From the pastor’s pen: The light of Christ
Intentionally shining with the light of Christ in the darkest corners of Blackburn and beyond
By now most of us should be familiar with our vision statement, a phrase that encapsulates the mission our God is calling us to fulfill in our generation, both corporately and individually. Yet, before we can intentionally “get on with it”, we need to first understand this statement! For what does it mean to shine with the light of Christ? And what is the light of Christ in the first place?
I remember asking the Bible these questions and discovering that the light of Christ is simply an expression of who Christ is and to shine with it simply means reflecting who Christ is with our whole life – just like Christ shone with the light of his Father. This means that to be like Christ isn’t just a matter of personal walk as his followers, but one of mission. The advancement of God’s kingdom and the honour of his name depend on it – for better and for worse! In fact, I am convinced that the one of the main reasons why the Church has developed a bad reputation over the years is because it is far easier for us to call ourselves Christians than to live up to that name. The pacifist Mahatma Gandhi once said this – “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Having said this, there is often an agenda behind the Church’s reputation, one that would intentionally highlight and focus on the proverbial “bad apples” as an excuse to discard Christ and his claims as well as disregard of the fact that Church is an hospital for sinners rather than a museum of saints. Nonetheless, the correlation between our mission and who we are is irrefutable.
This is why, in the coming months, we will focus on Christ and how to be like him, shining with his light the same way that he shone with the light of his Father.
A new series: Habakkuk
Let’s face it, some names in the Bible are really weird! Habakkuk is probably the weirdest of them all (right next to Nebuchadnezzar). It is this lack of familiarity that often makes Christian stick to the New Testament and the Gospels, where people are called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Yet, this (lazy?) attitude often makes us miss out on incredible spiritual treasures. It is in this book that famous “New Testament” verses come from, such as “The righteous shall live by his faith” and “In wrath remember mercy”. Even though written 2.5 millennia ago, Habakkuk is still incredibly relevant to our 21st century western generation. Habakkuk in fact dared to question God on things such as social justice, suffering, morality and the broken state of the world. Not only did he receive direct answers but God also revealed to him things to come, events that the modern world is about to see unfold.
Have you ever felt let down and disappointed by God? Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that he seems to let the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer, that he seems to be too slow in dealing with injustice? Are you concerned for the current state of decay of our nation? Then this series is for you! Come along on Wednesday nights from the 7th of November to the 12th of December at 7.30pm.
This month we launched our Church-app with ChurchSuite. Among many other things, our members will have access to their personal details, the Church calendar, rotas, our podcasts and recordings. The app will also enable them to give through their phone, sign up to small groups and events as well as manage sensitive information regarding their children, from consent forms to allergies.
Church suite will become our primary means of administration, communication and management – so make sure to join! If you have already applied for it, you should have received an invitation email – read it and follow the instructions. If you haven’t received it yet, please check your junk folder or see Valentina about it. If you haven’t applied for the app yet, please see Valentina or the Tech team who will guide you through the process.
ChurchSuite is GDPR compliant and its payments secure. No one will have access to your personal information unless you wish otherwise. The app is for Church members only.
Christmas will soon be upon us and, with it, our Christmas Party! But this year we have decided to do things a bit differently. Instead of the usual Nativity morning service followed by a Carols evening service, we have decided to merge the children’s nativity and carols singing together in a slightly longer morning service (from 10.30am to 12.30pm).
Following that, you’re all invited to join our Church Christmas Party at the North-Cote Café in the town centre (right behind the Cathedral). The Church is contributing towards the costs, bringing prices down to £20 per adult and £5 per child.
Availability is limited and places will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to come along, you will need to pick up a menu-selection form in the foyer, fill it in and return it to Valentina with full payment (non-refundable) by the 2nd of December. Alternatively, you can pay your balance through the ChurchSuite app. Simply navigate to the calendar, click on the event and purchase the tickets at the bottom of the page.
Christmas Celebration service and Christmas Party will be on Sunday 16th of December.
Janine is the Metro World Child director for Kenia. She does an incredible job at reaching over 35.000 children per week with aid as well as the good news of Jesus.
Her ministry is certainly not for the faint-hearted and it is reflected in her every report.
Janine will be with us on Sunday morning the 11th of November. She will update us on the last year of work and the impact our contributions have made as well as share the Word of God with us.
Make sure to put this date in your diary! You will be both inspired and challenged by her amazing ministry.
MPower Men’s Conference
On Saturday the 17th, we will travel to LivingWaters Church Chorley for a regional men’s conference run by MPower (Elim’s national men’s ministry). The conference will be from 10am to 5pm. There will be 3 sessions (one in the morning and two in the afternoon). Speakers are:
* Mark Lyndon-Jones (MPower national leader)
* Steve Kerry (senior pastor of Billinge Family Church)
* John Lacy (senior pastor of Living Waters Church)
People are free to come and go as they please, attending just one or two sessions if they don't want to attend to the whole day.Lunch will be provided at the cafeteria as well as bacon butties in the morning.
If you’re interested in coming along, please sign up the sign-up sheet at Church or on ChurchSuite.
More November dates
Over 18’s house-group: Friday 9th at 7pm at Simon and Valentina’s