|Over the next few weeks on Wednesday evenings we will be running a course called
Discipleship Explored. It is based on Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. It was written
from prison and it is a guide to what it means to follow Jesus, what it means to be a disciple.
Although it was written 2000 years ago it still speaks powerfully today, it is still an important
guide to living as one of Jesus’ disciples today.
In the Church at the moment we hear the words “disciple” and “discipleship” a lot. They
have become almost buzzwords, we hear them, and we use them, but what exactly do we
mean by them?
In recent meeting of one of governing bodies of the Anglican Communion, the delegates
were debating something called “intentional discipleship”, when one of the bishops present
said that a better phrase to use, one that we can all understand, is instead of discipleship we
simply speak of living a “Jesus-shaped life.”
Jesus calls us, He teaches us, He shows us how to live as a son or daughter of God our Father.
He gives us the Holy Spirit within who enables us to lead a “Jesus-shaped life.” He calls us to
live this life, to set an example for others and to call them to turn to Jesus, be filled with the
Spirit and become disciples too.
In one of His best loved teachings, Jesus said:
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you
will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The image would be very familiar in the agricultural society in which Jesus and the disciples
lived. When a farmer bought a new oxen, he would yoke it to an experienced animal, and so,
by walking and working with the older oxen, the young one would learn how to do the job
Jesus calls us to walk alongside Him. To learn from Him by prayerfully reading the Gospels
and by studying Jesus life and teaching. We see what it means to live as a child of God. We
learn how to ‘walk through the days of our lives as Jesus would. We begin to live a Jesus-
shaped life, not just in Church on Sunday, but every day of the week in every place where
we find ourselves.
Jesus calls us to follow Him in the places where we live and work and socialise, among our
friends and families and colleagues. We are where God has called us to be, and this is where
we serve Him and live as citizens of His kingdom.
Jesus’ call is to us as individuals and as a church. Our calling as St Mary’s Church in
Ecclesfield is to build a Jesus-shaped community.
To embody the welcome of the Father to all, to be a community of worship and welcome, of
prayer and forgiveness. Our calling is above all to be above all a place where, by His Holy
Spirit, Jesus is present in healing and in renewal.
My prayer for St Mary’s is that when people meet us they also, in some measure, meet with
|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.
|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
|Aidan of Lindisfarne is one of my heroes. He was a monk living on the Isle of Iona. The
monks believed that god was calling them to take the Gospel of Christ south into England,
into the kingdom of Northumbria. The monk who was chosen returned having failed among
He spoke of the hardness of the hearts of the Northumbrians. He said that it was a land of
darkness refusing the life-giving light of Christ. He said that it was inhabited by a stubborn
and unreachable people.
One man, Aidan, heard his brother monk’s report, and his heart was stirred with compassion
for the land and its people. To open his heart to them would cost him everything that he
knew and loved - leaving the beautiful Island of Iona, leaving his brothers and his share in
their fellowship, prayer and work.
If he remained seated in the chapter house no one would notice him, no one would know
what God had stirred in his heart, the cry, “Come over to Northumbria and help us.”
In his heart he prayed his prayer: “O Lord, give me springs and I will water this land. I will
go, Lord. I will hold this people in my heart.” A moment later, Aidan spoke, “Perhaps, my
brother, if you had spoken with more gentleness, and of the love of Christ, giving them the
Gospel to nourish them like milk is given to a tiny baby, then you would have won them and
remained among them.”
And so with Aidan began the Celtic Church’s mission to bring the life-giving Gospel of Jesus
Christ to the people of the North of England.
Today we pray again for the light and the love of Christ to be heard and received in the
hearts of the people of our land. We know that God loves our nation and its people; we know
that Jesus died and rose again for them. May we find inspiration on the love and
determination of Aidan. May we respond with the same faithfulness that we see in him.
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|During June please keep in your prayers our schools and their staff, and especially those
young people sitting their GCSEs and A Levels.
In the days between Ascension and Pentecost there will be times of prayer in Church as we
join in with millions of Christians of all denominations across the world in the Thy Kingdom
Come prayer movement.
Saturday 1st June 10am to 3.30pm we have First Aid training in Church.
Monday 3rd June 7.30pm PCC Meeting in Church - we will be thinking through our
response to Bishop Pete’s consultation document to deliver the Diocesan strategy.
Pentecost falls on Sunday 9th June. At 10am we will be welcoming the guides, Brownies
and Rainbows for the May Queens service - in the Churchyard if weather permits.
On Monday 10th June at 7.30pm there will be a meeting of the Mission and Discipleship
Committee in Church.
On Wednesdays at 7.30pm we continue our study course on Paul’s letter to the Philippians,
After the 10am service on Sunday 16th June there will be a meeting of the Healing and
Prayer Ministry Team.
On Sunday 23rd June at 12 noon we will be having a Baptism service. And in the
afternoon, we will be having the last Youth Fellowship before the summer holidays - time
and other details to be announced.
|Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
|The Knave and South Aisle roof works are now complete
Our Thanks to all those involved in the works and
particularly to the Heritage Lottery Fund and its
supporters for their generous contribution.
Thanks also to Ecclesfield Feoffees for their contribution to
the work done on the North Aisle roof
|Facebook - keep in touch with Tim Gill
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|O Lord, give me springs and I will water this land.
I will go, Lord. I will hold this people in my heart.
Aidan Bishop of Lindisfarne (died 651)
|Safeguarding at St. Mary's
|The Parish of St Mary’s Church Ecclesfield is committed to high standards in the
safeguarding care of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Our Safeguarding Officer is Andrea Whittaker , who can be contacted by email:
Our Parish Safeguarding Policy with further information can be read in full by following
this link Safeguarding at St. Mary’s - Ecclesfield