Wednesday, 31 December 2014 18:00

Church

Greetings in the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
 
As experienced by too many Christians church is an institution:  a congregation or a denomination, a building, or perhaps a series of programs and ministries centered upon a particular charismatic leader.  Despite the biblical injunction (Jn. 13.34) that followers of Jesus are to love one another, and that this love is to be self-giving agapé, a congregation can too easily devolve to a low common denominator of fellowship only, with the inherent danger that bonds of friendship require that churchgoers actually like each other.  Any church built upon friendship only is ripe for fracture in cases of disagreements.  In fact, it is a common experience in congregations that the most disruptive influences come from people who “opt in” in their membership only sporadically, and then stay away for a season because they have not found what or whom they like.
Sunday, 30 November 2014 18:00

We are "Easter People"

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I give thanks to God always because ... you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 4-7). Who is Paul speaking about in this lesson for the First Sunday of Advent. He is speaking of the Christians gathered in Corinth, certainly, but he is also speaking about us and to us. We are not lacking and yet we wait. We live in the now and in the not yet. We know and experience what we have now in Christ and look to what shall be revealed. Who we are now, and who we shall be, what it means to be a human being and one who confesses and is in Christ (so-called “Christian anthropology”), is foundational to how we experience and respond to God, the God is whose image and likeness we are each created (Gen. 1.26).

Thursday, 30 October 2014 19:00

Live in Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer:Jesus gives His disciples these words when they ask Him to teach them to pray. Much has been written about the prayer—about how it is structured and what it reveals of God’s will. But what we call this prayer is, in fact, a little misleading. The prayer is a model prayer for us to use, but prayer as practiced by Jesus Himself is the more complete model of who we are called to be in following Our Lord.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 18:00

How Did You Get in Here?

But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mtt. 22.11-14)

Sunday, 31 August 2014 18:00

The Word of God

The Word of God. We often use this phrase and concept, but what do we understand this to mean/be? The Bible tells us that the word involves God speaking to us in Scripture. In His commandments God speaks to us, and this word is “very near” to us that we may “do it” (Deut. 30.13). God’s word is active and “shall accomplish that which [God] purpose[s]” (Isa. 55.11). But, crucially, it is also revealed “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... [A]ll things were made through him ...” (Jn. 1.1-3). So, when we refer to God’s word of what do we understand ourselves to be speaking?

Thursday, 31 July 2014 18:00

A Fish Without a Bicycle

“A fish without a bicycle” is a phrase used to illustrate the idea of something completely unnecessary. A fish doesn’t need a bicycle; has no use for and cannot, indeed, use one. That is how many people in the world view Church and “organized religion”. They “don’t need” the Church and cannot conceive why anybody does. A minority of such folks articulate an indifference to, or a disdain for, the Church on the basis of a philosophy which labels faith as irrational and unscientific. In doing so they ignore the self-contradictions of their own philosophy, and the fact that applying the scientific method to questions of faith (which do not involve a testable hypothesis) demonstrates a confusion of categories of thought. In other words, “Strong Rationalists” ignore the fact that their belief in reason as the sole criterion for thought and experience is it- self a form of faith.

Monday, 30 June 2014 18:00

God's Will

What can I know about God and His will for me, His will for us? This question is the fundamental of “faith seeking under- standing,” of how we struggle to discern what we are supposed to do because of our faith. The answer to this question is itself predicated on how we believe we can gain knowledge of God.

Echoing 1 John 4.16 a popular twentieth century hymn (no. 379 in The Hymnal 1982) opens with the words, “God is Love, let heaven adore Him.” God is love, certainly, but how do we know this? Do we know this only because it is revealed in Scripture? Can we learn about God’s nature through our own observation and speculation, or only insofar as He chooses to reveal Himself to us?

Saturday, 31 May 2014 18:00

New Birth

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,... So do we pray (for example in hymns 503 or 504 at confirmations and ordinations) in invoking the Holy Spirit. Last month in this newsletter I wrote about midwifery, about how we attend to new birth. Building upon this, this month let us examine more closely what this new birth looks like and how it is affected.

We enjoy new life in Jesus Christ by and through the Holy Spirit. And this month we have additional opportunities to focus upon the reality of this great gift, for this month we celebrate Pentecost— the bestowal of the Holy Spirit upon the Church—and Trinity Sunday, commemorating the reality of the Holy Spirit as that bond of Love in which the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father (and each is in and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit).

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 18:00

Midwifery

Midwifery. The word derives from the Middle English midwyf, referring to being “with the woman”; i.e., the reference is to the person present to assist a woman giving birth. In our own day a midwife is a specialized obstetrical nurse, but in most societies throughout history the fundamental training for a midwife has involved her own experience of giving birth. Only having become a mother, herself, does she proceed in gaining the knowledge in facilitating the deliveries of others. It is in this sense that the Church—as the Bride of Christ—is present in the birth of new life in the world, as the one who has experienced delivery of herself and as the one who is present to facilitate the birth which is given by the Holy Spirit.

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Thu Jun 29 @ 9:00AM - 09:30PM
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