Archive for the ‘Tapton 2020’ Category

Bible Study 18th August

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Bible Study: Sitting Beneath the Broom Tree

We are constantly risk-assessing at the moment, even if we are not filling out forms we are wondering if certain places are safe. Elijah the prophet has had a showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (the subject of this week’s upcoming sermon) and the prophets of Baal have been slaughtered. Queen Jezebel vows ‘to make Elijah’s life like one of them by this time tomorrow’ so Elijah flees in fear. He is extra cautious- not only does he go to Beersheba in Judah (far away from the Queen’s jurisdiction) but then travels a day into the wilderness by which point the time-limit of the vow has expired. Despite the miracles Elijah has seen, he has had enough and sits beneath a broom tree. A broom tree is associated with mourning and distress in the Bible (Job 30:3-4, Psalm 120).

Read 1 Kings 19: 1-5a

Question 1: What emotions do you think Elijah is feeling? Are these surprising or unsurprising after the ‘victory’ on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18)? Is he where he expected to be?

Question 2: Ever had a ‘broom tree’ moment when a sudden low-point followed a high or when you thought a tough time might be over and it just got worse.

Read 1 Kings 19: 5b-9a

Interestingly, it was not suddenly over. God did not magic Elijah’s inner or outer troubles away.

Question 3: What does God do to sustain Elijah? What might our modern equivalents be?

He still had a journey of forty days and forty nights through the wilderness (yes, spot the biblical echoes!)

Read 1 Kings 19: 9a-16

Elijah airs his grievances which are focussed on himself and are out-of-proportion. He is not the only prophet left (see 1 Kings 18:1-4). The people have now returned to Yahweh (see 1 Kings 18: 39) they are not all out to get him. How easy it is to think we are alone in our difficulties. God asks Elijah a question ‘What are you doing here?’ Elijah thinks the answer is obvious- he is fleeing for his life! I suspect Elijah would rather throw that question back at God ‘Where are you? Where have you been?’ God listens and doesn’t dismiss his worries. Sometimes words will not do it. Sometimes words will not convince anyone- only our presence counts. So, amazingly God will make God’s awesome presence known to Elijah to help relieve him of his fear. He is not in the earthquake or fire which are both attributes of the god Baal.

Question 4: How does your translation translate 1 Kings 19: 12b? Which translation do you prefer and why? What does it say about God?

The translation is very tricky and offers a paradox; ‘a voice, a thin silence’. It could mean a) a voice which is very close to silence e.g. a whisper or b) a voice followed by a time of silence. Question: Can you live with the paradox?

Question 6: God asks Elijah the same question and Elijah responds in the same way but this time God sends Elijah back the same way (his heart must have sank) but not to do the same things…there is a new direction for himself and the nation. Ever had to make big changes in order not to burn-out?

In the end Elijah moves on- the wilderness is not the place he stays in.

Prayer

When we cannot see how things really are,

Because we exhausted, fearful or depressed,

When we think we have failed and are alone in a dark world,

When we are sitting under our own broom tree,

Lord, please come to us.

We thank You for ministering angels,

Those that touch and feed,

Those who are firm in their gentleness- ‘Get up and eat’.

Those who allow us to rest and heal; however long it takes.

Lord, bless them.

Most of all we thank You for Your presence,

Not always big and dramatic- copying the gods of our age,

You are the paradox that holds voice and silence, substance and emptiness, together

Often, we find you in the stillness after speech or the pregnant pause before something is said.

You are the God who weaves through our daily discourse.

If we listen…….if we hear.

Lord, we are not always where we should be or want to be

Guide us to new beginnings and help us serve You.

Amen.

 

 

Service 12th August

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

To be led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Service 5th August

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Led by Mr Darryl Lomas

Reading Matthew 19:16-30

The rich young ruler

Darryl spoke of the 5S system of visual management has improved organisation and efficiency in many workplaces including manufacturing environments and offices. This system consists of five pillars—Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain—that make maintaining the workplace in good condition a visual process. He asked if the Rich Young ruler would have benefited from applying this system to his life?

Sort – Have a look at his life an d determine what is good and what is unnecessary

Shine – if he used his wealth for the poor and needy

Set in order – if he let his wealth go & put his life in order

Sustain – could he keep it up, would he miss his wealth and everything that goes with it?

Darryl suggested he did not get past the sorting stage. What abut us? We may at some time sorted out home, cupboard but how long did it remain clear and tidy?

Darryl left us with the following thoughts:

What do we need to sort out?

What do we need to give up?

How will we do it?

How will we sustain whats right?

Service 29th July 2020

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

The Bible verses this week are 1 Kings 17 and John 7:37-38

Service 15th July

Sunday, July 19th, 2020

Excerpt

Worship moves to Wednesdays at 6pm

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Dear Friends,
We are resuming worship in the building on Wednesday July 8th 6.30pm. I realise that the idea of a midweek service may come as a surprise but there are a number of good reasons behind this decision. Current guidelines recommend 72 hours between people using the same space otherwise there needs to be a deep clean. We currently have the Greek Orthodox Church as tenants who, because of their numbers, want to meet weekly so that
every member of their congregation can worship at least once a month. They have more worshippers who attend as families and who work so they want to remain in church on a Sunday. As they are also providing much needed funds at this time, we felt that moving to a mid-week service for the time being would be the hospitable, safe and sensible thing to do. As Nonconformists we have always been adaptable and not held tight to sacred spaces or
times, instead we have put God and care of our fellow human-beings first. This is not a forever decision made by the Deacons.
We have real mixture of feelings right now from joy at the thought of seeing everyone again to worry about the easing of lockdown and we suspect you do too. We have completed a full risk assessment and put procedures in place. These practices worked well for our ‘quiet-time/private prayer’ last Sunday. Some things will look a bit different but rather than seeing this as a bad thing, we are seeing it as an opportunity to be creative.
What will we not be doing?
We need to manage flow into the building and maintain social distancing at 2 metres.
So, we will have one household coming in the Tapton Hill Road entrance at a time. To this end the building will be open from 6pm to stagger entry. There may be a little queue.
You will need to hand sanitise on entry.
You’ll be warmly welcomed and shown to a seat that will be 2 metres from another household. Please don’t move seats.
We will not be singing at this stage.
There will be a single toilet available, but we are operating a ‘clean as you go’ system so you’ll need to wipe the toilet seat and sink after use.
We will not be passing the offering plate around. Please put your offering in the plate on your way in or out. Please be aware that the church has had
little income during lockdown but still had major outgoings. These will increase as our cleaner restarts work and we have John back on the organ. You might like to give a larger ‘one off’ gift as a sign of gratitude, give the
offering money that you’ve set aside over previous weeks or slightly adjust your weekly amount.
There will be no refreshments provided and the kitchen will be shut even for a glass of water so please bring your own drink.
We will also manage the flow out of building with one household leaving at a time.
What we will be doing?
We will praise God together in prayer and pray for each other and our world.
We will still be sharing our ideas and thoughts about living the Christian life. For example, on the 8th July we might share what lockdown has shown us.
Suzanne will continue her series on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
It will be all-age friendly.
We will listen to music. John will play an organ voluntary and we might have a go at some sign-language singing.
Feel free to bring a flask of your own tea/cake or even a piece of cake from home. Obviously, take all washing up home with you. Suzanne is looking forward to using her new flask!
It will be shorter service around 30 minutes.
BUT…. If you are shielding, we love you too much to risk your health so please continue to enjoy what we are putting online. Please don’t come if you are showing any Covid-19 symptoms or feel unwell in anyway. People will emerge at different rates so we completely understand if you want to give it a couple of
weeks before you re-join us. You are free to wear whatever PPE gives you confidence.
Thank you for reading this carefully. We have missed you and look forward to the day when we can stand together and sing our hearts out. Until then we can uplift our hearts in other ways to the God who has sustained us at this time.
Please call Suzanne on 0114 2325790 if you have
any questions.

Rev Suzanne Nockels

 

 

Sunday 6th July – Entering Jerusalem

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Sunday reflection 28th June 2020

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Father’s Day – 21st June 2020

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

Minister’s reflections on inner character – Sunday 14th June

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

Reflection by Rev Suzanne Nockels