Urban Saints meetings are now finished for the summer. Urban Saints will recommence on Tuesday 20th September.
Table tennis is also closed for the summer until September. There have been 10 children regularly attending and they have been making very good progress. Parents/Carers of any other children who might like to join are asked to telephone Gary on 01622 764866 to check that there are places.
We are also glad to report that we had a very successful and enjoyable visit to Chatham Ski Centre where 13 youngsters from Urban Saints Seniors went by minibus for tobogganing and snow tubing.
Wow! What a week! We had another fantastic week at the 2016 Maidstone Bible Week which this year was held at the Life Church (who made us all feel very welcome). On the Monday evening, Steve Price spoke superbly from Genesis 1-3. We were awed by the greatness of our Creator, and reminded that God is not a figment of our imagination, but we, and everything around us are products of His glorious imagination. And we saw that He is a God who speaks, and reveals His truth to us. The question is, in a fallen world, whose voice will we listen to? On Tuesday night Chris Knott spoke magisterially on The Supremacy of Christ, focusing on Jesus’ role as our true prophet, priest and king, who is Himself God’s Word, who offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice for our salvation, and who reigns in Majesty. And he challenged us to exercise our own prophetic, priestly and kingly ministries, under God, to a needy world. On Wednesday Josh Cordray spoke engagingly, and with great power from John 16:8-11, encouraging us to witness to our faith with confidence, trusting in the Unstoppable Spirit to impress His truth on people’s minds, and indeed on us, as we seek to be transformed into Christ’s likeness. And on the final evening, Bishop Michael Nazir Ali spoke eloquently from Hebrews 13, encouraging us to live out our faith consistently, trusting in Jesus Christ who is the same Yesterday and Forever. It was sobering to remember that many have given their lives, simply for affirming, ‘I am a Christian.’ All the more reason for making sure that our faith is built on a sure foundation (Isaiah 33:5-6; 1 Peter 2:6). And it is good to remember that our salvation is of grace from first to last: ‘The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures.’ It was great to meet with so many Christians from across the town and beyond, sharing in fellowship and worshipping together, led so ably by Worship Bands from Grace Community Church, The Life Church, ABC and Jubilee. There was a real sense of unity among God’s people this year, and we received many encouraging comments, including one person who wished the Bible Week was for two weeks (not sure I could cope with that)! In keeping with our theme we ended with a rousing singing of Cornerstone, and I emphasised the chorus of Edward Mote’s original hymn: ‘On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.’ Amen and Hallelujah!
Next year is the 500th anniversary of a seismic moment in history. On 31st October 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the castle church door at Wittenburg (revisionist scholars say he didn’t, but his closest colleague Philip Melancthon says he did). In doing so he inadvertently lit the blue touch paper for a Reformation which spread like wildfire, throughout Europe. It was a spiritual revolution, the rediscovery of the gospel, which set people free, and challenged the abuses and authority of a decadent and corrupted Roman church, as well as the centuries of tradition and superstition which had encrusted the original message of the Bible. Masses for the dead, prayers to the saints, Mariolatry, indulgences to buy time out of purgatory, unquestioning acceptance of the pope’s authority, salvation by works and/or sacraments, were swept away and replaced by the clear proclamation of Justification by faith in Christ alone, through grace alone, the priesthood of all believers, great doctrines, all rooted in the authority of the Bible as the word of God. The Reformers’ message sparked a mighty movement of change that would transform our history for the next 500 years, bringing new light and freedom for many. Yet now the reformation is at a low ebb. The world around us knows little of these things, or if it does chooses to dismiss them as petty religious wranglings of the sixteenth century. Worse still, many evangelical Christians have no awareness of the formative importance of these events, or the continuing importance of the doctrines which Luther and Calvin unearthed and expounded. Even some popular Christian writers and theologians today speak slightingly (and ignorantly) of these great giants of our faith. To be sure, the Reformers were flawed sinners, like the rest of us, yet the truths they proclaimed from the Bible brought liberation to many, and caused gospel light to shine again in all its glory. To redress the balance, therefore, Tim Chester and Michael Reeves have written a new book, ‘Why the Reformation still matters,’ (published by IVP on 21st April). I haven’t read it yet, but I recommend people look out for it. Reeves and Chester are two of our best contemporary Christian writers, who are motivated by a passion to restore the great reformation insights to a central place in Christian minds. Let’s not be Christians who are ignorant of our past, or of the great truths which were unearthed, and for which many gave their lives. Scripture Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone, To the Glory of God Alone. Amen
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No table tennis on April 11 – we resume April 18th
Urban Saints resume on Tuesday April 12th
Chess Club at Brunswick House resumes on April 12th
Advanced Chess Coaching is from 3.45 – 5.30 on Fridays but not starting until April 22nd
Cafe Church on April 10th – all children and teens welcome, with or without parents!
The greatest teacher who ever lived. He touched the leper, befriended the outcast, opened the eyes of the blind, and vehemently opposed hypocrisy. A wonderful life, stolen, crushed, by blind hatred and bigotry. Just another terrible injustice in the long litany of the world’s woes? Sickening! But then the unthinkable happened. Out of this terrible darkness came an explosion of joy that has reverberated around the world and across the centuries. Join us at 9am on Good Friday to reflect on the sorrows endured by our Saviour, and then at 10.30 on Easter Sunday, for a joyous celebration of the Resurrection. Jesus Christ is UNSTOPPABLE! Come and celebrate with us!
Image courtesy of prawny at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We look forward to an evening concert of worship, witness and ministry from international missionary team, Vinesong from 6.30 to 9.30pm on Easter Saturday, 26th March. We pray that this exciting initiative of our Prayer Team will be a blessing to many. A collection will be taken to support this ministry.
We look forward to a service of Believer’s Baptism, on the morning of Sunday 13th March when two of our young people will be bearing witness to their faith in Jesus Christ, and their desire to follow Him in their lives. If you’ve not been to one of our Baptism services before, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith. We’ll also share together in a Bring and Share lunch afterwards. See you there!
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Don’t forget to tell your mum you love her! We look forward to this Sunday’s Service when Christian magician Jonathan Leeson will be sharing a Christian message with us as well as sharing about the work of Latin Link.
If you missed the Communication Meeting last Thursday 25th Feb, we had a great meeting where we shared more about the challenges which lie ahead and the opportunities in terms of a Youth and Family Worker, and the plans for a new building. So if you’re an ABCer who wasn’t able to make it, why not pick up the notes?