Back to Church Sunday.

A friend recently sent me an assortment of e mails with pictures and this was on a notice outside a church.

Question; What is missing from ch..ch? Answer U R. (church)

A bit corny perhaps but it makes the point; you are wanted, needed and welcome at All Saints Bishop Burton and indeed any church at any time. September 25th has been designated as ‘Back to Church Sunday’. This is not a new initiative, it began a few years ago in the diocese of Manchester, and is a day when church goers across the world have the opportunity to invite friends, relatives, neighbours, work colleagues, etc. to come with them to church and experience for themselves what it’s all about.

It’s an ancient scheme! At the beginning of the Gospels we read of Jesus calling the first disciples to follow him, but in John’s version we get a unique version of the events. When Jesus called Andrew, not only did he follow but the first thing he did was to bring his brother, Simon Peter, along too. Likewise, when Jesus called Philip to follow, he first went and invited Nathanael along for the journey with the simple invitation, “Come and see.”

“Come and see” is the earliest and, perhaps, easiest form of Christian mission and evangelism, and it’s this that stands at the heart of Back to Church Sunday.

Some people who used to belong to churches and have left have made a conscious decision to stay away from church, but for many life circumstances simply squeezed church out and they’ve only not returned because nobody has ever invited them.

Back to Church Sunday is an opportunity for ordinary church-going Christians to say to their friends, “Come and see why this is so important to me – come and give church a go and see if you like it.”

The hope, of course, is that when our friends do ‘come and see’ they will experience a warm welcome and enjoy worship; in short, they will feel like they belong. If we get that right, maybe ‘Back to Church Sunday’ will prove to be, for some, the route by which they reconnect with the God who loves them and is always welcoming them. Take the courage to follow Andrew and Philip’s example in asking your friend to “come and see” on 25th September.

Baptisms - The baptism of Chloe Norton took place at All Saints on July 24th and of Oscar Stafford on 20th August.

Confirmation - Some of us will be going to a Confirmation Service on the evening of the 6th November 2011 and therefore we will not be holding our usual Evensong that day. If there are any people who would like to think about making the commitment to be confirmed please contact me on 01482 841875 and we can talk about it. In the meantime Beverley Minster is running an ALPHA Course which explores our Christian faith and I will be attending and could give anyone who wants to know more a lift. Again contact me on the above number.

Harvest Festival Service 7.30.p.m. on 7th October 2011

Everyone will find a warm welcome at All Saints as we celebrate and give thanks to God for the fruits of the fields and those who labour to bring in the harvest, the preacher will be Angela. Following the service there will be a space to chat as we feast.

 Bishop Burton College has a new Chaplain, Becky Lumley, who will be installed at St Mary’s on September 4th. We remember in our prayers Becky, the staff and the students of the college as they begin this next academic year.

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