Funday Sunday Success!

It was a great day!  The sun shone, the BBQ was perfect, the games were fun, the music was fab, the atmosphere was relaxed, the church looked brilliant, the cakes were amazing and everyone had a great time!.  We think about 250 people came and enjoyed it all.  Helen was delighted with winning £25 for her contribution to the painting that Mike organised, and Ruth thinks that her team of face painters decorated about 100 children.  Tory noted the steady stream of people wanting to have their nails done, and Dave ran out of coconuts in the first hour! So thank you to everyone who made the day such a joyful event - from those who came to set up, to those who helped serve and cook and paint, to those who performed and entertained, to those who danced their socks off, to those who tidied away at the end of it all!  Thank you!  If you have any photos of the event, let us know or email them in!

Until next year!  Richard


Funday Sunday 25th July

To say thank you to everyone who gave so generously to the church when our windows were smashed and to celebrate their repair we are hosting a St Michael's Funday on Sunday 25th July from 12-3pm. It's all free and with live music, a free BBQ, teas and cakes, games for the kids, a dance show, a pampering stall and so much more, it will be great fun!  See you there : )


Living in the war zone

1 Timothy 6:12: Fight the good fight of the faith.

We live in world at war.

How does this battle effect us?
How do we live in this war zone?
How do we engage the powers?
How do we stand firm in the face of attack?
How do we discern what’s behind it all and make sense of what’s going on?

These and other important questions need answering and over the next few months we are going to see if we can unpack the truth about the battle we find ourselves living our lives in.  There is a fight going on.  The question is whether we are fighting the ‘good’ one or not.

Join us on Sunday mornings as we explore these themes together and as we seek strength, resources and courage to re-join the fight each week.


Connected

As a Christian community we are increasingly aware that life is all about connection – our connection with God and with others.  There is so much about connection in the bible… so much in the story… perhaps you could say that it’s a all about connection – with God, with each other, with the world around us… In it we read stories of connection and stories of disconnection, we read stories of how God wanted to reconnect us to himself, and how we repeatedly disconnect ourselves from him and other, and we read stories of Jesus who was so connected with his Father and yet allowed himself to become disconnected so that he could reconnect us to God.

This is what the story is about…

And it is what we are about here as a church in Twerton

We have a simple purpose:

  • to connect ourselves to God and
  • to connect ourselves with others and
  • to connect others up with God

We need to keep it simple – it’s about CONNECTION!

The way we do this is to embody the message of Jesus and to proclaim the message of Jesus.

We embody the message in numerous ways – through how we live together, through how we behave, through how we speak, through how we worship, how we care, how we respond to needs, how we love one another.

We proclaim the message through words – at work, at the school gate, at home with our children, at funerals, at weddings, at Rose Cottage and the Rec House – telling people of God’s good news for their lives.

This past week we celebrated another year together and elected new representatives to oversee our life together.  We reviewed what God has been doing and we reminded ourselves of our mission – to be connected.  We are excited about the year ahead.  Join us.


Looking back and forward

Every year we review our life together and look ahead to the challenges and tasks that lie in front of us and our annual review is coming up on Sunday April 25th.  Join us to look back and forward.  Share stories of what God has been doing.  Listen to others as they tell of his love.  Reflect on what God is calling us to in the future.

As I have been reflecting myself, here are 5 things that I think it's important for us to remember:

We live in a war zone

Every single one of us in Christ has a role to play

Only together, not individually, do we make up the body of Christ

If it's not 'authentic' we shouldn't do it

It's about the kingdom, not about Church

Come and add your own voice to mine!  Think about joining the PCC.  Vote, pray, rejoice.

Sunday 25th April - 10.15am


Resurrection is everything

The empty tomb gets you thinking.  Dead people stay dead. That’s what the word means... Dead.  Dead is unambiguous… Dead is dead.  And so the empty tomb gets you thinking… It gets me thinking.  As for me I believe that Jesus is no longer dead. I believe that he is alive. I believe that the empty tomb tells us a crazy but simple truth… that Jesus rose from the dead. I believe it… And it shapes every part of my life.

For a start it shapes the way I see God. It demonstrates to me that he is more powerful than death – that other counterfeit power that takes us all one day and stakes a claim to be the power above all powers.  It tells me that God is passionate about his creation, about the earth, about people, about flesh – that he has not left it alone, that he has not forgotten it, that he hasn’t written it off, or thrown it away.  It tells me that God is faithful – that he never goes back on a promise – that he can be trusted.  It tells me that God is joyful – that he is alive with joy

And then it shapes the way I see suffering... my own, and that of others:
Cancer, Parkinsons, Dementia, broken bones, broken hearts, broken lives, abused, and beaten, even killed.
Children, adults, the elderly.
The empty tomb shouts back at the forces of evil, of violence and of anger
It hits back against the wave of fear that sweeps across us all every time we experience pain
The empty tomb cries 'Victory!'
My body may break, I may suffer, but God is greater.
Death does not have the last word, Life does… Jesus does
‘The enemy comes to steal and to destroy and to kill
But I have come to give you Life’, said Jesus…
The empty tomb says he was right.
And so I confidently say, “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.”

And it shapes my hope, my hope for a world made new,
giving it colour and form and texture, making it real.
Not a world of spirit alone, but a world where heaven and earth are married in beautiful life
Not a world of tears, but a world of dancing, and joy
Not a world of violence, but a world of peace
The empty tomb draws me forward to this world, this new world, this world of life, where death and tears are no more, believing its existence, believing its arrival, believing its reality.

And it shapes the way I see Jesus
Not as a victim, but as a warrior
Not as weak, but as the strongest man there ever could be
Not as mere man, but also as God’s son
Not only as friend, but also as Saviour, and Ransom, and Redeemer, and Victor, and Lord

The empty tomb shapes everything for me…
It shapes the way I live, my behaviour, my choices
The risks I take, the place I bring up my family, the way I spend my money,
the approach I take to possessions, the amount I give away.
The empty tomb makes all kinds of things plausible and possible – wild things, crazy things, ridiculous things, adventurous things.
Things that others would think of as mad, as stupid, as folly.
"I am alive with Christ. For me to live is Christ. To die is gain."
That could only be true if there was an empty tomb

And it shapes my ethics, my morality, my judgements and discernment about what is right, what is wrong.
It shapes the way I use my body, the places I take it, the way I use it, for if I am united to Christ - raised with him - this has implications!
And it affects the things I think about, the way I use my mind - "Since, I have been raised with Christ, I set my heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God... and I set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For I died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God."

But it's more than that... the open tomb opens things up.
It shatters my fears, my expectations, the boxes I put around things
And it opens up new possibilities, new relationships, new directions
It re-orientates me
It restores me
It redeploys me

My life is no longer my own. I have been bought with a price. It convinces me that Jesus died for me and I am his. that he has declared me free of judgement, that he has forgiven my sin, that he has born the debt and he has cancelled the written code that hung over me, condemned me. It persuades me that he has atoned for me, covered my sin, taken it way, washed me whiter than snow. I am his and he is mine. He lives in me and my life is his. The empty tomb has done all this.

And it sends me out... for through the empty tomb I have been commissioned, given a role. I have authorised, gifted, equipped. I have been enlisted and enrolled. I have signed up. His mission is now mine. His message is now mine. His purpose is now mine. His life is now mine. His way of doing things is now mine. His approach is now mine. His will is now mine. Jesus has promised me his Spirit, his breath, his life, to flow through me, drawing me into relationship with the Father.

The empty tomb is everything for me…
It is my past and it is my future
It is my present occupation
It is everything.
I am an Easter person, a ‘new day’ person, a ‘Christian’
I live in the first of the week, trying to make my life point towards those great truths – the resurrection of Jesus and the life of the world to come…
I reign in life through Jesus’ life.
I receive his life – his humility, love and forgiveness, his integrity, his wisdom, strength, joy, his union with the Father. Christ is now my life, the one who strengthens me.
I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my spirit, soul, body, my heart, mind and will.

The empty tomb shapes everything
The resurrection is everything to me
It’s all I have to boast in.
It’s all I live for
It’s all I rest in
It’s all I believe in


Thursday and Friday

Just wanted to plug the gatherings on Thursday and Friday to you : )

Thursday night from 7.30pm we will be gathering right at the front of the church to remember the last supper and the events that followed. The service will be quite reflective and somber in mood as we listen to readings about Jesus breaking bread, talking about betrayal, washing feet, praying in the garden, being arrested and being dragged to court... Big events simply retold and a chance for us to ponder them together with music and stillness...

On Friday morning join together for a further time of reconnection with the power of cross. Arrive at 10am for some quiet prayer and then at 10.15 I hope to open up for us again the amazing way that Jesus' death sets us free in a visual way. After this, you can then stay for as long as needed, as around the church there will be a number of 'stations' to go to helping us to connect, and pray, and let go... I am really looking forward to this service-with-a-difference and hope it will be moving and powerful for everyone.

If you have children, how about joining together with our family in the evening at our new cinema at the Rec House at 5pm when we will be showing the beautiful animated film 'The Miracle Maker' and enjoying a few nibbles after... A relaxed family time with focus and for all ages...

Really praying that this Easter will be meaningful for us all this year!
Rich

PS On 'Resurrection Sunday' don't forget there is a traditional communion at 9.15, breakfast at 10.30 and celebration at 11. Oh and there will be an Easter egg hunt for children too!


Holy week ideas

Hi everyone...

I mentioned briefly on Sunday a few ideas for helping us to engage with the amazing story of this week and thought I might put some of them on the website as I wasn't the most articulate at that point...

Like many of us (most of us?) I need help to dig deep into the Easter story and making it personal to me, alive... Getting together with others who want to explore the themes with me or to chat about them always helps and that is why we are having a few specific meetings this week looking at the story together. On Thursday night we are looking at the last supper and the events just after that... on Friday morning at 10am we are going to focus on the walk to the cross and the death of Jesus... and on Sunday we are going to celebrate the resurrection together as a family with breakfast between the two services at 10.30. Come ready to listen, to reflect, to pray, to pray, to give thanks, to explore... On a lighter note I imagine, Clare and others are going to open up Rose Cottage on Easter evening, from 5pm, for a bring and share supper : )

Check out the services at other churches too that might connect - Bath Abbey are putting on some beautiful services around music that some are thinking of going to, such as St Matthew's passion on Wednesday night...

As well as gathering as a big group how about getting together with one or two others and having an 'Easter Chat' or something like that - a time to discuss with a couple of others the impact of Jesus death and resurrection on your lives and to pray together rooting it's benefits in your lives. Tory and I have been using a daily prayer Tory found, written by John Eldredge, which we are loving. If you haven't picked up a copy over the last few weeks, then you can download it from the website here

If you want to read something online try these short daily readings from beliefnet

Or how about giving up a few minutes to reflect using this haunting flash narration of Jesus' passion and death with illustrations and quotes... here

There are loads of other resources online, so enjoy searching out good ones... and if you find any that help, send me the link : )

Others of us might like to use art or music to express something, and others still might find it helpful to write a letter to God or to do some other kind of written reflection...

Over all, the aim is not to do a whole load of religious or spiritual stuff - it is simply to find a way of helping yourself to reconnect with this truest of all stories that changes our world and our lives.

Live it. Pray it. Love it.

Have a great week
Rich


Easter Services

Easter is a great time for gathering together and spending time thinking through the most important story of them all - praying, kneeling, crying, laughing, rejoicing... it's all here...

Join us if you can.

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Read more


White Horse Generosity

Tuesday 2nd March... the White Horse pub... people gathered to drink beer and sing songs... It was Jase's idea, not ours.  He'd managed to beg a couple of barrels from the local breweries who supply him.  'All proceeds towards the broken stained glass windows' he said. 'Thought we should do something.'  Everyone helped out. Jackie made some pasties and sold them for 50p each.  Mates came to sing and play and the regulars were very welcoming.  It was a fab evening and amazingly £503.35 was raised!  Unbelievable!  So THANK YOU WHITE HORSE and to everyone who gave and drank and sang.  You were so generous!