||Spirit of God among us
Thank you for a glorious celebration
weekend. I mentioned, at the time, that to say ¡¥thank you¡¦ does
not seem adequate for the generosity, hard work and commitment
that has brought us to this point. It was inspiring to see more
than 400 people at the Service of Dedication on Saturday and,
with the children and young people on Sunday there were well
over that number at the morning services. People are still
talking about the joyful, challenging and uplifting weekend.
Appropriately, at Pentecost, there was a
powerful sense of God¡¦s Spirit among us and recognition that,
although we had taken a major step forward in renewing the
buildings, this is a new beginning in the life of the church and
not an end!
In the next few months we will be
seeking to appoint a Youth Pastor to develop our ministry among
young people and to invite them to follow Jesus.
In the next few years we aim to build a
Youth Hall to improve facilities for the excellent youth work.
But now, our immediate task is to build
up the church in loyalty, commitment, personal faith and in zeal
to bring others to share in the fellowship and to find faith in
You may be thinking that, if we have
many more weekends like Pentecost, we won¡¦t know where to put
any more people! But it is our calling ¡V gently, but clearly, to
share what faith and hope we have, and to invite other people to
come nearer to God.
¡§You will be witnesses to me at home, at
work, and further away. And you will receive power when God¡¦s
Spirit touches your heart. (Acts 1, verse 8)
The big problem for us is, ¡§How shall we
do that?¡¨ I mentioned the Pentecost Question in the May edition
of this newsletter. You will find it in Acts 2 verse 37, ¡¥They
asked, ¡§What shall we do?¡¨¡¦ We are asking the same question in
an age of scepticism, mistrust of religion, secular materialism
and strong media pressure to go with the flow! So what shall we
||Well, nothing much will
happen without prayer, faithful regular worship, as far as you
are able living a true and open Christian life and having the
Spirit of God amongst us
Service of Dedication, Tom Stuckey encouraged us to talk about
God, to each other and in daily life. Richard Dawkins and other
atheists have put ¡¥God talk¡¦ into the public arena again, but
with all kinds of negative misrepresentations of the Christian
faith. He seeks to have the last word by demanding tangible
proof. But in our own quiet positive way we can set the record
straight about what we know of God in our experience, without
claiming that we know everything! We can do it, as Tom said, ¡¥By
telling our stories¡¦. Life is full of questions and doubts, but
they do not obliterate the truth.
Opportunities for action
The programme of special events in the
next 18 months is not being planned simply for our own
entertainment, but to provide opportunities to engage with
people in the community, of different interests, and to invite
them to come closer. Music, art, dance and drama sometimes reach
parts of human experience that traditional worship cannot reach.
They touch spiritual dimensions in believers and in those who
may claim no faith at all. They create platforms for
relationship and self expression and they appeal too many in the
community. Therefore, a Flower Festival, a Brass Band weekend, a
multi-cultural celebration and a Jazz Nite (which are among the
first in our programme) provide opportunities for each of us to
bring friends to the public events and to the Sunday worship,
when we will continue in the same spirit.
Will you make it your aim to bring as
many as you can to these weekends and to ensure that you bring
at least one new person right into the fellowship of the church
in the next 12 months?
Build your Church Lord!
At the Service of Dedication I mentioned
that, during the building development, the work of the stone
masons seemed like an enacted parable to me.