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20 06, 2018

IT WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS…

June 20th, 2018|

Simon Loveitt has been a Church Related Community Work Minister (CRCWm) since 1989. Here he recalls four stories of when things didn’t quite go according to plan…..   ‘Friendly Club’ Pensioners Trip To the Lake District This group met weekly for entertainment and fellowship in the church in Hulme in Manchester. As the CRCW, I was invited to go along.  The trip, to Keswick for lunch and Windermere for afternoon tea was an offer too good to miss.  We arrived at lunchtime in Keswick at the coach park and dispersed to find a place to eat.  After a good lunch and a wander around the market town, everyone returned to the coach park – except one person.  After an hour, no sign of Raymond, (an elderly gentleman on crutches) everyone else in the coach was becoming restless. After two hours, no sign of Raymond, people were becoming concerned.  It was decided to phone the police.  To everyone’s surprise, the police came straight around in a police car.  (photo in Reform at the time)  I jumped in and we searched for the ‘lost sheep’ of the Friendly Club around the town of Keswick.  No luck.  Now three hours late, it was decided to make our way home. The police had my home telephone number and I spent a sleepless night expecting the phone call to say they had found Raymond.  The phone call eventually came at 6am. The police had found Raymond several miles from Keswick walking down the A66 (on crutches) thumbing a lift home.  He had apparently been in a pub, had too much to drink and had spent the night under a bridge sleeping it off.  He eventually made his own way back by coach later that same day. […]

11 06, 2018

Be an encourager!

June 11th, 2018|

When did you last receive some kind of encouragement? It might have been an email, or a letter; a phone call, or a conversation which took an unexpected turn; or even just a casual remark, kindly meant and which moved you more deeply than either you or the speaker could have expected. Although we all know how delighted we can feel whenever such encouragement comes our way, we also know the pain of the ‘Yes, but …’ comment; the ‘Why didn’t you …’ question, the ‘You should have …’ challenge. Of course there is a time and place for such [...]

31 05, 2018

How ‘woke’ are you?

May 31st, 2018|

Interesting, isn’t it, how new words creep up on you and you suddenly find they fit the moment? Or is that just me? A new word becomes embedded in the consciousness and refuses to go away. A word that seems to fit the moment. So forgive me if I refer back to ‘the Wedding’ for just a moment. Whatever our feelings about the monarchy, I am sure that few of us can fail to be delighted that Harry has found, what appears to be, deep and genuine happiness. Reading about it (yet again!) I caught the phrase ‘… they are [...]

29 05, 2018

Praying without ceasing…

May 29th, 2018|

When my children were young, I made a conscious decision to spend some time in prayer, long before the busyness of the day began. Prayer soon became an important part of my life, and over the years my understanding of the ways in which we can communicate with God in prayer has shifted, evolved and changed. I no longer feel the need to always use words in prayer, and often I sit quietly, focus on a situation, or concentrate on one person, and I pray. There are certain places that feel spiritual to me for all kinds of reasons, and [...]

14 05, 2018

“Bless you!”

May 14th, 2018|

“Bless you!” That’s a phrase that gets said to me a lot at this time of year! Often three times in quick succession. This is not because of any strict Trinitarian liturgy which I might inflict on those around me, but because I am a hay fever sufferer. And strangely, although not uniquely, my sneezes seem to come in threes! Do I feel blessed by this constant outpouring of ‘Blessing’? Probably not. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that I do not look forward to those times of year when the pollen starts flying around. This last week [...]

3 05, 2018

I lift my eyes to the hills

May 3rd, 2018|

Psalm 121 "I lift my eyes to the hills where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" On a morning as I sit having my breakfast looking out and up the hill of the garden I am reminded of the help the Lord brings me each and every day. If it was not for the Father I do not know how I would cope. Whilst sitting, I have the privilege of watching the birds come and feed and the flowers and trees blossom. And so as my eyes are lifted [...]

26 04, 2018

My Lord and My God

April 26th, 2018|

Seven months ago I moved over the Pennines from Liverpool to minister in North Yorkshire and so this has meant a lot of firsts, indeed it was my first move as a minister. In the newness of this period discovering the new context, serving God with different people and finding the ways the churches do things, I have been reminded especially during my first Easter here and the first signs of Spring, of the so many firsts the disciples and new followers of Jesus went through post Easter. For the first time it really struck me from Mary’s experience at [...]

23 04, 2018

Transformation

April 23rd, 2018|

I’ve recently taken on a year-long Chaplaincy role for an old friend in that other county, for which I attended an event to officially install her as High Sheriff. It was a wonderful occasion, with costumes and customs, some dating back to the 13th C. It was great to talk to so many people at the high tea afterwards, people of some standing in the county of Greater Manchester. But one conversation made me think. It was someone who said he’d known my friend a long time and had made it possible in some ways for her to progress. Now [...]

12 04, 2018

PRAYER, KEY TO REVIVAL!

April 12th, 2018|

Over my life I’ve given a great deal of lip service to prayer. To the idea of prayer, to the action of prayer, to encouraging others to pray, to even acknowledging the power of prayer, whilst not fully engaging with a life of prayer that should be transformative. The fullness of all that God has for us can only be accessed by a life of prayer. Not telling God what we want Him to do, not redesigning who God is in our image, not reminding Him of what’s going on in the World (He knows!), not by their length and [...]

9 04, 2018

Come Follow Me

April 9th, 2018|

Matthew 11:29 (NRSV) "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls." You will probably know that a rabbi's set of rules and lists was really that rabbi's interpretation of how to live the Torah and that this was called the rabbi's yoke. When you followed a certain rabbi, you were following him because you believed that rabbi's set of interpretations were the closest to what God intended through the scriptures.  When you followed that rabbi, you were taking that rabbi's yoke.  The intent [...]