Newsletter 27th March 2022

Message from Our Minister

Respecting one another and our differences and finding ways to live at peace with everyone is so important. Paul in his letter to the Romans in chapter 12 makes clear to us how we should live as Christians in response to God’s love. He explains that the Holy Spirit works within us so that we might be transformed by the renewing of our minds and therefore be enabled to live a life that pleases God in every way. 

Children often inhabit a world of their own with everything revolving around them. This inevitably leads to disputes that have to be resolved and someone has to step in and act as referee! You would hope that adults don’t do such things but sadly this is often not the case. We may have grown older but have we grown up?

Hatred is sadly prevalent today as ever before. Families may tear each other apart and not speak for years on end; neighbours can fall out over controversial issues such as three inches of fencing; communities are at loggerheads. And now, as we are witnessing, nations are at war with each other and with it comes the tragic loss of human life. It is heartbreaking! Jesus came to ‘step in’ to the very centre of our disagreements.

It is already the 4th Sunday in Lent and we will soon be thinking of the events of Holy Week and probably be singing together the familiar hymn, ‘There is a green hill far away’, written by Cecil Frances Alexander.

‘He died that we might be forgiven; He died to make us good’.                                             

We are reminded that Jesus took it upon himself to bring about reconciliation. Here the love of God is most powerfully demonstrated and sin defeated. It stretched Jesus to the cross!  The message of Easter offers real hope for reconciliation and transformation; hope for our families; hope in our communities and hope for our world. 

Let us fervently pray that our world will live in peace and let that peace begin with us.

God’s richest blessings to you all,
Rev John Izzard

This Week

Marian will be leading us in an exploration of the theme ‘No Nonsense Jesus’ using references from Matthew’s gospel. It’s also Mothering Sunday so we will be remembering and thanking God for mothers.

Next Week 

We will be considering the question ‘Does Prayer Make a Difference?’. Andy Croft will be speaking from Matthew 7 v 7 to 12 and Luke 11 v 5 to 8


More Simon Jokes

What do you call an overweight physic? A four chin teller.

I just bought a Humpty Dumpty toy from Aldi.  It’s great!!  It comes with Aldi king’s horses and Aldi king’s men.

Why can’t you use, ‘beef stew’ as a password?  Because it not stroganoff.

Russian Evangelical Alliance laments invasion and asks for forgiveness -Tue 15 Mar ‘22 by Kelly Valencia

The head of the Russian Evangelical Alliance has written a letter to Christians around the world lamenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Rev Vitaly Vlasenko, general secretary of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, said he the military invasion was a “shock” to him. 

“I mourn what my country has done,” Rev Vlasenko wrote. “In the worst-case scenario, I could not imagine what is now being observed in Ukraine.”

“Today, as a citizen and as General Secretary of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, I apologize to all those who have suffered, lost loved ones and relatives, or lost their place of residence as a result of this military conflict,” he continued. 

He also shared how he had done “everything he could” to prevent the war, including writing an open letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin the day before the invasion, supporting a request by Ukrainian church leaders to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Rev Vlasenko is one of the few Russian church leaders who have spoken against the war in Ukraine. Last week, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia condemned Western sanctions against the country.

In his letter to the World Council of Churches, Patriarch Kirill said: “This tragic conflict has become a part of the large-scale geopolitical strategy aimed, first and foremost, at weakening Russia.

“And now the Western leaders are imposing such economic sanctions on Russia that will be harmful to everyone. They make their intentions blatantly obvious – to bring sufferings not only to the Russian political or military leaders, but specifically to the Russian people. Russophobia is spreading across the Western world at an unprecedented pace.”

Rev Vlasenko concluded the letter by saying: “My prayer is that you will find strength from the Lord to extend your hand of solidarity and forgiveness, so we can live as the people of God to our world.”The Russian Evangelical Alliance is part of of World Evangelical Allaince’s 143 national member bodies.     (FROM PREMIER CHRISTIANITY)

Please send any contributions that might be published by next Tuesday morning to:   andy