Battling Giants and Life Together

There's still time to come and learn the lessons of David, facing the giants of fear, temptation, failure (ironically, I failed to put that one on the poster) disappointment, an actual giant, and overcoming them.This week we faced both temptation AND failure in our Sunday worship, and then ALSO tackled disappointment at Life Together. If you haven't heard about it yet, Life Together is our monthly chance to get together, going deeper into worship, into fellowship, prayer, discussion, discovery, and pudding. Elbow-deep.We hold it on a week-night, normally starting with pudding, coffee, and catching up with each other. We then move into worship, normally of an informal, modern style. Then we gather together to dig into a theme, with thoughts posed and questions raised. Depending where that theme goes, we often end with prayer and/or more worship.This has not so far been at all what we imagined it would be, but it has been a blessing to those who have come, opening...
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Life Lately: Messy Church

So we held Messy Church this month on a theme of the Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Despite certain team members dropping the ball (cough...me...cough), we had 36 kids with their adults, joining in with lovely crafts and activities, some of the liveliest worship we've ever had, and a great dinner together.We hope to be back again in September for another Messy Church event, more crafts, more activities, more worship, more food, and definitely more Jesus.Hope to see you then!...
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Big News

If you haven't heard our big, scary, exciting, sad news, Rev'd Chris Hills announced this weekend that she will be retiring at the end of October this year.We are going to miss Chris and Geoff (and Dillon) immensely, but really feel that God has His hand on this situation, and that this is right for this season.Please pray for Chris and Geoff as they prepare to hand over, pack up and move, facing leaving the Church family.Please pray for the rest of us, preparing to pick up everything that needs doing, organising for the vacancy, and all of the discussions, decisions and plans that need to be made, not to mention saying goodbye to Chris and Geoff.Please pray for all of us, that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus....
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Time to Celebrate!

As members of the Church of England, this June we are celebrating 90 years with Queen Elizabeth II! We are doing this with an exhibition held in both of our two churches, and with three special services. Everyone is invited to come to everything, and all admission is free.Please help us to make this weekend a great time together!The Exhibitions will be of the life of the Queen, but also the lives of our communities in the last 90 years, with wedding dresses, christening gowns, certificates, photos, and much more memorabilia on display, as well as celebration flowers and music, with refreshments and children's activities.We are holding three different services in the hopes that there's something for everyone! Our Celebration and Thanksgiving will begin with some family-friendly worship and will include children's work, but will be largely a formal-style service of Holy Communion. Our All-Age Family Celebration is, as it suggests, suitable for all ages! With songs, story and craft, this will be...
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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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