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Our Dear Friend Andy

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This week we mourn the loss of our dear friend Andy Mason, who died last Saturday, the day after his 68th birthday, peacefully and encircled by his family. We give thanks for his life and the legacy of goodness he has left among us. He was one of the founding members of City Gate, a shepherd of this little flock, a father to many, a welcomer, a quiet encourager and someone who imparted his love and delight in God’s creation.  We will miss him greatly.

For our community, it has been a privilege to walk alongside him and Andrea and their family through his illness, and to share in the love, grace and peace that has marked this journey. He remains in our hearts and our memories, and we hold onto the confident hope of seeing him again one day in the presence of Jesus.

Revelation 21:3
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

    

We pray for the family at this time. May the God of all comfort be a strength and shield to them, and may there be joy and laughter in remembering a deeply loved husband, dad and granddad, even while the tears flow.

Matthew 5:4 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 

Beach Breakfast & Communion!

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Psalm 96:Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.”

This September is the Season of Creation, or Creationtide in the annual church calendar running from the first of September to the fourth of October, a time dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. It’s a time where churches and congregations are called to pay special attention to the responsibility of humanity for the Earth and for all that lives upon it, and to pray for our world.

As a church, last Sunday, we enjoyed a morning communion at Black Rock beach in Brighton next to the Marina, with breakfast, sea swims and a time of prayer.

We worshipped with the oceans of Earth, all designed by the Wisdom of God. We joined the Psalmists and called the sea to roar with songs of praise!

  • Taking a moment to listen to the sea’s sung worship.

In the name of the Spirit of God

who hovered over the primal waters.

In the name of the Word of God

who parted the waters for Earth to appear.

In the name of the Wisdom of God,

who filled the deeps with amazing designs. Amen

Holy! Holy! Holy!

The oceans are filled with God’s presence.

 

Breakfast was a delight of home made breads, jams, muffins and croissants to share… as we thought about ingredients that were:

Locally produced,
Organically grown,
Animal friendly,
Fairly traded.

Thank you Christ, for the meal we celebrated with you – we pray that through your body and blood we may be healed and become agents of healing for earth and sea. Amen.

 

Luke 5: 1-11

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.  Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”  And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!  A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”  For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.  His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”  And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Dalesdown Weekend Away 2021!

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It’s been 2 years, but we finally made it back to Dalesdown for our church weekend away in the Sussex Downs. Returning to this wonderful location once again, we were blessed with great weather, food, rest and play!

      

We missed all those who couldn’t be there from City Gate this year. 

It was refreshing to be out in nature in God’s presence, and lovely to see a few new faces and spend time with friends.

   

The highlight for some was the Silent Disco – which was a fun surprise!! 😀

  

Thank you everyone for making this weekend a special one. 

  

  

Psalm 1: 1-3

The Tree of Life

What delight comes to the one who follows God’s ways!
    He won’t walk in step with the wicked,
    nor share the sinner’s way,
    nor be found sitting in the scorner’s seat.

His passion is to remain true to the Word of “I AM,”
    meditating day and night on the true revelation of light.

He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree
    planted by God’s design,
    deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss,
    bearing fruit in every season of life.
    He is never dry, never fainting,
    ever blessed, ever prosperous.

Easter ‘Holy Week’ Highlights

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Easter Week at City Gate 

We hope you’ve had a lovely Easter weekend! During the past week, we’ve walked, contemplated the power of God’s love, prayed, expressed our creativity and come together as a community to give glory to God… Here is a taster of some of the things City Gaters have been up to during Holy Week this Easter.

Palm Sunday ‘Meditative Walk’

      

Walk into the city.  Walk around an area.  Pause, ponder and pray.  Remember …‘Nothing is so beautiful as Spring’.  See Christ in all and everywhere.

    

    Lent – anticipated death intertwined with hope of life”

Take a passage to walk and recite.  Take a character and walk with in your imagination.  Make it a pilgrimage!  Make a cross.

      

25 Easter Gift Bags!

 Hollingbury mission group were busy this week, packing Easter Gift Bags distributed to local families via the Old Boat and Gathering Place in Hollingbury. Filled with chocolate eggs, a craft activity, Easter story picture book and greetings card from Messy church…  a wonderful way to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus!

Good Friday Contemplative journey @TheDIP

A mini installation was set up at The DIP for Good Friday – a journey leading through the building, into the garden and back through the kitchen… a self-directed contemplation, moving through the space with scripture, poetry and imagery to contemplate, pray and take communion.

    

  

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make the installation and set-up the space, especially:

Becky, Patrick, Nicky & Finley, Johnie, Carmella, Andy M & Hannah B

“We adore You,

O Christ, and 

praise You. 

Because, by

Your holy cross,

You have redeemed

the world.”

 

Easter Sunday Sunrise Walk

  

A few of us got up early and walked to Hollingbury Fort to see the sunrise on Easter Sunday. A slightly cloudy start, but a lovely way to begin the day with thanksgiving, bible reading and prayer over our city.

“Go with confidence

into the days ahead,

trusting in God’s unfailing

love and faithfulness.

God will not abandon you,

for you are the work of His hands

– His own creation and

His love endures forever.”

‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up,  do you not perceive it?’

Isaiah 43:19

New Year: a time of thankfulness, reflection and hope…

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Although we couldn’t meet in person as a church to mark the start of 2021, we encouraged City Gaters in their households & bubbles to take a stroll to the beach, gather some pebbles and make a little memorial, being creative with the different colours found; choosing a different shape such as a heart, cross or star.

      

Looking back over the past year, we used the stones collected as a way of:

• Being thankful to God the Father for his faithfulness over this last year.
• Remembering his covenant with us
• Honouring Jesus, the rock on which our lives are built
• Laying down any heavy ’stones’ we don’t want to carry into next year: forgiving someone, asking God to take the weight of people we worry and care about, letting go of anxiety.
• Praying for the church, the ‘living stones’ that we might be built together in greater unity this year
• Being thankful that, by the Holy Spirit, we now have his law written, not on tablets of stone, but on our hearts. It can be an opportunity to recommit ourselves to building our lives on the Rock and following his ways.
• Praying for a soft heart this year.

      

Here are a few rocks collected on 1st Jan from one of our members:

Heart shaped Earth I thought… reminding me to pray on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Resting on a lovely red rock…. “Our Rock, Our Redeemer “

The 2nd photo is a Mother and child….reminding me to pray for pregnancies, childbirth and all those becoming parents during this time.

Last ones….empty shell….reminding me I need to be filled each day with more of Jesus, and a stone which looks like a ✔️ to say Yes!! To Prayers of Faith, Hope and thankfulness.

You may want to gather your own stones to spend time in January being thankful, reflecting on the past year and holding onto hope for 2021.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight,
O LORD, my firm, immovable rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy & Hope-filled Christmas

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Blessings of Hope

Christmas, what an amazing time, time to celebrate, time to fellowship, time to remember who Jesus actually is, and to reset our flagging faith with the hope that comes with the coming of Jesus. The hope that Jesus brings is so so different to the usual understanding of hope that prevails nowadays. His hope, sets in us a confident expectation on the promise of not just a new day, new week, new month, new year. It is an eternal hope that doesn’t evaporate in the noonday heat of adversity. It is a hope that holds its nerve, in the midst of a troubled world, and delivers the eternal promises of God to our hearts, minds, souls, spirits and bodies. This Christmas, let us bathe in the hope of Jesus Christ.

We wish you a happy, healthy and hope-filled Christmas.

Blessings of Hope

Love

Andy Au
City Gate Church Elder