Miracles From Heaven

A new Christian film “Miracles from Heaven” (12A) is coming to Bristol Cineworld, Bristol Showcase, Vue Cribbs Causeway and Vue Longwell Green from Friday 10 June .

The film has been advertised in the current edition of “Christianity” and IDEA magazines. Speaking on Premier Christian radio’s breakfast show singer/song writer John PMiracles from heavenantry said it was “a very powerful film…I couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards – so inspiring!”

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution.

After Anna has a freak accident and falls three floors, a miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.

Full details including study material can be found by clicking:  HERE

 

O for a thousand tongues to sing – Wesley Day

On Tuesday Methodists around the world will be celebrating, ‘Wesley Day coIMG_2894commemorating the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced assurance of his salvation.  Wesley reluctantly attended a group meeting that evening on Aldersgate Street in London.  As he heard a reading from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, he felt his “heart strangely warmed.”   Wesley wrote in his journal that at about 8:45 pm. “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

Charles Wesley only a few days before had also had a conversion experience in the same place. The building where the meetings took place no longer exists, although the above monument stands in the street. Aldersgate Street has been shortened by common Methodist usage to simply Aldersgate. The word has come to represent both the place and the experience.For more details about the beginnings of Methodism and the Wesley’s click om my blog:    The Wesleyan Way

The New Room Bristol will be holding a special service on Tuesday, 24 May 7:30 PM – Wesley Day Celebration; a Love Feast led by Revd David Weeks with contributions from the New Room Singers. A time for sharing cold drinks and cake, thanksgiving and concerns and all are welcome

The following Resources might be of interest:

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A History of Methodism can be downloadedHERE

John Wesley’s Rules Poster can be downloaded:  HERE

Prayers of the Wesley’s can be downloaded: HERE

A brief History of the Methodist Church can be downloaded: HERE

John Wesley Christmas Gift

Pastoral Letter 

FROM: The Revd Steven J. Wild

President of the Conference

May 2016

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

John Wesley’s Christianity was not a set of beliefs, it was a process, an experiential way based on orthodox doctrines; an inwardness that resulted in outward practice. He applied this to the lives of men and women and the impact was enormous both in spiritual journey and practical holiness.

Our Methodist belief in prevenienent grace can be seen in the life of John Wesley; from the home at Epworth, to his experience of call to a deeper life in 1725, to being part of the group at Oxford seeking perfect love, to a wilderness time in Georgia in 1735. Then in the evening of the 24th of May 1738 he … ‘went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.’ This was a phenomenal moment for John Wesley but we mustn’t overvalue it by denigrating all that had happened before, the Holy Spirit was at work then, and would be ahead of him as he moved on.

The personal reality of the Holy Spirit in all human experience was emphasised by early Methodists; so vital and wide is the role and range of prevenienent grace that it was identified by the Wesley brothers as the ‘special work of the Holy Spirit’. I first heard this as a student at Cliff College and it changed my view of mission; rather than thinking it depended on me, I realised God’s Spirit was at work ahead of me and that I needed to discern and join in with a missional God. Throughout the faith conversations I have had while travelling this year, when hearing about people’s lives, it is often clear how God’s grace has broken in at different points. As an evangelist I have sought to outline the love of Jesus and it has seemed natural for them to respond in a positive way.

In Devon recently I challenged people to respond to the message by coming to touch the large free-standing mahogany cross, the focus of our worship, as a sign of commitment. To my amazement almost all the congregation were moved to do this. Standing nearby I discovered how many different paths people had come; some requested a prayer for healing as they touched it; some couples came and stood together at the foot of the cross; some people instead of touching it, almost embraced it. This was a response to love. I don’t know how God moved but like John Wesley in 1738, they felt that they did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation.

May the 24th of May be a day of re-dedication for us all.

With prayers for our continued ministry,

The Rev’d Steve Wild

President of the Conference

 

Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations

The Queen’s official birthday is on  the weekend of 10-12 June 2016.

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Logo in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday designed by Lucas Salinger, aged 10, from Potten End C of E Primary School in Hertfordshire.

This year the country and Commonwealth are celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. From her actual birthday on 21 April through to the official birthday celebrations from 10-12 June 2016, people are participating in a wide range of events. It is an amazing opportunity for churches to bring communities together to say thank you: thank you to God for a faithful life well lived, and thank you to the Queen for her unstinting service.

I offer a collection useful resources to help in worship and celebration.

  • For a copy of the Queens Birthday Order of Service Click: HERE

  • For a copy of the children’s Queens Birthday challenge Click: HERE

  • Music Sunday:

The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) is encouraging its members and volunteers across the country to join in celebration the Queen’s 90th birthday by holding their Music Sunday on 12th June. Churches and communities around the UK and overseas will join in celebrating this event with music and hymns. Please visit the link below for updated information on resources and how to plan your Music Sunday Click:  HERE

  • Her Majesty the Queen has approved the following Collects for use in services celebrating her ninetieth birthday this year.

Heavenly Father, who hast brought our gracious sovereign Queen Elizabeth to the completion of her ninetieth year, and dost gather her people in celebration of the same: grant that we, rejoicing before thee with thankful hearts, may ever be united in love and service to one another, and her kingdom flourish in prosperity and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heavenly Father,
as we celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen,
receive our heartfelt thanks
for all that you have given her in these ninety years
and for all that she has given to her people.
Continue, we pray, your loving purposes in her,
and as you gather us together in celebration,
unite us also in love and service to one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • The Liturgical Commission has circulated two graces for use at church and community gatherings such as street parties, as well as readings for a celebration in worship.

Bountiful God, giver of all good gifts,
we give thanks for the many years and long reign of our Queen;
Bless our food, our neighbourhood,
and our enjoyment of each other’s company.
Help us to learn from Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to her people,
so that our community may be strengthened
and all may flourish.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the King of love.

Gracious God, give our Queen continued wisdom and strength
to carry out the promises she has made;
and bless (this food, and) those who are gathered here,
that, sustained by service for others,
we may faithfully serve you, all the days of our life.

[With words from The Queen’s First Christmas Broadcast, 1952]

  • Suggested readings to be used in a celebration of the Queen’s birthday:

1 Kings 1.32-40 or Ecclesiastes 12
Psalm 21.1-7 or Psalm 72
Ephesians 1.15-23 or 1 Peter 2.13-17
Mark 12.13-17
  • The Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust (LWPT) has produced an Order of Service that can be used at thanksgiving services, available from CPO. Click: HERE

  • What role has the Christian faith has played in the Queen’s life as “Defender of the Faith”?. This video chronicles seven amazing things the Queen has said about faith in Jesus. You can watch by clicking here.

Pentecost 2016

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Yesterday The Christian Church celebrated Pentecost. The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek word ‘Pentekostos’, which means ‘fifty’. It’s the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover week, called the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot (Leviticus 23:16). The festival is one of three pilgrimage festivals, that every male Jew is expected to go on at least once during their lifetime. In ancient times, the grain harvest lasted seven weeks and was a season of gladness (Jer. 5:24, Deut. 16:9-11, Isa. 9:2). Shavuot refers to the numbers of days from the offering of the first sheaves of wheat and the first newly baked bread at the beginning of Passover when they were ceremoniously offered in the Sanctuaries and later in the Temple. Marking the completion of the grain harvest, (just as the eighth day of Sukkot (Tabernacles) was the concluding festival of the fruit harvest) it is the recognition that the earth and its fruits belong to God.

Based on a rather vague passage in the Book of Exodus (19:1-2) Hellenistic Jews coined the name Pentecost. (πεντηκοστή, “fiftieth day”) to link  Shavuot with the Jewish tradition, of God giving Moses the Torah at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. There is a logical and profoundly religious reason for this link, although it was probably not formulated until the last centuries before the coming of Jesus. When Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt it was for a particular purpose, so the various tribes had to be welded into a community, to stand in a united relationship with God in a way not demanded of other nations. Rabbis explain the meaning of Pentecost as Israel’s wedding day and the Torah being the marriage contract between God and His people.

In the same way as Passover and Pentecost are linked in the Old Testament, the events of Resurrection, Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost are linked in the New Testament. Just as the giving of the Torah cemented the Israelites together, the Spirit would unite a multitude, till then strangers to each other and to God. Whilst the motley crowd, assembled in Jerusalem for Pentecost was not unlike the heterogeneous tribes which met God centuries before in the Sinai desert, described in the Book of Exodus, in terms of smoke and fire, thunder and lightening’s and thick clouds on the mountain when we are told that the appearance of the glory of God was like a devouring fire (Exodus 19:16 & 18).

These images are used as a matter of course by Luke in his description of Pentecost of a “mighty wind, and tongues of fire”. It seems to me that the important thing is not whether such things physically occurred rather that at both Sinai and Jerusalem the Spirit gathers a crowd and transforms them into a community. At Sinai a nation came into existence, at Pentecost a church was born.

DOVE18      Pentecost Litany Click:    Here 

Pentecost Celebration 2016

The Bristol and South Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit celebrated Pentecost by holding a family fun afternoon on Hanham Mount. Led by the Ark Team and a host of volunteers we had a bouncy castle, face painting, crafts, tea and cake, followed by an act of worship and the releasing of balloons. The sun shone upon us, and a great time was had by all, including the neighbours!