Bono answers – Who is Jesus?

The tree has gone and the lights put away for another year, Christmas recedes into memory as work starts up again. It is tempting to put away the questions that that the nativity story asks of us, and we ask of it. Chief of these is ‘who is Jesus?’ the child in the manger.

A short video here of U2’s Bono’s answer:

Starting Next week at St Giles we are hosting an Alpha course, a chance to look into these questions more deeply in a group format. We have a real mix of people coming, if you have thought about doing something similar why don’t you join us?

Details here

New Year, New Start,

Best wishes

Lee

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This is Discipleship

In October we are reorganising our Sunday worship services. It’s a big deal for us, and we are trialling a new service pattern for 6 months. I am convinced we are on the right track, and yet I recognise that changing services styles and times is in itself not enough to lead us into the kind of growth and ministry I believe God has for us in West Bridgford.

For that to happen we need a revolution in our church culture and particularly our understanding of discipleship. What is discipleship?

This is discipleship…

(Thanks to Debbie for the link!)

A father writes of a son’s suicide

There is a moving article over on the BBC website by a father concerning his son Barney’s suicide. I suppose it has an extra poignancy coming ahead of Fathers day. Dick Moore writes:

Twenty months have passed since that awful day. There has been much soul-searching and many tears. Each of us – my wife and I, and Barney’s three brothers – deal with Barney’s death in our own ways. I find the word “death” difficult to dwell upon.

Waves of grief still roll in from time to time and there isn’t a day that goes by that a memory is not stirred, a wistful thought provoked by a smell or a song or a photograph. But we are OK; we have survived and, perhaps oddly, we are able to enjoy life again.

I knew that suicide rates among adolescent and teenage boys were high but I had no idea that suicide was the highest rate of death amongst males aged 17-34. That is sobering. What can be done? The article has many helpful suggestions, but a key one which resonated for me is that young men frequently need someone to talk too outside of their immediate family, and that person is getting hard to find in our increasingly fragmented mobile society – a world of facebook friends and faux community.

This week at St Giles we welcome Andy Wright as our new Youthworker, one of his roles at St GIles will be to be a ‘safe person’ young men can talk to, in and outside of our church community. Let’s begin praying for him and supporting him in that valuable and challenging role.

Easter from the greatest Preacher among the Church Fathers.

St John Chrysostom was the Archbishop of Constantinople in the 4th Century AD. As a young man he had the best education that the classical world could offer. He became a monk, then priest and archbishop. He was famed for his oratory (Chrysostom being a nickname meaning ‘golden mouth’), his generosity to the poor and his unwavering critique of the morals of the court of Empress Eudoxia which resulted in his exile.

One of John’s most famous sermons was his Easter Sermon, in which he reflected upon Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard and likened their experience to those who come to worship at Easter:

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their reward.

If any have come after the third hour,
let them with gratitude join in the feast!

Those who arrived after the sixth hour,
let them not doubt; for they shall not be short-changed.

Those who have tarried until the ninth hour,
let them not hesitate; but let them come too.

And those who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let them not be afraid by reason of their delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
The Lord gives rest to those who come at the eleventh hour,
even as to those who toiled from the beginning.

To one and all the Lord gives generously.
The Lord accepts the offering of every work.
The Lord honours every deed and commends their intention.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!

At St Giles we have a real mixture of people. Some have been Christians for many years (from the first hour) for whom the message of Easter is very familiar – a constant source of encouragement and hope. Others have only recently come to faith in Christ (arriving at the eleventh hour) for them the Christian message is still fresh and new and wonderful. St John – following in the footsteps of Jesus, reminds us that – whether we have known Christ for a long time, or only just begun to serve him -whether we are familiar with the story of the Last Supper, Gethsemane, cross and resurrection or whether we are hearing it for the first time; our reward is the same, union with Christ – a sharing in his death and his rising to eternal life.

Let us all enter into the Joy of the Lord!

Wishing you Christ’s blessing

Easter Sunday at St Giles

Join us this Easter Sunday

To celebrate the rising of Christ we will be holding our All Age Communion service at 10am this coming Sunday at St Giles.

Suitable for the youngest through to the most senior among us we will celebrating the triumph of Christ over death using song, drama, and film.

Immediately following the service we will hold our Annual Balloon Release and Easter Egg hunt in the Rectory Garden.

Do join us if you can!