As well as a Valentine's-themed wellbeing pack, we've got a great article from Meg and Jon, sharing their experiences of The Marriage Course.
And as we enter the season of Lent, there is one thing for fun (and to help us connect with each other), and two things to help us to connect with God more intentionally during this time...
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1 John 4:7-9
Sunday services in church are on pause until further notice.
Each Sunday we'll be posting a Virtual Sunday video on our website and YouTube channel.
On pause until further notice
Setting a Watch
Continues daily at 6am and 6pm, via Zoom
Building to Serve Prayer Meeting
Continues every Monday at noon, via Zoom
WELLBEING PACKS: LOVE
This week's wellbeing pack has a Valentine's theme and is available from the church porch (just a few left!), or to download on the link below. Enjoy!
Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day!) is nearly here... Come and catch up with other people from the church family, find out what’s behind the tradition, and enjoy having some fun over pancakes. Either make some in advance, cook them up while we’re all together (a pancake recipe can be found on this link), or just come along and watch the fun without the mess! There’ll be competitions like ‘highest pancake toss’, ‘best pancake topping' or ‘most flips in 30 seconds’, as well as some clips of things the staff team have prepared earlier! We’d love to see was many of you there as can make it.
Topic: Pancake Palooza
Time: Feb 16, 2021 06:00 PM London
We've been thinking about new ways that we might all be fed and built up as the church family during Lent, especially given how frayed so many people’s lives are at the moment. As a result we'd like to offer the opportunity, for anyone who would like to join us online, to pause at midday of every weekday in Lent and engage in 15 minutes of Lectio Divina.
If you’re not familiar with Lectio Divina, it involves no prior skills or training and essentially involves just turning up and pausing for long enough to allow God to speak directly into our lives at any given moment. So that it can be easily accommodated within even the busiest schedule, it won't take up more than 15 minutes, during which we'll listen to a passage of Scripture being read slowly two or three times, taking note of any specific words or phrases that God spotlights to us as being particularly relevant to our lives in that moment. For a bit more insight into Lectio, you might like to listen to Sue Coyne talking about how helpful she’s found it to be (www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF_huV3ztiQ).
Do join us as often as you would like. There’ll always be someone leading a session, Mondays to Fridays from Ash Wednesday (17th February) up to the Easter weekend itself.
For obvious reasons, we can’t join together with the other churches in the town for our usual Lent Suppers, but if you’d still like to be part of a common act of worship and reflection, why not set aside 20 minutes or so on a Tuesday to listen to ’The Poet’s Gospel’ online (https://ctbi.org.uk/lent-study-2021/)?
This has been produced as a Lent Reflection by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and people from the other churches in the town are also being encouraged to listen on a Tuesday in the spirit of unity as churches as Churches Together in Chipping Norton. (Study Guides can also be bought or downloaded for printing using the same link for those who aren’t able to listen online. Please get in touch if you’d like help to access those).
SETTING A WATCH
We'll be continuing to meet to pray via Zoom at 6am and 6pm daily for our world, nation, community, church and each other.
In his blog, J.John writes about "Heroes of the Faith": recommended by Roger Simpson
Roger says: "I've really enjoyed reading these. They are short, well written, Christ-centred and inspirational and they give us a real grasp of Church history and some of the great Saints who have gone before us. Many of us don’t know who Charles Spurgeon, Elizabeth Fry, John Chrysostum, George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Billy Bray etc. were and the huge impact they had on so many people."
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.