Why do we have communion at church?

Why do we have communion at church?

In our All Age spots this term we’ve been thinking about why we do various activities at church.  We’ve thought about why we sing, pray, and give.  Last week we thought about why we have communion at church.  This is important for all of us in the church family.

Firstly, communion is a gracious gift from Jesus, along with baptism, that illustrates the significance of his death on the cross.  Baptism symbolises the effect of the cross in washing us clean from the stain of sin.  Communion illustrates the horrific events of the first Good Friday.  Nothing happens to the bread and wine, the Apostles never confused the bread in Jesus’ hands with his body, or the wine with his blood.  It remains bread and wine.  But it is more than a graphic sermon illustration, as real as the bread and wine are to taste is as real as Jesus’ death in our place, it is a visual, physical, emotional action that unites us in a deep and real way with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In communion we do three things:

  • We look back – we remember what Jesus went through, on our behalf, almost 2,000 years ago. It happened, it’s an event of history.  We should remember.
  • We look up – as we eat the bread and drink the wine we’re connecting spiritually with Jesus as he rules all things from God’s throne room. It’s not magic, but, as we eat and drink, we’re relating to Jesus on a deep and intimate level.
  • We look forward – we’re reminded that Jesus is coming back to bring in his perfected, completed and fulfilled kingdom.

So, who is it for?  All Christians in good standing – if you’re a committed Christian, then communion is for you.  Communion isn’t something to be glib about, it’s for those who are disciples who are trusting in Jesus for their identity, security, assurance and life.  It’s also for those who are in a good relationship with their Christian brothers and sisters.  None of us are ‘perfect’, but we need to be a repentant believer who is living with Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and is committed to their church family.

The New Testament has a lot to say about communion, for instance, “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. (1 Cor. 11:27-29 NIV – emphasis mine.)  Clearly, it is an important and serious act for a Christian to partake in communion.

So, should your children take communion?  Well, the same considerations you should think about prior to take communion are also true for your children.  Do they believe they’re repentant sinners saved by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone?  Are they committed disciples of Christ who are striving to grow and mature as His followers?  If you feel it is appropriate for them and they understand, at their level, what communion is and why we have it, then they’re welcome to join in.

Some families will make different decisions on whether it is appropriate for their children to take the bread and wine, that’s totally fine.

If you’d like me to come and talk to you, and your children, about communion then I’d be very happy to do this.  If you’re happy to talk to them yourself that’s great, please could you let me know what you decide, so we know who to distribute to when we share communion.

Pete Matthew

Senior Minister, Windsor Fellowship Church

What are we up to in 2019

I know 2018 hasn’t quite finished yet, but I’m assuming you’re going to get a nice new diary in your stocking and you want to put the church dates in first to make sure you don’t miss anything!

We’ve got lots of plans for the year ahead—women’s events, men’s events, youth events.  We’re planning on a day trip to the Big Church Day Out with up to 30,000 other Christians.  We’ve got church social events and evangelistic events.  We’re putting on a 2-day children’s holiday club.  We’re helping at the Windsor Homeless shelter.  It sounds like a lot, but spread through the year we hope it’ll be a good balance.  See below for some key dates, but before then here are some highlights.

Friday@Hopkins’ – For those who were here at the start of the Windsor Fellowship Church’s life you’ll remember how you met on a Friday evening at the Hopkins’ home.  From what I’ve heard they sounded like a wonderful social time and many people, not just church people, enjoyed spending time together.  We’d like to recreate something of that and the initial run of 3 will be Friday 25th January, Friday 22ndFebruary, and Friday 29th March.

Big Church Day Out – This a weekend Christian festival suitable for all ages, from the very young to the very old.  We’re planning on going down for the day on  Saturday May 25th with as many from our church family who can come.  Because we’ve not been before we’re eligible for a large discount on normal prices—£23 per adult and £17 per child (5-16 year’s old, under 5s free).  A friend from our previous church who has been wrote this “It’s a little snippet of what heaven will be like just coming before King Jesus in worship, adoration and praise… Where else can you listen to Christian hip hop, and dance about in a mosh pit, see Pirate Gem from cbeebies swashbuckle (kids!) and hear powerful music and amazing testimonies.  Our motivation was primarily showing the children that “church” is so much bigger than a building on a Sunday and hanging out in the field with tens of thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ certainly did that! It’s not just about the main stage though, the site is massive with several other stages offering different  genres of music and places to simply stop, reflect and rest.”

Children’s Holiday Club – Thursday & Friday 30th & 31st May – 10am-12.30pm – Holiday Clubs are amazing fun and hugely engaging for primary aged children.  Lots of activities, games, and great Bible teaching.  We’ll be in the youth centre.  Great for our kids at church, great to bring other children you know, and a great opportunity for you to serve and be involved.

Summer Camps – We’d love all of our 11+ young people to go on a summer residential Christian holiday.  Many of ours already do, but if yours doesn’t then please talk to me.  Last year 5 of our young people came to Maidwell 1 CYFA Venture www.maidwell1.org (there’s a promo video on there with incriminating pictures of me!).  We’d love it if as many as possible could come from our church family, (even if they’re already going on one it’d be great if they could come on this one too), including students coming back as junior leaders, and any others to consider coming as a leader or cook.

Key Dates:

Sunday 27th January – Confirmation Service – The Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas, is coming for this special event as a number of our family make a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ. If you’re interested in being confirmed (or re-affirming your baptismal vows) please talk to me asap.

Sunday 31st March – Church Lunch – Join the whole church family for a Sunday roast.

Saturday 28th September – Annual Vision Dinner – Join us for our annual dinner as we think about the year ahead.

 For a full list of church events see our church calendar on our home page of the website.

Regards,

Pete Matthew
Senior Minister, Windsor Fellowship Church

What’s your focus for 2018?

We had a great time on Sunday with our New Year’s Eve ramble.  We spent a few minutes thinking about what we should focus on in 2018.  We looked at Hebrews 12:1-3 and saw our focus should be on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.  Whatever happens in 2018, good or ill, if we follow, model, focus on, and live for Jesus, it will have been an effective and productive year.

This Sunday we’re back to normal at the Windsor Youth & Community Centre at 4pm.  We’ll be continuing our sermon series from the book of Hebrews.  Will Stileman will be preaching from chapter 10 and we’ll be thinking how stratospherically superior Jesus’ sacrifice is to any other options.

House groups will continue to follow the sermon series.  If you’re not in a house group and would like to know more about them, do get in touch with me.  Our mid-week groups are a wonderful forum to deepen our love for each other and for God as we study his word.  We’re planning to launch a third evening group soon.

Dates for your diary:

4th January (this evening) – Hope in depression course starts

13th January – Men’s breakfast –  Thinking about the nature & character of God.  8.15-9.30am, The George, Eton High Street, SL4 6AF

18th January – Women’s evening with Rosie Dunn, coordinator of the London Women’s Convention, speaking about friendship – more details to follow

22nd January – Monthly prayer meeting

10th February – Church Social

11th March – Church lunch

15th March – Women’s evening with Hilary Nicholls

21st April – Windsor Fellowship Vision Dinner

Regards,

Pete Matthew
Senior Minister, Windsor Fellowship Church

Are you baby?

No one likes to be called a baby. In the passage we’re looking at in church today the writer of Hebrews accuses the 1st century Roman Christians of being just like that, “You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant.” They thought, because they’d got the basics right about the Christian faith, they didn’t need to try and understand anything deeper. They thought they could just tread water.

No one thinks like that in general life, we want to learn and develop, we want to progress in our careers. But, are we in danger of being infantile in our Christian faith? Are we treading water? The writer encourages them to “move beyond the elementary teaching about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.” This is a great encouragement for us to keep growing in our knowledge and love of Christ. If you’re not sure how to do that please ask someone you trust Don’t stay a baby Christian, grow up!

Upcoming events:

A Monk’s Tale
Saturday 11th November
7.30pm-9.30pm
Windsor Youth & Community Centre, Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

Tickets £10 – More info or to book: pete@windsorfellowship.com

Friday 1st December – Christmas Wreath Making – Ladies’ guest event – A fun, relaxed evening making Christmas wreaths. This is a ticketed event. More details to come soon.

Saturday 9th December 6pm – Carols…in a pub! – Great fun, great carols, great atmosphere – Duchess of Cambridge pub – If you were there last year, you won’t need convincing to come along. If you weren’t there, ask someone who was and they’ll tell you it was brilliant!

Sunday 10th December 4pm – All Age Nativity – Everyone who wants a part is guaranteed a role – last year we had babies to granddads dressed up! A great event for all the family.

Saturday 16th December 7.30pm – Church Christmas Social – Details coming soon.

Sunday 17th December 4pm – Carols by (some) candlelight – Traditional service of lessons and carols – the youth centre can actually look Christmassy!

Sunday 24th December 4pm – Low key carols – Relaxed Christmas Eve service.

Monday 25th December 10am – Christmas Day Celebration – Hopkins’ house – Beech House, Hermitage Lane, SL4 4AZ. If in Windsor, please join the church family in celebrating the birth of our Saviour.

New Start

Even if you’ve not been away during the summer I do hope you’ve had a chance to ease back on the usual hectic pace of life. We all need time for relaxation. However, the summer is coming to an end and now it’s back to work (or school or university). My brain is conditioned to think of September as the start of a new year. So, it’s a good time to reflect on some big questions: What will this year be like? What will God teach me? How can I serve Him more effectively?

Those are good questions to ask at any point, but perhaps with September upon us you could spend some time thinking about them today.

Also, with so many of us being away for parts of the last few weeks, September is a great time to reconnect with our church family. Why not come along this Sunday, or even this Saturday join us for our Church BBQ!

Upcoming events:

Saturday 16th September 4pm – Church BBQ – a wonderful chance to spend time with each other – arlenecarson@hotmail.co.uk

Thursday 21st September 7.30pm – Women’s evening with Sarah Sayer as guest speaker

Sunday 1st October 2pm – Thank God for Harvest – All Age family fun activity afternoon in celebration of Harvest

Looking ahead:

November 11th – A Monk’s Tale – A professionally performed comedy play about the reformation – Windsor Youth & Community Centre – Tickets and more details coming soon

Regards,

Pete Matthew
Senior Minister, Windsor Fellowship Church

How to have a happy 2017

Happy New Year!

We had a great time on Sunday with our first New Year’s Day ramble, which probably should have been called New Year’s Day swim, such was the ferocity of the rain.  Once we’d dried and thawed out we spent a few minutes thinking about what would make 2017 a happy year.  Psalm 1 starts by saying “Blessed is the one…”  The word used for “blessed” can be translated “truly happy”.  So, if you want to know how to be truly happy in 2017 look at Psalm 1 and do what it says.

This Sunday we’re back to normal at the Windsor Youth & Community Centre at 4pm.  We will be starting a new sermon series looking at the Old Testament book of Malachi.  It was written about 2,500 years ago to warn God’s people not to go soft on their relationship with God.  God’s people were giving him little or no attention; they were going off doing their own thing and only occasionally gave God any consideration.  That seems to ring a lot of bells with our contemporary society and church. 

The plan is for the house groups to follow the sermon series.  If you’re not in a house group and would like to know more about them, do get in touch with me.  Our mid-week groups are a wonderful forum to deepen our love for each other and for God as we study his word. 

Regards,

Pete Matthew, Senior Minister

I am

On Thursday night I spoke at the Royal Holloway Christian union on Jesus’ words in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, I am!”  This is Jesus claiming, in a clear and unambiguous way, to be the Almighty, Sovereign, Creator God.  In our culture, and especially in student culture, a claim like this is offensive and arrogant.  Jesus’ claim to be all life, all truth, the only way to God is not a popular message.  But, even though it isn’t popular, it is true.

Later, I was thinking how this links with Ephesians in our current sermon series.  We saw on Sunday in the second half of chapter 1 that Paul prays they will know God better.  And the question is—how do we know God better?  The answer from Paul is that they will know the hope to which they’ve been called, the riches of his glorious inheritance, and his incomparably great power.  All of those things that Paul prays they will know are entirely wrapped up in the person and work of Jesus.  Knowing Jesus, Almighty God, the great “I am!” is the simple answer to how we will know God better.  The whole of the Bible points us to the Lord Jesus Christ who is God come to earth as a man to be our Lord and our Saviour.

Today, Michael Callaghan from St John’s, Egham will be continuing our series in Ephesians chapter 2.  It’s a description of how God has used his incomparably great power in us, moving us from death to life, from outside of his family to in it, from not having faith to having faith.  All of those are the gift of God.  He does all the work to save us through his power—we do nothing.  It’s a wonderful comfort to know God does it all.  If it were down to me, even in the smallest way, I’d only mess it up.  Wonderful it isn’t down to me—it’s all God’s word through the work of his Son.

Upcoming events:

30th October – SASRA prayer meeting – 6.30pm – Windsor Methodist Church

16th November – Monthly prayer meeting

2nd December – Windsor Fellowship Church Christmas Social

25th December – 10am – Short Christmas Day service at the Rector’s house

1st January – New Year’s Day ramble followed by tea & cakes

 

Regards,

Pete Matthew

Rector, Windsor Fellowship Church

First weekly blog from our new rector

pete

Hi all

Thank you so much for all those who came to the Big Launch last Sunday and made us feel so welcome.  It was a wonderfully encouraging event. 

I felt it was important to remind all of us (me included) about the key reasons the Windsor Fellowship Church exists, which is why we looked at Romans 1:16-17.  The gospel, the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ, is at the centre of all we do and needs to always be the foundation of our church family.  This gospel message, that is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, is the only thing that will ultimately bring hope, life and joy to Windsor.  It’s also this message that will equip us, inspire us, and empower us, to live by faith.

Having gone right back to the foundational truth of the Christian faith last week, this week we’re going to start a new series looking at the Bible book of Ephesians.  This series will take us up to Christmas.  The passage this week is Ephesians 1:1-14.  In the original Greek verses 3-14 is one sentence in which Paul splurges out all the overwhelming benefits that are ours if we’re Christians.  If you have an opportunity please try and read the passage before Sunday.

My plan is to send out a weekly email which will have a quick recap of the previous Sunday, a heads up of what is happening that week and to share news and events.  We don’t want to overfill your inboxes so will try and limit circular emails like this to just the one a week.  The exception may come if there is something specific we want to let you know about.

Other upcoming events:

  • October 19th – monthly prayer meeting – 7.30 pm for 8:00 pm start, finishes at 9.15 pm. Beech House Hermitage Lane SL4 4AZ
  • October 22nd – men’s breakfast – 8:15 am to 9:30 am at the George Inn, Eton High Street.

And also advance notice for planned Christmas events:

  • Friday 2nd December – Christmas social
  • Sunday 18th December – All Age Christingle Service – 4pm
  • Sunday 18th December – Carol Service – 7pm

We’re very excited to be part of your family as we go forward together for the sake of God’s kingdom and wait to see what He will do next amongst us!

Regards,

Pete Matthew

Rector

The Big Launch

This Sunday is the beginning of a new chapter for the Windsor Fellowship as the Rev Peter Matthew is commissioned as our new Rector! We are very excited that Pete, Nicki and their six-year-old twins Henry and Helena have moved to Windsor and are already becoming part of the community.d0fc29d1-025b-4126-875e-234c4095ab36

Please join us along with the Archdeacon of Berkshire and other supporters at 4 pm on Sunday, 2 October at the Windsor Youth Centre (map) for a special service of celebration as we welcome the Matthew family followed by tea and cakes.

Pages: 1 2 3 4