Sunday worship – 7th July 2019

July 7th, 2019

Led by Rev. Suzanne Nockels

Readings 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 & Luke 10:1-12 & 14-16

Having returned from Glastonbury Music Festival in Somerset, Suzanne explained how she had spent her time in the Iona Community ‘space’ in company with Tapton Church Secretary Darryl Lomas. The Iona Community is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship who are provided with a space at the Festival each year.

During their time there, they mingled and chatted with about 250 people from all walks of life.  This was not just about religion but touched on amongst other things; relationships, abuse and grief amongst party goers.

Having informed us of what little she had taken to the Festival, Suzanne asked if we pack light to go on our travels or prepare for all eventualities? In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy it states all you need is a towel.  Jesus in Luke sends his disciples out with nothing. WHY?

  1. They have to rely on others for everything. In fact Jesus commands they accept hospitality and by doing so it offers an opportunity to receive.  In addition being empty handed meant they were not posing a threat to the communities they visited.  Jesus had harsh words for communities who rejected his disciples. The real sin of Sodom in Genesis is not about same-sex acts but mob rule and refusing hospitality to strangers and the needy within their midst.  When we host someone, do we expect to offer them a gift or are we open to receiving a gift from them?
  2. Jesus instructs the disciples to offer greetings to those they meet; ‘Peace to this house’ and ‘The Kingdom of God has come near’ whilst  not making any  judgements. In our pessimistic world we are called to shout out ‘joy’ and highlight the good things provided for us by God. We should share our faith and the awareness of God’s presence.  Disciples went out in pairs and we are not alone, church can provide a comfort, share burdens and comfort others.  We may be accepted or rejected as was Jesus Christ.

How do we build opportunities around these statements?

 

 

 

 

Sunday service 30th June 2019

July 4th, 2019

Led by Mr Keith Nockels

Readings: 1 Kings 19:15-21,  2 Kings 2:1-15,  Luke 9:51-62

Keith opened the service with a quiz to identify a character in the bible who turned out to be Elijah.

Clues: Didn’t die, appears in the Koran, fed by Ravens, present at the transfiguration, God spoke to him

He followed this by asking who or what we might follow?  eg a map/football/advice/Jesus

Keith summarised the story of Elijah and his relationship with Elisha and the many references to Elijah in both the Old and New Testament.

He considered if Elisha, out ploughing, had time to inform his family of his calling

When we receive the call:

  • Do we need to change?
  • Do we need to give up other things?
  • Do we need to put things off and not rush into something?

Jesus in Luke 9:62 appears to refer to not looking back stating our focus should be on the Kingdom of God.

Elijah passed the mantel of his work onto Elisha and we must recognise we cannot always finish what we start and we should be prepared to pass on the work for someone else to finish or just continue.

Who do you follow, when do you follow them and what does it mean?

Follow Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Sunday 23rd June 2019

June 24th, 2019

Leaders : Rev.Bill and Mrs Betty Bentham  (from Scunthorpe)                                                                                   Betty’s talk :  at this time of year many students are worried about examinations and results and parents are worried s to how they will get on    so we think of them all.  She told us a true story  of a class of 92 students in Canada  who were told, muc to their dismay,  that the school had decided that in future no religion or the name of God would be mentioned.     At their graduation day there were a lot of speeches and then it was time for the head boy to speak   he started and then all 91 of the students sneezed at the same time  –  “God bless you all” he said.

Reading :Mark1  v29  Jesus had been preaching in the synagogue and was tired so he went home with Simon  – when they got there Simons Mother in law was ill  – Jesus healed her  and word soon spread round the village and any turned up at the house wanting to see Jesus  so he left the house to be on his own – but his disciples found him and told him there were a lot of people wanting to see him but he said he wanted to move on.          There are many dramatic events in the bible    all need to be interpreted.   In the old testament some dramatic events are :   Creation  and there are more than one version of this.  Abraham going to sacrifice his son Isaac but was stopped by God.    Joshua stormed Jericho.  All these and others  need interpretation    Its not what happens its how you interpret it.    The Church must be prepared for when Jesus comes again.

Sunday 16th June 2019 Fathers Day

June 17th, 2019

Leader :  Suzanne Nockels   Psalm  68   “God is father to the fatherless and defender of the vulnerable”

COPYING  How would you copy a picture   – photocopier?  carbon paper? tracing paper ? pantagraph? take a photo of it?     Copying  people   woukd you copy someone you admire   or be an individual and stay as you are ?   If you are copying someone it has to be worthwhile.    The Disciples lived with Jesus   he was their role model     Perhaps there is someone you know who has copied Jesus   Are you worth copying?

Readings :   Proverbs 8 1-11 22-35    Romans 5 1-5        What is wise ?   what do we associate with   wisdom ?  Families have sayings shar are passed down through generations  and there are many sayings regarding wisdom in the bible      If we have a deep and profound awe of God it will put everything in perspective.

All  the men were given a Fathers Day bag

 

Pentecost Sunday 9th June

June 11th, 2019

No service at Tapton as we made the short trip to share worship with Hillsborough Tabernacle church and the Salvation Army at Tabs church on Proctor Place, Hillsborough, Sheffield

The sermon was given by Rev Suzanne Nockels on a theme of ‘breath’.

Sunday 2nd June 2019

June 3rd, 2019

Leader : Rev. Suzanne Nockels      Ascension                                                                                                                Readings :    Acts 1   1-10   Ephesians  1   11-22

Compare Jesus’s leaving on Good Friday and Ascension day        Sometimes we need to look at things twice  the first time we may be just a glance and we do not see everything that is there.     We must not think of the disciples reaction in today’s terms     life was much different then    they believed that the higher you were the closer you were to God  so anything going up was believed to be going to God.  Paul praised their belief.     Churches today must look up and around  not just straight forward         some people always look down or straight forward  never upward or round  it takes all sorts of people to make a church we must ccept everyone with the talents they can bring.

Season of Joy Church Walk – Saturday 1st June

June 1st, 2019

As part of the ‘Season of Joy’ programme put together for the Sheffield Congregational Churches by our Minister, Suzanne, a number of us gathered in Rivelin Valley and enjoyed a walk through Rivelin Valley enjoying good company and taking in the beauty on our doorstep.

This valley was at the centre of Sheffield cutlery Industry in the 18th & 19th century when it was noisy, dirty and dangerous but with  new innovations the old water driven mills closed down and nature has reclaimed much of the valley.

As one member commented ‘Fresh air and company is always good’ and so say all of us.

Bible study – Wednesday 29th May

June 1st, 2019

Led by Keith Bradley

Theme ‘Emotions’

Reading: John 9

Following John 8 where the Pharisees and Jewish people continually question Jesus in Chapter 9 he again faces questions, this time initially from his own disciples.  Why is the man blind? Is it he or his parents who have sinned?  Given those two options Jesus gives them an alternative.

We considered the frustrations of being continually asked the same or similar questions, in the case of Jesus usually to trap him but Jesus is only too aware and is able to turn the questions around.  Had Jesus deliberately healed the man on the Sabbath to show it is ok to care for people on the Sabbath?

The blind man healed by Jesus also faced a barrage of questions from people who knew him, certainly from the Jewish authorities but he also asked questions of Jesus.

Here we read of a blind beggar, in a fairly lowly place, probably elated that he could see, frustrated that no one believed he was that beggar, even more frustrated at the questioning and then to cap it all he is excluded from the synagogue and therefore the community.  Elation through frustration to despair.

He had no idea why Jesus picked him out to be healed, in fact never saw Jesus as Jesus sent him to the pool of Siloam to wash and that’s where he could see but by this time Jesus had gone. But when he was cast out Jesus came and found him and we read of the blind man’s faith.

When we are suffering don’t ask God ‘Why me’ ask him for the strength to face whatever trial you are facing and an understanding of what is happening.

 

 

Sunday 26th May 2019

May 26th, 2019

Leader : Darryl Lomas  (our church secretary)       The Tree of Life                                                                                           Readings : Genesis 1 v6-`13     Genesis 2  15-17   Revelations 22   1-3                                                                                           Trees are mentioned in the bible many times from Genesis to Revelations   the beginning and the end.                        In Genesis we read that God put Adam in a beautiful garden with plants and trees  and one very special tree “The tree of Life” and if he ate the fruit of that tree he would die.   In Revelations we read about trees again.                            Trees are the longest living thing on earth   there is one that is known to be 4,851 years old and it survives in harsh conditions in a desert in California.                                                                                                                                                       Psalm 92 mentions trees   verses 12- 14                                                                                                                                               even if a tree is cut down it will survive and grow        Isaiah 41  v 17  God will provide for his people when they are short of water and food  and he will provide for trees too.    Jesus was cut down but rose and grew again and his acts live on to this day.

Sunday Worship – 19th May 2019

May 20th, 2019

Led by Rev. Zadie Orr

Reading John 14: 31ff

Theme – creation and love

Zadie asked us to consider the similarities and differences between a hammer and a nail, needle and cotton, tortoise and turtle, banana and plantain.

The bible reading told the story of Peter (a Jew) and Cornelius ( a Gentile). Gentiles were considered unclean by the Jews but God told Cornelius to call on Peter ( the one who denied Christ). Peter gave Cornelius the good news of Jesus Christ, probably through his testimony and Cornelius filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues wants to follow Jesus.

Peter baptizes him and stays for a meal again frowned upon by the Jewish authorities.

Jesus before he was crucified had told the disciples that he was going to a place they could not follow and commanded them to ‘Love one another’, an old testament message from Deuteronomy and Leviticus they would already understand. Jesus however went further by saying: ‘Love one another as I have loved you’.  He then added ‘Love one another as I have loved  so all the world will know you are my disciples’.

Here we see similarities but different instructions. We must always be looking for the differences however small they may be.

Jesus showed us a sacrificial love  –  going to his death on the cross. It was also an unconditional love with no strings attached. His love also showed a practical element identifying the ‘them and us situation in Palestine at that time between Jews and Gentiles.

Today can we identify and as Christians stand together against injustices and oppression however small they are?  A real practical way of showing Christian love.