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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 11 Spring 2010

Alive 2010

Live the Life is the slogan for this year’s Alive during the late May Bank Holiday weekend, 29-31 May, which will reflect on three major themes from St John’s Gospel: Life, Light and Love. Based in or near St John’s Church, Alive is more of a festival than a conference. With practical seminars encouraging interaction and participation, it aims to challenge people and stir them into action.

Book online at www.alivefestival.org or telephone St John’s Church Office on 383162. Whether you can join us for the whole weekend or for a day, a warm welcome is guaranteed.

Learn on a Monday

During the Spring Term we looked at the first half of St John's Gospel, the Book of Signs. We studied it on the premise that the original author was truly an eye-witness of the events described and that his witness was factually accurate. In particular we examined the human character of Jesus; how he came to recognize his divinity and how he coped with that knowledge. We looked at the other people in the Gospel; how they inter-reacted with him and how they coped with the tensions between the signs (which they liked) and the “I am” claims (which they didn't). At the end of the section we left Jesus in Jerusalem, having returned from the safety of Perea at the call of the sisters of Lazarus, but to the certainty of his death.

On 19 April we will make a start on the second half of the Gospel: the Book of Glory (see back of church for dates and times).

Do you believe in God?

Most people I meet in church seem to have no problem with this question and can give a straightforward answer. They seem to know instinctively what God is all about and are comfortable talking about spirituality and their relationship with Christ. However, I find these subjects quite exasperating. The more I talk about God the more elusive and vague He, She or It becomes. Spending time in prayer tends to fill me not with inner peace, but with outward rage at the injustices in the world. And I find a lot of church language and customs quite at odds with what I feel Jesus was saying. But I continue to be mesmerised, challenged and overawed by the enormity of Jesus’ life and death. If I have trouble with everything else, I wholeheartedly believe that being a Christian is all about loving our neighbours as ourselves. So am I missing the point?