What We Believe
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. We believe he was born to Mary, lived a human life, healed the sick, fed the hungry, taught about God's love and was killed by being nailed to a cross. His death was a sign of God's identification with his suffering world and was the means of reconciliation between God and humanity. Through it we believe our wrongdoing can be forgiven and we are promised the gift of life with God when we die.
The resurrection of Jesus was the confirmation of who Jesus was. Now we know God through the power of his Holy Spirit who guides and helps us. We sustain our friendship with God through talking and listening to him (prayer), reading the Bible, attending worship in church, especially receiving Holy Communion and sharing in our church community.
We are guided in our lives by the Bible and the Ten Commandments form the basis of our conduct.
We are all of us closer to praying than we sometimes realise. At key moments and problem-times of life, we easily begin to pray. God loves us. His motive in making us was love. His greatest longing is that we should get to know him, come to love him, enjoy his company. And when we talk to God or listen to him, heart to heart, this is prayer.
When we pray, it helps to know who we’re talking to. God is not just a picture in our imagination. He has shown us what he is like – in the Bible, and supremely in Jesus.
Jesus prayed a great deal. And he taught his followers to pray. His teaching highlights prayer as the focus for the whole Christian life. Before we can discover prayer, we must discover Jesus, because he really prayed and he taught others to pray. His whole life was a prayer.
Prayer should be part of our ordinary human life. As everything we are and do becomes open to God, all that is deepest in us can be turned into prayer. When we put God first in our lives, start to blurt out our thanks to him for this goodness and come clean with him about our problems, then we’re not just about to discover prayer – we’re already praying.
Ways to Pray
There must be as many ways of praying as there are people to pray.
- Sometimes we may pray ‘off the top’ as the things we want to talk to God about come naturally to our lips.
- Sometimes we may want to distil our prayers in carefully chosen words and write them down.
- Sometimes we may use the prayers that others have written; or we may turn our Bible study into prayer allowing the Psalms or the teachings of Jesus or the apostle Paul to nourish and inform our communication with God.
The Bible is made up of two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Both these parts are themselves collections of books.
The Bible began with a collection of stories, passed on by word of mouth. They were stories of how God chose and blessed a nomadic group of people, the Israelites, and gave them a land of their own.
The Old Testament is the history of the Jews, the New Testament is the story of the Christian church. It begins with the four Gospels, each of which narrates the life and significance of Jesus of Nazareth. Then follows an account of how the gospel (the good news) of Jesus spread from Jerusalem to Rome in a single generation. There are also letters which were written in those early years.
In a remarkable way, all the books in the Bible contribute to the same overall story and message. Although written at different times by a number of authors, each book contributes its own perspective to the others. Together they build a complete picture of God's holiness and love, our human rebellion against him, and his wonderful plan to rescue us from sin and death and to restore us to eternal life.