St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: May 23, 2012

Dear Friends,

Since Pastor Peter’s departure at Christmas, it has been my great joy and privilege to regularly preach and lead worship at St. Andrew’s.  Now it is my turn to move on.

I have been accepted on to the International Master of Divinity programme at a seminary in Thailand and so with some sadness and regret I say goodbye to Cairo, at least for a little while.  For those interested, more details are given below.

This Friday will be my last service at St. Andrew’s and appropriately we celebrate the Day of Pentecost.  We have a living God who always leads us onward through his Spirit, and who continually renews and re-empowers his church to be the body of Christ.

Hopefully, our pastoral search will soon lead to the appointment of a new pastor.  God has his plans for St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo!

I would like to thank all those who gave me this wonderful opportunity to share in the worship and life of this special little church in the heart of Cairo.

Today and tomorrow we have the first round of voting in the Egyptian presidential elections.  Please pray for a peaceful and fair poll, and that people would have wisdom as they choose the future leader of this country.

I hope you have a great year,

God bless,

Iain

Worship Times

Friday Morning Worship  10am
Sunday Evening Prayer    7pm

Sending Service

As part of our Friday morning service this week, we will formally “send” our brother Iain Baxter, as he leaves to begin his Master of Divinity studies.  The video will soon be available via the church website here.
New Kitchen

Work on completely renewing our kitchen has begun.  This should take about three weeks.  We thanks the generous anonymous donor who made this possible.

Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

A Personal NoteThe Spirit blows where it will.   Three weeks ago I preached on the story of the Ethiopian eunuch.  The story ends with “the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away…. Philip found himself at Azotus.”  [Acts 8:40]

I feel a little like Philip. Two weeks ago, I was looking forward to a year serving at St. Andrew’s and studying for an MA in Middle East Christianity at the Evangelical Theological Seminary here in Cairo.  I have a very comfortable apartment and nearly twenty years of living in the city I call home.

However, I had hoped to be able to fulfill a pastoral role here at St. Andrew’s, but it slowly became clear that some members of the congregation strongly believed that the pastor must be already ordained and have a Master of Divinity.  These are valid views: training is important and the formal recognition of leadership which ordination confers is a valuable indicator of suitability, however “high” or “low” your view of ministry is.  It became clear that, with the call to pastoral leadership that I believe God has given me, I might need to consider other possibilities.

The Master of Divinity equivalent course on offer at the seminary here is in Arabic so I looked at courses in the UK, US and South Africa, and also Thailand.  I had visited Chiang Mai last summer and knew that there was a Christian theological seminary there, but I was not even aware if they did courses in English.

Looking at their website I found a good and well-regarded International Master of Divinity course and, almost to see what would happen, made an application on the 8th May, filling in their long and detailed application form, including an excellent reference from Pastor Peter.  Like St. Andrew’s, the seminary was originally a Presbyterian foundation and has links with the Presbyterian Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, United Church of Christ, and others.

Two days later I was accepted on to the course.  Thai semesters begin in June and November, but the course begins in June.   Three weeks after applying, I will be flying to Thailand, and like Philip will “find myself” in Chiang Mai!

It is nearly twenty years since I went forward for selection for ordination in the British Methodist Church.  They said “not yet, apply again in two or three years’ time.”  Suddenly that calling is reasserting itself.  I have sublet my apartment here in Cairo and rented out my car.  Now I have to pack!  On Friday I will preach my last regular sermon at St. Andrew’s as we celebrate the Day of Pentecost!  The Spirit does indeed blow where the Spirit wills!

Please click on this link if you would like to be kept up to date through my time in seminary.   I would like to subscribe to Iain’s news!   (If you want to subscribe do it now, or you may forget!)

God bless,

Iain

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
  • Second reading
    • Acts 2:1-21
  • Gospel
    • John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: May 16, 2012

Dear Friends,

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Our Anafora Retreat is finally here and we look forward to a time of relaxation and fellowship this weekend.  We will depart immediately after our Friday morning service.

Pastor Mark Nygard will be preaching this week on the theme of the Ascension, and I will preach the following week on Pentecost!  Our church year speeds onward and we are indeed blessed by the promise of the Lord’s continued presence, wherever in the world we are!

I hope you have a great week,

God bless,

Iain

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Anafora Retreat

Our Anafora retreat is this week.  We leave straight after the morning service on Friday.

New Kitchen

Work on completely renewing our kitchen has begun.  This should take about three weeks.  We thanks the generous anonymous donor who made this possible.

Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Acts 1:1-11
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 47
  • Second reading
    • Ephesians 1:15-23
  • Gospel
    • Luke 24:44-53

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: May 09, 2012

Dear Friends,

This week’s bible readings are about love: the love of God for us and his command for us to love one another.  They also talk of the need for us to bear fruit and to reach out.  The Jewish believers in Acts 10 were astonished that God welcomed in the Gentiles, too!

God has placed most of us in a foreign city – in a land where we were not born.  We have come here for work, or as refugees, or through a sense of call from God.  As a church, we are here to reach out to the foreigners around us – others who also find themselves in a land where the language is not their own.

However, Cairo is growing hugely!  Just look at the map above.  Many of the foreigners coming to Cairo now live many miles from an English-language church – the journey can be more than an hour, even on Friday morning when the traffic is good!

As, together, we seek God’s call to serve and reach out, we need to think about how the changes around us affect our life and witness, and pray God gives us wisdom as he leads us forward.

I hope you have a great week,

God bless,

Iain

 

Anafora Retreat

Our Anafora retreat is next week, for Friday 18th – Saturday 19th May.  Please pay the deposit this week if you would like to come.

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Skype Prayer Meeting

The time of the Skype prayer meetings has changed.  It is now on Wednesdays at 8pm.  Hopefully this will be a better time for most people.

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Worship Supplement

The St. Andrew’s Worship Supplement is a great aid to our worship.  We would like to add more new songs.  If you have any songs you would like us to include please pass them to Iain Baxter.  Please pass on the sheet music if possible, but if you don’t have this, let us have the name, author, etc, and we will try to locate it.

New Kitchen

Work on completely renewing our kitchen has begun.  This should take about three weeks.  We thanks the generous anonymous donor who made this possible.

Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Acts 10:44-48
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 98
  • Second reading
    • 1 John 5:1-6
  • Gospel
    • John 15:9-17

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: May 02, 2012

Jacob, Iain and Marilyn at last October’s barbecue

Dear Friends,

After a great lunch of Filipino food last Friday, we have another chance for fellowship this Friday evening as we meet at my house to share in a barbecue together.  Please bring a little meat to share along with another dish.  You can see me on Friday for an idea of what to bring and for directions.

Everyone who would like to come on our Anafora retreat should have signed up and paid their deposit this week!

Unfortunately, the church and StARS offices were broken into sometime last Thursday night.  Thieves tried to break into the safe but were unable to do so.  They then stole some small, portable computer items that were lying around the upstairs offices and left without damaging the premises.  We are doing what we can to make the property safer including strengthening the level of security at the back of the Guild Hall, installing hidden security cameras and ensuring that money is kept off site.

In these uncertain times in Egypt, the level of crime has increased but we can thank God that we still live in a generally safe and welcoming city.  I hope that you can join us in worship this coming weekend, either on Friday morning or Sunday evening.

I hope you have a great week,

God bless,

Iain


Barbecue

There will be a barbecue at Iain Baxter’s home this Friday, 4th May, at 7pm.  All are welcome.  See Iain for what to bring!
Anafora Retreat

Our Anafora retreat has been rescheduled for Friday 18th – Saturday 19th May.  Please sign up and pay the deposit this week if you would like to come.

Skype Prayer Meeting

The time of the Skype prayer meetings has changed.  It is now on Wednesdays at 8pm.  Hopefully this will be a better time for most people.  Mark and Linda will be leading tonight.  Add “Mark Nygard” as a skype contact to join in.
Worship Supplement

The St. Andrew’s Worship Supplement is a great aid to our worship.  We would like to add more new songs.  If you have any songs you would like us to include please pass them to Iain Baxter.  Please pass on the sheet music if possible, but if you don’t have this, let us have the name, author, etc, and we will try to locate it.

New Kitchen

Work on completely renewing our kitchen has begun.  This should take about three weeks.  We thanks the generous anonymous donor who made this possible.

Easter Services
Videos of both Easter services are available via our website at https://standrewschurchcairo.com/media/sermonandservices/
Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Acts 8:26-40
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 22:25-31
  • Second reading
    • 1 John 4:7-21
  • Gospel
    • John 15:1-8

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: April 25, 2012

Anafora Coptic Retreat Center

Dear Friends,

We are happy to announce that the Anafora Retreat has been rearranged for Friday 18th – Saturday 19th of May.  There are a limited number of places.  Please sign up if you would like to go.  The exact cost will depend on whether we have to hire a bus or have enough space in cars.

We also have the pleasure of sharing lunch together on Friday following our morning service, thanks to Gloria and Mary who are providing great Filipino food for us to share.

Another opportunity for socialising is the barbecue being held at my house on May 4th.  Food should be sizzling by 7pm.  Please ask what you can bring!

With all these food related activities, we have the good news that work will begin on installing a new kitchen in the Guild Hall next Monday. This will mean we, along with StARS,  have renewed and renovated almost all the church buildings over the last year including the Sanctuary, the Sacristy, the Guild Hall, the bathrooms, the caravans, and the kitchen.

The sanctuary is now being used by seven different congregations and groups, and the Guild Hall by two.  Almost 1000 people worship at St. Andrew’s each week.  God is indeed moving among us!

You may be interested in some of the events being organised by our friends at St John’s Church in Maadi.  I have posted their announcements for the Caravan Festival of the Arts below.

I hope you have a great week,

God bless,

Iain

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Worship Times

Friday Morning Worship  10am
Sunday Evening Prayer    7pm

Lunch Today

Gloria and Mary are providing lunch for everyone this morning.  This will be in the Guild Hall following this morning’s service.

Anafora Retreat

Our Anafora retreat has been rescheduled for Friday 18th – Saturday 19th May.  Please sign up and pay the deposit if you would like to come.

Barbecue

There will be a barbecue at Iain Baxter’s home on Friday 4th May at 7pm.  All are welcome.  See Iain for what to bring!

New Kitchen

Work on completely renewing our kitchen begins on Monday.  This should take about three weeks.  We thanks the generous anonymous donor who made this possible.
Easter Services

Videos of both Easter services are available via our website at https://standrewschurchcairo.com/media/sermonandservices/

Skype Prayer Meeting

The time of the Skype prayer meetings has changed.  It is now on Wednesdays at 8pm.  Hopefully this will be a better time for most people.  Add “iainbaxter” as a skype contact to join in.

Pastoral Search Documents

These are available for any one who is interested on our website at https://standrewschurchcairo.com/media/
Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

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WEEKLY PROGRAM of the CARAVAN Festival of the Arts—April 26-May 5, 2012
(held at St. John’s Church/Maadi…corner of Port Said Rd & Rd 17—www.maadichurch.org)
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*Opening Night of the CARAVAN Festival of the Arts—26 April (Thursday) at 7 PM (19h00)–Opening presentations by Yousra, celebrated Egyptian actress,  and Muslim and Christian dignitaries, with a special performance by singer Rula Zaki. All 45 participating premier visual artists will be present.
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*Literature Night—2 May (Wednesday) at 7 PM (19h00)Ahdaf Soueif, Anglo-Egyptian Booker Prize shortlist author of internationally acclaimed novels Map of Love and  In the Eye of the Sun. Title of her talk is on her new book: Cairo: My City, Our Revolution.
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*Film Night3 May (Thursday) at 8 PM—Talk by and interview with Khalid Abdalla, British-Egyptian film actor (star of The Kite Runner and Green Zone).
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*Musical Concert—5 May (Saturday) at 7:00 PM (19h00) —A closing concert by the  Ana Masry Band (meaning “I am Egyptian” in Arabic): a musical group that has become very popular since the revolution known for their fusion of Arabic, Muslim, Sufi and Christian music.
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This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Acts 4:5-12
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 23
  • Second reading
    • 1 John 3:16-24
  • Gospel
    • John 10:11-18

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: April 18, 2012


The late Pope Shenouda III celebrating Sham El Nessim

 

Dear Friends,

Most of us are back to work after the break for Easter and Sham El Nessim.  I hope you had a good Easter wherever in the world you celebrated.  Videos of our Good Friday and Easter Sunday services are now available on the St. Andrew’s website at https://standrewschurchcairo.com/media/sermonandservices/

Life and worship at St. Andrew’s continues in this Easter season and we are hoping to rearrange our Anafora retreat for some time in early May.  Be ready for an announcement of the new date when it is confirmed.

We are enjoying using the Worship Supplement which intern pastor Paul Schick compiled last year, and we would like to add in more new songs and hymns.  Please pass me copies of any songs you would like us to consider including.

The Pastoral Search Committee has received a number of applications for the post of pastor.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in the position then the relevant documents can be downloaded from our website.

Finally, we are moving our skype prayer meeting to Wednesday night at 8pm.  The Tuesday time too often clashed with the Church Council Meeting and other events.  Hopefully the new time will be more convenient for most people.

Have a good week,

God bless,

Iain

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Worship Times

Friday Morning Worship  10am
Sunday Evening Prayer    7pm

Easter Services

Videos of both Easter services are available via our website at https://standrewschurchcairo.com/media/sermonandservices/

Skype Prayer Meeting

The time of the Skype prayer meetings has changed.  From next week it will be on Wednesdays at 8pm.  Hopefully this will be a better time for most people.  Add “iainbaxter” as a skype contact to join in.

Anafora Retreat

We are trying to rearrange the Anafora Retreat for early May.  Watch out for new announcements.

Worship Supplement

The St. Andrew’s Worship Supplement is a great aid to our worship.  We would like to add more new songs.  If you have any songs you would like us to include please pass them to Iain Baxter.  Please pass on the sheet music if possible, but if you don’t have this, let us have the name, author, etc, and we will try to locate it.

Pastoral Search Documents

These are available for any one who is interested on our website at https://standrewschurchcairo.com/media/

Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Acts 3:12-19
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 4
  • Second reading
    • 1 John 3:1-7
  • Gospel
    • Luke 24:36b-48

 

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: April 11, 2012


Sharing the Peace on Easter Sunday


Gloria presented with a St. Andrew’s Cross by Erin and Jean

Dear Friends,

We had two great Easter services – Mark preached on Good Friday and I preached, and Mark celebrated communion, on Easter Sunday.  Over forty attended the Easter Sunday Service which was followed by our Easter Sunday brunch.

Gloria, a member for nearly 20 years, was presented with a St. Andrew’s Cross at the brunch.  She does a great job organising refreshments and social events and is our best recruiter – even dragging random people in from the Metro!!!  She is a big heart at the heart of St. Andrew’s.

The renovation of the Guild Hall is almost complete.  The bathrooms are finished, the cupboards have all been re-varnished, all the woodwork has been painted, the lights have all been refurbished and repainted, and new curtains have been hung.  All that remains is the installation of air-conditioning and the new commercial standard kitchen!

Cairo Christian Fellowship held their Easter Cantata in the Hall, filling the hall on the hottest day of the year so far.  We thank them for all their help and support in the renovations.

We continue celebrating the Easter season as we join with our Coptic friends as they celebrate Easter this weekend.

A Happy Easter to everyone!

God bless,

Iain



Skype Prayer Meeting

Skype prayer meetings will restart next Tuesday, 17th April, at 7pm.  Add “iainbaxter” as a skype contact to join in.

Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Acts 4:32-35
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 133
  • Second reading
    • 1 John 1:1-2:2
  • Gospel
    • John 20:19-31

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: April 4, 2012

Dear Friends,

Is it too early to say “Happy Easter”?  As Christians we know the end of the Holy Week story and so can be ready to rejoice, even as we commemorate the events of Good Friday.  The picture above shows the beginning of our Palm ‘Sunday’ service last Friday, as we paraded into church singing ‘Ride on Ride on in Majesty’.  The video of the service can be seen via the Media page.  

In Holy Week, the one celebrated as the conquering king at the beginning, becomes the criminal to be punished by the end.  We will meet at 10am this Friday to remember Jesus the suffering servant, the one who died on the cross to take away our sins.  On Sunday we will gather again to celebrate the risen Christ, the one who promises victory over death and the promise of eternal life.

We are an Easter people!  A people who have hope to share with the world – and not just the hope of future resurrection, but also hope for life on earth now!  Please join us to celebrate if you can.

A Happy Easter to everyone!

God bless,

Iain

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Easter Services

Friday 6th April, 10 am  Good Friday Service
Sunday 8th April, 10 am Easter Sunday Service
Sunday 8th April, 6:30 pm  Easter Cantata –
       join with Cairo Christian Fellowship for this celebration in the Guild Hall

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Skype Prayer Meeting

Skype prayer meetings will restart after Easter on Tuesday 17th April at 7pm.  Add “iainbaxter” as a skype contact to join in.

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Sign up for Assisting in Worship

A new signup sheet for worship assistants has been prepared.  Please sign up to share your gifts with us by reading in church,  providing refreshments or giving the flowers.  Thank you for sharing in our ministry in these ways.

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This Week’s Readings

Good Friday

 First Reading                    Isaiah 52:13–53:12
 Psalm                               Psalm 22
 Second Reading               Hebrews 10:16–25
 Gospel Lesson                 John 18:1-19:42

Easter Sunday

 Easter Gospel                   John 20:1-18
 First Reading                    Acts 10:34-43
 Second Reading               1 Corinthians 15:1-11

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: March 28, 2012

Dear Friends,

On Friday we will be celebrating Palm Sunday in the topsy-turvy way of church in Egypt!  We remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem with the crowds crying “hosanna!”  How easy  it is to cheer a popular leader when they are ahead – and how quickly the popular mood can change.  Many times over the last year in Egypt, we have seen how quickly public sentiment can change.

People’s views and their support for leaders is always changing and yet we know that we have a God who does not change – a God who is with us during our personal “Palm Sundays”, our personal “Good Fridays” and our Personal “Easter Days”!  Whatever is happening around us or within, God is the same yesterday, today and forever!

We will meet together over the Easter Weekend at 10am on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with the Easter Day service followed by a potluck brunch!  We are also invited to join with the Cairo Christian Fellowship at 6:30pm in the Guild Hall for their Easter Cantata.

In practical preparation for Easter we have a church cleaning day beginning at 10am this Saturday, 31st March.  All welcome to come and clean!!!

StARS have their end of term concert this Tuesday and video of the event will be available on the website soon after.  Remember, you can make a donation to StARS via our website or via the StARS website, www.standrewsrefugeeservices.org.

Hope you have a good week,

God bless,

Iain

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Easter Services

Friday 6th April, 10 am  Good Friday Service
Sunday 8th April, 10 am Easter Sunday Service
Sunday 8th April, 6:30 pm  Easter Cantata – join with Cairo Christian Fellowship for this celebration in the Guild Hall

Easter Lilies

See Gloria to purchase Easter Lilies to decorate the church on Easter Sunday.

Cleaning Day

We will have a church cleaning day this Saturday, 31st March, beginning at 10 am.

Anafora Retreat
The Anafora Easter retreat has been cancelled – we will try to go later in the year.

Skype Prayer Meeting

Skype prayer meetings will restart after Easter on Tuesday 17th April at 7pm.  Add “iainbaxter” as a skype contact to join in.

This Week’s Readings

  • Processional
    • Matthew 21:1-11
  • First reading
    • Isaiah 50:4-9a
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 31:9-16
  • Second reading
    • Philippians 2:5-11
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 21:6-17

St. Andrew’s Community Announcements: March 21, 2012

Dear Friends,

Christians in Egypt are mourning the death of Pope Shenouda who died last Saturday, and we join in our prayers for the Coptic Church at this sad and unsettling time.  Pope Shenouda was the leader of the Coptic Church for nearly 40 years and had a huge role in shaping the church over this time.  He will be greatly missed.  Please pray for Egypt and the Christian community as they face many political changes in the country without their familiar leader.

Our news this week is that our retreat to Anafora has fallen through.  This was not due to the political situation in Egypt, but rather the usual confusion and misunderstandings which can occur here.  We hope to rearrange the trip later in the Spring.

We, of course, are still searching for a pastor to minister here at St. Andrew’s, and the Pastoral Search Committee sent out letters, pastoral and congregational profiles and other documents to a number of organisations this week.  They should be available for downloading from our website soon.

Those living in Cairo may be interested in a talk at St. John’s, Maadi, this Thursday night by Ben Wedeman, CNN Senior Correspondent, entitled “Reflections on the Current Middle East”.  It begins at 8 p.m.  More details below.

Living in Egypt is never dull, things are ever changing and seldom as they seem.  It is even more important to trust in God in these uncertain days, but that is also part of what makes the Christian faith exciting.

Hope you have a good week,

God bless,

Iain
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Service Times

Friday 10am  Morning Worship
Sunday 7pm  Evening Prayer

 

Easter Services

Friday 6th April, 10 am  Good Friday Service
Sunday 8th April, 10 am Easter Sunday Service
Sunday 8th April, Evening Cantata – join with Cairo Christian Fellowship for this celebration in the Guild Hall

 

Anafora Retreat
Unfortunately, Anafora is no longer able to host us at Easter.  We hope to rearrange the retreat later in the year.

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Skype Prayer Meeting

We will have another skype prayer meeting on Tuesday at 7pm.  Add “iainbaxter” as a skype contact to join in.

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Ben Wedeman Lecture

This Week’s Readings

  • First reading
    • Jeremiah 31:31-34
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 51:1-12
  • Second reading
    • Hebrews 5:5-10
  • Gospel
    • John 12:20-33