King's Arms Church 'Helpline'
We're trying to make sure everyone in the church family is supported. In addition to group life support and email@example.com, we've got a pastoral phone line: 01234 924008. Feel free to call/email if it's for support or a chat. Also let us know if you want to volunteer.
Got an idea?
We know there will be lots of ideas brewing in the community of how we can help those around us. If you want to share an idea of what we could be doing to help bring faith, hope and love email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We'd also love to hear of any good news stories so do send them through.
Due to the current government guidelines regarding the Coronavirus situation we are no longer able to meet as groups within homes. Many of our current groups will continue to stay in touch online and those currently in a group will automatically remain signed up for their current group next term to help with consistency and connection.
We have launched some new groups that are now live and also launched some drop-in groups. These drop-in groups are open to all and there's no need to sign up or prepare beforehand. Click on the button below or contact: email@example.com
God's heart for the afflicted and oppressed | 01 June
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
- Take a moment to reflect on the power of prayer. Remind yourself about times when God has answered prayer before. Dwell here for a while before we engage in some big prayers.
- Pray that we will be a generation that sees a change in policy, in practice, in love and inequality. Pray for stability both in America and here in the UK, for leadership engagement in dialogue that validates oppression and seeks to implement change. Pray for police. Cry out to our Father for justice.d change. Ask God to show you His heart and pray accordingly.
- Pray that we will be a generation that sees a change in policy, in practice, in love and in equality. Pray for stability both in America and here in the UK, for leadership engagement in dialogue that validates oppression and seeks to implement change. Pray for police. Cry out to our Father for justice.
King's Arms Project Update | 27 May
National Mental Health Awareness Week | 21 May
Psalm 8 | 20 May
Prophetic word about fire | 19 May
Whole Church Prayer Meeting
A quick update from Steve about tomorrow evening's prayer meeting (Friday 15 May, 8pm) where we will join together online to seek God's face and to prioritise His presence. We believe that when we pray, God moves and so we will pray for our church, region and world. His promise is that when we turn to Him, He hears us and He heals our land.
Join us tomorrow evening: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87681522009
Look forward to seeing you there.
How's Your Hope | 12 May
Hope is a little like a hospital gown. When it really matters, we’re often not as well covered as we think.
One of the most stunning verses in the Bible is Romans 15:13, it’s a prayer written by the Apostle Paul to those in Rome and it’s a prayer I’m praying for you right now even as you browse. I’m praying it for our church family, for those scattered across the earth, but I’m especially praying it for those who wouldn’t say they knew Jesus personally.
You see true joy, true peace, true HOPE is found solely in Him.
So “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Amen.
If you want to connect with us, and allow us to share more about what it means to enjoy a relationship with God you can visit kingsarms.org/response
Pastoral Team Update | 07 May
Go: Everyday stories of stopping to love | 05 May
Many of us know and love Claire Coggan, and we’re thrilled to share of the release of her book ‘Go: Everyday stories of stopping to love’.It’ll inspire you of what God can do when we say Yes to him.
If you know Claire personally you can get your hands on a copy now by getting in touch with her direct or pre-order them at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1912863472
COVID-19 Relief | 04 May
One important announcement on Sunday was Simon sharing his concern for what is happening in the developing world and the impact of the Coronavirus. We believe as a people we have been called to be a blessing not only to our nation but to the nations.
If you missed the video you can watch it now and if you want to give, then please head to kingsarms.org/donate using the COVID-19 relief drop-down option.
A Prayer Based on Psalm 91 | 29 April
In Proverbs 18:21 it says that the words that we speak have the power to release either death or life. In this current situation we need to, more than ever, be speaking words of life over our town, our nation, over ourselves, our families and friends.
Ali Borromeo, who is a frontline worker for the NHS wrote a prayer based on the words of Psalm 91. This prayer is full of life-giving words - why not take some time this week to pray this prayer, to meditate on the words and allow them to bring life to you and to the world around you.
I choose to live in your presence today God, to remain stable and fixed, to recover my strength and be at peace, to find respite and a breathing space in the safety of your shadow.
You alone are my God, my refuge and fortress, my protection. You are my hiding place and my safe house. I trust you and confidently rely on your unchangeable character and remain sure of you in the midst of the battle.
You will save me from the fowler's snare, that hidden trap of danger and disease. You will cover me with your feathers, protect and hide me, I will be safe and secure under your wings
You are my shield; my protection against the blows of the enemy, your faithfulness completely surrounds me.
I refuse to be anxious at night, or partner with a spirit of darkness by day. I choose peace 24/7; fear has no place in me.
Thousands may fall all around me, but it will not come near me or those I love, I will remain in peace, unshakable, strong in you Lord
I will anchor my soul; my thoughts, choices and feelings in you Jesus. I will NOT be afraid, I will trust you.
Even though I see chaos and fear all round me I will remain safe and inaccessible in the secret place of your presence.
I choose to focus my attention on you Father God, to stay in your presence and take refuge under your mighty wings.
Even now you are commanding your angels on my behalf giving them special instructions to guard and defend me, to go with me and catch me if I fall.
Because of the power of your blood Jesus I crush evil underfoot; I walk unharmed amongst the fiercest powers of darkness
I will remind myself constantly just how much you love me and of your promises to rescue and protect me; I anchor my soul in your LOVE and your WORD.
I will speak your name ‘Jesus’, I will boldly declare and proclaim it every chance I get, I will set my love on You Lord and I know that you have set your love on me. When I call on you you answer me, you deliver and honour me.
Today I gratefully receive your promise of a long life lived in the fullness of your salvation.
Daily Devotional | 27 April
Today it's great to have Sarah Brown, one of our artists, sharing with us some art and then her thoughts:
Scripture: (Romans 8:12-17)
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
As people who have received Jesus into our lives, we are led by the Spirit of God, and that means we are children on His! Adopted into His family. What a precious family we find ourselves in.
Sarah wrote about this revelation as she journaled: "As I pondered on it I was reminded of memories of my earthly father when I was growing up and the overriding image of him as a man of stature. He is a very tall man and I remember distinctly the size of his hands compared to mine. They felt huge and they were, and still are, incredibly soft. I loved nothing more than holding his hands or lying on his chest listening to his heartbeat having a cuddle. Those hands made me feel held, safe and loved beyond measure. Those hands picked me up when I was hurt, cuddled me when I was sad or needed comfort, tended me when I was physically hurt, cheered me on and led me over the years as I grew, way before I ever knew my Heavenly Fathers touch, as a prophetic echo of the Father I was yet to meet. But, what I love is that Papa God knew all that time ago that I would one day reach out for the hand He was offering me.
Whatever your experience of your earthly father, today and this week we're going to look to God and ask for increasing revelation of Him as our Father.
How to pray today:
-You could even go back to the Lord's prayer that we prayed last week, and sit for a while in the 'Our Father' opening phrase... as you go through the prayer, reflect on what it means to pray those words when He is a good Father. Ask Him to help you relate to Him in this way.
-Pray for a revelation of Him as a loving Father for those around you - it might be neighbours, family members or colleagues who have been affected by the pandemic, pray that they will encounter God as a loving Father even today.
-Pray for families around the world, knowing that the implications of our current situation are huge. You could research statistics about fatherlessness and pray about that. Or you could recognise that for some fathers, not being able to provide for their families due to employment problems is significant, pray for stability and provision for them. Pray for those who've lost a father.
Love Sarah Brown and Katy Hollway
Remember you can sign up for these daily devotions at: kingsarms.org/dailydevotions
Pastoral Team Update | 23 April
If you feel like you need a bit of help to connect to God in this season then here’s Amanda, from the pastoral team, with a ministry tool that will help to lead you into His presence.
YourNeighbour.org | 21 April
Listen to one of the hero’s of the King’s Arms sharing about a Project he’s been involved in that’s supporting churches around the country to help those in need. Find out more at: yourneighbour.org
If you need support, or know someone who does call 0300 323 9952 nationwide.
If you’d like to be part of the King’s Arms local response team, helping people practically you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastoral Team Update | 16 April
Tim and Sarah share some marriage tips for this season.
Alpha Online | 14 April
Public service announcement.
1. Don’t paint around your furniture if you want to be friends with the next residents.
2. Why not take the opportunity to join Steve and explore the meaning of life on our first ever online Alpha courses.
Sign up or tell a mate. 10am or 8pm from 29th April. More details and registration at kingsarms.org/alpha
Isaiah 25:8 | 13 April
Scripture: (Isaiah 25:8)
The promise from Isaiah that death would be swallowed up is fulfilled in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his defeating death in his resurrection.
It’s all a very good bit of news! However, are we still living with this truth today. I like how Lauren Daigle says it in her song ‘Still Rolling Stones’.
“All at once I came alive
Jesus burst from that grave so that we don’t have to be kept there. His completed work on the cross means our destiny is not death but eternal life. He is the one that is able to roll the tombstones away and he is in the habit of still rolling stones today.
His desire is for us to be people living with the truth that we are not only rescued from death but carried by his victory.
The next part of that verse is especially wonderful to know at this time. Although there are tears, perhaps from grief or anxiety, we know the one who comforts and gives us strength.
- Think about the day that Jesus stepped out of the tomb. What does this mean for you? Are you being carried by him? Let this spill over into thanks for what he has already done.
- Take a moment to ask Holy Spirit to show you where you are still showing signs of being stuck in the tomb. Invite Jesus to roll away the stone. Let him lift you up and bring you to a place of repentance and life.
- Jesus isn’t just your life bringer but your family’s, your friend’s, your neighbour’s ... Pray for them in their places of being isolated. Pray that the stones that have been stuck until now, will be rolled away and that they will encounter Jesus.
- Pray for comfort for those that are grieving and are anxious at this time. Ask for opportunities and inspiration in how to be GOD’s representative.
Jesus has given us new birth and living hope. A fun way to engage with this truth is to search out signs of new birth and living hope in the world around us. A few creative ideas for you ... you could wake up a little early to listen to the dawn chorus, look closely at nature or plant some seeds.
If you like to draw or paint, you could do a study of a flower or plant.
Pastoral Team Update | 09 April
Hi everyone! I’m Philbe and I am part of the pastoral team here at the King’s Arms. As we get further into the lockdown I am struggling to remember what day of the week it is! I’m going to be honest with you today has felt quite a challenge for me - as an extrovert I am missing connection and interaction with people. I gain most of my energy from external stimulus and when that is not around my productivity reduces. Over the last few weeks there have been times when I feel like I’m adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and getting into a healthy routine and others where I am battling with frustration or anxiety. You may find that you’re in a similar position or have other challenges you are facing - so here are some thoughts that you might find helpful:
- Don't compare! We really are in unusual times and we all respond in different ways. It might be that we are looking at social media posts of people who are learning new skills, changing the world and thriving and then we feel guilty because we are just about coping with making dinner or getting dressed. Your journey in this season may look different to someone else's; it doesn’t mean that either one is more right than the other. Take this time to find moments you can connect with God and listen to what he is saying to you and what he’s asking you to do.
- Embrace authenticity. During this season we are going to have good days and not so great days. We need to find places where we can be honest about how we are doing and not to feel ashamed of our emotions. It might be that you need to find time with God where you can be open with him and share your frustration, your disappointment and pain. This is a great time to connect with one another and check in with how people are really doing - let’s ask our friends and family how they really are and what they are feeling. It’s a great time to cry together and to laugh together, to encourage one another, to offer words of comfort and an opportunity to allow our true selves to be seen by others.
Frontline Worker Helpline | 07 April
If you work for the NHS in Bedford and need to talk, receive pastoral support or receive prayer, please call our helpline Monday-Sunday 8am-11pm. We are not trained counsellors, but we are ready to listen to you and pray for those on the frontline during COVID-19. You're not alone.
- An opportunity to talk
- A moment to be encouraged
- A way to receive prayer (even if this isn't normal for you, it is for us)
- Available to you, 8am-11pm every day
- A time when you don't need to hold things together
- Confidential (Unless someone's safety is at risk)
This is not:
- A counselling service, or mental health advice (We’ll recommend a GP or counsellor)
- A place to give away patient details
- Exclusive. Regardless of your faith, we are happy to talk to you.
Tips for handling being in isolation | 03 April
Luke 3 & 4 | 01 April
A brilliant little devotional from Phil where he shares from Luke 3 & 4 about three specific encounters Jesus has with the Holy Spirit and what we can glean from them.
King's Arms Project Update | 31 March
Prayer and Communion | 30 March
Katy reminds us that despite the uncertain times, Jesus remains comfortably on His throne. You can join us for our daily devotions by signing up at kingsarms.org/dailydevotion
Check out kingsarms.org/thirst and see all the other ways you can partner with the rest of the church family in prayer.
When plans A, B and C are out the window | 27 March
The week leading up to Easter is a time when we focus our attention more than ever on God’s rescue plan for humanity - sacrificing His Son for our sakes. We read about the climax of this story in the gospels but of course, it all started centuries before that. God tells us near the beginning of Genesis that he will send one who will crush Satan (Gen 3:15) and then as we read about His people growing in number and establish themselves in OT history we see Him reveal himself as a rescuing God over and over again. One of the most striking moments is recorded in Exodus 12 and 13 when the Passover and the subsequent escape of the Israelites out of Egyptian captivity and into the desert occurred. During this time we read how God went before them as a pillar of fire to give them light. It is with this in mind that Jesus describes himself as the light of the world.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus the creator of life brings light wherever he goes. As we stand in his light we can see ourselves and the rest of humanity as we really are. I liken it to the difference between moonlight and sunlight. I was out for a 5 minute stroll with the dog before bed the other night and it was a full moon. I didn’t need a torch, the path before me was dimly lit and I could just about see my way without. The trees were dark shadows against the skyline and I could make out the silhouettes of various familiar landmarks. I could see - but not clearly or in detail. If I did the same walk in the daytime though - in brilliant sunshine the whole landscape is brilliantly illuminated. The same things are still there, in once sense nothing has changed. But I can see everything for what it really is. This is what it is like when we live by the light Jesus brings into the world. Whereas before we were walking around in darkness, now we can see clearly. Where there was sin and secrets hidden in the darkness of our hearts - now there is light and freedom.
When the pillar of fire appeared to the Israelites in the desert it communicated three things to them about God in that moment. They knew they had His presence, His protection and His guidance. Jesus says that if we follow him we will that light with us, in other words, His presence, protection and guidance. This is a wonderful promise and one I think for us to dig into in this season.
So in response - what does it look like for us to follow Him and thus receive the things He promises here?
- Worship him - Treasure Him. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). As we adore Him with our words, actions, minds and emotions worship rises up in us.
- Inquire of Him. We read regularly in the life of David that He inquired of the lord and that is what made him stand out from others around Him.
- Listen to Him. As we worship, pray and inquire take time to listen - He will want to respond!
- Obey Him. A wise friend once said to me that the Bible isn’t necessarily difficult to understand, it is obeying it we have trouble with!
Why not spend some time praying about where you want to know his presence, protection and guidance in this coming season.
A quick Pastoral Team Update from Ben Enejo with a few thoughts about when plans A, B and C are out the window.
We're trying to make sure everyone in the church family is supported. In addition to group life support and email@example.com, we've now got a pastoral phone line: 01234 924008. Feel free to call/email if it's for support or a chat. Also let us know if you want to volunteer.
Being Good News | 24 March
We were so pleased to see many of you join us for our first ever King’s Arms online church meetings on Sunday. Even when we can’t see one another face to face I’m grateful that technology is helping us to connect in new and creative ways. We’re working hard behind the scenes to make sure they not only continue, but that we explore more solutions to help build us closer together despite the call to social isolation.
I’ve been so encouraged to hear stories of God moving as family members are expressing an interest in God and coming to church for the first time, people are being prayed for in the streets and friends are stepping out to show radical acts of kindness to those working and serving our community. I’m so proud of each of you.
In the short video below I outline three ways that you can partner with God in being good news in this season.
Firstly, with your neighbours. Let’s be good news to those around us at the moment. There is an amazing ‘Viral Kindness’ card that we’re attaching that you can write up your details on and pop them through your neighbour's door. (Wash your hands first!) Maybe you could write a personal note on the other side to introduce yourselves? Even if you’ve never met them before, what an opportunity to bless others in our streets… Imagine if 500 of us took part and looked out for 10 of our closest neighbours we could support 5000 people across Bedford in an instant. Some people may need practical support like food essentials, others may just want someone to talk to or to pray with.
Secondly, to the poor. We have always had a mandate as a community to look out for the poorest in our town. How can you be doing that at this time? There are so many ways. Perhaps you could donate to your local food bank? (https://bedford.foodbank.org.
Thirdly, to the NHS. Now is a time of great stress for our incredible National Health Service, and I want to encourage you to go out of your way to reach out to any NHS staff you might know to encourage them, or serve them in practical ways if they need them. We have also been given the opportunity by Bedford Hospital Voluntary Services to be able to get involved in volunteering. Not as front line staff, but as volunteers in more practical ways that will enable the front line staff to do what they are best at. There are short checks and training available for those who are keen to be involved. You can express your interest by emailing dave.holt@kingsarms.
Above all, pray. Pray for your neighbours, pray for the King’s Arms Project staff and for the poor in our community, pray too for the NHS workers and that through it all God’s kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven.
Class of 2020 it’s our time to shine.
Tim Brown from the Pastoral Team and Youth Team shares some tips for handling being in isolation.
We're trying to make sure everyone in the church family is supported. In addition to group life support and firstname.lastname@example.org, we've got a pastoral phone line: 01234 924008. Feel free to call/email if it's for support or a chat.
Prayers That Move Mountains | 23 March
Pastoral Team Update | 21 March
A brief pastoral team update from PJ. This post will be updated with the phone numbers mentioned in the video once they have been sent through.
King's Kids Resources | 19 March
We are aware that we are in circumstances now that seem to change very quickly, and for the foreseeable future we won't be able to meet as King's Kids. So we wanted to let you know about some things that we want to put in place for the next season.
We are aware that you will have lots of things going on at the moment, and we don't want to just add to your 'to do' list. We would love to be able to give you some resources that you can dip into as and when you want to.
We are planning to send something out each week that will have a different focus, and will have worship, craft, discussion and prayer ideas for different ages that you can access as a family. Please do give us feedback so we know if we are giving you useful things.
We have also started to use our Kings Kids Facebook page where we will post ideas and challenges for the children. Please take a moment to follow the page. There is a great article on there by Rachel Turner at Parenting for Faith, where she talks about ways that we can lead our kids through this season.
The service will be streaming on Sunday, can I encourage you to join in with one of the services, you will be able to comment, and put in prayer requests as it streams.
Please do feel free to get in contact with us if we can help in any way,
Nicky Stanyard, Anil Bangar and Jess Fordham