GOOD NEWS STORIES FOR THIS WEEK
The Methodist Church, Stoke-on-Trent South Circuit
Collected by: Hil Hands (Local preacher)
I read a short reflection at the beginning of Lockdown written by someone living in China. She summed up how she felt as their Quarantine restrictions were lifted, and they emerged from the cocoon of their homes to appreciate anew the wider world around them. It took courage.
We have stepped out of our comfort zone a little this week: we have been camping! It took courage to trust in the arrangements the campsite had put into place to protect their staff and the campers. It took courage to visit local businesses and support them as they continue to work hard to ensure social distancing. I now feel a little more confident about being in the wider world having been reminded, whilst walking in the beauty of the Peak District, that God’s love surrounds us, and His blessings are constant.
As we studied the book of Ruth during June, it struck me how Ruth must have been out of her comfort zone: she left her homeland and travelled to Bethlehem with Naomi. The customs and faith of the people around her would have been vastly different, but she embraced them as her own.
Our communities may seem a little different as we ease out of Lockdown, but there is a strong sense of friendship between strangers as we greet one-another from a social distance. Our church buildings may have different arrangements when we can eventually enter them, but our church families have grown closer in love and fellowship through a time when we have remained apart.
I encourage you to take small steps out of your comfort zone, trusting in God to lead us on.
At dawn whilst camping, I needed to visit the loo. On the way back to the tent, I was accompanied by a mother duck and her 8 ducklings. The grass was long and the ducklings couldn’t really see where they were going, but their mother kept them together and lead them safely to the stream nearby.
Living under the shadow of His wings
We find security
Standing in His presence we will bring
Our worship, worship, worship to the King
Bowed in adoration at His feet
We dwell in harmony
Voices joined together that repeat
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb
Heart to heart embracing in His love
Reveals His purity
Soaring in His Spirit like a dove
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
(Words and music by David J Hadden and Bob Silvester)
If you have good news, please let me know: email - firstname.lastname@example.org Please send news to me by Friday 17 July, ready for next weekend
From Glenn at Temple Street
Filling a Vacuum!
Every now and then we are reminded that God is in everything that we do.
One such occasion took place a few Sunday afternoons ago when we received a call from Longton Police to assist with a sleeping bag and some food for a homeless guy sitting outside the Police Station. We took what we thought he needed and handed it over to him. However, he asked for a hot drink but that was one thing that we hadn’t got and no cafes were open due to the Lockdown. Thankfully the Police Officer gave him a mug of hot water, so that he could make himself a hot drink using one of the sachets of coffee that we had given him.
On the way back home, we said that it might be useful to appeal for any surplus thermos flasks that people might have tucked away in their cupboards. We weren’t certain whether it was a good idea or not, but when we got home and looked on our computer, we’d received a message from one of our friends showing a picture of a thermos flask and asking us if it would be of any use to us! We were stunned! Our friend can’t possibly have known about our conversation in the car on the way home from Longton. It confirmed to us that asking for spare flasks was a good idea, indeed a God idea! By the way, we have been inundated with flasks since then! So our thanks go out to everyone who has donated.
From Richard and Maureen
Just an item for your Good News page: For those tempted to take a sneaky peek at the horoscope pages, think about this notice we saw outside a small rural chapel in Wales several years ago - "Put not your trust in the stars, but in He who made them." Love and blessings to all, The Crewe Two
From Chris at Forsbrook and Blythe Bridge (forwarded from Broadway)
Please hold the following in prayer:
From Stuart and Sylvia Hickerman and family
Ashley has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse: very poorly, back on fluids, in a lot of pain and waiting to go for a scan because they suspect a cyst may have developed. His tummy distended and he may also have fluid on lungs again. Not very well at all today (Friday). The hospital are arranging a chest X-ray too, because the doctor couldn’t hear any bowel sounds so is concerned there may be a blockage - I presume the scan may show that. May not be the MRI as he is acutely unwell again so may have to be CT. He is also now back on IV morphine and they are waiting for the surgeons to replace the feeding tube that came out yesterday. All in all, he is a very poorly lad and I feel we are almost back at square one having seen some signs of hope. Please do keep praying. Your prayers are needed more now than ever. God bless, Stuart
From Rev Linda
Thank you so much for your continued messages, support and prayers. Barry is now home from Hospital but will need to return for further treatment as he has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Barry says he feels supported by the professionals of the NHS, and the prayers of all our friends and family.
Thank you. God bless from Barry and Linda
We can use our fingers to pray for everyone:
Little finger – for children and grandchildren
Ring finger – for relationships within communities across the UK, particularly as pubs, cafes and other venues begin to open again.
Middle finger – for all Church leaders, as they guide our way through easement of Lockdown rules.
First finger - for all those returning to work, with new guidelines in place to help with safety for all.
Thumb – for ourselves, that we act lovingly upon that nudge from the Spirit.