Seeking God this Lent

Lent this year runs from Wednesday 6 March to Thursday 18 April.

It has traditionally been a time of reflection on our walk with the Lord in the light of the coming Easter, patterned on Jesus' 40 days in the desert. It is therefore a time for "seeking God."

Of course God is always with the Christian. But he urged King David: "Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God" (1 Chr 22:19).

To seek God in this way is to seek a greater focus and faithfulness towards him that in turn means a greater experience of his presence in our lives. As James put it: "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

This Lent we are seeking to do this in four ways:

A week of prayer : 4-10 March
A prayer meeting everyday to seek God's work in and through us as individuals and a church. Cluminating in a morning of prayer on Sunday 10 March with kids in for the first session, playing for the rest, and lunch together. Details to follow.

Everyday evangelism : Four Wednesdays from 13 March
A course helping to better equip us to make Christ known to others. The monday and wednesday morning groups combine at 1 Kingfisher Drive, Bolnore, 9.15am on the wednesdays, and the evening groups combine at 1 Myra Mews, Haywards Heath, 8pm on the wednesdays. We appreciate that there are some in our community groups for whom this may not be right. If that is you, we would love to see you at our Simply Christianity course during this period. Our community groups will resume as normal after Easter.

Simply Christianity : Five Wednesdays from 28 February
A simple course in Luke's gospel for those who are just looking into things, or those who would value going over the basics again in a context where any question can be asked. 8-9.15pm on thursday evenings at 1 Kingfisher Drive, Bolnore.

Confide : Throughout Lent
An opportunity to book a surgery with Jon, Bethan, Luke, Claire or Dan, to unload or talk through anything that is of concern to you. It may be a need for advice, a cry for help, a desire to confess sin, ask a question, or simply be prayed with. Whether, sad, worried, tempted or compromised in some way, it can be hugely significant to take the opportunity to work through whatever the need is with someone who has a sympathetic ear. Just contact Jon.

To read more on lent, see here:

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Grace Church hosts all sorts of events to help Christians grow in their faith, and for those who might just be considering Christianity to progress in their thinking. Here's something of what's coming up. Click on the image to view its information.

The difference - 9 Feb: Tom Mawer was dealing heroin from his push bike when aged 11, and grew up to play his own part in the brutal world of drug crime. During this evening of live music and interview, we will hear Tom tell the story of his journey from hard crime to Christ, and consider what lies at the heart of the Christian message that can make this sort of difference.

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Whether you consider yourself a committed Christian or not, we are delighted that you are seeking a church. Just turn up any Sunday at 4pm. You don't have to dress a certain way or bring anything with you. And you can be sure of a warm welcome.

Some come along just because they're interested in Christainity and want to find out more.

Others join us in support of what we're trying to do. South Haywards Heath lacks churches, and Bolnore Village had none. Our vision is therefore to grow a church for the Haywards Heath area centred on Bolnore Village. And we're always in need of more people to help in that.

Others are with us because they value our distinctives. They comment on five in particular:

(1) We are of a size that enables them to enjoy a genuine depth of friendship with others in the church. There is a real sense of being a caring and supportive church family that is made up of a whole variety of people.

(2) We have a vibrant children's and youth work that is not too large to feel intimidating, nor too small to lack benefit.

(3) We have a strong concern for those of all ages to feel equally a part of the church family. So children and teens benefit from properly getting to know others in the church rather than just their own peers, and from playing their own part in our services and other activities.

(4) We seek to ensure that at all levels of church life, we provide Bible teaching that is faithful, relevant, understandable and of a high quality.

(5) We meet at 4pm, benefiting those who are caught up with sport or other things in the mornings, as well as those needing to visit friends or family over the weekend. Some can't imagine meeting at this time. But those who try it come to really appreciate it.

If you are new to the area or without a suitable church, do pop along and get a feel for what we get up to. As we seek to establish a church for the area, we are especially keen to hear from any who live in Bolnore, South Haywards Heath and North Burgess Hill. Just turn up on a Sunday or give our minister a call.

Rob and Sarah joined us with their two daughters. They say:
The 4 o'clock start is great for families who want to spend time being together resting for the first part of a Sunday, and finishing off with church. We received a warm welcome at Grace Church when attending for the first time - the correct balance between being welcoming and not smothering new arrivals. We have been to to other churches where children were put first but Grace offers a more Jesus centred preparation for secondary school and adult life. The hospitality is great too.
Links you may find useful are:

How can I decide which church?
If you are a committed Christian, the Bible's priorities would suggest the following questions are key in choosing a church:
1] Am I (and my family) able to attend it most weeks?
2] Is Christ central and the Bible well taught so that we can be thoroughly built up in faith and equipped in service?
3] Do the church family display genuine love for God, one-another and the world and have a community life in which we can be welcomed and supported?
4] Is the church located sufficiently close to my home so that we can reach out to our non-Christian friends through it? 

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