God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation; it’s now out in the open for everyone to see: A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for your people Israel.
Luke 2:29-32 (Message)
Father God, help us to proclaim Jesus as your revealing light for all people in the hope that the Gospel will be heard and understood.
We welcome our preacher this morning who is Deacon Lisa Rathbone
After service tea hosts Val and Betti
Organist: Joan McGowan
Sunday 17th January
11.00am Mr Carl Squire
Vestry Stewards – Elizabeth and Avril
Door Steward – Bob
Tea Hosts – Bob and Karen
Mon 11th Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Mon 11th Marriage Course at Regent Street 6.00pm booking essential – £40. Contact Richard Sharples
Wed 13th Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Wed 13th Bible Fellowship at Avril William’s home 7.30pm
Thu 14th Prayer Course at Wrexham 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Tue 19th Cytun Service here. See opposite
Sat 23rd Rhosddu Coffee Morning at Wrexham 10.00am
Wed 27th “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship at Hope Parish Church 7.30pm (4th Wed in the month)
Please pray for the following:
All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.
Issue 4 of the Connexion can be found in the lounge. 3 Copies of this excellent magazine are sent to anyone who asks for it. If anyone would like the next issue to be sent to them, let Bob know and he will organise it.
Hope and District Cytun
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Service at Caergwrle Methodist Church
Tue 19th January 2016 7.30pm
A Good Job for a Jewish Boy
Practically speaking, my main task was to form a religious family, a community, out of a collection of refugees and children of refugees, with different memories and traditions. But above all I had to relate the chaotic past to their present and not merely make it relevant but helpful. I could tweak the ceremonies and formulas into place, but what could I say about the questions rituals covered?
These were some of those questions:
· Since so many prayers had been said in vain in the cattle trucks to the concentration camps, why pray?
· Where was God in Auschwitz? (Many members of my congregations had lost parents, partners, children and family. Some had even been imprisoned there.)
· Was there life beyond death?
· Was it right for members of the congregation to make their own ‘pick and mix’ assortment of rituals and precepts from the Jewish past?
· What about the nice Jewish boy who wanted to marry the nice non-Jewish girl who lived next door or whom he had met at university?
· Was the State of Israel a Messianic event or a mistake? Should members of my congregation settle in it or, if not them, their children?
· What food laws should we as a synagogue keep officially? What food laws need we keep privately? Was the latter my concern?
· Do Jews have spiritual experiences, Christian style? Should a Jewish community, used to cut-and-thrust committee meetings and prayers that stretch like chewing gum, have a shot at meditative silence?
· Had God revealed himself to us in our valour and vulgarity, our sacrifice, loyalty and laughter? What was his message?
· Did God only give messages in the past? Were we a Jewish Confucianism, a Jewish ancestor worship?
· Do Jews struggle on or just put out the lights and get out? Become Buddhists or Quakers or Catholics and make a fast exit? Was Jewish life really possible under the shadow of its far greater daughter religions, Christianity and Islam?
The Holocaust had left European Judaism like a hard nut. The outer shell of communalism and nationalism and memory had never been stronger. But deeper inside that nut, the questioning of Jewish existence and Jewish purpose had seldom been stronger too. Only Old Smokey [another older Rabbi] could give my ministry meaning. Only he could turn it away from becoming an Auld Lang Syne society to our task in the post-Holocaust world. Religion has always been real for me when it is at work in my life. Often I frequented empty synagogues and churches, not just saunas, during the fifties and sixties, and paid flying visits to unlikely monasteries and friaries. It was not just to sort out my muddled love life, but the muddle of religious love life and that of my battered people. The problems enriched each other.
Rabbi Lionel Blue, “Hitchhiking to Heaven”, an autobiography