On the beach…

Normally in the weeks following Easter, we look at some of the post-resurrection stories like the road to Emmaus, Jesus and Thomas, Jesus appearing to his disciples on the beach, and so on, and often, if we’re honest, preach pretty similar sermons each year. But this year, the elephant in the room is Coronavirus, which is affecting everything. But maybe there are things about this particular time of uncertainty which connect us with how the disciples felt after Jesus’ resurrection. In our Sunday worship this week we’ll look at the story of Jesus meeting his disciples after a late night fishing trip. In other words, the elephant is now on the beach…
If you’d like to join us, you’ll be very welcome. Send us a message, and we’ll send you the link to our Zoom worship.

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Happy Easter

Although for obvious reasons the way we celebrate Easter is a bit different this year to most years, the truth that Jesus is alive, sin is paid for and death is defeated, remain true for always. Here’s the final short video in our series, looking at the significance of the Resurrection of Jesus. And if you would like to join us for our online celebration of Easter, please contact David at david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com, or go through our Facebook page, and we’ll send you a link to our Zoom gathering

However you spend the day, we hope you have a great Easter. May it be a day in which you encounter the risen Jesus in a fresh way.

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So, Holy Saturday? Is that a thing?

Yes it is. Of course, it’s the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But it has a theme of its own, and that’s the idea of waiting. For those who know the truth of Easter, we know that we await the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. But that first Easter, Jesus’ traumatised followers could have had no idea what God was about to do…

Here’s our fourth short video reflection, in which we think a bit more about why Holy Saturday might have something to say to us in the middle of this pandemic.

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Good Friday

Good Friday – the day in which Christians around the world focus particularly on the death of Jesus, and its significance for every person on this planet – the ultimate demonstration of sacrifical love, that brings sinful, broken people back into relationship with the God who loves them.

Our video reflection for today helps us think through something of what the death of Jesus means. And we have two other activities happening today as well, through the wonder of Zoom. The church building is still closed so we meet online. Between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm this Friday there is a chance to join in an online session of reflective prayer. You can log on and take time personally to reflect on the events of the first Good Friday through a combination of Bible readings and works of art on these themes.

Then in the evening, at 7.30 pm we have a service of worship, including communion together. We will all prepare our own elements, a small piece of bread and some wine or juice, and at the appropriate time in the service we will share them together. Everyone who loves Jesus and wants to love Him more is welcome to join us. If you would like to have the link to the Zoom meeting, please email David, the minister, at david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com, and he will send the links to you. And if you’ve never used Zoom, don’t worry, we’ll send you instructions as well.

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Easter Reflections part 2

Here’s the second of our short series of videos, which aim to help us reflect on an element of the events of Easter. Today is sometimes known as Maundy Thursday, and it’s the day when we remember Jesus eating the Passover meal with his disciples, and then praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, before his betrayal and arrest.

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Easter Reflections

We’re in what’s often called Holy Week, the week that leads up to the celebration of Easter, with the sombre events of Good Friday, and the joyful surprise of Easter Day. To encourage us to think about some of those events, and how they help us process what’s going on in our nation and our world today with the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re posting some short videos, one a day over the next five days. Here’s the first – It’s Not The End Of The World

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Staying online for a while

For the foreseeable future, the church will not be holding services in the building. So we thank God for technology which means we can continue to meet and worship in cyberspace. Each Sunday we’ll gather for a Zoom-enabled worship time together. If you’d like to join us (and you can turn the camera off and stay in your PJs if you like), contact David at david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and he’ll send you a link to the meeting.

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Our first Sunday online

We’re meeting online, through Zoom, this Sunday morning at 11.00 (unless a million Christians logging on at the same time manage to crash the Internet). We’ll be thinking about Paul the apostle, and his priorities as he experienced social distancing (well, prison actually). How did he cope, and how did he focus on what really mattered?

If you’d like to join us, let me know, and I’ll send you a link, and instructions how to use Zoom if you’ve never used it before. It’s fairly easy…

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Strange times

You’ll have noticed there’s a wee virus doing the rounds. Well, sadly, not so wee, and one that is going to have a huge impact on all our lives. No one is quite sure how things are going to work out, but there will be impacts for some of us on our health, on our daily lives, on the lives of our family and friends, on our economy, and on our society. Things that seemed quite stable and settled just a couple of weeks ago now seem shaky and uncertain, maybe even scary. Somebody said to me “It’s like being in a film”. I know what they mean – and I’m certainly hoping for a happy ending

One of the things that this period of social distancing and self-isolation means is that churches in the UK are not going to be holding their usual worship services and other face to face meetings for a while, us included. But we are going to meet in other ways, and continue to stay in touch with each other, and deepen our relationship with God. We’ll post here and on our Facebook page how we’re going to do this.

Strange times like these can be a chance to re-examine things we’ve taken for granted for most of our lives, and think about what our life really is founded on. So if you’re feeling like this, then you’re very welcome to get in touch with David, the minister, or join us at one of our online get-togethers. David’s number is 07975531585 and his email is david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com

Finally, here are some words for folk who are looking for something, or Someone, to lean on in strange times.

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken.
(Psalm 62, verses 1 and 2)

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Spot the difference…

These two glasses look the same, and it’s water in both of them, but there’s one important difference. We’ll find out what that is this Sunday, and see how it helps us to understand Jesus’ words when he says to his followers, “Don’t worry.” Seriously? In a world of storms, climate change, war, and a range of illnesses including corona virus, we’re not to worry? Bold words indeed. If you want to think about how to take them to heart, you’re welcome to join us on Sunday morning at 11.00 am.

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