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At the Alpha course a couple of weeks ago we heard Nicky Gumbel, the vicar of Holy Trinity
Brompton and the author of Alpha, speaking about the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to all who
want His presence in our lives.

After the teaching we laid hands on each other and prayed for one another. I know that I
was not the only person present to be deeply touched by God as I was ministered to by God
working through my brothers and sisters.

I left that evening with a sense of deep peace and also a sense that we need to focus more on
the Holy Spirit present in each member of our Church community, working in and through
every member of our Church community.

As we prayed for each other, I was reminded that the Holy Spirit is given not to be kept, but
to be given away; given not for our sake but for those people that Jesus sends us to minister
to.
As I prayed I was reminded that at Pentecost, the day on which we celebrate the outpouring
of the Spirit, the reading from Acts chapter 2 is often matched with an Old Testament
Reading, from Genesis chapter 11, the story of Babel.

At Babel the desire of the builders of the great tower is ‘to make a name for ourselves’ (Gen
11:4). At Pentecost the desire is to glorify, not ourselves, not even the Church, but God. Those
who gathered in Jerusalem on the morning of Pentecost heard the disciples proclaiming in
their own languages ‘God’s deeds of power.” (Acts 2:11)

Our calling as Christians and as the Church of Jesus, the body of Christ, is to be Christlike.
And Jesus, though he is the only One who is in the form and dignity of God, for our sake
emptied Himself (Philippians 2:6-11).

As Christians we pray for the gift and power of the Holy Spirit, to help us to worship the
Father, to make us more like Jesus and to empower us to minister to others in Jesus’ name
with a new confidence.

In the Autumn I hope that we can set aside some time, perhaps one Saturday morning, to
reflect on the Holy Spirit, to worship the Father and, above all to pray for each other and for
our Church. We will pray that we may be renewed by the Holy Spirit, individually and as a
Church family. We will pray that our vision of God’s call may be refreshed, and that we may
see more clearly God at work in and through every member of our Church, with His
transforming love and healing and mercy.

More details to follow…
God bless, Tim
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Following Jesus; Celebrating Life; Welcoming All
We are here to help people love and worship God.
We aim to be, and encourage others to become, committed and active disciples of Jesus,
who love God and worship him, who know the power of the Holy Spirit and who show
God’s love in every part of their lives.
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Prayer for the month
Thought for the month
Below you will find extracts from this month's Parish Magazine
First Words...,  A Prayer for the Month & A Thought for the Month
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Nehemiah Chapter One

Nehemiah is one of the last of the Historical books of the Old Testament. You can find it just
after 2 Chronicles and Ezra. Nehemiah is probably not the most familiar of the books of the
Bible and it’s not one that I read very often - no more than once a year.

Nehemiah was born in exile in Babylon about five centuries before the birth of Jesus. He was
a high-ranking official in the court of the Persian emperor (the Persians had conquered
Babylon some decades before). The Persians allowed the Jewish exiles to return to their
homeland and gave them permission to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. Nehemiah was
the person that God used to see that this task of rebuilding was achieved.

When we read Nehemiah’s prayer and the book that follows we can see that the work of
rebuilding was not simply restoring the physical city. It was about rebuilding the nation as
God’s chosen people - chosen to be God’s holy nation for the sake of all other nations, to be
the agent of God’s mission and God’s salvation of all peoples and nations.

It has often struck me that Nehemiah’s task in his day, and the Church’s task in our day, are
not dissimilar. I believe that today we are called today to rebuild Jesus’ Church, not
necessarily physically, but spiritually.

We need to regain our sense of being God’s people here for the sake of all peoples; a sense of
Jesus’ vision for His Church.

Nehemiah had a vision to see the city of Jerusalem rebuilt and Israel to rise up again as God’s
people. His vision was all-consuming. It threatened his health and drove him to weep and
fast and pray constantly for the city and for his people.

My prayer for the Church of Christ today is that we will live up to our calling to be a living
Temple, a holy people and a royal priesthood. Called by Jesus to share His mission to
welcome all people into the kingdom of the Father.

Nehemiah began his ministry in prayer. He confessed the sins of his people- he did not point
at others but confessed his own part.
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  • First Words, Prayer for the Month and Thought for the Month have been
    updated for July 2018- see below
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    interred in the St Mary's Section of Ecclesfield Cemetery from 1875 onwards
  • The July 2018 issue of the Parish Magazine is now available On-Line see:
  • Bishop's Letter - A brief biography to date of Pete Wilcox the new Bishop of
    Sheffield
  • Listen again to recently recorded Sunday Sermons -  Listen Again
  • Have a look at some interesting and thought provoking videos - Viral Videos
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    to-date'
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Quick Links
July is looking like quite a busy month, a burst of activity before a quiet August!

On
Monday 9th July at 7.30pm we will be hosting the second Ecclesfield Community
Forum
. It is good to be part of a community with so many groups working for the good of
all; it is also good to know that members of the Church are involved in all these groups.

On
Saturday 14th July at 7.30pm we welcome the Grenoside Singers into Church for a
‘Top of the Pops’ Concert. For tickets or more information see Andrew Robinson.

We will be holding the last of the
Alpha Course on Wednesday 18th July at 7.30pm.
Alpha will be back in the Autumn on Tuesday Lunchtimes - more information to follow.

On
Wednesday 25th July at 7.30pm in Church we are going to hold an open consultation
on funeral and bereavement ministry. It will be an opportunity to engage with important
research commissioned by the Church of England nationally and to review our practices
here at St Mary’s.

Finally,
Sunday 29th July is a fifth Sunday, so we will have an informal celebration
Eucharist at 10am. A time to come along and celebrate the love of God for us seen in Jesus; a
time to remind ourselves that we are the people of the risen Christ and our song is always
‘Alleluia!”

God bless you, Tim
Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
MAJOR HISTORICAL
SHEFFIELD CHURCH
AWARDED NATIONAL
LOTTERY SUPPORT
St. Mary’s Church, Ecclesfield, a Grade 1 listed building, has received confirmation
of a grant of £220,000 for major repairs to the church roof and the installation
of a state of the art security system.
Click here to read the full Press Release
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