The Parish of Sandal Magna

Renewing lives


Major movements in the life the Church often begin in a small way, as individuals whose faith has been renewed, are inspired to step out in a new direction, guided by God’s spirit.
500 years ago in 1517 Martin Luther made a protest by nailing a document to a church door in Wittenburg; a dramatic gesture which began the Reformation, and despite conflict renewed a Church that had lost its way. Luther translated the Bible into German and through the technology of the printing press the bible became available to many more people in their own language. He also introduced and composed many hymns which enabled congregations to sing the scriptures together
 279 years ago in 1828 John Wesley felt his heart strangely warmed and he began a ministry of preaching outdoors which developed into the Methodist Movement, which encouraged lay people to lead congregations in rural and urban communities.

The status quo of the church was transformed by these renewals of faith, based on the simple truth that we are 'saved by grace through faith', as Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians.
50 years ago in 1967, a young woman called Jackie Pullinger arrived in Hong Kong. She began with great courage to work in the lawless Walled City among drug addicts who often came off drugs and came to faith. Working with converted Triad gang leaders and government support, she set rehabilitation centres and workshops for employment. The Walled City was eventually demolished and in 1995 turned into a beautiful park, an oasis of peace in the bustling city.
What began as a personal commitment in each of these leaders soon became a force for social renewal.

40 years ago in 1977 the Alpha Course was started as a a course for members of Holy Trinity Brompton. I remember doing an early version of the course in 1982. In 1990 it was revised and expanded by the Revd Nicky Gumbel and began to spread overseas, being used by every major denomination in 169 countries and translated into 112 languages. Over 27 million people have completed the course.

We have now run the Alpha course over 30 times, involving over a thousand people, and every time it feels fresh because it depends on the people involved who bring their unique life experiences with them.

After refreshments and a short video presentation, there are opportunities to ask questions and discuss anything that concerns people about issues of faith in the world today.

It’s good to be part of something that has proved itself over the years to be a helpful step on the journey of faith that can bring about a renewal of our lives. We can then go on to make a difference wherever God has called us be.

Rupert

New Alpha Courses begin in January 2018. For further information visit the web-site alpha.org.
If you are interested in joining an Alpha course, please contact the Parish Office 259966 or Rupert & Sally Martin 255441.




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