Towards the middle of September the Mission and Discipleship Team met with members of
the prayer-ministry team to discuss prayers for healing in the 10am service and to think
through prayer at St Mary’s more generally.

The first decision was to re-name our regular healing ministry ‘Prayer Ministry.’ We hope
that this will make prayer more accessible and encourage people to come along to seek
prayer for themselves and for others - you don’t have to be ill to seek prayer!

We also intend to increase the times when prayer is offered at the 10am service from every
two months to twice a month. Members of the Prayer Ministry team will be available in the
Prayer Corner. This will take place as Communion is distributed.

Prayer ministry often helps a Church to grow in confidence as we see God at work in our
lives and through members of our Church. Those who seek prayer are strengthened as they
begin to see God at work in their lives, and those who pray are strengthened; they see God
working through them. The more we experience God’s Holy Spirit active among us the more
we grow in confidence and in faith.

Please pray for those who are called to this important ministry at St Mary’s. Engaging in
prayer ministry is a privilege and it is a responsibility. As we move forward in prayer we will
need to find more people that God is calling to this ministry.

Renewal and revival always begin in prayer and with ordinary Christians like us taking God
at His word and acting on our faith. During 2018 there will be opportunities for everyone at
St Mary’s to engage in prayer for our Church and for all of the Churches in Britain.

I believe that God has a wonderful vision for St Mary’s as we step out in faith and trust for
Him, as we reach out to our parish and our neighbours. Whatever we do, whatever we
achieve will be built upon a foundation of dedicated, trusting and faithful prayer.

I believe that in the United Kingdom we need renewal in all of the Churches, to bring healing
to our divided land and to bring hope to our nation. I am convinced that renewal will happen
and that St Mary’s will have the privilege of being a small part of what God will do in our
land.

God bless,
Tim
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First Words...,  A Prayer for the Month & A Thought for the Month
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The Lord’s Prayer, Part 6:
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Temptation has become something to laugh at; something that no one takes very seriously
anymore. Jesus though thought it important enough to be part of the prayer that he left to
His Church.

The word that Jesus uses that we translate as ‘temptation’ really means testing, and implies
being tested or tried by fire. It is an extreme test of who we really are deep, deep down.

The word translated ‘evil’ could also mean ‘evil one’ - “deliver us from the evil one” - the
source of the chaos which tests our calling as Jesus’ disciples.

Jesus knew about being tried first-hand when He was tested by the devil in the wilderness
just after His baptism in the river Jordan by John. In the desert Jesus’ vocation as God’s Son is
tested. Will He be faithful to the Father, even if it costs Him dearly? Will He take the way of
the Cross or will He take the easier path that the devil lays before Him? But to avoid the
Cross is to avoid resurrection.

It is only after Jesus withstands the trial in the wilderness that He begins His public ministry.

The Apostle Paul writes that God will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure (1
Corinthians 10:13). James, Jesus’ brother, advises us to ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from
you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8).

I was once told that I will know if I am growing spiritually or becoming effective in ministry
because that is when I will be tested. I was told that the devil only bothers attacking those
who are growing in the kingdom of God. Temptation is not fundamentally about our over-
indulgence; it is when our calling as Jesus’ disciples is tested; it is those times when we find
ourselves under attack. Temptation has a spiritual origin and so our response is spiritual -
prayer, seeking God, standing on the victory of Jesus.

We only know our own strength when we are tested; we only know the strength of our
enemy when we withstand the testing.

Jesus is the only one who truly knows the full extent of the power of evil because He is the
only one who has faced such testing and has never been defeated, never given in (Hebrews 4:
14-16). So when we turn to Jesus in prayer’ He knows what we are enduring and He is the
one who can help us.

As we try to follow Jesus’ call to follow Him there will be things that will make us doubt our
call or God’s love. At times like these, when we are in the fires, being tested, all that we can
do is turn to God in prayer. We can be confident that God will hear our prayer and in Him
we will find the strength to endure.

God bless,
Tim
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  • First Words, Prayer for the Month and Thought for the Month have been
    updated for October 2017 - see below
  • Parish Magazine the October 2017 issue is now available On-Line see:
  • Forthcoming Events Page updated with new events...
  • 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
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This week Autumn arrived. I always reckon that Autumn is here by two events: firstly
having to take my torch with me when taking my two dogs, Tara and Oscar, out for their
morning walk; and secondly the arrival in the shops of my favourite apples, Coxs and
Russets. Both events happened this week - Autumn is here!

There are a number of special events taking place at St Mary’s in October.
On
Friday 6th October we have our Harvest ‘pie and pea’ supper - tickets available,
followed on
Sunday 8th October by the Harvest parish service. As usual there will be a
cash collection this year in aid of Farm Africa. There will also be a collection of food and
other goods for the Archer project - see the Sunday Notice sheet for details of goods needed.

This month our Time for God meetings will be on
Wed 11th and Wed 25th October at 7.30
pm in Church. It is a time to study, worship and pray together. If you have not managed to
make any of the sessions so far just come along one Wednesday - everyone is invited.

On
Saturday 14th October at 9am we have our monthly Prayer Breakfast. Prayer is
central to the life of the Church it is where renewal begins.

On
Saturday 21st October the Emley Band will be giving a Trafalgar Day concert in
Church. Tickets are available now.

Finally on
Sunday 29th October at 4pm we will be inviting those who have been bereaved
in the past year to our annual Memorial Service.
This is an important occasion in the life of our Church as we minister to our community.
Please support this service by your prayers and also, if possible coming along to support
these we will be inviting.

God bless,
Tim