Pastor’s Thoughts – September 2013

Dear friends,

I’ve never really shaken off the idea that September means the beginning of a new year. I guess it comes from 13 years of school and 6 of college but this always feels like the beginning of something new for the church. With that in mind now is the time to make plans and look ahead.

September sees the beginning of our new series Freedom: Exploring Romans. We’re going to spend 6 weeks exploring the major themes from Paul’s letter to the Romans. We’re going to be doing this on Sunday mornings and in our life groups, and there will be daily readings for anyone that wants to follow them. Service cards are now available which will tell you the themes for each week. What you need to do is get involved. If you are not part of a life group, then now is the time to join one.

Romans is a book that often scares people. Paul uses quite dense language at times and explores deep concepts. This series is aiming to be Romans without pain! DL Moody once said that the Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives. Equally Romans was not given for us to prove how clever we are but to change our lives. It is about us experiencing freedom from the power of sin and freedom to live for Christ. All the big theological words like salvation, redemption, atonement all boil down to that one thing: we are set free. Romans 6:18 says: Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

Can I suggest that if you do find Romans a bit intimidating that you make this easier on yourself and read it in the New Living Translation. It is a much easier read, and I shall be using it on Sunday mornings. If you don’t have a copy you can find it on your computer or smartphone at www.biblegateway.com.

Two special Sundays will interrupt this series. The 6th October is our harvest celebration. More details of that will follow. Before that, the 29th September is The Big Welcome. We’ve been involved in this initiative for a couple of years now. The Anglicans call it Back to Church Sunday. I’ve always felt that sounds a bit like we are chiding a naughty child for going missing. The Big Welcome is a joint BU, Methodist and Elim initiative. It is an opportunity to invite your friends and family to a seeker friendly service designed to say something meaningful to them, in a way that will encourage them and you. There
will be a big welcome for anyone coming as well as coffee and doughnuts afterwards. That’s the bit that depends on you though. We are all responsible for welcoming and showing our guests
hospitality. Equally we are all responsible for inviting guests along, so start thinking and praying about who you are going to invite.

Lastly, if you have begun attending BSBC over the last few months, or if you are looking to meet new people, we are going to have a lunch on that day. You are all welcome. There will be a sign up sheet so that we can get numbers right but please come and join us so that we can get to know you better.

Yours in Christ

John