10th October

Andy’s Update

Our teaching over the next couple of weeks centres on two of Jesus’s parables.  When we think of the parables, we think of those such as the ones we explored a fortnight ago – the Lost Trilogy (sheep, coin, and son); or the Good Samaritan. These are familiar and comforting to us; many of us would have known them from childhood.  There are many other parables that Jesus told (a substantial part of his teaching was made up of parables) that are less familiar to us, the parable of the shrewd manager and the rich man and Lazarus being examples of this.  They are less familiar, perhaps because they are more complex, more challenging, more disturbing even.  In the case of the two parables in Luke 16, I wonder if they are less popular and well-known because Jesus is challenging an area of our lives that we like to keep private – that is, money and the call to be generous and prioritise treasure in heaven over earthly wealth. As we listen to God’s word together over the next couple of weeks, let’s be open to what the Spirit might be saying to us, even in the midst of any discomfort we may feel.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

How often do you pray about the way you use your money and resources? Allow God to speak to you about this issue. Is he prompting you to be more generous?

Loving each other

Pray and give thanks for our children and youth leaders, that God would bless them as they serve in this ministry.

Serving our community

Pray and give thanks for our uniformed groups and the role they have in the community. Pray for the provision of new leaders, especially for the Scout sections.

Bible Verse for the Week

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

 (Luke 16:10-13)

3rd October

Andy’s Update

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34); “Bless the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2); “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The Bible is littered with encouragements for God’s people to be those who are characterised by an attitude of gratitude. It seems difficult at times to be thankful, especially when circumstances are difficult, and yet, whatever we’re going through, we have so much for which to give thanks. Of course, at St Christopher’s Church we have particular reason to give thanks, with the church hall refurbishment, which we’ve been able to undertake thanks to God’s amazing financial provision.  We enjoy many blessings, and at harvest time it’s good and right to remember that God is the source of all these. Let’s join with the writers of Scripture and give thanks to him.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

How much do you spend time giving thanks to God? Why don’t you begin to set aside some time this week to give thanks? How can this become a regular habit?

Loving each other

Pray for life groups as they meet. Pray for deepening of relationships with each other and with God.

Serving our community

Pray and give thanks for our uniformed groups and the role they have in the community. Pray for the provision of new leaders, especially for the Scout sections.

Bible Verse for the Week

David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honour come from you; you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”

 (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

26th September

Andy’s Update

If you’ve ever been into my study, you’ll have noticed a sketch by Charlie Mackesy, called “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, on my wall.  It’s a beautiful depiction of arguably Jesus’s best-loved parable.  As Mackesy summarises, “This is the story of the prodigal son.  It should really be called the running father – who waited every day for his boy to return. The boy who had rejected him so badly – and finally, when he saw him from a long way off – his father ran to him and hugged him, and kissed him.”

Jesus told this parable to illustrate what God is like – the One who waits and longs for his children to come home, no matter what they’ve done or how far they’ve strayed. We’re called to be a church community who goes out and looks out for the prodigals, to call them home to their Father.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  Thank God that he has welcomed you home to him. Pray that you would know him in a deeper way as your heavenly Father.

Loving each other

Pray for those within our church community who have drifted away from church and faith. Pray that they might come back home.  How might you reach out to them?

Serving our community

Pray for the Pais team, for Youth For Christ and other evangelistic ministries in Coventry, as they communicate God’s love to the young people in our city. Pray that they see many people coming to know God as their Father.

Bible Verse for the Week

17 ‘When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” 20 So he got up and went to his father.

‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms round him and kissed him.

(Luke 15:17-20)

19th September

Andy’s Update

On Wednesday morning this week the doors between the church and hall were removed and the building became one space, rather than two separate areas.  With the new doors in place, which are fully glazed, this sense will remain.  Although we will have the option of closing the blinds and offering privacy to the different spaces when we need to, I believe the new doors are symbolic and can remind us of our calling to be open to the community and to be a church family through which the community can see God at work, as people who are using the church hall for parties, etc, will now be able to see into the church.  Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. … Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).  These verses seem particularly apt as we are positioned at the top of the hill in Allesley Park.  May this new church hall and its new doors be a means by which God allows us to shine our light and bring glory to God.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  Pray for God’s help so that you can make him the greatest priority in your life.

Loving each other

Pray and give thanks for those who serve on the PCC – Stan Aldridge, Heather Beasley, Barbara Bell, Pauline Blunt, Tom Borras, Emma and James Bowman-Powell, Katy Coupe, Marie Ellis, Graham and Irene Foxwell, Louise Hicks, Rosemary Lavens, Andy March, Tina Veasey. Pray for God’s guidance as we meet.

Serving our community

Give thanks for the completion of the church hall refurbishment. Pray that it would be a blessing to the community. Pray that the reopening event would be well-attended and lead to greater connections with people in the community.

Bible Verse for the Week

 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.  And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

 (Luke 14:25-27)

12th September

Andy’s Update

I don’t know about you, but it already feels like the summer is a distant memory. This week I’ve had various meetings planning the year with headteachers of local primary schools and the Pais team, and suddenly I find myself thinking about assemblies and services at Christmas and Easter! As a family we’re looking at which school Alicia might attend next year, as the application deadline is less than two months away. At the same time, 31stOctober is very much in the nation’s consciousness as it’s the (current) date we’re due to leave the European Union.  Planning ahead is helpful and wise, but It’s so easy to become so focused on what’s ahead in the future that we miss out on what God wants to bring to our attention today.  Variously in the Bible we are warned, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1), and Jesus counsels, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). On the contrary, he reassures us that God knows exactly what we need – that he can give us strength to endure each day.  While we trust God for our future, let’s enjoy God today. 

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  How can you show generosity to those who may not be able to repay you?

Loving each other

Pray for Lara, our new Pais youth work volunteer as she begins life in Coventry. Pray that she would settle well into the Pais team with Rike and Jordan.

Serving our community

Pray for ministries in our city helping those who are in need – for Foodbanks, Christians Against Poverty branches, Good Neighbours, which tackles loneliness.

Bible Verse for the Week

Then Jesus said to his host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

 (Luke 14:12-14)

5th September

Andy’s Update

As I write, there is much uncertainty – when, if ever, will the Brexit situation be resolved? Will there be a General Election in the autumn and which party will profit? In sport, will England win the Ashes or will Ben Stokes’ heroics at Headingly have been for nothing? There is so much we don’t know and even less that we feel we can control, that it’s easy to feel anxious, especially if, like me, you find yourself drawn to Social Media where people tend to air their angst.  Yet, Jesus tells us, simply, “Do not worry”.  He knows our needs.  He isn’t surprised or perplexed by the twists and turns of the political situation.  He tells us not to worry, because, ultimately, God is in control.  God knows our needs.  He knows what’s ahead of us and promises that his grace is sufficient for us day by day. We can’t know what’s ahead tomorrow, but we can know that God holds us today and that is enough.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you: pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself, and so bring us at last to your heavenly city where we shall see you face to face; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen (St Augustine of Hippo)

Loving each other

Pray for Lara, our new Pais youth work volunteer as she begins life in Coventry. Pray that she would settle well into the Pais team with Rike and Jordan.

Serving our community

Pray for schools as they return for a new academic year, especially those finding it difficult to adjust. Pray for the refurbishment of the hall as it is completed this week. Pray for the Genexis event, that through this many may come to faith in Jesus.

Bible Verse for the Week

Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.’

 (Luke 13:18-19)

Andy’s Update

September is often seen as the beginning of a new season, mainly because it’s the beginning of a new academic year for those involved in schools or universities. Many children are experiencing a new year group or school; teachers are adjusting to new students; others are preparing to move into a new home. Next weekend our new Pais worker Lara will begin life in a new city! We’re delighted that she’s coming to join us and I know she will soon feel part of the church family. I’m so grateful that the Hicks family will be hosting her for part of her year, but I’m sure that she would be thrilled to receive invitations to your homes for lovely Sunday lunches or evening meals! Please also join with the church family picnic next weekend to welcome her. With all the uncertainty that change brings with it, it is wonderful to know we worship a God whose love is new every morning (Lam 3:22-23), who calls us to see the new thing that he’s doing in our midst (Isaiah 43:19), and who will never leave us or forsake us (Deut 31:8).

Growing in God

Reflect on the passage below. Are there times when religion or ritual stops you from experiencing all that God has for you? Pray for him to help you to enter into his freedom.

Loving each other

Pray for Lara, our new Pais youth work volunteer. She has the final week of initial training this week, and is commissioned on Friday. Pray that she would settle well into the Pais Coventry team with Rike and Jordan.

Serving our community

Pray for schools as they return for a new academic year, especially those finding it difficult to adjust. Pray for the refurbishment of the hall as it is completed this week.

Bible Verse for the Week

The Lord answered, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you untie your work animals

and lead them to drink water every day—even on the Sabbath day? This woman

that I healed, a daughter of Abraham, has been held by Satan for eighteen years.

Surely it is not wrong for her to be freed from her sickness on a Sabbath day!”

When Jesus said this, all of those who were criticizing him were ashamed, but the

entire crowd rejoiced at all the wonderful things Jesus was doing.

(Luke 13:15-17)

15th August

Andy’s Update

Being at New Wine last week was a such a blessing! Worshipping with thousands of other Christians, receiving life-giving and stretching Bible teaching, hearing stories of God’s work across the world, seeing our children’s enthusiasm for the groups they attended, bumping into old friends, receiving prayer ministry and experiencing a fresh touch of God’s love, all made for an incredible week that made going camping and sacrificing creature comforts for a week more than worthwhile.  If I had to sum up the heart of what I felt God was teaching me this week, it was about how much I rely on him.  I can only grow as a disciple if I have a life founded on prayer and a love of His Word. I also need to be constantly renewed by his Holy Spirit, who brings life to me.  We’re also thanking God for his work in our family – Liz’s sister who’d been suffering for the past 18 months from chronic fatigue and needed a scooter to travel any distance, received prayer a couple of weeks before New Wine, and has made an extraordinary recovery. She can now walk, run, even jump – it’s a miracle! Praise God! 

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

How are you at resting? Take time to do something you love, and as you do so, sense God’s pleasure in your enjoyment. God is interested in the whole of your life.

Loving each other

Give thanks for the work God has done in creating unity and a sense of family in our church. Pray for this to grow and for no one to feel excluded or left out.

Serving our community

Pray for the refurbishment of the hall taking place this summer; that all would be completed smoothly in time for the new term. Pray for JLS the firm doing the work, whose premises was burgled.

Bible Verse for the Week

“God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”

Ephesians 2:19-22 (Message)

1st August

Andy’s Update

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your [household]. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”(Exodus 20:8-11) Of all the ten commandments, this is the one arguably most frequently ignored, and yet it is so important. Busyness has become an idol in our culture and arguably in the church too.  There’s never enough time and we almost compete with one another in the busyness stakes.  We’re too busy to pray, too busy to go to church; as a result, our relationship with God and God’s people suffers. We are called to regularly rest; rest is an act of surrender to the reality that God is God and we are not. The commandment to take Sabbath is a gift to us.  So, this summer, let’s strive to get into good habits so that we become better at resting and learn “the unforced rhythms of grace” which will sustain us day by day.  

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on Jesus’ words below.  Pray that God would enable you to lay your burdens down and rest in him.

Loving each other

Give thanks for the work God has done in creating unity and a sense of family in our church. Pray for this to grow and for no one to feel excluded or left out.

Serving our community

Pray for the refurbishment of the hall taking place this summer; that all would be completed smoothly.  In the summer holidays, pray that children and those who work in education have a great time of rest and relaxation and stay safe and well cared for so that they all can go back next term ready and keen to learn and grow. 

Bible Verse for the Week

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (Message)

18th July

Andy’s Update

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for making last Sunday’s baptism celebration so special. It was a lovely church family occasion and we really appreciated being able to share it with you all.  It was special, but not unique; it was typical of the church family that we’re becoming; where our gatherings are characterised by a sense of joy, unity and generosity.  I believe that God will build on this even more, particularly as we begin our year celebrating the 60thanniversary of St Christopher’s Church.  Of the various events we have planned (watch this space!), perhaps the most significant will be our church weekend on 12-14 June 2020.  We’d love it if as many people as possible could be part of the weekend – please make this a priority – and let us know if financial constraints would stop you – bursaries would be available for anyone who would need them – chat to myself or Louise. The church weekend will be instrumental not only in celebrating the community that, under God, we are becoming, but also in discerning how God will lead and shape us in the years and even decades to come. 

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  Offer up any worries to God and rest in knowledge of his love for you.

Loving each other

Give thanks for the work God has done in creating unity and a sense of family in our church. Pray for this to grow and for no one to feel excluded or left out.

Serving our community

Pray for the refurbishment of the hall taking place this summer; that all would be completed smoothly and that it will be a blessing to the community.

Bible Verse for the Week

 “Look at the lilies. They don’t labour or spin, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 

 “And don’t worry about what to eat or drink. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.(Luke 12:27-31)

11th July

Andy’s Update

Last week Archie, Prince Harry and Meghan’s son was baptised. It was a private family affair. While it’s understandable that the service was held in this way, baptism was designed to be an occasion with the church at the heart, as we celebrate together that a new member has joined the community of faith of all tribes and tongues across the world and across the ages, acknowledging that despite our differences, we are united in Jesus Christ and “children of the same heavenly father”. In baptism we all state our commitment to pray for the adult or child and bring them up in the way of faith, recognising that it’s impossible to be a Christian (or to bring up Christians) on our own. Liz and I are thrilled to be celebrating Ben’s official entry into the church family today, grateful for your support of us throughout our time here and for the fact that he has so many role models and teachers (not just in Sunday School) of all ages who will help him discover what it means to be a follower and worshipper of Jesus.  Thank you to Pauline and others who have worked behind the scenes to make this such a special family – and church family – occasion.  

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  Pray that God would help you keep your life well-lighted and restore a sense of wonder to you.

Loving each other

Pray for Thanize, that she would settle well into her new home in Sao Paulo and find the right job.  Pray and give thanks for the young people who are such a significant part of the church community, and for those who lead and support this ministry.

Serving our community

Pray for the building work to refurbish the hall that will take place this summer. Give thanks for God’s financial provision, pray that the work will be completed smoothly and that it will be a blessing to the community.

Bible Verse for the Week

Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.” 

(Luke 11:34-36, Message)         

4th July

Andy’s Update

A decade ago my life changed forever. Firstly, in April, I became a dad; then, 10 years ago last weekend, after waiting what seemed like half a lifetime, I was ordained and my life in full-time church ministry began. Looking back on the decade I feel tremendously grateful to God; blessed and humbled to reflect on those who have journeyed with me in the first ten years of my life as a minister in the Church of England, both where I served as curate, but most of all here at St Christopher’s, where I feel so blessed to have been called to serve over the past 7 years. Thank you for all you’ve taught me, given me, encouraged me, for the love you’ve poured out on our family (we can’t wait to celebrate Ben’s baptism with you next weekend). Thank you for your patience, for putting up with my wild ideas and for your commitment to Jesus and his church. God is clearly at work among his people here, as we worship together (as a number of you have commented to me recently) and as we share life together.  I have great hope for this church community as God continues to grow and shape us as his family.  

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  Is there any part of God’s Word where you know God is calling you to obey, but you’re finding it difficult? Ask for the Holy Spirit’s help.

Loving each other

Pray for Thanize as she returns to Brazil, that she would settle well into a new home in Sao Paulo and find the right job.  Pray and give thanks for the young people who are such a significant part of the church community, and for those who lead and support this ministry

Serving our community

Pray for the building work to refurbish the hall that will take place this summer. Give thanks for God’s financial provision, pray that the work will be completed smoothly and that it will be a blessing to the community.

 

Bible Verse for the Week

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’

He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’(Luke 11:27-28)

20th June

Andy’s Update

You may be wondering where I’ve been this weekend.  Well, I would have been “in a field near Swindon” along with a couple of other guys from church at the annual Christian men’s camp, “The Gathering” the largest men’s festival in the UK, where over 2,000 have booked to attend. “The Gathering”, a weekend of teaching, worship, fun, comedy and music, has been designed as a weekend where Christian guys can bring their mates who don’t go to church, as well as those who do. Having been to the festival before, there is nothing like being part of such a large group of men singing out their hearts to God – it’s such an uplifting experience. God meets people in such a significant way on these occasions, and I know he will do so again this weekend.  I know it’ll be a weekend where, as Jesus said to Zacchaeus, salvation will come, as many men will give their lives to Jesus for the first time, almost certainly answering the faithful prayers of people who’ve been longing for their loved ones to come to faith. It encourages me that God does hear and answer prayer.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Reflect on the verses below.  How can you make time to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him?

Loving each other

Pray and give thanks for Tom and Pauline, and other church wardens, who were commissioned this week.

Serving our community

Give thanks for the ministry of Coventry Foodbank. Their stocks are at a record low, as there’s been 68% increase in people needing food parcels this year. Pray that through donations they would meet this demand.

Bible Verse for the Week

Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. Her sister, Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’

 ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’

 (Luke 10:39-42)

13th June

Andy’s Update

Today, as we celebrate our dads let’s remind ourselves of why dads are so important, with some interesting research and statistics from CVM

·     Fathers keep kids on the straight and narrow - 76% of young men in prison come from homes with absent fathers (Prison Reform Trust) 

·     Fathers help kids do better at school/college- father absence lowers children’s educational attainment 

·     Fathers are good for their kid's mental health – There is a negative effect of parental divorce on adult mental health. 

·     Fathers lower risk of their kids 'doing drugs' - Father absence affects their children’s likelihood of smoking cigarettes and using drugs and alcohol. 

·     Fathers help their kid's employment chance - Higher levels of unemployment is more common among those who experienced divorce in early childhood. 

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Thank God that he’s adopted you as his child. Give thanks that when we pray, we can address God as “our Father”. Meditate on the verses below, praying God would fill you with a fresh sense of his love. 

Loving each other

Today is a difficult day for some.  Pray for families within our church community.  Reflect on the statistics on the front page and pray for the family life in our nation.

Serving our community

Pray for Home for Good, as it raises awareness of the need for foster and adoptive parents, encourages families to provide loving homes for the children in care, and equips the church to make a difference in this area.

Bible Verse for the Week

Those led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.  The Spirit you received doesn’t make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. By him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit testifies that we’re God’s children.

 (Romans 8:14-16)

6th June

Andy’s Update

“There’s such a sweet spirit” …. “a lovely atmosphere” … “It feels like a family” … These are some of the things that have been said to me about their experience of St Christopher’s over the past few weeks.  I’ve felt so encouraged as this is evidence of the work that God has been doing among us, forming us into the people he is calling us to be. Our vision as a church is “Living and loving as God’s family” and it’s wonderful to see this is being fulfilled; certainly the testimony of those who have joined our church in recent years is that they have found it easy to belong in this community, that we have become family for them.  This is, of course, how it should be; Jesus called his followers to be defined above all as those who love one another.  I believe there are many people in Allesley Park and Whoberley who need to experience such a community for themselves; after all, as Peter said on that first Pentecost, “The promise is for … all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39)

Growing in God

Pray that God would fill you afresh with the Holy Spirit, empowering you to be his witness in word and deed.   

Loving each other

Give thanks for the gift of God’s family, here at St Christopher’s and across the world.  

Serving our community

Pray for businesses in our community, that they would thrive.  Pray also for our those who work and serve in our local medical services, the library and community centre.

Bible Verse of the Week

‘“In the last days, God says, 

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy, 

your young men will see visions,

    your old men will dream dreams. 

Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’

(Acts 2: 117-18)

Andy’s Update

As we approach Pentecost, when the church celebrates the day the disciples were filled with the Spirit, completely transformed, and equipped to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of “Jerusalem, Judea and the ends of the earth” (Mt 28:20), let’s pray for God to fill us afresh with his Spirit, to renew and revive us, and equip us to be his witnesses. Please make use of the opportunity ahead to join in with Thy Kingdom Come, especially the prayer space in church. As we pray together over the next couple of weeks, may God meet with us, build his Kingdom in and through us.  

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Pray that through Thy Kingdom Come, God would deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ, that God’s spirit would work in the lives of those you know, and that you would realise that every aspect of your life is the stuff of prayer  

Loving each other

Pray for our young people and those who work in schools, that they would have good rest in the half term break, and for those who are taking exams at the moment – for peace and the ability to do their best.

Serving our community

Pray for businesses in our community, that they would thrive.  Pray also for our those who work and serve in our local medical services, the library and community centre.

Bible Verse of the Week

Jesus replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I've given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

(Luke 10:18-20)

16th May

Andy’s Update

What would happen if every Christian felt inspired and able share the love of Jesus with their friends, neighbours, colleagues and communities? What kind of transformation would that bring in families, societies and nations around the world?

Thy Kingdom Comehas become a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. It takes place between Thursday 31stMay and Sunday 9thJune. During this time, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will: 

·     Deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ

·     Pray for God’s spirit to work in the lives of those they know

·     Come to realise that every aspect of their life is the stuff of prayer  

Justin Welby says, “Prayer moves us closer not only to God, but to one another. It connects us with those whom we otherwise cannot see. Prayer breaks down division, in prayer we take each other’s hands and find our safe stronghold.” See this news sheet for how you can be involved this year.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Plan how you’ll get involved with Thy Kingdom Come. Ask God to help you grow in faith in this time. Reflect on the verses below and ask God to help you follow him faithfully.

Loving each other

Pray for our young people who are taking exams at the moment – for peace and the ability to do their best.

Serving our community

Pray and give thanks for the Coventry Street Pastors, which has become an accepted part of the night time economy (pubs, clubs, restaurants), as they seek to care for, listen to and help people who are out and about late at night, and aim to ensure their safety. They are looking for more volunteers. Could God be calling you to be involved?

 

Bible Verse of the Week

Jesus said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 

(Luke 9:23-25)

9th May

Andy’s Update

Have you ever read a book (other than the Bible), that impacted on the course of your life? At the beginning of last year, I read a book written by former Police Commander for the Met Police, John Sutherland, “Blue – a memoir: Keeping the peace and falling to pieces”, which described candidly the highs and lows of policing and his experience of suffering a major breakdown after 20 years of service. This book gave me a new understanding and appreciation for the work done by police officers and for the immense pressures that they are under, and I felt a compulsion to help in some way.  As a result of reading this book and after a journey of exploration, I have begun to serve as a voluntary police chaplain based mainly at the Coventry Central Police Station, which so far has involved getting to know the officers by accompanying different teams for shifts as they have gone on patrol, but will mean spending a 1 or 2 days a month with them. Please pray for our police and others in our emergency services, and for me as I try to share God’s love with the officers and others I encounter.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

How is God calling you to respond to this week’s readings from Luke’s Gospel? Spend time seeking him this week.

Loving each other

Pray for John and Frances, nearly a year into their ministry in Ansley and Arley, for continued inspiration and guidance.

Serving our community

Pray for preparations ongoing for Hope@Motofest on 1-2 June. Pray that many people would encounter God’s love and that people would meet with Jesus for the first time. 

 

Bible Verse of the Week

When the woman saw that she couldn't hide, she came trembling and fell down before Jesus. The whole crowd heard her explain why she'd touched him and how she'd been immediately healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith's made you well. Go in peace.”

(Luke 8:47-48)

2nd May

Andy’s Update

On Easter Sunday, Sri Lanka was hit by some of the deadliest Easter attacks on Christian targets in history. Three churches and three hotels were bombed by suicide bombers. The latest official figures now put the death toll at 253, with at least 500 people wounded. Open Doorshas written the following prayer, that I’d like to invite you to join in with:

Loving God, thank You for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. Be amongst them as they meet in their churches. Strengthen them by Your Holy Spirit and enable them to see You - for You see them and are closer to them than the breath they breathe.  We pray for all who were caught up in the attacks on their churches and communities on Easter Day. Bring healing to those who were injured and comfort those who have experienced loss.  Thank You for all who are visiting the affected, praying with them and listening to their needs. Give them all the resources they need to bring our brothers and sisters comfort and hope. 

We pray for those who were behind the attacks. Sovereign God, You understand their motives – only You can change their hearts. Risen Lord, give them a true Easter experience and turn their lives around – for Your glory.  Amen.

Weekly Prayer Guide

Growing in God

In this Easter season, pray for God to fill you with his Spirit and with new hope in the same way he filled his disciples.

Loving each other

Give thanks for the wonderful celebrations of the marriage of James and Emma Bowman-Powell on 24thApril. Pray for them, for your blessing and protection.

Serving our community

Pray for preparations ongoing for Hope@Motofest on 1-2 June. Pray that many people would encounter God’s love and that people would meet with Jesus for the first time.

Bible Verse of the Week

“The seed that fell among thorns are those who hear, but cares, riches and pleasures of this life prevent them maturing. The seed that fell on good soil are honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”

(Luke 8:14-15)

Easter 2019

Andy’s Update

We’re at the beginning of the most significant week in the church’s year. They may have taken place over 2,000 years ago, but the events between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the entry of King Jesus into Jerusalem, his arrest, trial, death and resurrection, still reverberate around the world today.  If you’ve never really taken the time to make the journey with him, to understand why things happened as they did, then may I invite you to make this journey this year. Come and see; welcome Jesus the King, marvel at his sacrifice for you and me, and rejoice in the hope of his resurrection.

Easter Prayer Guide

Growing in God

Read through one of the resurrection accounts.  Pray and meditate on the way God brought transformation to those who had been broken.  Give thanks that Jesus brings new hope in the face of suffering and death, and pray for a fresh infilling of his Spirit in your life and in the life of our church.

Loving each other

Easter is a season of new hope.  Pray for someone you know who struggles to hold onto hope at this time.  Pray that Jesus would give them that hope.

Serving our community

Pray for all who are preparing and who will attend services over the Easter period.  Pray that God would move in people’s hearts and bring more people to come to faith in the life-changing news of the resurrection.