AUG
7

ittle Fishes and TOTS toddler groups for 0-4 years old.

There are thriving groups for toddlers and their parents & carers at Alcombe, Minehead, Watchet and Williton.  Please click on the toddler group links in the appropriate church's column to the left for details. - See more at: http://westsomerset.2day.uk/?localBoard=2948&globalBoard=0#sthash.HRstq8iQ

Little Fishes and TOTS toddler groups for 0-4 years old.

There are thriving groups for toddlers and their parents & carers at Alcombe, Minehead, Watchet and Williton.  Please click on the toddler group links in the appropriate church's column to the left for details. - See more at: http://westsomerset.2day.uk/?localBoard=2948&globalBoard=0#sthash.HRstq8iQ.dpuf
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Latest Information:

Coffee Morning:
Friday Coffee mornings
on Zoom will be back by popular demand at
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Margaret Lintern will lead our Thursday evening service on Zoom at 7.30pm.

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Content is updated weekly on Thursday evening
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There are many opportunities to engage with Christian worship
on line, a few of which
are listed below;
Just click on any in italics to be directed to that site:

9am Monday to Friday
Morning Prayers from Wesley House Cambridge

Prayers and Worship Services from Wesley's Chapel, London

Songs of Praise on Sunday afternoons on BBC 1

Premier Christian Radio via their website or on Freeview channel 725

Live worship at 11 am on a Sunday morning from Plymouth Central Hall search YouTube or Facebook for ‘Plymouth Central Hall’

Information about worshipping at home and live streaming of worship from the Singing the Faith plus website here…https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Regular updates from the Methodist Church are available here…https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus-guidance/

 Should you need to make urgent contact, please contact the Superintendent Minister on 01643 705175 or email wsmc2425@gmail.com

We will continue to support the life and work of the West Somerset Circuit in other ways – please check this website for updates and 
Click here to read The Messenger which we will continue to publish during this closure period

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[You can listen to Rebecca reading this by clicking the link at the bottom of this item]

My partner Richard and I took a car ride to the seafront one evening last week. It was a nice evening, not amazing but typically British summer conditions I would say with clouds, a snappy breeze and a few people sauntering by. As we sat looking across the channel to Wales Rich pointed out Worms Head. Somewhere I have never heard of. We saw a boat off in the distance to the right, heading towards Bristol dock maybe?

Then my thoughts were taken to the shipping forecast that would stream out of the radio when I was a child in my bright orange 1970’s kitchen at home. The radio was always on BBC radio 4 unless one of my sisters had tuned it to the rather controversial Radio Caroline, which would send my mum into a 10-minute spin trying to re-tune the channel with no fizzing.

I don’t think I took much notice of the radio really. Although I do seem to know words to songs from that era and I have no idea why…maybe that’s why? because they were playing, and I was subconsciously taking it all in like children do.

Then the shipping forecast would come on. Everything seemed to stop. I really didn’t understand them but I remember the words floating through my mind, each one sparking an array of thoughts and my imagination would be firing on all cylinders. Words like warnings, deepening, gale, northerly and so on. I would think to myself ‘sounds cold! where is that? Plymouth Oh I think I recognise that place, we must be back home again’ In my mind I travelled the seas, turning over with the waves. I’d be stood in the cabin with the master looking out to the seas, feeling at one with the elements.

Sitting there with Rich and all these thoughts going through my mind it occurred to me that back then I was praying. My heart was with those who needed to hear this forecast, those who’s lives perhaps depended on it. Oh I did pray to God they would be kept safe and would return to their homes and families in one piece.

Looking on the internet to find an audio clip of the shipping forecast to include in this devotion I see there are lots and lots of shipping forecast fans! People who listen to it just to relax and there is a real love for the opportunity it gives for meditation. In the comments the word ‘prayer’ is used frequently. Ricky J.P says; ‘I honestly thought it was just me who snuggled up safe and warm in bed and listened to this and said a prayer for our heroic fishermen out on those dark unforgiving seas’

You and I know that the men and women at sea will feel those prayers, prayers that travel miles regardless of the terrain or weather. I wonder if the BBC know about the good that has been done by prayer through broadcasting the shipping forecast over all the years?

I have included an audio clip of the shipping forecast which was the only time that the shipping forecast has been read on both radio and tv as part of the Arena Radio Night in 1993. The forecast is read by Laurie MacMillan. Broadcast Saturday 18 December 1993 on Radio 4/BBC2 (or more accurately in the early hours of Sunday 19th)

For the full version of the broadcast go to YouTube; ‘RandomRadioJottings’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnQ2Lk20n3U

I encourage you to listen and take note of those sneaky fleeting thoughts. Be open to what you hear.

God bless you. Rebecca.

Written and read by Rebecca Edwards.

[You can listen to Clive reading this by clicking the link at the bottom of this item]

Years ago, there was an advertisement for a magazine - it couldn’t have been a very good one as I can’t remember which magazine it was. But the slogan was ‘I never knew there was so much in it’.

In a way I think we can apply that slogan to the story of the feeding of the 5000.

It’s one of those Bible stories I think of as a ‘Sunday School staple’ - everyone knows what happened on that day. But given it’s one of only two miracles that appears in all four Gospels - and the other one is the resurrection - it was clearly memorable and important.

It’s not the first time God provided bread in this way. There’s Manna from Heaven for the Israelites and in 2 King chapter 4 Elisha feeds 100 men with a few barley loaves. I’m sure there are other examples.

But this time Jesus is performing the miracle and it’s all the more miraculous.
The background is that Jesus has been teaching and healing non-stop all day. In fact, the crowds following Jesus have got so huge and unmanageable that we are told Jesus and the disciples had to get in a boat to escape for a bit of quiet and rest.

So there they are, tired, hungry and Jesus was probably upset too as he’d just been told of the violent death of John the Baptist. They have the brilliant plan to sail to a place they think is deserted and secluded but some people in the crowd see which way the boat is heading and get there first. The result? No food, no rest - just more crowds!

But Jesus won’t turn his back on the people he sees are in need. He begins teaching and

healing all over again. He’s still going strong as it’s getting dark and the disciples - who were probably tired and hungry themselves - suggest Jesus sends the crowd home to get some food and sleep.

But Jesus has other ideas (how many times have we heard that?!). “You feed them” he tells the disciples. I can just imagine their reaction of disbelief, and fear - they might even have laughed out loud. We know Philip argues about how expensive it would be to buy food for the whole crowd.

Jesus is not laughing.

Yes, Jesus was the Son of the God that spoke the world into existence in seven days and as such, could have simply commanded the crowd’s stomachs to be filled, but he doesn’t. Once again, Jesus chooses to use his followers to do God’s work. In this case, a small boy with a small packed lunch.

Just imagine the scene. Jesus asks the disciples to get everyone sat down as if they are all about to eat. He then prays and offers God thanks for this tiny offering, while he is standing in front of a huge crowd of 5000 men - which, when you add in their families was probably more like 10-15,000. The disciples must have been petrified there would be a riot!

Jesus then divides the food and tells the disciples to begin distributing it. You can almost hear the disciples rehearsing in their minds what they would say to the third or fourth person after the food had run out. Or what they would say to urge each person to only take a tiny crumb, but then their amazement and delight when the food just kept appearing.

I wonder how long it took the disciples to realise that Jesus had done it again. That the food wasn’t going to run out. That everyone was going to be fed.

As we know, after everyone had eaten they gathered up all the leftovers - they obviously had a seagull problem too - and those leftovers filled twelve baskets. A doggie bag for each disciple!

God, through Jesus, had provided for everyone.

God, through Jesus, had performed a miracle using a contribution from the humblest of his followers.

God, through Jesus, had given them a gift far greater than anyone had expected.

God, through Jesus, had given them all they needed.

God, through Jesus had empowered his servants to achieve the impossible.

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