logo
Zion Methodist Church - Boston
Home
Coronavirus
Services
Lent & Easter
Weekly Notices
Prayers
Fellowship Groups
Regular Activities
Church History
Photo Gallery
Church & Hall Hire
Contact Us
Links
Guestbook
CTiB
Policies


Lent 6: Our Servant King – Worship
Symbol: Palms

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

The road to the Cross is spread with palms.
We who welcome Christ today
Will call for His death on Friday.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!




 WEEKLY NOTICES


Message from Rev Julie


Julie is writing a weekly pastoral letter. If you have already received this directly then she has your email address! If not and you would like to in future, then drop her an email.

 

This includes some resources for worship at home and details of how to keep in touch via pastoral groups, Centenary on Sundays and praying at 12 noon.

 







THIS WEEK



Lent course


Wednesday 8 April


7.30pm


If you have broadband and a smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer with a webcam and want to join us for our Lent Study next week then email John and we will guide you through what to do next. It would be great if you could join us. Rev Ann is leading us in the comfort of our own homes.





OTHER NOTICES

 


UCB Radio: Bible Blogs


If you’re looking for a good podcast to listen to, why not join David Taviner in conversation with Bible teacher Mike Beaumont as they journey through the Bible, one character at a time. Tune in to Bible Blogs in 30 Minutes, every Saturday at 9:15pm on UCB Radio or catch up on UCB Player.





 

RoadHoG update

 

Tony’s Thoughts – Tony Coe, Schools Worker

 

“As I write this, the thought of going out for a drive in the roadHoG bus seems a freedom in my long distant memory. However, in March I completed my last day at Haven High Academy the day before the announcement came about schools closing. We praise God that we were able to share with 300 year 7 pupils why Jesus died on the cross and how Christians celebrate His resurrection at Easter. Some of the questions that came from sharing that Jesus did this because we needed it and because He thought we are worth it, were quite amazing and humbling. This was in the midst of the build up to the schools closing. I was really impressed with the welcome and dedication of the staff there, and being really nervous about going in, I was relieved to meet a Christian member of staff.

 

I have also enjoyed new school visits at St Georges and St Mary’s Swineshead. The House of God on the road is about people and about meeting young people, although in this time of keeping our distance let’s continue to pray for young people at home. Most will be happy, but let’s pray for those for who being at home will be a struggle for whatever reason”

 

The bus may be off the road, but the prayers continue! Please join us in prayer

 

 

 

Virtual churches – a list of places to visit


The next best thing to being able to visit in person, and a different form of online church, are 360° virtual tours around some of the most iconic and renowned buildings globally. Giving you 24-hour access, 7 days a week, these tours allow entry to places which would normally require a fee and waiting in a queue!

 

Here is a list of UK and worldwide churches and cathedrals who offer virtual tours for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home. 

 

UK 


  All Saints Church – Richmond, London

https://www.eyerevolution.co.uk/virtual-tours/all-saints/


  Brecon Cathedral – Brecon, Wales https://www.breconcathedral.org.uk/visiting/cathedral-virtual-tour/


  Canterbury Cathedral - Kent, England

https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/visit/information/tour/


  Exeter Cathedral - Devon, England

https://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/visit-us/virtual-tour/


  Gloucester Cathedral https://www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk/visit/things-to-do/360/


  Salisbury Cathedral

https://www.englishcathedrals.co.uk/latest-news/take-a-virtual-tour-of-salisbury-cathedral-wherever-you-are/


  St George’s Cathedral - Southwark https://www.stgeorgescathedral.org.uk/about/virtual-tour/


  St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle https://www.eyerevolution.co.uk/blog/virtual-tours-of-st-georges-chapel-windsor-castle/


  St Paul's Cathedral – London

http://www.cathedralsaintpaul.org/360-tour


  Westminster Cathedral

https://www.eyerevolution.co.uk/virtual-tours/westminster_cathedral/

 

For more around the UK

https://www.englishcathedrals.co.uk/cathedrals/


 

Rest of the World 


  Basilica of Saint Peter - Vatican City, Italy http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/vr_tour/index-en.html


  Basilica of Saint Mary - Minneapolis, America https://www.gigapixelimages.com/events/basilica/?view.vlookat=-8.273047347821981&view.hlookat=0.4400305195072339&view.fov=5.518035626787584&scene=null


  Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - Washington D.C., America https://www.nationalshrine.org/virtual-tour/


  Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Chartres - Chartres, France

http://www.cathedrale-chartres.org/fr/vues-a-360-,120.html


  Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Jerusalem, Israel http://www.samrohn.com/360-panorama/church-of-the-holy-sepulchre-jerusalem/


  Sistine Chapel - Vatican City, Italy

http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/


  St Patrick’s Cathedral - New York, America https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/take-a-virtual-tour

 

 

 

Methodist churches are sharing weekday morning prayers online

 

09:00 Wesley House, Cambridge: www.facebook.com/wesleycambridge

 

10:00 Wesley’s Chapel, London:

www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAUqhmhevz5sqhh72LIMxA




 

Closure of church buildings


The Methodist Church is announcing a closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some churches remaining open for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be suspended. The only exception is for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out within government guidelines. (The exception in our area is the Preschool ONLY at Gipsey Bridge, as they are obliged to stay open for some children).

 

 



Rick Warren’s Daily Hope


Every evening at 6.30pm, Rick Warren brings us a dose of daily hope. Listen in on Premier Christian Radio, on DAB digital radio, Freeview 725, MW 1305, 1332, 1413 or online at:

https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Daily-Hope-with-Pastor-Rick-Warren

 

 



New book explores the turbulent history of the Christian faith in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire

 

Miracles * Tragedy * Heroism * Betrayal * Revelation * Corruption

 

In a story running from the early 7 th Century until 1660, Adrian Gray places great and intriguing figures in the context of their times and in an unfolding story of spiritual change, rebellion and sometimes death. You will meet again some well-known figures such as Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Thomas Cranmer the architect of the Church of England, and the mercurial George Fox from Mansfield who formed the Quakers;  you will learn more about the first leaders of the Baptist Church and those who became the ‘Mayflower’ Pilgrims, but the text also many more fascinating and often radical figures who have been forgotten over time. 

 

The range of characters stretches from Guthlac, whose supernatural experiences in the Fens became the first English biography, to Elizabeth Hooton, the Nottinghamshire Quaker who travelled the world and escaped death many times. Often, these people were motivated by a quest for a better Faith and Church, leading them from the ‘heresy’ of Lollardism to be champions of the Reformation and ultimately leaders of the Civil War against King Charles I. Many died for their beliefs.

 

The story also has its fair share of ‘villains’ including corrupt and venal bishops, despotic leaders who sent those who disagreed with them to the stake or the gallows, on both sides of the Atlantic, and one of Elizabethan England’s most sinister torturers.

 

Hardback, 405pps. RRP £28.00, special direct order price of £25 for clergy and church staff.

 

ADRIAN GRAY has an MA in History from Cambridge University and is the author of over twenty books. He is well-known as the historical adviser to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, which promote interest in the Christian history of the two counties.

 

Order from bookshops or usual suppliers, or direct from the publisher: https://bookwormretford.co.uk/product/restless-souls-pilgrim-roots-by-adrian-gray/

 

 



Care of yourself and those around you


https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/the-methodist-blog/coronavirus-taking-care-of-yourself-and-those-around-you/

 

Our increasing isolation, the bombardment of negative and worrying news stories and concerns for those we love can heighten anxiety levels and cause depression. Here are some resources that can boost wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.

 






Coronavirus:

Taking care of yourself and those around you


Each year at the beginning of lent we hear how Jesus was led into the wilderness, where he was tested.  The wilderness is of course an isolated space; it becomes a testing place precisely because of the isolation.  We believe that human beings were created to live in relationship.  Relationship with one another and primarily with our Creator God.  So now in the lent of 2020 we find ourselves, more than ever, understanding what Jesus went through – and we can be assured that God has experience this too.

 

We read in the scriptures that in the wilderness Jesus was tested by the devil.  The taunts of “the evil one” have echo of what we might experience today:  increasing isolation, bombardment of negative and worrying news stories and concerns for the health of those we love, can heighten anxiety levels and cause depression.

 

Here are some resources that that can boost wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.

 


Anxiety and depression

The mental health charity, Mind has produced a comprehensive set of resources:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

 

Practical help to overcome anxiety is here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#TakeCareOfYourMentalHealthAndWellbeing This advice emphasises the importance of routines, relaxation and remaining connected with others. Tips are offered for parents who are working from home but have children with them.

 

The NHS offers a breathing technique that can be used to help reduce stress: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/

 

The charity Anxiety UK has produced a couple of helpful blogs which recommend a number of relaxation and calming measures including using the Headspace app. https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/blog/health-and-other-forms-of-anxiety-and-coronavirus/

 


For older people

This is likely to be a particularly worrying time for older people. Age UK has a section of helpful general information:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus/

 

Loneliness is known to affect older people and the potential for this to become more widespread now is clear. Two charities that offer helplines are Sane and the Silver Line.

 

SANEline is staffed by trained volunteers and professionals and is open between 4.30pm and 10.30pm every day of the year on 0300 304 7000.

http://www.sane.org.uk/resources/news/show_news/946

 

Silver Line offers a weekly life line of a telephone conversation to people over 55. Find out more by calling 0800 4 70 80 90. https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/telephone-friendship/

 


Keep connected with Church friends

While church buildings may be closed, many church communities are offering telephone pastoral care and the chance to be part of an online worship community. Wesley’s Chapel is live streaming services: https://www.wesleyschapel.org.uk/livestreaming/

 

 



 

 

Big Sunday Service


Premier Christian Radio


The churches may be shut on Sunday. But you can join hundreds of thousands of other Christians by tuning in to Premier Christian Radio's Big Sunday Service. You'll find an inspiring sermon, prayers, take part in communion and hear stories of faith and plenty of praise and worship

 

Every Sunday morning, tune into Premier Christian Radio from 7am for Noel Treddinck in All Souls in Praise where you will hear the rousing song of praise from the All Souls Orchestra.

 

At 8am join Pam Rhodes for Hearts and Hymns where she shares your favourite hymns and the stories behind them. 


From 10 a.m. Simon Ward hosts Worship At Home the show created for you to experience the joy of weekly church gathering from your own home. Each week you can hear an inspiring sermon, prayers, take part in communion and hear stories of faith and plenty of praise and worship.

 

 

Premier Lifeline: The National Christian Helpline


Do you need to talk? Premier Lifeline is staffed by Christian volunteers who are able to offer emotional and spiritual support for people who are struggling in any way, who are anxious or lonely. It’s open from 9am to midnight every day to take calls from anyone who needs to talk, be heard or prayed with. Call 0300 111 0101.

 

http://www.premierlifeline.org.uk/

 



 

Men’s Breakfast at Hospital Bridge


Please note that all Men’s Breakfasts have been cancelled.

 



 

RoadHoG


Having taken expert advice and in line with current recommendations it has been decided to suspend all RoadHoG activities for the foreseeable future.

 

We are loathe to do this, but the confined space aboard the RoadHoG Bus presents the perfect place for the Coronavirus to spread between the young people who attend and between the young people and our Team Members.

 

We believe that as a responsible Christian Organisation, we have no other sensible option, but suspension of all RoadHoG activities does mean that we need your prayers for the young people we work with more than ever before.

 

Please pray that:

 

  The young people will remember all that they have heard and learned about God, His love for them and that of His Son Jesus Christ.

 

  That we will be able to keep in contact with them through this period by the Website and through Facebook.

 

  That the young people will return to the Bus as soon as we are able to get the Bus back on the road and out to the Stops – and pray that that will be very soon.

 

  The Teams will be kept safe and built up in their faith and will be ready and willing to return just as soon as possible.

 

We have not come to this decision easily, but though much prayer and soul searching, but Satan has NOT won – by God’s good grace we will be back!

 

Every blessing, Kev!

 

 



Praying with our family during this pandemic


Coronavirus is changing all of our lives, but it isn't changing our God! He is steadfast, loving, strong and full of grace. Nobody knows that better than the persecuted church. Many of our brothers and sisters have been worshipping and praying in isolation for many years. We can look to their examples of faith and strength in the midst of adversity.



 

Coronavirus crisis


What can we learn from the Chinese church?


Church buildings in the UK and Ireland will largely be empty this Sunday morning, in line with the government’s new measures around COVID-19 (coronavirus). But that has not stopped Christians determined to meet getting creative, with many churches planning to livestream services, worship and prayer. How is your church planning to connect?

 

For millions of our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, regular Sunday services have never been an option. Isolation is key to preserve lives – as we are finding today, for different reasons. But who’s to say that being apart doesn’t mean God can’t draw us closer together by other means?

 

Pastor Huang Lei leads a church in Wuhan, China – the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak. The coronavirus crisis makes it impossible for his church to have their usual gatherings – but Pastor Huang and his congregation haven’t let that stand in their way: they’re meeting online. They are not just doing church – they are being church.

 


“First, we have more than 50 groups,” he says. “Almost all the groups are meeting via the internet. Praying, studying the Bible, sharing, witnessing, praising and worshipping. Of those 50, we have more than 30 groups which are spending two hours every day to pray, worship, share and testify together! That’s far more frequent than our normal meetings.

 

“Of course, now we have more free time; everybody is staying at home, so that’s given us the chance to do this. But we usually have the group meeting weekly and now we’re doing this daily – sometimes even more, so we are very grateful for that.”

 

“It’s bringing us closer more than ever”

Pastor Huang is seeing opportunities to reach more people and encourage believers during this difficult time. God loves to bring good things out of bad situations, and that’s what Pastor Huang is experiencing: “We have heard that our elderly and disabled have been thankful to the Lord and are greatly encouraged by this opportunity for online meetings. Before this, they felt alienated, staying at home alone like they’re abandoned. Now they cherish the connection between believers more than ever. And they’re more connected. So, bit by bit, they’ve started to actively throw themselves into praying together online. I think it’s bringing us closer more than ever. We pray, share information, and make decisions together. The virus can’t stop us.”

 

And it’s not just Pastor Huang’s church. He’s meeting online with other ministers in Wuhan twice a week, praying together and sharing vital information – he also hopes to connect with ministers further afield, across China.

 

Passing on the message

“It’s hard for us to preach to each family, to meet every one of them in person,” continues Pastor Huang. “Every large-group leader leads three to 10 small groups. They minister to leaders of the small groups, who then preach to their members. Nowadays, I usually minister to the deacons every other day, talking to every one of them through calls and video chat, to find out their situation and encourage them. They do the same.”

 

“The epidemic didn’t cut down our meetings”

The whole church benefits by meeting together virtually. “We reach the whole church by posting videos on our social platform and on our church website. It’s like we have Sunday worship every day as well as the preaching. The church is greatly encouraged by that.”

 

And the crisis has even changed the way the church preaches. Rather than going through the Bible ‘step by step’, at some distance from their lives, the leaders are seeing the vibrant reality of scripture and how it relates to their lives, “depending on the situation of the church, the needs of the people, and the epidemic’s situation,” says Pastor Huang. “We preach about these. So, the church is greatly encouraged. And the preaching is watched and listened to by many other churches in China. It brings them comfort as well.

 

“The epidemic didn’t cut down our meetings. It’s the opposite. We have prayer meetings for the whole church, two hours every morning, from 7am to 9am; there’s 24-hour fasting and prayer, and we are doing a prayer every hour as well. I think, after this, many church members will be more willing to communicate with other sisters and brothers in Christ, to encourage each other and share with each other.”

 

It’s encouraging to remember that this period of isolation and online church services is only temporary – for millions of our persecuted church family around the world, isolation is an everyday reality. But, paradoxically, Pastor Huang and his church have grown closer together. Could we spend time in prayer, asking God how He might want to move in and through His church during these unsettling times? What can we learn about each other, and the God we serve, as we try to connect in other ways?

 

God is present wherever we are, and however we meet as church family, and He is always at work to build His kingdom. Let’s lean into this new season and see what God does!

 

Please pray:

  For Pastor Huang and his church, that they would continue to grow in faith and fellowship during this crisis

  For those churches who are having to find other ways to meet, or whose members are isolated due to COVID-19 – pray that God will make a way to keep them in contact with each other

  That God would bring good worldwide from this pandemic, and that the church would be a light in the darkness.

 

https://www.opendoorsuk.org/news/stories/coronavirus-wuhan-church/

 

 

Prayer from the President of the Methodist Conference

Loving God,
If we are ill, strengthen us.
If we are tired, fortify our spirits.
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

 

Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders.
Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace.

Help us always to hold fast to the good,
See the good in others,
And remember there is just one world, one hope,
One everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.

In Jesus we make our prayer,
The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,
In whom we trust these days and all days,

Amen.

 

The Revd Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference 

 

https://youtu.be/ukXC6XKx7ds



 

May God help us and be with us in our struggles

Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Professor Clive Marsh, reflects on where God is during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

My hunch is that if someone were to do a check across the Internet of uses of the word ‘virus’ in recent years, a large number (the majority?) might have referred to computer viruses. Now we are struggling collectively, across the world, with a virus for real. Of course, there have been plenty of real viruses around before now. But of late they’ve largely been under control, at least in the West. The dominant theme in many of the faith-related comments I’ve seen about Covid-19, though, is striking: suddenly we realise we are most certainly not in control, ‘we’ being humanity as a whole. The fragility of life is emphasised, the limitations of knowledge become plain and human hubris is challenged.

 

We may quickly then want to remind ourselves that ‘God is in control’ in response. True though this will prove, the tricky thing is that it might imply that God somehow caused the virus. I suggest we don’t waste any time with such apportioning of blame, or on some need to locate a cause.

Yes, there will be scientific explanations for where the virus came from, and there are scientific endeavours happening as we speak to fight it, and we should be thankful for all that work. God is in the midst of those efforts. But as for handling and responding to the situation which the God-given freedom of the natural world has thrown up, Jesus’ response to the blind man is decisive (John 9.3): don’t ask about sin here, just concentrate on what happens in response to the situation we’re in. Even if there may be a sense in which God is ‘responsible for everything’, don’t press for detail, ask where God is being revealed now, as people cope, adjust, show compassion, help neighbours, find new ways of connecting, stop their busyness, support the weak, learn the value of rest.

 

The feeding of the 5000 (Mark 6.30-44, and other versions) is a story which works on so many levels, though connects directly with the calls from leaders of supermarket chains urging people ‘just to take what they need, so that others can get what they need too’. The disciples’ exasperation at how all could possibly be fed is being dealt with in the present. I wonder whether the repeated emphasis that ‘there is enough food to go round’ will keep on being repeated, on a global scale, after coronavirus has abated. And thinking of the petition in the Lord’s Prayer to ‘give us this day our daily bread’ (Matt 6.11), the reminder to live simply so that others may simply live has never seemed more pressing.

 

The coronavirus is here to stay, as part of life, and will take its place alongside others which are already known and tamed. There will be other viruses yet to come. God’s world remains wonderful and fragile, and God has entrusted so much to us, as human beings, to be involved in its care (Gen 1.26-27), not because of any particular merit, but just because this is how humans are to be understood (Ps 8.4-8). May God help us and be with us in our struggles.

 

https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/leadership-blogs/the-blog-of-the-president-and-vice-president-of-conference/

 

 

Mission during the coronavirus pandemic


Resources and advice for churches to still be engaging in mission during the pandemic:


 



Foodbank resilience


The Trussell Trust network of foodbanks is likely to see a significant increase in demand over the coming weeks and months. You can find details of how to support your local food bank here.

https://www.trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks/



 

The Methodist Podcast


This week’s Methodist Podcast discusses what the coronavirus pandemic will mean for the Methodist Church and our spiritual needs. They also talk to a Mission Enabler for Older People and consider the impact of the crisis on foodbanks.

https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/podcasts/the-methodist-podcast-episode-9/


 

 



Christian Aid Week


Sunday 10 May to Saturday 16 May


This year Christian Aid week runs from 10 May to 16 May 2020, with the Humber Bridge Cross fundraising event taking place on 16 May. Christian Aid this year will support the people of Kenya in their fight against climate change and drought. Gifts donated will help communities to build dams, providing long-lasting sources of water, which would free people from long, painful journeys to collect water. If anyone would be willing to deliver and collect envelopes this year, please contact the Circuit Office.





  

 


Thy Kingdom Come 2020


Thursday 21 May


Happy New Year! We are so excited about Thy Kingdom Come 2020!  Between 21 May and 31 May 2020, millions of Christians worldwide will unite in praying that more people would come to know the amazing love of Christ.


Sign up on the website to help us light up the world in prayer: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/lightuptheworld

 





Prayer Hand Book


The theme for the 2020/2021 Prayer Handbook is ‘the earth is the LORD’S’ (Psalm 24:1).  Prayers are welcomed of thanks, penitence, intercession and resolve that, with God’s help, we may take responsibility for our actions and, as stewards of God’s gift to us, participate in the healing of creation. Please email your contributions, by 13 January 2020, to: prayerhandbook@methodistchurch.org.uk






Boston Emergency Night Shelter at Centenary


This has been open for some nights this week due to the cold weather. It opens when the temperature is forecast to ‘feels like 0 degrees or less’ for 3 nights in a row.


If you would be willing to volunteer for future dates please email ctib2012@gmail.com.


Updates on when it is open are posted at: www.mybostonuk.com/boston-emergency-night-shelter/





 

Free mental health awareness day


Wednesday 20 May


10am to 4pm


Do you or someone you know suffer with mental health issues? If the answer is yes, why not come along to a mental health awareness day to meet lots of other organisations who help people with mental health at The Local Community Centre, Mitre Lane, Boston (behind the former Marks and Spencer’s building). There will be a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter available on the day.

 

 

Can you visit someone who is lonely?


People who used to come to church but are no longer able to regularly, really miss the social side and would love to have a visit to keep in touch. If you would be willing to visit someone please speak to Jean B. Church is not confined to a building and it would be lovely if we could visit those who would really appreciate it.

 



Fun and Faith at 3Generate 2019


3Generate 2019 was the most successful Children and Youth Assembly yet with over 1,500 young people from across the country gathering in Southport over the weekend 22 to 24 November. The event’s growth means that 3Generate will be moving to the NEC in Birmingham for 2020. Find out more at: https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/fun-and-faith-at-3generate-2019/ 

 




Fundraising


I know this is often a sensitive issue, money, but can I ask you all to consider how we may raise funding to keep our balances much healthier. If you have any ideas, please speak with the Stewards or myself.  Thank you. Rev Ann


 






 




 

 

 










Open to Life - Open to God - Open to You - Open to the World  | zionmethodistchurch@live.co.uk