Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Service & Open Meeting

Post date: Jan 19, 2014 8:12:57 AM

Churches Together in the Lewes Area formally marked the Week of prayer with a Communion Service at Christ Church. There was a good sized congregation with members from most Lewes Churches. The service was led by Revd John Gordon of Christ Church and scriptures were read by Revd Steve Smith from Eastgate Baptist Church and Fr Ian Wallis from the Orthodox Church. Revd James Hollingsworth from St Mary's, Barcombe preached on Christian Unity. He reminded us that even in the early church, Paul was famously irritated by Christians who were each claiming to have been baptised by individual notables and finding cause for quarrels in that. Reviewing this and other scriptures, he commended three basic rules for Christians of all denominations:

"Love one another,"

"remove the obstacles that get in the way of our unity in Christ" and

"welcome everyone - no exceptions."

The sermon was brief, energetic and powerful. A Candle was given to to Member Churches and to Eastgate Baptist Church, to remind their congregations of our unity in Christ. Those permitted by their Churches then took communion together. After the service, many members of the congregation stayed for a while to talk with fellow participants.

There was also an Open Meeting on the Thursday with an opening address by the Regional Coordinator for Christian Aid in East Sussex, Jude Armani, who spoke of the Christian Aid Week Theme for 2014: "Conflict". He also asked local organisers to review their methods of collecting and consider alternative ways of raising money if that seemed necessary. (For a fuller account, see the Christian Aid Link elsewhere on this site.)

There was a report on the Christmas Day Lunch: 17 attending, over 30 helping out overall, a very happy day made even more enjoyable by generous support from Waitrose. Gretel Scott was thanked for the organisational feat involved and she asked potential volunteers to indicate well in advance for next year.

Rob Hoy asked members to support the Breakfasts as ways of interesting uncommitted men and women in their churches. Details of the first one in February are elsewhere on this website. He noted that one of the kinder - transport children had been secured as a speaker for an inclusive breakfast on April 26.

There will be a range of Lent Study Groups, each about 8 or so in size meeting during Lent and studying a course provided nationally by CTBI and the BBC. details will be circulated shortly and will be available on the Website.

Ian Rothery described the website and encouraged members to use it, and to provide him with information which would be of use to members. Fr Ian Wallis said that the Site will be organised to cover the two commitments of Churches Together: Mission by members and service for other Christian organisations in the Area.

The Lewes Passion Play Group reported that they are putting on 4 Mystery Plays in Harveys Yard this Easter. They are also asking members of the Christian community in Lewes to consider Financial support. Further details of these matters are available on the Passion Play section of this Website.

The next Joint Service and Open Meeting will be themed for the memorial of the start of the First World War. it is hoped to have a speaker on the Causes of Conflict. The open meeting will be on 10 July 2014.

The meeting closed with prayer.

Minutes of Open Meetings will be provided on the Website in due course.