Saturday, 24 March 2012
The fun kicks off with the Easter Vigil for young people, on Thursday 5 April. An all night lock-in at St Paul’s, full of activities, games, food and music. The challenge is the same one Jesus set his disciples - to stay awake! This is a great celebration of the last night of Jesus’ life. For school years 6-8, the vigil starts at 9pm until midnight. Years 9-13 can stay until 8am on Good Friday, if they can take the pace! I’d recommend it for the breakfast.
Two events are lined up for children. The morning Bun Fight, I mean The Great Hot Cross Bun Hunt, is an active challenge for ages 7-11 on 10 April between 9.30am – 12pm. If you're looking for a treasure hunt with a difference, then join this one! There will be arts and crafts, games & stories to help learn the meaning of Easter in an exciting new way. After all the fun, the whole family can relax and grab a hot cross bun and refreshments on us.
Easter Kiddie Craft is a great opportunity to come along with your children for a couple of hours and have some messy fun at our place. Roll up your sleeves and let your hands do the crafting. Crafting starts on 12 April at 10am until 12pm.
Check out our website for more information on other events and our Easter services at http://stpaulscamberley.org.uk
If you’re on Twitter on Facebook, please share this, and spread the word.
Sunday, 11 March 2012
What is most precious to you?
All of us have things in our lives we consider precious and we go to great lengths to make sure they are kept safe. It might be something valuable in monetary terms, like a mobile phone or a pair of shoes. It might be something with great emotional value like a wedding ring or a photograph. Whatever it is, we tend to take the time and the energy to protect our valuables against loss, theft and damage.
But what about our faith? It is said that 90% of students lose their faith at University. How can we ensure as individuals, as a church and as a society that we hold on to the precious gift of faith in Jesus Christ?
“Some things, especially family and faith, are far too precious to lose” said Rev'd Mark Chester. “It’s these things that we don’t even want to consider what life would be like without.”
On Sunday March 18, we will focus on what is truly ‘precious’ and we invite everyone to come and join the conversation. Since March 18th is also Mothering Sunday, we’ll be thanking God for the precious gift of mothers during the service.
Everyone is welcome to come and join us at our Mothering Sunday services on Sunday 18th March (at 9.30am or 11.15am).
To find out more about St Paul’s, please visit stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact the office on 01276 700210.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Lent means “to lengthen”, which occurs when the days lengthen in Spring. It’s a time when we start to see change, and signs of new hope. Lent it seems, it not just for Christians, it’s built into the nations DNA. Like Easter and Christmas, Lent is something even people with no faith take part in, according to a mini survey I recently conducted. People are either giving-up or starting-up something.
Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry. Lent is a time when we think, and prepare for the great celebration that is Easter, when Jesus rises again. Traditionally people then fasted (gave up some type of food) at this time, in remembrance of what Jesus did.
Chocolate is the most popular thing people are fasting, or giving up today, and it’s no easy task! Lent is synonymous with “giving things up”, and we are using it as an opportunity to get healthy. It seems we long for self-discipline. “I have given up laziness! I've been trying to lose weight for ages but have been lacking in enthusiasm. Lent, for me, was just what I needed to spur me on.” said one earnest respondent.
But people aren’t just giving up things. Do you ever feel like sometimes you are just wandering in the wilderness, and want to try something new, something positive that adds benefit? Perhaps we long for change, that brings with it, a new sign of hope.
Another respondent said “I started running (for the first time in 25 years) just before Christmas, aiming to run the London Marathon in April. My aim for Lent is to go the extra mile every time I run during Lent - which should add up to an extra 30 miles or so training”. Yet another said “I'm learning to love myself because I've only recently really begun to understand that when Jesus said 'love others as you would yourself' - that you have to actually love and respect yourself to be able to love others in the way he instructed.”. So, many of us are on a journey through Lent, reflecting, fasting, but always improving ourselves.
Some of the specific Christian activities that are popular this year are listening to the bible online (from the Bible Society), or signing up for Christian Aid’s “count your blessings” programme.
Whatever you are doing, or not doing, it seems to me, Lent is a personal challenge. I really hope your challenge is working out well, and you are starting to see signs of hope, just like the new life that is stirring as we head towards Spring.
How are you getting on with the Lent challenge?