Dear friends,

This week we have a message from Bishop Steven about the new initiative from Oxford Diocese – “Come and See”.

“Read John 1:35-42

What’s going on in this passage from John’s gospel?

Well, first we see that John spots Jesus, and points him out. He points him out in a way which intrigues those who are with him. They become curious, and walk behind Jesus, perhaps looking nonchalant, perhaps not really wanting to be seen, until Jesus turns round and asks them a direct question – what are you looking for? Not who are you looking for. What.

They seem caught off guard. Perhaps they haven’t really thought about what they are looking for. So they reply with another question Rabbi, where are you staying? They don’t want Jesus to disappear; they want to be able to find him when they feel ready.

And what they get is a direct invitation, Come and See. The rest, as they say, is history. Today more than 1/3 of the world’s population, about 2.1 billion people are Christians. It all started here. And this is how it continues.

We know that 1 in 5 of our online congregations were not regular worshippers before COVID. What were they looking for when they dipped into, or joined online congregations?

Some may have been looking for entertainment for their kids; some may have been looking for somewhere to belong, a sense of community in lockdown; some may have been looking for assurance – as life became less certain and end of life started to loom larger. Some may have been curious, and had the time and the possibility to explore, to dip their toe in. Some may have been looking for answers or a roadmap as they tried to make sense of what was, and is, happening to the world.

All around us, people are searching for meaning, and their search can take many forms, some try meditation; some try drugs; many try religion in different forms. And a good number have tried our online congregations, or hovered around the fringes of our church communities for some time.

Jesus says, Come and see, come and explore, let me help you to understand how all this fits together. There was nothing coercive about the way he engaged with them – only a gentle, gracious invitation to come and see, to hang out and find out more.

This invitation connects with some kind of desire, some kind of unmet need, a sense of longing. We need to encourage and equip all of God’s people to notice what God is up to and who with. So…why not come and see? You can register to find out more here: oxford.anglican.org/come-and-see

Yours with much love in Christ,

Jonathan.

Rev Jonathan Widdess

vicar@cumnor.org / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This week’s service – Morning Worship – watch the live-stream

Join us at 10:30am on Sunday morning as we stream Morning Worship from St Michael’s. Jessica Turner will be preaching on Luke 2:22-40, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

To join in with the service online, visit https://cumnor.org/sunday-service-online-31st-january-2021/

The service will then remain available via our website to watch on demand.

You can also phone on 01865 920993, and then choose option 1 from the menu. The service will remain available by telephone until the following Sunday.

Taizé Service for February

Our Taizé team have released their online service for February. With readings, prayers and meditative sung worship, it’s the perfect way to find some peace and space in the stresses and strains of lockdown.

https://cumnor.org/taize-service-online-february-2021/

Zoom Weekly Prayer Meeting

Our weekly prayer meeting continues every Monday at 10am. Join us as we gather together online to pray for one another, our families, friends and neighbours, our parish, our nation and the world.

For more details on how to connect, see this web page.

David Millard’s Funeral

David Millard’s funeral is in St Michael’s on Friday 5th February at 12:30pm. Although attendance is limited by Covid restrictions we will livestream the service. You can join us at https://youtu.be/xKHRfpcd1h4

PCC Report following this week’s Meeting

On Wednesday the PCC met by Zoom. We received a Finance report and were able to approve a balanced budget for 2021 despite the very difficult financial situation caused by the pandemic. We also decided to proceed to tender with the plans for rebuilding St Andrew’s and allocated additional funds towards the project. We were also asked to think and pray ahead of a conversation about renewed vision at the next PCC in March. Similar conversations will be held widely within the parish over the next few month. More details to follow.

Please Continue To Pray For…

  • The families and friends of Joan Stephens, David Millard and Ron Kerridge
  • Others who have lost loved ones recently.
  • Staff, pupils and parents at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold.
  • Our CMS mission partner Bia.
  • The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project.
  • All those who are anxious for their jobs or their future.
  • All those who are continuing to struggle with the effects of lockdown.
  • Those who are homeless or struggling with food poverty.

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