DNA - A NEW DISCIPLESHIP GROUP

DNAgroupTory and I are starting up a new group from the 6th June that meets every fortnight and we are calling it a DNA group – discipleship, nurture and accountability. The idea is that it will be quite an intentional group where we really try to help each other follow through on our desire to be disciples of Jesus. I am excited about it and although it will be quite strong commitment-wise I think that this will be why it will make so much difference to us all. The focus will be on us setting our own goals and working towards them together. To be part of the group I am also going to be encouraging everyone to be in a formation group of two or three alongside the larger fortnightly group meeting. I’ll explain more on the 6th.

We are going to launch it all on the 6th June with a supper at 7.30 at our house and the group will run up to Christmas – enough time for us to really get some patterns fixed in our lives...

How about it? It will be challenging... but it will be fab! I’d love you to be part of it...

I made a leaflet about it all and this is what I put on the back of it:

As we know, our real LIFE comes from Christ, from Jesus. We are constantly being drawn into a deeper relationship and dependence on him for everything. This is the journey of discipleship and worship that we are on and we want to make sure that we shape our community life around this goal. To this end we are starting a new small group for those who really want to start or re-establish a dynamic and disciplined way of life that will last.

Called DNA, the group will meet to help each other build a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and will be focused on discipleship, nurture and accountability. As we will be looking together at how to establish a 'way of life' to be part of the DNA group you will also be encouraged to be part of a FORMATION group as a vital part of your discipleship. Meeting fortnightly, rather than weekly you are also encouraged to block the dates out in your diary right from the start. as commitment to the group will be important. As we journey together for a period of six months (up to Christmas) we will work hard at developing our characters, knowledge and giftings as followers of Christ.

You may have been to Alpha or Cafe Theology, you may be new to church life or an old stager, but it's about really moving on and getting a new pattern for your life established and rooted in.


PAUSE / STOP / PLAY

pausestopplaysquareThe Easter holiday is almost upon us and I'm sure that everyone is looking forward to the break. At the centre of it all lies this incredible story about a man's last few hours and the days following his death. It's the pivot point of history, the tipping point of creation, and together as a church family we work hard to let the story have its way on us. We make time for this by gathering on three occasions over three days. Thursday night (PAUSE), Friday afternoon (STOP), and Sunday morning (PLAY). Join us as we walk through it all with the aim of letting it shape our lives, resource us with hope, and equip us for mission.


40 DAYS FOR LIVING

lent40LENT is an amazing world-wide phenomenon. Millions of ordinary people around the world will be using these 40 days to review and renew their
spiritual life in Christ and as a local church we will be joining in with it all and trying to make it our own. There are so many different ways of making the most of LENT and every generation has developed its own traditions but while this means that there are hundreds of ways to make it purposeful for us all it can also seem overwhelming. So we are trying to keep things simple. We start it all off with a powerful service on ASH WEDNESDAY and we will be travelling together right up to GOOD FRIDAY and then through to EASTER DAY. Join us as we journey together reconnecting with the most amazing story of God's love for our world.

One way you might find helpful is to reflect on your life by asking yourself four simple questions:

  • How is your worship?
  • How is your discipleship?
  • How are your relationships with others?
  • How are you involved in God’s mission?

Worship, discipleship, community and mission are the four markers of all disciples and all churches. They are an expansion of the two commands to love God and love our neighbour. Worship and Discipleship are our ways of loving God. Community and Mission are our ways of loving others. Why not use these four simple questions to review your life over the next forty days of LENT?

To help you in this I have produced a little booklet which you can download and print off...

Seven LENT BOOKLET


CAFE THEOLOGY

cafetheologycupI just wanted to draw your attention to Cafe Theology which will be starting next Wednesday evening (23rd January) 7.30pm and running for 6 weeks in Rose Cottage. Cafe Theology is a chance to come and discuss and find out a bit more about some of the fundamental truths of the Christian faith in a really informal relaxed way over coffee. Each week someone different will come and lead a discussion leaving plenty of space for questioning, challenging, developing your own understanding and thinking. We will cover topics starting with Creation and the Fall and then Jesus, Atonement, Resurrection, the Trinity and Heaven/End Times. If you struggle to make sense of any of these things then this could be the place for you to find out more

The dates are: 23rd, 30th January, 6th, 20th, 27th February and 6th March. On 13th Feb (which is half-term week) we will convene in a pub and catch up over a pint!

We can take a maximum of 15 people and it’d be great if you could commit to coming to all the sessions.


New Year Baptism

baptismsquareWhat better time to be baptised than at New Year!  We are so excited about the baptism service coming up this Sunday afternoon. Baptism is all about new life.  God's grace has reached down to us and we are all invited to starting afresh in Christ.  Marking ourselves out as his disciples, receiving his forgiveness, love and life, and being equipped by his Spirit, we baptise adults by full immersion.  It's dramatic and powerful.  Everyone is welcome so don't miss out on this exciting service right at the start of the year.


New Year Prayer Weekend

prayerweekend

As we head towards Christmas and then the start of another year we are starting 2013 with a weekend dedicated to prayer. There will be a number of led and ‘together’ times as well as space for people to pray on their own or in groups (Why not come as a formation group for a slot). All activities will take place in the Rec House which will be set up with prayer stations and resources to guide praying. If you are unable to get down to the Rec House across the weekend we will be providing some foci for people to use to pray and of course listen at home.

It is a chance to get ourselves focussed at the start of a new year and hear what God has to say as well as a chance to pray for our communities, the Church, our neighbours and families.

Here is a rough outline for the weekend:


St Michael’s Church Prayer Weekend – 4th-6th January
The Rec House

Fri 4th January
7.30pm – An extended time of Worship, Prayer and Prophecy

Sat 5th January
8.30am – A led Reflection
9am-2pm – Prayer Stations (drop in for as long or as little as you feel able)
2pm-4pm – Creative Prayer for Families
4pm-7pm – Prayer Stations (drop in for as long or as little as you feel able)
7.30pm – Dwell (reflective/contemplative prayer time)

Sun 6th January
9am – Morning prayers (in the church)
10am-2pm - Prayer Stations (drop in for as long or as little as you feel able)
2pm – Prayer for Baptism Service
4pm – Sunday Live (in the church) – Baptism


Advent

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and the days are getting shorter. Christmas is around the corner and our attention is being fought for by every hording and advert. Advent and adverts couldn't be more different. Entering into a time of Advent reflection is the greatest antidote to advert-mania. Detoxify yourself by embracing the rhythm and pace of Advent. Four sundays, four weeks, of preparation for the coming of the new King.


Michaelmas Weekend

The plan for the weekend has come together and we are really looking forward to having the time to get together to chat, eat, hear from God, pray and bless our community. The goal of the weekend is to build up our community life, have some time to be blessed by God, and to step out in a shared activity to bless our community. The more of us that are able to be together the better it will be : ) The plan is this:

Saturday 29th September (St Michael’s Day)

9.30 Arrive, drop children off at Rec House, Coffee and Croissants in the church (Children’s work being provided by Holy Trinity Comber Down - Yay!)
10.00 Worship and Teaching. Simon Flint will be speaking!
11.00 Coffee break and catch up
11.30 Session two with time for prayer
12.30 Lunch together (Bring and Share – in the Rec House)

The afternoon is free time but I am hoping that there might be an organised walk, bouncy castle in the Rec House, a chance to hang out together, footy in the park etc... If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know : )

Sunday 30th September
10.15 Gather as normal for worship (Children go straight to their groups) and prayer for our community
11.30 Head over to Cameley Green for a BBQ, Cream Tea

I idea of going over to Cameley Green is to bless our neighbours close to the church by putting on a BBQ, Cream Tea, and some fun games. Hopefully it will attract families and adults and build community. We will also offer help with grass cutting if people would like it. A good number of the church live around Cameley Green and it’s an ideal way of connecting with neighbours in an easy way.

We need your help for this! So can you: make scones, bring some jam, bring chairs/rugs, gazebos, help make some bacon butties/burgers, run a family game... etc...

Obviously this is all weather permitting but I’m sure it will be great!


Staying in the vine

‘Staying in the Vine’ is a course based on John 15 for those wishing to deepen their relationship with God. It explores the classic spiritual disciplines applied to everyday life in a practical and engaging way, and offers an opportunity to draw aside and to explore ways of deepening our union with God. (Some of you may have experienced a taste of this at the Dwell services at St Michael’s...) When we meet together we aim to create a safe place to come and rest, share and learn from the scriptures, one another and from those who have gone before and left their testimonies for us to learn from and practice.

Each session includes a time of worship, meditations and scripture readings with practical sessions, lots of sharing and some fun assignments.

Jim and I are really looking forward to sharing the course with you and passing on some of the tools we have found life changing, so please do let us know if you are interested in taking part.

The course is running at the Rec House in Twerton on Thursday 7.30-10pm on the following dates: September 20th, 27th, October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th, with the retreat day (at a special location!) on Saturday 27th of October. There will be a small cost to contribute towards materials and the retreat day, but if this is likely to be a constraint please do talk to myself or to Richard and we will sort something out.

Staying in the Vine does require commitment and there are assignments to do in between sessions so bare this in mind when planning your diary. It is really key that you commit to all the sessions, both for you individually and also for the dynamic of the group.

We look forward to journeying with you,
Anna


Harvest at the City Farm

To celebrate our world, our land, our food - all that we have been given by our wonderful generous God - we will be holding our Harvest Service out in the open air up at the City Farm on Sunday 7th October.  Everyone is welcome, everyone can be involved, everyone can join in.  Bring your kids to celebrate what a wonderful world we live in. Don't miss out!  It will be fun!