"Alive and Kicking" - A DVD of District initiatives

The Bolton and Rochdale District of the Methodist church has produced a DVD , ‘Alive and kicking’, to illustrate ways that ordinary people in ordinary churches have been sharing the love of God.

The DVD, produced by John Nichols of the Rossendale Circuit, shows five examples of ways that local churches have been bridging the gap between their church and local community.

Sally Thornton introduces ‘Galaxy Stay and Play’ an after school club at Heaton Park Methodist Church , North Manchester . The church became aware of the need to help parents fill the after school day, and they do this through usual activities for parents, carers, child minders and children. They also share the news that God is good. Sally Thornton, one of the leaders says ‘It is not rocket science, it is just and extension to a Wednesday of what we normally do on a Sunday.’ The team involved rejoice that a community is beginning to develop out of the initiative.

The Rossendale Circuit recognised that a café is a place where people come to talk and share and they have used this idea as a means of offering informal worship. Lay member of Circuit staff, Shirley Suthers says that ‘Of course the word of God is shared, but the ways of doing that are different and involve people in activities and talking.’ One participant says that it has ‘grabbed a lot of people’ because they like being able to take part. Ron Suthers says it has ‘really opened up the heart of Christianity to the people at large.’

Zac’s bar is a youth venue in Farnworth, south of Bolton. They give the message of hope through actions, words, projects and activities. It all started on a Friday ‘bar’ night with around fifty young people. There is a core group of young people who are now established in local churches. Slowly and surely God is answering prayers in young people’s lives and they are starting to ask questions and to realise that God is not that far away.

Members at Holcombe Brook Methodist Church in the Bury and Heywood Circuit realised that it is daunting for someone to walk into a church off the street and promoted a ‘pamper day’ involving various health and beauty treatments. It was a big success and Pam Burton, who presented a ‘love talk’, moved people in deep ways and brought some people to renew their prayer life. The people leading the day found that the physical contact with those taking part was really important to help them relax.

Rev’d Mark Street, the Evangelism Enabler for the Bolton and Rochdale District says ‘All the examples on the DVD are of just ordinary people stepping out in faith. The message is that we should all be discerning the will of God and, if these ordinary people can do it, then so can anyone’.

If you would like a copy of the DVD please contact: Mark Street, District Evangelism Enabler on 01204 522 569 or mark.street@methodist.org.uk

Cost: £3.00 (including postage and packaging)   Cheques payable to ‘ Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District’.

INSPIRATION FROM THE DISTRICT DVD - ‘THE CHURCH'S GOT TALENT’

DVD – ‘Alive and Kicking’ – showing some exciting ways God’s Good News is being shared by ordinary people today. It is inspiring. This is a story of how the DVD enthused one person to mobilise a church to hold an outstanding event.  

Queen’s Hall Methodist Mission, Wigan , has Café worship at 7pm every third Sunday of the month. The district DVD was shown in the first half of the year. Seeing the Women’s Pamper Day at Holcombe Brook gave an idea to one of our young people who is 15.

She said ‘Can we have an event?

‘Sure, what have you in mind?

‘The Church`s got Talent’.

The church committee that organises social events thought it was a splendid idea, especially when the teenager went through the detail of her plans.  

The free event was held on Friday 13th November and it was fantastic.The teenager organised the whole event, the church simply supported her in prayer, publicity and catering. This is how it panned out. There were 8 acts, 5 of them made up of teenagers! These acts were assessed by Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden (or three people who had a passing resemblance to these celebrities!). The teenager held it all together as compere and interviewer.

The judges reduced the acts from 8 to 5 for voting purposes and then there was a secret ballot (you had to vote before you could eat). After a sumptuous supper the results were revealed in reverse order – slowly in the best television manner. The winners – a wonderful girl dance group called ‘The Stunners’ – were presented with a plaque amidst huge applause and emotion.  

Our minister, Stephen Dunn, was then able to deliver a short talk on how God loves us all and has given every one of us talents. This was delivered to about 100 people; children, teenagers and adults, Christians and those not-yet-Christians. Stephen then invited back ‘The Stunners’ and the evening concluded with some modern worship songs from the teenage band ‘Access’.  

This was a hugely enjoyable evening accessible to people from 8 to 80. One mother said ‘It was wonderful, I cried with laughter to such an extent by face was black when I got home due to my mascara running!’  

If you want to be inspired by the Alive and Kicking DVD then contact Mark Street, District Evangelism Enabler on 01204 522 569 or mark.street@methodist.org.uk