This week is Compassion Sunday and Fran reflects on how the church could use this opportunity to become actors and not spectators.
This week Richard and I were attending the London Baptist Ministers’ Conference at High Leigh. As a conference centre it is really beautiful, and the misty sunrises over the landscape just added to the beauty. As we were exploring the grounds we saw a beautiful gate by a tree. As you can see from the picture, the gate is well maintained, artfully painted to protect against rust with attention to detail highlighting the delicate ironwork. But there is a problem.
Look carefully at the picture. The gate is padlocked. Beside it is a ‘kissing gate’. But where is the fence, where is the path, where is the gate leading to? The gate is obsolete, not serving any useful function except to look pretty. No one uses the gate.
Mission specialists point out that sometimes our churches can be a bit like this gate. We spend time keeping everything looking beautiful, preserving things in case they are needed. But while we have been busy the path and the people the church once served have moved on.
This week we welcome a speaker from Compassion UK. Our news has been dominated by the huge earthquake in Syria/Turkey, thousands have been killed, injured, left homeless and hungry. The newspapers report that following the devastating floods in Pakistan last year, many are still without food and shelter.
Compassion requires us to be where the need is, where the people are. Compassion requires us to make a way where there is no way, to open closed gates, to build new paths, to look to see what God is doing and join in. Compassion sometimes means not painting our beautiful wrought iron gates but moving them to where they are needed. Compassion sometimes means change. As we pray for the work of Compassion, we also pray that God will give us eyes to see where that compassion is needed, and the courage to open closed gates
In the run up to Christmas, Fran reminds us what it is really all about
A mirror gives new perspective on how we see things.
A misadventure with a chair while having a coffee is a lesson in grace.
A bit different from the new year we are used to celebrating but Fran tells us why September is also an exciting start to the year.
In this study, we look at the final Declaration of Principle..
As we joyfully celebrate a baptism in church Fran draws parallels between the act of being baptised and brewing tea.
We all have someone, or something, we look to for guidance: our authority. As Christians we say that Jesus is Lord
Our third part of our Bible Study looks at the Lord’s Supper
Fran took part in the Unlock Walk this year. Here are some musings from her experience.
As part of our bible study, we look into what it means to be Baptist. This lesson reminds us of our responsibilities as well as the historical relevance of being Baptist.