Stand face to face with the crucified Lord

Today we are called to stand face to face with the crucified Lord. Crucified because he refused to restrict his loving to the accepted contours of the socio, political, economic, cultural, religious and national interests of his day. He loved without fear and favour. This was too threatening for those who had a vested interest in the status quo and too disappointing for those who desired a violent overthrow of the status quo. Faced with the choice of limiting his loving or being killed — he chose to be killed and in his dying breaths he extended his love to new heights to include even his killers.

May his love pierce us today, Alan
Sunday 24 April 2011

“We have gotten so used to the ultimate Christian fact — Jesus naked, stripped, crucified and risen — that we no longer see it for what it is: a summons to strip ourselves of earthly cares and worldly wisdom, all desire for human praise, greediness for any kind of comfort; a readiness to stand up and be counted as peacemakers in a violent world; a willingness to let go of those pretenses that would have us believe that we really aren’t worldly. Even the last rag we cling to — the self-flattery that suggests we are being humble when we disclaim any resemblance to Jesus Christ — even that rag has to go when we stand face to face with the crucified Lord.” Brennan Manning in The Signature of Jesus.

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Connections at CMM

The primary purpose of Connections is to connect us to the way of Jesus.

Connections seeks to deepen our connection with God, with one another,  with ourselves and with creation around us and takes a fresh look at the Christian faith in the light of our present context. Connections will deepen our sense of belonging at CMM, and shape our life together in community. In so doing, Connections will connect us to the wounds of the world and equip us to compassionately care seeking healing and justice for all.

Join this 12 week journey – every Sunday evening from 7pm-9pm.

If you answer “YES” to any of the following questions please consider signing up for Connections …

  • Would you like to deepen your understanding of what it may mean to follow Jesus in the world today?
  • Would you like to be part of a weekly discussion group that is free of judgment and full of respect for everyone’s point of view?
  • Would you like to deepen your sense of  belonging at CMM?
  • Would you like to get to know new people at CMM and find out where you can serve?
  • Would you like to be baptized or have your child baptised?
  • Would you like to be equipped to change this world?

You would?  Then please contact the office on 021 422 2744 to sign up.

The weekly themes are as follows:

God’s Great Grace (30 January 2011)

God’s Liberating Dream for the World (6 February)

God’s Life-Giving Spirit (13 February)

God’s Contrast Community (20 February)

God’s Song Sung in a Foreign Land (27 February)

God’s Tears and our Suffering (6 March)

God’s Presence and our Prayer (13 March)

God’s Word as our Story (20 March)

God’s Table and God’s Stream (27 March)

God’s Generosity and our Gratitude (10 April)

God’s people called Methodists (17 April)

God’s Invitation to the World through Us (24 April)

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Wednesday Church

I believe the psalmist speaks for all of us when s/he prays, “As a deer longs for flowing streams so my life longs for you O God” [Psalm 42:1]. I also believe that the psalmist is speaking literally rather than metaphorically. Simply put, we thirst for God as we thirst for water.

Human beings can only go without water for about three days and even one day without water is tough! The same applies to our relationship with God — reminding us to drink daily from the multitude of means of grace given to us, not least the gifts of silence and prayer and reading of the Scriptures.

Equally it would be a health risk for us to think that we can last much past three days without connecting as Church. Church simply understood is Christ-centered Community.

For this reason I want to invite you to attend Wednesday Church.

The evenings will generally include a mixture of worship / teaching / discussion / coffee….from 7pm-9pm.

“What I Would Say to Osama bin Laden”

“What I Would Say to Osama bin Laden” A Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh answers this question in an interview with Anne A. Simpkins on the 28th September 2001. During Wednesday Church we will be reflecting on his answer.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk in the Zen tradition, who worked tirelessly for peace during the Vietnam War, rebuilding villages destroyed by the hostilities. Following an anti-war lecture tour in the United States, he was not allowed back in his country and settled in France. In 1967, he was nominated by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is now internationally known for his teaching and writing on mindfulness, and for his work related to “socially engaged Buddhism,” a call to social action based on Buddhist principles. Thay, as he is affectionately called by his followers, shared his thoughts on how America should respond to the terrorist attacks.

John Wesley’s Three Simple rules

Join in the discussion of about these three simple rules that when taken seriously promise to turn our lives and world up-side-down.
Do No Harm
Do Good
Stay in Love with God

The starting point of our weekly discussions will be from Rueben Job’s book entitled: Three Simple Rules – A Wesleyan Way of Living.

16 March We reflect on Japan

Wednesday Church will be dedicated to prayer and reflection in response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We will be looking at questions like “Why do these things happen if God is all-loving and all-powerful?” And “Why pray?” 7pm in the Sanctuary.

The First Wednesday Church (26 January) we will be reflecting on the covenant commitment.

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Welcome

Mission Statement

Central Methodist Mission is a City Church committed to Jesus Christ. We have been called out of division into community and seek to bring wholeness to each other and the world.

Vision Statement

1.     We will be an authentic Christian community:

  • that reflects the values of the Kin-dom of God
  • that contradicts divisions within our society

2.     We will be a welcoming community where we can feel free to work through our struggles and issues without judgment or manipulation

3.     We will encourage people to become followers of Jesus Christ by providing:

  • space to ask questions and struggle for answers
  • opportunities to learn more about the Christian faith
  • a supportive environment in which to live out the Christian faith

 

4.     We will actively seek God’s call on our lives and equip each other to live out this call in the church and the world

5.     We will provide pastoral care for each other and particularly for those with special needs

6.     We will continue to challenge social structures and values which cause injustice and suffering and we will seek to bring healing through a commitment to servanthood in our daily lives

7.     We will actively reach out to the wider community in order to introduce people to a relationship with Jesus and the family of God

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People who connect with Jesus

This year during LENT we have listened to some of the most beautiful and meaningful stories of people connecting with Jesus. Nicodemus who realised God’s power was in Jesus, the renegade rabbi — the Samaritan Women who came to a thirsty “stranger” at a well — a blind guy who only found out who Jesus was after he was kicked out of church, and Lazarus who laughed at death all the way out of the tomb. Each of these recordings comes from John’s gospel.

For some reason John refers to the Judean religious authorities as “The Jews”, this is especially the case in the latter two stories. This title is confusing and less than helpful for a number of reasons.

First, it fails to make the distinction between the ordinary people and the religious leaders. Second, with today’s post-holocaust-ears it sounds very anti-Semitic. Third, this tempts us to say “it was them and not us who crucified Jesus.” Fourth, it almost suggests that Jesus himself was not a Jew!

Let us remember that every character from each segment of the Crucifixion story exists within each one of us. The deserting disciples, threatened leaders, betraying Judas, denying Peter, wailing women, steadfast women, obedient soldiers … we killed Jesus not them!  Paradoxically only when we can admit that we are guilty are we set free.

Alan
Sunday 17 April 2011

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