Our Sunday Zoom worship service begins at 10.30 am.
We are changing the way we begin these services. Lewis will be playing music as you enter and everyone will remain muted, with a share screen explaining what is happening and giving the notices.
On Thursday evening, our circuit zoom prayer meeting will begin at 7 pm - please pray at that time whether you join us on zoom or not. It is good to know that people are praying all around the circuit at that time.
This will be followed at 7.30 pm with our
zoom reflective worship, this week led by Clive Longhurst.
On Friday morning, we hold our weekly
zoom coffee morning
at 10.30 am.
Listen to news:
0808 281 2478
Content is updated weekly on Thursday evening
* * *
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 email@example.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.
West Somerset can be contacted anytime 24/7—Phone 0800 801 1808
leave a message if the phone is not answered.
For further information,
visit the website: www.westsomersetadvice.org.uk
The Rank Trust deed objectives are:
To advance the Christian faith and
To further any other objects or purposes which are exclusively charitable according to the laws of England and Wales in force from time to time and offers grants for this work.
Please click here for the
Joseph Rank Trust website
[You can hear Nick reading these by clicking on the link below]
A Methodist Way of Life
In the year 2000, as part of the celebration of the millennium, the Methodist Church produce the Our Calling document. The Methodist Church has recently reaffirmed the Our Calling document, expanded it and asked the people called Methodists to look at it afresh. Some of you will have seen the cards produced this year to help us all engage with Our Calling. The Our Calling document is a summary of what the Methodist Church believes and affirms about the faith we share as Methodists. It begins like this:
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.
Our Calling then identifies four key aspects of our life as Methodists. These four aspects are Worship, Learning & Caring, Service and Evangelism. We will focus on each of these aspects of our lives individually and corporately in these devotions and the next three devotions that I write.
So, to begin – Worship…
The Our Calling document states that as far as we are able, as people called Methodists, and with God’s help, we will pray daily; we will worship with others regularly; we will look and listen for God in Scripture and in the world. Let us think about each of these aspects of our faith in turn.
We will pray daily. As we have reflected upon in previous devotions, prayer is more than putting our hands together and closing our eyes and then telling God things that God knows already. One of the classic attributes of God is omniscience. That means that God knows everything. Really understanding this and taking it to heart has the power to radically transform our prayer life. Our prayers can never be for the purpose of telling God anything because God knows everything already. The purpose of our prayer is to allow God to transform our lives. God is in the transformation business. Every story we read in the bible is about people’s lives being changed in some way. Nothing stays the same when God is present. As Brother Lawrence profoundly discovered, ‘Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.’ As human beings, when we are aware of God’s presence with us, which is what happens when we pray, God’s transformation takes place. When we adore God and praise God for who God is, then we see ourselves as we truly are. We are human and God is divine. The purpose of our prayers can never be to try to get God to do what we think God should do. That is to put ourselves in God’s place. The purpose of our prayers is always to make us more aware of God’s presence with us so that we can understand more of God’s purposes for us as individuals and as part of the Body of Christ, the Church. Of course, we bring our requests to God. That is a natural human thing to do. But we do that so that we can better understand ourselves and our own thoughts and desires. God already knows everything there is to know about us – God knows us better than we know ourselves. In prayer, God helps us to discover more of the people we truly are in order that we might live our lives more like the women and men God created us to be. As Jean reminded us last week, Philippians tells us that we present our anxieties as prayer requests to God and then leave those anxieties with God precisely because God is God and we are human. This is where we find a peace that is beyond our understanding. Our anxieties increase when we forget that we are human and God is divine.
We will worship with others regularly. In these days of pandemic, our lives are in a different context from what we used to think of as ‘normal.’ To worship regularly with others meant, for the most part, physically going to a church building at a set time and joining with other people in a service of worship. These strange and difficult days of pandemic means that this has not been possible. Even when we do open our churches (which I hope will be soon), the nature of our communal worship services will be different. We will need to wear face-coverings and not sing – which will be so hard for Methodists who are ‘born in song.’ We will not be able to talk with others, doors and windows will have to remain open during the service and we will maintain social distance between one another. These things are all for very good reasons, to keep one another safe, but they are not what we are used to. Many of us have experienced the joy of sharing in zoom worship from our homes. After a faltering beginning, a few people are now saying they prefer zoom services to services held in a church building. In zoom worship, we are together, united, though physically apart. Our unity in God, our shared worship experience, is very real. It has shown us that there are different ways for us to share worship with others. I wonder what God will have for us in the future? Time will tell… In the meantime, are there things that you could do to worship with others safely that you are not doing at the moment? What is God laying on your heart?
We will look and listen for God in Scripture and in the world. In order to look and listen for God in Scripture, we need to be reading our bibles. We can do that on our own, or in a group. The Wednesday evening bible study group allows people to share their thoughts with one another around the bible. Please look out for other opportunities to share around the bible together in the New Year. As we move out of the current restrictions, we are planning more bible study groups to help us fulfil this part of Our Calling. Alongside bible study groups, it is really important for Christians to read our bibles on our own and get to know more of God, more of Jesus Christ our Lord, and more about the work of the Holy Spirit. Internet resources can help us here, too. As well as an ever-increasing amount of wonderful Christian material on YouTube and other internet sites, emails and social media allow us to share together in our Christian discipleship – growing in faith as we read, reflect and talk with our friends about the things we have learnt. For example, in our own circuit, Jane Sefton has been producing a daily reflection and prayer throughout the time of pandemic which is appreciated by so many people – and we are very grateful for this continuing aid to the worship-life of people around our circuit and beyond. Some people have found that they could join with everyone in zoom worship even when they were many miles away from West Somerset on holiday or visiting family. You see, we have a living faith and we believe that God is active in all the world, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes God will surprise us. Where have you noticed God active in the world around you? At the current time, do you feel closer to God or further away from God? Why is that?
Take a few minutes now to sit quietly in an attitude of prayer and ask God to speak to you, by the Holy Spirit, about the worship that you offer – and listen deep in your heart for what the Holy Spirit is saying…
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