Last Sunday, we picked up again the sermon series that was put on hold in March when lock-down first hit us. For the next four weeks, we’ll therefore be continuing on our ‘Journey of Faith with Joseph’ in the later chapters of Genesis.
In the story, we see how God was working at two different levels. On the macro-scale, he was working to bring Joseph into a position of influence so that, through him, the nations could be spared complete devastation in a time of famine. At the same time, though, on a personal level, God was also working powerfully within Joseph and his brothers to help them towards the kind of humility and faith that they needed to learn before they could properly know him and be of real service to him.
In Chipping Norton, it’s not hard to see some parallels with what God appears to be doing now. Like the famine in Egypt, Covid has un-masked genuine needs within our community, and it seems that God has also been manoeuvring the church, enabling us to bring help and hope to some of the people who need it most right now.
But that raises a question for each of us: if that’s God’s plan on the macro-scale, what is he also wanting to work within us. In the journey of faith that we’re being led into as a church, what is God doing within you?
‘Building to Serve’ is not a journey on which God is taking just a few of us. It’s a journey in which every single one of us needs to travel together if we want to see God’s plans unfold fully. What journey does God want to take you on personally, inwardly and deeply before you can see for yourselves the incredible way that he’s planning to use you to bring blessing those around you?
My prayer for us all in the coming weeks is that we can each allow him the space to speak to us directly. May the church never look the same again after the journey that he takes us on together in 2020!
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
ENCOUNTER IS BACK!
Encounter is back!
We are excited to have another contemporary evening service called ‘Encounter’ on the evening of 27th September in church. (More details to follow.)
Our hope and prayer is that many people will encounter God through this vibrant and exciting opportunity to worship together. We're going to have great worship and a relevant talk from God’s word, along with an opportunity to see each other in person.
We would love to attract both familiar and new faces, especially seeking to welcome young people from our community and other local churches. What an amazing opportunity to gather to encounter the living Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His people in a new and fresh way….Will you be a part of it?
BACK TO SCHOOL
After months of disruption, schools have welcomed all pupils back this September. Emma and Becca give us a glimpse of the joys and challenges of working for school this autumn term.
Who is this Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus by John Ortberg
On the eve of his crucifixion it seemed like Jesus’ influence on the world had ended. On the contrary, it had just begun. In Who Is This Man?, Ortberg reveals how Jesus has impacted civilization and individual human hearts.
Hannah says: "This book was so good I kept having to pause just because my heart was beating so fast in awe!"
Everyone has questions about what life is all about. We believe that everyone should have a chance to share those questions, explore the Christian faith and give their point of view.
Alpha is a place where you can ask those questions in an honest, friendly and open environment.
In recent months at St Mary's, God has been extending our vision to serve the town in an exciting, ambitious and creative way at a time of substantially increasing need for many within our community...
So many people in our community feel the weight of debt, and we are passionate about helping to release anyone we can from a life sentence of debt and poverty. At St Mary's we are working with Christians Against Poverty to bring good news, hope and freedom. If you need support, we'd love to hear from you.