Christchurch Methodist Church

Springfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 2BX

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Minister's Letter

From the Minister – May 2018 
Dear Friends 
As we move from the celebrations of Easter towards Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirt at Pentecost we are reminded of how the first Christian communities came into being as we read from the Acts of the Apostles. As Christ’s disciples met with the risen Lord they were commissioned to share the Good News of new life, healing and salvation that God offers to everyone through the death and resurrection of Jesus. 
As the message was shared by the apostles many people came to faith and so began meeting together. According to Luke’s account in the Acts of the Apostles life in the early Church was characterised by meeting together for worship, prayer, biblical teaching, fellowship and the breaking bread. The people were also known for their gladness and generosity, sharing of resources, service to others and making more disciples. 
Revd Andrew Roberts, a Methodist Minister, has explored how these ‘holy habits’ shaped the lives of the people of the early Church and has subsequently written a book exploring how these ‘holy habits’ can help us to explore Christian discipleship today. Revd Ian Pruden has adapted this book into the ‘Holy Habits’ course which he will be leading at Christchurch on Wednesday afternoons starting on 16th May at 2.30pm for 8 weeks. Everyone is welcome to come along and share in these sessions. 
Prayer is one of the Holy Habits and you will know from the article that I wrote in last months’ Messenger that during May the Church of England and the Methodist Church will be having a major initiative on prayer ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ for ten days leading up to Pentecost Sunday on 20 May. Locally, there will be a variety of events at different locations around the Circuit to encourage us to meet together for prayer and to encourage and inspire one another as we pray for the work of God’s kingdom in the Church and the world. 
As part of this initiative there will be a time of Creative Prayer at Christchurch on Saturday 16 May from 10.00am to 12.00noon. Several ‘prayer stations’ will be set up around the church with visual aids offering different approaches to prayer. It will be a relaxed and informal setting with soft music playing in the background where people can come along and pray on their own or with others. You may like to drop in for a short time and then go or stay for longer. 
God has made us all different, each with our own personalities. Some of us feel comfortable with more formal approaches to prayer and will use a set liturgy and written prayers. Others find this to be too restricting and prefer more spontaneity and freedom in prayer. It really doesn’t matter how or when we pray for God loves to hear our prayers and is delighted when we spend time in his presence. Long ago I discovered some wise words about prayer: ‘Pray as you can, don’t try to pray as you can’t.’ I found this to be healing, liberating advice which set me free from struggling to pray in ways that didn’t seem right for me and set me off on a journey of exploring new approaches to prayer. As you share in the various prayer events this month may this be your experience too. 
Every blessing to you all 


Focus for Prayer – May 2018 
On the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter proclaimed, “God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are witnesses to this fact.” (Acts 2.32) 
* As we continue through the season of Easter and on to Pentecost let us praise God for his mighty work of raising Jesus from the dead and pray: “God of our salvation, grant us the help of your Holy Spirit to share with the world, in word and deed, the Good News of our risen Saviour. Amen” 
* This month we join with Christians around the world in the call to prayer between Ascension and Pentecost (10 -20 May). Let us pray that through prayer, people may be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and find new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ in the communities in which they live and work. 
* As the Holy Habits course begins at Christchurch this month pray that God may help us as we explore how we may grow and develop as Christian disciples. Pray also that the holy habits may become part of our everyday life and enable us to be more effective in our mission to the wider community. 
* Give thanks the work of the Bexhill Foodbank which is making a real difference to the lives of poor and needy people in our town. Pray for all who serve as volunteers to support this work. 
* It’s Christian Aid week from 13 – 19 May. Give thanks for the work of Christian Aid with suffering and needy people throughout the world regardless of their religion or race. Pray for those who will be undertaking house-to-house collections or organising other fund raising events this 
week and for all who will be enabled to live a fuller life as a result. 
* Praise God for all nature’s gifts and for the beauty and poetry of flowers. Pray that the displays at the Flower Festival may be speak to those who view them of the beauty and generosity of God. 
If you have any particular concerns that you would like included in next month’s Prayer Focus please contact Tricia.

Pastoral Prayers

Please pray for the following during the next month:-

Carol Johnson - Pastoral Visitor

Iris Bridge, Dorothy Cartwright, Sylvia Emery, Eurwenn Innes, Robert & Olwen Lewis and Steve & Janet Roberts.

Several of our members are unwell and housebound, they have been mentioned in our Services from the Prayer Book since our last Newsletter so I would ask you to also think of them when you pray.

Yvonne Elliott, Joyce Pass, Barbara Abbott, Graham Warner, Graham Dee, Gordon Wall & David, David & Pam Wickens, Dorothy Cartwright, Sylvia Emery, Robert Lewis, Ron Skipworth, Barbara Mortlock, Bridget Pieterse, Hazel Downing & her son-in-law, Barry Turnwell and June Jarvis.

Sadly we have heard that Barbara Worms, a resident of Orchard House who has attended our services quite regularly, has passed away. Please pray for her family as they mourn her passing.

I appreciate that some people are mentioned twice due to their inclusion in Carol's list.

Every Blessing to you all.

Pastoral Secretary

© Copyright 2017 Christchurch Methodist Church
Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757