Lee on the Lectionary: 6th Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 19 May 2017
Our readings this Sunday are about giving an account of the hope that is in us because of the risen Christ’s authority and his loving gift.
The Lectionary readings for the sixth Sunday of Easter are Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, and John 14:15-21. In this short video, Lee Gatiss expounds those readings for us today.
Topical Tuesday: A Call to Steadfastness
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 16 May 2017
Lee Gatiss’s call to the Church Society Annual Meeting to remain in the Church of England, with integrity and courage.
We all remember how around this time last year the EU Referendum campaign was raging all around us. Passions ran high and there was an abundance of information, and disinformation, flying around. Both sides indulged in scare tactics in order to persuade us to vote in, or out. It was a simple and binary choice.
Many evangelicals continue to consider the same question with regards to the Church of England. Where shall I go to church? Where shall I offer myself to serve in ministry? Is it time to leave the C of E?
This is not, however, quite such a straightforward question. It isn’t “in or out” in as clean a way as the EU Referendum was. Evangelicals will not en masse leave the C of E. There is no fabled blueprint or master plan for doing that. And there never has been.
Gospel Presentation and Eulogies: Part 1
Posted by Adam Young, 15 May 2017
In the first of two posts considering how ministers structure the gospel presentation and eulogy in a funeral service, the Revd Adam Young explains why he combined the two into a single presentation.
One reality of ministry is that funerals come along and impose themselves on our carefully planned out diaries. Sometimes you go for a while without many and then five or six come in quick succession. Other times they come in a steady stream. No matter when they come along they are a wonderful opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel and the love of Christ to those who are grieving. It is easy to overlook how significant these opportunities are to pastor and reach out to those who rarely, if ever, come to church. Being a national church we have a demanding yet rewarding duty in this area—and we must seek to make the most of it even when it can seem an inconvenience to our plans.
One debate among clergy is over how and when we share the gospel during a funeral service. In this post, and another to follow, we will be looking at different ways in which people integrate the proclamation of the Gospel into their funeral services. The point is not the argue about who does it ‘best’—after all context is likely king—but merely to share our experiences and methods so that others may see how such ministry is done elsewhere.
Photo by http://www.freeimageslive.co.uk/free_stock_image/spring-flowers-graveyard-jpg
JAEC 2017: Reforming and Renewing the Church
Posted by Ros Clarke, 12 May 2017
Bookings for the 2017 Junior Anglican Evangelical Conference are now open!
In the 500th year since the Reformation began, we will be considering reformation and renewal in the Church of England, past and future. How can we learn from the reformations of the past? How do we guard our Reformed heritage? And how will the church need to keep reforming and renewing in the future, in order to reach the nation with the good news of Christ?
Lee on the Lectionary: 5th Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 10 May 2017
Sunday's readings focus on the road to glory, and the suffering and rejection which accompany believers on that path.
The lectionary readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter (Year A) are Acts 7:55-60, 1 Peter 2:2-10, and John 14:1-14. In this short video, Lee Gatiss expounds those readings for us today.
Ministry Monday: J.C. Ryle and the importance of the laity then and now
Posted by Michael Hayden, 8 May 2017
Michael Hayden reflects on J.C. Ryle's teaching on the role of the laity in the church and how this can apply to the modern era.
In Church Association tract 191 “Church Reform—The Position of the Laity” Bishop Ryle wrote that “The position of the laity is a subject which demands the best attention of all who are disposed to take up the great question of church reform.” In Ryle’s day the laity were drastically under-represented in church structures and Ryle felt this to be of great disadvantage to her mission. He proceeded to outline proposals for how this should be remedied. As evangelicals in 2017, might Ryle’s recommendations from 1892 contain useful advice as we press on “Towards the conversion of England”?
Ryle felt that the laity in his time were “passive recipients and not active participants” in the Church of England—with decisions such as the style of worship, or who their incumbent would be, imposed on them without giving them a say in the matter. Ryle saw this as falling well short of the New Testament Church, which he saw as giving the lay “multitudes” a voice in who the deacons would be in Acts 6, or the “brethren” having a place in the Council of Jerusalem, in Acts 23. To put right this wrong, Ryle demanded that “Nothing ought to be done in the Church without the laity, in great things or in small.” The laity were to have a hand in everything the Church did, “except ordaining or ministering in the congregation.”
Lee on the Lectionary: 4th Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 3 May 2017
This Sunday, the readings remind us that Jesus calls and gathers his sheep, who hear his voice and follow his example.
The readings for the 4th Sunday of Easter (Year A) are Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, and John 10:1-10. In this short video, Lee Gatiss expounds those readings for us today.
Lee on the Lectionary: 3rd Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 26 Apr 2017
Each of our readings this week calls for the engagement of the heart in responding to Jesus's resurrection from the dead, and a change of direction.
The readings for the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) are Acts 2:14 & 36-41, 1 Peter 1:17-23, and Luke 24:13-35. In this short video, Lee Gatiss expounds those readings for us today.
A Tribute to John Cheeseman (1950-2017)
Posted by Marc Lloyd, 25 Apr 2017
Marc Lloyd pays tribute to former Council member of Church Society, John Cheeseman, who died earlier this month.
John read Classics at Oxford and then trained for ordination at a relatively young age. He commented that he had a feeling all might go well at his Bishop’s Advisory Panel conference when the Senior Selector’s first words to him were, “Pass the salt, John, one Oriel Man to another.”
Whilst an undergraduate, John had written The Grace of God in the Gospel (Banner of Truth Trust, 1972) with fellow Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union officers Philip Gardner, Michael Sadgrove and Tom Wright, who were concerned that a man-centred gospel was being presented to the University. The book was revised by John and re-issued by the Trust in 1999 as Saving Grace in John’s name alone. John argued that: “Surely the great need of the hour is to return to the God-centred truths of the gospel and to gain renewed confidence in our Protestant and Reformed heritage.”
John was grateful for his training at Trinity College, Bristol in the glory days of Jim Packer and Alec Motyer but as John’s website puts it, “he always says that the best thing he gained from theological college was his wife Joy who was training to be a church pastoral worker.”
Lee on the Lectionary: Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 20 Apr 2017
This Sunday's readings naturally focus again on the resurrection of Christ, and particularly on the deep inexpressible joy it brings to believers who have not seen Jesus in the flesh.
The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter (Year A) are Acts 2:14 & 22-32, 1 Peter 1:3-9, and John 20:19-31. In this short video, Lee Gatiss expounds those readings for us today.