Annual Report April 2021-March 2022

Please find below a copy of the Annual Report for April 2021 – March 2022 as promised.

Please do take time to read the report and praise God for the many blessings we have received throughout the year and pray for wisdom and guidance as we deliver our Mission Plan for Greasby Methodist Church 2021-23

Sue Elliott

Sunday Service

April 10th Palm Sunday

Opening Prayers
O Lord,
There is a time for everything.
A time for listening,
And a time for speaking.
Help my ears to collect your wisdom.
Help my mouth to form words that bring hope.
Help my voice to not falter,
And my heart to beat bravely.
There is a time for everything,
And now is the time to raise my anthem.
Let your song be sung from my lips,
And your love flow through me.
Give me the voice to speak up,
To be a beacon of light and hope when it gets
dark and frightening.
There is a time for everything.
Help me, O Lord,
To find my voice.
God of Wisdom,
Hear my prayer.
Amen.

You may wish to say the Lord’s prayer in whatever language or tradition you
are most comfortable with.
Hymn:
265 STF – Ride on, ride on in majesty! YouTube

Readings: Luke 19:28-40

Responding to the reading
Today is Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, when we celebrate Jesus’ arrival
into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey – a moment of great celebration, as well as
the beginning of the difficult time of Holy Week, where Jesus eventually faces his
death.

Revd James Morley offers a poetic take on Palm Sunday.
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane? –
No, they haven’t been invented yet.
Is it a king? –
It can’t be, he’s riding a donkey.
But everyone’s cheering and celebrating –
it’s turning into a proper street-party!
But why do they keep asking ‘Whose Anna’?
It’s him, that bloke people are saying is a king.
Our king –
allegedly.
Everyone’s king –
apparently.
The one God’s sent to save us –
although, sometimes I think the only person I need saving from is myself…
Some people say he’s the Messiah.
Although some people have said that he’s not the Messiah –
That’s certainly what the powers that be will think if he keeps stirring things up –
they’ll crucify him!
But apparently, he doesn’t go around saying he’s the Messiah –
no, he just asks other people who they think he is.
Well, I think he must be a few loaves and fish short of a picnic –
what sort of king is supposed to ride a donkey?
Just look at everyone though –
I can’t remember the last time I saw people round here so happy.
There must be something in the water –
or the wine.
It would be great though – if he was the one.
I mean, we’ve waited long enough.
We’ve prayed hard enough.
But things don’t seem to get any better though.
Maybe God’s not listening.
Or too busy.
Or just doesn’t care –
at least not about people like you and me.
I really wish God would send someone though –
it’d be nice to have a bit of hope.
Anyway –
seeing everyone having such a good time –
at least it lifts the spirits.
All this excitement’s quite contagious actually –
I might get myself a palm branch –
when in Rome and all that –
although this is Jerusalem.
Yeah –
I could waft a palm branch at Jesus and tell him I’m his biggest fan…
‘Course, it’s all rubbish really isn’t it –
all this Messiah mumbo-jumbo –
it’ll never amount to anything –
probably end in tears.
No –
you mark my words –
It’ll certainly never change anything.
It’d take an act of God to change things in this world…


What are you being called to?
On this Palm Sunday, the challenge for you to think about is: ‘what or who are you
singing your praises to at this moment’?
Yes, we are here to praise God, and to sing our Palm Sunday songs, but so where
the crowd on that first Palm Sunday – perhaps some of them through the cynicism
and doubt expressed in the reflection we heard earlier from Revd James Morley. So,
God’s on the list. But is God at the top of the list?
Who else is on the list?
What else is on the list?
Do we praise money, either as an end in itself or what it can achieve?
Do we sing the praises of celebrities, or films, or fictional stories?
Do we sing the praises of products, or holidays, or gadgets?
Do we sing the praise of companies, and friends, and heroes?
None of these are necessarily bad things in and of themselves (except perhaps the
praise of money as an end in itself), but our praise is best reflected in how we live.
Do we live as if following Jesus, and learning from his teachings, matters more to us
than being able to afford the new iPhone?
Do we listen more carefully to the words of scripture, or do we know more lyrics by
Abba than we do verses from the Psalms?
What would make us turn up on the road side to sing praise? For whom, or for what,
would we wave our banners and sing our praises?
This is not a judgmental space, and no one is telling you what you should and
shouldn’t praise – the church has spent too long coming up with rules about what
people should and shouldn’t do…
But this is a reflective space, and so as you go from this moment, go with the
challenge of ‘praise’ in your heart. Go away and reflect on where your priorities lie,
on where you are drawing strength from, on what brings you hope and wholeness
and a sense of peace.
Go and pursue all that is good.
(Reflection written by James Morley)

Blessing
Go from this place, into this difficult week,
With ‘hosanna’ in your heart,
With praise in your soul,
And with a hope for a better kind of world.
Amen.3

Prayers and Prayer Pointers for the Week

Monday 11th April

Here, at the beginning of Holy Week, we remember the final few days of
Jesus’ earthly ministry – a time of much pain and suffering, as well as some
transformational conversations.

If you are coming into this week carrying burdens, doubts, fears and
uncertainties, then you might like to spend a few minutes prayerfully listening
to this song from The Kingdom Choir and Guvna B: https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=KKj6xjjhQvE

Just use this as a space to hand over your cares and burdens.

Tuesday 12th April

Today is a time to commit to prayer. As he faced the events of Holy Week, we
know Jesus spent time in prayer, asking that God ‘take this cup away from
me’.

Whatever your prayer rhythms usually are, could you make space to do a little
more prayer today? Can you find a time to reflect in quiet, to focus on what it
is that you need to say to God and – if you can – to name those things out
loud. And make space to listen for the still, small voice…

Wednesday 13th April

In some traditions, today, the Wednesday of Holy Week, is marked as the day
of ‘heading into the darkness’.

In the midst of all the darkness we see in our world at the moment, could you
find a few minutes today to light a candle, and – in the stillness – hold your
prayers for the world in the light of the flickering flame. If it helps, you might
like to just stare into the flame and allow the peace of that image to shape you
and your thoughts.
Thursday 14th April

It’s Maundy Thursday, when Jesus ate the ‘Last Supper’ with his disciples.
Who are the people in your life who you need to break bread with – either
literally or metaphorically? Perhaps those with whom your relationship has
gone cold (even if you live together or see each other often!), or perhaps you
have fallen out and need to heal the wounds.

Today, pray for those people, pray for those relationships, and listen to the
invitation and the challenge to heal those wounds where you can, even if that
may be uncomfortable.

Lord, help me to love my neighbours as myself. Amen.

Friday 15th April

Holy God,
We are sorry, for all the times we have let you down,
For all the times we have denied you,
All the times we have betrayed you.

Today, on this day of pain and suffering,
We give you thanks for your sacrificial love for us,
For the way your crucifixion, and your forgiveness for those who persecute
you help to break the cycle of violence.
Show me how to be a person of peace, this Good Friday.
Amen.
Saturday 16th April

Holy Saturday: this oft forgotten day that stands between the events of Good
Friday and Holy Week, and the celebration of resurrection that is to come.

In this waiting time, this grieving time, when we think about what it might have
felt like to be part of that first Jesus movement: watching the teacher, the
rabbi, the leader, the man you had hoped was messiah, put to death by the
regime.

Today, allow yourself to grieve.

And, in your prayers, acknowledge all who are grieving. The people of
Ukraine. The people of Syria. The people of Palestine. The people of Yemen.
And those, much closer to home, in our own lives and families who have lost
loved ones recently, or who carry the scars of bereavement through the years.

Let us lament together today. We grieve, though we do not grieve as people
without hope.

Amen.

Hope Journey Cross Factor

 

HOPE JOURNEY CROSS FACTOR                          

It was a joy to welcome over 100 children and staff to our annual Hope Journey Cross Factor Thursday 31st March

Following the welcome and introduction, the children participated in 6 workshops

  • The Easter Story using a jig saw puzzle, which puts Jesus at the heart of the cross.  We discussed the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, The garden of Gethsemane, how Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest’s house, before being taken to Pilate who ‘washed his hands of the affair’, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
  • What is Easter? – during which the children explored the significance of Palm Sunday (acting out the triumphant entry into Jerusalem), Maundy Thursday/The Last Supper and the significance of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, the symbolism of bread and wine at communion.  This provoked many questions about our Christian faith, who Jesus really was and why he had to die on the cross
  • I was there! – a Roman Soldier told us his experience of being in Jerusalem during Holy Week and how he felt when being told to go and arrest Jesus, whom he believed to be a good man who had performed miracles and healed people.  He thought Pontius Pilate would do the right thing and free Jesus – but he did not.  And he was shocked and delighted to meet an angel at the tomb who said Jesus was alive.  The children discussed how that Centurion felt during the events of that week
  • Death to life – We thought about how some things can look dead – but are brought back to life – like a bulb before it grows into a beautiful flower and a chrysalis before it becomes a pretty butterfly.  As Christians, we believe that Jesus rose again and is alive and with us today and every day in our lives.  We discussed what we may like to change in our own lives, in our community and in the world and the children wrote their thoughts on leaves which are displayed on the communion table
  • A look at some Crosses from around the world (Roman, Crucifix, Palm, Celtic, Salvadorian) and why we share Palm crosses on Palm Sunday and the children started to design their own cross

In addition the children enjoyed designing an Easter card whilst sharing in some refreshments

This year our gift bags contained a number of items including

  1. The Journey through Holy Week as a take home leaflet (see above) so that the children could colour the images whilst they shared the story with families
  2. The Greatest Miracle of All – Easter story from the Bible society
  3. A Palm Cross
  4. A small chocolate easter egg to remind us of the stone which had been rolled away because Jesus is Alive
  5. An invitation to Easter Eggstravaganza and Easter services, and a Say One for Me prayer card

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Easter Eggstravaganza

EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA

Please come and join us at our monthly Service on second Sunday of every month, 2.30-4.00pm

We would love to see you again on Sunday 10th April from 2.30

Do come and join us for an exciting treasure hunt (with prizes), the Easter story, singing with the puppets, prayers and Easter treats (including chocolate easter cakes and hot cross buns of course!) No charge and no need to book, just turn up and have fun

Sue Elliott

Children, Families and Schools co-ordinator

Lego Church

LEGO CHURCH

Please come and join us at our monthly Service on second Sunday of every month, 2.30-4.00pm

We would love to see you again on Sunday 13th March from 2.30

Do come and join us for crafts, Bible stories, singing, prayers and building The Creation in Lego and Duplo! No charge and no need to book

Sue Elliott

Children, Families and Schools co-ordinator

Toasty Church

TOASTY CHURCH

Please come and join us at our monthly Service on second Sunday of every month, 2.30-4.00pm

We would love to see you again on Sunday 13th February

Do come and join us for crafts, Bible stories, singing and Toasty Toast! No charge and no need to book

Sue Elliott

Children, Families and Schools co-ordinator

Church Opening

We have been able to ease restrictions regarding Sunday worship. However, for the time being and out of consideration for others, we are proceeding with caution so we are still asking our congregation to wear masks whilst moving about and singing. The seats are back into rows, but we will still be practicing social distancing, albeit at 1 metre instead of 2. We hope that this will encourage those of you who have not yet felt able to return to worship in person, to give it a go, because we have missed you.

We are now serving tea and coffee after the service which is giving us time to enjoy fellowship face to face.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord our God” so please do come and join us each Sunday at 10.45 am. for worship.

Hope Journey Epiphany – Journey with the Kings

HOPE JOURNEY EPIPHANY – JOURNEY WITH THE KINGS

 

Hope Journey Epiphany – Journey with the Kings

What a joy to be able to share Epiphany – Journey with the Kings with over 90 Year 1 children from Greasby Infant School (morning) and Brookdale Primary School (afternoon) on Thursday 13th January

Our Journey to school map

This year we were able to follow the usual programme.  Following our welcome and introduction

  • The children completed a Journey to School map, drawing all the things they had noticed as they walked to church.  This created the context of journeying
  • We introduced our three ‘very special friends’ who had travelled a long, long way to share their story and we watched the puppet sketch of the three magi retelling their experiences of travelling and meeting the baby Jesus
  • We talked about the significance of gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts for a future King
  • and about gifts which would be suitable to give to a baby and what we can give Jesus as our gift (being kind, looking after each other eg helping someone who falls over, sharing toys and sweets, even helping parents by keeping our bedroom tidy!)
  • We sang Our God is a Great Big God – with gusto!
  • The children then completed three workshop activities which included writing or drawing our gift(s) to Jesus on a star which was glued onto their journey map; playing the ‘Build a Magi’ game (bit like a beetle drive) whilst enjoying refreshments and a ‘Three Kings’ craft activity
  • During the plenary we talked about how the magi changed their direction, before we committed ourselves to being the kind of people God wants us to be. 
The three Magi retell their story

We gave the children gifts too – an Epiphany Prayer card to share with the family at home, an invite to our church activities, the child friendly Say One for Me card, a Meet The Cast (Lifewords) story book which tells the Christmas story and a bag of Haribo Starmix, to remind us of the star the wise men followed to find Jesus and the gifts they took as we share our sweets with each other

Meet The Cast – the Christmas story

We are now looking forward to our next Hope Journey – Cross Factor (Easter story) which will take place on Thursday 31st March, for Year 5 children from Greasby Junior School and Brookdale Primary School.

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Everyone enjoyed having breakfast with Santa!

 

We were thrilled when Santa managed to pop into Greasby Methodist Church to join us for breakfast on Saturday 18th December.  Despite a rather busy schedule, he arrived about 9.00am to the joyous singing of children and families.  Santa was really pleased to hear Jingle Bells and the songs about his reindeer, Rudolf.  He listened carefully to all the hopes of the children as we ate a hearty breakfast – it was not only the adults who enjoyed the bacon butties!

Xandie enjoys his breakfast with Santa

To our surprise Santa did not know what we are really celebrating at Christmas so the children gathered around to help Paul tell him the Good News story of how and where Jesus was born, the shepherds called to visit Him first as well as the wise men who brough their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  We shared the news that Good News that Jesus was born to be King of the World.  We enjoyed singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus, the best gift that anyone could ever receive.  However Santa did have some lovely presents for each of the children, and it was sad when he had to go on his way.  But we hope to see him again next year

Sue Elliott

Children and Families co-ordinator

Hope Journey Meet The Characters

HOPE JOURNEY MEET THE CHARACTERS

 

We were delighted to welcome 92 Year 2 children to Meet The Characters on Thursday 9th December, including both Greasby Infant School (morning session) and Brookdale Primary School (afternoon session)

Following our welcome and introduction, we shared the Christmas story, highlighting that we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at Christmas

The children went to meet each of the characters in the story including

  • The Angel Gabriel – God’s messenger to fulfil God’s plan.  The appearance and message ‘Do not be afraid….’ to Mary and then Joseph, also the shepherds and Magi. 

The Angel Gabriel explains their story
  • Mary’s experience – from the message from the Angel Gabriel, the census, travelling to Bethlehem, arriving at the Inn where there was no space, the arrival of Jesus and the amazing visitors – the shepherds and three Magi – who recognised Jesus as the King of Kings
  • The shepherd(s) – who were chosen to be the first to hear about the birth and hurried down to Bethlehem to see him
One of the shepherds explains their story
  • The Magi – bringing their gifts and travelling back a different way to avoid Herod and why
  • The Innkeeper and his donkey – who explained his job as an innkeeper, why Bethlehem was so busy due to the census, the arrival of Mary and Joseph followed by the birth of a baby.  The children engaged enthusiastically in waking the donkey up so that the donkey could tell them his story, carrying Mary to Bethlehem and all the commotion in the stable!

At the end of each workshop, the children asked lots of interesting questions including whether Mary and Joseph ever got married and asking the Angel Gabriel if s/he could fly!

The children also enjoyed a break for refreshments during which they created Fridge magnet(s) of the nativity scene

During the plenary the children shared who their favourite character was and why, before singing ‘Happy Birthday to Jesus’ and receiving a gift bag with take home gifts including the Passport/colouring sheet to explain to families the characters they had met; a candle prayer to share with the family on Christmas Day; an invite to our Christmas services; a Meet The Cast (Lifewords) story book which retells the Christmas story and a Gold biscuit representing gold, frankincense and myrrh which the wise men brought to Jesus.

Meet The Cast – the Christmas story

Now we are looking forward to welcoming 93+ Year 1 children to our next Hope Journey is Epiphany –Journey with the Kings, which will take place on Thursday 13th January

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator