Dear Church member
Yesterday was the Festival of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Of very different backgrounds (Peter an uneducated fisherman and Paul a highly educated Pharisee), and coming to faith in Jesus in very different ways, God powerfully used these two men to establish and grow his Church in the decades following Jesus' death and resurrection. But alongside these men were numerous others - a few whose names we know, but most whose we don't - who in perhaps less obvious ways knew and witnessed to the risen Christ, and whose words and deeds turned the world upside down. Despite not having festivals in our honour(!), we - in all our diversity - are the present-day successors of those men and women whom God uses to extend his kingdom and grow his Church, wider, deeper and closer. God has a vital role for each one of us in seeing his Kingdom come, and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We continue in our Sunday services (online from 9am, interactive at St Matthew's at 10.30am, and in the evening at 6pm, currently alternating between our churches - this Sunday, 4th July, at St Matthew's) with week four of our seven-week 'Bible Series', this week thinking about 'Messiah and Love'. The series is a great exploration of the overall story of the Bible, with each week touching on key themes and how they relate to universal human needs, such as the need for meaning, freedom, peace, love, community and home.
Our leadership teams have been carefully and prayerfully discussing the options for an exciting range of services across our two churches that will be starting up as we move out of Covid-19 restrictions. I plan to write again next week with news about this.
Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to pass on thanks from Jeremy Burbage and Gemma, Kerry and Zoe, to those who attended Jude's funeral on 16th June, and for everyone who has been so kind and supportive following Jude's death. A recording of the service should be available online until 25th July and can be found here (username zuto9176 and password 147744).
whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul
glorified you in their death as in their life:
grant that your Church,
inspired by their teaching and example,
and made one by your Spirit,
may ever stand firm upon the one foundation,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton