Transforming our communities by the love of God

Pentecost Prayer Weekend

This Pentecost weekend, 25th – 27th May 2012, we are turning to God in prayer for our church, our community, our nation and our world, asking that God would pour out his Spirit afresh and bringing his transforming love.

The Ouseburn Room will be a dedicated prayer room over the weekend where you can pop in and spend sometime in prayer or where you can sign up for an hour’s slot.  The room will have lots of resources and aids to help you pray.

Come along and invest your heart in all that God wants to do in and through us.

We have sometimes of prayer together which you are most welcome to join us for too:

Friday 25th May:  7pm Prayer Weekend Launch

Saturday 26th May:  8am – Morning Prayer;   12pm – Midday Prayer;  7pm – Re:Leased Worship event.

Sunday 27th May:  9am  – Pre-Service Prayer;  10.30am – Morning Worship (followed by Pentecost Picnic); 6.30pm – Prayer Celebration

Sunday Message – 20th May

Sermon Series:  At the Table

Theme:  Enacted Salvation

Scripture:   Luke 22

Today, the Rev Rob Hawkins helped us to look at the most important meal in history.   One that Christians celebrate as Mass, Eucharist, or Holy Communion or  The Lord’s Supper.

This took place at Passover, the significant Jewish Festival, where the people came to remember how God rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He “passed over “ them sparing their first born son and then with Moses, releasing them to journey from slavery to freedom in the “Promised Land”.

His death on the cross offers us salvation.For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God [Ephesians 2v8]

But Jesus also looked way ahead, through his death, Resurrection, and Ascension to the day when the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God finally comes.  We are not just to hope and believe in this. We are to be active co workers in bringing this about. It is action as well as prayer:  “on earth as it is in heaven”

For further reflection:

Discovering grace, building community, engaging in mission are key means of advancing the coming of the Kingdom. Which one of these is God challenging you to right now?

Sunday Message – 13th May

Sermon Series:  At the Table

Theme:  Enacted Mission

Scripture:   Luke 14

Isn’t it fascinating that in spite of the fact that we can be a bit harsh about the Pharisees, Jesus spends a lot of time in open and frank discussion with them?  There was nothing about Jesus mission that was threatened by their questions.  Here in this passage in Luke’s gospel, we see Jesus expounding the concept of the meal as enacted mission, combining not only thoughts about future hope, but as a way of living out that future hope in the here and now.

We consider the invitation of Jesus to engage in His mission to embrace all around the table.

For further reflection

Take a look at Luke 19: 1 – 10.  Can you trace signs of enacted grace, enacted community, enacted hope and enacted mission in the familiar story of Zacchaeus?  Have you been willing and able to welcome people around your table in these weeks?

Sunday Message – 6th May

Sermon Series:  At the Table

Theme:  Enacted Hope

Scripture:   Luke 9:10-17;   Ephesians 1:15-23

Today we look at the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 and explore how Jesus meets the needs of the people in an incredible way.  We consider how this story points to something much bigger – the eternal Christian hope in Jesus.  We will explore this hope and then discuss what this means for how we live today.  We are invited to meet with others, share in the feast of the Kingdom as a prophetic sign of our future hope in heaven and to welcome others to that experience.

For further reflection:

Read Colossians 1:3-13.  How does this hope help us in all the ups and downs of life?  How are we sharing the Good News of Jesus and how it has changed our lives?

Sunday Message – 29th April

Sermon Series:  At the Table

Theme:  Enacted Community

Scripture:  Luke 7: 36 – 52, Acts 2: 42 – 47

 

We gathered around the table at Simon’s house and explore how Jesus defines hospitality as love over formality.  We considered the lavish welcome of the uninvited ‘sinful woman,’ emphasising the scandalous guest list once again.  Simon was someone who should have known the simple principles of hospitality and yet he didn’t extend them to Jesus and if he couldn’t show hospitality to him, then there was no way that he’d show hospitality to the woman.  Yet, as Jesus points out, the issue here is not principally how they are relating to each other.  Jesus says by his parable that if they knew forgiveness and mercy in him, then they’d begin to see the need each other had, and that would be the basis of community.

We too can be quick to see the faults in others, always willing to make judgements and point a finger, but we must remember that the grace that initiates our relationship with Jesus is the same grace we need to show to sustain healthy community.  This is all the more important if we are looking to welcome people who do not yet know Jesus.

The challenge for the Christian community is to come around the table as those who need to give and receive grace, only then can true community happen.  Who do we need to sit around the table with?

For further reflection

Explore Acts 4: 32 – 37.  How did the disciples develop their new community and what can we learn today from their example?