I have recently returned from the annual New Wine England Christian Festival. This Festival now in its 31st year, this year relocated to the East of England Showground, Peterborough, and is an annual gathering of more than 20,000 Christians. There is something special about worshipping together, singing together, praying together and responding to God together in a main arena of 5,000 Christians!
The morning Bible readings speaker this year was Jordan Seng, a pastor from a church in Honolulu, Hawaii (I argue ‘Rector of Hope’ is still a better job title than ‘Pastor of Hawaii’!). Jordon spoke on what it means to do “Your God-given ministry”. He invited us to, “Join Christ in his Kingdom Mission”, in bringing, “The order of heaven to earth”. Our Christian calling and vocation he said, is to “pursue, experience and spread the kingdom of heaven.” It’s good teaching! After all is this not what we’re about as Christians? Is this not what we pray every week (and ought to expect and work toward) when we pray those famous words in The Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”?!
In short, Jordan encouraged us to “Try”. He argued that the most important word in the English language is “Try”! He even suggested that “Faith = Trying”. I wonder what do you think about this idea?
Well this month, I would love to encourage you to “Try”. In particular, why not TRY FAITH?
It is September. A lot is happening! There is a lot that you can, “Try”!
We begin September, with our St Cynfarch Festival – the main event being the popular Craft and Produce Show on Saturday 7th – so don’t forget to “Try” out your entry! See inside the magazine for more information on all the classes.
Then on Sunday morning, we have service of a traditional flavour at 11am on St Cynfarch’s Day – “Celtic Prayer with hymns” and our festival will culminate with the annual Big Breakfast served on Back To Church Sunday – so if you’ve not been to church in a while – here are just two opportunities for you to TRY CHURCH!
This month too, many of our church activities start back up after the summer break. Why not Try Bellringing? Try Belleplates? Try Choir? Try Pop-In? Try TiddleTots? Try Mothers’ Union? Try Ladies’ Guild? Try a new Church Activity? Or try a different kind of service than which you’re used to?
In particular, our two house groups now restart after the summer break. Our hosts David & Sally Ann, and Adam & Claire are excellent. If you would like a place where you can be made welcome, make friends, read and study the Bible in community, and support others and be supported yourself in prayer then can I encourage you to TRY A HOME GROUP?
Lastly this month, if you are new to the church, or would like to consider the Christian faith for yourself, then can I encourage you to TRY ALPHA? Alpha really is excellent. It is the 11 week Introduction to Christianity Course that was ran by more than 30,000 registered churches worldwide in 2018, with more than 1.3m participants; Hope Church being just one of these churches.
Our next course, using once again the 2016 Alpha Film Series, will begin at the end of this month.
Alpha raises some of the bigger questions of life that I suspect most of us will ask at some point in our lives, these questions however we can so easily ignore or put aside though, not least because of how big they can seem or how busy our lives can become.
These are all questions that Alpha raises in the first session and then throughout the course attempts to answer – or moreover encourages us to answer for ourselves as we consider together the person of Jesus who described himself as “The Bread of Life” (John 6:35) and “The Way, the Truth and Life” (John 14:6).
Why not this Autumn decide to commit just 24 hours of your life to exploring such bigger questions of life – and TRY ALPHA?
Do get in touch with me directly if you’d like to join us! More information is on the flyer inside too.
In Christ, Adam
Rev Adam Pawley