søndag 27. januar 2008

Journey to Jerusalem


I've waited eagerly for the arrival of the books I ordered for Lent this year. From the reviews, "Journey to Jerusalem", by David Winter, seemed to me to be a good choice, but I couldn't be sure, so I called the bookshop "Manna House" in Perth, since we have a girl in our church with contacts there. Derek, the manager, recommended the book.
When I look quickly through the book, I am happy with the choice, and look forward to begin the journey together with Bergen International Church from Ash Wednesday - which is on the 6th of February this year.
I will use the Sunday texts as a resource for my preaching, and one of the cell groups will take up the discussion questions during the week.
I had intended to introduce the book in church today, but I've been at home with fever since Thursday afternoon. Luckily Lillian-Rose suggested to me that they could take care of the worship service for me, so I could relax. It's a great congregation!

torsdag 10. januar 2008

Cell based church

In our church - Bergen International Church - we've always had a vision to be a cell based church, but we've struggled with it. How can the cells become more than just another activity?
To all who are interested in the issue of cell church, I can recommend an Anglican website: http://www.anglicancelluk.org/

On Sunday we will do yet another attempt to promote the cells, and hopefully manage to get so many newcomers that one of the existing cells can become two - at least.

A couple of years ago we decided to increase the frequency of our worship services from bimonthly to every Sunday. Being a small church with an average of fifty attendants, is this too much? Would it be better to return to a rythm of fewer worship services and focus more on the cells as the basic meeting place?

torsdag 3. januar 2008

Happy New Year?

The New Year has seen a lot of violence and despair in some countries, especially Pakistan and Kenya. We cry with those who feel desperate and hopeless in this situation, and pray that God will restore piece and freedom to the people everywhere. It seems fitting to me to quote one of the songs we sang in Bergen International Church on Christmas Day – Days of Elijah, by Robin Mark:

These are the days of Elijah,
declaring the word of the Lord.
And these are the days of Your servant Moses,
righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial,
of famine and darkness and sword,
still we are a voice in the desert crying
‘prepare ye the way of the Lord’

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
shining like the sun at the trumpet call,
lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee,
out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

These are the days of Ezekiel,
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David,
Rebuilding the temple of praise.
These are the days of the harvest,
The fields are as white in the world,
And we are the labourers in the vineyard,
Declaring the word of the Lord.

We also know that the Lord has a better future for the world, and we have an important part to play in this future. The Lord comes, and we are called to declare this to the world, no matter what happens around us. May the year 2008 be a year when we declare the word of the Lord everywhere.