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Prepare for Christmas and enjoy a celebratory evening
An opportunity to enjoy good company and to share in the singing of Carols both traditional new
An opportunity to be quiet and reflective before Advent.
A guided mediation on “waiting”
All are welcome to join in this quiet contemplative hour
A few years ago, I found myself on a Royal Jordanian flight to Amman and was curious to see what kind of in-flight entertainment would be offered on an Arab airline. Alongside The Smurfs Film and readings from the Qur’an, I found an absorbing documentary on the search for the site of Jesus’ baptism.
John’s Gospel describes the baptism happening at Bethany ‘on the other side of the river Jordan’, but no such place now exists. But thanks to the discovery of a 6th century mosaic map in nearby Madaba and the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty that allowed the area to be cleared of mines, archaeologists believe they’ve found it, some distance from the Jordan because the river has shifted its course. They’ve since been excavating early Christian shrines built at the spot before the memory of it was lost.
Fascinating stuff. But what also caught my interest in watching the documentary was one contributor talking about the concept of ‘thin places’ – certain locations where heaven seems to stoop very close to earth.
Although, as Christians, we say that God is everywhere and where you worship doesn’t matter, it’s also part of our belief that we live in parallel worlds – the earthly and the spiritual. Sometimes the spiritual world clearly and decisively breaks in, as happened with the coming of Jesus. But could it be that there are certain locations where the membrane between earth and heaven is extra-thin and the feeling of God’s presence more tangible?
I’m sure many of us will have had the experience of sensing something beyond ourselves in particular places. What does it for me is sitting alone in the deep silence of an ancient church where centuries of prayer have imprinted themselves on the atmosphere and the air feels almost palpably thicker. We have a wealth of such churches in our part of North Yorkshire, so why not look one out and see what you discover? The churches at Alne and Aldwark, for example, are open most days during daylight hours and visitors are welcome.
The fact that Christians in every age have gone on pilgrimages to sacred sites speaks further of the spiritual pull of ‘thin places’. And if these places exist, the spot where the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove must surely be one.
For more on the rediscovery of the baptism site, take a look at www.baptismsite.com.
We are having a break from Hot Spot in the church until next winter, we will miss you and however we would like to invite you to come and have lunch with us every month on a Sunday after church.
Come for 12 noon, on the last Sunday in the month.
We’d love to see you in church at 10.30 too but that’s not obligatory!
The summer dates are:-
Sunday April 30th
Sunday May 28th(Arthur is doing a barbecue)
Sunday June 25th
Sunday July 30th
Sunday August 27th
We are delighted that Richard Swan is taking over as our new church warden. He replaces Arthur Harland who has done a magnificent job for well over 20 years. Arthur's wisdom and vision will be missed on the PCC but we know that he will continue to be an acitve participating member of the congregation
We were exceedingly sorry to say goodbye to Debbie and Aslam. We have greatly benefited from Debbie’s ministry over the last 3 ½ years. Her insight and spirituality have been a breath of fresh air to all of us who have known her. We wish her every blessing in her new post in Rotherham
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