What have we got to be joyful about?

Come and join us at Cafe Church this terms as we find out.

Bring on the emotions (ALL of them)! | Mindfulness in ...

At times, joy seems to be far from our go-to emotions, especially during this ‘new normal’ we are currently trying to get used to. And for this reason it seems a sensible topic for our term. Joy what is it? Where might be find it? What does God say about it? Are soem of the questions we want to explore.

Our starting point will be in the parable, listen for glimpses of Joy in the storys of the lost coin, the lost son, treasure in the field and the fruitless fig tree.

And hopefully shareing together time when joy has been know to us.

Make a Joyful Noise

It was great to be back at Cafe Church this weekend, at the start of a new term, in this changing and challenging time.

It was wonderful to see some new faces, to catch up with how summer had been and to hear how life at the moment is going with a mixture of isolating, living at home and distant learning.

At the start of the new term we through we would have some fun and so B.Y.O.B and Hymns was created. An oportunity to laugh together and to worship together through song.

We began with a short pray using the words from Psalm 100. I invited us to be open to God speaking through the words and imagery of the songs we were about to sing/listen to.

I find that there is something special about singing, it has the ability to break what ever is happening, it opens a space to fall into, it can be encompassing as well as healing and life giving. I grew up in a church who sang quiet traditional hymns, a modern hymn would be the like of Shine Jessu Shine (written in 1980’s). But there was something comforting and powerful in the words of the more traditonal hymns we sang.

When I struggle to know how to talk to God, or when I know I want to be close to God but unsure of how to make it happen, hymns and songs have often been the answer. Words of How Great Tho Art have popped into my head, almost as a call to praise as I’ve walked along the road. Sometimes it’s just the tune of a worship song; and sometimes its been more like and earworm – that anoying something which gets stuck and repeats over and over – which has lead me to google and listen to the whole song and pause with God.

So on Sunday evening we gathered, with our microphones muted during the singing, I don’t know if this is a “blessings” of zoom… To join together in a joyful noise as we sang a mix of traditional and contempory songs and reflected on what hymns we had grown up with and open to God in that moment.

For me this was a uplifting moment, there was a sense of reassurance.

It was good to be back.

Cafe Church returns

It’s been a long summer, and even longer since we last posted.

But we are back. With the start of a new term plans are a foot. We start the term with BYOB and Hymns – a oportunity to sing you favorite hymns and worship songs, share with others and generally have a bit of a laught with friends.

All welcome, whether you can sing like Adele or can’t carry a tune in a bucket! Café Church is an inclusive Christian gathering. We wont judge 🙂

Get in touch for more information!

New Year, New Term,”New” Cafe Church

Cafe Church has had a little change over the last few month. You will have heard about the addition of our month praise service Cafe Church: Connect an inclusive time of worship lead by Roisin on guitar, and time of reflecting on God’s Word sometimes a sermonett, sometimes questions to ponder, and sometimes something else…

We began this term with a difficult question, ‘What is the future of Cafe Church?’ Over the last year numbers have dropped and due to commitments and pressures there are occasions when no one is able to gather. This is a challenge for us and for new people (being the only person there is a big possibility sometimes). So… to give space to pray, to think and to listen to God and to the university community we are going to meet less often as we seek to know how best to continue to minister and share in our faith exploration.

We do all of this with a thankful heart of all that has gone before, for the community that has been and continues to be Cafe Church for so many people. This is not the end, but the on going journey of what it means to be church on a university campus.

cafe church 2020

The first Cafe Church Connect

Cafe Church Connect has landed! For our first time together we had some great musical worship from a scratch band, plus reflective reading of the Bible, thoughts on gender and women in the Bible, time for prayer, and of course coffee, conversation and cake. Next week we’ll continue exploring the theme, as we think together about the Biblical character Esther.

For anyone wondering if cafe church is for them, our ethos can probably be summed up with words from the opening and closing songs we used during this evening: Gather us in – all peoples together, and, all are welcome. Come and join us next time!

October to December

We have been rather quiet recently, but hope to change that! Last Sunday we met for the first time since Summer. Accompanied by Lemon Drizzle cake and an array of tea we set our minds to the term ahead and discussed what we would like to explore. Our theme is WOMEN IN THE BIBLE other than suggesting whose story we might focus on the rest is up for inspiration as to what we might explore.cafe church poster 2019-T1

You may also have notice we have Cafe Church: Connect a new point of connection each month. After listening to the various voices across campus and of Cafe Church, we wanted to try something  a little different. Connect is designed to be something which feels and looks a little more traditional in its worship style with a simple liturgy, singing, prayers and a talk or open discussion which is front led. We wanted to keep the essences of Cafe Church: Original by being fully inclusive, but removing the uncertainty of what might happen from week to week, which for some people causes anxiety and uncertainty. Cafe Church: Connect is also committed to happening the first Sunday of the month regardless of term dates.

As always there is will plenty of cake, tea and coffee 5-7pm in the Emmanuel Centre. 

 

Cafe Church New Year

Firstly, sorry for the silence recently – although quiet on here, things have been happening on a Sunday evening. Following our Christmas break we met in the New Year to discuss a plan for the next couple of months.

Ta da…

cafe church

We contiue to meet for fellowship with cake, coffee and a variety of tea.

This week Emily led us in the practice of Lectio Divina, we listened for the Word of God to us in the story of the Road to Emmaus. We were invited to focus on a word or phrase which stuck with us in our listening and to allow our thoughts to develop as we listened to the same reading a number to times, to see where that word or phrase took us or to hear something new each time.

We then spent some time with God exploring what God was saying to us during our listening, through descriptive writting, drawing or just quiet contemplation.

Our evening ended, as we came back togethered and shared what struck us most this evening, shairing which phrase or word stuck with us and what that might be saying to us.

Unexpected encounters

20181021_163748This week we explored the story of Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8.26-39). An unexpected encounter on a dessert road.

We began our time together with tea, coffee and some fresh scones, and an invitation to recall a time when we have had a unexpected encounter. When we had bumped into a friend, or passed someone famous when least expected.

Holding on to our memories, we turned to our passage from Acts – Philip and the Ethiopian.

Philip (a follower of Christ) is called by an angel of the Lord to go on a journey, to take the dessert road, an abandoned road (?), a road less traveled (?) a road best avoided with its dangers of muggers, snakes and wild beasts (?) A road which lead from Jerusalem to Gaza.

Philip soon found he was not the only one on this road.

An Ethiopian man was travelling home in his chariot, after attending worship in Jerusalem. The angel of the Lord lead Philip to journey alongside the chariot where the man was reading from the book of Isaiah.

This unexpected encounter leads to Philip telling the man the good news.

In the chapel was the prayer labyrinth and an open invitation to reflect on Philip’s and the Ethiopian’s story, to think of those who we had encountered so far on our own faith journeys.

 

With sand to write in, stones to hold, water to renew and light to guide.

Maybe you want to take a couple of minutes now and recall who God has placed in your path, who have been apart of your faith journey? who has opened up scripture, helped you to understand what God might be saying or has simply shared the Good News of the Gospel with you?

And then…  maybe think about whose path God has placed you in, a time when you have shared the Good News of the Gospel…

 

 

Rahab

ribon2.jpgThis week we were looking at Samuel 2, and the strange meeting between Rahab and the Israelite spies. We read Rahab’s story and then discussed how this encounter changed Rahab’s life and the lives of those around her. Looking from the different perspectives of the characters in the story we able to appreciate how God can enter into every kind of situation, and that even those who’s lives seem insignificant can end up being the most important in God’s plans.

There was also a short reflection, with strands of ribbon representing the scarlet chord that Rahab tied to her window. After the session, we each took some ribbon away with us, as a reminder that there are times when we all need rescuing, and God will always remain faithful.

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Pentecost

dove

Over the past couple of months, we have been exploring the idea of change, and looking at how the disciples managed change from Jesus Resurrection to Pentecost.

This week we reached Pentecost, having explored the idea of uncertainty and trepidation last week while playing ‘Exploding Kittens’ (a game over for the brave), we reached joy and excitement, or so we thought.

Wei guided us through our session. Beginning with the passage from Act 2.1-15 and offering discussion questions. We tried to put ourselves in the disciple’s shoes – how would be have reacted? Was it a time of joy and excitement? or do we just see it that way now looking back?

We were then invited to make doves and flames, symbols representing the Spirit.

It was interesting how our conversation developed around the idea of the Spirit of peace, we often thinking of God’s Spirit as peaceful, but it is not always the serene peace we expect, but one of empowerment. We mused over how the disciples must have been uncertain of what was going to happen, maybe even fearful, but when the Spirit came upon them, their fears where ‘dulled’ and they found voice to share the gospel, to step into the unknown and be.

It doesn’t mean to say our fears disappear or change becomes easy, but God’s spirit can give us the strength we need to hold that fear, to take on the challenge of change, to dip our toe into the unknow and see what happens.