Our first meeting at the Windsor Youth and Community Centre was very “buzzy”! Thanks to everyone who came along to help set up and clean up. We were very encouraged by how smoothly things ran and how positive the atmosphere was.
Plus, our new study of 1 John was encouraging. We learned that although we all still fall short of what we know we ought to be, God is gracious and forgiving towards his children. All God requires is a contrite heart that seeks Him out in faith. May we endeavour to seek Him more.
Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the various tasks on the rota and to Muffie Shepherd for pulling it all together. If you missed seeing the sign up sheet and would like to be more involved, please do get in touch via email or speak to one of the leaders on Sunday. As we all know, many hands make light work!
There will be a youth service at Latimer Minster on Sunday, 27 September at 6:30 pm. All of the teenagers are very welcome to attend and we will be organising lifts. Please contact Janice to let us know if you’d like to come along.
The 4th of October will be our official launch at our new location. The service will be extra visitor friendly and will be followed by a cream tea. Invitation cards are available—please invite your family and friends!
September, as the start of the new academic year, is a time of new beginnings. Here at the Windsor Fellowship, we too are starting several new things.
This Sunday, 6 September, we will celebrate communion together for the first time. Communion is a special time when Christians specifically remember Jesus’ death on our behalf. It focuses our thoughts on the perfection and holiness of Jesus and gives us space to reflect on our need of Him.
On Sunday, 13 September, our Sunday meetings will move to the Windsor Youth and Community Centre on Alma Road. A much bigger space, we are excited about the possibilities this new venue affords. We are giving ourselves three Sundays to settle in, and then on 4 October we will have our “official launch”. Please be thinking about who you can invite!
We will also be starting a new sermon series tomorrow looking at the letter, 1 John. Sam Allberry will be helping us to understand why Christian believers can be sure of salvation.
Home groups will start up in mid-September. If you aren’t in a group but would like to be, please speak to one of us.
We will leave you to ponder a couple of verses from last week’s lesson in Psalm 34:
“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
Anxiety. Thanks. Despair. Praise. Psalm 31 covers a lot of territory in just a few verses! King David was real with God about his feelings and despite how he felt he continued to turn to God in prayer.
Ups and downs are a part of life but thankfully God rides the waves with us. Prayer is an incredible privilege. Let’s take advantage of it.
This Sunday we will have a guest speaker, Phill Walsh, who is a teacher at Eton College. Phill will be challenging us from Psalm 32. We hope you can join us.
Last Sunday we learned about Passover and God’s rescue of the enslaved Israelites. As God provided a way for his people to escape from the clutches of an evil Pharaoh and grow in their understanding of him, so he provides us with true forgiveness and a way to know him. Just as the Passover lamb was sacrificed for the Israelites so Jesus died on our behalf. The symbolism here is deep and profound. The Old Testament and the New are utterly intertwined and they point out our need for rescue today.
We hope that you can join us again this Sunday to hear more from Sam Allberry on the book of Exodus.
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We had a fantastic picnic last weekend complete with silly games and English rain! Thanks to everyone for all the delicious food and your general enthusiasm. Particular thanks goes to Sam Carson who valiantly slaved over the BBQs in the rain, Arlene Carson and Jane Reed who helped with many details and Alex Moore who organised the games.
Thanks, too, to Alicia Felce for organising and entertaining the teens at the social on Saturday. By all accounts it was a really fun party.
The second Men’s Breakfast was well attended. Thanks to Norm Beers for leading. The next one will be held on Saturday, 25 July, 8:15 am at All Bar One in Windsor.
Health is a priority for all of us. Taking exercise, eating well and sleeping enough play a big part of our lives. And when we aren’t well, we become very focussed on getting better.
Last Sunday, Sam Allberry challenged us with the idea that “the most healthy thing for us is worship.” (If you missed it, you can listen to the sermon here.)
In Exodus 4 God says, “Israel is my firstborn son. Let my son go.” It is a story about the Father God wanting to restore His relationship with His people. Although the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, they needed more than physical liberation—they needed to acknowledge God as their father.
We, too, need more than healthy bodies. We need to be brought into God’s family. It is through our worship of God that we are cleansed and made whole. It is through worship that we get to know our gracious heavenly Father.
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We had a fantastic turnout for our first prayer focus last night! It was a real encouragement for us all. Stay tuned for the next date.
Other dates for your diary:
Saturday, 27 June – Men’s breakfast at All Bar One, 8:15 am
Saturday, 27 June – Teen Pizza Pool Party at the Felce’s house in Englefield Green, 12:45 pm. Please RSVP to Alicia Felce if you or your teenager(s) can come.
Sunday, 28 June – Picnic BBQ at Beech House prior to the service. Meat and soft drinks will be provided. Please bring either a salad or sweet to share and your own blankets or chairs. Please RSVP to Jane Reed.
“What do you think about God? Is He the kind of God you want to trust your life with? How about your after-life?”
So began Richard Crane’s sermon on the first part of Exodus 3. By studying the familiar story of Moses and the burning bush, Richard pointed out three aspects of God’s character. First, God is a speaking God who invites us to respond. Second, God is a holy God who deserves our worship. And last, God is a compassionate God who plans our rescue.
We also had a bit of discussion around the idea of slavery. The Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt and were treated cruelly. That was a physical slavery. However, in a spiritual sense all people are slaves. We are either slaves to sin and to the world’s wisdom or we are slaves to God and righteousness. The apostle Paul uses this idea in Romans 6: You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
We trust that God is at work in all of us to show us the beauty of slavery to righteousness.
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.