Pastor’s Blog – 26 Mar 2015

Dear Village,

Today I look at where we are and I’m so proud that in just a few short months we’ve come so far. Our Sunday worship service flows with a sweet gentle Spirit that, despite all the mistakes that I’m making, binds us together as church.

Next week there’s a lot going on and I hope that you’re able to join me in some or all of the events.

On Tuesday we’re getting together over a cup of coffee and prayer to talk about what Easter means to us. We are such a diverse community, coming from so many backgrounds and traditions, on often very different paths, this is a chance to see that tapestry in all it’s colours.

On Thursday is our Seder. A lamb dinner with a traditional(ish) Seder – followed by a sharing of our own liberation stories. It’s empowering, moving, and helps us to get to know each other better. Bring your own wine, and a designated driver!

Friday is our walk of witness through Brighton. Come and join us at St. Nicholas’ church for a brief service before walking down to the Old Steine where churches gather together for a joint service. It’s a powerful experience, and a powerful witness.

On Sunday morning One Church are holding an early service (8am) on the beach, just east of the wheel in Brighton. They bring a wonderful and engaging worship experience, as well as hot cross buns and hot drinks. It’s lovely to connect with another church celebrating this wonderful day.

At 6pm on Easter Sunday we have our own celebration service at the Somerset Day Centre. Come and celebrate the inclusive Gospel message that Jesus calls each of us equally into God’s Grace. After the terrible events of Friday we experience the joy of resurrection!

Also, at this special Easter service we will be accepting a special collection on behalf of MCC’s Global Justice Team. If you don’t know what our team does for LGBT people around the world then have a look at these. (simply copy and paste them one at a time into your browser)

http://mccchurch.org/ministries/global-justice/global-justice-vision-and-mission

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lgbt-outreach-in-asia–2

I worked with Rev. Boon in New York, an extraordinary man of God doing ground breaking work in the east. It’s work that truly deserves our support. This summer he will be travelling to Asia on our behalf visiting China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia. In addition to making connections with LGBTQI centres and organizations, he will also being giving more than 20 talks in 15 cities on religion and sexuality, social justice, and human rights. Rev. Boon will be attending the gay pride parade in Vietnam as well. We do all this on a shoestring so every penny counts.

MCC is involved worldwide in so many different ways. Did you know that we help to set up LGBT mosques? Or that there are many countries where we are still fighting for same sex marriage rights? Or that we are fighting for basic human rights in places like Gambia and Uganda? For women’s rights in India and Pakistan? That we are a voice supporting LGBT inclusion with the world council of churches? This year’s easter offering helps us to reach further and do more, and as I’ve said, even a little makes a real difference.

Here in Brighton we are working with One Voice Brighton and Hove to help very different groups support one another. Amongst other projects we are together fighting homophobia, transphobia, Islamaphobia, and racism. On April 25th at 1pm Chris and I will be joining the Terrence Higgins Trust for a couple of hours to clean up Dukes Mound. THT are supplying all the equipment and refreshments – I hope you come and join us! The Village often supports Lunch Positive in their work, older and out with their outreach, and the LGBT Community Safety forum with their projects, so just let me know if you’d like to be involved too.

Besides all of this we have created a sanctuary where, regardless of your sexuality or gender, you can explore your spiritual journey with others. Even if that was all we did I think it would be a huge accomplishment, but it is only the tip of the iceberg.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday and pray that God bless you throughout this Holy Week.

Michael.

EVENTS FOR HOLY WEEK

Sunday March 29th. 6pm The Village MCC Palm Sunday Sunday service.6pm at the Somerset day centre, Kemptown. (Parking at the rear). Today’s service is a special event service designed by Mary Bacchoo. Come and begin Holy Week with a community of faith, experience new ways of looking at Holy week and new ways of connecting to the message in new and exciting ways.

Tuesday March 31st  7:15pm. God Talk – No Borders. Held at Mike and Chris’ home in Kemptown. Come any time after 6pm for a bite to eat (sandwiches supplied) and talk informally over a cup of tea. What does Easter mean to you? Why did Jesus die on the cross?  How does it all affect you – if at all? There are no right or wrong questions or answers, simply a chance to hear other ideas and opinions, and if you’d like to then share your own. 

Thursday April 2nd 7:15pm. Seder Meal. Come and celebrate the Seder with a full lamb dinner! Held at Mike and Chris’ home in Kemptown. Share in a story that includes the liberation of God’s LGBTQ Children  whilst sharing a meal with friends. Please bring your own wine – soft drinks provided. (NB. It would be handy to know approximately how many folks are coming, so if you would like to come please email me at michaelhydes@hotmail.com and let me know. Thank you!) 

Friday April 3rd,  The Good Friday Walk of Witness – leaving various locations and meeting at The Old Steine for a service at 11am. (This event is sponsored by Churches Together in Central Brighton, of which The Village MCC is a member). 

Sunday April 5th. 8am Sunrise service with One Church on the beach in Brighton by the wheel. Continental breakfast at Mike and Chris’ home immediately afterwards. 

Sunday April 5th. 6pm The Village MCC Easter Sunday service. At the Somerset day centre, Kemptown. (Parking at the rear).

Chris and I live at 3 Portland Mansions, 134-136 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1DF. If driving from Brighton come along the coast road towards the marina. Take the 1st left after the speed camera. We are the first building on the right. We are on the lower ground floor and our front door is down to the right of the building’s  main door. 

Date for your Diary – Saturday April 25th 1pm – 5:30pm. Join Village MCC members and THT in helping to clean up Dukes Mound!!

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