New series: Unforced rhythms

By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Elders)

From 17 October to 7 November, we're doing a 4 weeks series on Sundays entitled Unforced Rhythms.

This is a phrase from Jesus’ words in Matthew 11: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. The Message Bible beautifully paraphrases this as

"Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly." 

Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Elders)

Broaden your diet!

By Andy O'Connell

As we looked at Isaiah 51-52 we saw the repeated encouragement (that's a gentle British way of saying "challenge"!) from God to his people to wake up, and really get what he wants to say and show them. A short paraphrase of the passage could read: "Listen, listen, listen! Awake, awake; awake, awake; awake, awake!" 

The queen is back!

By Andy O'Connell

During the early days of lockdown, many of us who lead churches were frantically looking for advice and learnings from others as we sought to navigate a confusing season. We were asking what was the church supposed to be, and to be doing, and to be praying in this "unprecedented" season?

Stop, slow down, and seek me (a reflection from Journey to the Cross prayer week)

By The Prayer Week team

Earlier today the elders reviewed and weighed the various prophetic and other contributions from the week of prayer. They said: "First of all, thank you for taking part! Secondly, as we've reviewed what came out, we see that God is reminding us to focus on him in this season. We note that our prophets, who often hear God with direction for the church, are not now hearing something about change, or a fresh focus - but simply that this is a season when God wants to draw us close!"

The Prayer Week team

Friends first

By Andy O'Connell

When I was a student, the importance of the daily 'quiet time' was drilled into me by my fellow Evangelical students. As a charismatic student I always struggled with the idea of 'quiet', preferring to be vocal with the Lord, and found the quiet time model I was given slightly stultifying!

Do less, pray more

By Andy O'Connell and Ruth O'Connell

Coming into the sabbatical, we already had a hunch that God was speaking not about fresh outward and other-focused activity, but about how He wanted us to relate to Him: our God-ward activity!

Lent at OCC: Prayers, Podcasts, and Paperchains!

By Lois Fulton

Lent is an amazing opportunity to commit to God in a new way. Some people choose to give something up (or ‘fast’) during Lent, others choose to try something new to enrich their devotional lives. Whatever God leads you to do, we wanted to provide some suggestions for how we could approach this season together as a family.

 

Prayers

At the start of this year, Steve Jones called on us as a church family to be ‘praying for rain’ – and there really is such power in our joining together to cry out to our loving God!

Lois Fulton

Prayer is a Wonderful Thing!

By Steve Jones

Prayer is a wonderful thing. It is at once the simplest and most profound of all spiritual activities. Simple words like ‘Thank you,’ ‘Sorry’ and ‘Please’ enable even pre-school children to pray from the heart, and yet there are riches and depths of prayers still to discover for those who have walked with God for decades.

Cut to the chase? Practicalities for the week of Sep 24-28

Steve Jones

God's Invitation: Come up Higher!

By Andy O'Connell

This is the third blog in a short series exploring what the elders believe God is saying to the church at the moment. A few days ago Steve wrote about faith for growth. Al then highlighted the opportunities to grow in faith as we engage with the Summer of Mission 2018. In this blog I want to highlight what we believe God is saying about prayer and how he is inviting us to respond!

Andy O'Connell

Merry Christmas

By Steve Jones

This is the first blog in a short series exploring what the elders believe God is saying to the church at the moment.

It's very nearly Christmas!

Throughout this term, we've been "praying for growth" as a church, for upgrades in our maturity, our extent and our numbers.

Steve Jones