This is the title of a summer series of services, which will continue until August 13th

As we all know, Ryanair charges for everything we take on the plane, so we pack our bags with great care when we travel with them, making sure we only take what we need. So if we imagine the journey of faith uses Ryanair, what do we need to take with us. What is the basic baggage of faith? This series reduces the baggage to 6 articles only, which will equip us not only for a new season of church life, but for living as faithful people from day to day.

JULY 2: The story of Jesus – in the Gospel of Mark. The reading will be Mark 1: 32-45. Copies of the Gospel will be available to purchase after worship. Our trust is placed in Jesus so it’s necessary to remind ourselves ever and again about his life, character and teaching. This book was written in 70 CE and is therefore an historical document, but if we read it as an essential part of the church’s memory of Jesus, with minds open to God, we’ll find how contemporary it is. Our hymns should reflect the life and character of Jesus, and I’ll be happy to get your suggestions.

JULY 9th: A scientific timeline of life on earth. You can find your own online or use the one provided in the order of service sheet. We’ll read Genesis chapter 1, which gives a biblical account of evolution according to the information available 4 centuries before Jesus, much of which was incomplete or inadequate just as the latest science may be now. Our faith claims that God is the creator, the one responsible for the evolution of the universe. One thIng we can know for certain is that God has spent more time with the stars than with any living thing; and on this planet a lot more time with bacteria than with humanity. Maybe, after all, we’re not the centre of the universe? To see ourselves in the light of the whole creation of God, is an essential part of faith.

Reading: Genesis 1: 1-25 / 1:26- 2:3

JULY 16th: Verse 28 of chapter 3 of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. We could call this the “bonfire of the prejudices” as it tells us that all races, all social conditions, all genders, are one and equal in Christ, and must be treated as such in his church. It was a discovery of the first believers that God’s spirit inspired people regardless of their race, social status or gender, and that they were equally important to the church community. If people were good enough for God how could they be unacceptable to human beings? A great movement of liberation took place in these communities which has challenged all subsequent generations of the church. Our reading is 1 Corinthians 12: 1-13

JULY 23rd: A spirit level The prophet Amos used the image of a builder’s plumb line as a symbol of God’s justice. As we no longer use them, we can substitute a spirit level as a sign of justice which is totally unbiased and balanced. When we pray for God’s kingdom, we mean God’s justice. But if we have, for example, too much of the world’s resources while others have not enough, do we really want this justice? Readings: Amos 7: 1-8; Matthew 25: 31-46

JULY 30th A cross, symbol of the victim who forgives. Only the victims understand the meaning of evil. In Jesus we are faced with the intelligence of a victim, who knows the pain of our sins, and yet forgives, enabling us to turn around, face God’s goodness and start again. The forgiveness that Jesus offers is not for the sake of the person we have been, but for the sake of the person we shall be.

AUGUST 6th: A stone, the symbol of death and the defeat of goodness. In the Gospels we are told the stone was rolled away, that Jesus is alive, and that our lives are no longer ruled by death. God’s unconquerable life is given to us. So we have to learn to roll away the stone of fear, compromise, guilt, and cowardice from our lives, so that we can live victoriously.
Readings: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11; Revelation 1:9-18



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