Just found out tonight that someone from my home church of Consett actually takes the time and trouble to read this stuff !! Thank you Judith.
Greeted the New Year in by running a non~alcoholic cocktail bar at my Waingroves Chapel. The bar opened at 8.00 p.m. and ran until Worship began at 11.45 p.m. A whole assortment of cocktails were served with exquisite names such as Pink Panther, Sunset Strip, Tiger Tim, Angel Cava and Mud slide. Each recipe was taken from the HOPE UK website so many thanks to the people responsible. Unfortunately the chocolate fountain broke down and had to be hastily re-advertised as a chocolate puddle ! Still the marshmallows dipped into the warm chocolate were greatly appreciated. Next year it may be both a working chocolate fountain (as its been fixed) and a chocolate (or otherwise) fondue.
The worship co~incided with the launch of the Hope 08 initiative and the inspiration was the Tiny Lights vision where candles were lit in many churches up and down the land. Each participant also lit their own candle and prayers were said for the community, the nation and other nations. Prayers were said for Hope 08 itself and for ourselves that we might be good witnesses to Jesus Christ.
About 20~25 people turned up and it was a good evening. Unfortunately it has not been possible to put the photos on my website but here is one of a smooth hunky looking cocktail bartender. www.revmike.co.uk
Today I’ve been studying this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Every attempt to impose the gospel by force, to run after people and proselytize them, to use our own resources to arrange the salvation of other people, is both futile and dangerous. It is futile, because the swine do not recognise the pearls that are cast before them, and dangerous because it profanes the word of forgiveness………worse still, we shall only meet with the blind rage of hardened and darkened hearts, and that will be useless and harmful. Our easy trafficking with the word of cheap grace simply bores the world to disgust, so that in the end it turns against those who try to force on it what it does not want.”
I couldn’t agree more. The more we push our faith the more some people will resist and reject. I know a certain young lady who will always dig her heels in when urged to do something, even if she wants to actually do it ! There will always be people who will warm to the direct approach and yet we must also be aware of those who need to be warmed to our personalities and friendship first. I feel that nights like last night, where we had fun and simply relaxed amongst ourselves; where people were free to come and go; where they could come into worship if they wanted or not, will always be a large part of making people feel welcome. We can share the gospel with them later, when they are ready.
Happy New Year to you all