Infinitely valuable

“Infinitely valuable.” That is how Oliver Strange described the human soul in his talk on Sunday. You are of infinite worth. You are more precious than a Bugatti or a Rolex or a penthouse in Dubai. You are more valuable than any company (even Apple), any film (even Star Wars) or any song (even Adele’s). Your name might not be on the “Who’s Who of 2015” but God has a book that lists his children’s names and He cherishes your friendship.

This teaching comes with challenges. Do I act like a child of the King? Do I treat the foreign checkout girl with honour? Does kindness mark my family? Do I judge others by their clothes, their house, their IQ?

Realising that we are infinitely valuable and loved beyond all measure makes us completely different people. Instead of striving for change this New Year, perhaps it makes more sense to learn to rest in God.

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New sermon series—Following Jesus. This term we’re looking at a section of the Gospel of Mark all about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He does not mince his words. We’ll be looking at some of the most challenging things Jesus has to say. Yet throughout, Jesus claims following him is the only way to find life in its fullness. 

Prayer Evening—Wednesday, 20 January, 7:30 for 8 pm. Please join us at Beech House, Hermitage Lane, SL4 4AZ as we pray for Windsor and each other. There will be no pressure for anyone to pray aloud if they don’t want to. Just your presence would be an encouragement to others!

Pancake Sunday—On Sunday, 7 February we will have a social event directly after the 4 pm service. Everyone will be welcome to stay for a pancake supper!

Confidence

Sometimes it does seem arrogant to think that as Christians we are sure we are going to heaven. It seems pride-full, and isn’t pride the antithesis of Christianity?

At the conclusion of our study of John’s letter (1 John 5:13-21) we were reminded that our confidence in eternal life is not arrogant because that confidence lies in the fact that Jesus paid the price—not us. Our faith is in His work, not our works. Grace drenches us in His love and we cannot but sing His praise. So, in fact, Christianity humbles us because our focus turns from us to God.

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In the run-up to Christmas we will be studying some Old Testament passages. This Sunday it will be Genesis 3:8-15, Nov 29 Isaiah 11:1-9 and December 6 Micah 5:2-5. On Sunday, December 13 we will hold a Carol Service and on December 20 there will be an all-age Christingle Service.

 For those who aren’t familiar with the term Christingle, it means “Christ light” and is a symbolic way of showing that Jesus is the light of the world. Oranges topped with candles and sweets are passed out and the symbols explained. Kate Wheatley, Children’s Worker at St Mary’s Maidenhead, will be teaching us that day. We will also have extra musicians visiting on 20 December to help us celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Please be thinking about who you might invite to our Christmas services. We will have invitation cards available soon for you to give away. They read “Love came down!”

Blessings,

The Windsor Fellowship

Swoosh

Nike. For most of us that word just means a footwear brand. However, nike is the Greek word “to overcome” and this word is used three times in the space of two verses in 1 John 5:4-5. John tells us that we can “overcome the world” through faith in Jesus Christ. Simply put, belief in Jesus allows us to prevail over sin. Jesus gives us victory over our own wrong thinking and wrong behaviour. Christians will overcome evil, which gives us amazing hope.

This Sunday we will finish our study of John’s first letter. Like the first century believers he was writing to, we can learn a great deal about God’s Son from John, one of Jesus’ closest friends. We trust that your faith has flourished through this study.

Do Physicists Believe in Miracles?

On Saturday 31 October our Men’s Breakfast group met in The George Inn, Eton, for a fry-up and some early-morning musings on the subject “Do Physicists Believe in Miracles?”  A lively discussion was led by our resident physicist Andy Felce, and for those who missed it, here’s a flavour of the questions we considered, and some possible answers:

What is a miracle?

“Something that can’t be explained by the laws of physics.”

To a physicist it is therefore highly unlikely since everything we have ever seen can be.

What’s the pre-eminent physical reality of the universe?

The laws of physics have come to be seen as predominating over matter.  No particles have any measurable finite extent.  Everything is empty space bubbling with mathematical fields talking to each other.  Matter doesn’t matter!  The known laws are amazingly successful (for example 11 significant figure agreement between experiment and theory for the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron).  [Physics is the crowning achievement of human civilization – discuss!]

What possibilities exist for the origin of the laws of physics?

a) Always existed with no author;

b) Spontaneously came into existence with no author;

c) Written (or more correctly, spoken!) at some time/event.

Can laws evolve?

No.  There is no mechanism for laws to “fail”, nor any way for putative laws to be generated.

Does the many-worlds interpretation make sense? Can it explain anything?

No & no!  It’s the very antithesis of Occam’s razor, in particular because it completely lacks testability.  “Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.” (Bertrand Russell)

Do physicists believe in miracles?

Yes.  The origin of the laws of physics cannot be explained by the laws of physics themselves.  You have to pick one of 3) a), b), c) above.  They all satisfy the definition of a miracle.  All are highly improbable, but there are no other alternatives, and to deride theists for believing in impossible or unnecessary things is a fabulous example of the pot calling the kettle black!

Why is mathematical elegance such a successful criterion for postulating laws of physics that work?

It’s hard to explain for an atheist, but for a Christian it’s the logical consequence of having a Creator who loves beauty and speaks maths!

What significance is there in the fact that there are laws of physics and that we can discover them?

It points to God who is the law-giver, and humans being made in the image of God.  For atheists it’s an inexplicable mystery.  Romans 1:20 says “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

Why does maths discovered/invented in the human brain successfully describe the universe?  Can this fact be explained by natural selection?

There’s no evolutionary advantage in being able to understand quantum physics (100 years is an insignificant timescale).  For atheists there is no logical reason to expect chemical thought processes in our brains to have any correspondence with external reality on any hard-to-observe scale, either large or small.

Is the universe the product of a pre-existent Mind, or simply some spontaneously-generated stuff?

Given what we discovered in the 20th century about the pre-eminence of laws in the universe, and the fading away of “stuff”, it looks more and more likely that the former idea is true (see John 1) and that the latter idea stems from a rather unsophisticated understanding of 19th century physics.  It’s also much harder, for me at least, to believe in pre-existent laws than it is to believe in a pre-existent law-giver.

Why are Christians so defensive about science?

In the light of the answers above, it’s inexplicable!  We should be happy to admit that there are many questions about God that we can’t answer, but point out that science struggles even more with the question of ultimate origins, whilst Christianity has unique insights which answer many of the really perplexing questions.

Real channeling

“God is love, but love is not God.” So began Neil Watkinson in his sermon last Sunday. He told us that in order to have love, we must pursue God. This is such a key point, isn’t it? Most people think that if they seek love, they will be loving. However, to be truly loving we must recognize that Jesus is the perfect model of love and that the cross is fundamental for knowing that God is love. We need to rely on Jesus rather than ourselves for love, and then we can channel that love to the world around us.

Come hear Sam Allberry this Sunday as he continues our series in 1 John 5 and we celebrate communion.

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The Windsor Fellowship is having a social get together on November 14th at 7.00 pm at The George Inn, Eton (77 High Street, SL4 6AF) which has just been taken over by Windsor and Eton Brewery.

It would be great to see many people there. Food is ordered individually from the pub’s menu. Please let Jane Reed know on reedsing@singnet.com.sg (or hit the RSVP button below) if you would like to come.

Holy love

Down through the centuries Christians have struggled to understand the tension between God’s all encompassing love and His command to “be holy as I am holy.” We know that it is only by His grace that we can be saved, and we cherish His great compassion. However, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! . . . Now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” (Romans 6: 1-2, 22 NLT)

Our talks from 1 John have stimulated some good discussions about how we can be sure of our salvation and see how much God loves us.  We look forward to hearing the next sermon on 1 John 3. Come with your questions!

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On Wednesday, 21 October we will have a special evening of prayer at Beech House, Hermitage Lane, Windsor, SL4 4AZ. Please join us for a cuppa at 7:30 pm and we will begin our time of prayer together at 8. There will be no pressure for anyone to pray aloud unless they so choose. Everyone is welcome to come along. It’s a great way to be encouraged in your faith!

The next Mens’ Breakfast will take place on Saturday, 31 October at 8:15 am. They will be trialling a new venue—The George Inn 77 High Street, Eton SL4 6AF, which is just across the bridge from Windsor. We will finish promptly by 9:45 am.

Saturday, 14 November is the date of our next WF social. We will meet at The George Inn on Eton High Street at 7 pm, which has recently been bought by the Windsor and Eton Brewery. Come along for a meal and a time of encouraging conversation.

On the launch pad

Thanks to everyone who came along to our official launch at the Windsor Youth and Community Centre! It was wonderful to have a full house and it was lovely that so many stayed afterwards to chat and enjoy the tea.

IMG_6211It was a great team effort. Thanks to those who came early to set up the children’s corner or stayed late to roll up the table cloths, those who blessed us with their musical talent and those who lavished on uscakes and sandwiches! We so appreciate every person who has offered their time and talents. If anyone would like to be on a rota to set up, welcome, serve tea, read scripture, etc. please speak to one of us or see Muffie Shepherd.

We launched our new prayer ministry last week. What that means is that there will always be people ready to pray with you after every service if you so choose. You can also write your prayer request on a card, put it in a box, and know that two people will be praying for you during the week. All prayer requests will remain confidential. We trust that this will be a huge blessing for all of us as we continue to learn to lean on Jesus.
Speaking of prayer, on Wednesday 21 October (7:30 for 8 pm start) we will be having a prayer meeting at Beech House, Hermitage Lane, SL4 4AZ. Prayer meetings can seem daunting but do come anyway as it is a great time learn more about the fellowship and we promise you won’t be put on the spot!

May God help us all as we look to Him to change our attitudes about the world we live in. “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives for ever.” 1 John 2:17v

P.S. Please let us know if you want to be in a home group. It is a great way to get to know others and to be encouraged in your faith.

Rediscover Faith – New Venue Launch!

The Week: Get up, sort out the kids, rush out, get to work, get home, grab some exercise, attempt some parenting, collapse, repeat.

The Weekend: Kids won’t let you sleep in, football, rugby, ballet, tutors, dinner party. Try exercise, find some “me” time, put out financial fires, sync with the spouse, psyche up for Monday.

We work on our professional skills; we invest time with friends and family; we cycle/run/work out/walk to keep fit. But what about the bigger stuff in life? What about key life questions surrounding origin, meaning, morality and destiny?

The Windsor Fellowship is a new initiative within the Church of England that gives people an opportunity to explore the Christian faith in an informal setting. Designed for those of all beliefs and none – and for those with intellectual objections and heartfelt concerns about the Christian worldview – Windsor Fellowship aims to bring meaningful discussion and answers to some of the many questions that people are asking.

Our new venue is the Windsor Youth and Community Centre behind the police station on Alma Road, SL4 3HD. On Sunday, 4 October at 4pm we will launch at this new location, but you are welcome to come on any Sunday at 4pm. Services are followed by tea, cake and chat.

Come join us on the journey to Rediscover Faith.

“This is your mission if you choose to accept it.”  Frog Orr-Ewing speaking this Sunday at the Windsor Fellowship

Up for a challenge?

Those of us who have encountered Jesus know that we have stumbled upon a really good thing. Life certainly isn’t perfect, but we now have the assurance of forgiveness and amazing hope for the future! We can stop striving for things that really don’t matter and rest in God’s love.

So how can we encourage others to give Jesus a try? How can we spread the joy and peace?

Frog Orr-Ewing is rector of Latimer Minster in Beaconsfield. He and his wife, Amy, have been great Windsor Fellowship encouragers and Frog will be coming this Sunday to instruct us and cheer us on in our outreach to our community.

No doubt his words will be challenging, but my guess is that we are up for a challenge! See you on Sunday at 4 pm at the Youth Centre.

Is the Church of England Disappearing?

New church in Windsor exploring key life questions surrounding origin, meaning, morality and destiny

WINDSOR, UK. — 22 September 2015 Headlines shout that the Church of England is fading; that it is no longer relevant. But throughout the land there are many efforts to revitalise the church with old church buildings being re-opened and communities being re-formed.

Here in Windsor there is just such a new expression of the church. The Windsor Fellowship is a new initiative within the Church of England that gives people an opportunity to explore the Christian faith in an informal setting. Designed for those of all beliefs and none – and for those with intellectual objections and heartfelt concerns about the Christian worldview – Windsor Fellowship aims to bring meaningful discussion and answers to some of the many questions that people are asking.

Curt and Janice Hopkins

Curt and Janice Hopkins

Long-term Windsor residents, Curt and Janice Hopkins, had a vision to create a community within the Church of England that would give people the space to rediscover their faith outside of a traditional church setting.

“This all began after we ran a Parenting Teenagers course in our home,” stated Curt Hopkins. “We found that lots of people were struggling with the same things as we were: busy-ness, instilling our values in the next generation, building character in our children, and trying to balance everything!”

Janice Hopkins said, “We are grateful that we have had so much support from friends and local clergy and that what began as a simple dream has now grown to up to 50 people coming to our Sunday afternoon meeting.”

The fellowship is officially launching at its new venue, the Windsor Youth and Community Centre (Alma Road, SL4 3HD) on Sunday, 4 October at 4 pm. All are invited to come to the service and stay for a special tea and cake reception afterwards.

About Windsor Fellowship

The Windsor Fellowship, as part of the Church of England, is committed to studying the Bible and deepening our understanding of how biblical truth impacts modern life – work, play and relationships.

We encourage people to ask questions and our doors are open to all. We are all on a faith journey and we invite you to join us as we seek authentic and relevant wisdom for our lives.

Windsor Fellowship is a part of the Church of England as a missional community of Latimer Minster in partnership with St Mary’s Maidenhead.

For more information:

Windsor Fellowship
Curt Hopkins
hello@windsorfellowship.com

PDF Version: Windsor Fellowship Press Release, 22 Sep 2015

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