Our fabulous Carol service is on Sunday 21st December at 7pm. There will be marvellous music, candlelit wonder and plenty of festive cheer. If you want postcards to invite your friends, neighbours or workmates, you can pick some up at church on Sunday. Be on time to guarantee a seat!
Each year we like to mark the season of Advent with a creative project. And this year we are working on a visual presentation of our favourite lines from Christmas Carols, text overlaid on beautiful or provocative images. There will be one each day running up to Christmas.
You can follow it on our Instagram page. There is still time to get involved – email Gabby (our intern) if you want to participate or to submit your idea. Email her the image and the text separately and she will format it.
And if you would like to post your own use hashtag #cotcadvent
Heavenly Father you hold our lives in your hands.
Who we were, who we are and who we are becoming.
This church has been a place where we have grown
in knowledge and love of you, and learned to serve.
Grant us joy in what has been, grace for our regrets,
peace in our fears and joy in what you will make us.
May we see your kingdom come in this city
and build your church to be a light in the darkness,
and a home in the wilderness.
May we plant seeds that grow to bless others
and leave the city more beautiful than we found it.
This autumn it will be 20 years since Church on the Corner began, and we are planning a special service on 28th September. All of you have played your part in making COTC what it is today and we would love to celebrate this and the ways in which COTC has made a difference to the lives of everyone who has passed through.
So whether you can attend on the 28th or not, please send us your stories of your time at Church on the Corner. What did you take away from your time at COTC and what memorable things happened whilst you were here?
Our desire is to have these stories and pictures available both at the service and online after the event – this will be our gift to the next COTC generation, a reminder of what God has done in this place and an encouragement to keep growing in the next 20 years.
1. Your name and when you attended Church on the Corner (we’d like to have a timeline of stories so give us at least a rough timeframe to work with)
2. A favourite photograph from your time, and the story behind it.
3. Your COTC memories – what was important about your time at Church on the Corner and what did it mean to you.
4. Any amazing/crazy/unforgettable events you’d like to remind people of.
We’ve set up this special email address in the anticipation that you will flood us with memories so please email them to us email@example.com
“Man shall not live by bread alone….” but the CoTC Easter meal was a good start.
There were many delicacies on offer: a Greek-Cypriot starter of flaounas, dolmas, spanakopita and olives. Mains consisted of slow-roast lamb shoulder, seasonal vegetables, and field mushrooms stuffed with cous-cous and quails’ eggs. Neither did things tail off at dessert with chocolate cheesecake, ambrosia and a wonderfully balanced tiramisu.
I digress. To finish the quotation: “…but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
This is where our sense of community comes from and why week in, week out we spend some time together to remind us of the bond that we share in Jesus. So, no, we don’t live by bread alone, but we can move on to Sarah Bowers’ tiramisu and, if we’re mindful, end with God’s word to exist in community that is incredibly blessed.
Our now traditional Service of Shadows takes place at the end of Good Friday. It is a beautiful, poignant service of readings, candles and contemplation; a solemn vigil to make this most holy day and to prepare for Easter. It begins at Sunset, which is 8pm this year. Please be on time.
The Service of Shadows is adapted from the service written by Jeremy Williams (formerly of this Parish) at Lifeworks.
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
We are working on a new postcard for COTC – this is where we are up to so far.
Our Autumn sermon series is on the book of Daniel – a young man and his friends facing the overwhelming power of an empire, and living lives of such courage, faith and dignity that they change their world. Daniel has been an inspiration for those living in a hostile world, believing that they can’t make a difference.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Strange as it may sound, the pub after church is such an important part of what we do. It is not just about hanging out together, 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. It is open to everyone, just follow the crowd. We meet at the Angelic pub, just round the corner – you can find it here.
During this time of social distancing we have put together a slightly more formal patter of evening prayer for our home groups. We find this works better given the limitations of Zoom, and allows everyone to participate one at a time. Online groups work best when one person speaks at a time. Perhaps before you start, nominate one person for each prayer or reading, and mute your microphone when not speaking.
“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]
Our new Thursday night football game kicks off tonight. Currently you can just turn up and play, we may have to get more organised if it gets more popular. For more details, and to sign up to the football mailing list go to our footy page.