Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : paul.collings@methodist.org.uk : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Friday, 20 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity


Difference

Readings

Commentary

The identity of the Minnesota Working Group is immersed in the rich and haunting harmonies that tell the history of many peoples. 

“Our bodies can be in tune with the ancestral, while acknowledging all of the pain, joy, brilliance, fatigue, connection and more wrapped up in one. We centre ourselves in the stories of the place we call home. We are men, women, mothers, fathers, storytellers and healers.”

We can recognise the diversity within our communities if we take time to look. Even within our gatherings there is a beautiful tapestry of worship experience and spiritual expression, woven together from the indigenous population, from those who have immigrated, or those who are displaced and who now call this place home.

God has shown us what is good through our interconnectedness. We are blessed and we are to bless others. We are loved and we are to love others. We are to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God, together. We. Not Me. Our kinship and God’s teachings guide us into community together as we learn and act as We. Not Me.

So our gatherings, prayers, hymnody, art and culture should reflect this, and be infused with the beauty of difference, all the while reaching toward the unity of God’s divine justice.

A tapestry is a beautiful work of art, but if you look at the back, you see the messy edges, and frayed ends, the knots and snags – how do we celebrate the beauty of the tapestry while acknowledging the work that is necessary to maintain the beauty, not as a fa├žade, but as a result of recognising and celebrating difference?

Reflection

What is this noise?

These meaningless festivals of falsehood,

litanies of lip service and diatribes of doxologies,

that seek to drown out the reality of poisonous polity,

that hope to mask the clanging cymbals of fear and frailty.

We do not seem to understand 

that disharmony is our downfall.


But in the midst of our din,

God calls forth 

from each corner of this earth,

songs of justice that roll down like waters –

interwoven melody and haunting harmony 

deep enough to hold our dissonance 

and the unresolved tension 

of our journeys to this place.

Prayer

Gracious and loving God,

expand our vision

that it may be wide enough

to recognise the beautiful complexity

of the tapestry you chose to weave

with each and every one of us.

Gather our frayed edges,

our loose ends

and bind us together for your glory.

Questions

  • How often do we think and act as ‘We. Not me’?
  • How do we recognise and celebrate difference in our communities?
  • How much of the necessary work are we doing to make a beautiful tapestry in our communities? What projects can you identify, or gaps in provision do you notice in your area/community?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

  • Meet people from another community and share stories together.
  • Invite people from another community to help you to reflect on how you can act as ‘We. Not Me’.
  • Identify some different groups within your community and reflect on how you might pray and work ‘with’ them, rather than ‘for’ them.

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Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church


Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.