In a recent blog I shared what I felt God had said to me about our priorities as a church community as we move into 2015. (Where are we now? Dec 2014) 2015 is, after all, an important year as we seek to clarify our aspirations for the future before God and to take decisive steps towards that future. However, in any situation where we are keen to move on, there’s a temptation for us to project on to God our own solutions, or what we think the direction should be. That was a temptation which Abraham fell into as he waited for the fulfilment of God’s promise of a son and heir. Coming up with his own solution caused big complications. How then should we approach the year ahead? As I read Micah chapter 6 verse 8 I felt that the Lord was saying to each of us for the year ahead; Don’t major on the outcome (what I will do) … major on your heart attitude and your input (what you will bring to me).
This thinking informs our teaching programme in the spring term.
After God’s Heart – studies in the life of David
In the morning services we seek inspiration as we look at the life of David – a man described as being after God’s own heart. Over this term we will interview some Living Stones Mission Partners including Penny & Juan Carlos Marcés, who will tell us something of their work for the Lord. Immediately after Easter Hikmat Kashouh – a Living Stones partner serving in the Lebanon – will be our guest preacher at morning services.
Walking with a deep consciousness of God
In evening services we will work our way through a series of sermons based on 1 Peter and will seek to inform our own discipleship and walk with God. On some evenings we plan to interview particular people and invite them to tell us of their Christian lives, and particularly how they have walked ‘with a deep consciousness of God’. We continue the pattern of having our ‘OPEN’ service on the second Sunday each month, and also plan a Youth led service on 29th March.
Other special evening services include:
Ash Wednesday 18th February: Informal Holy Communion for the start of Lent. 7.30pm
Sunday 1st March: Baptism and Confirmation Service with Bishop David. 6.30pm
Holy Week and Easter
On Monday and Tuesday evenings of Holy Week (30th and 31st March) we plan to have a meditation of an hour or so starting at 7.30pm.
On Wednesday 1st April Sanctuary will take the form of an Informal Holy Communion at 7.30pm; and on
Maundy Thursday 2nd April we are planning a Passover celebration together.
The Good Friday March of Witness and united service on the High Street in the morning; and an ‘Hour at the Cross’ at 2pm at St John’s are also planned.
Easter day will include an Easter Canvas Service at 9.15 am and Holy Communion at 11am and 3pm; with Evening Worship at 6.30pm.
Further details of all these services will be available nearer the time.
As we go into this new term may we be open to all that God has for us. Our prayer is that together we will be inspired to ‘act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God’. May we bring to God that which is pleasing to Him, and as we do that, may we be amazed at all that God does and affirms amongst us. Shalom