Latest News

Haven Project

posted May 8, 2017, 6:19 AM by Peter Dyer

The Haven project would be thankful for donations of any of these items:
Food tins with ring pulls 
Ladies and men's jeans 28- 32 size
S. M. L boxer shorts
Ladies pants 
T- shirts
Please give items to an Elder. Thank you. 

Messy Church

posted May 8, 2017, 6:18 AM by Peter Dyer

Messy Church takes place on the 4th Sunday of every month at St John's Methodist Church, Argyle Road.

Prayer Pilgrimage

posted May 8, 2017, 6:16 AM by Peter Dyer

The next Prayer Pilgrimage will take place on Monday 22nd May, 7.30 - 8.45 at St. John's Methodist Church. 

Cafe Church service

posted May 8, 2017, 6:15 AM by Peter Dyer

There will be a cafe Church service at Whitstable URC on Sunday 21st May, at 5pm, led by Revd Martin Belgrove. All welcome.

From the Minister

posted May 8, 2017, 6:13 AM by Peter Dyer

We have posted a new article from our Minister, Rev Martin Belgrove: you can read it here.

Worship and Services in 2017

posted Mar 29, 2017, 5:10 AM by Peter Dyer

We meet for Sunday worship weekly at 10.30am, including Sunday Club for children, and everyone is very welcome to join us.  We now have details of each Sunday's worship to December 2017 - please visit the calendar page.  

Spring Fair

posted Mar 22, 2017, 7:39 AM by Peter Dyer

Whitstable URC are holding a Spring Fair on the morning of Saturday 1st April, at Whitstable URC, Middle Wall.  Includes charity stalls, refreshments, raffle and more.

Worship and services in 2017

posted Jan 3, 2017, 12:58 AM by Peter Dyer   [ updated Jan 3, 2017, 1:03 AM ]

We meet for Sunday worship weekly at 10.30am, including Sunday Club for children, and everyone is very welcome to join us.  We now have full details of each Sunday's worship to March 2017 - please visit the calendar page.  

Christmas Reflection

posted Jan 3, 2017, 12:56 AM by Peter Dyer

 “ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those he favours!’ “

 

At our Christmas Eve service I was struck by the translation read of Luke 2 13 which  referred to the ‘armies of heaven’. The Good News and the Living  Bible have these words and, of course, they are right. The word ‘host’ has come also to mean a multitude but this would give us ‘a multitude of the heavenly multitude’ which is not really saying much.  In fact Luke’s Greek has the word for ‘army’ which is ‘stratia’ .  This is what the Hebrew ‘ Yahweh Sabaoth’ means: ‘LORD of armies,’  or ‘hosts’. In Jeremiah’s time the heavenly host were taken to be the stars, and worship of the stars was condemned by him.(19.13). But think of our modern knowledge of the multitude of the stars in the night sky, and then apply that number to God’s heavenly armies of angels!

 

So at our service of carols and readings when the baby Jesus was laid in the crib in the poor stable, I had the contrasting vision of the heavenly armies in battle array, of  Michael who slays the dragon, that old serpent, of Gabriel,  Raphael and all the rest of their hosts.  What power is symbolized by that enormous number of heavenly beings!  They are an icon of the omnipotence of God.  So Luke juxtaposes that enormous spiritual power with the weakness and frailty of the  baby in the manger. For all his vulnerability in a dangerous world, he comes with a message endorsed and underwritten by the armies of heaven.

 

“Glory to God in highest heaven!” The armies of heaven not only wield power, they sing praise, praise not only for who God is, but for what he is now doing  in this special birth. The involvement of angels signals the divine importance of the great events of salvation history.  So Luke tells of Gabriel’s message to virgin Mary, and of the two angels with the message of Jesus’ resurrection to the women at his tomb.  Perhaps this is another contrast Luke intends: the fortissimo of the massed choirs of the heavenly armies as an accompaniment to the pianissimo baby noises in the crib!

 

“. . . and on earth peace among those he favours.”  We do not usually associate armies with peace. Think of Aleppo. But the heavenly armies sing of peace. There is a worrying uncertainty about the meaning.  “Good will towards men” i.e. humans (not males!) has a universal scope. The other translation, which is more usual in modern versions, could be universal, if  those he favours is humanity, but it could be a restricted number who receive God’s favour and his gift of peace. As John wrote,  ‘but to those who received him . . . he gave the power to become children of God.’  Can one enjoy peace without the prince of peace, or walk in the light without the light of the one who enlightens every one?

 

Power, praise and peace.  These are the notes of the armies of amgels! May we be ressured in our trust in the powers of heaven, may we join our daily praise to that of the heavenly hosts, and may we and our world know God’s peace in the year to come!

Rodney Wood

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