As the world gradually opens up again we see people re-evaluating their lives; how they want to live and work going forward, how priorities of family and community will fit, how to make the most of their time and even how they want their hair to be, now they can choose! Since the world's rules have changed, possibilities that never suggested themselves before unfold in a new way!
For Peter, on seeing the empty tomb and the abandoned grave clothes, a seismic shift must have taken place in his mind, and although he "went away wondering to himself" (Luke 24:12) the limits of what he even thought possible must have been blown wide open.
Since Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection, the seemingly impossible is made possible. Jesus introduces us to a new world where the most unlikely of companions can defy convention and sit together (John 4:9), where we're not bound by the need to accumulate things for ourselves, but can be abundantly generous (Luke 12:16), where no-one has to be in need (Acts 4:34), where a person can be truly free of their past (2 Corinthians 5:17), where there is no barrier between God and mankind (Matthew 27:51) and where even death loses its terror (1 Corinthians 15:55).
But the Bible doesn't set this new Kingdom out as possibility, but as a certainty! We live in the suspense of the "now and not yet", and we know that the Kingdom is coming and it will come. Now we see in part, but we will see fully. Amen! Come Lord Jesus!
"...your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."
Services resume on 22 April. Everyone over 18 is most welcome.
Setting a Watch
Over the Easter period there may be no-one officially "leading" the prayer sessions, but everyone is so welcome to continue to use the link to pray for half an hour each day at 6am and 6pm.
Building to Serve Prayer Meeting
Continues every Monday at 12.00, via Zoom
JOURNEYING TOGETHER AS A SMALL GROUP
The Bible urges us to "not give up meeting together" (Hebrews 10:25), and although this has looked a little different over the past months, it's perhaps now, more than ever, that we need relationship in order to share joys and sorrows and wrestle with difficult questions.
Here the Norton Park small group explains what this has looked like for them and shares some of the benefits of travelling together.
(If you're wondering about joining a small group, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Ursula: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We're so delighted to be able to invite you back to regular services in the church building from Sunday 25th April.
Our services will start at 10.30am and everyone is invited. There will be groups for Ignite (age 3-5), One Way (age 6-11) and Ablaze (school years 7-8). Whether you're new, well-known, visiting, arriving on your own, or with energetic children in tow, we'd so love to see you!
(On 11th and 18th April we'll be posting a Virtual Sunday video on our website and YouTube channel. There will be separate Zooms for those up to school year 6 and for those in school years 7-13).
These times have raised some pretty big questions for us all. It may be that you, or someone you know, has got questions about life, death, the future, God and…well, everything.
We’re running Alpha Online; a chance to watch a video about some of the questions around the Christian faith, and then chat about it together online.
If you know someone who might be interested, perhaps you could point them in the direction of our website to find out more.
Album: The Burning Edge of Dawn by Andrew Petersen
Emily says: "I discovered this album about a year ago and these have become my lockdown anthems!"
The album has a folk/rock/country feel with fantastic story-telling lyrics, wrapping the listener up in the song-writer's world of observations and emotions. The songs cover relationship, friendship and faith. There are one or two real moments of lament to help you pour your heart out, some touching moments that can't help but raise gratitude, and lots and lots of Kingdom-fuelled hope.
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.