Hello, it’s me

… I’m back.  Many apologies for not having blogged here in agggeeesss, but hoping to correct that now with a sort of quick summary of stuff that you might want to know (mainly/especially if you’re a Greenfield church member – a Greenfielder?)

Firstly, Northern Baptist Learning Community (formerly Northern Baptist College, where I study) are posting throughout Advent some readings and prayers.  The idea of this is to encourage all those linked with the Learning Community to be praying together throughout Advent.  The prayers and readings are on the front page of the site, and there are links to the readings from the New Revised Standard Version.

Secondly, did you know that the UK is the only country in Europe to lock up the children of asylum seekers?  Most of these are under 5s and none have committed any crime.  A group of MPs recently criticised the government for this and the lack of definite figures or information on the children’s welfare.

The Joint Public Issues Team, a group set up jointly by the Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church to campaign and bring a Christian voice to issues such as this, is calling on all those who feel strongly about this to send One More Christmas Card to Phil Woolas MP, the minister for immigration.  These cards are to wish him a happy Christmas but also to call on him to end this practice.  Full details of what to do are on the website.

Thirdly, as I mentioned on Sunday, our Carol Service this year is going to be on Saturday 19th December.  The idea behind this is to make it possible for as many people as possible to come to the service.  As part of this, could you think of someone you’d like to invite?  If you invited someone to Back To Church Sunday in September, why not invite them to the Carol Service?  I hope there’ll be some invitations available from Sunday for you to take, so please do take one (or more!) and help make this a really special, community event.

Finally, you may have been expecting me to be preaching on Sunday, particularly if you’ve a copy of the rota.  However, it’s not; Ralph has very, very kindly offered to take the service so that I can get on with the essay that’s looming large on the horizon and also begin getting the Christmas services I’m taking ready.  So that’s why it won’t be more; I’m not shirking – honest!!

Posted by Stephen in events, Greenfield Events, 0 comments

A welcoming church?

Ship of Fools: What makes a church feel welcoming to you?.

Again, this isn’t directly related to us at Greenfield, but is important and interesting.  It’s from a web forum I look at and asks other forum members what makes them welcome when they visit another church.  Food for thought – are we a welcoming church?  I’d say “yes!”, but it’s always good to see what other people think makes for a good welcome and whether we provide it.

Edited to add: People on this site don’t always pull their punches (although it is a Christian site) – so don’t be alarmed if there’s a full and frank airing of views!

Posted by Stephen in Misc., 1 comment

BibleGateway.com's Top 100 most-read Bible verses

This isn’t really anything to do with my studies or Greenfield, but thought you might be interested.

Biblegateway.com is a site which allows you to search numerous versions of the Bible in many different languages on-line – which is very useful indeed (not least for sermon preparation).  Ralph will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s the site he uses to get the readings for each Sunday on Powerpoint.

Anyway, they’ve just published the 100 most-read Bible verses on their site.  Have a look – no real surprise for what the top one is!  Looking through the list, I don’t think there’s any real surprises, though I’m quite intrigued as to why Philippians 4:8 is higher than Philippians 4:7!

If anyone’s reading this, and is prepared to comment, what’s your favourite/most treasured verse – what would be the one you’d search for first on that site?

Posted by Stephen in Misc., 1 comment