"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
These are the New Testament practises that differentiate followers of Jesus from everyone else.
Acts 2:42 is written of the very first church, Church 1.0, which was born from the Holy Spirits outpouring at Pentecost; an eclectic blend of disciples who had followed and been with Jesus, and those who had recently heard the Gospel proclaimed in Jerusalem and responded in faith.
These believers were known for their devotion. Their devotion was tangible, observable and demonstrable, primarily through 4 distinct practises.
People observe what we truly love from our actions and our habits. Devotion is more than cold obedience, but born from the heart.
Each disciple had a personal decision to make... "Can I devote myself to the rhythm of this new community as they worship Jesus together?" - Each of us face the same decision today!
Jesus forms and reforms us in the company of other disciples... each of us together in meaningful community, not in isolation.
This early church came under Godly leaders who had themselves been formed and fashioned by Jesus.
They were a community living life under the authority of Scripture, whose teaching revealed the sending (and sent) nature of Father, Son & Spirit to the world.
Fellowship is a catalyst to freedom - When our masks are removed, we experience knowness through vulnerability, with no fear of judgement.
In fellowship we discover new things about God and ourselves as we each share our stories, lived experiences and unique perspectives.
BREAKING OF BREAD
There is dynamic power sitting around the table with Jesus. Shared meals break barriers & promote inclusion.
The heart of communion is community and union (with God and with one another).
Deep healing occurs when we enter communion together with sincere and unveiled hearts.
The prayers of the early church were focused beyond themselves. They were a people who were trusting God in grace for today and hope for tomorrow.
The Spirit led in prayer, bringing direction, discernment and a sense of purposeful unity (it seemed good to us and the Spirit).
POSTPONED DUE TO SICKNESS
Here's the info for our week of prayer & fasting, starting on Monday, 14th through to Sunday, 20th June... hopefully this gives a broad overview of what we'll be doing.
We may not all be able to pray together for the same things at the same time, but we can all pray together for the same things throughout the week!
Can we also encourage you to consider joining us in the spiritual practise of fasting as we pray together in faith?
More explanation for Friday, Saturday & Sunday will be given live on Monday night, and also on the three mid-week videos #hope #church #sittingbourne #prayerfirst
When: Sunday, 13th June 2021
We can't wait to gather together in person again... it's been far too long, plus there'll be great coffee served as always!
Places are limited, so we'll need you to kindly book online beforehand. It only takes a minute to book, so get in quick and don't miss out!
We'll be meeting from 10am through to 11am. Please note you will need to book your place(s) online before 6pm on Friday, 21st May, including additional places for any family members that are joining you (including children or dependents).
It would really help us if you could please arrive a little early (from 9:45am onwards) as we will be starting at 10am prompt and need everyone present at the start to hear the welcome and introduction along with an essential safety briefing... how exciting! ;)
Booking is essential as we need to ensure people are allocated appropriate seating at the right tables to maximise our use of the space, and also to monitor attendees for COVID Track & Trace.
We are also hoping to be able to livestream our Sundays from Costa via Facebook Live... more details will be on our website & Facebook page. So if you're still shielding and unable to join us at Costa, then hopefully the livestream provision will help you keep connected with everything that's going on (if it works!!!).
We're really looking forward to gathering together again, albeit with some necessary restrictions, but we trust that Jesus will be right there with us as we worship and make much of Him together!
Gordon @ Hope Church Sittingbourne
Sunday, 17th January @ 7:30pm
We'll be hosting an hours long prayer meeting on Sunday, 17th January on Zoom, starting at 7:30pm.
These will be opportunities to 'pray beyond ourselves' as we incline our hearts to focus on Sittingbourne & Swale, wider Kent, the UK & out towards the nations.
There will be further Hope Prayer gatherings on the evenings of:
Starts Tuesday, 12th January @ 12:30pm
On Tuesday, 12th January we start our new 'Enjoying the Psalms Together', a 40 minute chat together through a different Psalm every week on Zoom for 6 consecutive weeks. It starts at 12:30pm each week. The link to participate is below.
The group is being facilitated by Teresa Butson, she hopes it will be an encouraging and restful look at Gods word together.
All are welcome to take part.
Find out all the latest developments with Hope Church Sittingbourne.