4th November – This Sunday at Church

 

We have a busy few weeks coming up in the parish, with exciting events across all 3 churches.

This Sunday is All Saints’ day and we are reflecting on the work of the Spirit, transforming us and working in us to build God’s kingdom.

On Sunday morning (4th November) there will be the opportunity to share Breakfast Together before the 9:30 service, between 8:30-9:30am.

A combined Sung Eucharist will be celebrated at All Saints’ this Sunday at 11am. There will be no Sung Eucharist at the Parish Church as we observe All Saints’ Day together.

At the Parish Church at 3pm there is a memorial service for those who have lost loved ones. This is a special opportunity to reflect on the hope we have in Jesus and remember those we have lost.

On Sunday evening at 7pm, the parish is hosting a special service of Holy Communion at All Saints’ Church, featuring the luminous musical setting by Gabriel Faure, performed by a chamber orchestra of professional and semi-professional musicians. Many of these musicians have either generously donated their time or have only asked for travel costs. We have created a  Chalfont St Peter Worship Appeal  to support this event and future ones like it. Please take some time to watch this video giving a greater context to the event.

You can find the full planned teaching programme for the parish here.


The Bible Course is an 8-session course helping you explore the world’s bestseller.

Accessible and interactive, it will enhance and inform your ongoing Bible study, whether you are new to the Bible or want to go deeper.

Using a unique storyline, the course shows how the key events, books and characters all fit together. You’ll get to see the BIG picture and discover how the Bible applies to your life.

Begins 31st October, 8pm each Wednesday Evening for 8 weeks leading up to Christmas. Sign up here.


 

This Sunday

8am – Holy Communion (All Saints’ Church)
8:30 – Breakfast Together (Parish Church Hall)
9:30am – Family Service (St Peter’s Church)
11am – Sung Eucharist (All Saints’ Church)
3pm – Memorial Service (St Peter’s Church)
4pm – Evensong (St Paul’s Church)
7pm – Requiem Service (All Saints’ Church)

28th October – This Sunday at Church

The World’s All Time Best Seller

I recently had the pleasure of watching a terrible American High School film.

In the film the main protagonist came into conflict with the school’s ‘Jesus Freaks’ about her behaviour. In an effort to understand their point of view she turned to the Bible – but of course she didn’t own one. She ended up going to a book shop and looking in the ‘Religious’ section but couldn’t find a Bible. When she went to a member of staff to find out where the Bibles were the answer was simple – “They are with the best sellers.”

The Bible is the world’s all time best seller. It has been lent, bought, and copied more than any other book. It has probably also been smuggled, stolen, burnt, and torn more than any other book.

It is powerful, enduring, and divisive. Yet surveys show that most self-identified Christians don’t actually read it. The figures vary but typically results show that only 30-40% of Christians read the Bible. That is a terrifying prospect if we believe that the Bible is one of the primary ways that God speaks to us and is a means by which he has revealed himself to people throughout history.

To be a Christian but not read the Bible is a bit like saying “I am a fish but I don’t like water.”

This Sunday we will be celebrating Bible Sunday in all of our services, asking why we should read the Bible and exploring a bit more what has left so many people fascinated with the same book for nearly 2000 years.

You can find the full planned teaching programme for the parish here.


The Bible Course is an 8-session course helping you explore the world’s bestseller.

Accessible and interactive, it will enhance and inform your ongoing Bible study, whether you are new to the Bible or want to go deeper.

Using a unique storyline, the course shows how the key events, books and characters all fit together. You’ll get to see the BIG picture and discover how the Bible applies to your life.

Begins 31st October, 8pm each Wednesday Evening for 8 weeks leading up to Christmas. Sign up here.

On 4 November (7pm), the parish is hoping to host a special service of Holy Communion at All Saints’ Church, featuring the luminous musical setting by Gabriel Faure, performed by a chamber orchestra of professional and semi-professional musicians. Many of these musicians have either generously donated their time or have only asked for travel costs. We have created a  Chalfont St Peter Worship Appeal  to support this event and future ones like it. Please take some time to watch this video giving a greater context to the event.






This Sunday

8am – Holy Communion (All Saints’ Church)
9:30am – Family Service (St Peter’s Church)
11am – Harvest Sung Eucharist (St Peter’s Church
4pm – Evensong (St Paul’s Church)

Epiphany

Happy New Year!

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and a lovely new year.

This Sunday marks the end of the Christmas season with the celebration of Epiphany (technically on 6th January) and our readings will be focussing on the wise men (however many there were of them) and their gifts brought before Jesus. In our 9:30 family service we will be exploring the worship of the wise men and thinking about their gifts. There will be gold crowns, burnt incense, and Myrrh.

As well as the Gospel reading from the traditional Matthew passage (2:1-12) our lectionary readings (Isaiah 60, Psalm 72, and Ephesians 3) all mention non-Jews (Gentiles) coming to worship God/

What is strange is that in many ways the celebration of that worship doesn’t resonate with me. I am, roughly speaking, a gentile, I have some jewish heritage, but it is 2 generations back and Judaism has not been observed in my recent family history. I am someone who according the Old Testament was outside of the people of God, not part of the community of faith. I am excluded from God’s grace by the law of Moses. I cannot go into the presence of God or into the inner courts of the place of worship. I cannot be taught what the scripture means. Even if I converted there is the risk that I would still be considere an outsider, a second class citizen.

The notion of being an outsider doesn’t ring true for me. It can’t for a white, middle-class man, living in the UK. I am haven’t experienced being on the outside so I can’t imagine what it’s like. In our community we are, to varying degrees, highly priveleged. Yet according to Sunday’s readings I am an outsider and heaven rejoices that I have been brought into the fold.

God has a history of drawing in the outsider. He chooses the barren woman (Sarah), the second son (Jacob rather than Esau), the youngest brother (Joseph), the fugitive (Moses), the widow (Ruth), the child (Samuel, David, Jeremiah, and Josiah). He takes the weak and poor and makes them strong, he includes the outsider in his plans. In fact neither Ruth, nor Obed, nor Jesse, nor David, nor Solomon should have even been allowed to be part of the people of God  because of their Moabite heritage (Deuteronomy 23:3). Yet David becomes king.

God draws all people to himself, regardless of position or background and we should celebrate when he does. We were all the outsiders but he has welcomed us in. Epiphany celebrates those who were on the outside (despite their privilege) and who have sought after God. Let us be like them, that we might be drawn into the centre and welcome others in with us.

Sunday Worship
8am – Holy Communion at All Saints’
9:30am – Contemporary Family Service at St Peter’s
11am – Sung Eucharist at St Peter’s
4pm – Evensong at St Paul’s