To watch our first live stream click HERE
To see all our prerecorded material you will need to re- tune to our Youtube channel which is something you can do direct from HERE
Our second live stream is HERE
However, if it’s Shelley’s Family at Moortown programme you are looking for that’s just as easy to find. All you do is click HERE
Immediately following the Service we published a post on our website titled BLACK LIVES MATTER. You can reached that post HERE
With more than fifty people logging in for a practice run MBC’s first ever virtual Church Meeting is all set to go. Next Tuesday, June 9th with a 7.30pm for 8 start the 90 minute (approx) meeting will include break out discussions on what we are learning in lockdown and sharing the findings of an interim report titled Relating Well Together. In addition there will be catch ups re Youth work, deacon’s elections, staffing and finance. Many thanks to Phil Coates for providing this excellent screenshot of the practice. There is a separate article about the Church Meeting elsewhere on the website which can be accessed by clicking HERE
There was also a new look for Oasis Cafe this week. Last Tuesday Shelley introduced Story Time, a short slot in which someone reads their favourite bible story. Opening the feature and making his debut was Sam Joyce (left) who had everyone gripped by his telling of the tale of Jonah being swallowed by a big fish. Other stories lined up are: Daniel and the lions den, The miraculous catch, Psalm 139 and Joseph and his coat. You can join Oasis Cafe at 11am on Tuesdays by going to www.facebook.com/moortots and you can catch on any you have missed on Youtube by visiting Family at Moortown
Elsewhere on the website there is chance to revisit the whole of our Pentecost service. However, such was the reaction that we couldn’t resist the temptation to give our Pentecost Dance/movement sequence another airing. From hula-hooping to lamb dancing and from pan banging to ballet it is universally agreed that we must find a way of bottling all this talent so that at some stage in the future, live, and in public we can reprise it. Above is a collage of totally random screenshot images grabbed during the performance, but if you would like to experience the entire spectacle again all you need to do is to click HERE
As well as being MBC’s ace hula-hooper Karen Handley is also proving to be no mean crafter.
“I took up cross stitching some years ago,” says Karen “but hadn’t done a project for a while. Then I suddenly remembered that I still had both the raw materials and a frame that had been given to me by a friend after I had admired some of her work.”
We are sending this for prayer, sharing, listening, comment and speaking out
Yesterday in our Church at Home service, we celebrated the Holy Spirit’s outpouring at Pentecost. The words of the prophet Joel are familiar to us but I do not know a time, when Joel’s words have stirred in me such sadness and guilt that I have stood in the way of others receiving God’s favour. For if I receive the blessing of Pentecost for myself and my household, I cannot ignore the challenge of Pentecost to share this blessing.
The anger and grief that is currently being poured out on the doorstep of the White House in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, is no localized phenomenon, it belongs at my doorstep too. For as a white woman, I am part of the status quo and have benefited from the status quo that has crushed and exploited those for whom the Spirit is poured out.
I am not asking you to condone violence, I’m asking you to stop and listen to our brothers and sisters. Not to judge or condemn but to openly listen. We keep being told our return to a new normal is a great opportunity for changing our ways. Could we commit to be a returning church that has the courage to be held accountable and the grace to listen, even if it makes us uncomfortable? Can we make space in our ‘new normal’ for those with a lived experience of racial oppression to find their voice amongst us?
In our Church at Home we celebrated a lockdown Pentecost, this is somewhat ironic. It is more than ironic that as we know the Spirit to be the breath of God among us we hear the cry of George Floyd and others – “I can’t breathe”. Joel prophesied that the Spirit would be poured out on all, Acts told what happened and Amos spoke of justice flowing like a never-failing stream. The experiences of black people, and also of women in Pakistan/India, and of those suffering domestic violence show that we are not dealing with isolated incidents. I am also aware of the greater effect of Covid among BAME communities. I believe that if the breath and justice of the Spirit is for all it must be for these people.
I too feel sadness and guilt that I have been too passive and been content to speak for myself rather than listen to others. I have enjoyed my privilege and so distanced myself from the pain. What is going on is stopping the flow of the Spirit.
In the coming days we may see headlines about violence in protest marches and the excesses of looting. I too do not condone these but to dwell on them is to focus on symptoms and not causes and to allow ourselves to become distracted from bringing real change for the better.
In making a statement, the first thing we can do is listen to the voices of those who experience and then move to be a community together and find a shared voice. As a white man I am ready to listen and through this act in a new way. I hope that our church will come out of lockdown to discover ways of being church. I hope that we will have the courage to adapt, the kindness to try out, the humility to lay things down and the imagination to experiment. Stories of oppression are interconnected but must be told specifically. I hope we will start listening with intent and I think it begins with matters of racial injustice that have been highlighted recently.
I believe that this is an integral part of the move of the Spirit and a witness to the risen Jesus Christ.
If this is the 1st you have read, I am simply reflecting on the phrases I repeat to my 3-year old daughter as she rides her bike. Words of reassurance, encouragement or challenge. Today I’m thinking about one phrase that I think is very powerful…but one that can be missing in society:
“You’re doing really well!”
Daisy has little legs but a HUGE determination. That said, she gets tired. Occasionally the wheel spins a little as the stabilisers lift it of the ground on bumpy surfaces. Other times there are hills that seem too much. At other points she feels nervous about going too fast. So, over and over I tell her, “You’re doing really well.”
The power of encouragement is an amazing thing. When someone tells you that you are doing well. When someone sees and recognises your effort and speaks out words to enthuse and cheer you on. I wonder sometimes if these words are too often lacking in society, in organisations and (deep breath) …in churches!
I love going to the cinema and as long as the projectionist does their job well, I don’t notice them. I see the output of what they do – the images, the action, the soundtrack – but I don’t give them a second thought…UNLESS…unless they make a mistake and the film is interrupted. Suddenly then everyone in the cinema is very interested in the projectionist. Suddenly everyone has an opinion that needs to be heard. Now everyone is an expert as they chunter and tut. To my shame, I have been this person, both in the cinema and outside of it.
Someone’s efforts have not met my expectations, so, rather than with love or grace, seeking to encourage them, “You’re doing really well!” I have voiced frustration that their best efforts have not met my standards!
Imagine if I applied this to Daisy on the bike! Not riding up the hill fast enough…rubbish, get off the bike. Too nervous to go down the hill…I am selling the bike on eBay! You would (I hope) rightfully tell me I am being too harsh – cruel even. And yet, if we don’t keep ourselves in check, we can be like this in other circumstances – work, family, church. It comes from a critical spirit and it is dangerous. Dangerous and devasting to any family…including the church.
I don’t get this one right all the time with my kids, let alone in other circumstances, but that is part of the journey isn’t it. Part of the refining as we seek to become more like Christ. Paul writes a great encouragement to the church in Thessalonica. Wouldn’t it would be life-changing and kingdom-building if this was our truth everyday – let’s pray for that!
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
But until we get there, we are all trying out best…so keep on going:
You’re doing really well!