FROM ST GILES’ CLERGY
I’ve never been a dynamic go-getter. Over the years I have usually sat back and waited for things to come to me. This is okay, but it’s a philosophy that can sometimes lead to disappointment when what you think will come your way, doesn’t! This is even more likely if people don’t know what you want because you have never told them.
I am a very keen photographer and over the past few years I have entered the National Portrait Gallery’s photographic competition - without success. I go each year and look at the successful entries and most of them are far better than anything I have done, but always there are one or two that I think are not very good and that, perhaps, mine were better. I have also noticed that photographs of celebrities seem to get accepted regularly. And so, I thought, “Who do I know who is famous? Would photographing them give me an edge?”
The only person I could think of was the Bishop of London and immediately I had an image in my mind of how I would photograph him. So when I found myself next to him at ‘a bit of a do’ last week, I plucked up my courage and asked him. His answer was a resounding “Yes my boy!” and so I will be off to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the near future to take the photograph I have in mind. Whether it will get a second glance by the competition judges doesn’t really matter; what amazes me is that I had the effrontery to ask the Bishop if I could take his portrait in the first place!
To some extent, you have to have the same courage / effrontery to ask Jesus into your life. Jesus says in the Bible: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).
Truly I believe that God does seek every one of us out, but He leaves the decision of whether to follow Him up to us. We, therefore, need to have the courage and the effrontery to say “Yes”. When you do, as the Bishop of London said in his recent address at the Royal Wedding, you will “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire”.
FROM THE URC MINISTER
The big Christian festival this month is Pentecost, the day when Christians celebrate the outpouring of God’s Spirit on Jesus’s followers, which gave them courage and the ability to speak of Jesus alive again, in the many languages of people who had gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover and who had seen Jesus killed.
The last three years in London has seen the development of the Pentecost Festival. This year it will be bigger again. The website www.pentecostfestival.co.uk details 75 events with 86 performers in 56 venues from 3rd to 12th June.
It looks like all the events will be in English, but in the different cultural ‘languages’, genres, and speaking to different interests that people have. Maybe you will find some events you won’t want to miss:
Science debates - God and the brain: what neuroscience can teach us about people and God. God and the Multiverse: a response to Stephen Hawking.
Fashion and Faith debate - “Fashion’s DNA: is spirituality the wellspring of fashion?” at the London College of Fashion.
Tea Time for Change - With Christian Aid, Cafod, Tearfund and other leading development agencies, meet your MP over a cup of tea.
The Pray-ers Guide to London - Three walks through the Cities of London and Westminster and Legal London, explain their history and give guided opportunities to pray into current strategic spiritual issues.
Project Dance - Formed in New York City after 9/11, the annual concert on a street corner in Broadway comes for an outdoor performance in London, at the intersection of faith and art.
Beverley Trotman - X-Factor finalist. From uplifting gospel to jazz, neo-soul, Motown and soulful house-music.
The Man who committed Thought - Patrice Naiambana from The Royal Shakespeare Company, brings this show from the Edinburgh Fringe, telling the story of a determined African peasant who seeks justice after having his cow eaten by a dictator.
Dates, times, venues and other details are all on the Pentecost Festival website.
Nearly half of the events are on the Saturday of Pentecost weekend, 11th June, at the ‘Biblefresh Zone’ in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster; it’s free and open to everyone. Pick and mix your day from: Screen Saviours, Jesus in HD, LatinoAmerica Festival, Ghanaian Choir, the Easter Story told by Eye Witnesses, Living Stones prophetic art workshop, Psalm Surfing with Graham Kendrick. There’s a screening and discussion of ‘India’s Forgotten Women’ and ‘Little Town of Bethlehem’, the Wycliffe Bible Translation Exhibition, Manga Bible Workshops, and loads more.
But if you prefer to stay in Ickenham, the second month’s readings of the E100 Bible Challenge, introduced in last month’s ICN, are listed on page 5, and you can join in the events advertised on these pages and on the websites. What will God inspire you to do during this Pentecost season?
FROM THE CHURCHES’ REGISTERS
Wedding at St Giles’
Apr 30th Nicole Victoria Pink and James Alan Spender
Burials at Northwood Cemetery
Apr 20th Sheila Lovely, aged 78 (after service at St Giles’)
Apr 27th Eric Russell, aged 81 (after service at St Giles’)
Cremations at Breakspear Crematorium
May 4th Charles (Les) Vintner, aged 86
May 4th Roy Jacobs, aged 85
May 5th Tom Upton, aged 74
May 21st Barbara Main, aged 89
ST GILES’ CHURCH STREET PRAYER LIST
Each Sunday at St Giles’ Church we pray for all the people who live or work in a particular road in the Parish. During June we will pray for the following roads:
June 5th Woodland Close
June 12th Woodstock Drive
June 19th Windrush Close
June 26th Witney Close
If you live in one of these roads why not join us at our 8am or 9.45am services? You will be most welcome.