Archive for October, 2010

Sunday Worship – 3rd October

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Today’s service was led by the Fulwood Preaching Team, from Christ Church, Fulwood.

Harvest Supper & Auction – 27th October

Monday, October 11th, 2010

This is an annual event and as usual many people attended and a good time was had by all!

Harvest & Back to Church Sunday – 26th September

Monday, October 11th, 2010

See how beautiful the church looked at this service. Thanks to the team of hard working volunteers who got the church ready on Saturday.

We had a great time at this service as, not only was it Harvest Festival but it was also  Back to Church Sunday. Jean Bradley wrote to lots of folk who were at Tapton many years ago inviting to them to this service and we were surprised and delighted by how many of them showed up! There were lots of reunions and old photos were passed around to the sound of laughter and catching up.

At the end of the service Keith took this photo of us all

It was great to see the church so full. For our harvest theme I talked about three harvests. Firstly the one on earth that we are to be thankful for and to share with greater justice. We should be more thoughtful too with the food that we eat. We should think about the people who grow it, pack it and cook it for us more than we do. And we should also think about how it is grown and how it is distributed. Does it need to come with so much packing that is bad for the planet? And do strawberries really need to go on an aeroplane so that we can have them all the year round?  We could all be more thoughtful about the food that we buy.

Secondly I spoke about the harvest of people that we are to bring into the church and how difficult this is at the moment.  But I don’t think we should be pessimistic. I shared with the church an email I recently received from the minister whose sermon, in 1995, was the occasion of me hearing my own call to ministry. He had just led his last service before retirement and he said ‘Although I am at the end part of my ministry, I know I would love to be starting all over again as I think these are very exciting and challenging days and the church is beginning to risk what being the church really means’. What a wonderful and optimistic thing for a minister to be saying.  We gather the harvest at this time of year because next comes the frost, and it feels like there is a bit of a spiritual frost affecting the harvest of faith. But does the frost kill, or does it prepare? Might it not be that the decline, in some cases collapse in churchgoing is a necessary frost clearing and preparing for a new harvest to come?

Thirdly I spoke about the harvest in which we are gathered, our deaths when we are gathered into the presence of God.  We don’t like to talk about this but let us believe that this is a joyful reality and that we will enter the Kingdom of God. But the Greek word that has traditionally been translated as the Kingdom of God could more accurately be translated as the ‘Kingship’ or ‘Kingly rule of God’.  This difference in translation can make a real difference to us. When we think of the Kingdom of God we can’t help but think of a place that we need to be transported to. This means that we have to wait to be in the Kingdom. But the ‘Kingship of God’ or ‘Kingly rule’ of God can start here and now. Christ can be our King now and we can live under his Kingly rule now. This means that we don’t have to wait to experience the Divine presence and comfort that is in Christ.