In this part of our site, we publish articles that may be of interest, written by members of our community.

Our patron saint: November 2007

Isn't it amazing how fast St Andrew's Day comes round? Of course, for us that also means the yearly Caledonian Service is on its way, with extra numbers because some of our friends in the Caledonian Society of Sheffield are with us. Last year one of the Caledonians observed after the service that she had been rather disappointed in my sermon, because I had not mentioned St Andrew. I didn't feel too badly: after all, I had spoken about Jesus, who is even closer to the heart of our faith!

Getting on... October 2007

Now I'm 41 I've got my midlife crisis out of the way, so I'm reflecting on what I have to look forward to as an Older Person. But being old isn't what it used to be. When I was little, old age began when people retired from work in their sixties and reached for their slippers. Now the baby boomer generation are starting to retire - but they're reaching for scuba gear. And people older than that are doing things that make me cheer. Did you know that our own Dr Leslie Green is hoping to mark his ninetieth year with a cruise up the Amazon?

Will God's kingdom come? September 2007

Dropping a big hint, I always love it when someone really wants to know what I believe. But I was taken aback recently just after the service, in which I'd been going on about the coming of God's kingdom, when someone asked me, ‘Sarah, do you really believe in that? Do you really think God's kingdom is going to come?'

Time for re-creation: July 2007

Holiday time is upon us again - or at least upon those of us, unlike my parents, who are not already retired. (‘But that doesn't mean we're on holiday all the time!' they tell me.) Some of us have booked time out to give our stressed-out bodies a break, whether it's walking, golfing, dancing till the wee small hours or sitting in the sun. Others are more interested in giving the mind something new to chew on: maybe a tour of classical sites, art galleries or model railways. But what, I wonder - if anything - have you planned this summer to refresh your spirit?

You may now begin... May 2007

For nearly a third of my life, the month of May has meant just one terrible thing: revision for exams. And now it seems to be built into my system. Just when the weather's usually starting to get warm and sunny, a warning bell sounds at the back of my mind. You should be revising, a little voice whispers in your head, and if you don't, you're going to regret it.

This is all wrong! April 2007

Imagine, if you will, the Last Supper, seen through Peter's eyes.
Jesus doesn't look too cheerful for someone who's entered Jerusalem to popular acclaim. You should have heard everyone cheering him on! The Pharisees looked grim, but they're just jealous.

God is green: March 2007

Recycling seems to be getting more fashionable these days, as the message sinks in that we only have one planet, and once it runs out we're unlikely to get another one. At church we already recycle paper, aluminium foil and cans, as well as saving stamps; now we're going to put in a bin for recycling old inkjet printer cartridges as well, which will make some money for Christian Aid.

Let's be creative! February 2007

If it's anything like last year, February is going to do its best to depress us with grey, wet weather. So here's a word to take your mind off what's happening outside: creativity!
I wonder what comes into your mind with that word? For some it will mean a new idea; for others, a new cake recipe. One person may be inspired to paint, another to write, sing, knit or play a master stroke of golf. Still others are skilled in living life well, creating a home to relax in, or a safe space for others to confide their troubles or lessen their loneliness.

Forward and back: January 2007

January's a good time to look both back and forward - the Romans knew that, with their two-headed god Janus, who names the month. Back: to remember what we hoped to have achieved in the course of last year and to appraise how well we've done. Forward: to plan what we would like to do this year - though, of course, we know that however thoroughly we plan, God is bound to have a few surprises in store for us.
Here are some of the 2006 church activities our Elders Retreat discussed this year:

Work in our church

Our family in pictures: December 2006

I like looking at old family pictures: the serious black-and-white expressions; the strange fashions; the outlandish hairstyles. But usually I have to call my mother over and ask her, Who on earth is that? A few years ago we had a mammoth family pictures session and wrote the names of all the people we could identify on the back of the photos - but even when I know the names, sometimes I'm not a great deal wiser about how they fit into the family story.


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