Monday, 20 January 2014

Faith Hope and Unity

We have entered the week of prayer for Christian Unity. So, last night, Christians from different Oadby Churches gathered together  at Oadby Baptist Church.

The service, inspired by Canadian “First Nation” Christians was led by the Minister of the Baptist Church, Revd Ellen Price. In the sermon, having read Mark chapter 9, she talked about the disciples discord as to who was the best. Our role should not be to claim to be better, but unite in taking the humblest place.

During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity opportunities to pray together as the Christian community in Oadby have been arranged as follows:
6.45pm Mon 20 January         Immaculate Conception
6.45pm Tues 21 January         Trinity Methodist
6,45pm Wed 22 January         St Peter's
6.45pm Thurs 23 January       Oadby Baptist
6.45pm Fri 24 January            URC
10.00am Sat 25 January         St Paul's

Do take the opportunity to join in one or several of these.

God’s New Society

Yesterday, was the first of our sermon series on St Pauls letter to the Christians at Ephesus – a Roman town which is now in Turkey. This letter provides important teaching for Christians as, in the words of the late Revd Dr John Stott: “(Ephesians) sets forth God’s eternal purpose to create, through Jesus Christ, a new society which stands out in bright relief against the sombre background of the old world. For God’s new society is characterised by life in place of death, by unity and reconciliation in place of division and alienation, by the wholesome standards of righteousness in place of the corruption of wickedness, by love and peace in place of hatred and strife and by unremitting conflict with evil in place of a flabby compromise with it.”

The first sermon in the series, entitled “Praise, Thanksgiving and Prayer” was preached by one of our Lay Readers, Colin Chettle. Using a glass for illustration, which we may describe as either “half full” or “half empty,” he showed how with all the benefits that Christ gives us, we should be considering how wonderfully full it is.

Other sermons in the series will be:
Sunday 26th January
      Made alive in Christ  Ephesians 2
Sunday 2nd February
      Paul’s Prayer  Ephesians 3
Sunday 9th February
      The Body of Christ  Ephesians 4.1-16
Sunday 16th February
      Instructions for Christian Living Ephesians 5
Sunday 23rd February
      The Armour of God  Ephesians 6

Do come and join us as we consider the challenges  that there are for the new Society, the Church, to be what it is meant to be.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Farewell Peter

Today, representatives from St Paul’s joined members of other churches, family and friends at Trinity Methodist Church, Oadby for a service of thanksgiving for the life of Peter Cooper who died on 2nd January aged 77yrs. (see blog of 6th January)

The church was packed as the minister, Revd Mark Cheetham, led the service. He told of Peter's life, Cambridge studies, rowing, personnel management and family life. He also spoke of Peter's work as a local preacher in the Methodist church and his work for Churches Together in Oadby.

All the church was moved emotionally as his grandchildren read  a poem, "Grandpa Kept  a Garden."

All our thoughts continue to go out to his family and friends.  He will be much missed.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Welcome to Joe Dawson

Today was the preacher exchange, when each of the Oadby ministers was preaching in a different church from their own. We were due to have the priest from the Catholic Church, but as he is on leave, we welcomed Joe Dawson, a Permanent Deacon at St Thomas Moore Church, Knighton to our All Age service.

Colin Chettle, who led the service, interviewed Mr Dawson, who explained the role of a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church as being one of service and pastoral care as well as assisting in the liturgy and preaching.

 In his talk, relating to our reading of Jesus being baptised by John, Joe centred on the words of God “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” He suggested that as each Christian had been baptised by someone else who had been baptised – right back to Jesus, these promises ultimately came to us, too. They are a reminder that God loves each of us and values us. And this knowledge of God’s love is something that we should go out and share with others. 

Thank you, Joe. We enjoyed having you with us and look forward to seeing you again.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Welcome Project

The charity that St Paul's concentrates on this month is The Welcome Project. Several of our members of helpers. But what is the project?

"The Welcome Project is open for all asylum seekers and is based at St. Martins House , the Leicester diocese headquarters, next to Leicester Cathedral.

The Welcome Project was established in 2001 and at first, the Cathedral provided a venue at 21 St. Martins in the heart of Leicester. Following the opening of St Martins House in 2011, the project relocated to its current home.
It helps asylum seekers with the filling in of various forms to get them support from NASS (National Asylum Support Service), getting their children into schools and registering with local GPs. They also write letters, make phone calls and send faxes, advocate for them and give informal advice." They also provide food and toiletries for the needy.
We pray for all those who need the services of the Welcome Project, all asylum seekers and all seeking refuge here in Britain. We thank God for all those who volunteer for this work and make such a difference and we also thank God for all those who support the Welcome Project with gifts and money.
We pray too for those who develop or implement immigration policy that they would recognise that all humans are made in the image of God.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Going Strong at 80!

Jean Taylor, who is one of our long-standing members of our Sunday congregation and of Thursday’s Coffee Pot, reaches the grand age of 80 tomorrow. Today, she was feted by her Coffee Pot friends with cards, balloons, cookies and a magnificent cake ( with candles).

As we sang “Happy Birthday to You” we wished her many more happy years.

Shown to the World!

This Sunday, we began the period of the Church's year which is known as Epiphany – meaning the showing forth, or  demonstration of the power, light and character of Jesus to the whole world. On this first Sunday, we remembered how a star revealed Jesus’ birth to the non-Jewish Magi (traditionally known as Kings ). This Messiah for the Jews was not going to be of only local importance, but would be the answer to the needs of the whole world. Hence the Magi offered the child  Jesus gifts of gold, reflecting his nature as King, incense, reflecting his right to receive worship and myrrh reflecting his future death at Calvary.

These themes were picked up in the service and sermon and also in the entrance hall displays.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Peter Cooper

It came as a great sadness, yesterday, to hear the announcement of the death of Peter Cooper. Peter was an active member of Trinity Methodist Church, Oadby and was a mainstay of “Churches Together in Oadby (CTO)” which organises cooperative ventures of the churches in Oadby.

He was the main organiser behind the CTO Lent Home Groups which are held alternate years, in which Christians from different churches meet together in small groups to explore their faith.

He will be much missed by every church in Oadby. We thank God for his life and witness and extend our condolences to his widow.

Demonstrating Love

The New Year is a time when many world leaders produce a message incorporating their hopes for the future. This year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, gave his first New Year’s message. It came from his visit to a “Church Urban Fund” project, where the Church of England seeks to help the poor and disadvantaged, especially in city centres.

The Archbishop explained why it was right for Christians to be involved in such projects: “Christians speak out and act on poverty and social justice because they have received the love of God and want to share it with others.” There are many who are concerned with social issues, but for a Christian there is this deeper motive. Jesus loved me so much that he died on Good Friday for me. If I really love him, can I avoid showing his love to others who are in need.

Our prayer at St Paul’s for 2014 is both that we may be able to share the news of the love of Christ with others by what we say – but also by what we do.