Called by name

Dear Friends,
When exploring London, I like to take the opportunity to explore the coffee shops. I love coffee (good coffee). 
When I place my order in a particular coffee shop I am greeted by genuine and excited employees who asked me for my name. The team write my name on a take-out coffee cup. When my drink is ready the following was shouted; “one cappuccino for Matt”. That cup of cappuccino was mine because it had my name written on it. Coffee shops actually want to know who I am. 

This made me feel:
1.    Welcomed
2.    Valued
3.    They met my need

The employees were having a great time. There was a lot of fun and laughter.
This made me think; what if our churches were like that? What if our churches wanted to know who these people are? Getting to know more about people can make a huge difference. 
The first publication of the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland was in 2016, which featured new studies on the meanings and origins of nearly 50,000 surnames. Names are deeply important to human beings, a crucial way of understanding not just the world around us, but each other. A surname can be rooted in history and family tradition, while first names establish more particular identity and personality.
The Bible is full of names, and those names are full of meaning. People such as Abraham, David, Ruth are called by God to make a difference. Gabriel (God’s messenger) called Elizabeth and Mary by name. Gabriel didn’t say “hey you” or “what’s up”, but called them by name. Gabriel calls Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, and the Wise Men individually. 
In his ministry Jesus knew the people; He knew about their background and journey. What if churches were like that? Why don’t we start the New Year getting to know one another of all-ages asking, “what’s your name”? Asking people for their name might encourage them to belong to the church. 
The following events at Muswell Hill Methodist Church...
  1. Alpha Courselaunching on Monday 4thFeb, 7:00pm. The course is centred around a meal followed by teaching and then small group discussions. In many churches across the world it has been used by many as a way of renewing and deepening faith as well as people who are renewing and exploring what Christianity is all about. Alpha can help people to discuss big question in a friendly and welcoming setting.
  2. Messy Church on Sunday 17thFeb, 4pm. This is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality. 
Francis of Assisi once said ‘preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words’.  What we have done and continue to do relate to what Francis of Assisi is saying because we are preaching the gospel by shinning the light through our actions and not words. Having a presence in the crowd is more creative then preaching in people’s faces. We all should be doing this because we all have a role to play. Let’s begin with our events. How can you help?

Jesus said ‘I am the light of the world’. How can we share the Jesus’ light with others? 

Every blessing 


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