Posts filed under 'church'

Is the Story of the Ascension an Embarrassment?

Posted on 20th May 2020

What do we do about the story of the Ascension of Jesus? Do we really have to believe that if we had been there we would have seen Jesus going up into the sky? Two hymns help us to consider these questions. The first from the 1700s, the other written in the last fifty years. They are both in the hymn book Singing the Faith.

John Rackley explores this story.

[read the full Is the Story of the Ascension an Embarrassment? post]

Christian Aid Week and the Three Loves

Posted on 12th May 2020

Abraham was charged by God to teach his children ‘the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just’ (Genesis 18:19) and ever since we have wondered what that means.

Jonathan Sacks gives a superb summary of how the Jews have interpreted this instruction in his latest book, Morality.

Love your neighbour.

Love the stranger.

Hear the cry of the otherwise unheard.

Liberate the poor from their poverty.

Care for the dignity of all.

Let those who have more than they need share their blessings with those who have less.

Feed the hungry, house the homeless, and heal the sick in body and mind.

Fight injustice, whoever it is done by and whoever it is done against.

And do these things because, being human, we are bound by a covenant of human solidarity,

Whatever our colour or culture, class or creed’.

[read the full Christian Aid Week and the Three Loves post]

Visit Rev John Rackley’s blog

Posted on 12th May 2020

Rev John Rackley, our associate Baptist minister, has re-started his own blog at windingquest.wordpress.com

This  is how he introduces himself.

Life is a bridge.

Cross over it

but build no home on it.

Bruce Chatwin  Songlines 1982

I grew up in a fishing community in Devon UK from generations of sea-farers going back over 200 years.

I have worked as a bus conductor, secondary school teacher, radio broadcaster and Baptist minister.

I have lived in Leicester, Cardiff, Great Missenden and now in South Leicestershire.

I have travelled in Scandanavia, Hungary, Italy, India, Bangladesh, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

I love autumn and the approach of darkening evenings.

[read the full Visit Rev John Rackley’s blog post]

Responding to Covid-19

Posted on 24th April 2020

Rev John Weaver is a past-President of the Baptist Union and, subject to the future of our movements, is coming to Christchurch in September to talk about the Climate Emergency.

In conversation with John Rackley he has developed this pattern of reflection to help anyone consider their experience of COVID-19. An expanded version of this is available on the Baptist Times website (link to John Weaver’s Baptist Times post).

[read the full Responding to Covid-19 post]

Fake theology:even more dangerous than fake news?

Posted on 16th April 2020

Back in March, which seems an age ago now, Rev Dr David Hilborn gave a seminar at the Christian Resources Exhibition in Stoneleigh titled “Fake Theology: even more dangerous than fake news?” We live in a world where extreme views can be propagated easily through social media channels. These views are sometimes supported by very dodgy theology, and Christians today need to be able to recognise these distortions of the gospel and to counter them.

[read the full Fake theology:even more dangerous than fake news? post]

Restrain Yourself!

Posted on 15th April 2020

Some thought for Lent from Rev John Rackley – a bit late, but perhaps it still seems like Lent in these strange times! [read the full Restrain Yourself! post]

Worshiping at home

Posted on 22nd March 2020

Like everywhere else, there was no service at Christchurch this morning but the church was open for private prayer and about a dozen people came along. (Some may also have come to get supplies from the Traidcraft stall!) The Methodist Church is streaming services from Wesley’s Chapel in London, and I followed the service this morning at 11 am, which was led by Revd Jennifer Smith, the superintendent there. Before she was ordained Jenny was a lecturer at Leicester University and a member of Christchurch so she is well-known to the longer-standing members. It was a short service based on the liturgy from the Methodist Worship Book.

[read the full Worshiping at home post]

A Baptist Thinks about the Methodist Covenant Service

Posted on 26th January 2020

The annual Covenant Service is a tradition going back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. On January 5th this year it was led in Christchurch by our Baptist minister, and here are his thoughts on its meaning.

[read the full A Baptist Thinks about the Methodist Covenant Service post]

New blog started

Posted on 6th December 2019

A new blog has been set up to give a platform for our ministers and worship leaders. To kick it off there are two sermons which I have been asked to post. Hopefully more will follow. The blog can be found under ‘News and events’.

Go to the blog.

Harvest Festival

Posted on 3rd October 2019

Worship Centre on Harvest FestivalWe had an excellent Harvest Festival service last Sunday. Rev John Rackley, in his sermon, contrasted our outlook today with 30 or 40 years ago, when harvest festivals were a celebration of the abundance of food we enjoyed. Now, while remaining thankful for what we receive, we think more about floods, drought, climate change, and all the things which threaten people’s food supply. Closer to home the gifts of food brought to the harvest festival go to the Salvation Army food bank, to help those in our own locality who don’t have enough to eat. John urged us, as a church, to think about what we can do in the face of this climate emergency. At the local level we can set an example by our actions; at the national level the churches represent a large minority and can still have considerable influence.