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We believe...

...in the Holy Spirit - that's our focus and our theme this Sunday morning.

...in a God who answers prayer - stay and pray this Sunday.

...Jesus is Lord!  What does that mean as we approach a general election?

Read on for more.

Jesus said, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper... this is the Spirit..."

On the last few Sundays we've focused on God the Father, and on Jesus, God the Son - this week we turn our attention to God the Holy Spirit.  The verse quoted above (John 14:15-16) is one place where we see all three working together (and next week we'll start to explore the Trinity - the way Christians understand One God in Three Persons!)  I'm looking forward to focusing our worship and thinking on the Holy Spirit - God who walks with us, gives us life, empowers us to live Kingdom-ly, and gives gifts to his people.

After our Sunday morning we'll gather to pray - please plan to stay for this time which is really important in our life together.  There is lots to pray for at the moment (as ever!) and God calls us to pray on behalf of each other and for the world we live in.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday morning.  10.15 for refreshments ahead of 10.30 start as usual, and we'll plan to finish our prayer time by 1pm.

Pray for the UK general election

You might have seen the advice above from John Wesley - it seems to do the rounds on social media each time there is an election, but it's no less wise for that.  Wesley says three really important things to bear in mind when thinking about who to vote for, and how to treat people who take a different view from you.

The election, our government, the campaign for our votes, and the individuals standing for election should all be included in our prayers, both as CCC together and when we pray on our own.  It's easy to think that there might be an outcome that God wants and to pray for that to happen, but I don't think it's as simple as that.

Some Christians have taken St. Paul's words in Romans 13 to mean that whoever is in power should not be challenged or held to account because they must have been put in place by God.  An example of this is what some churches and leaders in USA are saying about President Trump.  This reflects a mistaken understanding of God, who is loving enough to allow created humanity to make mistakes, and of Romans 13 which says that all authority is ultimately derived from God, but cannot mean that whatever a ruler does must be right and good - think of how dissenting Christians such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer rightly challenged Hitler's government in the 20th century.

Others have taken the view that Christians should not be involved with the worldly business of politics.  But the prophet Jeremiah directed the people of God to "seek the good of the city" where they were living (even in exile) and the Apostle Peter encourages his readers to "conduct yourselves honourably among the Gentiles, so that... they may see your good deeds and glorify God."

As Christians we are called to engage in our community and society, aiming to be salt and light to point to the Kingdom of God.  Last Sunday we saw how, as followers of Jesus, we declare Jesus is Lord!  And that this means that other things are not ultimately Lord - not the government, not our political opinions, not our preferred candidates.

Our declaration together that Jesus is Lord is part of what holds us together as the body of Christ, despite our different opinions and political preferences.  That is ultimately more important than who wins the general election, and how (or even whether) we leave the EU.  But these things are important too, so pray, think, listen, read, and decide how to cast your vote, and "take care that your spirit is not sharpened against those that vote on the other side!"

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