask, from the profound to the niggling. There are no silly questions (that feels like a challenge!) as we explore the topic together in a spirit of openness and honesty. 

This is a free, public event at the Church of the Holy Name on Manchester’s Oxford Road. 

The event will start at 5:30pm and finish by 7pm, on Tuesday 11th June

Those taking part are: Bishop David Walker, Bishop of Manchester; Prof Sadiah Qureshi, University of Manchester; Revd Prof Charlotte Sleigh, UCL; Prof Colin Beale, University of York; Mick Oliver, Natural England 

If you would like to join Neil, just let him know. 

For more details – and links to a range of interesting articles go here

BOOK REVIEW: Into The Heart Of Romans by Tom Right

By Julian Gittings

Tom Wright is on the greatest Biblical commentators today and his book, Paul a Biography is on of the best books ever written on the Apostle Paul. 

So, combine one of the best scholars around with the deep treasure trove that is the Book of Romans, and you get what is described as a “masterclass in close reading of Scripture.” 

I admit that I was expecting a book on the whole of Paul’s Epistle but this is actually a deep dive into Chapter 8 of Romans which is arguably the greatest chapter in Paul’s greatest letter. 

Each chapter goes is a “deep dive into the detail of the chapter, to take apart the text piece by piece, study each element and put it back together again, so, we are closer to hearing what Paul was actually saying.” 

Romans 8 has so much to offer and so does this book. You get the text in the author’s own translation and detailed insights into one of the most important pieces of the New Testament as it weaves its wonderful tapestry about so many themes in the Bible. 

“Romans is like a great city and ourselves as the taxi drivers needing to learn our way around it” This is why need skilful “drivers” like Tom Wright to guide us and help us unearth the depths of Paul’s writings. 

This is, by no means an easy read. If you feel you want something lighter, I recommend his Romans for Everyone, but if you stick with it “Into the Heart of Romans” will help you become familiar with the book of Romans in a deeper way that will also deepen your understanding and appreciation of the Gospel itself. 

As always, I would ask that you support your local Christian Bookshop by buying from Isaiah 53 Bolton rather than buying from Amazon. If you do want to buy online please consider

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