MRBC Sunday Service 12th July 2020

For Reflection & Discussion

Read Isaiah 42:5-7

1.  These are addressed to the Servant (Messiah) mentioned in verse 1.    How does this passage describe the scope of the Servant/Messiah’s commission.

2.  To what extent may this passage be literal or figurative?   Light and darkness and the blind seeing, are important themes in the NT.   Try and think of verses that illustrate this.  Here are a few to ponder on.  John 1:5, 8:12, 1 John 1:5, 7, Eph 5:8, 2 Cor 4:6, Matt:5-14-16, 2 Cor 4:4, John 9:1-5

Read Luke 4:18-19

3.  Jesus substituted a phrase about healing the broken-hearted for one about making free those oppressed/wounded/bruised.  Is freedom more important than healing? 

4.  “(Jesus) is anointed as the One who brings freedom for those blinded by sin, wounded by life, broken and  bruised by loss.”  How might freedom make a difference too difficult situations we curently find ourselves in.

MRBC Sunday Service 5th July 2020


Please note that this is a Communion Service, so do prepare some bread and wine/juice beforehand.

For Reflection and Discussion

  1. Have you ever suffered heartbreak?    What caused it and how did you manage to pick up the pieces?
  2. Read Psalm 34:18,  Psalm 109:6, Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 61:1   Describe God’s attitude to the broken-hearted.  
  3. As Mark said in the service, there are many other ways and metaphors for describing the loss and weakness of brokenheartedness.  Read some of them here:   Psalm 34:17-20, Psalm 73:26, Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 57:15, Jeremiah 29:11, John 14:27, 2 Cor 12:7b-10, 2 Cor 1:3-4, Romans 8:31-39.   What do these verses tell us about how we may escape from being low in spirit.  How may we help those who are broken?  How do you think the Anointed One (Jesus) comes into this?
  4. Take time to pray for those who you know are brokenhearted and low in spirit.

Please note that some translations of the New Testament have “heals the brokenhearted” in Luke 4:18 which is where Jesus visits the synagogue at Nazareth.   Those words are not present in the most reliable Greek manuscripts of Luke’s Gospel and for a very good reason, which Mark will deal with in next week’s service.

A day to stop, look and listen

This is a retreat day produced by Baptists Together and led by Geoff Colmer and Beth Powney. Please note that this is a day activity and you will need at least 5 hours to complete this as it is intended as a retreat day. We suggest you plan a day to do this.

Prayer Meeting 4th July 2020

Opening words:

Grace to you and peace from God who is, and was, and is to come.

Amen.

And from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and ruler of kings on earth.

Amen.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.

Amen.

Hebrews 2:

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? 7 You made them a little[a] lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honour 8  and put everything under their feet.”

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.  9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

What should we give thanks for?

Some suggestions:

  • The release from lockdown – more freedom to circulate, to meet family and friends again.
  • For the way God has preserved most of us so far.
  • For the new opportunities lockdown has brought
  • For the way in which people have pulled together recently and for the dedication of essential workers and medical staff.
  • For the opportunity to grow in new ways.

Group Prayers

Coronavirus

  • Pray for our Government as they have to make decisions that impact directly on life and death.
  • Pray for Governments of countries like the USA, Brazil, Russia and Belarus where the infection and death rates are rising rapidly.
  • Pray that people will not act recklessly as lockdown is released significantly today (4/7/20).
  • Pray that new treatments and an effective vaccine may be found
  • Pray for those we know are still “sheltering”.
  • Pray for those losing jobs because of the pandemic.
  • Continue to pray for those in high risk jobs.
  •  

Ministries and Mission

  • Walton Parish Nursing – PNs, volunteers, contact with clients, Derek’s family
  • Hope Trust
  • Basic – pop-up shops to reopen
  • Boost, Felixstowe Academy and those involved with local schools.
  • Churches Together in Felixstowe – for new Secretary and Media and Comms Officer
  • Pray for “our” Missionaries
  • Pray for our Regional Ministers and the EBA
  •  

MRBC

  • For wisdom as we decide how we reopen the building after lockdown
  • That we communicate effectively with one another, particularly those without internet access.
  • For those we know with pastoral needs
  • For our young people as our activities for them remain closed
  • For our future ministry into this community

Closing Prayer:

Leader:  For all that God can do within us, for all that God can do without us,

All:         Thanks be to God.

Leader:  For all in whom Christ lived before us, for all in whom Christ lives beside us,

Leader:  For all the Spirit wants to bring us, for where the Spirit wants to send us,

All:         Thanks be to God.

Leader:  Listen… Christ has promised to be with us in the world as in our worship.

All:         Amen, we go to meet Him.                                                

 Copyright © Wild Goose Publications.

MRBC Sunday Service 28th June 2020

Welcome to our Sunday Service for 28th June which is a special Leprosy Mission Service, brought to us by staff from the Leprosy Mission. There is no Service Transcript this week but we shall be circulating a prayer sheet from TLM to those who do not view the service. This is available in the section on the Leprosy Mission below.

THE LEPROSY MISSION

We thank The Leprosy Mission for this morning’s service. It supplements well our series on justice based on Isaiah 61:1-3, as leprosy sufferers are amongst the poorest and most marginalised in communities where leprosy is common. For more information about TLM, please log on to http://www.leprosymission.org.uk

If you wish to donate a gift to the mission, you can do that online at https://leprosymission.netdonor.net/page/62521/donate

You can download their latest prayer material from here:
https://www.leprosymission.org.uk/get-involved/pray/ (click on “download our latest prayer update” to open the pdf and print it off).

In the Weekly Sheet there is also a page from TLM on the changes the Government is making to its intenational aid arrangments which potentially threaten funding for projects to address leprosy that TLM are involved in. Please consider your response to this.

LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN

Please read the latest information about changes to the coronavirus lockdown also here on the News and Info. section of the website. It is important that we have completed questionnaires from as many as possible to help us to plan our next steps. You can download a version in Word to complete and, or one to print off and send by post.

FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

“God’s time is in our hands.” Read Luke 12:22-31 and Psalm 31:14-16

  1. How did we fill our lockdown time? Did we grow spiritually? Where do we grow from here, whether our experience of it was negative or positive?
  2. One way that was suggested in the service was that we give attention to what others see different in us. What is that “something different” that they should see? How do we acheive that?
  3. We saw in the video that life for poorer people in many lands, including those where leprosy is still common, was very different to ours during lockdown. How can we make a difference in those places and have we learnt anything during lockdown which might make our approach different from before?

Coronavirus Update

On 23rd June, the Prime Minister announced that a further easing of lockdown would occur in relation to churches from 4th July.   Churches would be allowed to open for worship and meetings under strict provisos to ensure premises are “Covid secure” for worshippers and visitors.

The announcement did not specify the conditions under which services might recommence and the final written guidance is not now due until 29th June at the earliest.   As a result we are not able to proceed with any arrangements yet.   This means we will not be re-opening the building before the Church Meeting on 14th June when hopefully we will have more news for Church Members.  All our activities will continue online at least until then.

As things are moving, it is imperative that we have your views in the “Life after Lockdown” questionnaire circulated last  week and still available on the website, as we seek to move on from where we are.   Please send us your replies by 5th July. There is a Word version that can be filled in on a computer and emailed back and a pdf version that can be printed out, completed and sent back to us.

We will put further information on this page as it arises.

C-Kers Online 3

Hi everyone and welcome to our latest C-Kers online. We start off this edition with a magic video from a guy called Nick who has a little furry rabbit friend called Stew.

Well, that was cool wasn’t it? Our Biblestory this time is again about Elijah who got himself into a “knotty” position by telling King Ahab that the land was going to have no rain for years, because Ahab had sinned against God by worshipping false gods called Baal and Asherah. Everything dried up and we saw last time that Elijah left Israel and stayed with a widow and her son. He was away for three years and now God was going to call him to return to Ahab for a big showdown! You can read the story in I Kings 18 . It’s a long story to read so we’ve put a link in to a video about it below.

Great stuff, eh. There was nothing magic to it either – God did really drop fire from heaven! God wants to reveal Himself to us if we really want to know Him. All we have to do is ask. He doesn’t usually drop fire from heaven, but reveals Himself to us in many ways, including the Bible, our Christian friends, and church activities like C-Kers.

Here’s a prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you want everybody to know about you and to trust and follow Jesus. Please show me more of what that means, that I may too know that you are real and that I can know you personally. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Here’s a few activities to keep you occupied if our drought ends and rain keeps you indoors in the next week. Or just sit ouside in the sunshine and do them!

What’s a rain stick? Read through the instructions, get the bits and pieces and find out! When you’ve done that, try these two activity sheets. You’ll need to print them off.

That’s it for this edition. Here’s a song. How do you get to heaven? Any idea? Well, it’s not on the back of a camel! See you next time.


MRBC Sunday Service 21st June 2020

The questionnaire for “What will MRBC look like after lockdown?” is below. If you want to mail us the questionnaire, then print off the PDF file and send it. If you want to fill it in on your computer or tablet, then download the DOCX file, complete it and send it as an attachment. Details of where to send it are on the questionniare.

Organisations dealing with slavery and justice issues

International Justice Mission www.ijm.org is a well-known international Christian organisation dedicated to ending slavery.

Joint Policy Issues Team http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/ is a joint project between the BU, Methodists and URC to research and respond to the major justic issues in the UK and internationally.

Tearfund www.tearfund.org campaigns on a range of justice, development and environmental issues

For Reflection & Discussion

  1. Take a look at the following verses: Psalm 9:9, Psalm 82:3, Proverbs 31:8-9, Job 5:15-16, Jeremiah 22:3. How do verses like these help us to understand God’s attitude towards the weak and oppressed?
  2. What arguments do you think Christians in the 18th and 19th centuries used to justify their support or at least their condoning of black slavery and the slave trade? Why do you think seemingly good people stand by and tolerate injustice in their land or abroad?
  3. Take a look at Numbers 14:17-18. There is a train of thought that suggests that we often have to live with the consequences of past sin through subsequent generations. In what respect are some countries and peoples reflecting past sins in relation to slavery? Can Christians bring healing into this situation?
  4. Take time to reflect on how your thinking towards racial issues may be affected by your past and what you pick up from the world. How does that differ from what Paul says in Colossians 3:11?
  5. You may find you need to do a little research online to explore some of these issues. Take time to pray through them afterwards.

Tearfund Reboot

The coronavirus crisis has changed the way we see the world. It’s reminded us of the fragility of life and exposed deep inequalities in society. As churches and communities adapt to find new ways to be a light in the darkness, many are reimagining what life could be like. This is Tearfund’s contribution to how we should think about life after Coronavirus. The website is at https://www.tearfund.org/about_you/action/the_world_rebooted/

Tearfund have produced a couple of items to read. A short guide for discussion, and a much longer document that gives more information. They are both in pdf format. If this fires you up, there is an email template you can send to the Government to encourage them to think about what should shape the world in the coming years.