Dear all, Yesterday it was Ash Wednesday when the Church marks the beginning of Lent. In the Ash Wednesday liturgy we say, ‘dust you are; to dust you will return.’ The writer of Genesis 3 where this text comes from could not have been more scientifically correct. To be human is to be dust. So on Ash Wednesday we are reminded that we are only human. For many Christians, ashes are a symbol of being sorry for the things they have done wrong and want to get rid of. It is also a reminder to them that we all come from ashes and to ashes we all return. The marking of the cross on the forehead with ash is a sign of their commitment to Jesus Christ and God. ‘The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart he will not despise’ (Psalm 51:17) We had a very good team at this HOTS session. We had 12 members. What a good number to have! Also we had quite a few who hadn’t been for a while. After the session, when we met together for de-briefing and prayer they said that they were
Aged 16-29? Searching for something more? Looking to explore or refresh your faith? Wondering what to do with your life? Saturday 10th – Monday 19th August 2013 Diocesan Pilgrimage to Taizé At Taizé there is an opportunity to share life and worship with thousands of people from all over the world and time for Bible study, discussion, silence and fun. Being part of a group from Birmingham means that we prepare well beforehand and reflect together while we’re there. Those who travelled with us last year found it a really enjoyable and transformative experience. This year’s pilgrimage will be led by Faith Claringbull, Susannah Rudge, Manda Howett, Oli Preston and Tom Ruston. There will be an introductory meeting at St Francis, Bournville on Saturday 23rd February, 12.30-2.30pm. The church is at Sycamore Road/Linden Road, B30 2AA. It would be helpful to know numbers in advance. If you would like more information, would like to watch a 4-minute youtube clip of the 2012 pil
Week Beginning: Sunday 10th February 2013. Question 5: Who is the Holy Spirit? Bible readings: 1 Corinthians 2:12-16, John 14:15-21. Discussion Questions: 1. Choose one of the 3 images we’ve mentioned this morning: ‘fire’, ‘wind’ & ‘water’. How has it helped you to understand more clearly who the Holy Spirit is & what the Holy Spirit does? 2. Romans 8:27 refers to the Holy Spirit helping us in our weakness and relates it to weakness in prayer. Have you ever experienced this before and how do you think it might be possible in the future? 3. In what areas of your life do you want the Holy Spirit to turn your timidity or fear into boldness and courage? 4. Can you identify one way in which this session: “who is the Holy Spirit?” has helped you to a clearer understanding? Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org Books: “I believe in the Holy Spirit” – Michael Green & “On in the Spirit” – David Watson.
Week Beginning: Sunday 3rd February 2013. Question 4: How and why should I read the Bible? Bible readings: 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Matthew 5:17-20. Discussion Questions: 1. What are your experiences of reading the Bible? (Regularly? Only hear it when read in church? Difficult? Challengin? Enjoyable? Baffling?) 2. Have you read anything in the Bible that has challenged an aspect of your beliefs and behaviour? 3. Do you believe the Bible is God’s word and can speak to us today? Can you give an example of how this has happened? Meditation on the Bible (Lectio Divinia) Chose a passage from the Bible (one of Jesus’ parables is a good starting point). Read the passage through slowly 3 times, as you do notice and words or phrases that you particularly notice, any questions you might have. Spend time reflecting on these and pray for God’s insight. Then be still and open to receive from God. Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org / www.wordlive.org/Lectio Books: R
On Wednesday 13th February to mark the beginning of Lent we will be joining with the World Prayer Centre at St Martin’s, to have an afternoon of prayer, praying specifically for the City of Birmingham and it’s people. The afternoon will begin at 12pm with a short act of worship that will include the imposition of ashes and will finish with an Ash Wednesday Service with Holy Communion at 6pm. Throughout the afternoon there will be prayer stations, times of guided prayer and a chance to prayer walk around the Bull Ring. Please do come along for all or part of the afternoon if you can. If you are unable to be with us – we do encourage you to set aside some time during the afternoon to join with us in prayer for the City wherever you may be. Click here to visit the Regular Services page. Photo by gocyclones – Flickr
We have recently added a new meeting room to hire – the Bryan Green Room. This room is ideal for small meetings as it accommodates up to 10 people. For more information and availability, including, prices, please contact us by email at email@example.com or telephone 0121 600 6020. Click here to visit the Room Hire page. Image by ario
Week Beginning: Sunday 27th January 2013. Question 3: Why and how do I pray? Bible readings: Psalm 30, Matthew 6:1-5. Discussion Questions: 1. As you read the Lord’s Prayer which phrases do you find are most encouraging and which are more challenging? 2. Why is praying in private different from praying in public with others? 3. What do you think “your kingdom come” might look like when this prayer is being answered? 4. In your life today are there ways you can make the Lord’s Prayer personal? For example a particular need for help in an area of temptation or an area of provision. Further resources for those exploring… Websites: http://www.alpha.org / www.rejesus.co.uk Books: “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel & “Prayer: Does it make any Difference?” by Phillip Yancey.
Week Beginning: Sunday 20th January 2013 Question 2: Why Did Jesus die? Bible Readings: Romans 6:1-14, John 6: 35-40; Discussion Questions: 1. Which of the images or ways of answering the question “why did Jesus die” speak most powerfully to you and why? 2. If Jesus died to save us, what are you saved from? What are you saved for? 3. Has your view of why Jesus died ‘for us’ changed over the course of your Christian experience? If so, how? Further resources: for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org www.rejesus.co.uk Books: “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel for those who want to go deeper… “The Enigma of the Cross”, Alister McGrath (Hodder and Stoughton) “Salvation”, T J Gorringe (Epworth Press)
Week Beginning: Sunday 13th January 2013 Question 1: Who is Jesus? Bible Readings: Matthew 16:13-20, Isaiah 9: 1-7 Discussion Questions: Who do you think Jesus is? What images, words, thoughts, feelings come to mind? Having heard the talk in one of the services this week, has your concept of Jesus changed, how and why? How do you respond to what Jesus said about himself? (e.g. “I am the way the truth and the life”, “I am the light of the world”) If you had a chance to meet Jesus, how would you feel and what would you say to him? Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org www.rejesus.co.uk Books: “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel For those who want to go deeper… “Four Gospels, One Jesus?” by Richard Burridge “The Jesus I never knew” by Philip Yancey
During the cold nights St Martin’s are taking part in the city wide Winter Night Shelter and will be housing eight guests, selected by Street Outreach Teams, for an evening meal, night, and breakfast. We will be hosting one night per week during the 6 week period. A number of churches across the city are working together so there will be beds every night of the week. Please pray that our guests will be renewed and refreshed during their time with us. Pray that all the preparations will go smoothly. Please thank God for our volunteers and for equipping us to host our guests during this cold winter period in the city. Click here to see an article with photos about the shelter on ITV.com (Photo: Dubber, Flickr)
St Martin’s HOTS – January 5th 2013 Once more the weather was almost spring like in January. It was pleasant. There was some cold wind but from time to time the sun appeared. Passers-by were not rushing as much and they appeared to enjoy the unusual January weather. A good number of people from St Martin’s HOTS team turned up including some we had not seen for a while. It was a blessing to see you again. A big thank you to you all. Also, thank you for your encouragement when we gathered together to pray before and after the session. Before we went out to pray we read a Bible passage from John 1: 43-50 about Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael. Three things were pointed out of this passage: Verse 46 ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there? Nathaniel asked.’ We too may be tempted to ask this question when we see places where we don’t see much peace, order or goodness. Verse 48 ‘How do you know me? Nathanael asked Jesus.’ Jesus answered: I saw you under the fig tree before Philip
8th Feb: Bantock Quartet (String); 15th Feb: Brass Concert. 22nd Feb: Trio: Clarinet, Piano, Viola. 1st Mar: Jonathan Warburton, Bass Trombone 8th Mar: Madelaine Jones and Daniel Edwards, Cello and Piano 15th Mar: Juliet Alice Jefferies: Piano, songs & solo 22nd Mar: No concert due to events in the church 29th Mar: Good Friday, no concert but please join us for Good Friday events. Watch this space for updates. (Image: crazybobbles)
Watch this space for the exciting upcoming Chocolate Lifepaths schools programme coming up at St. Martin in the Bull Ring… Click here to read more about Scripture Union’s Lifepath model. Image John Loo
THANKYOU Gordon Thornett, Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir & Bournville Strings for a fabulous 9th Annual Christmas Charity Concert Almost 300 gathered to hear and see this wonderful Christmas event again and had a wonderful time. Money was raised for St Martin’s creative arts ministries and for St Basils, working with homeless young people. Thankyou for all who gave generously. Final figures from the collection came to £470! If you’d like to you can comment or add your thanks to the choir and musicians here.