Dear Church Family
John 4 tells of a woman from Samaria who had an encounter with Jesus which changed her life forever. She discovered the Christ who loved her unconditionally, despite her failings, and as a result she wanted her friends and family to meet him too, and they did. Encounters with Jesus have that effect. We can't keep him to ourselves! We want others to discover how wonderful he is! That's why we're praying for many to encounter God in 2017 and why our upcoming Alpha course is really important because it provides a wonderful opportunity for many to hear the good news of Jesus in a clear, creative and accessible way and to encounter him. Alpha begins on Wednesday 15th February and will be start at 7.30pm in 1331 Bar (on Grape Lane, YO1 7HU). It would be great to be full to overflowing with guests who's like to find out more about following Jesus, so please be praying and inviting.
At our three Sunday congregations this week, to prepare us for the course and as an Alpha-taster, our sermon will be the Alpha film which will be shown on the first night of the course. These films are really well made and you'll see what a great resource it is for making disciples.
Also this Sunday would be a good time for anyone who didn't manage to return their financial pledge forms last week to return them to church. Pledging this way is important and helpful, enabling each of us to plan our giving (as the bible says) and also helping the church to plan for the year ahead. Thanks!
Tomorrow many of the women in church will gather for a special Women of Worth teaching day, with Sarah Yardley. Sarah is staying with us at the Vicarage for a few days at the moment and she's great! She's a Californian living in Cornwall, heads up CreationFest, has travelled widely (70 countries!) and is an inspiring speaker. It's not too late to sign up and I know you'll be in for a fantastic day.
Finally, we're pleased as a church to offer to the North a new one-day leadership training day - called EQUIP - taking place on Monday 3rd April from 10am-4pm in St Michael le Belfrey Church. It's for people working in church leadership in all sorts of capacities and would be useful for small group leaders, those working with youth and children, and generally anyone who wants to sharpen their leadership skills. As well as practical seminars the keynote speaker will be Paul Harcourt, National Leader of New Wine. Go to our website to find our more and register for your free ticket.
All this is so that many will encounter Jesus. The people in Samaria (in John 4) who encountered Jesus as a result of the woman's testimony, said: 'We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.' May that be the story of many in this city and region in the coming weeks and months.