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The Pilgrim’s Progress – Vanity Fair

February 16, 2020Speaker: Ian Campbell1 John 2.15-17Pilgrim encounters a town which is full of fun and excitement, rather like a carnival! But it has a strange undercurrent that troubles him. We will think about the ambivalence we should feel about our own “vanity fair” as we hear the Apostle John’s warning about loving the world.

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The Pilgrim’s Progress – Sychar’s Well

February 11, 2020Speaker: Ian Campbell John 4.1-32A few weeks ago we considered the experience of conviction and the various ways we are drawn through its versions towards Jesus. In the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman we have a real life story of the struggles of religion and shame and meaning that prepared a woman to meet and trust …

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The Pilgrim’s Progress – The House Beautiful

Speaker: Ian CampbellJohn 17The Great Dance we have been speaking about these few weeks is the living hope of Christians. We long to see the Kingdom come and heaven and earth be joined as one. In the meantime, however, as we wait and work we are invited into our part of the dance, that between the church and itself. In …

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The Pilgrim’s Progress – Sinai

January 26, 2020Speaker: Ian CampbellRomans 8.15Early in Christian’s journey he meets a character named “worldly wiseman” and the village of morality. He seems to give good and sensible advice. Possibly the greatest error we still make as followers of Christ is to try to meet the requirements of morality by climbing Mt Sinai. It doesn’t work! It’s not the way …

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The Pilgrim’s Progress – The Slough of Despond

Sunday, January 19 2020Speaker: Ian CampbellJohn 16.8-10John Bunyan introduces the graphic term “slough of despond” as one of the first places and experiences of Pilgrim. What is your life’s version of this place of need or desperation on your spiritual journey? Did you have a sense of guilt, need or conviction? What do our friends go through that intensifies their …

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The Pilgrim’s Progress – The Journey Begins….

January 12, 2020Speaker: Ian CampbellGenesis 12.1-3The Pilgrim’s Progress is very reminiscent of the story of Abraham and also prompts us to think of the Christian life as a kind of a journey. It involves leaving and travelling and finally arriving. This is a better way to think of ourselves than being and staying somewhere in a static sense. Did you …

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Ring The Changes

Sunday, January 5, 2020Speaker: Ian CampbellPhilippians 3.13-14Ringing the Changes is a lovely but perhaps passing expression that describes the pattern of chiming church bells. Then comes the encouragement to “ring out the old” and “ring in the new” at the change of year and, indeed, decade. This rhymes well with St. Paul’s exhortation to forget what is behind and to …

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Shepherds?

Sunday December 29, 2019Speaker: Ian CampbellLuke 2.8-20Shepherds have been brought into the limelight in nativity pageants worldwide. But notoriety would have been very surprising to the group referred to in Luke’s nativity account – the ones who were living out in the fields. Why were they the first to hear this news? Who were they anyway? What’s important about them …

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The Graces of Sorrow – Comfort

Sunday December 22, 2019Speaker: Ian CampbellPsalm 41 As we walk through the journey of sorrow in our lives we face intense loneliness as a result of our losses and disappointment. Comfort is the severe mercy that we grasp perhaps tentatively. God is called the God of all comfort. We are comforted so that we can comfort others. As we emerge …

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The Graces of Sorrow – Joy (Gaudete)

December 15, 2019Speaker – Ian CampbellPsalm 40The pink candle in the midst of the purple/blue advent wreath is called “Gaudete,” a Latin word that means “rejoice” and specifically refers to a 16th Century carol with the exact exhortation in song. It is placed well into the season that has a growing sense of desperation amidst our sorrow as we long …