Happy New Year! I want to update you with a few things as we begin 2016.
“Generosity – A response to God’s love”
Today we launch a new theme, ‘Generosity – a response to God’s love’. This January and February we will explore how our resources support God’s work and we begin this week with a new four-part sermon series on Jesus’ teaching about generosity.
At the same time our home groups will explore God’s generosity to the people of Israel as they left Egypt through studies that invite us to reflect on generosity in our world, our church and in our giving.
In addition, I warmly invite all church members to an important presentation and discussion on this theme on Monday 18th January in the Church Hall at 7.30pm for one hour. Here we will discuss our church priorities and the resources we have available to achieve them.
Following these times of teaching, discussion and reflection we’ll encourage you to respond generously to a Gift Day on Sunday 28th February so that our church will continue to be a vital expression of God’s love and purpose.
Inspired by the words on our foundation stone, “This will be a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7). I’d like to make prayer a priority for myself and for the church, especially as this is a vital part of stepping closer to fulfilling part of our vision, which is “Growing in God”.
To help us in this we are holding church-wide evening prayer gatherings in 2016 on Wednesdays 3rd February, 4th May, 6th July, 7th September, 5th October, 2nd November and 7th December. Each gathering will begin at 7:30pm for refreshments. Please put these events in your diaries and make them a priority. We’re also planning monthly daytime prayer meetings, which we will inform you about as soon as we can.
Additionally, everyone’s welcome to join us for weekly prayer meetings on Tuesdays at 9:30am, and the fortnightly meetings on Thursdays at 7am.
Ash Wednesday and Lent Course
We may have only just put our Christmas decorations away, but Lent’s only a month away. We begin with our Ash Wednesday Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes on 10th February at 7:30pm, and then John will lead us through a midweek Lent course – “The Eucharist Pilgrim Course will take us all on a journey of discovery which will enable us to celebrate the hospitality of God; praise God for all that He has done for us in Christ; commune with our risen Lord; deepen our devotion to Jesus Himself; and renew our service for others.” It should be fantastic, so don’t miss out! More information will follow soon.
Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration weekend – 10-12 June
There are plans across the Church of England to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Every parish church is encouraged to organise a festival on this weekend, to host some celebrations and to organise an exhibition of the life of its parish over the past 90 years. This will give us a fantastic opportunity to be a blessing to our community. Please let me know if you’d like to be involved in planning how we lead the community in its celebrations.
I will be on sabbatical from 1st July until mid-October. It is hoped that clergy are able to have the opportunity for sabbaticals every 7 to 10 years. The aim of this time is principally rest and refreshment. I’m planning to focus on the theme of reconciliation, particularly in relation to Coventry and Dresden, and to reconnect with my family story, following my visit to Dresden last year. Pam and John will share pastoral responsibilities between them, and I will make sure that all services are covered while I’m away.
Finally, don’t forget that Alpha begins this month. Please pray about who you could invite along, or whether you’d find it helpful to attend yourself.
If you have any questions or concerns with any of these things, then grab me for a chat either after a service or give me a call – 7667 2879.
Yours in Christ