Summer 2019

As I write this the mercury is rising and the UK is set to experience its hottest day on record. Few of us are likely to be operating at the same frantic pace with which contemporary busy lives are usually lived. So we slow down; we take some time, and make time for recreation, (re-creation).

As you take some time out over the summer the activities of church life also slow. Groups shut down over the summer, you only get one bulletin (this one) over several weeks and we hold no evening services through the month of August.

We hope that this will all be to our good. Physically and mentally restored, but also spiritually refreshed through doing something new, something different. That book you have been meaning to read, that book of the Bible – which might instil a new message from God, a new passion kindled. Inviting the neighbours over for a barbecue and actually having some time to get to really know people as they get to know you and your faith in Jesus. That new experience of God, at that event, on that walk, in your expectancy to hear God talk to you, as he has already done so to me in a flea market in Lisbon.

Whatever you are afforded, may it be good for you and good for your walk with Jesus.

 


The faith of Jesus

Our series on Faith ends with ‘the faith of Jesus’ as revealed through John’s gospel. We are to believe in Jesus, we are to put our faith in Jesus but what about ‘the faith of Jesus’ himself? What is our understanding of the significance of Jesus’ faith in God?

Sunday evening the service will be led by our Young People. The service will explore the spiritual gift of Prophecy and the Prophetic with teaching and opportunity to participate led by Tim Banks.


Faith and Jesus

In our series on ‘Faith’ we have considered Faith and Disobedience, Faith and Doubt, Faith and Fear, Faith and Certainty and on Sunday we will look at Faith and Jesus. Our faith is in Christ Jesus and for our faith to grow our focus needs to be on Jesus and Him alone. As the writer to the Hebrews put it, “let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” Hebrews 12: 1,2

Sunday evening we have our’ Open to God’ service, an opportunity to come together to spend time in worship and praise, to enter into His presence, to wait on God and to hear His voice. We will be reflecting on one aspect of the teaching at the Church Weekend at Home. Our relationship with ‘one another’. This phrase occurs 64 times in the New Testament describing the relationship that the early followers of Jesus had with each another.


Faith is certain, sure, definite

It is a distinct aspect of Christian belief that ‘faith’ is not something which is speculative, not  based on dubious grounds or uncertain facts, but that faith is certain, sure, definite.

On Sunday morning Helen Hinds will open up one of the great passages of the New Testament and shows us, through the lives of some of the Bible’s greatest figures, what our strong convictions are based upon.

Sunday evening we are delighted to welcome Dave Mann from Sat-7. The lives and faith of Christians living in the Middle East, often under persecution, is something which we in the West hold dear. We get to hear remarkable stories of how people come to faith and how God sustains Christians in their daily lives. SAT-7 plays a leading role in witnessing Christian faith in these contexts. Dave will show us how they are able to effectively reach people of all faiths with the Christian message.

 


Fear; faith and fear

On Sunday we will look at fear; faith and fear. It appears that these two words represent opposites, each sitting at alternate ends of a continuum: mutually exclusive. Faith the focus and lifeblood of the Christian life, while fear is the unnecessary half-life lived by those for whom faith is lacking.

Or is it quite so simple?

Contemporary living has produced higher levels of anxiety and fear than perhaps we have ever known, certainly greater than during other periods of ‘peace-time’. And this at a time when there is more emphasis on the self (dare I say ‘self-help’ even), than ever, even within the church. We live with faith and fear.

How on earth are we able to know the absence of fear which the pages of scripture describe to us? How will God free us from this paralysis ?

And on Sunday evening, why not make some space in your diary to spend time in reflection as Mick leads our extended communion service at 6.30pm.

 


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