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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

‘THE PRAYER COURSE’ WITH 24-7 PRAYER ONLINE

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Come and join us TONIGHT – Wed 23rd September, 8-9pm as we continue to host ‘The Prayer Course’ by 24-7 Prayer, online.

We are on the LAST Session 8,  – “Spiritual Warfare”
In this session, we’ll look closely at the ways we can pray God’s kingdom come in the midst of a spiritual battle.

It’s OPEN TO ALL (just follow the zoom link in the comments below) – Helping to grow and deepen our prayer life! You don’t have to have been to the other sessions to join in. If you want to catch up though, previous sessions can be easily accessed through the link.

The course is accompanied with resources from ‘How to Pray’ by Pete Greig, and will be hosted by Gwyn Davies and Andy Au from City Gate.

Please share this information with family, friends and your community – invite people to explore prayer and dive a bit deeper!

We look forward to seeing you.

 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88232582337?pwd=bFU1ZmxvdUpWelowaVVQOG44QlZ2Zz09

ZOOM Meeting ID: 882 3258 2337
Password: Prayer

An eight week journey that will help you and your community to grow and deepen your prayer life.

Thy Kingdom Come! Prayer Week & Bright Ideas at home

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This week we are taking part in Thy Kingdom Come global prayer. Take a moment to pray for 5 friends to come to know Jesus, prayer walk your neighbourhood, lift up your city and nation, be expectant for God to move in families, the roles of leaders, the global church and young people. God’s love revealed in great measure! Find out all the ways to get involved 👇🙏 ❤️ #ThyKingdomCome

For more information on TKC Prayer Week go to: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/about-us

Bright Prayer Ideas for families at home during the holiday

 – Pebbles prayers on the beach

Use pebbles to represent the people you are praying for, before throwing them into the sea.

 

– Writing in the Sand

Write or draw pictures in the sand for the people you want to know about Jesus’ love.

– Ripple Prayers

Watching ripples on a lake can remind us of how God’s kingdom grows and spreads out, a bit like the parable of the yeast.

“What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” 

(Luke 13:20-21)

 – Mountain Top Prayers

Carrying a stone up a mountain can help us remember the people that God has put on our hearts for prayer.

– Prayer Walk

Pray as you walk around your urban setting, park or countryside for God’ kingdom to grow and be in these places.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” 

(Matthew 6:10)

 – Puddle Prayers

Splashing in puddles is so much fun and you can pray at the same time!

– Planting Seeds

Watching seeds grow over a period of time can help us remember how God’s Kingdom grows.

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden.  It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in it’s branches.”

(Luke 13:18-19)

– Campfire Prayers

Campfires or bonfires can create special family moments to pray.

As a family, gather sticks and build your fire. Get an adult to light the fire. Supervising younger children at all times, spend some time watching the flames and feeling the warmth of the fire.  Talk about God’s love and how it can be like a warm feeling inside.  There might be things going on in our lives that stop that warm glowing feeling, so this is a great opportunity to say sorry to God.  Sorry prayers can be written on bits of paper and then thrown into the fire to be burnt, reminding us that God forgives us when we do wrong things.

Take some marshmallows and toast them on sticks.  Notice the sweet taste and thank God for the good things in your lives.  Finally, think of another family or person that you want to share God’s love with and pray for them, that they would know the warm glow of God’s love in their lives too.

 

 

 

The UK Blessing

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We wanted to share The UK Blessing with you that was released on Sunday!

“At this unique and challenging time in the United Kingdom over 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, have come together online to sing a blessing over our land. Standing together as one, our desire is that this song will fill you with hope and encourage you. But the church is not simply singing a blessing, each day we’re looking to practically be a blessing. Many of the churches included in this song have assisted with supplying over 400,000 meals to the most vulnerable and isolated in our nation since COVID-19 lockdown began. This alongside phone calls to the isolated, pharmacy delivery drops and hot meals to the NHS frontline hospital staff.”

Our buildings may be closed but the church is very much alive!

Project Sunday: FareShare Sussex & Street Pastors

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This Sunday we had the first of our Project speakers sharing in 2020!

Rob Orme (newly appointed CEO) speaking on the latest developments at Fareshare Sussex, and Robbie Coull updating us on Street Pastors in Brighton & Hove.

It was great to hear the latest developments from both Projects and ways in which we can support and get involved at City Gate Church.

If you would like to find out about our FareShare Sussex and Street Pastors, please visit the following sites:

https://faresharesussex.org.uk/

 

         

 

https://streetpastors.org/locations/brighton/