The United Reformed Church Chesham

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April/May 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends

The art of story telling is alive and well! We all enjoy a good story, whether it's as drama or a film on the television, the radio, at the cinema or at a theatre. Children still ask to be read a story although the books may have brighter pictures and more gimmicks attached to them these days. It is good fun to feel a story as the pages open or to look behind a flap to find a missing part of the tale. Many adults find there is nothing as relaxing and escapist as a good read. I sometimes hesitate to start a good book, knowing that it will be difficult for me to put it down until it has been finished! Not helpful when there is a sermon waiting to be finished.

There is one very good book that contains so many different stories that there is something for every taste Ė blood and thunder, crime, romance, poetry, history, biography and mystery. The joy of reading these stories is that every time you read them it seems that something new springs out at you and a fresh idea comes. The language may seem old and difficult in places, but there are now so many varied translations that this aids understanding and adds to the fun. Iím sure you have guessed, Iím referring to the Bible. I wonder if you would have guessed as easily if this wasnít written on the front page of a Church newsletter! We are fortunate that today the Bible is easily accessible in this country, yet I wonder how many people we meet every day donít own a copy and donít know the stories.

Tell me the stories of Jesus I long to hear. It is probably some time since any of you sang this hymn - I wonder if there is a modern version - a challenge for you to find or write one! Stories of Jesus, which are so important to our Christian life. Should we not be shouting out or whispering these stories around and with them telling modern stories of our Lord still alive and at work in the world. The Dramatic Bible, the Street Bible, the Cockney Bible - the stories are repeated in new exciting ways and for children and young people there are endless versions.

Vision4Life, the programme suggested for all URC Churches to follow, will focus on the Bible for the first year, starting this autumn. How do we use the Bible in church and in our everyday lives? How well does the Bible sustain our Christian life and witness? Letís start to think of how we can find our own exciting ways to tell the stories; to spread the Good News. Letís share our ideas through this newsletter and as we meet together. We can be assured that as we reread the old stories or find new ones, the words will come to life and will inspire and lighten our lives.

With love,

A prayer to help us listen and to tell stories:

Lord Jesus you met and listened to many people; you heard their needs and helped them. They rejoiced as they became one of your stories and went and told others. We pray that we too may listen to the needs around us and be able to tell the stories to help others. Keep us telling your story and so may our lives be strengthened and enriched by your inspiring words.     Amen