A Very Useful ‘Bible App’

Lynn McIntyre shares her thoughts on a new Bible reading tool

I’ve discovered a very helpful Christian ‘app’, which you may be interested in downloading. It’s free and has some excellent features. Called the ‘Bible app’ it was created by ‘YouVersion’.

There is a section where all the books of the Bible are listed with the option of clicking on individual chapters. Both reading and/or listening to the text is possible. A wide range of Bible versions is offered, including: New Living Translation, King James Version, and Good News. This sometimes helps me see a passage from a different angle and can help my understanding of it.

A video review of each book is also available. A section of text can be highlighted (different colours available). Scripture can be sent to a personal prayer list and you can also copy, share, add a note, bookmark or get a different translation on a particular piece of text etc. These highlighted, bookmarked extracts of scripture can then be accessed in a separate section.

The app has a video sub-section with a variety of videos such as ‘How to read the Bible’, ‘Wisdom’, ‘The Torah’, ‘The New Testament’ and so on. Selected Psalms have been put to music and are relaxing to listen to.

Within the search section of the app you can look up a particular word such as love, anger, wisdom, Holy Spirit etc and relevant scriptures in the Bible are listed. This is a very useful tool which I only discovered when asked to write this article. Often in the past I have wanted to easily access applicable scriptures for a particular word and this makes it easy.

Other excellent features include plans, images and Christian events that you may also find useful. Hopefully, this summary has given you a taste of what the ‘app’ offers, and I encourage you to download it and benefit from it.

Source : Association for Church Editors

Remembered This Month

Nurse Edith Cavell (12th October)

Edith Cavell is a good saint for NHS workers this year: she cared for the sick despite the danger to her own safety.

Edith was a vicar’s daughter from Swardeston in Norfolk, where she was born in 1865.  She became a governess, but her heart was for nursing, so she went on to train at the London Hospital, before nursing in various hospitals such as St Pancras and Manchester.

When Edith was 42, she decided to go abroad, and was appointed matron of a large training centre for nurses in Brussels. She was still there seven years later, when the First World War broke out and German troops invaded Belgium on their way to Paris and the Channel Ports.

Edith’s nursing school became a Red Cross hospital, and she turned down the opportunity to return to the safety of England. Instead, her nurses tended wounded soldiers from both German and Allied armies. 

Sadly, in 1915, when the Germans began their occupation of Brussels, they took a dim view of Edith’s work. But they would have been even more unhappy had they known she was helping to smuggle 200 British soldiers across the border into the Netherlands!

Finally, the Germans arrested Edith in August 1915, and put her into solitary confinement. They tricked her into confessing to a charge which carried the death penalty. But Edith refused to show either regret at what she had done, or any fear or bitterness towards her captors. 

On 11th October 1915, the night before her execution, Edith was visited by the Anglican chaplain to Brussels, the Revd Stirling Gahan. Together they said the words of Abide with Me, and Edith received her last Holy Communion. 

She told Gahan: “I am thankful to have had these ten weeks of quiet to get ready. Now I have had them and have been kindly treated here. I expected my sentence and I believe it was just. Standing, as I do, in view of God and eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness to anyone.”

Edith was shot by a firing squad next day, on 12th October 1915.

After the war her body was exhumed and buried in Norwich Cathedral. Her memorial service in Westminster Abbey attracted thousands. A commemorative statue of her stands near Trafalgar Square.

Source : Parish Pump

Zooming Back To Genesis

Welcome back to Genesis after the summer break. We hope you were able to enjoy days out or mini staycations during the school holidays. It seemed that quite a few of us managed a few days on Anglesey and North Wales.

Having explored the Church of England advice, we are likely to keep Genesis on Zoom up to and including Christmas. We will return to weekly sessions from September and these will start at the slightly earlier time of 9.45am- 10.15. This will allow us to then join the first part of the church service which starts at 10.30am so we can share our learning with the congregation (in a similar way to how we did when we went across to Church). There is no expectation that Genesis will stay for the whole service, perhaps just 15 minutes of it, but of course you are welcome to do so.

Please contact one of the Genesis Team for the Zoom ID numbers and passcodes for Genesis and the St Luke’s service.

As usual the Autumn term for us at Genesis is one of our busiest and this year will be no exception as we plan to do all our activities virtually over zoom. This will include harvest, Operation Christmas Child and Mary’s meals, Remembrance, Christingle and our nativity! As usual the third Sunday in the month will be an All Age worship on Zoom at 10.30-11.10am, so there will be no Genesis

4thOctober – 9.45am Genesis: Harvest focus

11thOctober – 9.45am Genesis: Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13 verses 18-23

18thOctober – 10.30am All Age worship

25thOctober – 9.45am Genesis: TBC

1st November – 9.45am Genesis:  Finale of Operation Christmas Child and Mary’s meals and linked to Matthew 13 verses 31-35. Please bring your filled shoe boxes and back packs to the Church Hall before Genesis. Drop off for boxes and back packs is 8.30-9.30am.

8thNovember– 9.45am Remembrance 

15thNovember – 10.30am All Age worship

22nd November – 9.45am Parable of the net, Matthew 13 verses 47-50

29th November – 9.45amNativity songs and readings preparation

6thDecember – 9.45 am Nativity songs and readings preparation

13thDecember– 9.45 am Making Christingles

13thDecember – 10.30am All Age worship- Genesis to share nativity readings /prayers and songs in costume.

Let’s now look forward to a great year ahead where we can Come to Christ, Love to Learn and Learn to Love.

Fiona Pullé, Karen Cragg and Jayne Cawood

The Genesis Team

Churches Enjoy Zooming

Most churches who used digital channels during lockdown, in order to keep in touch with their congregations, found that their favourite platform was Zoom.

A recent survey by Ecclesiastical found that Zoom was used by 78 per cent; Skype by 12 per cent, and other platforms, including WhatsApp, by eight per cent.

Nearly one third of churches who used digital channels have also reported an increased attendance at their virtual services. 

That has led to some 38 per cent of churches saying that they would continue to use digital channels, even now that churches are physically open again.

Source : Parish Pump

Jonah’s Whale Was A Red Herring!

A Bible story reflection from Colin Reeves, Editor, Abbey Link (the magazine for Pershore Abbey)

Everyone loves the story of Jonah because of the whale – and they probably take it with a large pinch of sea salt!

Yet, to be honest, that whale is not a whale and it has very little part in this exciting Bible short story (it’s only 48 verses long, found towards the end of the Old Testament).  Although, being a Jewish prophetical book, it is full of hidden significance and parallel meanings, it is easy to enjoy at face value. Reading it, we may make a remarkable discovery … Jonah is me.

Most of us have a sense of right and wrong, a prompting of the conscience to do the proper thing. It nags away when the wrong path in life is taken, we feel guilty and things don’t seem to go right.  Jonah tries to avoid his prompting by deliberately setting off in the opposite direction – trouble is not far behind!  And, inevitably, his trouble rubs off on everyone around him. They in turn force him to admit the problem and face up to it. ‘I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you!’

Does this situation ring any bells?  Overboard he goes and along comes the whale (in truth, ‘the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah’). It doesn’t matter what the creature was, because the nub of the story is Jonah’s situation and his reaction. He is both literally and spiritually at rock bottom. He has run away from God, he has upset those around him, he is in deep, deep trouble, everything seems hopeless and he has only one option left…

‘In my distress I called to the Lord… The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me…to the roots of the mountains I sank down… But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God… when my life was ebbing away, I remembered you Lord… Salvation comes from the Lord.’

It is an experience shared by many throughout centuries and is vividly demonstrated in the New Testament by those who came to Christ.  It is an experience echoed in ordinary lives today – running from God, getting into deep water, regret and repentance, then finally turning back. Yet the patient Lord Jesus, standing outside our closed hearts, says: ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.’

Anyone can be in a hurry, anyone can be anxious. Today, improve your quality of life by putting your confidence in your Shepherd and accepting in your heart that God is enough.

Source : Association for Church Editors