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Invitation to Empathy.

This Sunday we come to maybe the most heart-wrenching of Jesus' sayings on the Cross: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  It points again to Jesus' complete identification with humanity, and invites us to live out God's kingdom by extending empathy to others, and sharing emotions.  Greg will be unpacking this - it should be a great morning.  Tea & coffee from 10.15, for a 10.30 start at The Calabash as usual.

See below for a reminder about our weekend away next year, and a summer challenge for everyone!

Thank you for extending such a welcome to Phil and Simon as they joined the Leadership Team last Sunday.  I was challenged this week as I read 1 Timothy 3 where Paul describes the ideal qualities of leaders in the church.  Paul wrote with the cultural assumption that at least most of the leaders would be men, but the qualities of leaders are a useful and challenging reminder for all of us!  Please pray for the whole team that we will demonstrate godly leadership qualities as we seek to lead CCC in the way of God's kingdom.

I'd appreciate your prayers too for myself and Jane over the next few weeks as I'm away studying in Gloucester for my course in Contemporary Missiology - thank you!

Blessings, Ian.

Have you booked in?

Last Sunday we announced our CCC weekend away at Ashburnham in E. Sussex next April - you can see full details here.

Thanks to everyone who has booked already.  If you haven't, you can bring your deposit on Sunday morning, or email Kim.

I hope everyone who is part of CCC will be able to come - if you can make a gift to support people finding it difficult to pay the whole amount, please let us know.  There will be more details after the summer of what payments we need when, and if you want to make payments towards the weekend each month to spread the cost, that's fine too.

There's a limited amount of en-suite accommodation that we can book, and demand is already high!  Why not consider booking standard accommodation (where the bathrooms are outside of the bedrooms, but shared between only a couple of rooms) - and take advantage of the lower price?

If you have any questions, do ask!

The Kingdom of heaven is like...

Over the summer we're going to be delving into some of the parables that Jesus told, as told to us in Matthew's gospel.  Many of the parables in Matthew start with the words "The kingdom of heaven is like...", and Jesus goes on to describe a day-to-day situation, to show something of God's kingdom ('kingdom of heaven' in Matthew's way of saying 'kingdom of God').

Sometimes there's a twist to take the listeners by surprise such as when workers were paid the same however long they had worked.  Sometimes Jesus was simply reflecting on how things are such as when he likened the kingdom to yeast.  Either way, Jesus was describing how God's kingdom works - in completeness at the end of time, and also here and now when people are following Jesus.  Jesus calls us to pray "Your kingdom come" and to think and act in 'kingdom ways'.

Jesus drew on well-known everyday situations from the lives of the people around him.  Here's a challenge for you: What might Jesus say now, starting with the words "The kingdom of heaven is like..."?

Over the summer it would be great to hear your ideas - maybe you could write a short parable starting with those words, or make a short video, or record a song?  What comes to your mind after the starting words The kingdom of heaven is like...?  Where do you see God's will being done in life around you, or what twist would you give to a known story to illustrate what happens when God shows up?

I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing your ideas!

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