It is with pleasure we include the Circuit Good News on the website
GOOD NEWS STORIES FOR THIS WEEK - 20 JUNE
The Methodist Church, Stoke-on-Trent South Circuit collected by Hil (local preacher)
How have we changed during these recent months? Or should that be - How we have changed during these recent months!
I love hearing from people who have embraced technology in a new way and, though initially uncomfortable, they are now finding that it brings them great comfort as they communicate with their loved ones. I love hearing about people who have taken their skills and adapted them, thus enabling them to play a part in serving their communities at this time. So many, even within the comfort of their own homes, have stepped out of their comfort zone and tried new things?
Many of us will be studying the book of Ruth for bible month. Ruth’s culture, family background and age were very different to Naomi. But she chose to follow her beloved mother-in-law back to Bethlehem rather than stay in her own homeland of Moab. Something in Naomi’s God-given character drew Ruth and she came to know the God of Israel through Naomi as she witnessed the ups and downs of her faith.
We are all aware of great uncertainty in the foreseeable future: people affected by unrest, unemployment and anxiety will need us to surround them with faith, hope and love. They will need to see something of God in our character.
Boaz finds Ruth beside him in the darkness – Ruth3:9 “Who are you?” he asked.
The following question comes from The Methodist Church ’30 days with Ruth’
What does our identity as a community of faith mean to us, and to others, particularly at this time of Coronavirus? (Dr Rachel Starr)
Who are we?
At this time, as Methodist buildings remain closed, but Methodism is very much open, we are encouraged to complete a questionnaire as we review the work of the churches that we are involved in. I encourage you to do so, and not to fear change, but rather embrace it as Ruth does. Ruth trusts God and so can we.
This morning I received a WhatsApp video – two dancers at a wedding, surrounded by a cheering, laughing audience as they jived away to the music with style. The man was 94 and his partner, 91.
Are we ready to allow God to SHAKE us awake? Are we willing to RATTLE the chains which hold people back, allowing them to experience the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and break free? Are we prepared to ROLL as The Spirit leads us into an exciting future held in the love of God?
If you have good news, please let me know: email - firstname.lastname@example.org Please send news to me by Friday 19 June, ready for next weekend.
From Richard and Maureen S
We are good here but roll on normality! For those of us who are preachers, this may not exactly be Good News, but a cartoon in a recent Methodist Recorder showed a couple sitting on a sofa watching a Zoom service. The speech bubble read, "Thank heavens for the mute button."! Love and blessings, The Crewe Two
From Chris W - LCH
Milton Jones: Ten Second Sermons
The Voice of God: Hearing God’s voice is often like trying to hear a satnav that you’ve locked in the boot because you thought you wouldn’t need it. Being guided by God is a bit like walking - if you stand still on one leg at any one point you will probably fall over. But if you keep moving, over the course of time you’ll make progress in the right direction.
The Church: Visitors to a church often find themselves thinking “What am I doing here?” Sometimes so do the members. Others think of it as a Winnie the Pooh pyjama suit - safe and warm, but they hope to goodness no one sees them in it. Church should be everyone arriving with one piece of the jigsaw.
Prayer is a vital part of life for the public, with just under half of UK adults (44%) saying they pray, and among those who pray a third (33%) say that they have prayed since the COVID-19 lockdown because they believe it makes a difference, according to a new nationwide poll of 2,101 UK adults (Christian relief & development agency Tearfund).
With churches being closed due to restrictions on social gatherings, thousands of churches are streaming their services online. A quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown (on the radio, live on TV, on demand or streamed online), this jumps to three quarters (76%) amongst regular churchgoers. One in twenty UK adults (5%) who say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown have never gone to church.
A Prayer for Hope Today
Lord, help me to hear you saying, "I am your hope" over all the other voices. Lord, your word says, you are the hope for hopeless so I'm running to you with both hands stretched out and grabbing on to you. Fill me up with hope and give me a tangible reminder today that hope is an unbreakable spiritual lifeline (Hebrews 6:19-20). God, you know those things in my heart that I barely dare to hope for, today I give them to you, I trust them to you, and ask that you because I know that you can do more than I could ever guess, imagine or request in wildest dreams (Eph 3:20). God, you are my hope and I trust you. Amen.
We can use our fingers to pray for everyone:
Little finger – for vulnerable children
Ring finger – for relationships within communities
Middle finger – for all Church leaders, as they guide our way through easement of Lockdown rules.
First finger - for all Key Workers.
Thumb – for ourselves, that we act lovingly upon that nudge from the Spirit.