Genocide. It’s a chilling word and far too many modern examples spring to mind.
At the beginning of the book of Exodus we are faced with genocide. When the midwives refused to obey Pharaoh’s orders to kill all the Hebrew baby boys, Pharaoh made a new decree—all baby boys must be thrown into the river. It’s a grisly scene but out of this horror, hope rises.
By hiding Moses in a basket on the edge of the river, Moses’ parents defied Pharaoh’s cruel law. They couldn’t possibly have guessed how miraculously God would intervene, but their faith led to Moses’ rescue and the extraordinary chain of events that would eventually free the Hebrew nation.
In John 16, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Moses’ parents clung to the certainty of God’s promises. They trusted in the sweeping providence of God. They had huge faith, which stands as a challenge to us today.
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We had a terrific turnout for the update meeting last Sunday and we appreciated your feedback. Thank you.
Dates for the diary:
- Saturday, 30 May, Men’s breakfast, 8:30 am at All Bar One, Windsor Royal Station
- Wednesday, 10 June, Prayer meeting, 7:30 pm at Beech House
- Saturday, 27 June, Teens’ Social, 12:45 pm at the Felce’s home
- Sunday, 28 June, Picnic at 1 pm prior to the service
Although many of us have heard the miracle of Jesus feeding “the 5,000” (that was only the number of men—not everyone), a similar miracle when Jesus fed 4,000 isn’t as well known. Sam Brewster spoke about this miracle last week and gave us some amazing insights. The 5,000 was a Jewish audience and the 4,000 was a Gentile audience. In both cases, Jesus took a scant amount of food and, after blessing it, gave it to the crowds who ate until they were satisfied and there was plenty of food left over. These two miracles are very similar and are meant to show us that Jesus came for everyone and that he offers us a “banquet” of blessings.
The really odd thing here is that Jesus’ disciples didn’t seem to understand these miracles at all. They were there in the thick of things—handing out bread and gathering up the fragments—but the extraordinary power of God was lost on them. We can be tempted to scoff at the disciples and label them “thick” but in fact we are just like them! Despite the evidence of God’s work in our lives, we often don’t see it. We are blind to his rescue, hard-hearted about his lordship and deaf to his love. Mark 8 is a real wake up call to us today.
This Sunday, Jeff Wattley from St John’s church in Egham will be our speaker. He will focus on the final verses of Mark 8 and we look forward to hearing from him. Next month, we will begin a series of talks from the book of Exodus. We hope that this switch from New Testament to Old Testament will be both a challenge and an inspiration.
Again, we would like to bring to your attention the Saltshaker conference on Saturday, 9 May at St Mary’s Church in Maidenhead. Becky Pippert is a warm, engaging person who will inspire us to share Jesus’ love and grace. You can sign up on the St Mary’s website or speak to one of us for more information.
Lastly, we will be holding a little meeting after the service on Sunday, 10 May just to update you on WF’s progress and get your feedback. We will hold our service as usual, break for tea and then reconvene at 5:30. The plan is to end the meeting at about 6:15. Please do come along and us your thoughts about how we can best move forward.
Over the past five months we have been greatly encouraged to see so many of you commit to making the Windsor Fellowship your primary worshipping community. We are convinced that God is doing great things in our midst and we wait in expectation to see what He will do next.
A group of us have been working to develop a WF Vision Statement that will help to guide us as we make plans going forward. This statement can be summed up in three words—rooted, growing, proclaiming. The Windsor Fellowship strives to be a community rooted in the timeless truths of God, growing in the grace of Jesus Christ and proclaiming Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We will be having an Easter service at 4pm on Sunday as usual. If you would like to attend Good Friday services or a sunrise Easter service, we recommend that you join St Mary’s Maidenhead for their services. Details can be found here.
- If you have missed a service, we encourage you to listen to missed sermons online at our website.
- Please continue to pray with us for a suitable new venue. We are currently looking at schools and a community hall.
- We have decided to postpone the outreach event we had hoped to hold in May. Instead, may we encourage as many of you as are able to go along to the Saltshaker training day at St Mary’s on Saturday, 9 May. If you need more information, please see the event website. It will be an excellent day of teaching. About 10 of us are signed up already.
- The three evening home groups and one daytime group all seem to be settling well.
We are working on a couple of social events for the youth. In particular, we hope to get our teenagers together with the youth from Latimer Minister in April.
- Andy Felce is putting together a document that will formalise our governance structure.
- Curt has been working with leaders in our diocese to “regularise” our work in the parish although we are outside the constraints of the parish. Once this is all in order we hope to be able to begin the search for a vicar.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions and thank you for your continued prayers.
The Bible uses some interesting phrases to describe people. “Stiff necked,” “people of unclean lips,” “like sheep without a shepherd,” –these are just a few. In Mark 6 we are told that Jesus was concerned about the disciples because “their hearts were hardened.”
The term “hard hearted” is also used by Moses to describe Pharoah when he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave Egypt. Joshua used it to refer to the idol worshippers in Caanan. Jesus used this term to explain why his disciples didn’t understand his miracles.
On Sunday, Will Stileman brought us a very insightful sermon from Mark 6 where Jesus walked on water. He explained that the disciples’ deep spiritual blindness was the reason why Jesus had spent the night in prayer before walking out to them through waves and wind. The disciples weren’t simply stupid—they were hard hearted. This ought to be an encouragement to us as we struggle with doubts and fears. It isn’t easy to have faith in all circumstances. But as Jesus prayed for his disciples’ understanding when he was here on earth, so too is he now interceding for us from heaven today!
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A big “Thank you!” goes to Jane Reed for organising a great social last Saturday night. The food was lovely and the company exceedingly fine!
This Sunday Will will be back to preach on the first thirteen verses of Mark 7. We hope you can join us.
Many things in life can feel overwhelming. Joblessness. Fighting disease. Struggling with addictions. Battling unbelief.
In the middle of Mark 6 Jesus told the disciples to feed the thousands of people who had followed him to hear his teaching. What a strange ask! There was no way they could provide a meal for this huge crowd. Or at least there was no human way.
This familiar event known as “The Feeding of the 5,000” is recorded in all four gospels. It teaches us that with God, all things are possible even though every fibre of our being may shout “don’t be ridiculous!” God allows “missions impossible” not to weigh us down but so that we can learn to depend on him and see that we are part of his worldwide work.
These verses might shake us up and cause us to ask ourselves if we really trust Jesus or if we actually think that some things are too difficult even for God. Studying miracles like these make us take spiritual stock of our lives.
This Sunday we have a guest speaker coming. Peter Nevins, who is an associate minister at Christ Church Virginia Water, will be encouraging us on the subject of marriage.
Thanks to all of you who have sent an RSVP about the 14 March social at Eton’s Prince George pub. We are looking forward to a fun evening.
King Herod had John the Baptist executed—even though he liked John—because he wanted to please his dinner guests. Herod was a powerful man but he found himself in a crisis because he had refused to repent as John told him he must do.
This shocking story has been the subject of many paintings—we remember seeing two depictions of this grisly scene side by side at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. Two heads on platters!
John was God’s special messenger who called people to repentance, but as it was then repentance is still unpopular. Sam Brewster explained to us that we shouldn’t be surprised or discouraged when people refuse to believe in Jesus. Rejection and gospel growth go hand in hand.
He also challenged us to think: Who are the dinner guests in my life that I want to please?
This Sunday, Will Stileman will be preaching on the last verses of Mark 6. We hope that you can join us for a time of learning together and encouragement.
If you haven’t yet sent us an RSVP, we would love to know if you can join us for a social at Eton’s Prince George pub on Saturday, 15 March at 7:30 pm.
Curt and Janice
Desperation drove a father to Jesus. His 12-year-old daughter was deathly ill. Now, his education, grand career and reputation meant nothing to him. His little girl needed a miracle and thankfully Jesus agreed to come.
However, on the way to his house they were delayed. Another desperately ill person pressed through the throngs trusting that if she could only just touch Jesus’ clothing she would be healed. She was. But Jesus wanted to speak to her and acknowledge her faith so that by the time they reached the man’s house the mourners had gathered and were wailing.
Jesus spoke to the child and she got up. As simply as you or I would gently waken a sleeping person, so Jesus brought this dead girl back to life.
The extraordinary events of Mark 5 show that nothing is so broken that Jesus can’t fix it. You can trust him with your life and you can trust him with your death. And when his timing is completely out of line with yours—trust him.
We wish Sam Allberry a fabulous three-month sabbatical. He will be travelling, teaching, reading and having a go at learning Hebrew!
This Sunday we welcome back Sam Brewster as he continues our series in Mark.
If you will be able to join us for our next social on Saturday, 14 March at 7:30pm, please RSVP to email@example.com so that we can get an idea of numbers. Our current plan is to meet at the Prince George pub in Eton but we need to make sure that our numbers fit the room.
Curt and Janice
Windsor Fellowship church
“Clothed and in his right mind.” This is how the gospel writer described a man whose life was mercifully transformed by Jesus. We can only try to imagine the level of lunacy this man must have endured as he lived in the tombs on a hillside. Plagued by thousands of impure spirits, he could not be bound with chains and had been banished from society.
Sam Allberry admitted that much in this passage is unclear, but that Jesus’ concern and care for this uncontrollable human is the main point here. As Jesus valued this most unlovable of men, so we too should look beyond outward appearances and seek the best for all we meet. Nobody is beyond God’s reach.
We had a lovely time celebrating Peter Searle’s 95 birthday! It was an honour to hear about his devotion to God.
Next Sunday at Windsor Fellowship church we invite all the children and teens to stay on for a games session after the service. And a reminder that our next social will be held on Saturday, 14 March at 7:30pm at the Prince George pub in Eton.
Curt and Janice Hopkins
The yo-yo of life—this was an interesting concept explained last Sunday. Sam Brewster at our Windsor church talked about how people often live in fear of the next jolt that life is bound to send their way. Life can be seen as a series of ups and downs and sometimes we feel that it is spinning out of control.
Mark 4 tells us about a mega storm, a mega calm, and mega fear. We can probably all look back at our lives and think of times when our circumstances were utterly overwhelming. Anxiety, despondency, and hopelessness stalk us. But when we realise that God is fully in control of all things, we experience calm and peace that is truly supernatural.
Our final hymn summed it all up:
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand.
This Sunday we will have a special 95th birthday celebration for the lovely Rev Peter Searle. We hope you can join us.
Last Sunday we learned about a Samaritan woman whose life was radically changed after meeting Jesus. Sam pointed out that Jesus’ disciples had a hard time seeing the “harvest” that was all around them, but in this story it is apparent that many people were ready to accept Jesus as the Messiah. We, too, were encouraged to reach out to people with Jesus’ message of forgiveness and hope. The “harvest” is ripe in Windsor too.
We have a few things we want to draw to your attention this week:
This Sunday, the curate from St Mary’s Maidenhead, Sam Brewster, will be coming to preach at the Windsor church for the first time. We look forward to hearing from him as he continues our series in Mark (Mark 4:35-41 if you want to read ahead!).
On Sunday, 8 February, we will be celebrating the Rev Peter Searle’s 95th birthday! Come along and hear about the amazing ways that God used him in North Africa during WWII and then as a vicar here in England for many decades. Peter continues to be an inspiration.
A date for the diary is Saturday, 14 March when we will have the next Windsor church social. Plans are to have this at a pub in Eton. Details will be finalised soon.
Sunday, 15 February will be Sam Allberry’s last Sunday with us before he goes on sabbatical until the end of May. We will miss him but we trust that his time travelling, teaching and resting will strengthen and renew him. In his absence, Will Stileman and Sam Brewster will do the bulk of the preaching for the next three months, with guest appearances from Peter Nevins from Christ Church Virginia Water and Jeff Wattley from St John’s Egham.
Curt and Janice
P.S. If you would like to join a Home Group but haven’t, please let us know!