The Alpha Course
For everyone, whether new to Christianity, wanting to investigate, or just brushing up on the basics.
Alpha at Christ Church
June 2011 The Minsters Community newsletter
Thank you very much for all your support during Christian Aid week no total is available yet but we the courteous welcome you gave to both our runners and our collectors. Also a big thank you to Rick Wakeman, and the Moreton Hall Youth Centre for their support of this event.
The period in the Christian year between Easter and Pentecost is probably the most important for Christians. During this time we commemorate that Jesus not only rose from the dead, but He appeared to hundreds of his disciples, ate with them, taught them, allowed them to touch and feel Him, and finally gave them commands to guide them for the rest of the history of the Christian Church. This period ends with the Feast of the Ascension followed by the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost reminds us of when the Holy Spirit came down from heaven not only to empower the church but also to indwell everyone who believes and to enable them to live the sort of life God wants us to lead.
The Holy Spirit has four symbols. The first is a dove, the second is water, the third is fire and the fourth is oil. Each one of these symbols has a special significance for those who receive the Holy Spirit.
The dove is a bird of peace. The presence of God in our lives gives us deep and abiding peace. This enables us to face all the trials and tragedies of this life with the full assurance that God knows us and loves us and will bring us safely through.
The symbol of water is to remind us that God cleanses us from all sin and enables us to start brand new lives. Also water gives energy and causes things to grow, be refreshed and become fruitful. We believe that as the water of the Holy Spirit cleanses us He gives us the energy and life-giving fruit we need to live our lives.
Fire has the ability not only to consume but to transform. We believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can transform ourselves, transform our churches and, of course, transform the society in which we live. It gives us fresh enthusiasm and greater strength to face every challenge good or bad.
Finally, the symbol of oil is to show us that God can heal. Oil in ancient times was used to rub into wounds to cleanse them and make them whole. Oil is similarly used today. There is nothing like being massaged with oil for tired muscles and limbs to be restored. By the power of the Holy Spirit in our time at Christ Church we have seen many peopled healed from a whole range of diseases and bodily difficulties.
As you face the challenges of your life, do you need more peace? Do you need to be cleansed and revitalised? Do you need to be transformed? Do you need to know deep and lasting healing in your life? If so, the Holy Spirit is hovering above our church longing to come down and touch those who need Him. Over the last twenty years, the Holy Spirit has made such a difference to so many people. Why don’t you be one of them? This Pentecost why not join us as we seek to renew our faith and encounter Him again.
With every good wish
Revd. Canon Jonathan Ford.
I am the Reverend Canon Jonathan Ford and I have been Minister here since 1990. I am ordained in the Church of England Ministry, married to Jane, and have two daughters Elizabeth who is married to Richard; and Rebeccawho is married to Andrew.