Thanks to Dorothy, our President, for the prayer points below, to the people who have contributed various other parts to the page, and to the people at Sermon Central, who have made it possible to share with you some video messages of hope and encouragement in these unprecedented times. Please feel free to pray on the points given, reflect on the thoughts shared, to watch the videos below, to read the suggested Scriptures, and to reflect on what a great and awesome God we serve.
Alan Harrison (Communications Officer)
Week Commencing 19th October 2020
Points for Prayer
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit…”
(Jude 20, New International Version)
Significant sections of England are still waiting to hear when they will go into increased lockdown measure and what these will be. Tensions are running high and despair is rising.
Nevertheless, God’s people continue to hope in God.
This hope does not come automatically, it is a result of prayer and abiding in the Lord Jesus. It is by reading and meditating on God’s Word that we feed our spirit and our soul (which includes our mind). As we allow God to speak to us through His Word, we are built up, encouraged, challenged and filled with hope.
God is calling His people to hope and pray. Are we willing to answer His call?
Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President
Please continue to pray for all our Fellowships:
- Particularly those who are struggling with modern technology – ask the Lord to open a way to help communication between individual Church congregations and also between the Connexion of churches.
- Those who are have not yet re-opened for worship for whatever reason. Pray that they will be filled with God’s hope and be able to rest in Him until the time is right for them to re-open.
- For those who are having to face difficult decisions for the future whether as individuals or as a Fellowship. Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom for all.
Prayer requests from our churches
Atherton: The funeral service for Jim Cheers will take place on Monday 26th October. Please continue to pray for Ann and all the family.
Prayer for our Missionaries
May we encourage you to pray this week for our missionaries.
Here are some prayer points, but please pray as you feel led.
Gail and Daniel Castro
- For Gail and Daniel as they plan to return to Spain in the Spring: sadly, much of their deputation ministry has been cancelled due to the pandemic, and they have been trying to reschedule services/meetings which were cancelled. Pray also as they require a significant increase in their support at this time.
- Pray for Melissa who is working as an Occupational Therapist at a hospital in Crewe.
- For Ruth who is currently studying at Chester University.
Lesley and Philippe
- Philippe has been running a project, in various villages, on how to raise chickens.
- For Lesley as she runs a Mental Fitness for Christians coaching programme in October. They have been having some problems on the team, so please pray these can be resolved.
- They pray that the small group of believers in their town will grow both spiritually and numerically.
The Rehab Centre, where Liz has worked for a number of years, has recently changed its use and so this means that Liz is now looking for a new place to live. Please pray for a place where she and her housemate can be a light to their neighbours. She especially needs our prayers at this time of change.
These images were sent to the Resource Centre a few weeks ago, but due to an error with email addresses, they have only been picked up now – I’m sure you’d agree though, they are just too lovely not to include in our sheet this week!
This is Drew, the grandson of Ann Cheers, showing off his beautiful sunflowers and impressive carrots that he has grown on his Mum’s allotment.
Well done Drew!
Ladies’ Fellowship Sunday at Bethel, Newtown – from Pauline Smith
Yesterday was our Ladies’ Fellowship Sunday, an anniversary we would normally celebrate with two services separated by sharing a meal together. Of course, that is not possible at the moment, but we had such a blessed morning with Dorothy Kendrick who brought a wonderful message of hope in difficult times.
Preaching from the book of Ruth, we saw how God worked in the lives of two women. Firstly Naomi, who had lost sight of God, being changed into a woman who recognised His hand at work and learned to trust Him. Ruth trusted God whilst remaining obedient to Naomi and as she was redeemed by Boaz, so we can be redeemed by the transforming power of Christ on the cross, if we trust in Him.
As our service ended, we listened to the organ playing “In Christ alone my hope is found” as we read those wonderfully appropriate words from Stuart Townend.
We thank our Lord that we are able to meet together and we thank Dorothy for her faithfulness in preaching the word and reminding us that in these difficult times, we must look to the one who brings us hope. We are not on our own, we are not forgotten, God is with us, He is for us.
Harvest Weekend at Cherry Lane, Lymm – from Sue Stanworth
We had a lovely socially distanced Harvest weekend celebration.
On Saturday, we had a WhatsApp service taken by Ken Irwin. Those who weren’t on WhatsApp had the service on CD or a written copy. Normally, we would have had a hotpot supper, but we all had apple pie and cream delivered.
On Sunday, our service was Taken by Mr Phil Jump (North West Baptist Union).
Both Services were a time of blessing reminding us, that even during lockdown, God is with us, providing for us and taking care of us, and of our need to put our trust in Him.
Anniversary Celebrations at Bethany, Grindon – from Pat Hodgson
It was our church anniversary yesterday and Shaun Newton was the preacher.
We had such a blessed day!
Week Commencing 12th October 2020
Points for Prayer
“For the eyes of Adonai move here and there throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those who are wholehearted toward him.”
(2 Chronicles 16:9a, The Complete Jewish Study Bible)
Are you a chicken or a pig? Both were wandering down the High Street when they saw a hoarding displaying bacon and eggs sizzling in a pan. “Oh, that’s looks great!” said the chicken, his beak watering as he gazed at the picture. “Not at all” said the pig. “For you – it takes only a small contribution – for me, it takes my life”.
These are hard days and today many are wondering what the Government’s announcement of restrictions will be. The future looks bleak, yet as we look through this sheet, we see God at work in the most amazing ways. The creative works of His people have been given to Him and the Gospel is continuing to be sent forth. As we work and share together, we encourage and build one another up in the faith. This is especially important when life is tough.
Over past months, we have come to realise that we are separated by distance, yet we are together in Christ. Many of us are alone physically, yet God is always present. We cannot see what lies ahead, yet God holds the future in His hands. These are amazing truths that we need to be standing on as we continue through these days.
It is always good to take stock of where we are at spiritually and the opening question is not a bad place to start. The Gospel message sounds great – but what about the cost? The message in God’s Word is clear. God is with those who are totally turned over to Him. He doesn’t promise an easy life – there will be hard and dark days – but He does promise to strengthen and protect us.
May God richly bless you as you love and serve Him with wholehearted devotion.
Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President
Continue to pray for direction, strength, protection and for unity for the Churches in our Connexion during this time of uncertainty, especially as they prayerfully consider ways to re-open and make suitable arrangements for their Fellowships and buildings. The churches in bold italics have informed the Resource Centre that they have opened or intend to open in the coming weeks.
Bolton Circuit: Chorley, Noble Street, Radcliffe
Bristol Circuit: Staple Hill, Warmley, West Camel (Somerset)
Blackpool Area: Blackpool
Burnley Area: Cliviger
Croxton Circuit: Croxton
Leigh Circuit: Astley, Atherton, Croft, Culcheth, Leigh, Kirkhall Lane, Leigh, Mill Lane, Lowton, Moorside, Roe Green, Tyldesley
Liverpool Circuit: Crosby, Haydock, Long Lane, Ramsey, Sutton Village, Thatto Heath
Medlock Valley: Failsworth (Roman Road)
Nelson Area: Nelson
North East Circuit: Bank Head, Boldon, Brandon Murray, Easington Lane, Grindon (Bethany Memorial), Hebburn (worshipping with Boldon), Hetton-le-Hole, Murton, New Delaval, New Silksworth, Ryhope, Seaham Enfield Road, Seaham Stanley Street, South Hetton, South Hylton, Spennymoor (Jubilee), Spennymoor (Mount Pleasant), Sunderland (Bethel Christian Fellowship)
Pendle Circuit: Barnoldswick, Bethel (Colne)
Skelmersdale Area: Skelmersdale
Trafford, Manchester: Trafford Christian Life Centre
Warrington Circuit: Appleton, Grappenhall, Lymm, Risley, Stockton Heath, Buckley Street, Friars Green, Kent Street
Wigan Circuit: Bryn, Downall Green, Hindley, Ince, Lamberhead Green, Newtown, Pemberton, Spring View, Stubshaw Cross, Westwood
Yorkshire Circuit: Bingley, Dewsbury
Prayer requests from our churches
Atherton: Mr James Stanfield Cheers (Jim), went Home to Glory at 2am on Sunday 11th October. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ann and the rest of the family at this very sad time – please do continue to uphold them in your prayers. Jim most certainly was “a good and Faithful Servant of our Lord and Saviour”. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Hindley: Barbara, Fred and Lilian’s youngest son’s mother-in-law, who had a lump on her ovaries, has recently passed away. The family want to thank everyone for their prayers for their family during this difficult time. Please do continue to pray for God’s comfort and strength for them all.
New Delaval: For Derek and Brenda Yates. They have both had a time in hospital this week. Please pray for them and their daughter Diane who is caring for them.
Hindley: Fred and Lilian Kearsley want to thank everyone for their prayers for their granddaughter Amy, aged 22, who was diagnosed with a cyst on her womb – thankfully, she has now been given the all-clear. Such an answer to prayer!
Prisons Week 2020: United in Lockdown
As many of us have had an insight this year into what it’s like to be in lockdown, individual Christians and Churches are invited to pray for those who remain behind physical and emotional bars during Prisons Week which runs from Sunday 11 to Saturday 17 October.
Taking place for the last four decades, Prisons Week raises awareness and generates prayer. It motivates volunteers to step forward and give their time and gifts, in prisons and in their own communities. It provides an annual focus and reason for Christians to work together to make a difference for people who are out of sight and often out of mind.
The organisers, who are representatives of Christian denominations and Christian organisations working in prisons or supporting prisons ministry, have prepared day-by-day prayer literature to enable the Christian community to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons. Each day focuses on a different group of people: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of our prisons.
The prayer guides are available on the Prisons Week website.
Monday: Praying with Prisoners
Spirit of grace and truth, we ask for your constant presence through the days, weeks, months and years of imprisonment.
For your steady refusal to be shut out by cell walls, steel doors or reluctant and stubborn hearts.
Break through the fear and isolation, shatter all pretence and deceit, guide our thoughts and actions, setting before us the example of Jesus the prisoner.
Bring us face to face with the unlimited and sacrificial love of God for all his children, so that we can know we are not alone.
Creative Ideas! Amazing ideas from our churches for sharing the Gospel!
Georgina Smith, Hetton IMC
I have been making posters and sharing them on Facebook. The Lord gives me a phrase and I find verses to go with them.
These images have been included in this week’s prayer sheet for you also.
If you are on Facebook, Georgina can be found on Facebook.
Georgina’s poems are also on a Christian Poetry webpage.
South Hylton IM Church were concerned that the children of the Sunday School were missing out during the lockdown closure and our subsequent restricted re-opening.
We prepared a “Takeaway Church” for each of them and they are given out each week. This means that the children who have not yet returned still have weekly contact.
The “takeaway” bag contains a message from our Minister Anne, story, a prayer, a song and a connected craft. The children are encouraged to find the song on You Tube and to sing and dance along.
The theme the first week was about how God always cares for us. The story was of Elijah and the Ravens.
The craft was a “balancing raven”. The “Takeaway Bag” provided everything needed to do the craft.
It was very successful as can be seen in the photographs from Curtis and Phillip. The feedback from the children has been very positive.
Alison Smith – South Hylton IMC
Light Party Celebrations!
Last year we had an “alternative” Halloween Holiday Club, which we can’t repeat this year because of Covid.
We have been informed that a local Christian ministry are offering “Goody Bags” containing ideas for crafts, a “light party” and other resources to give a Christian alternative to Halloween, plus a link to an online video.
We have contact with around a dozen children, most of whom are not from church-going families, so we have ordered some of these to give to each of the children.
Maybe other churches could try something similar, to keep in touch with the children who normally attend activities.
Geoff Chapman – West Camel IMC
Colourful Pictures and Superheroes!
One of our members, Helen, has brought pictures completed by her granddaughter to go outside church, which we have laminated and tied them to our church railings. We have changed them every couple of weeks as, despite being laminated, they get a bit soggy!
Over the summer, as we couldn’t do our usual summer holiday activity mornings, we gave out craft packs. Our theme was ‘Bible Superheroes’ and each week’s bag had a craft based on different hero: week 1 was Noah, week 2 Joseph, week 3 Daniel and finally Jonah. We gave out about 25 packs each week so, over 4 weeks, we gave out over 100.
We are going to do a craft pack for half term with crafts with a light theme as we can’t have our usual family light party as an alternative to Halloween. We will include some material from World Vision Pumpkin Heroes to continue our superhero theme.
Elizabeth Barron – Roman Road, Failsworth IMC