Glossop Methodist Circuit

Methodist Churches

in the Glossop Area

Week 14- 21st June 2020

Rev Hazel Cook


Dear Friends

The world has turned green again, after the many weeks with so little rainfall when the earth looked dry, the ground was hard and the grass was brownish. The heavy rain has bought the world back to life again, The grass is green. Whilst the long sunny days were very welcome, especially during lockdown, farmers and keen gardeners were anxious for some rainfall, the reservoirs and streams were low.... and we might have been beginning to worry about low water supplies. We are mindful that for many the supply of clean water, drought or flood is a constant worry and our minds turn back to last summer and the floods many people experienced. 

What amazes me is how quickly the world turned green again… it is a reassuring sign, when the earth receives what it needs, it can have the life God intended. We are reminded how fragile the earth is and how we are called to be good stewards of creation. 

We can apply this image to our own lives and the life of our churches and communities, to keep us life-giving, to keep us as we are meant to be with the life and love of God… we, so to speak, need the living water, to refresh, cleanse, empower and help us to grow and become what we are meant to be. Without the living water we can become parched, a place where little grows, a place which uses all its energy just to survive and keep going.

Let’s hope there are still some sunny days ahead so people can be out and about. Certainly, for many people, while there has been a limited number of things to do there has been a greater affinity to nature, and noticing and enjoying more of the natural world.

Gradually restrictions are being lifted for lockdown, people returning to work and more shops being opened. These are still very early days and there is a still a lot of apprehension surrounding this. 

At this time our situations with regard to the churches remains the same, but we know wherever we are, whatever our situation, God’s love and presence remains constant. 

Please contact me if there is anything. 

With love and prayers, 

Hazel


Week 14 Praying at Home

CowslipMonday: Ruth again

We continue with the book of Ruth during June. Chapter 3 reminds us how difficult it is for two widows, one a migrant, to secure a settled future. Ruth is encouraged to form a relationship with Boaz in order to secure a better future, but we see also how precarious for many years the situation and plight of women has been. Our situation may be very different today, but we know for those on the outside, especially those trying to flee violence and hardship, life can be very dangerous and the hope of a settled life a remote hope. During lockdown we have also heard that incidents of domestic violence, although often hidden, have increased. Violence toward any gender or in any situation is a long way from how God wants people to live and be with one another. 

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 

Prayer: We pray for those whose lives have little hope of a settled future, for those who suffer violence and for those who seek to provide safe places and the hope of a better life. Amen.

 

Tuesday: Dipping into Ignatius

Many people over the years have found great help and structure in the spiritual prayers and exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. I was reading a book about Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living. I was interested to read that when Ignatius, originally a nobleman, became a Christian, he swapped his fine noble clothes for that of a beggar. It was a sign of his complete change of life. I read also about how the society of Jesus (the Jesuits) had its first step to becoming a religious order. A few friends had begun to meet for prayer and to develop and grow their spiritual life. One day, after having sharing in the Eucharist, they vowed they would serve God together as companions of Christ. It happened on August 15th 1534 when they were outside sharing what could only be described as a picnic in a Paris park.  In the whole realm of life God’s Spirit can prompt us forward, speak to us afresh and lead us to a place of new beginning in a park or in a fine cathedral.... 

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Prayer: Lord help me to be open to those moments when you might be leading me to something new. Thank you for those who have answered their prompting like Ignatius and for the great legacy of prayer that lives on for us today. Amen. 

Tattenhall Online - Parish Footpaths

Wednesday: A new path on the walk

The more I walk in my local area, the more paths I notice that I haven’t been down. I see the foot path signs and begin to wonder why I haven’t been on them yet. When I venture down a new path I’m always surprised to discover that very often it is brings me to something familiar, or connects with another path later that know well. Map-reading isn’t my favourite...and I usually stick to the well-known route. When I do go down a new path I’m always pleased and think to myself “why didn’t I do that before?”. Sometimes life can be like that, we like to stick with the familiar, we don’t feel confident in trying something new, we hold back...and yet when we have a try, more often that not it is worth it, even if takes us out of our comfort zone.  I wonder what new path I might need to try in my own life, and maybe you too could think if there is a new path close to home which might just be worth a try. 

Psalm 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the paths I know so well in my life, but help me have courage when the time is right to choose to go down a path I haven’t been down before. You are with me. Amen.

FoodThursday: Food Vouchers 

Marcus Rashford, the young Manchester United player, has written a letter to all MPs, not about football but it was the week UEFA Euro’20 should have started. It was a letter calling for the government to continue to provide food coupons for vulnerable families during the holidays.  He talks about his own upbringing, and quotes “my mum worked full-time, earning minimum wage to make sure we always had a good evening meal on the table. But it was not enough. As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and the kind,  I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year.“ We are reminded that for many families food poverty is a very real issue and exacerbated by Covid 19.  To provide food for families and children is a humanitarian issue and as Mark Rashford says, “Political affiliations aside, can we not all agree that no child should be going to bed hungry?” His campaign has been successful. 

Matthew 15:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink

Prayer: Loving God, you are in the face of the hungry child and the worried parent. Help me to do what I can to respond to your call to feed the hungry. Amen. 

 

Friday: What have we learnt? 

This is the 14th week I have prepared worship material during lockdown and I am wondering how does it feel to worship and pray more at home? We often think about what we have missed during these days but I am also wondering what it is that we may have learnt? Is there something that you want to hold onto, that you want take with you as we look tentatively towards the future? In all our lives we grow and are changed by our experiences, but sometimes it is good to be intentional and think… reflectively and prayerfully about how God may be speaking to us that could lead us on in positive way....if you think of something please, if you feel able, feel free to share this in a way that feels appropriate…

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Prayer: Loving God, help me to be open to the things you want me to embrace and hold onto for the future. Amen.

 

Saturday: Jigsaws

Jigsaw PuzzleA lot of people have been doing jigsaws during lockdown… it takes time and attention, and can be done over a period of days. It can be quite satisfying to put the final piece in… and see the full picture. Our lives can seem like a jigsaw sometimes, it may feel as if the pieces are all scattered about and don’t make sense, it may feel as if it’s hard to put the right piece in the right place, it may feel as if there are too many pieces the same and we can’t work the right piece in the right place, or as if there are too many pieces the same and we can’t work out what the difference is. As we think of our lives we think of different places, people and experiences that make up our picture.   I wonder what your life jigsaw feels like at the moment?

1 Corinthians 13:12  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Prayer: Loving God, in my jigsaw of life help me to know you hold all the parts together. Amen.  

 


Sunday Worshipping at Home June 21st

the light through trees falls onto the path

Preparing and gathering for worship 

The steadfast love of the Lord is good, God’s mercy is abundant. As we set this time aside to worship, let us also set aside those things that may distract us. Let us draw on these things that will help us to focus. Whatever our situation… we let go and we take in. 

May we take in the breadth of God’s love, may we take in the depth of God’s grace, may we take in the height of God’s eternal kindness in this sacred time of worship. 

 

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands hath made; 

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

 

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,

He bled and died to take away My sin.

 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.

When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,

And then proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”

 

 

Opening prayers

We lift our hearts to you Lord:  we come as we are knowing we are loved and cared for. We come as we are, knowing your presence is within us and around us. We come as we are, knowing your love extends from our small space to the whole expanse of universe and beyond. We bring our personal praise and thank,s knowing we are united with all those who join to worship. O Lord make your presence known to us; draw near to us; redeem us, set us free; for we seek to be your faithful disciples. Amen. 

Two SparrowsMatthew 10:29-31

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? 
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 
And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

 

 

We focus on these verses for a few moments. They come as part of a wider passage in Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus is talking to the disciples about how the reaction to his message can be divisive, costly, and unpredictable. One of the phrases that runs through the passage is “do not be afraid”. And we find that phrase here… “don’t be afraid you are worth more than many sparrows.” In a passage which talks about families being divided against each other and those who seek to destroy… the mention of sparrows and the hairs of our head being counted stands strangely in contrast… yet a welcome contrast. There is a gentleness here, something very uplifting and reassuring… this is how well God knows and cares for us. 

What this verse brings to mind is the attention to detail, to the small things, despite everything going on around us... God’s attention to us is not diminished. 

For this we give thanks and praise, and it can also ask us to consider how we can extend this care and attention to others. The small things matter.

 

crossMatthew 10:38-39

 

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

 

 

We turn to another verse from this passage which in many ways stands in contrast to our first verse, it seems harder, more challenging and a lot to take in....yet we can approach this verse still with confidence because of what has been said before ...because of the way God knows and cares for us.  This sense of taking up the cross gives us the sense that our Christian discipleship is more than just joining a club or taking up a hobby… it involves a whole-hearted commitment, one that is both costly and liberating, one that is both sacrificial and life-giving. Taking up the cross… I wonder what these words may mean for each one is us… as we look back on our lives, can we trace how we have done that? Maybe we can say taking up the cross is discovering the way of mercy, grace, forgiveness, hope through suffering, working for justice and peace and so much more. I very much feel drawn to the verse about “losing their life for my sake will find it” …we let go of what we think is important… and discover the deeper sense of our calling and purpose. 

Prayers for others, ourselves and the wider community and world…

Spend a few moments bringing to mind those people who you would like to pray for, those things in the world and our local community that cause us worry and concerns, and for ourselves and families, maybe even write them down, people and situations, so you can continue  to pray for them in the week…

As we bring these prayers together… remember the words:

 

Father, I place into Your hands 
The things I cannot do,
Father, I place into Your hands 
The times that I've been through.
Father, I place into Your hands 
The way that I should go, 
For I know I always can trust You.

Father, I place into Your hands 
My friends and family.
Father, I place into Your hands 
The things that trouble me.
Father, I place into Your hands 
The person I would be, 
For I know I always can trust You.

Father, I place into Your hands 
My friends and family.
Father, I place into Your hands 
The things that trouble me.
Father, I place into Your hands 
The person I would be, 
For I know I always can trust You.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Blessing

May we know ourselves known and cared for, may we know ourselves accepted and worthy in God’s mercy, may we know ourselves ready to follow in the light and the love of the cross. 

 

Take my life and let it be consecrated to Thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. 
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Cup of Tea With Chocolate Chip Cookies - Free Clip Art (With ...

Time for a nice cup of tea and coffee… be in touch with a friend… and peace and blessing for the week.