The Story of Light.The Story of Light
is a district-wide initiative aimed at building confidence in the faith we have to share, and creating for our churches a season in which to shine.
Please click here
to download a copy of The Story of Light
.The Story of Light Advent Candles & Christingle – Bradford Methodist Circuits, North and South.
This year during December we'd like to invite you to pray for a little light in our city.
During your services throughout advent, we'd like to invite you to hand out candles (well, battery powered LED tea lights to be more precise), to each person present as a sign of God’s light, for them and their community.
There will be a stock available to churches from the circuit office. As you give them out to people in your congregations or at your Christmas fairs or Carol services please invite people to pray for the City of Bradford.
Alongside the invitation to prayer, please invite people to bring their tea light into a special Story of Light Christingle service at 3pm on Christmas Eve in The Wild Woods (the former M&S building on Darley Street). After a 30-minute service we can either make our way down to the mirror pool and stretch out our lights around its perimeter, adding our lights to the lights of the city, or head back to add our lights to the Christingles that are happening at 4pm in some of our churches.
Then (for those who want to) it's off to the Made of Bradford bar on Ivegate for refreshments and carols around the Christmas tree!
Please do be creative with the way you use your tea lights in prayers. Maybe they could become the focus of your intercessions during services? Perhaps you could encourage people to carry them to all their Christmas events?
However, you decide to use them we hope they will focus our prayers on the whole city of Bradford, and help us all to point towards the coming light of Christ this Christmas.
You could use the following as tag for your tea lights...
Please accept this gift as a sign of the coming light of Christ.
Perhaps you might use it as a focus for your prayers during advent. Pray for the light of Christ to shine in our hearts, our lives, our communities, our city, our world.
On Christmas Eve please join us at 3pm in The Wild Woods (former M&S Darley Street) and bring this tea light with you as we join all our lights together at the heart of our city.
And you might like to use the following prayer when the tea lights are given out...
Looked for, the light of Christ surrounds us. It pushes back the darkness and points us to the promise of God with us, Immanuel. May the light of Christ be in all we doMay the light of Christ be in all we sayMay the light of Christ be in our every thought
Looked for, the light of Christ draws us. It calls us to pray for our families, friends and communities. May the light of Christ be in all we doMay the light of Christ be in all we sayMay the light of Christ be in our every thought
Looked for, the light of Christ transforms us. It changes our homes and our cities into places of joy and peace. May the light of Christ be in all we doMay the light of Christ be in all we sayMay the light of Christ be in our every thought
Rev’ds Nick Blundell, Lyn Gregg & Graeme Dutton, on behalf of the joint staff of our two circuits.
For more information on The Story of Light go to www.westyorkshiremethodist.org.uk/mission-enabling-teamCommunion Words
God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.
In him was life, and that life was the light of humankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Creator God, you are the sun blazing life into our world;
Saviour God, you are the flickering candle which will not be extinguished;
Spirit God, you are the light in our eyes and the warmth of our hearts;
God who lights our way, we worship you.
For the beauty of the sun-bright day, silver moon, and star-filled night sky;
For the patterns of high tide and low, of day and night, of season following season and year following year
For the unfolding story of our days, with chapters of delight and of difficulty, when sometimes the fire burns bright, whilst at others the flame flickers weakly
God who lights our way, we bring our thanks and lift our praise.
For the light that comes in Jesus, shining in the darkness of our fears and failures, illuminating our real selves with love and graceful judgement, light-housing our way, we lift our praise and set our way.
For the flame that burns within us, firing our service and imagination, enabling us to love without return and endure beyond our strength, we lift our hearts and open ourselves to your power.
And so, in the light of God’s glory and with all the saints on earth and in heaven, we lift our praise:Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,Heaven and earth are full of your glory.Hosanna in the highest.Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.Hosanna in the highest.
On the darkest night, when his light was burning low, Jesus broke bread with his friends, friends who would disappear in the darkness before dawn. Soon his body was broken on a Roman cross and consigned to a borrowed tomb.
A few days later, in the village of Emmaus, a stranger whose words had warmed hearts on the road, broke bread and was recognized.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome
On that night of darkness, Jesus took the cup. ‘As this wine is poured, so will be my lifeblood, it will flow for you.’ May the life of Christ light our way.
As we break bread, and pour wine, may the light of God illuminate our world and the fire of the Spirit ignite our mission.
(Bread and wine are shared)
Let us pray God, you set the heavens aflame with light giving life to the earth;Jesus, you come into the world as light shining in darkness;Spirit, you touch our lives with the flame of your presence and power.Light-shining, life-giving Trinity, you call us into your story of light -may our lives and churches shine with your love, as in word and action we reflect your glory.
On Saturday 8th October 2016, at Woodhouse Grove School in Bradford, 57 of us met for a District Development Day. "From reflection on the word to engagement with the world", led by the Rev'ds Stephen and Elaine Lindridge, Chair and Evangelism Enabler, Newcastle District.
You can see videos of Stephen and Elaine’s input to the day on the Busoasis Facebook page by clicking here
In addition to listening to Stephen and Elaine we spent time in circuit groups.
In the morning reflecting on God’s time (the bible word Kairos), thinking about our companions and the different styles we bring to the task of evangelism, and considering who are the ‘people of peace’ with whom we might share.
In the afternoon we were offered the challenge that in order to be a mission-shaped district, circuit or church, we each first need to be a “mission-shaped me”.
Skipton and Grassington Circuit has just held a series of Story of Light themed preaching services around its churches.
Rev Richard Atkinson, the Circuit Superintendent, offers an outline for others to consider using: to read the outline please click here