Thank you to all of you who came to our joint service last Sunday morning.
It was great to gather together, and to be encouraged to give thanks to God for his faithfulness (at the end of one church year), to trust God for the future (at the start of a new church year), and to step out in faith to experience the blessings of God in the coming year. Continue to pray for Alison and David as our churchwardens for the year, and for those taking up new leadership responsibilities on PCC and Deanery Synod.
This term’s focus in much of our teaching and small groups is on ‘Sharing Jesus’, as we take the next steps in being better equipped to Live Mission on our frontlines. We are really looking forward to the opportunities for growing as disciples that this gives every one of us, so let me explain in a little more detail. On Sunday mornings, we will be working our way through the first eight chapters of the book of Acts, under the title ‘Sharing Jesus’, as we look at how the very first church shared Jesus with those around them who didn’t know him, and see what lessons we can learn for ourselves. This series kicks off on Sunday 7th May.
For those of you in small groups, we’re doing three things this term. The first is to look at the core of the gospel (the Good News that is Jesus Christ), through some in-depth Bible study of the five key Biblical truths of the Reformation - after all, this year is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (more about that closer to the summer holidays!). The second, is to use a video discussion between Archbishop Justin Welby and three other Christian leaders, where they talk honestly about some encouragements and challenges about Sharing Jesus. It’s really helpful stuff, and links very well with the International Prayer Initiative ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ which we will be joining in with over half-term week (more about this below). Then finally, in the second half of term, we will focus on how we can talk most naturally about our faith, especially our own story of what Jesus has done for us, using a great resource called ‘Faith Pictures’.
If you’re not in a small group, and don’t want to miss out, then speak to Peter Herbert as soon as possible to get signed up.
In our Sunday@Seven services, we’ll be viewing things from a slightly different angle, as we explore ‘How the church grows’ by looking at Acts chapters 9 to 16 together.
‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is something you will hear more details about on Sunday 14th May in our services. But, for now, it’s a Global Wave of Prayer that runs for 10 days prior to Pentecost (25th May to 4th June), spearheaded by Justin Welby, which simply asks us as individuals, families and churches to pray for our families, friends and communities to come to know Jesus Christ. It’s an opportunity to “pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness” (to quote the Official Website). How appropriate for us at this time, as we seek to grow in our confidence, ability and opportunities to share Jesus. For further details, visit www.thykingdomcome.global.
Let’s grasp the opportunities on offer this term to #Grow Disciples as we #Live Mission.
We hope and pray you will really enjoy the term.
James and Katie