The Kind Bay Initiative

Sue Lewis wants to let us know about a fundraising event for ‘The Kind Bay Initiative’ in Colwyn Bay:

Lots of the homeless people we supported in the Night Shelter over the winter of 2019-2020 access this hub. The event involes walking up Snowden this Saturday, 31st July.

There is more information on the link here, but two of the volunteers, who are brothers, are going to walk up carrying 80kg of weight, to raise awareness of Mental Health issues, and the money will be used to help fund the rent required to operate the Kind Bay Initiative hub.

Ruby, Noah and myself are going to walk with the two volunteers, and support them on them way.

Noah and Ruby in their “The Kind Bay Initiative” T-shirts


Prayers for healing and wholeness

The service a prayers for healing and wholeness is held at St John’s today at 1.45pm and led by me, Rev Bev. The reflection used in the service is also contained in the liturgy below. I hope you enjoy my comments about smiles!

‘My grace is sufficient for you,
For my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor 12:9)

In the ministry of Christ healing was a sign of the presence of God’s kingdom, bringing renewal and wholeness of life to those who turned to God in their need.  Jesus commissioned his disciples to proclaim the kingdom and heal the sick (Luke 9:2).  The Church believes that the healing power of Christ is exercised through medical and related professions, through faith and prayer, and the care of the Christian community. 

God desires wholeness for all people. We bring to God our frailty and brokenness  –  felt not only in physical illness, but in guilt, anxiety, and all the burdens which weigh us down.  We also bring our concerns for others and for the world. We come to God who knows our needs before we ask, and whose love revealed in Jesus Christ is stronger than suffering and death.

To start, take some time to bring yourself into an awareness of the presence of God. If it helps, imagine yourself sitting in your church alone, resting in the prayerful atmosphere.

Jesus said:  ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Matt 11:28-30

Jesus said:  ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ John 10:10

In Jesus Christ, we hear the Good News
that God is like a mother hen
who shelters her chicks
under her wings.
We believe that God is love.

In Jesus, we see a God
who wept for the people of the world,
and weeps for our mourning.

In Jesus, we see a God
who reaches out with healing hands,
who sees our pain and makes us whole.

O God, you died for us and conquered death for us,
but sometimes we find it hard to believe in your love.

We see your creativity in all the earth,
but fear to ask for our own healing.
Forgive us and bring us to faith.

Hear Christ’s word for us:
If we have faith as small as a mustard seed,
God’s power is released in us.
Our healing is a gracious gift. Amen.

Reflection:

I saw a great topic in my ‘Our Daily Bread’ devotional earlier this week. It was about someone who reaches out to people by smiling. Most of the time, she gets a smile in return. But when she started having to wear a facemask for a time, she realised that people could no longer see her mouth.

Photo by André Ravazzi on Unsplash

Well, now we all know about that situation, don’t we? If I put my mask on, can you tell whether I am smiling or frowning?

We need to keep on smiling behind our masks. Maybe people will see the smile in our eyes somehow.

Apparently there is a name for that kind of smile, a Duchenne smile, where the muscles of the corners of the mouth and those at the corners of the eyes work in tandem.

Proverbs 15:30 says that “a cheerful look brings joy to the heart” and Proverbs 17:22 says “a cheerful heart is good medicine”.

Proverbs does not explain who gets joy in the heart from a cheerful look or who receives the medicine of a cheerful heart, but I think it is both the giver AND the receiver. So both parties benefit from the giving and receiving of a smile.

We can’t be cheerful all the time, of course not, that would be false, a pretence, like a clown with a painted-on smile.

But, when the Spirit of God is in our hearts, even in the darkest moments we can remind ourselves that we belong to him, we are safe in his hands and he will bring us joy. We can smile even in our sadness – our underlying security and joy in Christ can still shine through.

And our smiles can also bring comfort and hope to those we offer them to.

So when life seems dark, choose to bring a little joy through a smile, joy both to yourself and to the person you share your smile with. Let your smile be a window of hope reflecting God’s love and care for both of you.

Remember the wise words of Proverbs: “a cheerful look brings joy to the heart” and “a cheerful heart is good medicine”. Amen.

——-

We continue in prayer…

O God, we cry to you in our anger
that people hurt each other.
Be with us and heal us, O God.

We feel the fear and pain experienced by
an innocent and trusting child.
Be with us and heal us, O God.

We carry with us the things
that have been done to us which hurt and destroy.
They stand before us and weigh us down.
They stop us living with joy and hope.
Be with us and heal us, O God.

We watch on, as around the world
War and conflict abound.
And we feel helpless to prevent or resolve.
Be with us and heal us, O God.

Lift us up on the wings of your Spirit.
For you are stronger
than all the forces that stand against us.
Set us free with your peace and your power.

Set us free,
heal our wounds,
O God who never leaves us nor forsakes us. Amen.

We say together the prayer that Jesus gave us:                                                

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be your name
your kingdom come,
your will be done 
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial 
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, 
now and for ever.  Amen 

Together, let us bring to the Lord those for whom we have been asked to pray….

Peg & Graham T and their family
Margaret B
Carolyn S

Spend some time in prayer for those God places on your heart. Include yourself.

May the Lord of love,
who is more powerful
than all those who would harm us,
give us healing for all that is past and peace for all that is to come.
May he surround us with comfort and warmth
and fill us with life that is stronger than death.
Amen.

Lift your face to the light.
You are beautiful in the sight of God.
The seal of the Spirit is upon you.

Walk freely
and open your heart to life,
for Christ walks with you
into a new day.

Go in peace.
And may God keep you safe:
God the Father hold you firmly,
God in Christ take you by the hand,
and God the Spirit guide and protect you.

May the Lord go with us and grant us the joy of Jesus Christ.  Amen

Some material included in this service is copyright © 2000 Dorothy McRae-McMahon

Wednesday meditation

This week’s meditation is being led by Sue Lewis and is live at St David’s at 11.30am today. If you cannot make it, here is her reflection. Thanks Sue.

Listen!

Part of my job is working with children who have a range of hearing impairments, from mild through to profound. Some of them are dependent on acoustic equipment. Some use BSL as their first or second language. Often the environment they are in requires significant adaptation to facilitate access to sound, it enables them to hear.

But it’s not just about ‘hearing’, but ‘listening’!

Hearing is merely the reception of sound.

Listening is paying specific attention to the sound, with the purpose of interpreting its meaning and learning from it. Listening requires effort, focus, concentration. Yes, in a physical sense it requires the ability to hear, but it also requires an understanding of what is being said to us.

How many of us can hear, but do not always listen?

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Ponder on this.:

We listen every day, but how well do we do it? Do we talk more, or listen more? Or a bit of both. How receptive are we to what we hear?

This reflective piece on ‘Listening’ is taken from Roots for Churches magazine and was based on three types listening: “listening in prayer”, “listening in moments of special encounter” and “listening in ordinary life”.

The Bible passage that we will look at focuses on ‘Listening in a special encounter’, The Transfiguration.

Jesus’ disciples leave that mountain top and have a difficult journey ahead of them, and yet the message they are given is clear.

Let us read Luke 9:28-36

Read the passage again, only this time, place yourself as one of the disciples.

And ask yourself

What do I see? What do I hear? What do I think? What do I feel?

Look at the passage again on the screen and read it through quietly.

Listen to what God has to say to you.

Let us finish with the prayer we learnt at the start, using BSL alongside this, here.

God, help us to hear you
God, help us to listen to you
Thank you,
Amen

Sunday Worship

Today’s worship is led by me, Rev Bev, 10am at St David’s and on the livestream, and 11am at St John’s. The livestream service is also recorded for later playback. You can find it here.

A text version of the service is attached below.

The theme of the service is related to our Lego exhibition which starts tomorrow at St John’s and is about the wise and foolish builders, Matthew 7:24-27.

Prayers for healing and wholeness

The service of prayers for healing and wholeness is being held at St John’s, Llandudno, at 1.45pm today, led by me, Rev Bev. The service and reflection are also available below.

‘My grace is sufficient for you,
For my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor 12:9)

In the ministry of Christ healing was a sign of the presence of God’s kingdom, bringing renewal and wholeness of life to those who turned to God in their need.  Jesus commissioned his disciples to proclaim the kingdom and heal the sick (Luke 9:2).  The Church believes that the healing power of Christ is exercised through medical and related professions, through faith and prayer, and the care of the Christian community. 

God desires wholeness for all people. We bring to God our frailty and brokenness  –  felt not only in physical illness, but in guilt, anxiety, and all the burdens which weigh us down.  We also bring our concerns for others and for the world. We come to God who knows our needs before we ask, and whose love revealed in Jesus Christ is stronger than suffering and death.

To start, take some time to bring yourself into an awareness of the presence of God. If it helps, imagine yourself sitting in your church alone, resting in the prayerful atmosphere.

We meet to offer our prayers for healing & wholeness in the certain presence of God in Jesus Christ. God is powerful and loving; anyone who dwells in love dwells in God. Our prayers for ourselves and for others are that we and they may abide in Christ.

Let us now open our whole life to God, who loves us, and seek his help for all those for whom we have come to pray.

Let us lay before God all that would prevent us really meeting him in our prayers.  Let us offer to God our cares and anxieties, pain and distress, doubts and fears, and our concern for others.  As we place ourselves in the care of God, we can trust his grace and be assured of his love, from which we cannot be separated.  We join together our prayers with those of Christians everywhere, seeking the healing of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)

O Lord God, we thank you that you are the giver of life; renew us by your Spirit as we pray.  We declare your goodness, generosity and kindness every day.

Eternal God and Father of all  –
Together we worship and adore you

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Saviour of the world  –
Together we worship and adore you

Holy Spirit, always with us and in us, Comforter of all in need  –
Together we worship and adore you

Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we acknowledge your greatness and love, and seek your healing power and touch.
Amen

Let us confess our weakness and sin, and in so doing, seek God’s forgiveness and healing.

Lord God, we confess disharmony in our lives;
the times of hurt and unhappiness;
the pain we have caused others;
our failure to love and care as you do;
our harbouring of bitterness and unwillingness to forgive;
our selfishness and lack of generosity of time and possessions;
the parts of our lives which deny health and the wholeness we most desire;
our neglect of people and of you, Lord;
our busyness and failure to make time for you.
By your cross and sacrificial love, heal us of all that spoils the image of Christ within us.
Forgive us and help us to forgive others, in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

Almighty God, who promises forgiveness and new life to all who truly repent, have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins
and keep us in life eternal,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Reflection:

Someone was talking to me on the phone at the beginning of this week. They were telling me that they were struggling with their health and that sometimes it was burdensome. But they also said, “Even Jesus needed help to carry his burdens.”

I came away from that conversation very thoughtful. I went to look up what she had been referring to.

It was this – Mark 15:21
“A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.”

Simon of Cyrene had just come into the city by chance. He hadn’t planned to see anything of the crucifixion or the humiliation of what preceded it, the march through the streets of the condemned criminals carrying their own means of execution.

He certainly hadn’t wanted to get involved and even less get as involved like this. Carrying a criminal’s cross for them!

Why would he have been roped in to do this? It could only be because Jesus was already exhausted to the point of collapse, unable to continue along the road with his burden on his shoulder.

So Simon was roped in and carried it for him.

“Even Jesus needed help to carry his burden.”

I am always fascinated by this small verse. We are told that Alexander and Rufus are the sons of Simon. It’s almost as if we are being reminded of people we should already know. And if that is so then what does that mean? It can only mean that Simon was so profoundly affected by the experience of carrying Jesus’ burden that he became a follower, a disciple. That’s why his sons are known to the readers.

We may think we have to carry our burdens alone. But we do not. Others are there to help us. Yes, God’s Spirit is there, I know that. But I mean ordinary human people like you and me too.

Some days it might be us who need help with our burdens. Others it might be us helping someone else who is weighed down.

That’s as it should be.

We bear one another burdens. Just as Simon of Cyrene did for Jesus.

“Even Jesus needed help to carry his burden.”

So we need never be ashamed of needing help to carry ours.

Nor of offering support to those who need help in carrying theirs.

Amen.

———-

We continue in prayer.

Lord God, hear our prayers for others whom we bring in the name of Jesus.  Bless the whole Christian Church that, by our worship, fellowship and life, we may be a healing community. For all who minister through the church in any way, we ask your blessing. Govern and direct your church; fill it with love and truth; and grant through the power of your Holy Spirit that it may be a vehicle of your healing presence in the world.

Lord, in your mercy                               Hear our prayer

We pray for the world in all its struggles and frailty, for those who suffer as a result of war or conflict, famine or poverty.

Lord, in your mercy                                   Hear our prayer

We pray for all concerned with health and healing; all in the medical profession and those trained to bring harmony and healing into people’s lives.  We pray for all who seek to help people with broken lives and relationships; for all who are encouraging young people to whole and creative living; for those who care for the elderly and housebound.

Lord, in your mercy                    Hear our prayer

We pray for those who seek to bring compassion, understanding and help to people.  Strengthen all who comfort and help the faint-hearted. Raise up the fallen, and grant to the lonely, the bereaved and the oppressed your gracious care.

Lord, in your mercy                    Hear our prayer

We say the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples:

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the
power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.  Amen

Together, let us bring to the Lord those for whom we have been asked to pray….

Peg T
Margaret B
David & Carolyn S
Zandra

Take some time now to bring your concerns to God. If it helps, try saying them out loud. Feel yourself held in God’s safe hands.

Lord God, Jesus has taken upon himself our sufferings and, through his transforming power, made a way of perfect peace.  We ask you to minister to all for whom we have prayed.  May the blessing of your Spirit be theirs.

And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and for evermore. Amen.

May the Lord go with you and grant you the joy of Jesus Christ.  Amen

Some material included in this service is copyright © WGRG, Iona Community

God in love unites us – Methodist Conference resolutions

Following the letter from the President and Vice President of Conference (read out in churches last week), here is the key decision the letter was referring to: “The Conference consents in principle to the marriage of same-sex couples on Methodist premises throughout the Connexion and by Methodist ministers, probationers or members”.

Further information can be found here, though details of how and when local churches will need to respond are, as yet, not published in full.

Here is the letter read out in churches last Sunday.

Sunday worship

This Sunday’s worship is led by me, Rev Bev – 10am at St David’s, Craig y Don, and on the livestream (which you can find here), 11am at St John’s, Llandudno.

The text of the worship can be found below.

A reminder also about our circuit service this Sunday which is beinh held at 4pm at St John’s, Colwyn Bay (now part of Rydal Penrhos school). We will be thanking Rev Eleanor Reddington and Rev David Ray for their support to us over the past few years and saying goodbye to Rev Nick Sissons as he leaves his role as chaplain at Rydal Penrhos and mvoes to become Superintendent Minister in the Bangor & Holyhead circuit. Please join us if you can.

Around the world in 80(000) bricks

We will be holding an exhibition of amazing Lego models, all built by Alan the caretaker, at St John’s Methodist Church, Llandudno, from Monday 26th July to Saturday 7th August, 10am to 4pm every day. Or at least we will be if we get enough volunteers to steward. We need stewards who can be welcoming and just keep a check that everyone is following the one way system (and other simple safety measures). Shifts are 10-12, 12-2, 2-4. Please contact Lyn on 01492-860439 or stjohnsllandudno@gmail.com if you can help.

Meanwhile, feel free to advertise the event widely. We just want people to see church is open and alive, and make everyone smile again!

Poster created by Craig y Don Printing, cydprinting.com