Dear Minster and Friends,
Many people have not investigated Christianity and rejected what we believe in the basis of history, or on the creeds and the gospels, or the evidence backing up the reasons we believe what we do. Many suppose that Christianity is a faith, in which faith means ‘believing something despite the evidence to the contrary’. The less plausible the idea, the less scientifically reliable, the stronger the faith one needs to have hang on in there! This couldn’t be further from the truth – there is excellent evidence for all aspects of Christianity and we believe it is the best explanation of reality. God helps us to even think at all in a way that makes sense of the world around us – he is the key that unlocks the mysteries of our world.
As Paul wrote:
“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.”
1 Corinthians 2:6-7 NIV
A second option that our culture presents is what I call the ‘Disney’ option – that everyone needs a fantasy to escape into when life becomes painful, unpalatable or unpleasant. Walt Disney was one of those who built this escapist, fantasy approach to living a happy life. Many of our friends and neighbours perhaps think that for us Christians our trips to church, or to meet others in prayer or worship, are our little fix of fantasy – positive for us but essentially nonsense. Positive nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless!
I was a great lover of fantasy books as a child, and still enjoy science fiction and the genre in books, TVs and film. The entire superhero genre is a subsection of this – and it is extremely popular. To a certain extent the excitement of virtual reality is also a version of this. But the more we spend watching and engaging with reality through the prisms of screens, smartphones and web-based information, the easier it is to feel dislocated from reality – from those close to us, from our community, from the land and nature, and even from God.
Rethink is a chance to invite our friends and neighbours to a series of events in November which will encourage a ‘rethink’ of our priorities and ideas instead of just stumbling into our future. It is also a chance to rethink what they may think about the Christian faith and why we believe what we believe.
We have well over 10 churches in the region committed to over 50 different events, mostly concentrated on the Wednesday to Sunday of the week. With chances for all types of people to start meaningful conversations which they can continue with us over the following weeks and months. All the churches have enthusiastically partnered with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (which Amy Orr-Ewing is the Director) to help assist them in this regional ‘rethink’.
As the Minster – this week may I invite you to consider 5 people you might be able to invite to events and commit to pray for. We will give out small cards (other churches are doing the same) where you can privately jot down their names and pray for them daily.
But before Rethink – we have two important dates to consider. For families we have a Light Party on 31st October which is an alternative to Halloween. And on 3rd November our world famous (!) bonfire and fireworks event. Details for both are at the bottom of this email and on the newly formatted Church website.
With much love,
News & Events
Update on Jos, Nigeria.
I am thrilled to announce the generosity of our church and some of our friends who have transferred enough funds into the Minster account to buy and deliver a repair kit and patches for the burned church tent in Jos, a new sound system with a power source that can work off car batteries, 30 full football kits, and enough money for some new musical instruments. We have also arranged transport so everything can be transported within the next two weeks.
If you would like to hand write a letter of support to Hassan and the members of Trinity Minster could you bring it to church this Sunday and we will ensure they get handed over as well.
If you’d still like to donate money to Hassan and Trinity Minster then please use our bank details with the reference ‘Trinity Minster‘ Account Number: 33007162 Sort Code: 20-45-45
Any donations given from now on will go to purchasing more worship equipment for the church or any other needs they may have.
31st October – Light Party
6pm – 7:30pm
We will be holding our very own Light Party!
The idea of a light party is to offer children an alternative to halloween and a way for us to teach children that Jesus is the light of the world. We’ll be having party food, games, crafts and lots of fun together.
Please book your tickets here by 23rd October so we know how many children to cater for.
3rd November – Bonfire Celebration
4pm – 6:30pm
Remember, remember the 3rd of November!
Join us for hot dogs, hot chocolate, sparklers, a bonfire and of course fireworks! We will be having a toddler friendly display at 5pm and the main display will be at 6pm.
All are welcome to this free event.
24th November – Women’s Gathering Afternoon Tea
2pm – 5pm
Tickets are now available for the Women’s Gathering Afternoon Tea, click here to purchase your tickets and have a think about who you could invite!
If anyone has any cake stands they would be happy for the women’s gathering to use for their afternoon tea on 24th November then please email firstname.lastname@example.org