The Rector Writes
It’s September. I hope you’ve had a good rest over the summer and bank holiday. There is much to be said of Jesus’ words, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you ‘rest’.” The rest that Jesus offers to each of us is a special rest – a spiritual rest – a wholesome rest – a fulfilling rest – a rest that gives to us hope for the future, strength for the present and forgiveness of the past. May we each know more fully Jesus’ rest not least to equip us as we come now to the activity of the September season!
TiddleTots, Mothers’ Union and Craft Group all make their return to the heart of the life of Hope and Emmanuel. Our All Age events restart with the All Age BBQ to which our Messy Church and All Age congregations and friends are invited.
This month holds for us Back To Church Sunday. If you’ve not been to church in a while or would like to give church another go – then please come and join us on Sunday 17th September! (You’re welcome every Sunday too!)
Back To Church Sunday is the beginning of a Season of Invitation. If you want to Try Church then why not put these five dates into your diary now – and join us for Back To Church Sunday, Harvest, Remembrance, Advent and Christmas… The dates are on the flyer inside.
Our ‘Question Time: Grill the Vicar’ evenings continue to be well attended (a big thank you to Canon Martin Snellgrove for joining the panel last month) and this month I’m delighted that we have Revd Dr Jeremy Duff re-joining us on 21st September in Emmanuel. (Bishop Gregory will be with us in November). Our Sunday mornings now become a little more variant too – I’m delighted that we have both Jeremy and Jill Duff, our Mission Area Leader Martin Batchelor and our new Mission Priest Revd Gill Stanning all coming to contribute to our New Testament sermon series at our principal services of Holy Communion in September through to early November.
Alpha will be starting again soon. If exploring faith and asking some of the bigger Questions of Life in relation to the Christian faith interests you – Questions such as – Is there more to life than this? Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die? Does God heal today? Who is the Holy Spirit? How can I have faith? Then I thoroughly recommend that you put Tuesday evenings from October into your diary now. Our next Alpha (again using the New Alpha Film Series released in Autumn 2016) will begin in early October – this time in Emmanuel Penyffordd and it will run through to shortly before Christmas. Our attendance and age ranges at Alpha last year was brilliant and I think those who stuck the courses (near everyone) thoroughly enjoyed the food, watching the films, asking questions, gaining a greater understanding of who Jesus is and making new friends. If you haven’t tried Alpha then do come and join us!
Alternatively, if you already have a good grasp of the Christian faith or think that Alpha isn’t right for you but you would like to ‘go deeper’ still – then why not try one of our three house groups? We now have three homes all generously hosting weekly groups. These provide great opportunities for making new friends, exploring and thinking through the Scriptures with others and are safe places where you can learn to both pray for and receive prayer for one another too. I recommend!
Finally, there are so many ways in which you can become more involved in the life of the church – if you would like to help practically (say) with looking after the fabric, cleaning, the flower rota in the week or joining the reader, welcoming or coffee rotas on a Sunday – then please ask myself, Jan, Adam or Allan or Jane or Helen – we would be delighted to hear from you! Thank you to everyone who helps to make the lives of Hope and Emmanuel Churches tick over so smoothly. You are much appreciated.