Summary: An ecumenical message in 2 parts for Pentecost - my last one in my last appointment.
Pentecost 2006 Ecumenical Service : The Vision thing
CTW – Acts 2:1-13
PP 31 Come on & celebrate
PP 35 Father God
Reading - Isaiah 43:14-21
PP 69 Holy Spirit we welcome you
Testimony – Good news slot??
Jane - Father Spirit Jesus
Reading -2 Corinthians 3:12-18
HP 326 There’s a Spirit
Prayer of commitment
HP 216 And can it be
Talk # 1 – ‘Fresh Expressions’
It is of course fabulous to meet like this together – brothers & sisters from all over the town & area isn’t? Good to share fellowship & praise our God together. This is of course my last such occasion with you, my last Ecumenical service & it is a privilege that I have this chance to lead here.
Really I want to share 2 things with you, the first now – the second a little later on. Just recently I showed a DVD here in worship called ‘Fresh Expressions.’ It is really a challenge to the Church of all traditions to hear what God is saying & find new or fresh ways to be Church.
Isaiah14: 18-19 is one of my favourite passages – ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.’
Most of us know that God is never still –always seeking us, always – thank God! The truth is though that we often kind of like to keep God in a place we are comfortable with & resist the new things He seeks to do. We much prefer a God we can limit to behaving in ways that are appropriate to our conditioning, our traditions & our prejudices. But the Holy Spirit will not be contained – the Spirit wants to send ripples over the waters of our Churches & lives – he wants to disturb & initiate life.
‘Fresh Expressions’ ask us how we might do new things to reach those who don’t yet know & don’t really relate to the way we do Church now. Think about it for a moment – there are over a dozen Churches in this Churches together area. We are strong – we are growing in faith & becoming more like Jesus, yet we are only reaching a tiny percentage of the people in these communities. For the vast majority of people what we do now doesn’t reach them, & a Fresh Expression might ask us to think about how we might reach out.
I would love to hear from Sutton Coldfield that in Hinckley & Burbage & beyond the Churches were co-operating & finding new ways to reach out with Fresh Expressions of Church.
Watch this DVD – be challenged – God is crying out for us to perceive what He is asking us to do – together we can do so much if we cooperate & dream dreams together.
People its up to you – go & pester your Priest or Minister, your stewards & deacons & elders – to allow God’s Spirit to bring these fresh expressions to Hinckley & beyond so that we see, you see, the rivers of God’s love breaking through into the wasteland.
So I ask you to do together what God through Isaiah asked so long ago – ‘do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland’.