Come on in

September 20, 2019

Last weekend, a friend of mine told me he helps out at his local Men’s Shed.

If you’ve never heard of this organisation, as I hadn’t until last week, the Men’s Shed movement is huge. It started in Australia in the 1990s as a way for men to get together to “connect, converse and create” reducing social isolation and improving men’s physical and mental health. Today there are thousands of sheds and tens of thousands of ‘shedders’ worldwide.

It made me think about a similar movement that has been around for a lot longer: the Christian church. Like sheds, churches come in all shapes and sizes and are places where people come together to be uplifted and supported. Unlike sheds, churches are for men, women and children and promote not just mental and physical, but also spiritual health. Today there are churches on every corner in just about every country in the world and over two billion people inside them.

If you’ve never been to church or haven’t been for a while, come along. Whoever you are, you’ll be very welcome.

 

About the Author:

Peter Mill is an Elder and the Missions Developer of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He and his wife Jackie are also the Pastoral Workers for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland.

Pending Deadline

August 23, 2019

First it was cold calls and now a flood of media adverts telling us the deadline on 29 August to claim because of the PPI scandal. The various leading institutions have set aside billions over the years to cover the compensation for their mis-selling.  It is a sad story of greed by sellers and misinformation given to customers who were not aware they were paying for something they neither asked for nor needed.

Is Christianity just another scandal? Is there any need for church beyond hatch, match and dispatch?

In a world run by money, it is easy to see the church as just another institution trying to make a profit, yet if you speak to Christians the reason we want people to know about Jesus Christ isn’t financial, but personal. Jesus has changed our lives for the better and given us hope in a world that often seems hopeless.

Unlike with PPI there is no pending deadline for you to call on your local church and experience the benefits it may bring.

About the Author:

David Gibbs in an Elder and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

 

Because Magazine May/June 2019

May 1, 2019

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Because Magazine May/June 2019

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Because Magazine May/June 2019

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Living longer

June 15, 2018


If you go to church, statistics show that you’re likely to live longer. That’s according to some recently-published results of surveys the compared the longevity of Christians compared to non-Christians.

You might think that this could be a reason for Christians to feel smug, but actually it isn’t. Paul, an early Christian writer suggested that if we had hope for this life only, then what’s the point of anything? Life is not about trying to live longer. What we need is hope for life after life, an eternal life that God made possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Of course, it’s understandable that we want to live longer, and going to church is good.

But, if you want more than that, turn to Jesus and receive eternal life.

james.henderson@gracecom.org.uk

All the lonely people

January 26, 2018

On the day the government appointed a minister to tackle loneliness Chris Hinds, managing director at Saatchi PR consultancy, cheekily tweeted ‘Can’t work out why the government have only appointed one minister for loneliness.’ It was an amusing tweet, but loneliness is no joke for the estimated 9 million adults in the UK who are lonely. Prime Minister Theresa May, acting on a recommendation from the Jo Cox commission, said that ‘isolation is a sad reality of modern life for too many people.’ Recent studies have shown that loneliness affects people as diverse as the elderly, new mothers, young disabled adults and refugees. The UK has never been so populous and yet people have never felt so lonely. King David’s words in Psalm 68:5-6 (NIV) have never been more pertinent: ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…’

The Christian church is God’s family, and is in a unique position to offer a healthy community that can help alleviate loneliness; it is, therefore, incumbent on all Christians to be welcoming and inclusive. Loving relationships are the antidote to loneliness; the more Christians are warm, friendly, and hospitable, offering a safe haven from the world, the more loneliness will be eased. The Beatles song ‘Eleanor Rigby’ implores us to ‘look at all the lonely people,’ and asks ‘where do they all belong?’ The answer is they belong in God’s family. Can we, the church, look for the lonely people and welcome them in? It’s becoming increasingly critical that we do.

Barry Robinson