On Saturday, we had a special and moving time of worship together at …Stepping Beyond with friends, Tim & Ann O’Hare as we continued to explore worshiping our God with creativity, music rhythm, colour, movement and art.
Thinking about the change of seasons with the sudden increase in temperature and warm sunshine this week, we had a time of focus on how God takes us through the journey of life in seasons.
No matter which season you are in right now, God is with you.
Our next …Stepping Beyond is Saturday 14th July, 7.00-9.30pm
We look forward to seeing you there!
Seasons In Life
by Cindy Wyatt
To everything in life there is a season
with every phase a purpose and reason
When one season ends a new one will begin
gaining wisdom from where we have been
A season to press forward to what lies ahead
leaving the past behind and by Jesus being led
A season to labor in the harvest field
and a time to rest while in comes the yield
A season to weep and a time to rejoice
a time to be silent and a time to lift up our voice
A season to meditate on God’s love and His word
a time to tell the gospel to others as you have heard
A season to be healthy, robust, and strong
a time of weariness and pain and for Heaven long
A season to abound and a time to suffer need
all the while ploughing to sow the gospel seed
A season to be active and a time to be still
all things according to God’s perfect time and will
A season to be born and a time to die
when we fly away and go to our home on high
A big thank you to Patrick and helpers for organising another year of fun Easter activities re-enacting the Easter story. Here are a couple of highlights from Easter week!
Palm Sunday – Cycling from the Rose Garden at Preston Park to Brighthelm
Maunday Thursday at Hollingbury Fort… focusing on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and the arrest of Jesus.
Good Friday at Preston Park Manor Secret Garden (Peter denies Jesus; Jesus on trial and the crucifixion)
This Sunday 25th March is Palm Sunday. Cyclists to meet at the Rose Garden in Preston Park at 10.50am. We look forward to welcoming you with the waving of branches when you arrive at Brighthelm (please bring any foliage you have if you are not cycling)
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
We will also be celebrating Passover together this Sunday.
“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Exodus
“As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew 26:2
Having rhythms and seasons can help us; this is why for some, engaging with Lent can be purposeful and provide a time of discipline, particularly in the area of fasting. Ultimately, it will only heighten our anticipation of Easter, and the death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
City Gaters have been sharing ways to mark the season of Lent, and how we can get involved. Here are some ideas that we have been speaking about for 2018!
- Plastic-less Lent 2018
Would you like to find a way to reduce the amount of plastic in your life? Then join Ruth Valerio and a whole lot of other people in doing a Plastic-Less Lent this year.
- ‘40 Acts’ from Stewardship is always good!
The challenge begins TODAY! Go to – https://www.stewardship.org.uk/
|ACT 1: Target
We all want to live lives of radical, community-transforming generosity. Many of us think it’ll start when we hit some epiphany, have a life-changing event, or hear a thundering voice from heaven. But the good news is that generosity is something you can choose: it doesn’t have to wait. Ask God to show you his generosity, then find one person to target with it
3. Eschew grumbling and embrace positivity!
One of our church members shared that “The Archers characters are being encouraged to eschew grumbling and embrace positivity for Lent!”
In response to this, you might like to look at Steve Backlund’s ‘Negativity Fast + Positivity Feast’
To find out more and sign up for daily encouragements, go to: http://ignitinghope.com/negativityfast/
- Forty Days – Forty Items: an idea that sprung up on Facebook this week!
Try adding other items from around the house to make up your 40!
If you have started any other activities for lent, please let us know about them by emailing email@example.com
Here is a poem by Walter Brueggemann ‘Marked by Ashes’ that will lead you into today… Ash Wednesday.
Marked by Ashes
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day…
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.
By Walter Brueggemann