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Rev Adam Pawley

The Rector writes,

It’s September. The slow Summer days may be ending but the Autumn activity is beginning! Enjoy flicking through this month’s magazine to decide what you might come along to. There is lots happening as much of the usual activity restarts or continues and A Season of Invitation gets underway again, but also some new ventures to bring to your attention to too.

messy church logoFirstly, I take great pleasure in announcing the launch of Messy Church in Hope. Messy Church, is church done differently to the traditional Sunday morning model, that is growing phenomenally across the UK. Following its’ success in Emmanuel Church, Penyffordd, we are now introducing it in Hope.

This is good news for those of us in Penyffordd, because this means we now have two opportunities in the month to get Messy (!), and good news for Hope for those who haven’t yet ventured up to Emmanuel to give it a go.
Personally, I think of Messy Church as a bit like Sunday School for children (or a Church Youth Group) but it’s for mum and dad or grandma and granddad and carers too.

I may be the rector but that doesn’t make me the spiritual head over a family. That is the parents’ role. When we bring our children forward for baptism, it’s the parents who take on the primary commitment; the godparents and the church are the supporting roles. Messy Church is one way that we as a church can support parents who want to bring up their children in the Christian faith as well help parents to grow spiritually too.
Doing church together as a family, helps the family to discover and meet with God together. In order to do church as a family or mixed ages we have to do it differently, not least mum and/or dad come too! Messy Church has three elements to it: Activity,
Celebration and Food. Or put another way it’s crafts and games followed by 21st century songs, story and prayer – that all follow a theme – and then food together. It’s a great way to make new friends or get out and burn off some unused energy after a lazy Sunday morning about the house. Come along! It’s going to be great! If you want to read reviews about it then go to Emmanuel Church, Penyffordd’s Facebook page. It’s a gathering of church too, so there’s no charge, but please do give a small donation towards the craft materials and food (and if you would like towards the general work and mission of the church) – It would be very much appreciated and will enable Messy Church to become a long term initiative.

This month also sees the beginning of A Season of Invitation for 2015. Five Sunday services between now and Christmas, all ideal for inviting and bringing along friends and family to, and to which a larger crowd of attendance is guaranteed.

Our September event is “Back To Church Sunday”. If you are a magazine reader but not a church attender (which is most, 550 are printed a month!) and you would like to give church a try or think about coming back, then please join us and/or come along for “the big breakfast” in the church hall the same day too.
Come as you like, dressed as you are comfortable (it is the weekend after all), feeling as low or upbeat as you are, and as cynical or convinced of the gospel as you are. Surely it’s better to give church a go than not at all? Personally, I believe Jesus takes us and welcomes us – as we are. Nobody’s perfect. We’re far from a perfect bunch in church. If we were then we wouldn’t need Jesus. The day the church isn’t full of sinners and hypocrites can only be the day when we’re in heaven bowed in adoration before the Throne of Grace.

“A Season of Invitation”, I add incidentally isn’t actually primarily about getting new people into church. It’s primary aim is to encourage those of us who already regularly attend to have a go at inviting. Near all of us come to church for the first time – not because we decided to completely off our own back – but because someone else invited us or brought us along. Regulars amongst us, who can we be praying for? Who can we invite?

Finally, this month, a new monthly short service “Timeout” begins at 7:30pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month, the initiative of our worship leader Liz. This will be an opportunity for us to worship midweek if Sundays are difficult and to meet with likeminded Christians who value space to be still, reflective, and meet with God in the silences that perhaps our Sunday services don’t always offer.

In Christ, Adam

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