Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go
So it’s back to work for many of us. Back to school or university, back to our offices and projects. Of course it isn’t “back” at all for many people; Alison and I took holiday what feels like light years ago in July and you may be retired or out of work or simply busy with a job that pays no heed to the calendar. But this time of year always feels like a bit of a new start, I suppose we are hard-wired that way after more than a dozen academic years in our youth.
We’re hard-wired to work too. Or, to put it more theologically, God is a worker and, because we are made in his image, we are workers too. Which means that work should be full of purpose and meaning! But sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not. Let us be very thankful for the work we have and especially so for work that we love. Thankful for schools and teachers, thankful for universities and lecturers and researchers, thankful for our employers and bosses, thankful for the men and women who took the risks and by the sweat of their brow built businesses which employ us, thankful for the opportunity to ply our trade, thankful for the places where we can serve and care and make a difference.
This Sunday we are back to our “full service” weekly worship as well. Welcome, refreshments, worship, children’s ministry, the lot. I will be starting a series called “God@work” in which I will explain what the bible has to say about work (which is a lot) and ask some questions, “Am I in the right job?”, “I love my job – too much?”, “Why is work so hard?”, “Is God interested in what I do?”, “Does my job count?”, “What if I don’t have a job?”.
If you have a story to tell about how following Jesus has made a difference to the way you work, I would love to hear it. If you would like to prepare for Sunday please read and pray through 1 Corinthians 3:12-16.
Advance notice: John & Ele Mumford will be speaking at weekly worship on Sunday 5 October. John & Ele are the National Directors for Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland. They used to be the pastors of SW London Vineyard from which Alison and were sent to plant the Leeds Vineyard many years ago. It is a privilege to have them visit us and I would recommend that you make that Sunday a priority because there’s usually a lot happening when John & Ele come to minister!
The next Discovering Vineyard course starts this Wednesday – if you’ve not been before please join us or if you know someone who has not yet done the course please extend an invitation to them on our behalf.
Hub is a two year programme for potential church planters and pastoral staff. The new Leeds-based Hub (which I will be leading) starts with an “Intensive Day” with Simon Ponsonby on 27 September. The last chance to enrol for this term is on 19 September. If you would like more information please chase down Matt and Anne Button.
Cause to Live For and National Leaders’ Conference
Both CTLF (on 21 & 22 November) and NLC (26-29 January 2015) are open for bookings. There are early-bird rates on offer and as I suspect they’ll both sell out I recommend that you book as soon as you can.
On my Spotify: I know Kate Bush is all the rage at the moment but if you would like some worship music that’s a bit different check out Shadow Weaver, a crowd-funded album recently released by The Choir. Imagine Genesis crossed with Iona and sprinkled with luscious guitar. A big sound and songs which deal with deep things.
Personal news: As many of you know, Alison’s mother (Sheelagh) lies on the threshold of heaven. She made a miraculous recovery from an aortic aneurism 4 years ago but suffered another last month and from this one she is not destined to recover. But, as she wished, she is comfortable at home with Alison and her husband Leslie by her side. I write this whilst sitting close by as we wait for her gracious life to complete this chapter and for the page to turn. Remember us in your prayers.