Holy Week: Good Friday

We've got several services on today:the Walk of Witness starts from Mistley Church at 12pm, ending in an Outdoor Service at the Manningtree Ox at 12.20pmThe Reflections on the Cross meditation will be at 1pm at Bradfield, and The Nail Good Friday service will be at Mistley at 2pmAs well as our services and events, see below for a multimedia meditative art piece, remembering the events of Good Friday. This was created and performed by an artist called Scott Erickson for his Church a few years ago, using the narrative of the stations of the cross, with the music of Radiohead, all combined with live painting. See here for his website: if you can't immediately see the info on this video, scroll down and you should find it on the left.  The Crucifixion According to Radiohead from Ecclesia Houston on Vimeo.All original material by Scott Erickson. Please go to his website to find out more....
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Holy Week: Maundy Thursday

We have a service today, 9.30am at Bradfield Church Do join us for this formal-style service if you canIf you can't join us, or if you'd like to carry on walking this Holy Week with us, then read on...Maundy Thursday is one of those days that as the years go on, the more significant I find it. It is so chock-full of symbolism.So, did you know the significance of the meal? It wasn't just any old meal that they ate on Jesus' last night of freedom, but Passover, the celebration of the Israelites' rescue from Egypt. Part of this involved eating bread and drinking wine. Jesus was taking their old traditions and re-appropriating them, giving the disciples' history new significance, allowing them to stand upon on it, not get bogged down in it.So there wasn't just one cup of wine, but four, each to be drunk at a significant point in the meal, each with its own meaning.1. The Cup of...
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Holy Week: Wednesday

Tonight we've got Life Together, our monthly meeting where we have time for more in-depth worship, for discussions, and for more prayer, all around tables with pudding and coffee. Tonight's theme is The Experience of Gethsemane, thinking about times of difficulty, when God doesn't feel near. It's 7.15pm at Mistley Church.So today, amongst other things, is the day when Mary Magdalene washed Jesus' feet in her tears, and poured incredibly expensive perfume over Him. I'm not going to expound some theological thoughts on this: the internet is at your finger-tips. Instead, let's do something. Get a tissue, and put a good amount of something strongly smelling on it. Preferably something pleasant. It could be perfume. Olbas Oil would work nicely. Put a decent amount on the tissue, then carry it around with you. I appreciate this might not be doable if you're hanging out with people who are, say, allergic to perfume, so please be considerate and feel free to leave...
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Holy Week: Tuesday

Trying to sort the events of Holy Week into real-time days, I've found that Tuesday is a bit of an issue. Jesus appears to spend the whole day teaching. From Mark 11:20 to 13:37, all he does is talk. And occasionally walk. There is nothing I can artistically write over a hipster picture that sums up the day, when he swings from paying poll-tax to the destruction of the temple, to the most important commandment, to the legitimacy of John's baptism...it goes on and on. Except reading it again, there is something that stands out.Mark 13:3-43 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Jesus has spent all day saying provocative things to powerful people. His disciples, spending the...
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Holy Week: Monday

So on the back of Palm Sunday yesterday, we're starting a week of posts, walking through this Holy Week. We're going to use Bible readings, images, videos, music, and even a multimedia meditative art piece on Friday. I'm not even kidding.Today, we're starting quietly with a reading from Matthew, remembering when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple. May we, this Easter, have our hearts overturned to see more of Jesus' love.Matthew 21:12-16Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text:My house was designated a house of prayer;You have made it a hangout for thieves.Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus and he healed them. When the religious leaders saw the outrageous things he was doing, and heard all the children running and shouting through...
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Coming up…

Friends, we have finally become organised. Briefly. This might not continue, so bask in it whilst it exists.We have planned our sermon series, so that you can more easily invite friends and family to service where the theme might be of interest to them! Not only that: we have made postcards of them. I know. Outrageous.So, coming up in our two different service streams...Please invite your friends, invite your family, make a note, have a think, and come along!Oh, and look out for more info on Easter, coming soon!...
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Lent begins…

I know you're probably all too busy reading up the best pancake recipes and trying to decide on lemon and sugar vs something more edgy (chocolate spread? You rebel) but don't forget that the whole reason for pancake day is that Lent starts tomorrow.To mark the occasion, rather than forcing the newest member of the clergy to make a pancake on live television (though we SHOULD do that...note to self), we will be holding a service for Ash Wednesday, Wednesday 10 February, 9.30am at Bradfield Church. This traditional-style service will include the opportunity to be marked with ash, starting this season of reflection and rededication the way we mean to go on!If you have any traditions, books you read, things you give up, things you take up, things you try through Lent, please leave them in the comments here! You might really help someone else with a great idea for these next 40 days....
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Christmas

Hi friends! Happy nearly Christmas!This Sunday we have our services of Carols by Candlelight. They'll be at 4.00pm at Bradfield (along with our Methodist friends!) and 6.00pm at Mistley.Please note that Mistley's service particularly will be mainly candlelit, including the use of hand-held candles. If you would feel safer not holding a candle, please bring a torch instead!But that's not all: oh no! Christmas starts with Christ, and definitely does not end with our carol services. Please come along to our services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Take a break from all the rest of the festivities to remember what it's really about. Our Crib Services (3pm, Christmas Eve at both Mistley AND Bradfield) are suitable for all-ages, retelling the Christmas story along with songs, a craft, and a biscuit on the way out. Our Christmas Communion (11pm, Christmas Eve at Mistley) is a formal-style late night service. On Christmas Day, we'll be joining together (10.30am at Bradfield) for a Christmas Family Celebration...
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