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We update our blog several times a week, with news and comment on ministry, theology, the Bible, liturgy and issues of the day.

  JAEC 2021: Living in Mercy and Grace   Download the Church Society sermons for summer 2021   Church Society resources for Living in Love and Faith  

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Posted by George Crowder, 28 Jul 2021

In the first of a series of three posts on the Christian essentials of faith, hope and love, George Crowder examines the true nature of Christian faith.

It must be heart-breaking for someone with a life-threatening condition to know about a new treatment but have no access to it.  Family and friends will campaign and fundraise.  Every effort will be made by them because they know that there is a solution to the problem, and that they just need to get hold of it somehow.

For Christians, salvation is like that: it is the application of the solution to the problem.  Christ’s atoning death on the cross is the solution to the problem of our sin; sin which separates us from God. 

Yet, as Calvin explains, “We must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value to us.”

The very thing we human sinners need most is available in Christ, but it needs to be accessed by us to receive it.  Salvation is not ours automatically.  Salvation does not simply happen to all human beings now Christ has died and risen from the dead.

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Posted by Marion Mason, 26 Jul 2021

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Church Society will be held at King's Park Conference Centre, Northampton on Wednesday 1st September 2021, commencing at 4.30pm.

At this meeting, held this year at our annual JAEC conference, we elect our honorary officers and Council, hear reports from the Chairman of Council, and Chairman of Finance, and have a chance to discuss issues of importance to us as a Society. If you are a member of Church Society, please come along to exercise your vote and make a contribution.

Please download the official notice of the AGM and the nomination form for those who might wish to stand for election to Council.

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Posted 15 Jul 2021

The full set of eight summer sermons is now available to download.

Eight sermons on Ephesians are now available to download in audio and video formats. These can be used in online or in-person services, on sermon phone lines, in midweek meetings or however would be most useful to your church.

1. Ephesians 1:1-23
2. Ephesians 2:1-22
3. Ephesians 3:1-21
4. Ephesians 4:1-16
5. Ephesians 4:17-5:2
6. Ephesians 5:3-20
7. Ephesians 5:21-6:9
8. Ephesians 6:10-24

We hope that these will be a blessing to weary ministers and hungry congregations alike!

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Posted 14 Jul 2021

A series of blogposts examining the issue of spiritual abuse

In the last few years, we have published a series of blogposts looking at spiritual abuse. Sadly, this subject is as important to consider as ever, so we wanted to draw attention once again to this series.

John Telford explains what spiritual abuse is and isn’t: Spiritual Abuse.
Lee Gatiss examines the Church of England’s definition of spiritual abuse and how to avoid it: What is Spiritual Abuse?
Ros Clarke looked at the Bible’s teaching of God’s Judgment on Spiritual Abuse
Nick Gowers wrote about Guarding Against Spiritual Abuse
Robin Barfield considered some of the particular dangers of spiritual abuse in ministry with young people: Suffer the Little Children

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Posted by George Crowder, 12 Jul 2021

George Crowder explores how change is central to the Christian life and gospel.

Change is upon us whether we like it or not.  We have experienced massive disruption and restriction on our lives, an experience which has changed us and will change us irreversibly.  Even when all restrictions are lifted and even when the world is out of the clutches of the pandemic, our lives will not return to exactly the way they were before.

When we say we want to get ‘back to normal’, we need to qualify that.  Normality is a construct.  Normal is aspirational; for example when people consider it normal to buy a new outfit every month.  The definition of normal is constantly under development, like how we now consider it normal to own a smart phone.  Normal is subjective: what is ‘normal’ for one person is not what is ‘normal’ for someone else from a different generation, background or country.  One could attempt a broad description of normality, but it is simply a product of shifting societal expectations.

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Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 1 Jul 2021

The latest edition of Crossway is now on its way to members and subscribers.

In this latest issue of Crossway, we are examining the importance of fellowship, friendship and partnership in the gospel. Colin Taylor’s article looks at several verses from Proverbs, to see what constitutes a true friend. George Crowder and Chris Moore, two of our Regional Directors, show how important gospel partnership is for church leaders. Tim Vasby-Burnie tells us what that partnership looks like in one diocesan group - including everything from tractor rides to slap up lunches!

We’re also launching a new series of articles introducing some of our members. This time, meet Mark and Helen Sims who have been members of Church Society for more than 30 years. They talk about their involvement in their local church at the moment, as well as Helen’s time on General Synod, and the encouragement they’ve had over the years from Church Society conferences, Crossway and the podcast. If you know someone who would be a good subject for a future ‘Meet Our Members’ column, please do let us know!

All the details of this edition are here and you can purchase individual copies or subscribe to the magazine here.

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Posted 29 Jun 2021

George Crowder gives a brief introduction to the LLF process.

This short introduction to the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith process explains what it is, why it matters and how you can engage with it.

A downloadable version of the video plus a printable handout can be found here.

Find all of our Living in Love and Faith resources here.

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Posted by George Crowder, 28 Jun 2021

George Crowder reminds us to focus our desire for glory towards Christ, not sporting endeavours!

Sporting competition has once again gripped the nation.  After a long time off, we are catching up with events that were cancelled or postponed last year.  Major tournaments and grand international contests are all lined up and it’s like a feast after a famine.

For many people watching global organised sports gives joy and inspiration like nothing else.  Sports stars and athletes push themselves to the limit and battle it out.  For them it is the highest honour to represent their nation and compete at the highest level. For spectators it is truly thrilling to cheer them on and urge them to victory (and truly gutting when they lose).

In sport we can savour and celebrate the best of humanity. It gives an exhilarating boost to our wellbeing, a tremendous sense of something bigger than us, something we can get behind.  As we look in hope to extraordinary people who can represent us and win for us, we leave behind our worries and anxieties for a while. 

We are drawn into a pure focus on a narrow field of excellence, awed by the scintillating display of prodigious talent finely honed by relentless dedication.  When we watch the greatest physical feats human beings are capable of, we are inspired because we share in the same humanity, and connect with the triumph of being the best we can be.

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Photo by Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels

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Posted 23 Jun 2021

The first four from our Summer Sermon Series on Ephesians are now available.

The first four sermons in our series on Ephesians are now available to download in both video and audio formats. These can be used as part of online services, or even as part of an in-person service. In the past, churches have also used our sermons to prompt discussions at midweek groups, or in other ways. Please feel free to use these sermons in whatever way best serves your church.

The sermons on Ephesians 1:1-23, Ephesians 2:1-22, Ephesians 3:1-21 and Ephesians 4:1-16 can be accessed here.

The remaining sermons will be shared in a couple of weeks.

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Posted 23 Jun 2021

The latest edition of The Global Anglican is now on its way to subscribers

In this edition, Peter Jensen’s editorial considers the effect of non-Western cultures on preaching the gospel, especially with respect to the supernatural. James Wong, the Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, reflects on the statistics around family breakdown in the Seychelles and how the church should respond. ‘Tricia Williams’ research on the ways that faith can continue to grow in people with dementia includes moving interviews and thoughtful analysis to challenge the way that we minister in such situations.

Two articles on aspects of historical theology from Anthony Smith and Joe Mock both show the value of considering the past as we understand issues in the contemporary church. The issue also includes the usual range of book reviews and an invitation to new reviewers. If you would be interested in reviewing books for The Global Anglican, please do contact us for more information.

Full details of this issue are here. Subscriptions to The Global Anglican are £27 a year (£19 for students) in the UK. Subscribe here or purchase single editions here. Please note that there are discounted rates for Church Society members.

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