FITZROY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

TOMORROW IN FITZROY & 4 CORNERS FESTIVAL

Stocki in Ho's TV

Fitzroy Sunday Service goes on line at 11am as usual. The Lectionary Reading takes us into the homes of Simon and Andrew where Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law. That opens up all kinds of fascinating insights... and then with the crowds closing in he has to find space for prayer. We will find our place in humanity's order of things is so crucial to salvation and resurrection.

 

Before that at 10.15 I have a big hand in this year's 4 Corners Festival Sunday Service even though my voice will never appear. It goes out on BBC Radio Ulster and can also be seen if you register at https://4cornersfestival.com. We have original songs, the Festival theme song and familiar hymns redone. There will be poems, including one from the profound Richard Carter and Charlotte Curran from CFC will be our preacher.

 

Finally, the final event of this year's 4 Corners Festival goes out online at 7.00pm. This will be an event that takes us out of the Festival and into the year ahead. To help us do that we are thrilled to have the amazing voice of Beki Hemingway who has written a song especially for the evening, the poetry and wisdom of the amazing Damian Gorman and some comedy from Play It be Ear. David Campton will send us out with the help of Diane Holt. It will be a fitting finale. 

 

 

 


TOMORROW IN FITZROY (ON-LINE SERVICE) - 10.1.21

Stocki in Ho's TV

In our Fitzroy Sunday Service tomorrow (Going live on Fitzroy TV at 11am) we will be playing around with the NEW in Happy New Year. 

An original song will ask how God did it at creation and continues to do it in ever beautiful sunset. We see the similarities of creation and Jesus' baptism. We will seek out wisdom in the conversion story of the apostle Paul.

As we yearn for social freedoms further down the 2021 road we ask how we should be preparing spiritually for such a time using some of the recent writings of Pope Francis in how new book Let Us Dream! As my ordination vows encourage, " we will not refuse light from any quarter!"

We will also hear from Mark and Hannah Lyttle about how they are preparing for the next part of their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A SONG A DAY IN ADVENT - THE SERIES

Christmas Time

We are almost three weeks into our Song A Day In Advent and we have had some amazing songs.

More than ever in Coronavirus Year we wanted to scatter some goodness. Every day we have attempted to send out a song that brings us into the Christmas event, sprinkling joy and peace and love and maybe a nugget of the prophetic from this most seismic event in history.

The series has been defined by variety and quality. We have had the real life artists like Brian Houston and Yvonne Lyon who have been kind enough to make guest appearances alongside teenagers like Talitha Bowman and Eleanor Black, the latter singing her very own original song. 

There have been other original songs across the Fitzroy Collective and some solid covers dropping depth charge thoughts into our day.

We are not finished yet. This week sees some amazing songs and performances, from amazing carols to original songs and more guest appearances that I am so thankful for.

Take a glance across the songs on Soul FM (that’s Fitzroy Music). Take your time on them. Take the goodness from them. 

And… keep watching…

WATCH HERE IN SOUL FM


CHRISTMAS WEEK IN FITZROY 2020

African Nativity

Well with 4 shopping days until Valentine's Day (!!!!) we are excited about the next week in Fitzroy. We are not gathering in solidarity with our population who need protested from the spread of Covid-19 But Christmas is far from cancelled. The real reason for the season will be well presented...

Tomorrow (20th - going live on FITZROY TV at 11am) we will have some very delicious Christmas songs and we will be looking at the discipleship of Mary, applying a David Thompson song to the Luke 1 Lectionary text. If you want to get into the real feeling of the real Christmas at the beginning of Christmas week... look no further!

On Christmas Day (going live at 11am) we up the musical anti yet again. Some amazing musical wonderment from all Fitzroy ages... Christmas Day will feel like Christmas Day and we will keep it short sharp and spiritually helpful for the year that is in it.

On December 27th (going live at 11am) we will stay in the feeling of the Christmas event. We will not be putting away the decorations but like CSI theological investigators will scan the Christmas scenes to find evidence of lessons right across Jesus life and teaching right there in these early chapters of Matthew and Luke. We will keep the music sharp too.

We hope that you have been enjoying our Song A Day In Advent too... some great songs this coming week... watch them on SOUL FM

Please join us where and when you can... Emmanuel Christmas!

 


COMMUNITY CAROL SERVICE - TOMORROW IN FITZROY 6.12.2020

Fitzroy Community carol

(a Fitzroy Community Carol Service from years gone by)

 

I am so excited about tomorrow morning's Fitzroy Online Sunday Service (live on Fitzroy TV from 11am).

Every year, for the last 8, we have had a Community Carol Service. It has been on a Thursday night and we've welcomed the energy of the Botanic Primary School children and a host of others. We have also in the past had jugglers, fire eaters, parades up Botanic Avenue and a couple of times, live nativities with animals and all! 

The bad news is that there was obviously no Community Carol Service on a Thursday night this year but the good news is that we are bringing the community into this week's Advent Sunday Service.

So, we will be having readings and prayers and interviews and poems from very special guests from around our neighbourhood. Homeplus, Foodbank, Mornington, An Drochad and Women's Aid will all be joining us. We will also be hearing those children in Botanic Primary School and another original song from Jonny Fitch who will add a couple fo carols.

I will be asking what the local minister would want to gift to our neighbourhood at Christmas and suggesting, with a look back to World Aids Day last week and ahead to the 40th Anniversary of John Lennon's death this week, that Jesus already is that gift!


FITZROY IS NOT CLOSED!!! (Surmising Yesterday's Restrictions)

Sounds Good

Can I declare a few things. Fitzroy is not closed… Jesus ascension has not been rescinded… The Holy Spirit is where he always has been, creating over the void and dark depths.

The news yesterday that church buildings would be closed to gatherings for a fortnight created a reaction. I understand some of it. The vast  majority of churches have been working extremely hard on keeping to the safety guidelines on restrictions, social distancing, masks, no loud singing, no coffee after the service etc.

It has worked in most places but sadly not in all places. A few churches have made the news. I am aware of people having to isolate after someone at a service tested positive the day after and I know ministers who have had to isolate and indeed tested positive too. Even with the strictest of regimes this virus can impact.

So I understand the Executives decision. I am aware some colleagues might not and that is ok. We can disagree. I am aware that for other churches it is probably more essential to meet than it is for us in Fitzroy. We are blessed with a good team to do church on-line and a congregation able to access it. 

Whatever our initial reactions though I would call my brother and sisters in church leadership to move forward with a positive attitude. We come into a season when the most amazing story will be told Sunday after Sunday. We will hear of a God who sacrificed all his rights because a virus of the soul was killing the whole of humanity. Let us follow that God and see it is a privilege to sacrifice our rights as a witness to the baby born and laid in straw.

Let us also declare that the buildings might be closed but the Churches certainly are not. Fitzroy’s Zoom Prayer Meeting this week was one of the most inspirational prayer meetings that I have have ever been at. It is fake news to suggest that we cannot connect with each other and God in the virtual world. I am aware too of home groups flourishing on Zoom. Baby and Toddler, children and youth ministry and more continue even if we cannot meet.

Fitzroy’s on-line service has us reaching across the world with regular “attenders” in western Canada, mid west America, across the UK and Europe and all the way to Bangladesh and Australia. We have had hundreds more at our services online than regularly attend Fitzroy on a Sunday morning.

That on-line potential so excites me as a minister coming into Advent. Fitzroy are viewing this particular Christmas as a month of Mission. Has there ever been a Christmas where the world needs light and love and hope and peace more than in 2020? We are seeking out imaginative ways to reach into people’s lives as individual members. We are also imagining how we can use virtual resources to share the glorious story of Emmanuel right across the entire world. Emmanuel means God With Us and there is no better news for a world in isolation and socially distancing than to know that God has broken every distance to move in among us.

Oh no! Fitzroy is not closed. Jesus ascension has not been rescinded and the Holy Spirit really is creating above the seeming dark void.


PRAYERS FOR OUR CARE FOR CREATION - Rhea Marshall (Fitzroy 15.11.2020)

Care For Creation

These are the prayers from the Fitzroy Sunday Service (on-line) on November 15, 2020, by Rhea Marshall.

 

Our prayers today our focused on the environment.

Please join me in prayers of thanksgiving, repentance and intercession for climate justice.

We start with a moment of thankfulness

In these challenging months,  for the comfort, beauty and joy, so many of us experience in your creation. We thank you God

For our favourite outdoor places, for the beauty of Autumn and fun exploring outdoors. We thank you God.

For how the earth sustains us, providing all that we need: warmth, food and shelter. We thank you God.

Lord you have taught us that repentance is about changing, turning and acting in new ways.  

We can feel overwhelmed when faced with Climate Crisis: [grief at what has been lost, sorrow for the harm we cause, and fear for the future]1.  When we have chosen to run from our feelings: Forgive us Lord.

When we have failed to respond to global warming, species decline, plastic and pollution, climate inequality and poverty, Forgive us Lord.

When we have consumed more than we have put back; when we have been caught up in economic systems and lifestyles which cause destruction; when we have been blind to [privileges gained through the exploitation of others]2 and the Earth: Forgive us Lord

When we have forgotten that we are just a tiny part of creation, and that caring for creation is the same as caring for each other, and caring for ourselves, Forgive us Lord.

We pray for climate justice.

We ask for the courage to change: to be people who strive for [peace over profit, activity over complacency and a greater good over today’s convenience.]3  Lord help us.

We ask for guidance in how we, individually and as a faith community, can bring about climate justice.  In considering our time and resources, our prayers and interactions, and the impact of all our actions. Lord help us. 

We pray for the many conservationists, environmental groups and individuals who work to protect our world.  May we learn from their dedication and experience.  May we come alongside them and support their work where we can.  Lord help us.

We pray for Stormont, where the climate change bill is currently being considered. We pray for the Northern Ireland executive and civil servants.   Give them courage and stamina, to lead us through the monumental cultural and behavioural changes required.  We pray for wisdom in supporting and challenging our governments in tackling the climate emergency.  Lord help us.  

We ask that you unite us all, individuals, our church community, our wider community and our government, in fighting to reduce carbon emissions, consumption levels and inequality. Lord help us.

Lord, remind us of [our love for this beautiful planet that feeds nourishes and sustains us.  Strengthen our love for the whole of humanity in all corners of the world.

Strengthen our desire to protect all of this, for ourselves, for all living beings and for generations to come.]4 In Jesus’s name we pray.  Amen.

 

  1. Ref Melanie Nazareth, p 254 “Time to Act” A resource book by the Christians in Extinction Rebellion spck 2020
  2. Ref Melanie Nazareth, p 256 “Time to Act” 
  3. Ref Fran Pratt, p272 “Time to Act” 
  4. Ref Solemn Intention Statement, Extinction Rebellion.

REMEMBERING - FITZROY SUNDAY SERVICE 8.11.2020

Brent

Tomorrow in Fitzroy (going live at 11am) we will be remembering. It is Remembrance Sunday and in Fitzroy we will remember the youth of Fitzroy who left to fight in two World Wars but never came home. To do that we will be joined by our Fitzroy brother Chaplain Brent van Der Linde and Able Seaman Jack Shuttleworth from RNAS Yeovilton and Jonny Fitch will sing a song for all those in Fitzroy who fought in the wars. 

Our lectionary reading is about remembering too. I will preach on Joshua 24. Joshua remembers.

Those we remember are not ghosts that haunt us but ghosts that inspire us. They help us look to the future. What do we want that to look like? We end up with Joshua asking if the people will worship God. We will look at what that means in the light of 70 million people voting for Donald Trump this past week. 

We will also be gathering for a more mediative service at 5pm but you need to book... see website!


THE BEATITUDES - TOMORROW IN FITZROY 1.11.2020

Fitzroy Side

Tomorrow in Fitzroy (going live on-line at 11am) we will be unpacking The Beatitudes. Oh my goodness but what goodness there is in this poetic beginning to the Sermon On The Mount.

We will read them with an American accent just two days before the US Election ask what these words say to those who have feelings of entitlement. We will also look at the Beatitudes in these challenging days of Coronavirus and ask where the secret of deep souled contentment lies. 

There will also be announcing good November news for Fitzroy and hearing a new song based on an old one written by John Trinder, sung by Norman McKinlay and played like a Fitzroy Blues Band to lift our souls as we long for that sense of home of gathering together. 

You are welcome to watch whenever and wherever you can.


TOMORROW IN FITZROY AND ON-LINE - 25.10.2020

Fitzroy front

Tomorrow in Fitzroy's on-line service we will be taking a close look at Martin Luther's favourite Psalm. Psalm 46 is perhaps the section of Scripture that I have used most in my ministry but I have never preached on it.

I am thrilled to get a close look at it tomorrow in both the main on-line service (from 11am) and then the Reflective Gathering in Fitzroy at 5pm (only those who booked can get in). 

Outside help from Martin Luther but also a little bit of Richard Rohr and Bono "Be still and know that I am God" and "Get Out Of Your Own Way".