Day: 25 August 2021

Living in faith and love

An opportunity for a good respectful conversation about human sexuality.

The course will run on consecutive Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm, starting on 23rd September and ending on 21st October, and will be held at Cainscross Church Hall.

Each session lasts about 1½ hours and you can find out more about it on the church’s Living in Love and Faith (LLF) website and general information about LLF on the relevant page of the diocesan website.

Loved and Liked

‘Loved & Liked’ – a 6 session course running in Stroud starting Thursday, September 30th and then on the following 5 weeks. The first session we will meet face to face and then use Zoom for the remaining sessions – it works really well on this course. Joanne from Slad and Peter will run the course this time.

The video on this news piece is a 3-minute video with 2 people from Stroud telling their stories after being on the course earlier this year.

The course is intriguing, different and people seem to really like it. It’s also a great way to meet some of the other people in Stroud.

We only have 15 places left now – so please email Peter Hill to confirm your interest in joining before September 16th

NO financial charge and a free course manual as well.

If you want to know anything more about it:

Who’s it for – everyone! Church leaders and non-churchgoers, young and old – anyone who wants to ask some big questions and isn’t interested in the ‘correct’ answers!

The distinctive style includes space for honest big questions without obvious answers, NIV and Message readings in parallel to surprise us all, together celebrating our diversity.

Things you might discover include:

  •     God likes/delights/wants us… not just ‘loving us’ because He ‘has’ to
  •     We are all different- and that is not a mistake 
  •     We have only seen the tip of the grace iceberg so far
  •     What plans for good, He has for you… and wanting to equip us for next
  •     You are essential

Team Service Sunday 29 August

Do join us on Sunday at 11am at St Laurence’s for a special joint Stroud Team Celebration: Holy Communion for Creationtide – ‘One Planet, One Species, One Destiny’ with Rev Simon presiding. Inclusive of music led by Rebecca Coleman and Jon Trim, and an excerpt from, and Christian reflection upon, the film ‘Overview’ – a film looking at the momentous spiritual effect of the first photographs of the earth from space. Look forward to seeing you there.

Readings and questions for Sunday 29 August

James 1.17–27

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Mark 7.1–8,14,15,21–23

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

“This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;

in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

Questions:

  • In our own faith journey, where might we have held onto rules and forgotten the meaning behind them?
  • What is your experience of seeing what comes out of someone as a blessing or otherwise?