Ellie’s Blog

July 2022

Hello Everybody,

I hope you are all keeping well. To start with this month, here is a reminder of two events coming up: on July 9th there is a Strawberry Tea and on August 16th there is a Church outing. If you are interested in either of these events please see Sheila or the posters and invites in the church. 

Throughout the Month of June we have been looking at Worship and how worship is part of our everyday living; how our attitudes and how we help or listen to others in a positive way for example can be an act of worship and honour to God. Romans 12: 1 – 2 reminds us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. As we celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee we saw how our Queen is a good example of this. As a church we joined in the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee, inviting our local community to join us for a tea party. Thank you to all who helped with this in many ways. We had a great afternoon. Even though the weather failed us, many people came to join us – people we knew as well as meeting new people in our community.

During July we will be reflecting on prayer. There are different kinds of prayer as well as different ways to pray. You may have heard of The A.C.T.S of prayer showing us four areas of Prayer, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. What about setting yourself a goal everyday for prayer using these four areas of prayer. You could set aside 16 minutes a day, that is four minutes for each area of The A.C.T.S. And you could, if you wanted to, set yourself a 30 day prayer challenge. Why don’t you tell a friend what you are doing, so they can encourage you as you go through the 30 days. Please find more information about the A.C.T.S of prayer here. We also have an opportunity to pray together or to just sit in silence before God on Thursday mornings at the church from 11am until 12.

Just to finish with, I am looking to bring out a new version of this monthly reflection in September. If you have any stories, poems, prayers you would like to share, could you please send them or give them to me by August 26th. Have a blessed month during this July.

God Bless, Ellie

June 2022

Hello Everybody,

As we enter into this month of June we walk straight into celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen. She will be the first British Monarch to serve for 70 years. There are many celebrations going on throughout the country, but you do not have to look too far because we will also be celebrating as a Church and invites have gone out within the local community.  Please invite people you know to come along to our Jubilee Tea Party, held in St Peter’s playground at any time between 2 – 5pm on Sunday 5th June.

During the month of June during our Sunday services we will be focusing on the theme of worship. As the first Sunday in the month falls on the last day of the Jubilee celebrations, I thought it would be fitting to look at how we worship God as a living sacrifice. In Romans 12: 1, it says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” What does that mean for us in our everyday lives? Worship is not just about coming to church on a Sunday, it is about the way we live our lives every day. It may mean we have to put aside our own wants and desires to make sacrifices to live our lives which honour God. A good role model for us all, who has led a sacrificial life, is the Queen. We might ask how she has been able to stand so long, for 70 years? We all know there have been many challenges that she has faced, and I would think many more we are unaware of. The Queen speaks openly about her faith in Jesus as Mark Greene recalls as the co-author  of ‘The Servant Queen and the King she Serves’. He says this of the Queen, “For her, service and love are bound together. Service should lead to taking initiative to love one’s neighbour, and  neighbour-love should be shaped by selfless service rather than self interest. And that has been the keynote of her reign. It is what she highlights in Christ, what she calls others to, and what she aspires to herself.” Our Queen is a true example of a living sacrifice honouring God in the way she has reigned as Queen for 70 years.

God Bless, Ellie

May 2022

Hello Everybody,

I hope you are all keeping well. The church diary is now beginning to fill up, the social events are in full force and the dates are available on the Calendar page. The Tranquility Cafe has now started with an encouraging beginning as we welcomed people from our local community. Everyone is welcome to pop in to have a cup of tea and chat, on Wednesdays 10.30am to 12. On Thursdays the church will be open between 11am to 12 for prayer. It is important we continue to pray for the Ukraine as well as those we know who are in need of prayer and for the church. If you cannot get to the church to pray please take some time during this hour to pray, so we are praying collectively as a church wherever we are. 

During the month of May,  Alan Vaughan will be preaching on the 8th May as I will be preaching at The Haven in Heatherton. On Sunday 29th May Sharon Shek will be coming to talk to us about the Baptist Union Hong Kongers responders, she will also be preaching. That gives me two Sundays in May (15th & 22nd) where we will be looking at how the early church grapples with change as they realise through a vision Peter has that God has granted repentance that leads to life for all people. This vision that Holy Spirit shows Peter really takes him out of his comfort zone, as he realises that no-one should be excluded in God’s kingdom. Which raises a question for us, where is the Holy Spirit found to be working in our church? During the second week I will be continuing exploring how God uses visions in the early church to show and guide the apostles; this time it will be Paul and his companions. God calls them to a new place called Macedonia. What they find is that  the ground is already prepared for their missionary work. We will be looking at the story of the first European convert called Lydia.

I hope that God will bless you during this month of May.

God Bless, Ellie

April 2022

 

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Hello Everybody,

As we enter Spring and April, I would like to wish you all a Happy Easter. As we will soon enter Holy Week and Good Friday, this year we will be gathering together with the other local churches for a Reflection every evening of Holy Week running up to Good Friday, where we will gather together for a Walk of Witness. Look out for more details about Holy Week and the Walk of Witness. On Easter Sunday we will meet together for breakfast at 9am with communion, followed by our Easter Service at 10.30am. 

A few years ago we visited Jerusalem and while we were there we visited the garden and tomb of Jesus. It was a beautiful sunny day and the garden was in full bloom. When we where there, it made us wonder what it must have been like that day when the women arrived at Jesus tomb doing their part in bringing spices for his body in his honour – but on their arrival they found the stone rolled away.

As we entered the tomb the day we visited – yes it was empty, and this is exactly what we expected, but for these women as they went to Jesus tomb they expected to find the body of Jesus. What a shock it must have been when the tomb was empty.

While they where trying to work this out, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lighting stood beside them, and they said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here he is risen!”

These women faced a confusing, amazing, terrifying moment on that day at the tomb. But the angels asked them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”. The angels wanted to draw the women away from the tomb, so they could experience the risen Lord and his resurrected life.

When we went to visit the tomb of Jesus, we never felt any sadness because we have already  had the revelation that Jesus has risen from the dead. If anything, it was awe inspiring, as we remembered the risen Lord leading us in new ways of living and loving him.

Hallelujah what a Saviour!

God Bless, Ellie

March 2022

 

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Hello Everybody,

As we have already entered March we are well into the Lent season. The good news is, as we come to Holy Week and Good Friday, this year we can gather together with the other local churches for a reflection every evening of Holy Week running up to Good Friday where we will gather together for a walk of witness. Look out for more details about Holy Week and the walk of witness.  

During Lent I like to follow a Lent reflection to help me reflect on the life of Jesus. As we have been following the Bible Series with The Bible Society recently, I registered to follow their Lent reflections each day. There is one reflection that has caught my attention which I would like to share with you. This reflection is focused on the calling of the first disciples which is taken from Mark 1: 16 – 17. I found out in this reflection that the disciples would have been taught the Torah as young Jewish boys, the best students would have been called by a Rabbi and the rest of the boys who didn’t get called went to work within their Father’s trade. So this is where we find the first disciples that Jesus called, fishing in their Fathers’ trade. So in a way they are not good enough for the rabbi’s in the Temple because they didn’t make the grade, so to speak. What really caught my attention was here we find these four fishermen, rejects, looked upon as uneducated, but along comes Jesus and he called them saying, “come, follow me”. Jesus, the Rabbi of all Rabbis, the Son of God, calls these rejects to change the world and build the church. Just to finish with, if we look in Acts 4: 13, we can see the effects that being with the Rabbi has had on the disciples. It says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” If we feel that we are not good enough to be called by Jesus, then remember the calling of these first disciples. Others had rejected them, but not Jesus and this calling transformed the lives of these men along with many others. I hope that God will bless you as you take time during Lent to reflect on his word.

God Bless, Ellie

February 2022

 

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Hello Everybody,

I hope you are all well. We have been back in our church building now since May last year for Sunday Services, and since Christmas other events have slowly started again. We have had a lovely social distanced Christmas meal, as well as another lovely meal after our Church Anniversary when we were celebrating 209 years of Baptists in Littleover. Do you remember our Zoom pancakes last year? Well this year you can come to church and share pancakes in person, on Tuesday 1st March from 11.45 to 2pm. You will be able to receive savoury or sweet pancakes from £1, which includes a drink. 

Last week I spent three days at the EMBA Ministers conference with Samson. Apart from it being nice to meet up with old friends again from the East Midlands, it was also a time to slow down and rest – and to even come to a point of total stand-still. It was good to stop for a while. This was the theme of our three days together; to stop, look and listen to what God is saying to us. I was reminded as I slowed down the importance of creating a space, to give space and room for God. A quote from Mother Teresa was used which made me think about the time I spend with God, she said, “The beginning of prayer is silence” Mother Teresa once said, to be silent in prayer is like just ‘being’ with God, saying to God, “I just want to be with you.” It has been a tough two years for us all, and for me it was good for the soul, so to speak, to take time to stop, to look, to listen and ‘just being’ with God. I highly recommend this for you to try too. 

Psalm 46: 10, “Be still and know that I am God” 

God Bless, Ellie

January 2022

 

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Hello Everybody,

Happy New Year to you all, during Advent and Christmas it has been nice to celebrate together in person. However, we know that we still have to be cautious in regards to COVID and you will find if you attend a church service we have brought back mask wearing for quite some weeks now, and we have now brought back social distancing. When you attend a service you will be asked to sit separately from others unless you are part of a family bubble. We are still offering refreshments again, if you could social distance around the hatch and when you are chatting with others after the service. Unfortunately the virus is still very much with us and we want to do our very best to keep everyone safe. If you are able to do a test before attending a service this is another way of minimising the risk of spreading the infection. Thank you for all your support in this matter. 

With all of this said, welcome to January’s reflection; the first one of 2022. During Advent and Christmas we focused on making room for Jesus. We were reminded that Jesus is Emmanuel meaning “God with us” The Messiah. The Saviour of the World. 

In January we will be taking a closer at Jesus as he announces that he is the Messiah in his home town of Nazareth. At the Synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus reads from The Prophet Isaiah 61: 1 – 2a, and then Jesus announces that this scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. Jesus is telling his own people from the town he grew up in that he is the Messiah. During January we will follow the growth of Jesus’ ministry and to whom he proclaims his message. Not everyone is happy with this message. Even his own people he grew up with drove him out of town and tried to throw him off a cliff! We will also follow the shock of a fisherman and his friends after a miraculous catch of fish, to then be called as one of Jesus’ disciples. In the words of Simon, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” And yet Jesus still calls Simon (Peter) saying to him, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” We finish the month of January with the Beatitude’s as Jesus brings a bombshell to those who are listening to his teaching. What Jesus brings is revolutionary because Jesus takes what the world understands as acceptable and turns it on its head as he describes the Kingdom of God. The people Jesus called blessed, the world would call wretched. Jesus the Messiah challenged the people of his day. Are we ready to be challenged by Jesus? I pray that God will bless you throughout this month of January as we take a deeper look into the message of Jesus as he brings good news to the poor. 

Our Bible Readings for January are as follows: Luke 4: 14 – 21, Luke 4: 21 – 30, Luke 5: 1 – 11, Luke 6: 20 – 26.

God Bless, Ellie