Is there enough evidence for atheism? David Wilks (MSt Philosophical Theology) will delve into 2 of the key issues: science and human evil.
Where: Starbucks Wanstead
When: 9 November 2017, Thursday @ 8pm Add to Calendar
Sometimes life can feel like a computer that isn’t working very well. And it’s frustrating. Maybe life hasn’t worked out as you’d hoped, and you’re in a rut, or even a midlife crisis. Perhaps you’ve got too many tasks and the system has crashed, or there are things in the memory you regret. And you long to start over. If only you could reboot your life and wipe the slate clean and start again. But where’s the button? How do you do that? Is it even possible? Jesus says it is. It’s something God can do for us.
On the 9th of March, we would like to invite you to join us for a talk entitled, ‘How to reboot your life’. There will be an opportunity to discuss and ask questions afterwards. Come one, come all!
Where: Starbucks Wanstead
When: 9 March 2017, Thursday @ 8pm Add to Calendar
Who: Rev. Marcus Nodder
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As a child, presents were never really the main focus of our Christmas celebrations – although my sister and I certainly enjoyed them! The main thing for us was spending time together as a family. Whether that was helping cook the turkey, walking the dog, playing games, or just watching TV in the evening, that family time was key. We occasionally went to church, but for me at that time it was just another tradition – mainly attractive because of the carol singing, and of course the mince pies. I could have quoted from various sermons that “Jesus came to save me from my sins”, but what that actually MEANT, I had no idea!
Having become a Christian while at university, Christmas now means so much more to me than it ever did before! Christmas is no longer just one isolated day at the end of each year, but part of something much, much bigger. I had assumed in the past that Jesus Christ only existed for the 33 years he lived on earth – and that was his whole story. I remember being absolutely astonished to learn that he was actually around long before that – the Bible says that he was there since before the creation of the world, as he himself is God! And more than that, he still lives today in heaven, and will one day return to judge the world! This was an enormous revelation to me, and gives Christmas a huge amount of significance. That Jesus, the Son of God, would humble himself to be born as a human being, in order to give us sinful people the possibility of a personal relationship with God, and eternal life after death with him in heaven – still seems unbelievable to me at times. Yet it shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us who enjoy a good carol service! (Something I do a lot of, in my work as a musician!) In addition to many Bible passages which explain this clearly, if we look closely at some of the words we sing in carols time after time, we see that “He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all…and he leads his children on, to the place where he has gone”. Likewise, we sing of “Christ the everlasting Lord” and of “God and sinners reconciled”. God’s own reason for Christmas? “Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die!”And the result for the rest of us? “Not in that poor lowly stable with the oxen standing by, we shall see him, but in heaven set at God’s right hand on high. When like stars his children crowned, all in white shall wait around.” (Carol excerpts taken from ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.)
Christmas is about the past AND the future, not just one day…there is a lot more to Jesus than just the baby in the manger.
We would love to help you find out more about Jesus and his great rescue plan.
Our special service on 25th September would be a great place to start.
Download our flyer to find out more.
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Hello, my name is Verda and I was born in Mauritius. I have 2 older brothers and 2 younger sisters. I was raised with a mixed religious background and I was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church. My parents were separated and my mother left to work in Lebanon to support us. We were left with friends and family to look after us. Unfortunately, these people could not be trusted and we were often neglected and abused.
I used to visit the most beautiful churches in Mauritius as I wanted to know what God is like, and ask Him how He could let me live like this. I knew all the saints’ names but I still couldn’t find who God was.
My fears and anxieties grew and I would often cry myself to sleep. It was only when my eldest brother became a young man that I felt safe again under his care and protection.
I was sent to be with my mother in Lebanon, as I was now a young lady. By then, Lebanon was a war zone and was being bombed every day due to a religious war. I began to smoke heavily and my mother feared for my life so she sent me to live in London where my brothers and sisters had made their homes.
When I first met Costas, my family already knew him well through his father’s car trade and through the restaurant Costas managed. We soon became good friends and shared our problems. We fell in love and had a quiet registry wedding.
A few years later, we were blessed with our first 2 children. They were baptised into the Church of England, as the Greek Church where Costas had gone from a young age told us that our mixed cultural marriage was not a good example to others. Although Costas was welcome, I didn’t fit in with their rules, traditions and ceremonies. We felt discriminated and condemned. Worst of all our actions had consequences on others, as we were now arguing in front of the children about religion which hurt and confused them.
By the time our last son Andreas was born, the Greek Church had a change of heart and agreed to baptise him after I was baptised. Shortly before the baptism, I received the call that would shatter me. Costas’ sister told me that she didn’t want to be a Godparent anymore, as I had been hiding behind God and using her religion to hide my superstitious background. I felt abandoned by God with no hope.
I knew that day that I needed God and I went to my nearest church which was St. Saviours in Walthamstow. A lady called Penny could see I was very upset and comforted me. I told her I did not know who God was anymore. She told me that if I truly wanted to know who God is, I should come to the bible study on Monday morning and ask for a lady called Katherine.
When I arrived on that Monday morning, I was made to feel very welcome. Each of the ladies there gave a short testimony about their lives and I soon realised that I was not the only one with problems. We prayed and read passages from the Bible that were filled with hope and compassion.
I was now reading and taking in the living Word of God. I also started going to a second meeting during the week at David & Jane GIbbs’ house. Katherine was leading us through the Christianity Explored course every week and I realised that God was mighty to save.
I read the Bible at home, prayed many times a day and started to surrender my fears to God, through Jesus His only Son. I asked for forgiveness and I started to change from the inside out. God also helped me to quit smoking through his power.
This caught my husband’s attention and he asked me why I was changing for the better. I told him I now had complete faith and trust in God and I did not fear people anymore. I was walking with a newness of life and praying for wisdom in every difficult situation.
We were praying for perseverance in my life and I knew I had to forgive others if I was to be forgiven. The only way to God was by accepting the Prince of peace as my Lord and saviour. There was now for the first time in years peace in our lives, and when Costas agreed to attend a service at Grace Church Wanstead I knew my prayers were answered.
Hello, my name is Costa. I was born in Hackney, London about 10 years after my family emigrated from Cyprus to England. We went to a Greek Orthodox Church and it was treated as a special occasion. The church had 1 Bible written in ancient Greek which would be read to us by a high priest with a long beard.
Our prayers would be written on small pieces of paper which would then be passed on to the mediators to pray for us. The sermons would instruct us to help widows and orphans if we wanted to be saved.
At home it was my mother who would encourage me to read the modern Greek Bible. My mother often explained how the old covenant was about the saviour of all man in a fallen world.
I was 13 years old when my sisters told me that we would be just like the orphans we were helping at the church. My mother had an incurable illness and she did not have long to live. It was painful to see my mother suffering. I was the youngest so her final prayer was saved for me. She prayed that I would be adopted into a large family with the guidance from the perfect role model and find an inheritance from God.
I felt broken and lost.
2 years after my mother passed away, my father introduced me to my step mother, who was a non believer with no children of her own. I was now growing up with no love.
My sisters had made their plans for their lives, my father constantly worked and my step mother encouraged me to do the same. I was soon an angry, rebellious young man with no guidance who was living his own life without God and it was not worth living. I feared death, was often depressed, couldn’t sleep and started to smoke. I had a string of failed relationships, the list is endless…
The next time I would read a Bible again would be nearly 35 years later right here in Grace Church Wanstead.
When I arrived I saw a welcoming gathering of Christians who were not directing wealthy people to the front rows. They did not object to anyone’s colour, race or religious background. I saw plenty of Bibles and the children were not using mediators for their prayers. In fact, they were actively encouraged to read the Bible themselves, answer questions and take part in everything.
I asked to join the Bible study group at David Gibbs’ house. I started to attend and all the teachers had a patient and gentle approach to my questions and if they didn’t know the answer they would always get back to me soon.
As I read and took in the meaning of the events of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection – I took it personally. I felt a deep sense of shame for all the wrong things I had done for so many years toward God and people. I had to be forgiven and this meant forgiving others.
I found my perfect role model who left the right hand of God, humbled himself and became a man to know my weakness and temptations. Jesus willingly allowed himself to die a humiliating and awful murder even though he was the only one to walk on this earth without sin. His precious blood was now shed for me so I could avoid a second death, and be with him and his family, inheriting something much more precious than the houses, cars, money and gold I had lost in my life.
I pushed him away for years but he was patient with me. I realise today that when I wept as a child for my mother, he was right there weeping with me…