5 resources you need to help you explore the Bible.
The Bible is a beautiful and important guide to life. It's poetry, history, prophecy, inspiration and love all mixed in. The problem is navigating it means we need a guide to. In this article I have collated 5 tools that may help you do just that.
If you are reading this in early 2018 then you could come along and join our Bible course, Thursday evenings at 730 at EMCC.
Ok, let's get started with number 1 !
1 Bible Gateway
Bible Gateway is a fabulous website for reading and studying the Bible. It's quick and easy search feature lets you find Bible passages in a huge range of translations. The parallels button allows you to compare the same passage in two different versions. This means you can easily compare literal and relative translations. Footnotes are made available to you and there is access to cross references, so you can trace the source of material from other Books.
2 The Bible society
No surprise that these guys appear on the list. The Bible society not only offer you the ability to read and explore the Bible they also have themes to help you review the material in different ways. For example searching for Matthew 1 shows cross referenced material and the core themes in this passage. Its all simply presented as the result of one easy search.
3 Bible study tools .com
Just like the resources above you can jump to a bible reference and use compare and parallel features to look at other passages. One nice feature of this site is the daily reading feature right on the homepage. They also offer other study tools such as a daily devotional and content to make you think.
4 Bible Tools
I really like the interface on this last of the on-line resources. When you look at a passage there are nicely compartmentalised boxes giving different content on that passage. Boxes include commentaries, maps and references.
Much of the content in the above items is similar. Which resource you use really depends on your preference for the layout, and ease of use of the service. They are all really good.
5 User's Guide to the Bible by Chris Wright
Personally I am happiest with a nice physical book. Here I would like to suggest to you. This great little primer is a really good introduction to the Bible. It inspired me to read several Old Testament books I would probably have steered clear of. It takes a well ordered trip through the Bible and puts so much of it into context! If you are local the Christian Resources book have it available very cheaply!
There are so many resources out there and so many ways to explore the Bible and consider your faith and life. To help you along the way we have lots of groups meeting throughout the week at EMC. Please checkout the website and come join us to learn and explore together.
Don't be afraid to ask. Please call text email message or write to us and we will find the best group or class for you:-)
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If you are looking to try out Church for the first time, or have moved to the area and are looking to give EMCC a go, let me help you with what happens inside. Often the doors of a Church can be a little bit daunting even fi you are used to Church! New place, new people, new ways of doing things. So here's what happens at EMCC on a sunday morning at 10:30 am.
If you are coming by car there is a small car park at the rear or there is the village car park. The village car park is connected by some steep steps to the Church or you can walk around the front for ramped access. Whether you come in the car park entrance or the main entrance you will be met by one of our welcome team. They will probably shake your hand, introduce themselves and give you a notice sheet. You don't have to stop for a life history here but you are welcome to chat with them.
Once you are inside you can slide along the main corridor or from the car park down the steps or lift to the Broad room. When Rev Simon Leigh our minister is preaching you will find him stood here to say hello. From here a set of wooden doors in gothic style take you into the crush hall and then on into the main church. The main church is laid out with comfortable chairs and don't worry its well heated even in winter.
The front two rows are usually sued by out youth team and if you have a young family they may sit here. To begin with they may like to stick with you, and that's fine. If you do have a young family and you arrive before the service starts please come and have a chat with one of the youth team in the main hall. The main hall or Moore hall as it's called, is located at the top of the first flight of stairs, on the middle level. Most of our sunday school work takes place here. Come along and say hi to Julia, Tony, Tracey, Dawn, Tristan Helen or me (Jon).. We will be pleased to meet you and take you through what's next.
The sunday school folks usually play in the hall just before the service and then head down to the church around 10:25. If you have young ones you can stay with them in the hall and go down at 10:25 or you can take them in the church and they can stick with you or come with JaM (The Sunday School). At 10:30 our service usallu begins with a word from one of the Church stewards. The stewards organise the Sunday service and lead our church. They will welcome everyone and give any notices. Then we open with a short song, usually just a few verses lead by the choir.
Next the preacher will say hello and a few words. During the opening 10 minutes someone from the youth team will probably say a few words about what we are doing that day. We will then sing a hymn and head off to the sunday school.
If you are staying in the Church the sunday service is at the discretion of the presiding preacher. That might be our minister Rev Simon Leigh or more likely someone from another Church. Often it's one of our lay preachers. Usually we sing around 5 or 6 hymns have a sermon of around 20 minutes. We get Bible readings from 2 or 3 of our own members. We almost always have a prayer time where we pray for those people and situations that need our prayers.
The collection is taken is some blue bags. These are passed up and down the rows. A steward will pass it in at the end and another collect it at the far end. Once the collection bags get to the front we all stand as they are taken to the front. This is our way of offering our minds bodies spirits to God alongside the money we offer.
Services commonly end with a blessing or the "The Grace" the grace has words which many of us memorise and it goes like this "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy spirit be with you all, evermore, Amen".
Each month we have a service of Holy Communion. We have an open table in the Methodist Church, that means you don't have to be confirmed to take communion. If you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, you are welcome. A communion steward will direct you to the front when it is time. If you do not want communion you can stay seated or when you get to the front cross your hands over your chest and the Minister presiding will simply say a blessing over you.
If you take part in communion you will be given a piece of break to take and eat and a small glass of wine to drink. Hold your hands out as the minister comes past to indicate you would like to receive the elements. We kneel at the communion rail for the sacrament. At the end, once you have received the bread and wine the minister will say a blessing and the row of people will stand and return to the seats you came from.
We don't use books for our hymns but we do sometimes use them for communion.
If you are nervous or unsure about our services we would be very happy to chat with you or show you around the building at a none service time. Just give us a call. Our morning service is big and lively with over 100 folks. Our evening service is quieter and attracts around 20 to 30 folks.
Hope this has helped.
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I don't think it's a secret that the annual covenant service is one of my favourites in the calendar. Maybe it's because someone like me needs to keep revisiting the dedication, the promises I make as a Christian. I'm not sure why I like it so much but it is an amazing time of year.
We tend, as Christians to become stuck in a rut (sometimes), trying to get done all the things we are called to do, as well as all the things we think we are called by God to do. It can be hard work, and none stop. So it is important to take this time at the start of the Church year, to retreat, to step back, and think again about what we are here to do.
The prayer we say, the commitment we make, makes it clear that it's OK sometimes to do nothing. "Let me be set aside for you". It can of course be very hard to bare these fallow times, times when we are unsure what God has called us to do. I can speak from personal experience that whilst these times are hard, they are ultimately very rewarding, as they leave space to hear God call us to something new.
I won't go through the whole prayer and covenant service here, even though I want too :-). If you have been in a house group with me I do tend to go on and on about it. If you want to discuss it, tap me on the shoulder and we can chat for days about it.
The Church has a whole page on the Covenant service and roots web provide a nice little study you may like to take a look at, it's here ....
From that article here is the prayer I refered to ....
I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing: I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessèd God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
You can find another version of the prayer on page 288/289 of the Methodist Worship Book.
Methodist Worship Book, page 290. © 1999 Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.
Some of the words, commitments, are not easy to make and even harder to execute each day; however, I encourage you to read and ingest the awesomeness of this prayer. Enough said
In Love !
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It's been another busy but very exciting day at EMC as we embarked on our new Family Cinema. We have been delighted to have lots of folks along to watch a movie with us. It was a great chance to try out the new projector for the first time and blow the cob webs off the speakers. We loved sharing popcorn and ice cream with so many happy faces! Awesome.
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Hi there. We would love you to take part in promoting our events by either taking a copy of one of our leaflets from Church or printing them from the links below and sharing with your friends. You can also get an A3 copy to display in a window. Please have a word with Jon if you'd like to do that :-)
Many Thanks for all your support!
Cinema Leaflet 24th September - This is an A4 version.
Cinema Poster - This is the poster with popcorn
JAM Leaflet - This is the A4 leaflet\poster version
JAM Leaflet A5 - This is a PDF with two A5 leaflets ready to print
Messy Church Poster A4 - This is an A4 poster that can be printed as leaflets as well.
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