Imagine the setting: a wonderful summer day, blue sky and the sun is shining, gorgeous countryside surroundings with lush trees, dazzling lake and immaculate lawn; add to that barbecue, bouncy castles, cream tea, games and of course the most important ingredient of all, the people. Yes, you have guessed it, I am talking about the Summer Celebration and the scene of last year’s event.
As a church, we believe that building family and community is what we are called to do; it goes without saying that the most valuable and important commodity you and I have is each other and this is the very sentiment that Paul echoes in his letter to the Thessalonians:
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 NIV
So after a successful one day Summer Celebration last year, we have got another wonderful opportunity to foster the family spirit and to continue to build community together over two days rather than just one, from Saturday 21st July to Sunday 22nd July.
Here is the plan:
2pm Arrival time & set up tents
3pm Camp brief & Cream tea
4pm Optional organised activities
6.30pm Dinner (provided)
7.30-9.30pm Silent disco
All of this for the bargain price of £5.00 for adults & £3.00 for children
8:00am Breakfast for campers
10:30am Sunday Gathering in the Millennium Hall + Testimonies from baptism candidates
11:45am Baptisms by the lake
12:45 Barbecue & lunch
14:00 Games & Bouncy Castle
16:00 End of day
NB: Please bring some money.. ££££ ..for burger/sausage rolls, ice cream and drinks.
Last Sunday evening at 6pm in this amazing building which is the Chichester Cathedral where Christians have gathered to worship God for nearly a millennium was the wonderful opportunity for us as the church of God in Chichester, hundreds of Christians (Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Catholic, Charismatic & Pentecostal) to gather together and showcase our ‘Mission Together’ in worship and thanksgiving at the Unity Service. Our Mission Together this year was represented by Anna Chaplaincy, the Bell Tower youth drop in, CAP (Christians against Poverty), CYE (Christian Youth Enterprise), City Angels, the Foodbank, Life Centre and Options.
Over the past few years it has been great to see and be part of the journey of the Church in Chichester as it has moved from expressing its unity through simply a few meetings a year together to birthing and transforming and life changing works represented by the above organisations whereby Christians from all denominations are working together on a day to day and week to week basis to show the tangible love of God in our community.
The second greatest commandment apart from the commandment for us to love God with all our hearts is to love one another or to love our neighbour; and l love the fact that Jesus concludes by saying: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’” John 13:35
There is no better way of proclaiming and portraying our love for one another than through our mission together.
Someone once said: “Constant change is here to stay”; the past two years we have embarked on a deliberate journey of change as we have sought to bring the two churches together (Revelation Church & Chichester Family Church) in obedience to a prophetic word from God.
New journeys are always full of excitement as well as uncertainties and apprehension (i.e. the mess that Ant referred to on Sunday!)
As I prayed about this new journey, I felt God drop this prophetic verse into my heart: “…When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before...” Joshua 3:3-4
It occurred to me that there seems to be a remarkable pattern in the Bible in times of new beginnings, both in the Old as well as the New Testament, as God’s people embarked on a new journey (a move towards the promised land). Although full of uncertainties, apprehension and chaos, God’s presence was with them and there is a concentration of the miraculous during this time – there are more miracles in the book of Exodus than any other in the Old Testament.
Like with the children of Israel in this new journey, God promises to be with us & to lead us as we keep our eyes on Him.
As we embark in this new venture of the two churches having become one, we are really excited about the future and looking forward to the great things that God has in store for us and through us to spill over to the wider community and we will see people being added to the church as well people’s lives being transformed.