While most of us . . .

. . . will be at the Church Weekend in Cefn Lea, some of us will still gather at Hale Road and we are delighted to have international speaker and writer Brene Brown at Hale Road, (sadly not in person, but via video). Brene returned to faith after some years away from church, and has now ably woven together her faith and her research on vulnerability and shame. Brene says, ‘Guilt is when we have done something wrong, shame is when we think we are something wrong.’ Into this, the Christian community powerfully brings the possibility of healing and the opportunity for restoration.

Please remember there is no evening service this week – and no, its not because Poland vs Columbia is a big deal!

 


So Donald and Kim . . .

. . .  seem to be patching this up pretty well. There’s the handshake, the intimate negotiations and a commitment on both sides to de-escalate the military tensions centred on the Korean peninsular. The world breathes a sigh of relief. 
So what possible use might a 2,000 year-old book be, in helping us to understand these things? Well, you better believe it can. This Sunday’s passage on Ephesians 4 takes on lying, anger and theft, all in the context of ego and pride. Paul’s remedy is found in nothing less than forgiveness, the unity of believers and the very example of Christ himself.
Tonight our fabulous young people will be leading the wonderful Youth-In service and unpacking the Parable of the Great Banquet – will all the style and energy they usually show.

Sunday Morning’s passage . . .

. . . is filled with some of the most memorable lines written by St Paul.  ‘…bearing with one another in love’, ‘…one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all’, ‘…some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers’, and ‘….speaking the truth in love’.

In all of these much-loved phrases we see Paul’s determination to describe the many members of the church as a single body. We are many and we are one.

The challenge for us lies in whether we can take these ancient and familiar words and actively choose to live them out in ABC today? For nothing less is required of us.

 


Many churches . . .

. . . now carry a vision or mission statement. A short(ish) sentence by which the church defines its purpose; its mission. And just like ABC’s ‘be a disciple, make disciples’ these statements find their basis in scripture and are attempts to align ourselves with the missio dei – the mission of God.

The Bless Community in Northern France is an attempt to establish an evangelical foothold in a country where secularism prevails. After a number of years they have now settled on their own statement which reads, ‘Trust the Father, Receive the Spirit, Tell the Story of the Son.’ What we might take from it is that it is Trinitarian, reflecting each person of God. But this statement is also that it is active, describing how the Bless Community are choosing to live, and questioning us as to whether we too reflect such lives.

 


When last . . .

. . . did you have a major change of heart? Perhaps it was about your view of someone, perhaps it was to do with a political view, or even your view of the Bible and the nature of God?
We have these changes of heart. They can be disturbing, as we have to let go of long-held and greatly-cherished thoughts. But they can also be exhilarating and life-giving as we feel that our eyes have been opened and we have moved on to a greater understanding and experience of God. 
This Sunday morning we’ll consider a major shift in Paul’s understanding of Christian faith.  For us this will raise the consequent challenge to review our understanding of faith in the light of what God is revealing to us.
In the evening we will look at one of the most contested passages in the New Testament and seek to draw out its meaning for us today.