Lectionary Readings 18th July 2021

Jeremiah 23.1-16; Psalm 23; Ephesians 2.11-22; Mark 6.30-34,53-56

Prayer

Eternal God, in Christ you make yourself our guest. Amid all our cares and concerns make us attentive to your voice and alert to your presence, that we may prize your word above all else. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bible Study

The bible study group will meet at 10.30am in the garden at Ainsdale Methodist Church on Tuesday 20th July – Luke 3 Vs 1-22. All welcome.

Morning & Evening Services

For the Autumn preaching plan early morning communion services and evening services will be offered at Churches across the circuit. This will be reviewed after a trial period. Lifts will be offered to these services where transport is a problem.

Coffee after Church

This week coffee after church will begin at 12 noon . All are welcome whether you have attended church or chosen to stay at home .

Notices

Please note the notices on 1st August will be the last for 4 weeks until September. Any notices for this period need to be received by Tuesday 27th July. Thank you.

Lucy

Food Pantry

We have been awarded funding from Tesco‘s towards our development of the Food Pantry. The value (£1500, £1000 or £500) is dependant on the voting at their stores. So if you happen to shop at Tesco’s, don’t forget to ask for a token so you can drop it in the Liverpool Road Methodist Church slot in the voting box on the way out.

Facets

Facets reunion coffee morning July 20th 10.00-11.30.

subject to changes to covid regs. on July 19th

Large Hall Redecoration

We need some volunteers to assist with the redecoration of our large hall in August. Please contact Geoff (567921), Jim (568458) or Andy (578324).

Lifting Covid Restrictions

The government has said that restrictions will be lifted on 19th July, meaning that face coverings indoors will no longer be legally required and neither will social distancing.

It is worth remembering that vaccination reduces the risk of becoming infected with covid, but does not guarantee it. It could be possible to be infected and unwittingly pass on the infection to others.  Government guidance is that we act responsibly.

We therefore encourage you to keep to the current set of restrictions to safeguard everyone’s health and safety. 

We trust that everyone will feel confident to come to church under these arrangements.

Future Focus

Damien Moore MP visited our premises on Friday 2nd July and met with Craig Horan, Doreen Iddon and Rachel Fitzgerald.  We were able to share with him not only the church’s experiences of lockdown but also the challenges that faith communities face in the future.  He spent time looking at our buildings and hearing about the support network that we are aiming to provide people in our neighbourhood and has offered to let us know of funding opportunities that might be of relevance to us.

Out of the Darkness 

Recently, on trying to talk about ‘Joy’ to help people come to terms with the present post-covid situation, I found myself discussing Darkness. It was necessary somehow in order to get around to the subject that I wanted to arrive at. I guess we cannot ever get to our destination without first leaving our front door! We read in the very first sentences of the bible that everything began with being in the dark. Gen.1v2 ‘Darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.’ There is a line in a song that says ‘The darkness can never stop the light from getting through’. However dark a place is the light always gets in somehow!

There is of course another kind of darkness, this one gets into our head and clouds the mind. This can be so dark that it prevents us from functioning, sometimes affecting us so severely that it spoils our relationships with family, friends and those we work with. This is the darkness we encounter when responsibilities get on top of us and can disable us so that we lose control.

There is a relationship between darkness and light, the two go together but one always comes with the other, as though a bond is between them, like one needs the other to survive.

2Samuel 22v29 says, ‘you are a lamp, o Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.’

Read Job 11vs13-18.

What is the writer saying here? Again it is about confessing our sins in order to petition the lord for help and in doing so he will listen and answer your prayer.

How on earth did darkness get into this I wanted Joy and lots of it!  I wanted light! We are all nearing the end of a period where we have been shut up inside our homes, some of us for months, as though a war has occurred, without the bombs and the fighting but with the loss of life that might be associated with such an event. We are coping with trying to come to terms with this and would want to remember this time with respect dignity and prayer which unites us all, unbelievers included, what we all want now is to see some light and happiness.

Ah! We have had the darkness and discovered that it is very hard to stop the light from getting through. Paul found this out on the road to Damascus when his heart was black and determined to persecute all Christians. He relates his story to King Agrippa in Acts; you can refresh your mind by reading Acts 26v12-18.

This passage is proof that that God sent Jesus to bring the good news to the gentiles (and the Jews if they would listen) and bring everyone out of the darkness.

Here then is much ‘JOY’ in the knowledge of the revelation that

Jesus is the light of the world and can turn darkness to light and forgive

the past bringing great joy into our lives.

If you have a few minutes turn to Isaiah 35. It is all about redemption

and the ‘joy’ that is experienced by those who know the Lord.

Chris Hall (Senior Steward, Leyland Road)

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