St Martin’s Healing on the Streets team is well established on Edgbaston St. Passers-by have now started approaching us to pray for them instead the other way around. We still give out leaflets inviting them to sit on chairs and receive prayers. This last session even before we finished setting up the banner, chairs and so on, some folks were there waiting for us to pray for them. The queue started forming from then on with just a few periods of quietness. At the end of the session it happened again. We had already packed up most of our stuff when someone came rushing to us and said, ‘Oh. You’ve finished already. I came here to ask you to pray for me.’ Of course we prayed for him – standing up and all. Another lady came by and said to one of the members when she was offered prayer, ‘You have already prayed for me and I am healed’. All of this is good encouragement but above it is all for the great glory of God. Here there are more accounts for God’s glory: A man who had previously had
When I read Rohan’s blog post this morning it bought me to tears! Its an incredible and honest story. It gives insight into biopolar disorder and into faith: into the difficulties of living with mental ill-health and into the amazing impact that God can have on people’s lives. The bible is really brought to life when you see how God was speaking directly into Rohan’s life when the bible was first written all those years ago! Rohan’s story will continue as he looks to God for continued guidence, but many of us know sadly that some people’s stories end too soon and too tradgically. Let this story help you to understand the lives of those who live with mental ill-health (which may be you or those close to you), and let it help you to search for God’s heart. Be encourged by the word of God and let Him speak into your own life, your own actions, and your own health. Please feel free to use the (moderated) comments section at the bottom of this story. Che
On Thursday 18th April one of the saints of St Martin in the Bull Ring died. Her name is Muriel Dewick and she was a remarkable woman. In a week when the nation and even the world focused its attention on another remarkable woman, Margaret Thatcher (whatever you think of her politics she was remarkable!) it is worth reflecting on what we think is remarkable or even what we think a saint is. Sainthood isn’t really about perfection. Muriel was not perfect. She was often quite stubborn, and had a complete inability to throw stuff away. Her house was full of papers Which meant she wasn’t the most organised person in the world. But Muriel was a servant hearted follower of Jesus Christ who had a passion for mission, a deep prayer life and a genuine interest in how you were. Increasingly in the last few years of her life she was unable to move around freely. Her body was slowly seizing up yet her mind remained sharp, focused and centred on her lord. What was remarkable about Muriel was she ne
‘This is Church: How it all began’ During the next three months we will be exploring how the early church began and dealt with the issues it faced. The spread and growth of the church is recorded in the Book of Acts. This is really the second volume of Luke’s Gospel as he is its author. Our aim is to learn from the early church and discover how their story can help us in our story here at St Martin’s. Having spent the first part of this year looking at what Christians believe through our whole church Alpha we now look at how these beliefs impact on real people building the church. This we believe will help us to deepen our faith and grow the church community at St Martin’s. Later this year we will be launching a new vision and strategy document and we want it to be a modern expression of the church as it was then and can be today. Dates to note: May 12th-18th Christian Aid Week May 19th: Pentecost Sunday June 16th: Civic Service at 6pm Image: Vicki
Sabbatical travels have allowed me to listen to different preachers in different places. Being in the pew and not being the one delivering the sermon has been a very refreshing and challenging experience. But as I have listened the one question that has been most prominent in my mind is ‘and the point is?’ On a number of occasions I have been given quite a lot of information about biblical characters, useful stories (and some not so helpful), and a few rather cheesy cliches that really should never have been said. On only two occasions did I feel personally challenged, engaged and uncomfortable. Now I don’t think sermons are simply about making me uncomfortable or anyone else for that matter but I do think they should make me think! Sharing lots of vaguely interesting information is vaguely interesting but that’s all it is. Surely there needs to be more of a challenge in it as well? Whilst working as a vicar in Bristol I had the privilege of being on the local radio station a
Week Beginning: Sunday 17th March 2013 Question 10: What about the church? Bible Readings: Ephesians 2:19-22, Matthew 16:17-19 Discussion Questions: 1. What comes to mind when you think about “church”? 2. Has any of the biblical images challenged your perception of the church? (being “living stones” – 1 Peter 2:4-5, “Bride of Christ” – Revelation 21:2 or “the body of Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:12-31) If so how? 3. What part do you play in the church? Is God calling you to play a different part? Further resources for those exploring… Books: Gerard Kelly – Church Actually: Discovering the balance of God’s plan. Websites: www.alpha.org.
Week Beginning: Sunday 10th March 2013. Question 9: Does God heal today? Bible readings: James 5:13-16, Luke 2:33-35. Discussion Questions: 1. Healing and miracles never stand alone. They are signs of what? 2. What do you understand by the ‘now and not yet’ kingdom of God? 3. How would you answer someone who claimed that Jesus’ command to his disciples that they should heal the sick no longer applies to us today ? 4. What woud you say to someone who thought that healing had not taken place because the person concerned did not have enough faith? 5. Do you pray for healing? If so why? If not why? Further resources for those exploring… Books by: John Wimber, Peter Lawrence, Francis MacNutt, Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, David Watson and Hyde Baker. (This is not a complete list) Websites: www.alpha.org.
Week Beginning: Sunday 3rd March 2013. Question 8: How does God guide us? Bible readings: James 1:19-25, Matthew 7:7-12. Discussion Questions: 1. Can you think of a time when you felt God might be speaking to you? 2. What do you believe God might be guiding you towards? 3. How do you think God’s guidance changes who you are and how you view the world? 4. What are the key themes you can identify from this morning’s session: “How does God guide us?” Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org.