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Weekly update for MCC Brighton
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Greetings <<First Name>>, welcome to this week's newsletter!

Parables!

Seems to be a theme of BALLS going on here. Last week it was Curve Balls, this week it is Parables ( I know, I can practically hear the groans from here).

However, it is the start of our series on the Parables of Jesus. Parables are stories, but stories with a learning point or teachable moment embedded in them, stories with a life lesson or moral. Jesus used them extensively to get across some very complex ideas to people who weren't used to thinking about such things. What better way to fix it in someone's mind than a good story?

So, in keeping with this new series I am looking at stories. Not necessarily the ones we hear, the ones we read but more importantly the ones we tell. To my mind there are two sorts of stories we regularly tell. Those we tell others and those we tell ourselves.

The stories we tell others rank how they fit into our lives, after all we do not tell people we have just met our entire life story (well, not usually anyway) it is more common to dole out that information as we get to know someone. The stories we tell others tend to have an element of self-protection in them. No issues with that at all, we all need some defence mechanisms to help us deal with life.

The stories we tell ourselves are more complex. I know that in the past I have told myself stories to help me deal with things that have happened, things that were not very pleasant. At times I have told myself stories to justify things I have said or done. Stories, stories, stories, good, bad, indifferent.

The one thing that I have learned, the one thing I have tried to enact in relation to these stories (both internal and external), is to examine them, reflect on them and if they are in some way harmful, correct them. I want to make the stories I tell others and myself, more like those parables, useful, encouraging or at the very least containing some nugget of wisdom or learning.

I do not aspire for them to be the absolute truth, after all, the truth is often a movable feast depending on which side of the story you are on. I guess this week my hope is that we can all try to look from the other side as well as our own, make the stories more balanced, more open, more honest. Can you imagine what an Honest World would look like? 

Have a truly blessed, thoughtful and open week..

Andrew Ramage

 

Church, Are You Coming Or Not?!

Wow! This has been a long and tiring week...and yet, also, a productive, interesting, inspiring, and educational one.

On the business side, we elected a new Moderator- Reverend Elder Cecilia Eggleston. We also elected a new Governing Board- Reverends Marie Alford-Harkey, Alberto Najera, Paul Whiting, & Reverend Elder Diane Fisher, along with the important Lay perspective from James Chavis, Mark Godette, Clare Coughlin, & Chad Hobbs. We debated many bylaw amendments and motions, and managed to stay friendly most of the time!

Intermingled with this important work was equally important healing and education. We spent time thinking about the 49 Pulse Angels, and the other Saints that have died in violence and natural disaster. We thought about self-healing, about reflection, and meditation. We thought about diversity and inclusion...and the difference between equality and equity. We celebrated the important and inspirational work that so many MCCers have achieved, sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally, but always with purpose.

And sometimes we slept!

I'm looking forward to coming home, but I am so, so glad to have been given the opportunity to be here, to serve, and to be served.

Blessings and love,
Philip


 

Heavenly Creator, thank you for the opportunities we have to work and study together, to heal and to be healed. We pray though for those who did not have the opportunity, for whatever reason, and we ask that you would work with us, and through us, so that more of your Saints may have the chance to come together in the future.

We pray for our new Moderator, and our new Governing Board, we ask that they will be able to work well together in the future, as they seek to guide this denomination, this part of your family, in all that you have called us to do.

In the many names of God we pray,
AMEN

If you have any ideas for worship songs,
readings, sermon themes, or study topics,
please drop us a line at
 suggestions@mccbrighton.org.uk



THIS WEEK


SUNDAY 7th-
Worship Service- The Level, 6pm. This week we will be starting a new sermon series based on The Parables of Jesus. Do join us!

MONDAY 8th-
Pastoral Availability- Mondays are Pastor Andrew's day off, please do not contact him except in an emergency

WEDNESDAY 10th-
The Hub- Salvation Army Congress Hall, Park Crescent (by the Level), 8.30am until 1.
An advice & support chaplaincy for the homeless & vulnerably housed, with free food. Volunteers always needed.
Street Church- Old Steine Gardens. 4pm until 6pm.
Informal worship & communion for everyone. Help with setup from 3.30 always appreciated.

THURSDAY 11th-
Community Office Hours-  Alcampo Lounge, London Road, 12pm until 5pm. 
Pastor Andrew is available for advice, chat, and prayer. Please contact him first as he does get busy!
Bible Cafe- 7pm-8.30pm. Our informal and friendly study and discussion session. Please contact Philip or Andrew for more information.

FRIDAY 12th
Street Church Hastings- Wellington Place, Hastings, 4pm until 6.
Informal worship & communion for everyone. Help with setup from 3.30 always appreciated.

SUNDAY 14th-
MCC Brighton Pride Season- Our first Pride event this year is Disability Pride Brighton, please speak to Andrew if you would like to attend. Click here for our Pride flyer.
Worship Service- The Level, 6pm. The second in our Parables series- Philip will be looking at Loss and Redemption.


IMPORTANT FUTURE DATES

SATURDAY 20th JULY
MCC Brighton Pride Season
- Eastbourne Pride. See Philip if you'd like to come along. Assistance always welcome!
MCC Brighton Pride Season- Trans Pride Brighton. See Andrew if you'd like to help out.
Click here for our Pride flyer.

SATURDAY 3rd AUGUST
MCC Brighton Pride Season
- Brighton Pride Parade. See Philip or Andrew for more details about the day.

SUNDAY 4th AUGUST
MCC Brighton Pride Season
- LoveBN1 Fest Brighton. See Philip or Andrew for more details about the day. Please note, there will NOT be a service at The Level this weekend.

SUNDAY 11th AUGUST
Matthew Ramage
- Our service this weekend will be celebrating the birth of Matthew, and his Christening. Reverend Razia Aziz will be visiting to speak to us. Do come along!

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