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I’m excited to be able to tell you about a new church being launched next Sunday (March 8th), in Southgate. Emmanuel Evangelical Church describes itself as Christian, evangelical and Reformed. Check out service details here and directions here. If you’re looking for a church in North London, this really looks worth investigating.
Today I visited Malmesbury Abbey. It was very nice to wander round this ancient, beautiful, crumbling building and get the clear impression that it is still home to a congregation who are a living expression of the body of Christ. Everywhere, visitors were pointed not only to items of historical interest, but also to the features of the church that express the gospel. Scripture verses were prominently displayed and explained. Tucked away upstairs was a permanent exhibition including a very beautiful 4-volume mediaeval illuminated bible and a first edition of Luther’s commentary on Galatians.
I was particularly struck by the prominently displayed ‘Children’s Charter’ which the nice lady at the door was happy to give me a copy of (for the bargain price of 50p).
1. As a family we should take every opportunity to share Christian life together.
2. There is a need for regular prayer for the whole family of the church.
3. The discovery and development of gifts in adults and children is a key function in the church.
4. Learning is for the whole church, adults and children.
5. Children need to be taught why to go to church.
6. Principles of communion and confirmation need to be taught from the early years.
7. The full diet of Christian worship is for children as well as adults.
8. Fellowship is for all, each belonging meaningfully to the rest.
9. Service is for children to give, as well as adults.
10. Children are equal partners with adults in the life of the church.
I especially like 4, 7 and 8.
Or at least a step in the right direction. Willow Creek seem to have finally realised that church isn’t about becoming like the world but about teaching and building up its members so that they can win the world. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond when people start leaving the church as a result of the new onslaught of bible teaching.
(HT: Neil Robbie)
Last night we had the first meeting of our new women’s bible study at Cresheim Valley Church. We’re doing an introductory series on how to read the bible. Last night we looked at Ps 119:92-112 under the general heading of ‘Reading the Bible Patiently’.
We talked about taking time over our reading to really stop and look at the text, to notice the details, to engage with it in our hearts and our heads. We talked about meditating on the word throughout the day, living with the text, thinking it over, trying it out in different situations. We talked about not wanting to be satisfied with quick and easy answers that are shallow and unsatisfying.
We spent quite a lot of time thinking about the importance of experience in reading the bible. This works both ways – if we read and understand the bible, we’ll be concerned to obey it in our lives. But also as we put God’s words into practice, we’ll understand what they mean in a deeper way.
And we concluded by noting that learning to read the bible is a lifelong activity: reading and rereading and reading again for the rest of our lives so that we become properly familiar with the text, so that it seasons all our thoughts, so that it moulds our lives.
It was a great session and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.