Saturday, 26 November 2011

God, the Universe and Everything

Every year, they Bishop of Leicester organises a "Lay Congress" when some issue of importance to Christians is discussed in detail. This year, 300 of us met at the Samworth Academy on Saturday 26th November, for a Congress with the modest (?) title: "God, the Universe and Everything." A group of us went from St Paul's.

The Congress was led by members of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion of Saint Edmunds College, Cambridge. These were people who are both eminent scientists and have a Christian Faith

Dr Alexander reminded us that many of the historic founders of science, such as
Kelvin, Ray, Dalton, Boyle, Newton, Descartes, Kepler, Ray, Maxwell, etc, etc, were practising Christians, as are many today. They see their research as worship of God whose wonders they investigate. In fact, Christian faith underlies many scientific assumptions - such that there are laws, that experiments are appropriate - the reasonableness of the quest for coherence.

Ruth Bancewicz, of the Test of Faith project, presented videos of living scientists who spoke of their emotional involvement with science, of a
sense of vocation, of their wonder and awe; also of their curiosity. For some their delight was in being involved with projects that have practical useful outcomes, while for others it was a pleasure in the intrinsic value of scientific discovery – of both mechanism and meaning.

The Reverend Doctor Rodney Holder introduced us to the complexities of the Big Bang and warned us against the "God of the Gaps" – the things we do not understand, because as those Gaps are explained, God risks being progressively excluded.

The big question is not the "How" the world was created, but Liebnitz’s question- “Why is there a universe?”

We returned much better informed but also full of wonder – both at the mightiness of God and the wonder of his Creation.

So next year, don't miss out on a similarly challenging day!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thank you!

On 22 November 2011 Oadby residents met at Beauchamp College to vote on bids for resources from the £12,500 Community Forum Budget. This sum had been provided by Leicestershire County Council to share among projects that would benefit the local community. Each organisation had the opportunity to present their case at length on designated tables and then for 90 seconds to everyone present. There were votes on which projects represented value for money and then the opportunity to choose three of the best projects.

St Paul's put in the most modest of the bids – £600 to purchase equipment for the recently reconstituted Friday night Youth Club which is open to all. This bid topped both polls and we will soon be going ahead to spend the money in the ways we presented.

This youth club was initiated by our new Intern, Elena Williams, who assisted Revd Steve Bailey, our vicar, in presenting the case. Thank you to Elena for all her hard work, to the Council who made these funds available and to the local residents who supported our bid. We hope that the young people will soon be finding the new equipment attractive and useful.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Cross of Christ.

The cross is at the centre of Christian faith. It represents Christ's death as a sacrifice for mankind, a sacrifice that forgives sin and stands as a unique example of supreme love – the love that Christ has for us. It also sets a standard for us of what our love should be like.

This five long sermon series on the cross, that we have just completed, is our final series based on the Essential 100 readings that we have used this year to celebrate the "year of the Bible," the four hundredth anniversary of the Authorised Version. The sermon outlines are all available through this link.

It was appropriate that we considered the supreme Divine sacrifice in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday, when we remembered the sacrifice of so many in war.

Friday, 11 November 2011

We will remember them

Today is Remembrance Day, the 11th of November and people stopped for 2 minutes at 11am to remember all those who have lost their life whilst at war.

Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and we will be having an All Together service with Parade as we welcome the uniformed organisations to join us on this special occasion. We will be looking at the words of Jesus from John 15.13 'Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.'

Jesus demonstrated His great love by dying for each one of us. On this special day we also remember those who have followed his example and laid down their life for the greater good. Towards the end of our service we will observe a 2 minute silence as we remember.