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Written by life

An end of an era

This my last thought because I am retiring after the privilege of 25 years ministry in our great town of Horsham. Circumstances will change for me and this season has come to an end. Through the various ups and downs I can certainly testify to God’s faithfulness through it all.

But we are all on the brink of yet another new year (how do they go so quickly?!!) and it’s always a pertinent time to look back over the months and reflect on the inevitable joys and the sorrows. There are things we might regret, could have avoided, omitted to do but also things we can be pleased we did, said or achieved. There will surely have been circumstances beyond our control that challenged us and disappointments and losses that have made our hearts ache.

2018 has almost disappeared and 2019 is within sight. There will be changes for all of us- not least with Brexit! Life is unpredictable. Nothing can be guaranteed to stay the same. But Christians believe and trust in an unchanging and reliable God who alone knows the end from the beginning and what’s going to happen along the way. He is not surprised at anything. ‘I the Lord do not change’ he says. (Malachi 3:6). That’s a great comfort as we all begin a new season in one way or another.

Happy New Year!

Rev Julie Shimizu

Are you on the winning side?

Football. There is a lot of passion, exuberance and excitement for it around at the moment! The World Cup is well under way and there are and will be the inevitable joy for the winners and disappointments for the losing teams. Following the months of hard, careful preparation the manager can only now watch from the side lines and shout. He can’t actually get on the pitch with them and help them . In one sense they are on their own to do their very best but only one team can win. The other will be very disappointed.

Disappointments come, not just for losing football teams, but in all aspects of life for any one of us. How do we cope? Do we nurse our wounds and retreat in misery or do we healthily acknowledge the pain we inevitably feel, take time to work through it and then ‘put on our boots and play again’ making the most of the circumstances in life we are given.

For the Christian in times of both joy and disappointment the ‘Manager’ doesn’t just shout from the side, in Jesus he has joined us on the pitch and continues to encourage us and run with us – if we let him. The great news is that no one gets to lose on God’s team!

Rev Julie Shimizu

‘Burning Brightly: Living as Disciples of Jesus’ – 1 John

This Sunday, 17th June, we begin a new Sermon Series. Over the last few months we have looked at ‘I Believe In The Church’ i.e. the Church – the nature and life of it – its mission and its ministry.

Over the next few weeks we start a new series ‘Burning Brightly – Living as Disciples of Jesus’. We will now be focusing on discipleship by studying the first letter of John.  Wally divided up the letter inspired by the image of the Olympic torch. ‘The basic theme is that in the Olympic torch procession, one man lights the torch and carries it to another until it reaches the destination of the new games. 1 John can be understood in the light of the image of the torch bearer. Jesus was the initial torch who burned for God. We are called to carry the torch and keep it burning until we pass it on to the next one. We are meant to run through the land inviting others to join us.’

Week I (17th June) – The Torch is Lit – Introduction 1 John 1:1-10
II. A Life Ablaze 1 John 2:1-2:14
III. Keep on Burning 1 John 2:15-29
IV. Made to Shine 1 John 3:1-24
V. Hearts Aflame 1 John 4:1-21
VI. Never Quenched! 1 John 5:1-12
VII. Ablaze for Others – conclusion 1 John 5:13-21

Julie Shimizu

Visit the The Bible Project’s page for 1 John resources

For a children’s summary of 1 John, CLICK THIS RESOURCE LINK

What Is Ecclesiology?

The Greatest Journey

A great Christmas Video resource for children from The Bible Society (it’s told in a similar style to the children’s classic story of “We’re going on a bear hunt”).

Go on a Christmas adventure as you follow in the footsteps of the greatest journey ever! –  ‘The Greatest Journey’ retraces the steps of the journeys of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men. However, ultimately it points to the greatest journey of all, when Jesus left heaven and came to earth, taking on human form; coming to dwell among us and ultimately sacrificing Himself to save us.

What is LOVE

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.

The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week Four: LOVE

Good News that brings great JOY

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.
The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week Three: JOY

Jesus is our HOPE

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.
The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week Two: HOPE

Prince of PEACE

 

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.
The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week One:  PEACE

To Deepen Our Prayer Lives

This autumn in our Life Groups we are going to be following The Prayer Course which includes six interactive sessions based on The Lord’s Prayer:

1.Adoration – Our Father in heaven

2.Petition – Give us this day

3.Intercession – Your Kingdom come

4.Perseverance – Your will be done

5.Listening – Our daily bread

6.Warfare – Deliver us from evil

The course is designed to fuel discussion and deepen our prayer life.  Whilst we can talk about prayer forever but the key is actually doing it! Hopefully  with a specific focus on the importance of prayer for six weeks – we will be.