Monday May 8th, 4 – 5 pm
Chapel of Unity
We will hear about, and pray for, the Street Pastors, who patrol the city centre every Friday and Saturday night between 10.00pm and 3.00am. “We are there to care for, listen to and help people who are out and about. Our aim is to ensure their safety.”
Introduced by: Isabel McIntyre
(Coordinator, Coventry Street Pastors)
More information: John Lloyd (Co-Chair, Chapel of Unity Joint Council)
02476 413004 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Perry (Outreach and Development Worker) told us about the various support services and opportunities offered by Warwick Road URC. She identified these items for prayer:
- For volunteers to come forward from the church’s links with Life Path
- For a set-up suitable for life-skills training to benefit the volunteers
- For the “Friends at Warwick Road” leaflets to encourage people to take the first steps towards faith, using the principle of “belonging before believing”
- For those who come to “Soul Space”: a support group for people suffering from stress or anxiety, and for the rebuilding of links with Coventry and Warwickshire Mind
- For plans for the Quiet Day in June
- For distressed people who come into the café, some with multiple needs e.g. “the homeless lady”.
WEDNESDAY Services in the Chapel of Unity 2017 from 8 am to 8.30 am
Mar-01 Gethin Thomas Wednesday Group Prayers
Mar-08 Canon Tom Farrell Christ the King Catholic Prayers
Mar-15 Douglas Preston Canley Community Church Prayers
Mar-22 Tony Finch Retired Minister Baptist Prayers
Mar-29 Mike and Jenny Jones Wednesday Group Prayers
Apr-05 Charles & Chris Coleman Wednesday Group Prayers
Apr-12 Rev. Bill Young North Coventry Group U.R.C. Prayers
Apr-19 Ann Tuesley & Jo Shelton Wednesday Group Prayers
Apr-26 Mary Goodwin Canon Wednesday Group Prayers
May-03 Rev. Kathryn Fleming Coventry Cathedral Anglican Communion
May-10 Ruth Kidson Wednesday Group Prayers
May-17 Craig Muir Wednesday Group Prayers
May-24 Rev. Canon Dr. Sarah Hills Coventry Cathedral Anglican Prayers
May-31 Alison Mukherjee Wednesday Group Prayers
ALL ARE WELCOME. A simple breakfast is served in the Lecture Hall after the service.
Date Preacher Denomination
Feb 21st Veronica Carroll Roman Catholic
Feb 28th Sandra Noel Baptist
Mar 7th Pfarrer Albrecht Kostlin-Buurma German Lutheran
Mar 14th Alison Gee Methodist
Mar 21st George Jones United Reformed
Mar 28th Ruth Smith Church of England
Prayer for Christian Service
Monday March 6th, 4 – 5 pm
Chapel of Unity
Come and hear about CAP (Christians Against Poverty), who are “passionate about releasing people in our nation from a life sentence of debt, poverty, unemployment and addiction. Working with the church we bring good news, hope and freedom to people in the UK.”
Introduced by: Ian Burton (Centre Manager, Coventry CAP)
More information: John Lloyd (Co-Chair, Chapel of Unity Joint Council)
02476 413004 email@example.com
Pastor Albrecht Kostlin-Buurma gave the following sermon after the Reading from St Luke 15 vv11-32 (the Prodigal Son Parable):-
We have just heard one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible: A new life is given to a man who has fundamentally destroyed his life. ” This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” That’s how God is dealing with you, Jesus tells us with this story. You can start your life again thanks to His love, and what you have failed to do before will do no lasting harm to you.
This story is at the centre of Christian life, and however we understand our Christian faith, however we express it or however we arrange it in our ecclesiastical structures, with this story we find a common witness of the love of God that is stronger than all human guilt .
If I now hear this story as a Protestant Christian, 500 years after Luther’s Reformation, in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I have an image of Pope Francis emerging in my mind, who celebrated the beginning of the Reformation anniversary in Sweden a few months ago, and a voice whispers to me: You see, the Catholic Church returns to the roots of faith.
A beautiful picture – until I put myself into the shoes of my Catholic friends. They see the Pope lovingly welcome the Protestant siblings and hear the voice whisper: See, the Lutheran Church returns into the open arms of the church from which it had once separated.
Anglican Christians may now think, perhaps, that the clashes between Lutherans and Catholics show that there are actually two lost sons in history who have yet to learn how to unite two different directions in one church. It is nice that they return to our ecumenical form of the Christian faith in the Reformation year.
And since there are also denominations in this country, which see the connection of the Anglicans, Catholics and Lutherans with political power as a dramatic mis-development of the Christian faith, the number of lost sons in their eyes should be at least three.
Perhaps you are smiling about these associations between the confessional differences and the story Jesus told. This is good. Humor helps us to see the point of view of our own religious group self-critically. Of course I can do this only with my own Protestant tradition, and a little more precisely, with my particular stand within German Protestantism, but it will be easy for you to translate this into the world of your own experiences.
As a Protestant Christian, I ask myself now: Is it really true that we Protestants have remained in the house of the True Faith, while the other denominations have all moved into the world of error and can now be glad that God allows them to return home, where we have always been?
As a pastor of the German-speaking United Synod, I ask myself: Is it really true that we have remained in the house of the True Faith, whereas the Lutherans and the Reformed with their denominational differences have hurt the attractiveness of Protestantism and that they only come back home because we live in a post-Christian society?
And as a liberal theologian, I wonder: Is it really true that I have stayed in the house of the True Faith while the dogmatic traditionalists and the biblical fundamentalists have taken themselves to the wrong place and can be glad that God is not annoyed with them?
I am convinced that each one of us finds himself or herself in this story first in the role of the son, who has remained faithful to the Father in principle, and therefore needs no repentance. We therefore understand this story of Jesus as a call to lovingly deal with the wandering brother and to facilitate his return. And I do not deny that this loving interaction with the lost is the goal of the second part of Jesus’ narrative.
In the first part, however, this story clearly places us in the person of the lost son. We see how this man terminates his communion with the Father against all reason, and seeks his happiness in fellowship with men who destroy his life. I used to wonder again and again: Is it really possible that a person can be so stupid? Meanwhile, I have learned that this stupidity is widespread, and it is a great pleasure for many people to destroy their livelihoods for the sake of an ideology. But today, this story is asking me: Is it possible that you are the stupid one? Where are you going to with your way of proclaiming the Christian faith? Is not every of your attempts to press the Christian faith into a dogmatic system misleading? Can you really transform into a catechism what Jesus only could express in a parable? Can you really transform the communion which the Risen One creates by means of His Word into an organised church? Why should your tradition or theological direction be the home to which the other Christians should repent? Are not you the one who should return to the Father?
The story of Jesus can make us humble. It can make us confess the familiar words “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It can create a community of lost ones who are on the way to the Father they once left. It is a good story for this week of prayer because it replaces our longing for a united church with the longing for the unity of Christians with Jesus Christ. We are united in the firm confidence that God is the loving Father, whom Jesus presents us with his story. We are united in the promise that there is a new beginning and that the theological errors and the errors of the churches in the past will not determine our future. And we are united the hope that for our own churches, the relieved words of the Father will also be valid: ” This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”
|October 25th||Betty Blower||Baptist|
|November 1st||Pastor Albrecht||Lutheran||Communion Service|
|November 8th||George Jones||United Reformed|
|November 15th||John Desmond||United Reformed|
|November 22nd||NO SERVICE DUE TO||GRADUATION CEREMONY||IN THE CATHEDRAL|
|November 29th||Ruth Smith||Church of England|
|December 6th||Graham Gee||Methodist||Communion Service|
|December 13th||Veronica Carroll||Roman Catholic|
|December 20th||Carol Service|
|December 27th||NO SERVICE|
|19||Oct||The Newman Association||Catholic||Prayers|
|26||Oct||Alison Mukherjee||Wednesday Group||Prayers|
|2||Nov||Rev. Steve Cobbin||Lawrence Saunders Road||Baptist||Prayers|
|9||Nov||Very Rev John Witcombe||Dean of Coventry Cathedral||Anglican||Communion|
|16||Nov||Rev Rosie Deeds||Chaplain Coventry University||Prayers|
|23||Nov||Rev Dr Sarah Hills||Canon for reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral||Anglican||Prayers|
|30||Nov||Sister Ruth Kidson||Wednesday Group||Prayers|
The Chapel of Unity community has set up regular monthly prayer sessions to support Christian social service across Coventry. These are held in the Chapel of Unity from 4 pm to 5 pm on the first Monday of the month (excepting Bank Holidays). All who wish to pray with us will be welcome!
To build up a picture of what is happening citywide, so that we can be united in prayer support, each month we are inviting a representative from a city church or Christian organisation to tell us about their involvement in serving the needs of the city (about 20 minutes) before we spend the rest of the hour praying for those projects.
Contact: John Lloyd (Chapel of Unity Joint Council co-chair) at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday the 5th December 4:00pm focusing on The Good Neighbours Project
- Monday the 9th January 4:00pm focusing on Urban Hope/Coffee Tots
- Monday the 6th February 4:00pm focusing on Fresh Start
- Monday the 6th March 4:00pm focusing on CAP (Christians against Poverty)
Monthly Prayer for Christian Service
Jess Day-Pollard told us about Good Neighbours – a new project of support for older people, a partnership between Hope Coventry, Together for Change and Age UK.
Prayer was requested for the roll-out of the project across the city, for volunteers from the churches to come forward.
Greg Bartlem spoke about the work of Coffee Tots, Urban Hope and Bardsley Youth. It was inspiring to hear how each aspect of this pioneering ministry began by observation of a perceived need: young people needing a safe place off the streets to be listened to; young mothers needing a place to meet for mutual support; and other needy people being offered practical and spiritual support and encouragement.
These prayer points were highlighted:
1) For ‘N’, a 29-year-old mother due to appear in the family court regarding the possible loss of custody of her child
2) For an autistic mother, also due to appear in the family court, with custody of her children an issue
3) For an abused woman from abroad with no identity papers, who is seeking asylum
4) For Greg, his wife Catherine, and other members of the team dealing with the pressures and demands of ministering to needy people.
Project Co-ordinator Matt Robinson spoke about Fresh Start – a new initiative pioneered by Together for Change, seeking to mobilise churches in the Coventry Diocese to both befriend and provide practical support to people from different cultural backgrounds.
We were asked to pray for:
- Core leaders to arise in the localities
- The plan to use football matches as opportunities for social engagement
- The forthcoming roll-out of the project in Stoke Aldermoor in March
- For childcare/crèche volunteers to enable mothers to attend conversation sessions.