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Hosting a Friend at a Carol Service

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So we’ve been praying and inviting ahead of the carol service, and to our joy a friend is coming with us. Now how do we make the most of the opportunity?

Pray

Arrow prayers! At the readings, songs, during the sermon- shoot those prayers up to God for your friend!

Listen

During the sermon try to think yourself into the shoes of your unbelieving friend. What will they make of this? And listen in for perhaps a key phrase or question the preacher asks.

Ask

All too often I can’t believe my luck this friend is sitting here with me in Church and I’m desperate to know what they think of Christ, and at the end walking home I’ll pluck up the courage to ask ‘So what did you think?’ and most usually get answer along the lines of ‘yeah it was good.’ or ‘beautiful music.’ and then the chat goes on to talking about something else. But I’ve found that asking a more specific question allows them to reveal what they make of Christ. So perhaps a question like ‘what did you make of that verse that said the ‘Word became flesh’?’ or ‘Do you think there is a need for Jesus?’

christianity_explored_link_picNext steps?

For your friend what would be the best next step for them? Would Christianity Explored be good for them? Perhaps reading Luke together? Coming to Church with you on Sunday? And if they are keen to hear more, take action ASAP! Otherwise before we know it, it’ll be mid January and they’ll have forgotten they even came to a Carol service. Go for it!

As we set about this this next week we have the promise from Jesus that ‘surely I am with you, to the very end of the age.’ Amen!

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2014 Weekends Away

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One of the most important aspects of our church life are our midweek groups.  Along with Student groups (Tuesdays) and groups that meet in people's homes throughout the week, on Wednesdays and Thursdays we meet up to read and learn from the Bible together in the church building.  Since we're a central city church with a lot of people coming and going each year, these groups go away each Autumn to have some dedicated time away from busy London life.  This year we were at the lovely De Vere Conference Centre in Horsley Park.

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The weekend features a lot of fun social activities, with time for sport or walking together, an evening 'pub quiz' (in our groups, of course!) and lots of time to eat lots of food!

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Central to these weekends are a series of in-depth talks about one idea or subject in the Bible.  This year, our Assistant Minister Phil Allcock gave us four talks on the Holy Spirit.

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You can flip through an outline of these talks below, and we'll link to them as soon as they're edited and up on our website.  If you were able to come along, we hope you had a wonderful time meeting new friends and learning from God's Word. If not, we hope to see you at the Church Houseparty (when we all go away together) in February!  In the meantime, if you'd like to learn anything more about life at Christ Church Mayfair do feel free to e-mail us.

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A look back at Easter Family Fun

photo 4On the morning of Saturday 5th April CCM was full of small children, parents and friends, all having FUN!! We had a bouncy castle, games, Easter egg hunt, a live band, crafts and singing. The Easter bunny led the games and then had a good nap while we sang 'Sleeping Bunnies' . The children had an opportunity to examine the musical instruments close up while, at the craft tables, they enjoyed making Easter baskets and cards.

The heart of the morning was a short and lively explanation of the true meaning of Easter. We were reminded of the historical facts recorded in the Bible  - that the Lord Jesus died for us and has risen from the dead. He is alive and we can know that life too - what wonderful news! The glory of the Lord Jesus is greater even than Brian O Driscoll scoring a try for Ireland during the 6 nations Rugby tournament!

After the talk, children were given a snack lunch while adults enjoyed time to socialise with one another. It was a very relaxed and fun way to begin the Easter holiday, with an explanation  of eternal significance at its heart.

I asked one mum what she thought of the morning and why she had invited some friends to come. She replied:

'It was brilliant! We came because it had so many different interesting elements to keep the kids entertained. We invited friends to come because it was a very simple, accessible way of introducing them to the real meaning of Easter, and because it's an easy invitation with all the activities provided to keep the little ones entertained...and it's free, and it shows that church can be fun! Our kids loved the craft and the little challenges with collecting Easter eggs, etc...and the singing was a big hit'

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A look back at the Houseparty

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“Not my gumdrop buttons!” cried out our very own Will Smith (seen above) during the hilarious act-out-a-scene-from-a-movie round at the Saturday evening quiz on CCM’s houseparty last week. Having fun like that and seeing each other in different scenarios is just one of the reasons why the house party is so precious for building relationships across the church family. It was so nice to have relaxed time together: whether that was a quiet drink in the bar at the end of the day, mucking around with the kids in the swimming pool, playing touch rugby or chatting over good food in the restaurant.

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And we certainly had lots to chat about: on the Saturday we heard two heart-warming talks from Chris Green on the imperishable hope that is waiting for us in heaven. In a world marked by despair, death and decay and in a society in which we as Christians are increasingly regarded as irrelevant, Chris exhorted us that to the extent we remember this hope, to that extent we will live as courageous Christians. On Sunday Matt Fuller (senior minister at Christ Church Mayfair) challenged us to always be ready to give a reason to our family and friends for the hope that we have - even if that means getting out of our comfort zones. And I had the opportunity to round things off by going through some practical ways to “go fishing” in our everyday conversations with people. Essentially we were thinking: How can we speak in such a way that sparks people’s interest in Jesus?

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Special thanks to all the speakers, admin team, musicians, children’s teachers/minders, apprentices who made the weekend possible.

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Our upcoming year in KG: Acts

Your God is donkey! That’s the insult not so subtly implied by this early piece of anti-Christian graffiti. How can you Christians worship a broken, pathetic man who, as he hung on a cross, was manifestly shown to be impotent? How can you worship a man who was publicly exposed to the worst pain and shame conceivable? You’d be a fool to follow him. You’d be a fool to orbit your life around him.

The book of Acts, which we began studying this week at Knowing God, was written to galvanise disciples in the face of such mockery from a world which saw nothing in the cross of Christ apart from defeat and failure. After he rose from the dead Jesus said to his disciples “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

  • Where the watching world saw nothing but shame in the suffering of the cross, the disciples were to proclaim glory.
  • Where the watching world saw nothing but an ignoble death, the disciples were to proclaim the very centre of God’s plan to bring forgiveness to the nations.
  • Where the world imagined a cold body buried in a tomb, the disciples were to proclaim a risen and ascended Lord, who continues his mighty salvation plan from his exalted position at the Father’s side.
  • Where the world saw the failure of yet another political movement, the disciples were to put the world on notice that everyone of us is hurtling towards the day when Jesus will return as judge.

As the disciples spread this message round the Mediterranean in those early years of Christianity they were accused of turning the world “upside down” through their life and preaching. It’s my prayer that as we meet together week by week in our Knowing God groups that in a small way God would work so that those looking on would have evidence to accuse us of the same thing. Wouldn’t it be great if the depth of friendship in our small groups was so radical that non-Christians were forced to ask about where our unity comes from? Wouldn’t it be great if even when we face the snide remarks about how weak and outdated Christianity none of us are intimidated and knocked off course? Wouldn’t it be great if we were so sure of Jesus’, and therefore our own, final vindication that we were able to live a little more this year for eternity, and a little less for the now?

So let’s pray that this is a great year for us as an evening congregation. If you have not already signed up for a Knowing God group e-mail me, let me know if you prefer Wednesday or Thursday, and I can set you up with a group who will be expecting you. Food is available from 7.15 and then the study runs from 7.45 to 9.00. Looking forward to seeing you.

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