September 2017

September 19, 2017

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

This Autumn we continue to use Holy Habits as the basis of most of our preaching in worship. Some find it easy to adopt habits, others find it difficult. A sportsman in any field adopts habits of training, diet, fitness and the like all of which combine to create a lifestyle. However, it is not the individual habits nor the lifestyle that are the most important element it is the goal. In other words, it is the prize of winning Olympic gold, the Wimbledon singles title, the Cricket Ashes or whatever that is the driving force that leads the athlete to make sacrifices and undergo a strict regime in order to achieve their goal.

In Christianity, it is similar but with one profound difference. The profound difference is that the prize has already been obtained. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we were given the prize of a free ticket to eternal life with God, in other words a guarantee of a place in heaven. The Christian habits that we pursue are not in order that we might achieve a place in heaven but rather they are a sign of our gratitude to the loving God who in his immense grace has guaranteed us life eternal with Him. This is the ultimate prize, a gift beyond compare that means the fear of hell has been taken from us and the joy of heaven guaranteed.

Of course we could take all this for granted and live life as we like knowing that at the end we will be with God. In other words we take God’s love for granted but most people choose a different response to immense love. They want to please the giver of love and do what pleases that person. So it is with us and God. The great saint, Augustine of Hippo, famously said ‘love God and do what you please’. Of course this was not permission to ignore the commandments, to be cruel and to hurt others. He was profoundly saying that if someone truly loves God then they will only want to do those things God would approve of. That may be easier said than done!

In his book Holy Habits, Andrew Roberts says ‘Jesus called his first followers into community; to be with him and to be sent out by him. To eat with him, pray with him, learn with him, to be challenged, transformed and guided; and when life and faith failed to be forgiven , restored and sent out again. Together they fed the hungry, proclaimed Good News and opened people’s eyes to the much longed for Kingdom of God. They also lived sacrificially, suffered and were granted glimpses of glory.’ (chapter 6 Page 93).

Jesus calls us to the same lifestyle and we respond willingly out of our love for him. Dietrich Bonhoeffer identified five ministries that are essential in any intentional Christian Community namely; Holding one’s tongue, Meekness, Listening, Helpfulness, Bearing with others individuality, weaknesses and oddities. He also said ‘when the church stops talking about Jesus it has nothing left to say’. This is what underpins our Holy Habits of Biblical Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread, Prayer, Giving, Service, Eating Together, Gladness and Generosity, Worship and Making More Disciples.



Sunday 3rd  in CTB45 we pray for St Chad’s Church

The flowers are a gift from Linda Griffiths

11.00am      Worship with Communion led by Ian Ring

Theme: Right Back To The Beginning – Introducing Holy Habits
Readings: Micah 6 vv 6-8, Acts 2 vv 42-47, Revelation 1 vv 1-11

Duty Elder:  Yvonne                             Communion: Yvonne & Phil

Readers:      Yvonne & Phil                   Stewards: Shirley & Phil

Powerpoint:  Preparation: Ian              Delivery & Sound: Yvonne

Music: Frank

Refreshments: Joan & Jean                 Counting: Pat & Phil


6.00pm        Café Church led by Ian Ring

Theme: Promises
Duty Elder: tba                                   Refreshments:


Sunday 10th In CTB45 we pray for Longbridge Methodist Church

The flowers are a gift from

11.00am      Worship led by Terry Thompson

Theme: The Bible For Today

Readings: Amos 8 vv 1-6 & 2 Timothy 2 vv 1-13

Duty Elder:  Bob

Readers:      Bob & Angela                   Stewards: Robert & Linda

Powerpoint:  Preparation: Terry           Delivery & Sound: Darron

Music: Digital

Refreshments: Doreen & Eileen           Counting: Angela & Robert


6.30pm        Worship, Prayer & Discussion led by Ian Ring
Theme: Discussion following morning service
Elder: Yvonne


Sunday 17th In CTB45 we pray for St Stephen’s Church

The flowers are a gift from

11.00am      Worship led by Ian Ring

Theme: The Holy Habit of Fellowship

Readings: Romans 12 vv 9-21

Duty Elder:  Terry C

Readers:      Terry C & Bel                  Stewards: Doreen & Frank

Powerpoint:  Preparation: Ian              Delivery & Sound: Phil

Organist: Frank

Refreshments: Tracy & Linda               Counting: Eileen & Yvonne


2.00pm        Messy Church


6.30pm        Worship with Communion & Prayers for Healing led by Ian Ring

Theme: Divine Healing                         Reading: 2 Kings 5 vv 1-19

Duty Elder: Angela                              Communion: Bob


Sunday 24th In CTB45 we pray for Grace Community Church

The flowers are a gift from

11.00am      Family Worship led by Kevin Watson, Moderator of the URC

Theme: Sir We Want To See Jesus

Readings: John 12 vv 20-36

Duty Elder:  Jim

Readers:      Jim & Shirley                  Stewards: Pat & Mick

Powerpoint:  Preparation: Ian              Delivery & Sound: Ian

Organist: John

Refreshments: Pat P & Beryl                Counting: Pat & Shirley M


4.00pm        Worship led by Kevin Watson, Moderator of the URC

Theme: Neither Promise or Threat – It’d Up To You And Jesus

Readings: Genesis 4 vv 1-12, Isaiah 65 vv 17-25 & John 21 vv 13-19

Duty Elder:  Terry T

Readers:      Terry T & Yvonne            Stewards:

Powerpoint:  Preparation: Ian              Delivery & Sound: Ian

Organist: Frank

Refreshments:                                    Counting:




Friday 1st 9am Messy Holiday Club
Saturday 2nd 7pm-9pm Cheese & Wine at Barnes Close
Tuesday 5th 10am-12nn Coffee Morning
12.15pm-1pm Tuesday Tasters
Tuesday 12th 10am-12nn Coffee Morning
7pm Powerhouse
7.30pm Church Life Meeting
Saturday 16th 7.30pm Quiz
Tuesday 19th 10am-12nn Coffee Morning
12.15pm-1pm Tuesday Tasters
Monday 25th 2.30pm Cracker Planning
7.30pm Ctb45 Lay Prayer Group
Tuesday 26th 10am-12nn Coffee Morning
Thursday 28th 2.30pm Book Club


Tuesday Coffee Rota

5th     Yvonne

12th    Linda & Robert

19th    Yvonne

26th   Gillian & Mark