19th June 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2 Corinthians 4:1 (NIV)
Are you tempted to lose heart, to be discouraged? If so, you’re in good company! Here the apostle Paul says that he is too, and he also explains what helps him not to lose heart. True, he is speaking specifically about being discouraged in gospel ministry, but surely his words can be applied more widely?
And what keeps him from losing heart? It is “God’s mercy.” He has experienced God’s kindness, his grace, his favour, his forgiveness – and so have we if we belong to Jesus. And that’s what gets him out of bed in the morning. Life is hard for many of us at the moment, and in many ways, but we can encourage ourselves and one another with these words: we may not have everything we want, but we have God’s mercy, and we would not trade that for anything.
Sunday 21st June
Our 10am Sunday service will be available as usual on the church website.
This Sunday we will see ‘What happens when Jesus meets real hunger’ (Mark 8:1-10), as we continue seeing what happens when Jesus meets people in different situations.
Family Bible time. Please use this link: https://www.sssw.org.uk/family-bible-time/
This week it’s ‘Jesus feeds the 4000’ (Mark 8:1-10). For the craft you will need
- A string
- A bag
- Glue or tape
- Some paper to draw bread and fish and cut them out
Following the service, at 11.30am there will be the usual opportunity to meet together using Zoom. We will spend the first 15 minutes or so saying hello and sharing encouragements in one big group, before then going into smaller Breakout Rooms to catch up with a few people, and then returning to the big group for those who would like to share insights or ask questions. Please come in good time, and bring the kids too – they love seeing each other! And feel free to leave when you need to.
Big Book Group: ‘The Good God’
Have you been reading our book of the term, ‘The Good God’ by Michael Reeves? There will be an opportunity for all of us who have been reading it to discuss it in the pub (ok, virtual pub) towards the end of July. We shall meet on Zoom at 8pm on Thursday 23rd July. Bring your own drink, book, Bible, pencil and whatever else you need to listen, talk, and learn about our good God. Please contact Andy Martin for more details.
Weekend at Home
Our church Weekend at Home, planned for the first weekend in July, will be postponed until the autumn when hopefully it will be possible to meet together face-to-face and so make more of a weekend of it. We intend, however, to retain the World Mission focus of the weekend, with a Zoom conversation between and with our Mission Partners on the evening of Saturday 4th July, and an All Age service followed by a prayer time via Zoom on the morning of Sunday 5th July. Put the dates in your diary now; details to follow…
St Germain’s still need regular deliveries of supplies to help feed people in their area. Please think about whether you can contribute to this. Details of what to give can be found on our website: https://www.sssw.org.uk/coronavirus-help/
Please drop it off at St Germains Church Hall, City Road, B17 8LE on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings 10-12 midday. Or, you can drop off supplies at 103 Bournbrook Road, B29 7BY, or 126 Oakfield Road, B29 7ED, and we will deliver them for you. We can also collect supplies from you if you can’t get out.
Thought for the Week: Learning from Lockdown
Please follow this link to find the Thought for the Week on our website: https://www.sssw.org.uk/learning-from-lockdown/ This week I consider what God may be teaching us through the lockdown. Please feel free to share these thoughts with others.
Photos & Videos
It would be lovely to see what you’ve been up to! Please send your photos and videos (20 seconds max.) so they can be shown in the Sunday service. Please remember that they will then stay on the website, and check what you have in the background! Please send them to Christopher Barry who has kindly offered to put them together.
This week there will be the opportunity to pray together for 20 minutes: 12.30pm Monday to Friday, with a short Bible reflection and then open prayer.
St Stephen’s – Open for Private Prayer
St Stephen’s will be open for Private Prayer through the coming week at the following times. Please be assured that social distancing and cleansing guidelines will be followed. Please feel free to come at any of these times, and to tell others:
Monday 4pm – 6pm
Tuesday 10am – 12pm
Wednesday 4pm – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 12pm
Friday 4pm – 6pm
Sunday 4pm – 6pm
You may know another verse where the apostle Paul wants us to keep God’s mercy firmly in view: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1, NIV). He clearly lives with a constant awareness and appreciation of God’s mercy to him, and we would do well to do the same.
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister)