The Alpha Course
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Alpha at Christ Church
Minister letter for August 2010
August is traditionally the time for holidays. The schools are out, many of our part-time jobs disappear and it is a chance to refresh ourselves before the autumn and the return to school and work begins. However, for many August is just a hot month during which we have to continue working as hard as we ever do and we look with resentment upon those who get a nice six weeks break. Some of us will get away for a fortnight to the sun, but this year as we jet away many of us will have pangs of guilt about the damage to the ozone layer and will experience the frustration of excess baggage charges. Both these items will take the joy out of our holidays. Many of you will know that the word “holiday comes” from the phrase “Holy Day”. One of the joys of the mediaeval world was that many Christian festivals and Saint’s days was a day of rest like Sunday. A Holy day was a work free day to be spent reflecting upon God, and the life of the saint concerned. The Christian church has taught that while humans have been given a world to tend (that is our work) humankind was also made to rest, as God did in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Rest is an essential part of being human, having a break and a chance to recharge. Rest is a chance to think and draw closer to God, a chance to renew your relationships and to progress in your identity and character. All these elements should be part of a good holiday. So this year why not, whatever your recreation might be, do the following nine things: 1. Leave your mobile phone at home or, if you have to take it with you, keep it turned off.2. Do not to go onto the internet and check your emails unless you really have to.3. Do not buy a newspaper it only stresses you out.4. Lie in a bit in the morning and why not stay up a little bit later.5. Let conversation flow naturally and give time to it, especially to those you love.6. Spend some time alone thinking about God, your life, how far you have come? What are your hopes and dreams and whether you are getting close to them? You might even try talking to God and asking Him, what He thinks.7. Read that book you have always meant to, particularly if it is the Bible. 8. Try something new.9. Above all, have a real break. Human existence is about having a break, slow down, take stock, rediscover yourself and enjoy the world and the skin that you inhabit. Some of you will be saying, “What about all those noisy, pesky kids?” Here, once again, Christ Church, Moreton Hall is here to help. At the end of August when everyone is at the end of their tether, we will be opening the church for four mornings and encouraging young people to come along and have some great fun, games as well as finding out more about Jesus. We would also like to invite you to “Back to Church Sunday” at the end of September when there will be a barbecue and a chance to meet up again. Whatever you do this summer, try to find some space for a true holy day when you get close to your friends and family, get close to yourself and get closer to God.
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.