#wpcu2020 – DAY 6 HOSPITALITY

Day 6 Hospitality

  • Acts 28:1-2, 7

After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us round it … Now in the neighbourhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days”

  • Psalm 46
  • Luke 14:12-24

Reflection

I open my door

and welcome the newness of uncertainty.

The presence of possibility

resides in the unfamiliar received

with outstretched, vulnerable arms.

The gifts brought

are for sharing among us,

not trading equity.

This stranger and I,

we resolve to put warmth in the cold places,

compassion in the hard places,

hope in the dark places,

and peace deep within.

We kindle the fire together

and gather for warmth,

before the next pilgrim,

brings gifts

for us all.

Prayer

God of the orphan, the widow and the stranger,

instil in our hearts a deep sense of hospitality.

when You ask us to feed You, to clothe You and to visit You

those with ears to hear, listen,

those with eyes to see, look.

May our churches participate

in the ending of hunger, thirst and isolation

and in overcoming barriers that prevent the welcoming of all people.

We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus,

who is present in the least of our sisters and brothers. Amen.

Questions

  • Share a story about a time you experienced hospitality in a meaningful way.
  • Think about a time when you had to be hospitable that was difficult. In what ways has that changed how you welcome people? Where do you need to go the extra mile?
  • Where have you recognised unusual kindness in your community?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

Global: Find out about the united work of the Act Alliance responding to poverty and injustice across the world.

Local: How do we as churches begin or go deeper into a meaningful conversation with the voices we find difficult in society? What can we learn from these voices? Discuss together.

Personal: How might you show unusual kindness to someone in your community today?

#wpcu2020 – DAY 5 KEEP YOUR STRENGTH UP

Day 5 Keep Your Strength Up

  • Acts 27:33-36

“Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, ‘Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.’ After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves.”

  • Psalm 77
  • Mark 6:30-44

Reflection

‘You need to eat something, to keep your strength up’

Paul exhorts them, breaking bread giving thanks, leading the way.

His words of reassurance that not a hair would be lost in the depth of the storm may be a hollow resonance for some.

I love coffee but lost my appetite for it

I love a good read of the bulky weekend paper

but my brain had no space for it

too busy processing and preparing

harnessing the little energy reserves I had

to face cannulas and PICC lines

and nauseating chemo.

Every hair from my head would be lost

but I’d be rescued from the storm, hopefully.

And when you can’t eat

to keep your strength up

because the chemo makes you sick

on a Wednesday

you chew on the words

that those who wait upon the Lord

will renew their strength

they’ll rise up on wings like eagles

run and not grow weary

trusting that one day

this broken body

might rise again

strong and supple

scarred and scared.

Every hair of my head was lost

but I’d be rescued from the storm, hopefully.

And as I look back

these ten years hence

there wasn’t one set of footprints

there were hundreds

of the friends and loved ones

who visited, listened, cried,

prayed and carried

the body of Christ

strengthening me.

Every hair of my head was lost

but I was rescued from the storm, thankfully.

Prayer

Loving God,

Your Son Jesus Christ broke bread

and shared the cup with His friends.

May we grow in closer communion

when we share our pain and suffering.

Encouraged by St Paul

and the early Christians,

give us strength to build bridges

of compassion, solidarity and harmony.

In the power of the Holy Spirit,

we ask this in the name of Your Son,

who gives His life that we might live. Amen.

Questions

  • How does the reflection above make you feel?
  • Have you had experiences of when          the promises of Scripture haven’t delivered as you’d expected?
  • When have you most felt the pain over disunity in the body of Christ?
  • How might sharing the body of Christ be a source of healing and unity between Christians?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

Global: Work for the day when good healthcare is available for all.

Local: Hold a ‘bring and share’ meal together with the churches in your area where you have a conversation about what Eucharist/Communion/Lord’s Supper means to each church.

Personal: Visit, send a card or call someone who is currently unwell that you know.

Weekly Church News – Central Church

Sunday worship continues at 11am each Sunday morning at 346 Main Street – Bellshill Central Parish Church. Our church is Central to Christ, Central to Bellshill and Central to YOU! For 147 years we have shouted out the Good News of Jesus Christ and of His love for one and all. We offer a warm and generous welcome to all, on Sundays or throughout the week at any of our week day activities and groups. Our minister, Rev’d Kevin de Beer, loves being in our Faith Family and reaching outwards into the communities of Bellshill Town Centre, Mossend and Orbiston. As the Church of Scotland Parish for Central Bellshill, including the Town Centre, we want to you be part of what is a wonderful community of fellowship and faith. Please simply #comeasyouare!

This Sunday morning at 11am our minister continues his 7 week series of Jesus in Samaria – this week ‘The Friend’  – Just come along and join us at 11.00am at the church at 346 Main Street right at the Centre of our town. The readings are Genesis 12:1-9 and Luke 11:1-13.  Our hymns include: Our father who is in heaven, One more Step, Will you come and follow me and What a friend we have in Jesus.  We finish with a South African song – Amen we praise your name O God.

Our Sunday services are live streams via our Church Website and YouTube Channel and are uploaded for viewing later at your leisure.  Services are able to be reproduced on Tape, CD and DVD.   Portable DVD players are also available.  Please just get in touch with Drew Aitken at the Church.

After the service this week we have our Annual Burns Lunch.   Tickets priced £5.00 are still available.   The lunch in the hall is always a popular event.  We will sing some Scottish Songs, enjoy Haggis Neeps and Tatties and there may also be some of the other national drink – IRN BRU!!!!

Our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Services continue today and for the rest of the week, culminating on Sunday evening (26th January) at 7pm when we host an Ecumenical Service for all.   The service on Sunday evening is organised by Lanarkshire Organists and Bellshill Central. There will be an offering for St Andrews Hospice uplifted. Our guest speaker is Jim Bruden (retired Salvation Army officer) from the Bellshill Salvation Corps.   Tea/Coffee served afterwards. If you would like to join the augmented choir, please come along on 24th January at 7.15pm.

Town Services for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place here in Bellshill Central Parish Church as follows throughout the week of prayer. Please join us and share the info as widely as possible to ensure our Christian Brothers and Sisters can take part in community corporate prayer.  

THESE SERVICES WILL LAST AROUND 30 MINUTES AND WILL BE LED BY DIFFERENT FOLKS FROM BELLSHILL.

  • Wednesday 22 January at 1PM (Led by Rev Kevin de Beer)
  • Thursday 23 January at 7.30PM (Led by Addie Girvan)
  • Friday 24 January at 3.00PM (Led by Rev Kevin de Beer)
  • Saturday 25 January at 12.00 NOON (Led by Alan Mathew)
  • Please enter the church via the main front doors or the side door access down the path where disabled access is available.

Other activities taking place in Bellshill Central Parish Church this week are:

  • Wednesday – Music Makers and Shakers (all morning); Prayer Service 1pm; Bowls Club 7pm
  • Thursday – Brownies 6pm; Prayer Service 7.30pm; Guides 7.45pm
  • Friday – Prayer Service 3pm; Choir 7.15pm
  • Saturday – Prayer Service 12noon
  • Sunday – Morning Service 11am, Young Church and Creche 11am; Burns Lunch 12.15pm; Ecumenical Service 7pm
  • Monday – Guild 1.30pm Burns Celebration
  • Tuesday – Rainbows 6pm

The Church, Hall and rooms/kitchens are available to hire to the community.  They are ideal for group activities, parties, lectures, coffee mornings, meetings etc.  The Church has multi media facilities.  The Hall has portable Audio and Visual equipment available.   Competitive rates available.  Please just get in touch.   We are open to the community.  

Check out our Social Media and Website to keep up to date with our Church News and Church life.   www.facebook.com/bellshillcentralchurch; www.twitter.com/bellshillchurch; www.bellshillcentral.church; email bellshillcentral@gmail.com 

CENTRAL TO YOU; CENTRAL TO BELLSHILL; CENTRAL TO CHRIST! 

No other church can do all of this!  

#wpcu2020 – DAY 4 TRUST: DO NOT BE AFRAID, BELIEVE

Day 4 Trust: Do not be afraid, believe

  • Acts 27:23-26

“For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we will have to run aground on some island.”

  • Psalm 56
  • Luke 12.22-34

Reflection

Assailed on every side, I long for a more sustaining image of You God. I need You closer than ever, to be with me through these current horrors. Our dialogue has become coarse and aggressive and I find it difficult to listen to any news and current affairs. Bad news seems everywhere, abuse, cruelty of unspeakable proportions, political divisions and a vortex of hate that creeps into so much of what we do. Are You alone in listening?

Where am I to find hope? Where should I look? How can I find a route towards healing when I have no sense of what a hopeful future looks like? And yet You speak into this space from below. I am carried even without knowing it, and I can only just sense Your hold on me. Lifting me, stroking my doubt into a soft glow of warmth that might eventually become something more.

‘Don’t be afraid’ is easily said. So I need to trust You again and again, and hold on to what little I see. For I sense You near me, and I long for Your word from long ago, which is still alive in me in Your Saints and incarnate Son.

Adrift

I am floating and at sea

Without direction and fearful of what lies ahead

I come to You, known and yet unknowing

Unfathomable God

Rising and falling

Without bearings

bring me to a safe haven

a place where I can begin

to hope again

to trust again

in You and others.

Prayer

Almighty God, our personal suffering leads us to cry out in pain and we shrink in fear when we experience sickness, anxiety or the death of loved ones. Teach us to trust You. May the churches we belong to be signs of Your providential care. Make us true disciples of Your Son who taught us to listen to Your word and to serve one another. In confidence we ask this in the name of Your Son,  and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Questions

  • What are the images of God that sustain you through times of questioning?
  • Where are the places and who are the people who give you hope for      the future?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

Global: Be inspired by those who show much resilience in the face of the storm.

Local: Set up a local group from your churches and community who commit to a deeper listening to one another.

Personal: Spend time with the people or in the place that give you most hope.