Our morning meeting yesterday was shaped around our young people, the ‘Tweenagers‘, who have recently visited the Matumaini School in Tanzania. Part of their own video was shown as a prelude to the worship which was led by Major Nigel Schultz.
The worship began with scripture from Acts 3:1-26 and continued with the ministry of the children’s choir (Singing Company) who sang ‘Wonderful Grace’. Following prayer, introductions and a welcome the congregation joined in one of the church’s great son gs of faith, ‘Guide me, O thou great Jehovah’.
The next part of the meeting belonged to the ‘Tweenagers’ as Children’s Ministries Leader Tracy Wood gave a presentation involving the young people who were asked to state something beautiful about t he trip and also something which challenged them.
The ‘Tweenagers’ themselves brought a song and the congregation joined in ‘We are marching in the light of God’. as the photos show some clothing made in Tanzania (in two days!) was worn by the adults.
‘One Voice’, an old Barry Manilow number, was the contribution from the Songsters which featured Emma and Martin Davis together with Ruth and Paul Woodhouse as soloists.
Major Nigel gave his message and, linking to the Songsters contribution, said (summarised):
We have heard many voices this week but ‘one voice’ is important. Genesis begins with ‘one voice’ saying ‘Let there be light’. But somebody listened to another voice and Adam and Eve were led astray. God asked them ‘where are you?’ and I want to ask this of you this morning.
There are many examples of ‘one voice’, particularly in the Old Testament. Eli and Samuel is just one such occasion when ‘one voice’, God’s voice, was heard. So we also must listen to the one true voice just as Samuel did.
On the day of Pentecost many voices were heard. One group of voices shouted ‘Hosanna’ and another had previously shouted ‘Crucify’. We should also consider the voice of the beggar calling for help and healing. What is your opinion of beggars on the streets today? There are lots of them in Chatham. How are we able to help those in need? This is a challenge for us all.
We were all challenged in Tanzania where the Army is trying to help disabled children. But what can we do? The beggar in scripture asked for money but peter said silver and gold I do not have but what I do have I give you. Get up and walk. Peter had heard the ‘one voice’ of Jesus and responded.
Today we have plenty of ‘silver and gold’ so it is easy to give from our human resources. But we must give in the name of Jesus. Our lives are dominated by all that we have but we still need Jesus who, with ‘one voice’, has promised us eternal life.
May we continue to support Matumaini for generations to come.
The song ‘They shall come from the east, they shall come from the west’ gave time for reflection and ‘Never fades the name of Jesus’ ended the worship.
The evening meeting was led by Divisional Leaders, Majors Mark and Linda Herbert.
The meeting began with a great hymn of praise, ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore thee’ and continued with a united reading of Psalm 148. Two more worship songs followed, ‘Hosanna, hosanna’ and ‘I will enter his gates’ before the congregation joined in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.
The Band contributed ‘Quem Pastores Laudavere’ before a PowerPoint asking ‘What is Church’ was shown outlining many facets of ‘church’. ‘O church arise’ was the song chosen for the congregation to sing following the presentation.
Reminding us of a fundamental element of our faith, the Songsters sang ‘Look at Jesus’ before Major Mark delivered his message, based on Ephesians 2:14-22, and said (summarised)
It is hard to believe that cricket is boring. It really is most enjoyable. But some people think church is boring although we experience it at its best because it has a purpose for us.
So what is Paul trying to say in our scripture. It is simply that church sets out to bring everything under Christ Jesus himself. We are his handiwork and, as such, have to do what he requires of us. There is a plan for each of us. Here are five important things about church.
- Church is a place where we belong. There must be no barriers. We must be friendly to each other so that the church will be united.
- Church is a place where we believe. Sometimes its difficult to know what to believe in the modern world but we must cling to Jesus as the centre of everything.
- Church helps us to become what God has created us to be. We are not outsiders but in a close fellowship with Christ.
- Church teaches us how to behave as Christians. The words oft he song ‘I would be thy holy temple’ come to mind.
- Church is a place where we can do things which are so much bigger because we are the family of God.
Is your experience of church in line with these thoughts or do you have a bad taste about it. May God renew your vision so that church may be a good place for you.
A song of reflection, ‘In my life, Lord’ and a song of faith, ‘How lovely on the mountains’ brought the worship to a close.
One of the great local events took place in Rochester over the weekend. This was the annual Dickens Festival during which it is common to see members of the public dressed in 19th century costume. Ann, one of our Strood congregation, takes this very seriously as you can see. This is a costume she made herself. Well done Ann!
Thanks to all of you who regularly read our website. Come back again soon but, in the mean time, have a great week.