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news & events « Stour Valley Vineyard
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Easter reflection by Pastor Andrew Stewart-Darling

This sounds like the start of a very bad joke, but a man walks into a Jewellers and says, “I’d like to buy a cross”. The shop assistant obligingly pulls out an assortment of crosses and says, “We have these in silver and we’ve even got one with a little man on it.”

Now this little man is the reason for Easter.

But, to be kind, if you’ve no religious knowledge, how would you know? Yet, wrap him in a cloth, picture him as a baby in a manager with some people standing around with tea towels on their heads and you could just work out that it’s meant to be Jesus.

Let me just switch to another scene, and this will sound a little crazy, but bear with me, it’s Easter!

Around 2,000 years in a rubbish tip outside a city in a Middle East this same little man was put on a much bigger cross, something the Romans used a lot to control enemies of the State. Historical sources tell us that there was nothing extraordinary about his appearance. So why do we bother to even remember this event?

Okay, so let’s tap and unwrap this, much like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Jesus, the son of a peasant girl called Mary, was known to be a revolutionary preacher, someone who challenged the rights of the poor and spoke out against injustice. Someone who didn’t put up with the hypocrisy of self-important leaders.

He was the original little man with a big heart. But there was so much more to him.

Independent Roman and Jewish sources record that he went around performing miraculous signs and claiming to be the Son of God. I said it was going to get a little crazy.

He said things like “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” as well as “When you have lifted up the son of man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be.”

He went on to talk about how he must suffer, die and rise again on the third day to bring salvation to the world. I mean, honestly, you couldn’t make it up. And this is the point.

After his resurrection hundreds of people are recorded seeing this dead man walk, talk and even eat fish by a lake before being taken up into Heaven.

But, it doesn’t stop there.

These people then tell other people and because their testimony is verifiable, thousands more believe that Jesus is, indeed, the risen son of God. They are even willing to die painful deaths for it.

Now, I think Steve Job, founder of Apple was a genius, but however much I admire him, I am not going to die for him just to keep his memory or his company in business. And I am not really sure how by claiming he is not really dead would help make the world a better place anyway.

But with Jesus it is different because the eye-witnesses see and believe how he is life itself, the source of life, the beginning and end of life, and all the bits in the middle.

I know what you are thinking, “You would say that, that’s your job, you’re a pastor, you’re just trying to get me to go to church.” Busted! You’ve got me! But, actually, that’s not really my first concern. I am working on an assumption that we’re all looking for answers in life, some ideas on how to fix our marriages, how to bring up our kids, what to get a grip on our character flaws, how to deal with grief.

And this is why Easter matters.

It’s the physical resurrection of Jesus that gives hope and, besides that, anyone who can do that is worth knowing, right? It means there’s someone we can put our trust in, someone bigger than ourselves. It means prayers get answered.

So maybe he’s not such a little man at all.

Happy Easter!

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Stour Valley Vineyard Church’s Easter Sunday service is at 10.30am at the Delphi Centre, Newton Road. Arrive from 10 am for fresh coffee and Hot Cross Buns. Easter Egg Hunt for your children and chocolates for everyone else. Please allow time to park.

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The Supernovas Social is part of our Planet Vineyard programme run by Stour Valley Vineyard for young people. If you are aged 11-16 and are looking for somewhere to hang out, have some fun and chat about life stuff whether that be the latest music, school or your faith come and join us, it would be great to meet you!

Our next social is on Friday 19 May, join us from 7:30pm at The Christopher Centre in Sudbury.

Be great to see you there!

 

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Come and join us for a bite to eat and get to know others.

If you usually find you’re by yourself for lunch on Sunday why not join us at the Wagon & Horses (Acton Place, Sudbury) on Sunday 7 May at 12:30pm. We will then be going for a short walk afterwards, you are welcome to bring your dog along for the walk as well!

We welcome singles of all circumstances and ages.

Children are also welcome!

Speak to Karen Naylor or Katherine Mills on Sunday morning or contact the church office for more details, call: 01787 377670 or email

 

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Join us for an Easter less ordinary

Easter is a global experience. A time celebrated by a third of the world’s population. A time when we rejoice that the work of the cross is finished and the grave is empty. A time to celebrate new hope found in Jesus.

We’d love to see you at both of our two Easter services. What’s more, we hope you’ll feel able to bring your family and friends along with you too. All it takes is an invitation! You might be surprised who says “yes!”
GOOD FRIDAY – AT THE CROSS

10.00-11.00am, 14 April, Assington Hall

Join us in the quiet surroundings of Assington Hall (Map & directions) and spend an hour to worship, reflect and pray on the meaning of the cross for our own lives. We also share family communion as part of our morning together.

There will be a little time to wander around outside to find your own reflective space, so please remember to wear something warm and bring appropriate footwear.

EASTER SUNDAY – A NEW HOPE

10:30am, 16 April, The Delphi Centre

Come to party on Easter Sunday and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection with us. Everyone is welcome, faith or no faith! Straight after the service there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the children. Expect Hot Cross buns and chocolate for all!

We look forward to sharing Easter with you!

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From all of us at Storehouse and Stour Valley Vineyard Church we would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has donated Easter eggs for children. We have been truly overwhelmed by the response.

At the close of the appeal yesterday, we had received over 200 Easter eggs, amazing, right? We have managed to smash our target of 100 eggs! That means we can reach more families in crisis, in the hope that we can bring a little joy to local children this Easter.

We hope through this simple act of giving, people get a glimpse of the love God has for them.

Blessings

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Join us on the streets of Sudbury for just an hour as we bless Saturday morning shoppers with a seasonal treat.

Why do we do it? We simply want to bless people. As a church we like to do small things things with great love to show people that there is a God that loves them.

We will be meeting by the Town Hall at 11.00am. Bring the family and do remember to wrap up warm!

It really is great fun! And always gets a great response.

See you there!

 

 

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Join us for an Easter less ordinary

Easter is a global experience. A time celebrated by a third of the world’s population. A time when we rejoice that the work of the cross is finished and the grave is empty. A time to celebrate new hope found in Jesus.

We’d love to see you at both of our two Easter services. What’s more, we hope you’ll feel able to bring your family and friends along with you too. All it takes is an invitation! You might be surprised who says “yes!”
GOOD FRIDAY – AT THE CROSS

10.00-11.00am, 14 April, Assington Hall

Join us in the quiet surroundings of Assington Hall (Map & directions) and spend an hour to worship, reflect and pray on the meaning of the cross for our own lives. We also share family communion as part of our morning together.

There will be a little time to wander around outside to find your own reflective space, so please remember to wear something warm and bring appropriate footwear.

EASTER SUNDAY – A NEW HOPE

10:30am, 16 April, The Delphi Centre

Come to party on Easter Sunday and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection with us. Everyone is welcome, faith or no faith! Straight after the service there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the children. Expect Hot Cross buns and chocolate for all!

We look forward to sharing Easter with you!

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Can you donate a chocolate egg to help a local family who are struggling to provide for their children this Easter?

Your food donations continue to be a life-saver for many people in our community. Each tin or item really does make a difference. Thank you!

But you can go one step further by helping provide the gift of an Easter Egg for a child.

We have been put in touch with  families through one of our local referral partners. Together, we can tell them that “hope wins”. It is a small thing we can do, but something we can do with a big heart.

If you are able to help, we are collecting kids’ eggs throughout March, so you can either drop off your eggs at any participating church, at our Storehouse office in the Christopher Centre, or bring your donation to our morning service, 10.30am at the Delphi Centre. Simply leave them at the Storehouse Collection Point and our Storehouse team will do the rest.

Thank you.

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