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

What’s your vision like?

What’s your vision like? Not seeing clearly is a real problem. Without my glasses I stumble around and can’t find anything. That image is also true of us as a church. If we don’t a have a clear vision we’ll stumble around and be ineffective.

Therefore, to help us all see clearly what we’re trying to be like and what we’re striving to do here at the Windsor Fellowship Church we’re going to have a Vision and Mission Dinner on the 21st April. At this dinner we’ll have a great time together as a church family and think about our vision as a church. As a group, we will think about what God wants us to do and how we can work towards that goal.

Please put this event in your diary now and do all you can to be with us. It will be in the evening. Other details have yet to be finalised. We’re hoping this Dinner will enthuse all of us to want to be involved in all we do as a church family.

Upcoming events:

Monday 6th March – 7.30pm – Youth Bible Study – A new group for our teenagers to meet to discuss whether the Bible is true and how it might be relevant to their lives. For more information contact Pete Matthew.
Wednesday 15th April – 7.45pm – Monthly Prayer Meeting – 90 Frances Road, SL4 3AN
Saturday 25th March – Youth event and social – More details from Alicia Felce

Future dates for your diary:

Sunday 2nd April – 2pm – Thank God for Easter – Windsor Youth & Community Centre – A fun, family event which will flow into our normal Sunday meeting.
Good Friday 14th April – 10am – All age celebration of Jesus’ death on the cross – Windsor Youth & Community Centre – An interactive re-telling of the Good Friday story
Good Friday 14th April – 11.00am – An hour at the cross – Windsor Youth & Community Centre – Quiet reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice in our place for our sins
Easter Sunday – 16th April – 4pm – All age Easter celebration – Windsor Youth & Community Centre
Friday 21st April – 7.30pm – Vision Dinner – Details to be confirmed

Regards,
Pete Matthew
Senior Minister, Windsor Fellowship Church
pete@windsorfellowship.com
07919 577676
www.windsorfellowship.com

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

Stand firm – we’re in a battle

God has done everything for us to be part of his family and has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Our job is to live a life worthy of that calling.  This is the central point of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.  It’s fair to say it doesn’t always feel like that and that’s because, as the letter made clear, we’re in a spiritual battle.  Thankfully, Jesus has won and he’s given us the armour of God to enable us to stand firm.  Paul wrote the letter to encourage us to keep going.  Jesus has won the ultimate victory and therefore we can, with confidence, live reflecting our eternal identity.

Ephesians reminded us that God has given us faith so we know the truth about Christ and are adopted into his family.  We have a wonderful opportunity to share that truth over the coming weeks with the imminent onset of Christmas.  This Saturday at 6pm please bring people along to the “Carols… in a pub!” at the Duchess of Cambridge Pub.  Also, bring friends, family, neighbours, people you’ve only met once, whoever, along to the All-Age Nativity at the youth centre at 4pm this Sunday.

Upcoming events:

Carols… in a pub!  – Saturday 10th December – 6pm – Duchess of Cambridge Pub, Windsor High Street
All-Age Nativity –  Sunday 11th December – 4pm – Windsor Youth & Community Centre
Carol Service –  Sunday 18th December – 4pm – Windsor Youth & Community Centre
Monthly Prayer Meeting – Wednesday 21st December – 7.30pm – 90 Frances Road, SL4 3AN
Christmas Day Celebration – Sunday 25th December – 10am – 90 Frances Road, SL4 3AN
New Year’s Day Ramble & Tea –  From 1pm – tea 4pm—Beech House, Hermitage Lane, SL4 4AZ

Regards,

Pete Matthew
Senior Minister, Windsor Fellowship Church
07919 577676
www.windsorfellowship.com

Live like we’re a family

We’re one family in the church.  It’s a slightly crazy thought that Christians are our true, eternal brothers and sisters.  We’re a diverse bunch with all kinds of backgrounds, experiences, and nationalities, and yet we are all part of God’s family, the church.  As Ephesians has shown us, the existence of the church displays the manifold wisdom of God.  I know when we meet as the Windsor Fellowship Church it doesn’t feel like we’re displaying something as magnificent as God’s own wisdom, but that’s what Paul tells us we are doing.

The implications of us being part of God’s own family are vast and Paul spells them out in the rest of the letter to the Ephesians.  The big headline is for all of us to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received” (Eph 4:1).  He then goes on to explain what that looks like.  We need to use all the gifts that God has given us for the sake of our church family to help us to grow in unity and become mature followers of Christ.  We’re on a trajectory to full unity and complete maturity as each part depends on Christ and does its work.  We’re going to spend the next few weeks at church thinking about what that actually looks like.

I’m very excited about our upcoming Christmas events. The “Carols… in a pub!” on Saturday 10th is at 6pm and our nativity on Sunday 11th will be at 4pm.  Do pray for the planning and logistics of these events.  Also, please pray for people to come and think who you could invite.  We will have some flyers soon to promote these events.

Upcoming events:

16th November – Monthly prayer meeting – 7.30-9.15pm – “The Rectory”, 90 Frances Road, Windsor, SL4 3AN
19th November – Men’s Breakfast
2nd December – Windsor Fellowship Church Christmas Social – more details will be announced this Sunday at church
10th December – Carols… in a pub! – 6pm – The Duchess of Cambridge Pub
11th December – Christmas Nativity – 4pm – Windsor Youth Centre
18th December – 4pm – Christmas Carols & Windsor Fellowship Church
25th December – Christmas Day Celebration – 10am – “The Rectory”, 90 Frances Road, Windsor, SL4 3AN
1st January – New Year’s Day Ramble & Tea – Details to follow soon.

Freedom & Confidence

I’m really enjoying looking at Ephesians.  It’s great to think about all that God has done for us, the church.  He has provided the answer to the world’s greatest needs—the good news about Jesus Christ.  Division is at the heart of our problems—division between nations, groups, individuals and, ultimately of course, between us and God.  The Gospel is the answer to these problems.  We were hostile but through the cross, God has healed the division.

That’s what we’ve seen so far and this week, in Ephesians 3, we’re going to think about the result of all that God has done for us.  Because of all that is described in chapters 1 and 2 “we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12)  At some point this week why not spend a few moments reflecting on the implications of that statement.  Think about the fact that you, a sinner who in your nature is hostile to God, can approach him with “freedom and confidence.”

Now, this invitation to approach God in this way is open to all through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, that’s why Christmas is so fantastic.  Amongst the presents, parties, food, and celebration, the heart of Christmas is that through that baby born in a manger we can approach God with freedom and confidence.  (Did you enjoy the subtlety of that link into Christmas?)  Next month we have the best opportunity to share this invitation with everyone we know.  People are much more receptive to an invite to a church event at Christmas because instinctively they know that the real ‘reason for the season’ is about the nativity story.

So, we’re putting on 2 Christmas events. On the 11th December we’re going to have a Children’s Nativity Carol Service at 4pm.  (Previously we had said the 18th, but there are other carol services happening in Windsor on that date so rather than clash we decided to go a week earlier.)  Every child that comes along can take part if they want to.  So, who do you know with children who you could invite to come with you?  Neighbours, colleagues, grandchildren, invite them all!

We’re also planning to do something more aimed at the grown ups.  This will either be on Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th at 7pm. We’re still working out exactly what this will be, but put both dates in your diary and start thinking about who you could invite and we will confirm ASAP.  Hopefully at church this Sunday.

Upcoming events:

16th November – Monthly prayer meeting – At the ‘Rectory’, 90 Frances Road, SL4 3AN – 7.30pm to 9.15pm
2nd December – Windsor Fellowship Church Christmas Social
11th December – 4pm – Children’s Nativity & Carols
25th December – 10am – Christmas Day celebration
1st January – New Year’s Day ramble followed by tea & cake

Regards,

Pete Matthew
Rector

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

Rector’s Weekly Email

Last Sunday we started our Autumn preaching series looking though Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.  I’ve been thinking this week about the amazing fact that we already have–past tense reality–every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Even though we (the Windsor Fellowship Church) are small and, in worldly terms, insignificant, we have everything already.  That gives me great confidence to keep going whatever health or circumstances I face.  Praise God for who he is and what he’s done for us in Christ.

This week we’re going to see, from the 2nd half of chapter 1, what these amazing truths about God cause Paul to pray for the Ephesian Christians.  The one key thing that Paul wants for them all is that they’ll know, understand, believe, the deep truths about God that he’s just told them in verses 3-14.  He doesn’t pray through a shopping list of needs and desires (although we should pray for those things too), he prays they will grow and mature in their knowledge and love of God.  And that’s what I’m praying for all of us too.

If you miss a week the sermon transcripts will be on the website and, from this week, a recording should be available too.

October events coming up:

Wednesday 19th –  Monthly Prayer Meeting 7.30 pm for 8:00 pm start, finishes at 9.15 pm. Meet at Beech House, Hermitage Lane, SL4 4AZ. It’s an opportunity for us to put into practice what Paul says in Ephesians 1:15-23!

Saturday 22ndMen’s breakfast – 8:15 — 9:30 am at the George Inn, Eton High Street.

Sunday 30thSASRA prayer meeting – 6:30 — 8 pm at Windsor Methodist Church on Alma Road.

Future events:

Friday 2nd December – Christmas Social
December 18th – 4pm – Christingle All Age Carol Service
December 18th – 7pm – Carols by (some) candlelight
December 25th – 10am – Christmas Day short service – 90 Frances Road (the rector’s house)
January 1st – 1pm-ish – New Year’s Day Ramble followed by cake and tea

Regards,

Pete Matthew
Rector

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

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