Thursday, 25 November 2010

Are you up to the challenge?

2011 will be the four hundredth anniversary of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible. It wasn't the first translation into English -- most of the New Testament is nearly identical to William Tyndale's translation and there had been complete Bibles before it, such as the Geneva Bible. But for 300 years it became the nearly universal English translation. As language has changed, most of us prefer to use a more contemporary Version but the language of the Authorised Version has had a marked effect on English language and literature and its message, speaking of the work and teaching of Christ, has deeply influenced English civil society and revolutionised the lives of individuals.

To celebrate this 400th anniversary a very wide range of Christian organisations have united under the name "Biblefresh" to celebrate the event and raise the profile of the Bible today. One particular initiative is a challenge to read 100 Essential Readings (or E100 for short). Neil Griffiths, in his sermon on Bible Sunday, introduced the idea. Our challenge is for every member of the congregation to commit themselves to read these 100 readings in whichever Bible version they prefer. There are 50 readings from the Old Testament and 50 from the New, with the expectation that people will read five per week. Each five have a linked theme which can be picked up in Home Groups. On occasions, the current theme will also be considered in Sunday sermons. There is a very helpful accompanying booklet (photo).

We hope to start this in the first week of January 2011, so if you make New Year's resolutions, make yours E100. If going public helps you to keep a resolution, you can sign up on a special web page "wall." If you want to know more about E100 you can find them here.

For long-standing Christians this is an opportunity to rehearse their faith. For those younger in the Faith, this is a very good introduction.

Sunday, 14 November 2010


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At our annual Remembrance Day service on 14 November 2010, our regular congregation was joined by the Guides,Brownies and Rainbows. As we discussed the meaning of Remembrance Day it was evident that many of the very youngest already knew a lot about its meaning and the history of the World Wars.

We spoke of how much we owe to those who died to enable those they loved to live in peace, and their symbol, the poppy. But we also remembered how Christ willingly chose to die so that we, as his friends, could live at peace with God. And we remembered the symbol of his death, the cross.

The service concluded with an act of remembrance.

Christian with a Sense of Humour

Christians are often accused of not enjoying a joke. It's not true! And the Church Times, a national church Journal runs a caption competition each week. On 28 October 2010 it was based on the picture shown on the left.

One of our lay ministers (Readers), Colin Chettle, contributed the suggestion which was mentioned in the next issue: "Heads it is, Bishop; so you play the first half downhill." The winning caption was: "Olé!" Shouted the onlookers, as the Bishop turned for another charge."

If you think that you can do better, have a look at the Church Times.

Friday, 5 November 2010

A new vicar -- plans move forward

After months of prayer and discussion, there is at last movement in our search for a new vicar. The parish profile has now been published. It tells of what St Paul's is like and how God has worked here in the past. Perhaps more important, it tells of where we feel that God is leading us next and of the sort of person who could lead us. The first picture is of the cover, but it's a 20 page booklet. You can see the full document by using the link: Parish Profile Application form

Now that we have got this far, we are able to place our advertisements in the national church papers. The advertisement from the Church Times is shown below.

Now let's pray that there will be people who will read the Profile and Advertisement and will feel "perhaps that is the next role God has for me.”

Songs of praise -- St Paul's Oadby style

We decided to try something new (for us). On Sunday evening, 10 October, Hugh James compèred a “ Songs of Praise. ” Sunday evening services have suffered in recent years, so would anyone turn out? There were doubts. But a number of people had volunteered to tell us what a particular Hymn or Christian song had meant to them in their Christian life. So, presumably at least those people -- and probably their partners -- would come, so the planning pressed on.

On the night, 43 people arrived, all in good heart and voice, led by John and the music group, with Aileen on piano and organ. Hugh interviewed eight people, representing a broad section of the congregation. Where known, Hugh gave a little background as to when and why their chosen song had been composed.

The hymns that people had chosen varied from those dating back to Latin roots to those composed recently. The full list was: Make me a channel of your peace, Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us, Tell out, my soul, From heaven you came helpless babe, God is love: his the care, Great is thy faithfulness, I stand before the presence of the Lord God of hosts, and O Jesus, I have promised.

The last was chosen, very appropriately, by Colin Chettle, who had been licensed as a Reader (Lay Minister) the day before. He closed the meeting for us with a blessing. There was general agreement that this had been a worthwhile time and that it was well worth repeating.