Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

New Sermon Series: "Gifts"

Back in November, we met in the Assembly Rooms and discussed ways we might come to a clearer understanding of what our individual/joint strengths and gifts might be.

 Part of the fruit of those discussions is this new series, which we will be running up to Lent. It will start by drawing us right back to our purpose/vocation as humans, but will consider how we discern, exercise and grow our gifts, and reflect on the relationship between ‘spiritual’ and ‘natural’ gifts. Through the series we will also offer different tools to help people gain a clearer insight into their gifting.

 On 24 March, we’ll get back together in the Assembly Rooms with a view to re-invigorating some of our Teams, and thinking how we can give expression to our gifts for God’s kingdom. 

New Alpha Course

Our 2019 Alpha Course starts on Thursday 24 January, 7:45 pm at SJ’s.

 

We’ve already had three people from the community sign up on the back of our Christmas Services, so we’re encouraging you all to extend an invitation to the people you know. There will be some postcard invites available next week, but you don’t need one of those to make a good, old fashioned face to face offer to someone who may be interested.

 

You can point them to our website for further details about the course. But as usual, we will  provide a meal, there will be a short video clip, and the opportunity to knock around questions on the subject matter of that evening.

 

Make it one of your 2019 resolutions to pray and ask someone!

Merry Christmas & a Joy-Filled New Year

This is a 2 week edition of our News Sheet, so you might be reading this waiting for the cork to pop on the imminent Christmas celebrations, or the festive frenzy has passed and you’re picking yourself up for the arrival of 2019.

 Either way, I hope there is opportunity to breathe deeply and take a moment to reflect and give thanks. 2018 might not have taken shape as you hoped, but the Christmas narrative reminds us that amidst real pain and insecurity, God continues to sprinkle reminders of his presence and promises to us. As we pull together the aspects of our Advent series, I hope you experience the faith, hope, joy, and peace that are found in Christ with us. God Bless.

'Gospel Glasses'

I’m reliably informed that a leader should keep repeating an organisation’s vision ‘ad nauseum’ for it to stick. So, here’s a reminder of our church vision:

‘We aim to help anyone and everyone ‘do life’ with Jesus so that individuals, our local community and beyond can flourish.’

 Hopefully, that doesn’t induce feelings of nausea, but has an appeal all by itself. However, it sometimes helps when it’s made a little more specific. Last Sunday, we talked about how we are going to run after this vision in 2018 by referring to ‘Gospel Glasses’ – seeing people and situations with ‘Jesus eyes’.

So, this week, I want you to pray for God to lead you to someone who on the surface may look a long way from Him. Ask God to reveal the masterpiece in them that lies beneath the surface and engage them in conversation. Your only goal is to ask questions, listen and learn about them as people. Just one person you don’t know well, or at all.

See what God starts.

Young People and Families Enabler

YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILIES ENABLER

 

This week we completed the Job Description and Application Form for the post for which we are looking to recruit.

From the beginning of February, the Job Advert will be going on-line with New Wine and Church Drum, and into the newspapers of Southwark, Rochester and London Dioceses. Obviously, we’ll also place it up on our own Website and Facebook page. When that happens, we’ll ask as many of you as possible to share it through your contacts, so that it is circulated as widely as possible.

Far more importantly, please can you all commit to praying in earnest about this position – individually, and in the church groups to which you belong.

This is a significant step for us as a church, and we want to continue to underpin this whole venture with prayer. Thank you.

New Alpha Course Starting Soon

Alpha UK has recently revamped their materials and we’ll be running the new look course at SJ’s from Thursday 25 January, 7:45pm, including food and drinks.

Alpha is a natural follow-on from our Inquisitive evenings – equally relaxed, but looking in more depth at the claims of Christianity. Alpha have produced a series of high quality films, which tee up discussion around a subject for each evening. You can get a taste by following the link on our website.

If you’re wondering about Jesus, intrigued why people believe, or simply feel you want to cement your understanding of the basics of the Christian faith then Alpha could be for you. Feel free to come along and dip your toe, and if it’s not for you, don’t worry there’s no binding contracts!

If you are interested follow the link on the website, or notify Margaret directly at the Parish Office (see email address inside).

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

Here’s a Christmas prayer of praise that fits well with our ‘Worship’ theme for the end of our Advent Series. Happy Christmas one and all.

Shout for joy

the whole earth,

and everything within.

Rejoice!

For Light has come into the world

 

The mountains sing,

the seas resound

to the praise of your name.

Salvation

once promised is here on earth

 

The angels' song

rings in the air,

a child has been born.

Hallelujah!

The Saviour of the world is here