That was the title that the Whitehaven News led with recently and we give thanks to God that we really are alive, and had a great celebration of 100 years since our church building was erected. '100 years of Sharing Jesus' was the name of the weekend (28th June-1st July), because we wanted to thank God for his work amongst us and to take the opportunity to share Jesus over the weekend. The weekend included special services. The Bishop of Carlisle James Newcome kicked things off on the Friday evening by speaking at our service on Jesus is Lord: Yesterday, Today and Forever. Bishop James told us Jesus was the ultimate hope for everyone. So true!
The Revd Tom Parsons (former Curate) spoke movingly on Sunday morning on the text of the Philippian jailor in Acts 16: 'Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.' He explained that true faith means letting go of what we hang onto and letting Jesus catch us. For the children in the demonstration, that required some faith as they hung from a bar that was lifted by two big blokes.
The evening saw over 100 people join us for 'What is Truth?' where we looked at whether there is any such thing as unshakeable truth. We heard of three people's journeys to find truth as our minister's shared their testimonies. We heard that Jesus brings hope in the pit of depression, in prison and from empty religious experience. There was also a bit of live music and Chinese snacks. Thank you to members of our Chinese fellowship!
The flower festival saw many people coming through the doors, to see beautiful flower displays and carefully crafted banners. These were all on the theme of Bible texts. We trust that many people were encouraged in faith, or to think about faith in Christ and enjoyed a very special display.
Our Saturday event was a new venture for us. We shut off the car park, threw open the gates and had a big party...basically! Everyone in the parish was invited after we tried to spread the word as far as we could through fliers through doors, at the Maritime Festival and word of mouth. Climbing wall, bungee run, BBQ, live music, Chinese food demonstration and calligraphy, art and craft and much more. It was a great way of getting to know friends in the parish of Hensingham better. Hopefully we can keep up all the good connections that were made.
There was also a CD made by some St John's song writers and a nervous Curate talking on Radio Cumbria's Sunday morning show. Some song extracts are here from our CD 'Into the Light' and you can obtain a copy for £6 by contacting the Church Office. Proceeds to work with young people.
Four musician's from St John's have come together to record songs in honour of the 100 years of Sharing Jesus celebrations. The songs, which were recorded locally at The Music Farm in Egremont, are designed to say something about Jesus Christ and also tell stories of how the writers came to trust Christ. It is hoped that this will be a good way of encouraging those who already believe and allowing others to hear of the Christian hope in a bit of a different way. A couple of the songs will feature acoustically at our evening event 'What is truth?', at 7pm on Sunday 30th June, if you want a preview!
The CD is called 'Into the Light' and is available for £6 from St John's. Any profits will go to the Youth and Children's fund at St John's.
The CD contains 9 tracks. Here are samples of a few of the tracks:
Now the weekend has finished, we are still very much forward going ahead with God. We look forward to the years ahead...
We thank God that he has been changing lives as many people have come to know him over the years. We pray that he will guide us and keep us serving him passionately in the future as we share Jesus and the news of being made truly ALIVE!