How often do you hear something life-giving or challenging, and then in the busyness of life let it slip away?
The Collect for the 2nd Sunday of Advent is one of the most famous.
BLESSED Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
That prayer that we shouldn’t just hear God’s word, but read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them is vitally important. Keeping notes is really valuable (as long as you take time to look back over them). One well tested approach to holding on to inspiration is indexed journalling. It is a simple and elegant solution.
- Simply draw up a numbered index on the first page of a notebook.
- Then as you record what you have learned number each entry and write a title on page one.
- The index then acts as an aid to memory, and quick access to the journal entries.
There is a more detailed description using a nice approach to bible study here.
This is a work in progress, and your comments and thoughts would be helpful please!
Our Annual Carol service is a celebration of all that is good about Christmas. Traditional hymns in a contemporary setting, great people, joyful singing, and thoughtful reflection, mulled wine and mince pies. Church on the Corner is open and welcoming – and you are invited.
Sunday 15th December at 7pm
Each year we mark Advent with a collaborative project at Church. Once again we are using images to reflect on the season. This year the theme is a lovely phrase from the first letter to the Corinthians. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived these things God has prepared for those who love him”.
Each day there will be an image by a member of our church. Just and image, no explanation, no instructions.
Just image and imagination. You can follow it here.
School of Prayer is back this Wednesday.
We are going to be having a conversation about contemplation led by Corin Pilling who will be sharing his story of encounter with God in the contemplative.
7.30pm at Church on the Corner
“To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly.” Rowan Williams
I always loved the pub after church. it is such an important part of what we do – not just to hang out together, but it is where people get to know each other and where new folks start to feel part of things. It’s not the only way that this stuff happens, but it it a really good way.
We have just put together some resources on prayer for use by our homegroups. Our approach to prayer can be like our attitude to food – we keep eating what we know because it is easy and familiar, and in the same way we get stuck in one pattern of prayer. But just like food there is a rich variety if you are willing to try new things. So for starters here are 6 different models of prayer, all good in different ways and all worth exploring.
“Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
I’m not sure what it was that Jesus saw in his disciples that moved him to say these lovely words, but in our treadmill of a culture, constantly taught to believe that life isn’t all we hoped for because we aren’t trying hard enough, they are always timely.
But then along comes Lent, with its demands that we give up some of our few remaining comforts. It is no surprise that when life seems hard, the last thing we want to do is to make it harder. But the call to self denial is not what we think. The goal is to say no to our inhumanity, to our failure to be what we are created for. To say no to the nonsense and choose a simpler, richer life. Instead of seeking distractions from our boredom we seek life in all its fulness.
Lent starts in a week’s time, on the 13th February. So you have time to talk, and make some plans. And our challenge is to make some choices to bring more balance to our lives, to reconnect with God, with creation and with your own creativity. Below are a list of suggestions, or suggest some of your own. Do one of them regularly or try lots of different one. Comment below to share your experience.
- Get a good night’s sleep. It sounds so simple, and yet we so rarely do it. I love the very poignant Pete Doherty quote that says “The rush that you get from having a good night’s sleep is so exotic: to feel powerful and clean, capable and potent”.
- Make a meal for yourself or a friend. Eat slowly.
- Listen to people. Don’t interrupt, and don’t be afraid of the silences. They are an invitation.
- Disconnect – Read our pledges to disconnect from technology.
- Read the wonderful “Do nothing to change your life” – a manifesto of simplicity.
- Learn the joy of silence. Just sit and enjoy the presence of God. Tell your chattering mind to take a break.
- Read all 4 Gospels, by reading two chapters a day. Reading plan here.
- Perform simple acts of kindness – sign up to 40 Acts.
- Make something instead of buying something. Draw, paint, pick up an old hobby. Sing.
- Clear out the junk. We get trapped by clutter. Simplify, give things as gifts or to a charity shop, stop saving things ‘just in case’.
- End the day with Evening Prayer.
[Image of Jesus in the Wilderness from the '40' Series by Si Smith]
One of the biggest projects we are involved in every year is the Islington churches winter nightshelter, which kicked off last night. 15 guests, warm beds, a hot meal and a cooked breakfast. It doesn’t sound too complicated, and it’s a privilege to be part of, but it takes a lot of volunteers.
If you are in a homegroup you will already be allocatd to a sunday night, but there are planty of opportunities to get involved, particulalry if you can help with breakfast on a monday morning, or with an overnight.
Find out more here churchonthecorner.org.uk/nightshelter
Sunday 16th is our biggest service of the year. Our carol service is a celebration of all sorts of Christmas goodness, with beautiful singing, quiet reflection, simple worship, warm community and mulled wine and mince pies. It is a lovely event whether you are a regular or haven’t been to a church for ever.
And there is lots more going on.
4th December – The Big Sing 7.30pm at COTC
9th December – Bemerton Carols – community carol service on the Bemerton Estate. Find out more here.
16th December – Carols by Candlelight
22nd December – Christmas Dinner. Tickets £10. Email Martin for details.
24th December – Midnight Service at St Andrews here.
Our sermon series this Autumn will be on the book of Exodus. It is an iconic story, and deeply formative not just for the rest of the bible, but for recent human history. We will start this sunday looking at the significance of this book in the bible and in our culture, and then work our way through following the journey of the people out of Egypt and through the desert, towards the promised land.
We’ve been using fairtrade products since the beginning, but now it’s official, and everyone loves a certificate. Fairtrade is just one aspect of trade justice, and members of Church on the Corner are involved in many others, but what we chose to spend our money on does have a meaningful impact on the world we live in, and we are pleased to be part of a fairtrade Diocese.
Our familiarity with the Lord’s prayer often distracts us from its enormous significance. One of the key things which set Jesus apart was his prayerfulness, such that the disciples said to him teach us to pray like you. And his response was the prayer we know so well.
It is a remarkable point of unity – 2 billion christians across the world pray this prayer. And my conviction is that it is intended to be a prayer which we grow into, allowing it to form and frame our relationship with God. With our busy lives, prayer is all too often the thing which is missing. This term we are going to be carefully studying this prayer together, asking just as the first disciples did, that Jesus would teach us how to pray.
This evening we are watching the film ‘Into great Silence’. A remarkable piece of cinema, probably not an easy watch, but a telling a insight into the lives of the Carthusian Monks.
It sounds more like an endurance test than entertainment, yet this one-of-a-kind experience proves surprisingly immersive.
Read the reviews here on Rotten Tomatoes.
It will start at 7pm upstairs in the Chapel – if you are late, come in quietly!
The events that make up the Easter Story are the most significant and dramatic in the Christian Year. From the 5th-9th April we will join together with fellow pilgrims from our church, our parish and our city at a rich variety of events. Each distinct and beautiful in their own way, each marking one of the great events in the final days of Jesus earthly life. From the Last Supper, through the crucifixion to the amazing events of Easter Morning, join us in celebrating this greatest story ever told. Download the flyer below.
Maundy Thursday – The Last Supper. 7.30 @ All Saints Church
Good Friday – 11.45am Walk of Witness @ N1 Centre
7.30pm Service of Shadows @ Church on the Corner
Holy Saturday - 7pm The Easter Vigil @ St Pauls Cathedral
Easter Sunday 10.30am Family Services at All Saints and St Andrews
Our homegroups are starting a new series of discussions based on the excellent book ‘Surprised by Hope’.
Tom Wright is the former Bishop of Durham, and a leading N.T. Scholar and his work on the implications of the Easter story, not just for the church but for the whole world, is inspiring. You can watch the first session below, and more information about our homegroups can be found here.
Our Ash wednesday service marks the beginning of Lent. It is a solemn and beautiful service of reflection and contrition.
The ashes at the centre of the service are a traditional reminder of our mortality, referencing Genesis 3 ‘for dust you are and to dust you will return’.
It takes place on Wednesday 22nd February at 7.30pm at St Andrews the old parish church. (here)