What goes up must come down!

The Church Building has been returned to it’s normal state and is ready for Sunday Services again this week.
We return to Mark’s Gospel and look at the potential entrapment of Jesus over the matter of the payments of taxes to Caesar. Taxes that had to be paid by all who were not citizens of Rome. Jesus is asked, “Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” It’s a trap. N.T.Wright explains it like this: ‘The Pharisees and Herodians are acting together. They are trying to force Jesus either to support the paying of taxes to Rome, thus alienating the crowds or to denounce the tax, in which case they could tell the governor, Pontius Pilate, that Jesus was guilty of a straightforward capital charge, namely inciting revolt. But they reckoned without Jesus’ brilliant response.’
In our Sunday evening service we will be looking at the issue of ‘Freedom’.


Well it’s been quite a week

Well it’s been quite a week. The Narnia Experience has been an extraordinary success and a wonderful medium to share the Christian story. The response of school children, teachers and local people has exceeded our expectations. The clarity of the message has especially been a feature of the week. Even before the Professor and ‘George’ his butler spell things out, it has been clear that visitors have grasped the message. (Which is probably why they are finishing the Professor’s lines before he has said them.) Well done to everyone and thank you Jesus.

 

 


Something beautiful for God!

I know that it is customary to thank teams for pulling together to fulfil a project, but that doesn’t even come close to adequately describing the enormous effort over a whole week which has been needed to draw together The Narnia Experience. We can be very proud of the fabricating, painting, imagining and decorating skills which have come together in a team of 25+ to create the set. In addition, actors have been acting, tech have been….. ‘tech-ing’ and administrators have been creating programmes, selling tickets and generally making everything work.

The result of all this is something beautiful for God, something wonderful for all who attend and a building which, however familiar you think you are with it, you might not actually recognise. Aslan is on the move!

 


A demonstration of power!

There’s that old quotation about power which is along the lines of, ‘Power reveals; when you give someone enough power to do what they have always wanted to do, you get to see what they have always wanted to do!’  
Sunday mornings passage is a demonstration of power; the feeding, not of 5,000 people but of the 4,000 – Jesus responding to the practical need to feed a great multitude who are hungry. But the point is something different. The point is about what this reveals of the man Jesus.
Later in the passage we find that question explicitly stated, ‘Who do you say I am?’ and we are pushed for a response to that ourselves.
On Sunday evening we are delighted to welcome local youth-worker Sophie Benson who will be speaking at our Youth-In service on the subject of body-image.  

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was marked on Friday of this week. It was an event which sparked both celebrations and protests; even the TV soap Emmerdale decided to air a special episode with an all-female cast. We may think that equality between the sexes is established, (hey, women are now even allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia!), but the statistics tell another story. In the legal profession 62% of new solicitors in 2018 were women, while only 31% of partners in private practice are women. Only 1% of all-women start-ups actually receive funding. According to the ONS almost 80% of companies pay men more than women and FGM affects more than 200mn women in more than 30 countries.

Early 19th century Christian abolitionist, Sojourner Truth, said in her famous speech, “Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs me any best place!” And raising herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunder, she asked. “And a’n’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! (and she bared her right arm to the shoulder, showing her tremendous muscular power). I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And a’n’t I a woman?

 


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