Message from Tim


Are You Listening?

‘Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.’ I’m reading Revelation at the moment and am working my way through the seven letters in chapters 2 and 3. Each letter is addressed to the angel of the church (or maybe the church leader) and contains this call to listen. The New English Translation is quite emphatic – ‘The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ The seven letters contain a mixture of encouragement and rebuke – the Spirit talks of a loss of love for the Lord, a call to be faithful in a time of trial, a warning against compromise, a sifting of one church as the Lord searches their hearts and minds, a call to wake up, to hang on in there, to let Christ back into their lives again. What would the Spirit say to us, to you?

Something that was on my heart before I went on holiday was to create an opportunity for us to gather and listen to God and to each other. I think we should do his sooner rather than later: we are in a period of transition, experimenting with new styles of service, and hoping to recommence various aspects of our programme as autumn unfolds.

With this in mind, I’d like to extend a warm invitation to you to come to Brighton Road on the afternoon of Sunday 5th September. The main church will be open from 3pm until 6pm, and refreshments will be available in the main hall. In the main church there will be opportunities to pray in response to various passages of scripture, which all share the theme of God speaking to his people. Over a cup of tea or coffee in the main hall there will be a chance for us to share our experiences of God’s faithfulness or of our struggles over the past months, and of our hopes and fears for the future. The chapel will also be available if people wish to pray for each other. Some of the church leadership team will be available to listen to what God lays on your heart, and there will also be an opportunity for you to write down your own thoughts and feelings for others to read, if you wish to ‘go public’. The proposal is for us to consider and reflect on feedback from this afternoon at the deacons’ meeting on Monday 13th September and also at the church members’ meeting on Wednesday 22nd September.

I am mindful that not everyone will be able to attend the afternoon in person, so we will be providing he opportunity for people to participate on Zoom using this link: d=T1h6VkVXMWN3U0FzTVZUYVVodkRNZz09

I would also like to share with you the scripture passages we will be considering, so you have the opportunity to participate in this at a different time and in your own space if that is right for you. The passages are: Deuteronomy 4:1-14
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Jonah 3:1-10
Matthew 5:1-16
James 1:19-27
Revelation 3:1-21

If you can’t attend in person, please feel free to email your responses and reflections to me. Otherwise I look forward to seeing you / hearing from you / sharing with you on 5th September, and also to hearing what the Holy Spirit might say as we gather to worship, share, pray and listen together.