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Palm Sunday

Speaker: David Sharpe

Reading: Luke 19:28-44 (NIV)

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 19:38 Psalm 118:26

Connecting with Culture

Speaker: Rev Mark Close

Reading: Acts 17:16-34 (NIV)

In Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagoguewith both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[b]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
  2. Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus

Going Where God Leads

Speaker: Rev Adrian Youings

Reading: Acts 16:6-15 (NIV)

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 16:12 The text and meaning of the Greek for the leading city of that district are uncertain.

Personal Encounter

Speaker: Sam Upham

Reading: Acts 8:26-40 (NIV)

Philip and the Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”[b]

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 8:27 That is, from the southern Nile region
  2. Acts 8:33 Isaiah 53:7,8 (see Septuagint)
  3. Acts 8:37 Some manuscripts include here Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Prayer and Lifestyle

Speaker: David Willis

Readings: Acts 4:23-37 (NIV)

The Believers Pray

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed one.[a][b]

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of Godboldly.

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrectionof the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas(which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 4:26 That is, Messiah or Christ
  2. Acts 4:26 Psalm 2:1,2

Following Jesus’ Command

Speaker: David Sharpe

Reading: Acts 1:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come backin the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 1:5 Or in
  2. Acts 1:5 Or in

Giving To The Vision

Speaker: Rev Adrian Youings

Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:1-9, Luke 21: 1-4

1 Chronicles 29:1-9 (NIV)

Gifts for Building the Temple

29 Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise,[a] stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities.Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents[b] of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents[c] of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?”

Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents[d] and ten thousand darics[e] of gold, ten thousand talents[f] of silver, eighteen thousand talents[g] of bronze and a hundred thousand talents[h] of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Chronicles 29:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. 1 Chronicles 29:4 That is, about 110 tons or about 100 metric tons
  3. 1 Chronicles 29:4 That is, about 260 tons or about 235 metric tons
  4. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 190 tons or about 170 metric tons
  5. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 185 pounds or about 84 kilograms
  6. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 380 tons or about 340 metric tons
  7. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 675 tons or about 610 metric tons
  8. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 3,800 tons or about 3,400 metric tons

Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)

The Widow’s Offering

21 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Living the Vision – Vision Sunday 2016

Speaker: Rev Adrian Youings

Reading: Jeremiah 30:18-24 (NIV)

18 “This is what the Lord says:

“‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents
    and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
    and the palace will stand in its proper place.
19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving
    and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
    and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
    and they will not be disdained.
20 Their children will be as in days of old,
    and their community will be established before me;
    I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their leader will be one of their own;
    their ruler will arise from among them.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me—
    for who is he who will devote himself
    to be close to me?’
declares the Lord.
22 “‘So you will be my people,
    and I will be your God.’”

23 See, the storm of the Lord
    will burst out in wrath,
a driving wind swirling down
    on the heads of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand this.


All Saints Trull

Our Mission: becoming and making mature disciples of Jesus in Trull and beyond

Verse for this year: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20)

Where are we now? We have put in…

Foundations for Future Growth

Over the last 5 years, our numbers have plateaued. However, the numbers must be looked at carefully. We have welcomed many new people during those years but overall we have not grown. There are no obvious ‘leakage’ points. We have seen small numbers of new Christians.  I believe we have laid important foundations which, with prayer and God’s blessing, might begin to lead to numerical growth in near future…

  1. Buildings

TCCC now fully up and running and is an excellent resource for community engagement and service:

  • Managed well and well publicised
  • Paying its way pretty well
  • The Hive café is a tremendous focal point
  • Community interest and bookings are increasing
  • Church exploring new ideas (eg Poetry, Buzz, Dementia support)
  1. Service Patterns

We have now established four stronger Sunday congregations

  • All have strong core (tho’ early days)
  • All have good space for numerical growth
  • All distinct (welcome wide variety people)
  • Excellent team of leaders, preachers, and musicians
  1. Whole-life Discipleship (Frontline)

We have established the ‘frontline’ idea at the heart of way we think about church and our own lives as Christians. Our focus on Sundays is more focused on encouraging, supporting and equipping people to live out their God-given calling 24/7 on those frontlines of work, family, leisure, neighbourhoods.

  • Balanced ongoing discipleship programme: Head – Hands – Heart
  • Practical ways of being more frontline-focused (eg Powerhouse, TTT, What’s God been doing”)
  • Centred our teaching/growth groups on ‘frontline’ so as to root it.
  1. Created some good opportunities with key parts of community demographic
  • Older people : Coffee Connect, Craft group, 12-2, Hive, Dementia support
  • Families & YP: Launchpad, Worship Thru’ Play, Trull School, Pulse, Angels

As well as more general outreach events: Christmas craft, poetry evening, The Buzz etc

 


 

Vision for 2016-17

  1. Numerical Growth

“I will add to their numbers and they will not be decreased” (Jer 30 v19)

To see church members passionate to see family, friend’s colleagues and neighbours come to a living faith in Jesus Christ. The primary focus this year should be ‘evangelism’. We are ambassadors for Christ – he is making his appeal through us – we must implore people to be reconciled to. We have laid the foundations, now focus on prayerfully and expectantly seeking to see those who are not yet Christians become Christians.

  • Preaching/GG’s in Spring term on book of Acts
  • ‘Hands’ term (Jan –April) – equipping/shaping for evangelism:
  • 6th February: Church and Parents working together – nurturing faith in children
  • 2nd March Rachel Jordan CofE National Advisor Evangelism: ‘Talking Jesus’ in Trull
  • March: PCC focus on connecting with our community
  • Holy Week: The Significance of the Cross for people today (3 sessions)
  • April: Dr Denis Alexander (Faraday Institute, Cambridge Uni) Science & God

 

  1. Joyful Worship

“songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing” (Jer 30 v19)

To see and hear our church community confident and joyful because of what they know and have experienced of God’s of goodness, even at times of hardship.

  • First 6 months bedding-down of the new service pattern
  • “What is worship?” – focus on during heart term (summer 2016)
  • Encourage more sharing of where we have experienced God’s goodness across the services, and more expectation of experiencing God’s goodness

 

  1. Strong Community

a community in which I take pride” (Jer 30 v20)

To see our church community more connected and committed to one another, Our three new congregations will feel quite ‘odd’ for a while so we need to work hard at establishing them as congregations (worshipping, caring, missional communities).

  • Greater focus on each congregation as individual unit
  • Work hard at binding together members of the individual congregations the three ‘new’ congregations (follow the lead of 8am)
  • Congregational oversight teams focus on nurturing of each congregation to be thriving/growing unit

 

  1. Devoted leadership

“I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?” (Jer 30 v21)

A key factor in churches not growing is leadership structure. Aim this year to establish a structure of leadership and understanding of roles in the church that will release numerical growth. It will require an increased commitment and focus on the part of some key leaders and esp. the PCC. It will require re-defining roles and responsibilities. A greater focus on ministry-oversight leaders.

Seeing The Vision

Speaker: Rev Adrian Youings

Jeremiah 30 (NIV)

Restoration of Israel

30 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity[a] and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”

These are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: “This is what the Lord says:

“‘Cries of fear are heard—
    terror, not peace.
Ask and see:
    Can a man bear children?
Then why do I see every strong man
    with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,
    every face turned deathly pale?
How awful that day will be!
    No other will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
    but he will be saved out of it.

“‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty,
    ‘I will break the yoke off their necks
and will tear off their bonds;
    no longer will foreigners enslave them.
Instead, they will serve the Lord their God
    and David their king,
    whom I will raise up for them.

10 “‘So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;
    do not be dismayed, Israel,’
declares the Lord.
‘I will surely save you out of a distant place,
    your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,
    and no one will make him afraid.
11 I am with you and will save you,’
    declares the Lord.
‘Though I completely destroy all the nations
    among which I scatter you,
    I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
    I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’

12 “This is what the Lord says:

“‘Your wound is incurable,
    your injury beyond healing.
13 There is no one to plead your cause,
    no remedy for your sore,
    no healing for you.
14 All your allies have forgotten you;
    they care nothing for you.
I have struck you as an enemy would
    and punished you as would the cruel,
because your guilt is so great
    and your sins so many.
15 Why do you cry out over your wound,
    your pain that has no cure?
Because of your great guilt and many sins
    I have done these things to you.

16 “‘But all who devour you will be devoured;
    all your enemies will go into exile.
Those who plunder you will be plundered;
    all who make spoil of you I will despoil.
17 But I will restore you to health
    and heal your wounds,’
declares the Lord,
‘because you are called an outcast,
    Zion for whom no one cares.’

18 “This is what the Lord says:

“‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents
    and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
    and the palace will stand in its proper place.
19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving
    and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
    and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
    and they will not be disdained.
20 Their children will be as in days of old,
    and their community will be established before me;
    I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their leader will be one of their own;
    their ruler will arise from among them.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me—
    for who is he who will devote himself
    to be close to me?’
declares the Lord.
22 “‘So you will be my people,
    and I will be your God.’”

23 See, the storm of the Lord
    will burst out in wrath,
a driving wind swirling down
    on the heads of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand this.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 30:3 Or will restore the fortunes of my people Israel and Judah

The Dark Side of Christmas

Speaker: David Sharpe

Matthew 2:13-23 (NIV)

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.“Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[a]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”[b]

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:15 Hosea 11:1
  2. Matthew 2:18 Jer. 31:15